Arts and Culture

Several years ago, a book review summed up the work of Louisville writer Kyle Coma-Thompson in one sentence: “As we slow down and thoughtfully engage with the text, we are rewarded by its startling, intimate beauty.”

That same sentiment holds true for Coma-Thompson’s new collection of short stories, “Night in the Sun.” The stories within are incredibly precise — on the surface, almost cold in their rigorous structure — but given more attention, they reveal themselves to be deeply personal, each grounded in a palpable reality.

His work has appeared in Electric Literature, White Review and Conjunctions. Additionally, a piece from his previous collection of short stories, “The Lucky Body,” was selected by the collection “New American Stories.” His latest, “Night in the Sun,” is now available for purchase. 

I spoke with Coma-Thompson about how his writing background impacts his current practice. Listen to our conversation in the audio player above.

On how his background as a poet informs his short fiction writing:

“Writing poems, I think, just teaches you how to think in very carefully crafted sentences. How every micro-movement you make between one phrase and another, how it can bring out the details of certain ambiguities.”

On the takeaway of “Night in the Sun”:

“Just the resilience and invention of people who are in circumstances that are less than ideal. Also, how people who seek community where they can find it — and how they hold each other in moments when they need to. I would also say, I hope these stories approach this idea of honesty about one’s condition and one’s relation to others as a value.” 

Ashlie Stevens is WFPL's Arts & Culture Reporter.