Griffin Plaag is a writer, musician, historian, and baseball enthusiast living in Roanoke, Virginia (though he’s a New Englander at heart), where he’s pursuing an MFA at Hollins University.
His piece ‘Heaven and Earth’ can be found in Epoch Issue 01: Beginnings (available to purchase here).
Where do you find inspiration?
Though literature’s been an important part of my life since I was one of those kids who was either reading or doing something else, and I could rattle off a list of favorite [sic] authors and creative influences, the truth of the matter is that I draw inspiration most of all from the people around me. That’s not to say that every person I encounter is inspiring, per se—only that life is a swirling collection of intersecting stories, whether you’re waiting among strangers in a cold train station or warm at home with friends you love, and that if you pay close enough attention those stories will speak to you. People think the artist creates the art; in my view, it’s quite the other way around.
Why do you write?
There are sort of two answers to this—the first is that I love it, of course, and the second is that it’s really the only thing I’m very much good at. Really what I mean is that I’d like to effect change for the better during my brief stay in this world, and given that I’m useless at anything math-oriented and a clinically terrible networker, but rather quick with words, writing seems like the best path for me to do that.
What are you reading now?
My current project is Moby Dick, which I’ve never gotten around to before now. I’m about halfway through, and it’s as good as they say. I happen to have joint fantasies of working as a fisherman on a boat somewhere off the coast of northern New England and someday writing a real tome of a novel, and this has been the intersection of those interests. Really a wonderful meditation on art itself, and also a great place to learn some outdated facts about whales.
How to follow me
As of right now, I haven’t gotten a website for my work off the ground! I suppose if you want to hear more from me you’ll have to pen me a letter, or scour the internet for my name.