13 Ways of Looking at a Writer: Patrice Hutton


What is your go-to pen(cil)? Whatever I can keep track of. Whatever is in my backpack. Whatever I forget to give back to a friend.

Most beautiful word in all the world: Lilt. Love the word unto itself and also that its part of the ice dance vocabulary.

Alter ego: Once, the inside of a Magic Hat bottle cap read, “Hocus pocus, I can’t focus.” That bottle cap got me. I hung on to the bottle cap. I am that bottle cap. I chant the phrase often.

What’s for dinner? Yesterday seeing the word “spaghetti” got me thinking about making a version packed with late-summer tomatoes, but I’ll probably just get lazy and eat the tomatoes raw, alongside some crackers someone brought to a brunch party at my house.

What’re you reading? About to jump into Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle. I read The Haunting of Hill House last October, so it’s time for another Jackson tale.


Who is your most-recent writer crush? Angie Thomas. The Hate U Give is a brilliant young adult novel. Can’t wait for her next book.

Song lyrics stuck in your head, go: Tbh I keep listening to “Formation,” sorry not sorry.

You’re a new edition to the Crayola box. Congratulations. What is your new name? I entered a Crayola new crayon naming contest as a child! Wish I recalled what my entry was. I’ll get back to you?

What are you putting off? Going back to physical therapy for an Achilles tendon injury, which is a bad thing to be putting off. And stories. Putting off work on many stories.

What was the last gift you gave someone? A celestial chart/poster, which I gave to my little brother, who just moved into his freshman dorm room.

What were you like as a college or graduate student? Probably hanging out with writers more than I was actually writing. But that’s okay! Some of these classmates remain dear readers, dear friends, AWP security blankets.

Here’s your free ticket. Where are we going? The Peloponnese because I want to visit every square inch of Greece, past and present.


Patrice Hutton is the founder and director of Writers in Baltimore Schools, a creative writing program for Baltimore City students. She holds a M.A. in Writing from Johns Hopkins University. Her fiction has appeared in Tin House Flash Fridays, Gulf Stream, Prime Number Magazine, and Mount Hope. Links to Patrice’s other publications can be found at patricehutton.com.


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