Tell us a little about yourself:
My name is Ethan Veenker, and I’m a second-semester senior at The University of Tulsa who’s not looking forward to graduating this May.
I’ve been reading and writing since I was young. My first try at fiction writing came about in the first few pages of an attempted fantasy novel, the name of which I won’t repeat here, but rest assured that it inspired a lifelong love for fiction and for writing in general. I guess you could call the shade of fiction I now attempt to emulate “literary fiction.” (There’s also an errant part of me who’s attempting to make it as a music journalist.)
Beyond all of that, I drum. I had an electronic drumkit in my dorm room for my first two years at TU and, due to this, was never on good terms with my neighbors.
What made you interested in working with Nimrod?
I’ve submitted to and been rejected by dozens of literary journals at this point, so the opportunity to work for one isn’t something I’d pass up. I love short fiction. I love literature in general, and Nimrod is one of the journals out there that’s publishing writers new and experienced, bit by bit establishing what will one day be literary history. There’s something exciting about reading one’s contemporaries without the hindsight of scholarly introductions and forewords and afterwords and classic editions, critical editions, et cetera. I’m not reading what I’ve been told is good; I’m getting to see for myself what’s good. That’s honestly thrilling.
What’s your major/what are you thinking about majoring in? Why are/were you drawn to that major?
I came to TU in 2016 as an English major and that went well for a couple of years. I then added on a creative writing major, and it’s still going all right. I chose these majors against the advice and wishes of nearly everyone from high school (save for the English teachers—thanks, Ms. Baker, Mrs. Charlson, and Mrs. Miller!), and while it remains to be seen if I ultimately made a wise choice, I’ve been happy with it. As I’ve said, reading and writing are pretty much my prime passions. I don’t think I would have enjoyed studying anything else.
Who are a few of your favorite authors?
3. Franz Kafka. I honestly haven’t read as much of him as I should have, but the bits I have read have been delectable. I took German for the first two years here, so getting to read his work in its original language was exciting. Reading The Metamorphosis was one of the most emotional experiences I’ve ever had.
2. Jorge Luis Borges. One of the few writers who can make me enjoy not understanding his work.
1. George Saunders. Crazy, hilarious satire and other things. Saunders boasts a fictional range that few other contemporary writers draw near, in my opinion. His short fiction and his novel—it’s not often an easy read (bad things happen to decent people), but the way it’s written is just endlessly surprising and engaging. I’ve loved his work since coming across it in my first English class at TU. What luck.
What are you most looking forward to learning or experiencing with Nimrod this semester?
I’m after diamonds in the rough. I’ve already read a few submissions for Nimrod and there’ve been plenty of good ones, but I’m really itching to see the great ones fall in my lap.