My student Jenelle Birnbaum’s lovely story “The Bodhisattva of the Sea,” inspired by Katinka Bock’s abstract sculptures, is up on the Henry Art Gallery’s blog. The exhibit runs until May 4, and I think I need to squeeze in another visit before then, as there was a “Profane Fireplace” that surely had a fairy tale in it.
My story “More Like Home Than Home” is in the Emerald Issue of Fairy Tale Review. It is their 10th anniversary issue and Wizard of Oz-themed, coinciding with the 75th anniversary of Oz. I’m really excited to be a part of this issue. Over the years, FTR sent me two of the nicest, most encouraging rejections ever, and I know each issue is put together with a lot of love and care. I literally cried with joy when I saw the acceptance email, which is also probably the nicest acceptance email I’ve ever gotten. Every time I felt cold or down this winter, I just whispered to myself “Fairy Tale Review” and all was better. Many thanks to Kate Bernheimer and Timothy Schaffert and the editorial staff of MFA students at University of Arizona. You can order a copy here or pick one up at AWP at booth K26 in the North Hall.
Today I kick off a series of 16 blog posts issuing writing prompts for the Ploughshares blog. The posts will discuss using art, architecture, dance, eavesdropping, and all sorts of other sources of inspiration to keep your writing going. I’m excited to be embarking on this new project. The first post uses portraits on Google Art Projects to write monologues, and a game on Twitter, and the posts will appear every two or three weeks. Check it out, write, share, tweet! Wee!
My latest book-review-in-bullet-points is up on the Ploughshares blog today. Here’s how it begins:
Genre: literary mystery
With reference to: Little House on the Prairie
And: immigrant lit & ethnic lit
And: restlessness vs. belonging
Also: Manifest Destiny & Utopia
This will be my last book review for the next little while as I gear up for a *new* series of blog posts on writing prompts using art, architecture, and a whole slew of other sources of inspiration. The first post goes live on Sunday and posts will appear every 2 or 3 weeks. Stay tuned!
In the spring, I’m teaching a new class at Richard Hugo House, Intro to the Fiction Workshop. Exciting! This 10-week class will lay out a solid foundation for students interested in workshopping their stories but who have never taken a workshop or who want to brush up on giving constructive criticism. Workshops can be intimidating at any level; this one will be both welcoming and rigorous. And fun! The class runs Thursday nights, 7:10-9:10 from 3/20-5-22. Registration opens 2/11 for Hugo House Members, and 2/18 for the general public. Scholarship applications are due 2/18.
I’m honored to have my short-short story “Sugar” included in the winter 2013 issue of Gastronomica, the “brainiest” of food magazines, also called “the New Yorker of food magazines”. The fairy tale-ish story is set in Pike Place Market and begins thus:
“He couldn’t stomach currants in his salad. She couldn’t stomach his not stomaching her currants.”
This class, which meets at the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington, will use visual art as a springboard for diving into prose writing. We’ll mine the inspiration of images to unearth new prose or add unexpected meaning and direction to works in progress. Students can search the Henry’s digital archive and request works from the permanent collection not currently on view. For even more creative percolation, we’ll read published works inspired by visual art. Exercises, readings, and discussions will cover the writing process, character, story, landscape (internal and external), and style. Students will have the option to workshop one short-short story or essay. Co-Presented with the Henry Art Gallery.
Class meets Thursday evenings 6-8 pm, January 30-March 13 (with no class on February 27 due to the AWP conference). General registration begins December 10, and the scholarship deadline is December 24. I’m excited to see what students do with “Sanctum,” the interactive installation now outside the Henry that draws on social media and surveillance technology, and I’m curious as always to see what gets pulled from the permanent collection and what new creative works spiral out from that.
This post is extra linky! I’m looking forward to reading at the second annual Seattle Lit Crawl as a part of Dark Coast Press: Works in Progress. I’ll be reading during Phase Two of the crawl (7-7:45 pm) at Sam’s Tavern (1024 E Pike St.) with Jarret Middleton and John Hamilton. As the name of the event implies, I’ll be reading new/unpublished work.
There will be tons of readings that night (about 60+ authors in 19 venues all about town). Before my reading, during Phase One of the crawl (6-6:45 pm), I plan to be at Three Jennys Walk into a Bar, also at Sam’s Tavern, and featuring Jennifer D. Munro, Jenny Hayes, and Jenny Forester, with host Jenny Neill; they’ll be telling tales of lust, loneliness, and the American West. After my reading, I’ll saunter down the street for Phase Three (8-8:45 pm) to Lobby Bar (916 E Pike St.) to see my Furnace reading series co-conspirator Corinne Manning and my fellow Made at Hugo House fellow Irene Keliher read alongside Cole Arden Peake and Jeremy Halinen, with host Jaimee Garbacik in A Big Ol’-Fashioned Queer Bash.
Then it’s off to the mother ship–Richard Hugo House– for the after party!
This Sunday at 2 pm, I’m reading at the kick-off event for the South Sound Writers’ Reading Series in Des Moines, WA with five very talented women that I met through ArtistTrust: Lynn Knight, Kristen Millares Young, Patty Kinney, Claire Thornburgh, and Judith Gille. The series is organized by another very talented woman, Jannát Bey, and will take place at the Des Moines Library: 21620 11th Ave S, Des Moines, Washington 98198. I’m looking forward to the field trip out of Seattle.