DESCRIPTION 1 ︎︎︎ Human

Alyssa Rae Natoci (she/her), born June 20, 1993, is a writer based in Detroit.

above, Alyssa on Zoom in 2022
below, Alyssa circa 1995, learning how to swim

I was born at 10:19a in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I have always been obsessed with words, with stories that show me more about what it means to be a living thing that feels love and sorrow and everything else. The Wind in the Willows was the first book I ever fell in love with—I remember being lulled to sleep by it every evening, coaxed awake by it every morning. At first, the infatuation was a way to escape, to exist elsewhere. I moved around quite a lot when I was young. My childhood was not a stable or grounded one. When I was old enough to write, I couldn’t stop. I haven’t stopped.

I studied Lit Theory and Art History at The University of Michigan, but I ended up feeling restless. I had spent my whole life up to that point reading and writing—I wanted to learn something else. So I dropped out. I applied to art school on a whim and earned my BFA in Fashion Design.

From there, I worked as a designer and then as a stylist. I fell into e-commerce and immersed myself in the world of marketing. Before long, I started writing copy for the brands I had been designing for.

I’ve been a freelance copywriter since 2014. In 2018, I grew restless again. I started tinkering with freer, more creative ways to arrange words on a page, all the while still writing copy. I wrote secret poems, secret stories, and in late 2020, I applied to the Bennington Writing Seminars, a low-residency program based in Vermont. This January, I’ll have earned my MFA in Fiction.
I would describe myself as a vessel of love. My purpose in life, it seems, is to hold stories, hold experiences, and then share them in the most beautiful, human way that I can. This applies to my fiction writing; this applies to my copywriting. This applies to the way that I walk down the street, the way that I swim in lakes, the way that I parallel park.

I am soft. I am deeply feminine. I am most comfortable observing. I love to write because I appreciate that the work has to happen before the art can exist. I like that I have the opportunity to go inward, to uncover new parts of myself, to find words for the way I see the things and the people and the emotions in front of me, before releasing it out into the world for others to experience.

I like writing copy because marketing is so emotional—such a beautiful balance of strategy and romance. My sweet spot is email, but I take a lot of pleasure in writing longer editorial pieces for web channels as well as high-level brand identity work.

I like writing fiction, particularly longform fiction (the novel is my favorite form to work in) because it allows me to explore the deepest wells of my own interests. I tend not to draw from immediate personal experience, but rather let it color the lives of completely new characters and situations. I’m drawn to psychological literature, stream of consciousness, experimental forms—anything that sublimates human emotion. These are the ten books I recommend to people who want to really, really know me, my tastes, and why I write.