Rin Kelly was a brilliant journalist and fiction writer that we lost much too early. I had the pleasure of having her as a student and getting to know her as a friend.
Her mother and aunt were teachers at Columbine High School, and the trauma of that event and the media circus that followed the shootings shaped her perception of the media as often exploitative and opportunistic.
In her own journalism she was a dogged truth teller, always seeking to tell the story without harming the source.
Rin wrote about trauma, about the basic dehumanization of being alive in late capitalism, about mass tragedy and about absurd speculative futures that are just around the corner or happening right now.
She wrote stories of futuristic collapse and possibility, as her lens moved between dystopian and utopian possibilities.
Her fictional world is a dense, surrealistic, often absurdly funny place where our lives are inundated with media, marketing and technology as we try to find our own souls.
As Rin observed about her own writing: “Just as we are forced to contend with a civilization on laughing gas that insists what we’re breathing is our natural air, my characters are born with dignity whose dignity, at birth, is denied.”
I hope more people can enjoy her work, and that her unpublished fiction will find its way to readers.