Country Music (Fiction), Brooklyn, NY
In Country Music, three students struggle within their impoverished rural community when a school shooting—perpetrated by one of the boys—leaves survivors reconciling the tragedy long into adulthood.
“I hope my work provokes reconsideration of rural poverty, the prohibitory bonds of masculinity, trauma’s echo through generations, and the abomination of armed white terror.”
Ryan D. Matthews is a writer from rural Washington State who earned an MFA from the New School. A Hawthornden Castle Fellow, he has also been recognized with fellowships from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Lighthouse Works, The Millay Colony, Ucross Foundation, The Wurlitzer Foundation, VCCA, Willapa Bay AiR, the Ragdale Foundation, and others. He was recently nominated for the PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers, and was a semi-finalist for the 2021 George Bennett Fellowship from Phillips Exeter Academy. He is the curator and host of The Rally—a political reading series in Brooklyn—and his work has appeared most recently in Lit Hub, Litro, Joyland, and the Michigan Quarterly Review.