Fiction. LGBTQIA Studies. THE CANARY KEEPER himself is a failed actor, the kind of person no one wants to listen to at parties, but the eponymous play he stars in features characters eking out existence while in search of their own curtain calls, a chance to hear the applause before the silence sets in. Artist-citizens from the fictional Market Town look to the dimming spotlight and cannot decide its meaning: are they destined for burn-out or blinded by fantasies of themselves as small-town stars? They mark time by way of darkened, lonely highways, indifference from people in power, and the search for opportunity beyond the boredom of Oklahoma's borders. They step forward, clear their throats, and laugh at their ability to wait in the wings forever, longing for escape to the green room and anticipating that fateful moment when the stage manager says Go.
Dinah Cox is the author of two previous short story collections, Remarkable (2019), from BOA Editions, and THE CANARY KEEPER (2019), from [PANK] Books. She lives and works in her hometown of Stillwater, Oklahoma.