Thursday, February 14, 2013

"The Missing Time" in Lake Effect literary journal

Just a quick announcement that my story "The Missing Time" will be published in Lake Effect, Volume 18 (Spring 2014).  This will be my third publication with the journal.  The most recent story, "Winter's Wooden Sparrows" is presently nominated for a Pushcart, and the first story they took was "Digging," one of the stories in The Floating Order.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Countdown to AWP 2013: If you were me on March 9

The annual AWP conference is less than a month away.  Here at What She Might Think, I'm highlighting the top events for each day of this year's conference, which will be in Boston.

We're on the third installment of the series, which brings us to Saturday, March 9, the last day of AWP.  The last day of any conference is tricky because attendees who have been thorough in their attendance begin to suffer fatigue and will be more inclined to spend the last day seeing the sights or making their way to airports because they have 60 papers to grade before Monday.  I tend to be one of these people, but if I were feeling especially focused, these are the Saturday events I'd most likely attend. (For the full schedule of Saturday events, click here.)

Saturday, March 9

9:00-10:15 A.M.

"Translating Slippery Dreamers:
French Surrealist Poetry in the Hands of American Authors"
Room 204, Level 2

Summary: The presenters, who are both poets and translators, will talk about the peculiar difficulties in translating aspects of French surrealism into English, such as automatic writing. 

Why I would attend: Translation in and of itself has always interested me, especially in terms of what can't be conveyed. I'd be interested in what the particular experience is with surrealism since its expression is already an attempt to defy reality and often visual surrealism is difficult to describe, so I imagine the language of surrealism would be interesting to learn about.  Seems like a panel that would be inspiring.

10:30-11:45 A.M.
"Lower Your Standards:
William Stafford in the Workshop"
Room 107, Plaza Level

Presenters: James Armstrong, Philip Metres, Alissa Nutting, Jeff Gundy, Fred Marchant

Summary: The discussion will center on poetry workshop and the classroom experiences these instructors have had in using Stafford's teaching philosophy, and the benefits of integrating this view in the Creative Writing Classroom.

Why I would attend: Any discussion about changing the workshop experience, and hearing other instructors share advice, would be useful now that I'm finding myself on the other side of the desk these days. 

Conflict: George Saunders and others will be reading at this panel: "The Lake Effect: A Celebration of Fifty Years of Creative Writing at Syracuse." I've heard Saunders read before, enjoy his work, and would like to hear him read again. (Room 200, Level 2)

Noon-1:15 P.M.

"Carol Shields: 
Her Language and Craft"
Room 109, Plaza Level

Presenters: Eric Freeze, Aritha van Herk, Anne Shields Giardini, Genni Gunn
Summary: The work of Carol Shields will be discussed, with a special appearance by her daughter.
Why I would attend: Carol Shields is one of my favorite writers--of both short form and novels. Originally from northern Illinois, Carol Shields became a writer later in her life, and by that time was a full-fledged Canadian. Her work shares many Midwestern themes.  She died of cancer in the last decade. Oh, and she won the Pulitzer Prize.

1:30-2:45 P.M.

"Countering Stereotypes of Disability through Contemporary Fiction"
Room 107, Plaza Level

Summary: The writers will discuss what it is to write disabled characters, and read from their work.
Why I would attend: I would like to be part of the dialogue and listen to what other writers have encountered.

3:00-4:15 P.M.
It is more than likely that this would be a time to go tour the book fair, or have a sandwich, but in the event that neither seemed a worthwhile pursuit, then I would go to this:

"Salt: The Home of Beautiful Books
An International Reading"

Summary: England-based publisher will showcase readings by some of their writers who live across the globe.  And while there is no promise of this, perhaps there will be some discussion about Salt as a publisher since it's a small press and nearly went under a few years back.
Why I would attend: I've been interested in Salt for a while, and would like the opportunity to meet some of the writers. I have a special affinity for writers who aren't from the U.S.

4:30-5:45 P.M.

"Counterpoint Press Reading"
Room 309, Level 3

Summary: The writers published by Counterpoint Press in 2012 will read from their memoirs and novels. The press's editor will reflect on the aspects of each work that drew his attention, and the authors will then discuss what it is to be a Counterpoint author.
Why I would attend: Counterpoint is one of the presses that published Carole Maso, who is one of my favorite writers.  The press has a reputation for publishing innovative work, and so I would attend this panel in order to hear what it means to be innovative in Counterpoint's term in this newest of decades.

6:00 P.M. to 8:25 P.M.
As always, I would take this time to myself, but unlike the past two nights in which I scheduled myself nowhere, this night does have an event that I would want to attend:

8:30 P.M. to 10:00 P.M.

"Academy of American Poets Presents 
Lucie Brock-Broido and Anne Carson"
Hynes Ballroom, Level 3

Summary: Self-explanatory
Why I would attend: Anne Carson is one of my favorite poets.  I am always pleased to run across her work, and I would be pleased to listen to her read and converse.  She is a brilliant, interesting voice.  I don't think she could be a writer who would disappoint in person, or irrevocably change my opinion.


What events would you most want to attend on Saturday?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

A Book for a Valentine's Day

This didn't happen:

I was on the bus, riding it to an important place of trees and turning roads.

This didn't happen, either:

As I stood up when I was supposed to arrive, someone who had been sitting beside me reached out and touched my arm and said, This Valentine's Day, I would like to read a poem that is not a poem and a novel that is not a novel.
       Will it hurt you to fall in love with a person who isn't? I said.
                                            Do you wish to wish? I didn't ask.
                                            Yes, unsaid the person who wasn't.
                                            Well, I think Ava would be the book.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Countdown to AWP 2013: If You were Me on March 8

This is the second installment in the "Countdown to AWP 2013" here on What She Might Think.  And while I'm not attending the conference this year, I am somewhat pretending that I am going to Boston, and sharing the events that I would want to attend.  Because a number of my old friends are attending this year's edition, the conference has been more on my radar than usual.

To see my selections for Thursday's events, see "Countdown to AWP 2013: If You Were Me on March 7." For suggestions on where to stay outside of the conference hotel, since it's booked anyway, see "Youth Hostels in Boston."

Friday, March 8

9:00-10:15 A.M.
"Get a Hold of Your Writing: 
Book Arts in the Classroom"
Room 204, Level 2

Presenters: Meryl DePasquale, Emily Brandt, Genevieve Kaplan, Richard Mathews, Carol Ann Johnston
Provisions by Frances Raven, 
the uniquely made and handbound books by Interbirth Books

Summary: This discussion will revolve around the creation of books, chapbooks, and broadsides and the benefits of teaching book design in the Creative Writing classroom.

Why I would attend: I attempted to have students create an anthology of work that they each selected and then designed.  As this was my first time assigning the project, it would be useful to hear other thoughts about the process. Secondarily, I have always had an interested in creating books, from my pre-literate days when my mother made books out of my thoughts.  If you haven't, check out these two awesome presses whose books are created by hand: Interbirth Books and Little Red Leaves (especially look at the textile series by LRL).

Conflict: "In Sickness and In Health: Literature at the Intersection of Medicine, Science, and the Arts" (Room 203, Level 2).  This would be a difficult panel to miss because it's closer to my interests as a writer and my more recent interests as a reader.  Since it's right next door to the other panel, I'd probably have to peek into both rooms before deciding.

10:30-11:45 A.M.
"Art of the Ending"

Writers: Miles Harvey, Amy Hempel, Michele Morano, William Lychack, Scott Blackwood

Summary: The writers will discuss the problematic situation that comes with ending a work, especially in terms of closure and reader wishes.

Why I Would Attend: While I have more trouble with beginnings than endings, one of my professors in college gave several excellent lectures/discussions on endings in short fiction, and ever since then, I have become very vigilant about my endings and the endings of others (in real life and in fiction).  And I think there's much about the endings in poetry that fiction can learn from, and so it would be good to listen in on this.  

Conflict: "Show and Tell: Audio and Video Production 101" (Room 312, Level 3). It's like a mini-workshop on how to do the basic things that writers often need to do by themselves for online marketing.

Noon-1:15 P.M.
"How to Catch a Pair of Flying Hands:
A Reading by Deaf Writers"

Writers: Raymond Luczak, Kristen Harmon, Allison Polk, Kristen Ringman
Summary: The writers will read their work, but the AWP description makes it unclear whether the writers will discuss their work afterward.
Why I Would Attend: Two of the three essays I teach in English 101 revolve around Deafness, and I'm interested in what works the writers will choose to share since the panel title and AWP description is focused more on the aspect of the writers' deafness than their work.
Conflict: "A Poetry Reading by Four of Ireland's Most Dynamic Younger Poets," Bookfair Stage, Exhibit Hall A, Plaza Level. Of course, it will be a while before I'm in the same room as these people, so this would be my second choice.

1:30-2:45 P.M.

"A Reading by the 2011 AWP Award Series Winners"
Room 107, Plaza Level

Writers: Marcia Aldrich, Kirstin Scott, Laura Read, Corinna Vallanatos
Summary: Each year AWP holds a writing contest in poetry, short fiction, the novel, and creative non-fiction: The writers who won the 2011 contest had their winning manuscripts in late 2012, and many are on tour for those books right now. 
Why I Would Attend: My friend and colleague Laura Read is presenting, and so I would be there.

3:00-4:15 P.M.
"Don DeLillo & Dana Spiotta: 
A Reading and Conversation"

Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Level 2

Summary: Self-explanatory.
Why I Would Attend: I've read several DeLillo novels, have found all of them interesting, smart, and good, and so I would like to hear his voice through the sentences.  He's also going to talk after, and I wonder what he'll say.  He writes some of the most fantastic dialogue I've read. 

4:30-5:45 P.M.

"Alison Bechdel & Jeanette Winterson:
A Reading and Conversation"
Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Level 2

Summary: Self-explanatory
Why I Would Attend: The first college class I ever skipped was at Columbia College in Chicago.  It was a beautiful, sunny day, and even though it was my poetry class, it was a three hour class.  I spent the day on the beach of Lake Michigan reading Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson (a book recommended, in fact, by my poetry instructor).  That was one of the most wonderful days of my life. 

6:00 P.M. and on

While there are a number of events scheduled after this (many more than on Thursday night), such as a conversation with Richard Russo, but I'd probably have to end my AWP experience for the day and go on a long walk to decompress--especially after having just heard Don DeLillo and Jeanette Winterson back-to-back.  To see the complete schedule for Friday, click here.  For off-site events, click here.

Stay tuned for my Saturday selections.
What's one of the Friday events that you would have to attend, and why?