Profile of Haddayr Copley-Woods

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This profile moderated by Haddayr Copley-Woods.


I grew up the daughter of a mechanic and a college teacher in two towns just south of Chicago, Illinois. My dearly departed dad, an overeducated philosopher, spouted communist propaganda and blared opera in the garage where he worked on old beaters, often pausing to tell family stories, most of which (in honorable Irish style) was bragging about himself or our ancestors. My mother told wonderful, terrifying Southern ghost stories, also spouted propaganda (her brand was feminist) and turned everywhere we lived into a glorious jungle. I am the oldest of four sisters. The other three feel nostalgic about growing up on a hobby farm, but all I remember is goose crap between my toes, pitchforking acrid chicken shit, heaving extremely heavy things to and fro, and holding a rabbit still while my father sliced its head off. I'll admit it was delicious.

When I was sixteen, we moved to New York, where after a number of years I conned an unsuspecting local yokel into marrying me and we sprinted back to the Midwest. After a glorious secretarial career I continued my pursuit of useless degrees from institutions no one has heard of with an MFA in fiction writing from the University of Minnesota.

I am now a copywriter for an interactive ad agency. I live in the Powderhorn Park neighborhood of Minneapolis with my husband Jan, our sons Arie & Éiden, our cats Mouth & Bird, and our dog Frodo.

I play the bodhrán — an Irish hand drum — I take lessons in Irish Gaelic, and spend a lot of time leaping about with other dorks and freaks Irish céilí dancing, contra dancing, and international folk dancing. I spend too much time online, yet nearly every mention you make of pop culture will fly by me.




"Dead," Strange Horizons, February, 2008

In print (or pixels):

"Dust," Flytrap, November, 2007

"Meeting," Say . . . What's the Combination? Summer, 2007

"And I Ask Myself The Same Question," Polyphony 6: November, 2006

"Hot," Ideomancer, September 2006

"Cows, Water, Whiskey," Flytrap, June, 2006

Reviews (click for full review):
Tangent online: "The sly and conversational tone of the narrator lends the piece a feel of a folktale, although the stories as well as their morals are a bit more sophisticated . . . excellent read."

"The Desires of Houses," Strange Horizons, February, 2006; reprinted in Best American Erotica 2008 and Best Romantic Fantasy 2.

Reviews (click for full review):
Kirkus Books: "starturn."
Tangent online: "'The Desires of Houses' is a gorgeous story and I highly recommend checking it out."
Mumpsimus: "'The Desires of Houses' is a light and clever story that stands just fine on its own; saying anything other than "it works" would be to say too much . . ."
IROSF: "Despite a few . . . glitches, this short work is highly sensual and erotic, and it offers a valuable lesson about wanting and being wanted. Recommended."

"Borne Away," Strange Horizons, June, 2004.

Reviews (click for full review):
Tangent online: "The prose had a mystical quality, but with grounded twenty-first century overtones."

"Grammercy Park," Ratbastards: A Mischief of Rats, Velocity Press, June, 2003

Reviews (click for full review)
Mumpsimus: "Haddayr Copley-Woods is a writer of great skill and insight."
Andrew Hatchell: "This is a beautifully written story all the way through. I especially loved the latter part of the story which features an astonishingly effective technique of writing from multiple simultaneous perspectives. This is one of the best fantasy stories I've read this year."