Really looking forward to reading in the Babylon Salon series on Saturday night (6pm, Armory Club) with some terrific local authors.
The awards ceremony for the Soul-Making Keats Competition (where I'll read for four minutes) at the SF Public Library (Sunday, 1pm) should be interesting too. I wish I wasn't so strapped for time this week and weekend though, with tons to grade and read for my classes.
Getting jazzed about AWP, the enormous annual writers conference, this year in Tampa. More than 12,000 writers attended last year. It's easy to get overwhelmed, but I'm hoping to stay focused and not do too much.
Steve and I are both in readings. I'll be doing a chapbook signing. Looks like the weather will be balmy and we're in a fancy high rise hotel. Some good friends from grad school that we don't often see will be there.
Info, for those who will be in Tampa next week:
Thursday, March 8, 3-4:15pm
Steve will be in the WACCAMAW reading, Virginia Barber Middleton Stage, Exhibit Hall.
Thursday, March 8, 6-9 pm
I’ll be reading from my chapbook with some terrific BLACK LAWRENCE PRESS writers at American Social Bar, 601 S Harbour Island Blvd, Tampa.
Friday, March 9, 3-4 pm
I’ll be doing a chapbook signing at the BLACK LAWRENCE PRESS booth (#1410) from 3-4pm.
I also have two flash in the current issue of POST ROAD (for sale at table T524), and a lyric essay in the current issue of NOR: NEW OHIO REVIEW (which I haven't seen yet, but it will be for sale at table 41). And an essay in last summer’s issue of the print magazine GETTYSBURG REVIEW (for sale at table 1618). Not sure if the new HOTEL AMERIKA with my hybrid flash will be for sale, but the editor David Lazar is in a panel (F232) on Friday.
Oh, and I put together my first facebook event page ever, to let people know about the AWP events. (Proud to have mastered what probably any ten-year-old could handle.) I'm sure the reading will be fine (though it happens to be the same night as the George Saunders keynote address), but I'm worried that not a single person will stop by for the chapbook signing. So many people have bought the chapbook already, and there's so much going on at the conference. At least I'm prepared for that possibility, and I love the editors at Black Lawrence Press, Kit Frick and Diane Goettel, so will get a chance to talk to them.
Alvarado O’Brien, the pseudonym my husband Steve Gutierrez and I sometimes use when we co-write, is apparently live and well. Check out our collaborative short story “One Night at the Crown Saloon” in ROUGAROU (and stay tuned for our collaborative essay coming out next summer in the Black Lawrence Press anthology They Said: A Multigere Anthology of Contemporary Collaborative Writing, edited by Simone Muench, Dean Rader, Sally Ashton, and Jackie K. White).
Such a nice reading on Tuesday night in the Lyrics and Dirges series at Pegasus Books in Berkeley. My first time reading there. Love the curator Sharon Coleman (and her work), the bookstore actually ordered my chapbook and served great refreshments, the audience was enthusiastic.
Next week: Babylon Salon, downstairs at The Armory Club Bar in San Francisco, Saturday night, March 3, 6pm.
And the next day, the reading and awards reception for the Soul-Making Keats Competition, Koret Auditorium, San Francisco Public Library, 1pm. I'll be getting three cash awards for placing first or second in three contest categories (plus two honorable mentions). I'll only be reading for four minutes though!
It’s here! I’m so excited to see my hybrid mermaid-sighting flash “Half Fish Tale, Half Ars Poetica” in the Spring 2018 issue of HOTEL AMERIKA!
HOTEL AMERIKA has long been one of my bucket-list journals, a beautifully produced print magazine that favors quirky, unconventional, hybrid, transgenre works. Editor David Lazar says: “We like work that looks different, that tests generic boundaries, work willing to say things radically, say radical things.” HOTEL AMERIKA has published an amazing array of top writers. Just in the past couple of issues: Desirae Matherly, Lee Anne Roripaugh, Paul Crenshaw, Steven Church, Marcia Aldrich, Nathan Leslie. I’m awe struck.
There’s a new online zine in town, with an all-star editorial team (see the pilot issue showcasing their work) and a great first issue. I was thrilled when Jonathan Cardew asked me to write a mini-craft essay about my flash for their blog. So maybe I exaggerated a little. I do have a flash or two or three with plots and a narrative arc. Here’s “Plots are for Dead People” in the brand new BENDING GENRES.
Flash publication is usually fast. Some of the online zines respond to submissions within a few days and publish them soon after. But I submitted three flash to POST ROAD in August 2015 (!!!); two were picked up elsewhere before POST ROAD accepted one in late September; POST ROAD asked to see more and accepted another one too.
Finally, it’s here! My contributors’ copies just arrived in the mail, more than two and a half years later!
It feels like longer, maybe because I’ve been checking so often, but I’m so excited to be in POST ROAD, which is such a great journal. Rick Moody calls POST ROAD “one of the most reliable and ambitious literary magazines in America." "The editors' enthusiasm is palpable,” Amy Hempel says, “they consistently provide a lively home for writing worth reading." POST ROAD has published too many great writers to list (Amy Hempel, Jo Ann Beard, Ethel Rohan, Matt Bell, Paul Lisicky, Rick Moody, Steven Church, Nick Flynn, many more). I’m very proud to be among them.
If you’re at AWP in Tampa in March, pick up a copy of this beautiful magazine at the POST ROAD table (T524). Or buy issue 33 online. (They haven’t posted it on their website yet, but I’ll supply a link when they do.)
The Rolling Writers reading series (named for the Rolling Out Cafe in SF and expertly curated by Jon Sindell) has been around for six years now. Last week's reading in SF and last night's in Oakland were "mash-ups" of some of the favorite performances from past readings. The Octopus Literary Salon was full to overflowing with grand writers, musicians, a poet who reprised the Highland Fling, and a warm audience.
(Jon invited me to read my creative nonfiction flash "Early Spring Rainstorm." Just by chance, I joined a small, online flash group this year that includes Kathryn Kulpa, the flash editor at Cleaver who accepted "Early Spring Rainstorm" for publication several years ago. She's a wonderful flash writer.)
Readings coming up next week and the week following!
Tuesday, February 13, 7pm
Rolling Writers "Mash-up" Reading
(of favorite works from past readings)
Octopus Literary Salon, 2101 Webster St., Oakland
Wednesday, February 21, 7:30 pm
Lyrics and Dirges Reading Series
Pegasus Books, 2349 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley
I'll be reading flash nonfiction in Oakland, and creative nonfiction and flash fiction in Berkeley. There will be great readers, great music, great food, and great company at both readings. Hope some of you can make it.
FOURTH GENRE sent four readers’ reports with their rejection of my essay “Haunting Houses,” two critiquing the collage of literary allusions and asking for more explicit connections. I didn’t want to fall into literary criticism—which I’m quite good at, after writing scholarly articles about literature for twenty years, but seems way too academic for this essay—so I wasn’t sure what to do. I tweaked the essay a little.
On January 24 I sent “Haunting Houses” to NOR: NEW OHIO REVIEW, one of my bucket list journals. On January 26, I got a note from their editor asking whether I’d be willing to work on the essay with them, rather quickly, for inclusion in their March issue. I said yes of course. I’m looking over their edits right now, and they look fine, mostly involve combining sections. I’ll say more about NOR and its colossally distinguished contributors when the issue comes out in March, but I couldn’t be more thrilled. Wow!
Sometimes my husband Steve and I write together under the name Alvarado O’Brien, though not for a while. We have a revised version of one of our co-productions coming out in a great anthology of collaborative writing next summer (THEY SAID), but some time last year he grandly proclaimed, “Alvarado O’Brien is dead.” Meanwhile on January 15, 2017 (yes, last year), I sent out the last of our collaborations. I forgot about it. It’s been more than a year. This morning I opened my email to find an acceptance from ROUGAROU, a cool magazine in Louisiana. They don’t mention how long it’s been, or when "One Night at the Crown Saloon" will come out, but “Long live Alvarado O’Brien!”
A rougarou, by the way, is sort of a werewolf, the French Cajun Louisiana version. Here's a picture from their website, artist unknown.
Can it be? According to their Facebook page, the new POST ROAD is finally out, and I think, I hope, with two of my flash, which I originally sent to them in August 2015. Not a typo. 2015. Flash zines move fast. Print journals don't, but I've never been in one that moved quite this slowly. Fingers crossed that my two flash are included. POST ROAD is an amazing, stellar magazine, well worth the wait. It will be available for purchase at AWP in Tampa, and on their website soon.