I’ve spent June reading manuscripts as a guest consultant for Black Lawrence Press, and as the month winds down, I’m reminded of how rewarding and enjoyable this work is. I love getting to know people through their writing, living with their books and characters for days or weeks at time, and analyzing how their manuscripts are put together and what revisions might open up even more doors–either to versions of the existing project, or to connected pieces that might become a whole (other) book! Summer is a great time for me to pour my heart into this kind of work, so if you have a story, essay, chapbook, collection, novel, or memoir that you’d like a new perspective on, check out my editing/consulting page. I’d love to take on more projects in the near future!
If you’re hoping to catch some of Western Washington University’s amazing faculty at AWP in Portland this year, here’s where we’ll be! Kicking it off with a faculty reading Wednesday–it’s going to be so good!!
A Taste of WWU: Faculty Reading
Bruce Beasley, Elizabeth Colen, Stefania Heim, Kristiana Kahakauwila, Kelly Magee, Brenda Miller, Suzanne Paola, Christopher Patton, and Kami Westhoff
Taste on 23rd (offsite)
2285 NW Johnson St, Portland, OR 97210
Black Lawrence Press Book Signing
Carol Guess, 1-2pm
25 Years of Creative Nonfiction: An Anniversary Reading
Brenda Miller, 1:30-2:45pm
D137-138, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Come Celebrate With Me: Women of Color Writers and Literary Lineage
Jane Wong, 1:30pm
B113, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Queering Genre Boundaries: The Speculative and Fantastic in LGBTQ+ Writing
Kelly Magee, 4:30-5:45
A107-109, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Disability Literature Consortium
Suzanne Antonetta, 6-9
Courtyard by Marriot Portland
FC2, Sidebrow, Ellipsis, and Dorothy Reading
Carol Guess, 7-9pm
In His Own Words: A Tribute to Brian Doyle
Brenda Miller, 7pm
McMenamin’s Mission Theater (offsite)
The Coast is Queer: LGBTQ+ Voices from the Pacific Northwest
Carol Guess, 9-10:15am
Portland Ballroom 255, Oregon Convention Center, Level 2
Indigenous Womanisms: Decolonization & Na(rra)tivity
Kristiana Kahakauwila, 9-10:15am
E147-148, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Gold Wake Press Reading
Kelly Magee, 3-6pm
Ristretto Roasters (offsite)
“Shitholes of the World, Unite”: A Poetry Reading in Translation
Stefania Heim, 5pm
Readings from They Said Anthology of Collaborative Writing
Carol Guess and Kelly Magee, 5:30-7:30pm
The Fixin’ To (offsite)
Menacing Hedge Reading
Kami Westhoff, 6pm
The Bad Habit Room (offsite)
Swichback Books and Counterpath AWP Book Launch Party
Stefania Heim, 7-9pm
Strum Guitar Bar (offsite)
Jane Wong, 7pm
Daedalus Books (offsite)
Burnside Review, Alice James Books, Canarium Books, Oversound
Jane Wong, 7:30pm (doors open at 7)
The Cleaners at the Ace Hotel (offsite)
Unsolicited Press Book Signing
Kami Westhoff, 9am
Jane Wong, 5pm
Ristretto Roasters (offsite)
With Animal, the collaborative collection of short stories I wrote with Carol Guess, has been translated into Thai and will be released next month! This collection is accompanied by some truly gorgeous artwork that I couldn’t be more thrilled about. Here are a few of images and a video, but check out Chaichai books on Facebook and Twitter to see more!
I published a short story, “The Neighborhood,” in Granta last month, and they asked me to write an essay about the story for their “First Sentence” series. The first sentence of the story is “The wire children move independently and have recognizable faces.” Read the story “The Neighborhood” here, and read the “First Sentence” essay here.
The story was heavily influenced by Harry Harlow’s disturbing experiments with baby primates. Listen to the radio show on which I first learned about these experiments here. (This American Life, Episode 317, “Unconditional Love.”)
And check out Lauren Slater’s book Opening Skinner’s Box, which has a chapter dedicated to Harlow here. Then read the rest of her book and write a story based on a psychological experiment!
I feel the need to say that this is not about the English Department. Also that I love Hobart and am so happy to have a piece in it! And creative nonfiction!
This is my resolution for 2017, and if it’s yours too, I offer a few of mine that have recently come out or are going to soon:
The Neighborhood — a collection of fairy tales and retellings
A Guide to Strange Places: Stories — a chapbook of stories, each of which gives a setting its own point of view
The Reckless Remainder — a collection of prose poetry, co-written with Carol Guess (coming out in May 2017)
I’m very excited about these books, and I’d be happy to send signed copies to anyone who’d like one. Email me at email@example.com for more information!
My new collection of short stories, The Neighborhood, is out from Gold Wake Press, and the title story has just been published in Granta Magazine here. If you’re interested in picking up a signed copy of the collection, which will be officially released in January, send $12 to PayPal here and include your address, and I’ll get one right out to you!
One out of one cats recommend this book!
I’ve had a couple of stories come out recently that I’m super happy about: Telltale Signs of Disaster in Booth and Ten Ideas for Small Talk Upon Re-entering the Dating Scene in Monkeybicycle. I’m excited to see both of these stories appear in such fantastic journals.
I’ve been in Orlando the past week, and that has overshadowed everything else. I couldn’t be sadder for, and prouder of, my hometown. Orlando is known for being a place of many theme parks, and while I’ve certainly gotten in my fair share of digs about the weirdness and superficiality of growing up under Disney’s shadow, I’ve always been more interested in writing about the real people of this area. Simply, I love it here. And as a queer person, as a member of the LGBT community, I feel wrecked over the Pulse shooting. So here, too, are some images of O-town in the wake of this horrendous violence. It’s always been The City Beautiful, and the way the people here have come together to support queer people of color, and latinx people specifically, has made it all the more beautiful to me.
Nimrod International Journal has just released their themed issue, “Mirrors and Prisms: Writers of Marginalized Orientations and Gender Identities,” and they’ve included my story “Nobody Understands You Like You” in it. Read it here.
The story is about a woman who may or may not have accidentally adopted a pet wolf, and though the story has queer content, the call for submissions for this issue was specifically about the identity of the writer, not the content of the writing. I’m really interested in the different ways attention to inclusivity and diversity are playing out in the literary marketplace. What are the reasons to issue a call for writing about marginalized orientations vs. a call for stories by writers who consider themselves part of that marginalized group?
As I’m gearing up to teach a course on Queer Literature this fall, I’ll be thinking about questions like this, so I’m really happy to have my own work in the mix! I hope you check out all the great work by writers in this issue!