Christopher Woods is a writer, teacher, and photographer living in Houston and Chappell Hill, Texas. He is also the first visual artist to approach Longridge Review with the idea already formed that his work might be a meaningful fit with our mission and our essays.
We are so glad he did.
Mr. Woods’ photographs immediately clicked for us in general, but as we began selecting and editing the personal essays in this issue (Issue #5, Fall 2016) we discovered something deeper. The essays in this issue share the theme of lasting trauma at a tender age; yet each writer still seems to carry a small, unextinguished light. The search for resolution and healing is much of what these essays have in common.
“I was a writer long before I ever thought of being a photographer. Oh, I had always loved photographs, but since I was already a writer, I thought that was vice enough. Then, after a cancer diagnosis and during a lengthy chemotherapy treatment period, my wife Linda, a fine equine photographer, gave me one of her old cameras. And I thought, why not? My life was so unpredictable at that point, so I went ahead and began taking pictures. I had put it off for so long. Because I spend much of my time in rural Texas, I began taking pictures of the land and the places around me.
Many of these particular photographs are about childhood. There is so much to remember, for all of us. But I often wonder about children today and the world they will soon inherit. What kind of world will we leave for them? In these photographs, children seem to be wondering about the world around them. Some of the images, those without children, are like relics from that special time of innocence and wonder, and perhaps magic. Looking at these images, I want to touch that magic again. But, as we learn soon enough, we can only touch it once.”
Christopher Woods has published a Young Adult (YA) novel, The Dream Patch, set in Texas during World War II. He has also published a prose collection, Under a Riverbed Sky, and a book of stage monologues for actors, Heart Speak.
His work has appeared in The Southern Review, New England Review, New Orleans Review, Columbia and Glimmer Train, among others.
Currently, he is compiling a book of photography prompts for writers, From Vision to Text, and conducts private creative writing workshops for adults in Houston.