Undergraduate student David Martz publishes short story in University of Cincinnati’s undergraduate literary journal
The Department of English extends its congratulations to undergraduate student David Martz, a senior English and political science major, for the publication of his short story, “You Will Learn to Ignore Grease Burns and Other Calamities,” in Short Vine, the University of Cincinnati’s undergraduate literary journal. The story is Martz’s first piece of writing to be published.
Set on the day after the 2020 presidential election, Martz’s short story follows Raime, a political conservative and fervent follower of Q, the anonymous prophet-like figure at the heart of QAnon. Over the course of his shift at Swinson’s, the fast-food restaurant he manages, Raime contemplates how his political beliefs impact his relationships with people ranging from his coworkers, to his somewhat-estranged daughter, to his ex-wife. He also grapples with the contradictions that exist between his politics and his lived experiences. For example, “Policing the border and tracking migrants like that, migrants whom Raime had worked with and relied on and liked for three decades of work in the food service industry, didn’t sit well with him, even if trafficking routes in and out of the country needed to be closed.” In the face of such paradoxes, Raime allows blind faith to guide him. “…Raime trusted the president, trusted Q, and loathed what people like Jeffrey Epstein could get away with. He had voted for the president in 2016 and again just yesterday. No regrets,” Martz writes.
The topics of politics and conspiracy are heavy ones to tackle in creative writing, particularly in a short story, but Martz says he’s just getting started. When asked how it feels to have a piece published as an undergraduate, Martz says, “It’s pretty cool, but hopefully it’s only the first of many!”
Martz credits his creative writing instructors and peers for helping him become a published author. “Every creative writing professor and workshop I’ve had has improved my work to this point,” he says, “but I’m especially grateful to Professor White’s Advanced Fiction Workshop last semester, who helped me understand what was and wasn’t working about the piece in the first draft.”
Congratulations again to David Martz on this exciting achievement!