Being a psychologist has shaped me to lean in unexpected winds, to hold fast one moment and be swept away the next. There’s always a context to be explored, an impossible irony, a changing frame, a language of the hands.
I’m drawn to the densities of the relational world, where conversations evoke traces of deep subjective experience.
Associations, longings, and memories guide the narrative flow. The telling of life is a lyrical matter for me. I try for the impossible: to describe characters, moments, and interactions in full view of the paradoxes of self and other.
J.L Cooper is a writer and clinical psychologist in Sacramento, California. He is winner of the Tupelo Quarterly Prose Open Prize, Judged by Pulitzer winner Adam Johnson. In 2016 he was awarded First Runner-up for the nonfiction prize in StoryQuarterly, Issue 50. Additional awards include First Place in Short Short Fiction in New Millennium Writings, 2013, and Second Place in Essay in Literal Latte, 2014. His short stories and poetry have appeared or are forthcoming in The Manhattan Review, Oberon Poetry Magazine, Hippocampus, Leveler, Gold Man Review, KY Story, Temenos Journal, Structo (U.K), The Sonder Review, Paper Swans Press (U.K), Folia Literary Magazine, and in other journals and anthologies. A craft essay appears in The Tishman Review.