Contributor Spotlight: Mark Crimmins


Big Baby Moses” is one of the stories form a collection I’m working on that explores psychopathy—and, more broadly, madness—from a variety of narrative angles. In this case, I wanted to show how the psychopathic narrator reveals himself without realizing he’s doing so—relating external events from the hidden space of his own vivid interiority. I wanted to draw on the ten years I lived in Utah (many of them in Provo) to provide the story with an authentic Utah backdrop. In my travels around the world, I’m often appalled at people’s strident ignorance of and about Utah, and in some ways I set about counteracting that ignorance in my Utah tales. At the same time, I myself was a transplant to Utah and so often experienced the place as an outsider. I hope that this gives my perspective on the human and geographical landscapes of Utah something of an alien quality. I try to do this obliquely, however, by situating my narrators deep inside Utah realities and circumstances as I knew them at my own points of maximum assimilation. One thing I was always conscious of in Utah was its status as a crossroads—it is often touted as ‘The Crossroads of the West’—and I wanted to get some of that intersectional notion of place into the story, particularly since it was indeed a crossroads for me, ultimately, a place I passed through on the way to somewhere else.