People We Love: Natasha Stagg

(Photo by Dan Zev)

Natasha Stagg

Natasha Stagg is a native Tucsonan who studied Creative Writing at the University of Michigan before getting her MFA in Fiction at the University of Arizona and handling Sonora Review Online for a year. She is the recipient of the John Woods Scholarship for study in Prague, CZ, the James H. Robertson Award for a fiction thesis, the Roy W. Cowden Fellowship for a short a short story, and the Hopwood Award for nonfiction, and a Foundation Award for teaching the writing of fiction. Her fiction can be read in Thieves Jargon, Slow Trains, Current, and Fortnight Literary Review. It has been highlighted by Fiction Daily, Vice Magazine, Spork Weekly Fiction, and Glimmer Train. Natasha now writes as a film reviewer for Bombsite, an art book reviewer for The Brooklyn Rail, and an advice columnist and essayist for Dis Magazine. Her nonfiction has also appeared on The Outlet, Anderbo, and other websites. She is working on a few projects of her own, most of them conversational. This is an excerpt from an essay that can be read on Bombsite (Bomb Magazine’s website):

“…Hannah Montana, if you didn’t know, is the stage name and secret persona of character Miley Stewart, played by actress and singer Miley Cyrus. Like Hannah and Miley and Miley, each celeb has an alter ego, if not a mirrored room full of them. In My Life as Liz (arguably a reality show, on MTV) there is Liz, and there is what you choose to believe about her. The jocks and cheerleaders wouldn’t really make fun of her, would they? She’s cute, and not that far off center, and . . . she has a popular TV show about her called My Life as Liz. Then there’s Liz’s Twitter, which tweets @ several legitimate celebrities. But on the show, she’s struggling to get noticed as a newbie in New York. On TV, it’s school she’s worried about, not her acting career.

From what I gather, the mentality of a coming-of-ager in 2011 is very similar to that of a Victorian novel’s corseted and under-appreciated heroine. This is due to heightened attention to emotion (read: depression, anxiety, attention deficit disorder, digital) in children and to the super-saturated 2D diorama we inhabit daily in computer/device screens. Most of us are familiar, now, with an intense emotional spasm that comes after sending a text message. Waiting for a reply must be just as lonely as waiting for a lover’s posted letter, because all the circumstances have changed and there are fewer excuses to cushion a possible rejection.

The human mind, especially the young human mind, inflates emotions involving loneliness. No one could feel the way I do, it thinks, but perhaps the impossible love-found-in-death scenarios of Victorian romance plots, or even the centuries of solitude and celibacy that vampires must suffer before finding someone who can share their specific miseries, sketched onto the flat, malleable page, can come close…”

If you would like to ask Natasha anything and possibly have it answered on Dis Magazine’s website, or to tell her something else, write to her at asknatasha@dismagazine.com.

In addition to her own work, Natasha ran this very blog for the last year.  During her time, Natasha was able to produce massive amount of fascinating content, and all the content covers the world in a variety of ways.  She can philosophize about grand, crucial issues, she can profile under-the-radar people and entities that illuminate underrepresented sides of art, and she can investigate important figures through dynamic interviews.   I would advise a detailed perusal through her tenure, but I’ve pulled out some of what I consider to be her greatest hits below:

Art
Internet
Fashion Writing
Editor Beth Staples
The Guerilla Girls
Bob Thurber
Print Magazines
Sebadoh

Thanks, Natasha.  We Love You.  -Sonora Review