The one, the only Nancy Pearl had some tremendously generous things to say about UNDERSTORIES in conversation with Steve Inskeep on NPR’s Morning Edition. Calling the book “her favorite short story collection in recent memory,” she went on to dub the work “elastic realism,” explaining that the book is “firmly grounded in realism,…[b]ut then…stretches that definition of realism into places that we might not think it would go.”
Plainly and simply, I love this characterization and broke into a rather elastic dance upon hearing her.
She also had kind words for Bellevue Literary Press on Seattle’s The Record, stating, “Their books are just gems. It’s hard to find a Bellevue Literary Press book that, for me, doesn’t work.”
I’m humbled and thrilled to announced that UNDERSTORIES has been chosen as the winner of the New Hampshire Literary Award for Outstanding Fiction. Congratulations again to all of the other nominees, and to the winners in other categories, many of whom I’m fortunate to have met: Andy Merton in Poetry, Terry Farish in the Young Adult category, Rebecca Rule for Children’s Literature, and Mary Johnson in Nonfiction. The awards were presented at New Hampshire Writers’ Day on March 22nd on the campus of Southern New Hampshire University. I can’t thank the Writers’ Project enough for all of their support over the years! http://www.nhwritersproject.org/
Okay, now I’m going to gush about one of my favorite local entities, the Portsmouth Public Library. They have a top-notch collection that runs the gamut from the big presses to independents like Dalkey Archive, Europa, Coffee House, and Dorothy. They have mahjong every Saturday morning. They run a How-to Festival that this year included how to compost with worms, tie knots, dance the Masala bhangra, and make a firefly(!). And, last but not least, they’ve started their own magazine to capture goings-on, offer book reviews, and profile some of their patrons. Marina Buckler was kind enough to interview me for their debut issue, even though I think I had a few overdue items at the time. You can check it all out, including a literary Mad-Lib, here: (our conversation is on pg. 15): The Parrott Summer 2015.
What a pleasure to get to write about pg. 116-140 of Norman Rush’s Mating at the Paris Review Daily, the latest installment in their ongoing Mating Book Club. The journal honored Rush with their Hadada Award for a lifelong contribution to letters at their Annual Spring Revel. Here’s a link to my piece, in which our narrator reveals her secret for never being bored, then heads out into the desert with a couple of donkeys: http://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2015/04/27/6-a-craving-for-silence/
I can think of few gifts more gratifying than having one’s work set to music, and thus I’m so pleased to be able to share the piece “Internodium,” where composer Sam Nichols takes an excerpt from this story of mine (or maybe it is a prose poem?) and transforms it into something utterly new.
To mark the release of The Force of What’s Possible: Writers on Accessibility and the Avant-Garde, edited by Lily Hoang and Joshua Marie Wilkinson (Nighboat Books, 2015), I answered some of Lily’s questions about innovative writing practices and the like, and the folks at The Volta were kind enough to publish it along with a bunch of others from the book itself. It features an incredible lineup of writers, and I’m glad to have the opportunity to throw my iron into the furnace of the possible.
Tomorrow, Saturday, March 16th, along with nine other writers from Grub Street, I’ll be participating in the live writing of a mystery as part of the #TwitterFiction Festival. Follow #grubmurder and watch it all unfold. 9 am EST is when the mayhem begins. Exquisite corpse, indeed…