Issue 35, Final Fringe

The Pilgrim’s Way - William Michaelian

by Trent Aitken-Smith 09.13.2010

william_michaelianWhen writing is in your blood, it is hard to define a point at which you decide to become a writer. It is something that festers and grows in the back of your mind until it is so all consuming that you pick up a pen and release the pressure. For William Michaelian—novelist, short-story writer, artist, poet and self-proclaimed nut—thirteen was the point at which he “decided” to become a writer but as he states on his website, My guess, is that the decision was made for me — at birth, or possibly even sooner.’

William grew up on a farm in Central California and later in life spent a good part of his life helping his father grow grapes, peaches, nectarines, plums, and apricots. As it turned out, he quickly discovered that farming was pretty much like writing; ‘You keep planting on the assumption that someday what you plant will bear fruit. You take your chances with the weather and various market conditions. You hang in there, year in and year out, because it’s a wonderful way of life, and because you’re so deeply in debt you can’t think straight.’

‘what is rejected seduces,

what is expected fails

what is neglected grows,

what is sung heals’

Excerpt from When A Certain Cloud Appears

It was 1997, at the age of 40, that William decided to seek publication for his growing collection of creativity. As is the way with the writer’s path, slowly but surely his poems and stories began to be published in various literary publications around America – then in 2000 his first chapbook, Among the Living and Other Stories, was released. During this time William amassed nearly 400 rejections, ‘…a figure I’m proud of, because it shows a certain toughness of character, if not downright stupidity.’

Thankfully, for us as well as his own sanity, William now dedicates all of his spare time to his craft.  He has released a novel, collections of short stories, and selected poetry. In addition to this, William also creates some amazing portrait drawings, which in 2010 were collected and published in Primitive: Selected Drawings in Pixel, Pencil & Pen.canvas78

With reviewers comparing his work to Walt Whitman and Samuel Beckett and influences ranging from Thomas Wolfe to Guy du Maupssant, William is part of a proud and strong literary sphere. As William says, ‘I write because writing is the work I love. Beyond that, everything is a mystery.’

For further information, visit William’s blog- Recently Banned Literature.

Trent Aitken-Smith

Trent Aitken-Smith

Trent Aitken-Smith has been writing for as long as he can remember. Growing up in South Africa, he moved to the United Kingdom in his twenties. Trent now lives in the ancient and Roman city of York with his wife and four children. He is currently working on a novel, which as always is taking longer than planned to write, while doing freelance work and writing short stories when he has the time.
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