Currents, an Interview Series with Brian Alan Ellis (Episode 44: Jennifer Wortman)

Jennifer Wortman

JENNIFER WORTMAN is a National Endowment for the Arts fellow and the author of the story collection This. This. This. Is. Love. Love. Love (Split/Lip Press, 2019). She lives with her family in Colorado, where she serves as associate fiction editor for Colorado Review and teaches at Lighthouse Writers Workshop.

My current favorite author is: Sigrid Nunez. I started with The Friend and am making my way through her other books. Nunez’s writing is cerebral and inventive with lots of feeling simmering beneath the surface: my favorite lit mix. So far The Friend is still my favorite. I’m even teaching a whole class on it!

My current favorite actor is: LaKeith Stanfield! His face is so expressive and captures countless feelings at once.

My current favorite television show is: season three of a crime thriller called The Sinner. Bill Pullman plays a crusty old detective on the trail of a Nietzsche-inspired murderer, which sounds super cheesy and makes for some pretty cringey lines and ludicrous turns, but the acting’s so good that it works! Matt Bomer inhabits the role of the tormented antagonist with utter conviction. And the show keeps you guessing. Nothing, so far, has happened quite as I’d predict.

My current favorite song is:  Die Antwoord’s “I Fink U Freeky.” I like the chaotic robo-psycho vibe.

My current state of mind is: a little tired, a little wired, a little happy, a little sad.

My current chemical romance involves: playing too much Two Dots on my phone while watching too much television.

My current favorite quote is: from Sigrid Nunez’s novel The Last of Her Kind: “I believe you have to reach a certain age before you understand how much life really is like a novel, with patterns and leitmotifs and turning points, and guns that must go off and people who must return before the ending.”

My current mode of transportation is: by foot and “heavy Chevy,” my dad’s nickname for the car he left me when he died.

My current favorite fast food item is: the Impossible Whopper sans bun plus French fries dipped in mayonnaise.

My current workout routine consists of: a little yoga each morning and, later in the day, walking or running with my dog. I’ve always been sort of yoga averse, but early in the pandemic I felt so sluggish in the mornings I needed something to ease me into the waking world. I found Sarah Beth’s yoga videos on YouTube: they’re very accessible and soothing and have done lots for my physical and mental health. Walking and especially running are musts for me: if I miss more than a couple days, my mood spirals into a low rung of hell.

My current regrettable decision involves: …don’t get me started!

My current hopes and dreams are: mostly post-pandemic—seeing my mom, going out to dinner or a little childfree getaway with my husband. I would also very much like to travel to Alaska at some point. And I want to finish the manuscript I’m working on and make it really good! Medicare for all would be nice too.

My current projects include: the aforementioned manuscript, which is a novel-in-storiesish thing about a mother of two who, after losing her husband to cancer, sleeps around some and has ambiguously paranormal experiences. It’s about the madness of grief and desire and motherhood and middle-age, among other to-be-determined things.

My current hobbies involve: napping a whole lot, if that counts. I will nap whenever and wherever I can!


Jennifer Wortman is online at

Brian Alan Ellis runs House of Vlad Press, and is the author of several books, including Sad Laughter (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2018). His writing has appeared at Juked, Hobart, Fanzine, Monkeybicycle, Electric Literature, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Funhouse, Heavy Feather Review, and Yes Poetry, among other places. He lives in Florida.

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