Looking Back: George Saunders

Self blogged this on 25 December 2013 (Christmas Day, self only just realized after writing the date). Title of post: 2013 Top Ten Books of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Saunders won this year’s Man Booker. He’s the Keynote Speaker at the next AWP, in Tampa, FL:

  • Tenth of December:  Stories, by George Saunders (Random House):  Ever read CivilWarLand in Bad Decline?  Self thought that book was a game-changer.  In one stroke, changed the landscape of the contemporary American short story, which until then had been Raymond Carver/Lydia Davis.  She will read anything by George Saunders.  Anything.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Poetry Saturday, September 2017: Joanne Diaz

Excerpt from “Pyrrhic”

from My Favorite Tyrants, winner of the Brittingham Prize in Poetry

Art can make war look wrong, but most of the time
it doesn’t. Consider this terracotta jar, once filled
with olive oil to anoint the dead, now a souvenir
of fire, clay, and spittle standing in the back
of the Ancient Wing. Look closer: some dancers
are clothed in robes, others are naked, and all
wear helmets while the musician plays a double flute
and taps his toe. First, they join hands, then the delicate,
ceremonious footwork begins.

“Magellan’s Mirror”: Self’s Pushcart-Nominated Story, 2012

Magellan’s Mirror

  • Note: In this story, The Philippines is the home of giants. In the history books, Ferdinand Magellan is credited with their discovery.

During the next week, no natives appeared on the shore. The beach was empty as it had been on the first day, before the crew had sighted Enrique. The men looked up at the sky, cloudless and blue. Under their breaths, they cursed their leader.

dscn0513

The Beach at Capitola-by-the-Sea, late December 2016

In the middle of the third week, four of the giants were seen gesticulating on the shore. The sailors shook their heads. The natives importuned them with tragic gestures. Finally, the tribesmen boarded a massive canoe and began paddling towards the Trinidad. Magellan ordered his men to welcome them warmly. The crew offered the visitors their fill of wine. Just as the giants were sleepily dozing off, Magellan had his men shackle them.


Thanks to J Journal for nominating self’s story for the Pushcart. Self took the historical journey of Ferdinand Magellan and included magical elements. She has a Part II, called “Vanquisher.” And a third story, called “Residents of the Deep,” which she began at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig, 2014, which takes place centuries later (1840s)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Faces 4: Women Celebrate

First: Women Celebrate in Oxford, UK. Jenny Lewis raises a toast in Jericho Tavern, 2014 Saboteur Awards

Second: Women Celebrate in Cork, Ireland. Geraldine O’Toole rocks red in front of the Café Paradiso, Lancaster Quay, Cork.

Third: Women Celebrate in Minneapolis, 2015 AWP Book Fair. Charlotte Pence is the Poetry Editor of Bluestem. The journal published self’s dystopian future story, “The Freeze.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

This Conversation

Self was in Oxford.

Oxford, as in UK.

The year she got shortlisted for the Saboteur Awards.

Funny, that was also her first visit to Ireland.

In fact, she was IN Ireland when she got the e-mail from her publisher. In Florida.

“Oh,” self e-mailed. “I don’t think I can make it to Oxford, Mississippi. Because, I’m in Ireland.”

And her publisher said, “Well, if you’re in Ireland, I think that’s a lot closer to Oxford than where I am.”

And self thought, Huh, that’s funny.

Then she got an e-mail from the Saboteur Awards people, giving her directions on getting to Oxford. Which included going to London, then taking a train . . .

Wait. London. Train.

HOLY COW YOU CANNOT BE TELLING HER SHE WAS UP FOR A BRITISH AWARD?

Like hell, she said!

Anyhoo, she wound up in Oxford, UK. Drinking champagne, thank you very much. A young woman comes up to self, introduces herself as a Ph.D. student from Oxford. Oxford University, not Oxford as in Oxford, Mississippi. LOL.

The young woman asks self what she does to relax.

Self doesn’t even have to think about it: “I write Fan Fiction.”

And this young woman, this doctoral candidate in Oxford University, doesn’t bat an eyelash. She comes right back at self with: “Which universe?”

And self goes: “Hunger Games. Everlark.”

And that is the honest truth.

Stay tuned.

Magellan’s Mirror/ Vanquisher: First Lines

Self’s story “Magellan’s Mirror” opens with:

  • The crew encountered the giant during the winter months they sheltered in Port San Julian.

Thanks to the editors of J Journal for publishing this story and nominating it for a 2012 Pushcart Prize.

Self is just putting the finishing touches on the sequel, “Vanquisher,” which takes place half a century later, and from the point of view of the giants:

  • We were blinded by the beauty of his armor, his carapace of gold. — Testimony of Dansulan, Islander, Last Known Giant

Stay tuned.

Winner of 2016 Miami University Press Novella Contest Announced

And the winner is:

Tara Deal, for That Night Alive: I’ve Come Close

This year, there were 155 entries. The final judge was Margaret Luongo.

Congratulations to Ms. Deal!

Here are the 2016 poetry titles from Miami University Press:

  • Her Faithfulness (Out Now), by Liz Waldner
  • Leaving CLE (Forthcoming) by Janice A. Lowe

Miami University Press is at the Los Angeles AWP Book Fair, Booth 902.

Here are the scheduled author signings:

Friday, April 1, 2 – 3 p.m. — Lawrence Coates, Camp Olvido

Friday, April 1, 3 – 4 p.m. — Janice A. Lowe, Leaving CLE

Saturday, April 2, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. — Marianne Villanueva, Mayor of the Roses

Hope to see you there!

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

Winner of Calvino Prize Announced by University of Louisville

(And you know, self joined this year. Why else do you think she’d be so interested in the outcome? Don’t look too hard at the list of runners-up, her name isn’t there LOL. The judge was Robert Coover.)

2014 Calvino Prize Winner:  Micah Dean Hicks, “Flight of the Crow Boys”

Runner-Up: Alisa Alering, “The Night Farmers’ Museum”

Finalists:

David James Poissant, “Minotaur”

Jill Birdsall, “Dandelions”

Hubert Vigilla, “Here Be Dragons”

Emily Temple, “My Past and Future Selves Eat Pasta”

Bree Barton, “Sexing the Starling”

Aline Zybum, “The Vending Machine”

Judith Edelman, “The Parchment Is Burning, but the Letters Soar Freely”

Andrea Witzke Slot, “Where Our Hands Rest in the Night”

Caroline Belle Stewart, “Widow”

Poem for the 2nd Sunday of August (2014): Angela Narciso Torres

Angela Narciso Torres was one of the contributors to Going Home to a Landscape, the anthology of Filipino women’s writings co-edited by self and poet Virginia Cerenio and published by Calyx Press in 2003.

Her poetry collection, Blood Orange, was the winner of the 2013 Willow Books Literature Award for Poetry. Her recent work can be found in the Cimarron Review, the Colorado Review, and Cream City Review.

Here’s the title poem:

Blood Oranges

At the river’s edge —
strewn seed, vermilion
petals from blood oranges

we ate. A branch
stoops from the weight
of phantom fruit. Falling,

the leaves exhale
the spicy-heavy air,
its punishing sweet.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Split-Second Story Five: A Tale of Two Universities

The WordPress Photo Challenge prompt reads, in part:

. . . we want you to become a documentary photographer and attempt to capture a candid moment of a person, place, or thing.

Here’s another set of split-second stories (love the prompt!)

First, Oxford, where the Saboteur Awards were announced on Saturday, May 31:

Jenny Lewis, Poet, Professor of Creative Writing at Oxford University, graced the Saboteur Awards 2014 to cheer self's being on the short-list for Best Novella of 2013!

Jericho Tavern, Oxford, last night:  Jenny Lewis, Poet, Professor of Creative Writing at Oxford University, graced the Saboteur Awards 2014 to cheer self’s being on the short-list for Best Novella of 2013!

Then, Cambridge, where self had been for just two days prior:

Open Market in Front of Great Saint Mary's, Cambridge, England

Open Market in Front of Great Saint Mary’s, Cambridge, England

Streets of Cambridge, England

Streets of Cambridge, England

The adventure continues, dear blog readers.

Stay tuned.

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