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Staff Profile: Rachel Harthcock

1. What do you do for Switchback?

I am Switchback’s Editorial Intern. What do I do? Anything I’m asked to do! And hopefully I get it done as close to deadline as possible. My proudest moment has been pitching a quasi-marketing plan for our rebranding. My lowest moment was selling one book at AWP.

2. What do you feel like you get out of working for Switchback?

I adore my work with Switchback. What I get most out of working for Switchback is how the editorial staff and members of the board have mentored me. The women I work alongside are all role models to me. I could go on to list the times one of them said a thing or did a thing that shifted my worldview or sense of self but there is a sacred muchness to what appears to be typical impressionable intern stuff. Like my boss, Whitney Holmes came to my poetry reading series last summer. I was floored she showed up and she treated it like no big thing. What I get out of working for Switchback is I matter, my work matters.

In a similar way, what I love about working for Switchback is everyone genuinely cares about our mission—eliminating gender inequity through publishing poetry by women.

3. Where are you from, and how important is where you’re from to you?

I am from Austin, Tx! Without a doubt, Austin is very important to me. It was an ideal place to grow up. I spent summers cliff jumping into Lake Travis and winters going to movies at Alamo Draft House. Through out the year my dad would take my siblings and me for drives around downtown, he would roll the windows down so we could listen to the live music going on and he would fill us in on the history of legendary spots. Now Austin seems to act as a sort of place of wellness for me.

4. What are five of your favorite non-poetry-related things?

Jalapeno cheeseburgers, white v-necks, baths, my crooked tooth, my snow boots. These things possess no poetry related qualities.

5. If you had a time machine good for one round trip, where/when would you take it?

When I was a kid, I would always ask my Mom if her kid-self and me would have been friends (or even best-friends). So I guess it would be cool to be transported to 1971, Harlingen, TX. But it would be sad to be time machine transported as a kid with no sense of why or for how long. But it would be sadder if my Mom and I did not end up to be friends. But I would probably still make friends. Coming back, I would be bummed I would probably never tell my Mom the reality of our non-friendship (but I would tell my sister about it who would probably relay the news to my Mom). But she probably would already know. And probably seek to comfort me by taking me to the mall to get my nails done. And it would comfort me. THE END.

6. What will be the title of your memoir?

My Grandpa Knew (He Wanted To Marry My Grandma After They Went On A Group Beach Date In Harlingen, TX. As The Story Goes, In The Car Ride Home She Started Folding His Wet Clothes Into A Neat Pile—And That’s When He Knew. They’ve Been Married A Million Years.)

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