Sideshows themselves are a place where people come to see a public display of their private fears. Fear of deformity, of a disruption of the gender binary, of mutation, of disfigurement, of a crossover with the animal world, of being out of proportion....more
We start by lighting parts of ourselves on fire that are easier to put out than our faces. Hands, to begin. Arms outstretched, palms toward the darkening sky, I watch as a flaming torch is wiped across my hand from wrist to fingertips
Tessa Fontaine graduated from the University of Alabama's MFA program and joined a traveling circus sideshow. As an instructor for Alabama Prison Arts and Education Project, she taught creative writing and performance in prisons across Alabama. More of her work can be found in Creative Nonfiction, The Normal School, Seneca Review, DIAGRAM, Pank, and more. Stay tuned for more updates from the road.