MFAW-VT faculty member ​Rahna Reiko Rizzuto’s essay
on the shape of trauma in our writing is featured on Electric Literature

from the essay:

“I started writing my second novel in the aftermath of violence. In a more-common-than-you-think incident — one that is often used for titillation or as the opening scene of some revenge movie involving a father or a husband with a gun — a friend of mine was raped. I was haunted by the details: the red binders of mugshots my friend searched through at the police station; the bizarrely stubborn fingerprint dust smeared all over her walls…”

“Fiction works differently. My imagination gives me a framework to process the grief and terror and the consequences, even when I myself have not found any resolution. It allows me to enter my own traumatic experiences sideways and linger inside them, if I know I can give them to characters who might be lucky enough to find the antidote: love, connection, community, family. In other words, I can enter — and exit — the trauma loop through stories that are not exactly the same as mine.”