Best of AWP 2016 (Love L.A.), Part 2

Awesomeness is a book fair.

A few people were saying the latest AWP book fair was too big, too spread out. But self doesn’t see it getting any smaller. And okay, she probably only saw 1/10 of the publishers who were there. But, still, fun times!

Okay, so Chris Hemsworth was NOT actually at the AWP Bookfair in Los Angeles, earlier this month. But, please, why would self ever shy away from including a fabulous hunk of eye candy like Chris? Are you crazes? He was on the cover of Angeleno magazine!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Best of AWP 2016 (Love L.A.), Part 1

Just look at all this literary goodness!

Self decided to give herself a pick-me-up after reading today’s New York Times. What better way than by reminding herself that — people, America is full of writers/artists/publishers who soldier on, no matter what the odds! And who manage to look like they’re having a great time while they’re at it! Without needing comb-overs!

“Ice”: Self’s Story, Forthcoming From Bellingham Review

It’s the future. Nothing survives:

Sunlight, shadows, wind. Strangely, no birds.

Out there, ice caps, cold as knives.

Steam from her mouth, his mouth, none from the boy who lay between them. She cradling the boy’s face but he knowing what.

She knowing what but not able to bear it.

DSCN9509

2016 AWP Bookfair, Los Angeles Convention Center

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. 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.

Stonehenge/ Pacifica

Self’s short piece, about Stonehenge, published in Wigleaf:

(Excerpt)

It was a dream I had, some restless night.
Perhaps one of those weeks/ months/ years
when we were worried about money.
But when were we ever not worried?
First there was the mortgage,
and then the two.
Then your mother got sick,
and your father died.
And my mother I think developed
Alzheimer’s
but we couldn’t ever mention it.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Allison Joseph, Crab Orchard Review Panel, AWP 2016

One of the thrills of 2016 AWP in Los Angeles was participating in a Crab Orchard Review panel on the West Coast & Beyond Issue.

That issue was the final volume in a series that focused on different regions of America (Geography = destiny. At least, self wholeheartedly believes so).

Self read last, from her story “Crackers.” It’s about an American who goes AWOL in the “wild mountain fastness of the Philippines,” acquires three wives and fathers 27 children. As self was reading at the panel, she found herself less nervous than she expected to be. Hallelujah!

Afterwards, sighing with relief that she didn’t make too many out-and-out gaffes (such as mis-pronouncing words, which is the trouble with writing stories filled with words one normally doesn’t utter during conversation), self happened to mention to someone in the audience that she’d tried for a long time to get into Crab Orchard Review, and she was so proud to have actually made it. Allison Joseph said, without missing a beat, “Because we were waiting for that story.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Candide Is Flogged In Time to Singing

Today, self wandered all over downtown Los Angeles, introduced herself to various editors and publishers, attended a Brian Roley panel, said hi to Keith Tuma and Amy Toland of Miami University Press, bought a T-shirt from Grist, told the editors of Painted Bride Quarterly that she had submitted a story for their themed issue on Monsters, bought the latest issue of Hotel Amerika (another gorgeous cover), stopped by Juked‘s booth, said hi to Nutschell at the UCLA Extension Writers Program booth, dropped by Crab Orchard Review, heard from Nikki of Squaw Fabulous Workshop 6, never got as far as Witness or Bellingham Review.

She met the American publisher of Elena Ferrante. She regrets not having bought copies of Ferrante’s work. She’ll return to the Book Fair tomorrow and buy at least one.

She met a former UCLA Extension student, who took her to the Last Bookstore on Spring Street (where the unmistakable scent of weed wafted through the entrance), and asked if they carried E. L. James.

“Of course!” said the young woman at the cashier’s desk. She left her post, beckoning self to follow. In the section called EROTICA, the woman placed a copy of Grey in self’s hand.

Heavens to mergatroid!

Since self was already in that section, she decided to explore the shelves. And she ended up buying another book!

DSCN9547

From the Last Bookstore, 453 Spring Street, downtown Los Angeles

Actually, self has not been enthused with Candide. When she was back in her room, and read about his second or third flogging, she almost put the book down. But the next book on her reading list, The Merseault Investigation, is not at hand.

Trouble is, self never anticipated getting through The Death of Ivan Ilyich so fast. And not only that, she never expected to dislike The Death of Ivan Ilyich. And she never expected to be so impatient with Candide. But the only other book she has at the moment is Grey. Should she start reading that?

But no! She must give Candide a chance! Self can’t even!

She forced herself to resume reading Chapter Seven: How an Old Woman Took Care of Candide, and How He Recovered That Which He Loved.

“Eat, drink, sleep,” the old woman tells Candide, over and over.

“Who are you?” Candide kept asking her. “Who has inspired you with such kindness?”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Your Impossible Voice Making Its First Appearance at AWP

Come say hello to Your Impossible Voice Prose Editor Stephen Beachy and Associate Editor Kate Folk: Table # 1661, between Jaded Ibis Press and the University of Montana’s MFA Program.

They’ll be giving away copies of the journal, fielding questions about future issues, and curating an exquisite corpse.

First ever appearance at the AWP Bookfair.

Congratulations! High Fives!

Stay tuned.

AWP Los Angeles Coming Up

Self is thinking again of how she loves to wander the AWP Book Fair.

Last year, when she was walking around the one in Minneapolis, it struck her that she had stories in three different journals that launched that spring. It was an amazing realization. What that means is: a lot of hard writing and determination. Because, self has no agent. No publicist, either. Just this blog (and she doesn’t really consider this a PR thing. Not at all)

Here’s a story she had in The Chattahoochee Review, several years ago (She always looks up the journals that have published her):

Dumpster

Edgar wanted me to help him get rid of a hand. When he showed it to me, I had a hard time believing it was real. It was stiff and bloodless. The upraised palm had the tattoo of a pentagon in what must have once been dark blue ink. I thought the fingers might belong to a woman.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

(Then the God of War) by Jehanne Dubrow

In Witness, the Trans/lation Issue:

after Mary Barnard’s translations of Sappho

Bragged that he could drag off
my husband in a metal box,
which in his hands would be

more toy than new technology,
a plastic warship in a rising tub,
and Ares a toddler climbing in,

splash of bubbles, soap, bashing
together boats. What little brunt
it takes to sink a floating thing.

Jehanne Dubrow is the author of five poetry collections, including Red Army Red (2012) and Stateside (2010), from Northwestern University Press. Her new book, The Arranged Marriage, is available from University of New Mexico Press.

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