About Me

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Originally from Vermont, I now live in North Carolina. My work can be found in recent issues of REAL: Regarding Arts and Letters, The Jabberwock Review, The Emerson Review, Storyglossia, The MacGuffin, Confrontation, Passages North, SmokeLong Quarterly, elimae, wigleaf, Pank, and Gargoyle #57, among others. One of my stories has been translated into Farsi by Asadollah Amraee, and many others by Jalil Jafari, two of which have been published in the Iranian journal, Golestaneh Magazine. Currently, I'm an assistant editor for Narrative Magazine. I'm also working on two novels and a short story collection. In 2011, I was awarded the Carol Houck Smith Contributor Scholarship for the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.

Friday, February 25, 2005

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New-to-me magazine: Satya

Thursday, February 24, 2005

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Recently I had the pleasure of reading Tom Saunders’ amazing short story collection, Brother, What Strange Place is This?"

In the title story, successful composer Griffin Curzon attempts suicide and his inventor brother tries to resurrect him from his rapid mental decline to the man he once was. In the heart of his illness, Griffin writes in a letter to his brother this apt metaphor for life:

“ ‘Brother,
We see merit in numbers, in sequences. We search for the infinite in variety. We are imbeciles. Every note of music is a whole, deep symphony of sound. Play it soft, than softer still, breath on it, then strike it hard, harder, hit it so it rings on and on, the texture wavering and changing. Then add rhythm, slow, slower, a little bit faster, build it up, rat-ta-tat. There is staccato, legato, on and on and on. One note, one beautiful, indivisible note.’”


In “Aerobatics,” a father must face the inevitable changes in his relationship with his adult daughter, and in “The Seal Man,” a lonely woman sees hope for herself in the arrival of a stranger to her island. The characters in these pages don’t just make do, they transcend their circumstances. And the reader will find a variety of people here: transients who move into an abandoned zoo; an eccentric patron of the arts; a man coming back to his grandmother’s house after her death; an infirm man bracing himself for death.

From “Sweet Mercy Leads Me On:”

“Now I’m lying awake trying to think of when I was at my happiest. Because of the drugs I’ve been given it’s difficult to focus on anything but the present. My thoughts zigzag back and forth like a dog let loose in a park, picking up a scent only to discard it when a better one comes along.”

Intelligent and sophisticated, these stories showcase Saunders’ ability to render imaginative lives and settings in exquisite detail. Each story in the collection is a unique and separate world, yet each carries the mark of a sure hand, and the cohesive glue that binds them together is Saunders’ understated brilliance and compassion for his characters.

If you have not already done so, I suggest you purchase a copy of this superb collection. You’ll be glad you did.

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Wishing lit-blogger and author of forthcoming SSC, "The Things That Death Will Buy," Laila Lalami a very happy birthday!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

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Here's an interview with Ruth Ozeki, author of "All Over Creation," from Powell's.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

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And the top online short stories of 2004 are...

Story South's Notable online Fiction Contest

Congratulations and good luck to all! I'm particularly happy to see these names on the list:

Jai Clare
Avital Gad-Cykman
Susan O'Neill
Bob Arter
Mary Akers
Alicia Gifford
Claudia Smith
Myfanwy Collins
Kirsten-Menger Anderson
Xujun Eberlein
Julie Shapiro
Felicia Sullivan

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A dazzling short-short from Mary McCluskey here:
The Reasons Why

and one equally as dazzling from Jai Clare here:

Bristles and Blood

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I heard this book review on NPR yesterday. I have Jennifer's first novel and both of Judy Budnitz's story collection and I'm looking forward to reading them!

Monday, February 21, 2005

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On my way to Chapel Hill I was going to stop at one of my favorite bookstores, but decided against it at the last minute. I'm glad I kept on going because I may have missed Jim Ruland speaking on NPR about his father's experiences as a swift boat veteran in Vietnam. What a wonderful, heartfelt commentary, by a brilliant writer. Bravo, Jim Ruland!

Here's another chance to hear the interview: Jim Ruland's Commentary

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Here's a new-to-me print journal: Backwards City Review

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This looks like a nice online journal: Black Bird

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After two years of purchasing as many sample copies of lit journals as I could afford, I now have a policy of only subscribing to those journals who have either published my stories or have gone out of their way to be kind and or encouraging in their responses to my submissions. However after buying a sample copy of Gulf Coast last year, I couldn't resist getting a two-year subscription. They put out a gorgeous journal full full full of wonderful poems, stories, and short-shorts/prose poems.

This was the sample issue I found in the Northshire Bookstore in Vermont: Gulf Coast

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Interview with Algonkian's Noah Lukeman.

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Jai Clare, author of the brilliant short story, The Hand of Fatima, published by AGNI Magazine has begun a fabulous literary blog: The Cusp of Something.

Check it out!

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Barbara Shoup and Margaret-Love Denman talk to Dan Chaon, author of You Remind Me of Me; Fitting Ends; and Among the Missing in this interview from Other Voices:

(Click on the link and you'll find the interview under the current issue)

Other Voices #41

Here's Dan Chaon's story Big Me from the Gettysburg review

Sunday, February 20, 2005

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Last night I finished Ruth Ozeki’s novel All Over Creation. Like the best novels it contains a myriad of stories within a story. It focuses on the lives of two Idaho potato farming families and illuminates many environmental issues, namely genetic splicing.

"All Over Creation" did more than entertain, it educated me. Thank you, Ms. Ozeki.

Now I admit since vowing to stay away from the news and most TV for the past four years, I have lived in a bubble. I have only recently begun to listen to NPR again. And because of this I had no idea something like genetically altering our foods was on the horizon, never mind already here. I had no idea that fish genes were being spliced into our tomatoes. I had no idea that certain vaccines and bacteria toxins were being injected into our potatoes. This last article would have us believe that it is for the benefit of mankind. But look where the article is posted: Forbes.com. If these people truly wanted to help save mankind, then surely they would promote sending our gross surplus of foods overseas rather than throwing them away. Surely our excess of corn, grain, potatoes, is being earmarked for the tsumani-ravaged Southeast Asia as we speak, right?

I doubt it.

Of course, there is resistance to man playing God from the religious community. But let’s face it: man has been playing God for years now. My concerns are of a practical nature. I simply want the food I give my children to nurture them, as it was intended to do, and not poison them, not vaccinate them, not make them ill, and not adversely affect their children’s children down the line. Am I asking too much? It appears I am.

Here’s another take on the whole genetic splicing issue: Harzards and another: Caution and another: As You Sow.

I’ve known antibiotics have been added to cows’ feed for years now. Sometimes I buy organic, sometimes I don’t. I’ve also known that animal parts have been added to the feed of other animals, even those animals that were never intended to eat meat. I’ve stopped eating most meat. But I have not been doing enough to protect my family. It is time to take this seriously.

When I was pregnant with Xander I made sure I ate all the right things. I stayed clear of those fish that were known to contain unacceptable levels of mercury. So I ate salmon. Tons of it. I had read salmon was an excellent food for the development of the baby’s brain. Now I learn of this: Is Farm-Raised Salmon Bad for Your Health After All? Note the date of the article—November 2003. I gave birth to my son in November 2001.

I am pissed. We have been fucking with our food for too long.


It may be too late for me, but I have a responsibility to make sure the food I give my children is as benign as it can be. There is an organic store an hour and fifteen minutes away. I will make that drive as often as I can. What choice do I have?

Here’s an excerpt from “All Over Creation:”

“Now picture the whole planet as a garden, teeming with millions upon millions of flowers and trees and fruits and vegetables and insects and birds and animals and weevils and us. And then, instead of all that magnificent, chaotic profusion, picture a few thousand genetically mutated, impoverished, barren, patented forms of corporately controlled germplasm.”

Really.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

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Poetry from HUTT:

The Distress

Post Industrial

The Truth of Childhood

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Here's a new-to-me lit mag: Watchword

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You can hear Anne Sexton read her poem "Her Kind".

I haven't been able to get it to work. I hope you have better luck with your computer than I.

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Fiction from Kim Chinquee in In Posse Review

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Man Booker Prize Nominees:

Nominee List

Friday, February 18, 2005

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I have lived most of my life in Vermont, mostly on the outskirts of a small city, for a couple of years in the flatter countryside of western Vermont, near the New York Border. It wasn't until I moved to southern Vermont, in a scooped out valley in the middle of tall ski mountains that I began to see Moose. I saw my first one as I drove up "Terrible Mountain," a name given to a mountain that made driving the road that ran over it a nightmare in the winter. He stood off to my left, just at the edge of a thick woods. He was huge and majestic and lovely. I pulled the car over and rolled my window down. We stared at each other. I could hear his breath. A quiet huffing. I sat there for a few minutes before rolling up my window to him and his world and driving off to my own.
The second moose I saw was walking along Route 100 in Weston. He may have been following the river. I slowed down but didn't have time that day to stop and enjoy. I worried about him so close to the road.
And of course, there were stories about cars hitting moose. Sometimes there were deaths. My ex-husband hit a moose on his way home from work. He's lucky to be alive. As many nights as I drove over Terrible Mountain or the treacherous road over Mt. Holly I was lucky to never have met a moose in the dark. But I looked for them. I always knew they were there, just beyond the curtain of the night.

Anyway, this poem from Word Riot had me thinking about moose:

Moose

Thursday, February 17, 2005

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February 20, 2005 is Blue Triangle Day:

Blue Triangle Network


And in related news:

Lynne Stewart

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

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A poem by Alan Shapiro:

Eggrolls

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Here's an interview with Erin McGraw, the author of "The Baby Tree," and the short story collections, "Lies of the Saints," and "The Good Life: Stories":

An Interview with Erin McGraw

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

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A poem from the current issue of Ashville Review:

Ink

Monday, February 14, 2005

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Here's a link to Steve Almond's "How I Managed to Galvanize the Right-Wing Hate Machine Without Really Trying," from Web Del Sol.

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Congratulations to Night Train for the favorable review in New Pages!

Here's an excerpt:

"Hands down, my favorite selection was “Movie Star Entrances,” by Thomas Williams. Curtis, the main character, who is everyman, yearns to impress people at an important social gathering. But instead of aimlessly fretting, Curtis employs an enigmatic theatrical couple who specialize in “entrances” to achieve his dream. He discovers attaining a goal is not always a guarantee of long term success unless you have some help. I also loved Grant Bailie’s “Pinocchio Unbound.” A robot working in outer space “makes a wish” to see something burst into flames as it falls to earth. He is granted his wish, although he is the object that speeds towards his “own magnificent end.” Scanning the story index, I don’t want to forget Pia Z. Ehrhardt’s story and Steve Fayer’s story and Bob Arter and “The Spaceman” and…I confess: I want to comment on each story. When a lit mag gives you that much to talk about – 18 great stories - it’s worth hunting down."

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The latest issue of The Missouri Review: Solo is full of wonderful fiction.

In Peter Selgin's "Color of the Sea," the narrator travels through Greece with a woman he met on a ferry and examines the meaning of loneliness.

In Brigid Pasulka's "The Bride from the Village of Deaf-Mute," a match-maker from Russia gets a glimpse of true love in an unexpected way and sees his own marriage for what it is.

In Julia Glassman's "Tenses," a woman becomes worried after her husband will only speak to her in Japanese.

These are just three of the five fiction pieces. The issue is also full of wonderful essays, poetry, cartoons and an interview with Richard Wilbur.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

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A story by Claire Zulkey in the first issue of Barrelhouse

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An interview with the poet, C. Dale Young , in the latest issue of Gulf Coast

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A story by Susan Henderson in Pig Iron Malt

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Poetry from the latest issue of The Marlboro Review:

Self-Portrait as Cadaver

Saturday, February 12, 2005

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An illuminating article by Narrative Magazine's Tom Jenks:

Personality and the Writer

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

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It was easy for me after reading "Let's Do" by Rebecca Meachum to understand why it won the Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Short Fiction. The collection is nothing short of breathtaking. Each of the nine stories is as strong as the next--a stunning, consistent group of stories.

In "Trims & Notions," an unwed teacher finally tells her sister and mother about her pregancy in the eleventh hour; in "Good Fences," a couple's quite retirement life is interrupted by a loud neighbor and her daughter; in "Weights and Measures," a young woman explains her path to Bulemia--Meacham's use of second person in this one is skilled and effective; in "The Assignment," a man is asked by his girlfriend to "attack" her so that she may gauge her ability to defend herself.

One of the most heartbreaking stories I've ever read was the title story, "Let's Do." An artful, poignant study of how one woman with a love for life slowly loses that love over time after a series of tragedies. Meacham's character does not wallow in self-pity, however, but rather, she argues with dignity whether there is any longer a point for her existence.

This is what the judge Jonis Agee, had to say about the collection:

"Rebecca Meacham has one of the freshest voices I've encountered in a long time. Blatantly wise, she creates stories that are delicioiusly subversive, brave and outrageous. As the lives of her characters get derailed, they move with the damaged grace of walking through broken glass on tiptoe. This is a beautiful, authentic talent."

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Yesterday I saw the most unbelievable sight!!!! A car covered with plastic animals of various sizes ranging from about two feet tall to less than a half a foot. The animals had been glued (?) or somehow stuck on to the roof, and on top of the front hood and the trunk. It has to be the zaniest "functional art" I've ever seen. The driver, a wild woman dressed in an equally wild outfit (orange shorts over purple tights, with some sort of green shirt) got out for a second to throw something away in front of a store. I wished now that I had run over and asked her how she attached them (Not because I want to decorate my car, but maybe one of my characters might...).

So what would you cover your car in?

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I love to burn candles. But I don't like the perfumey, commercial kind. I prefer natural scents so I found this candle company from Vermont (surprise) that makes wonderful aromatherapy-style candles. I like the Rosemary, orange, peppermint, and the euchalyptus. They also sell clean-burning soy candles.

Way Out Wax

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My copy of Crab Creek Review arrived today. Here's a poem from the latest issue:
Breathless

Monday, February 07, 2005

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Pia Z. Ehrhardt's "Famous Fathers" in Narrative Magazine

First spotted on Kathy Fish's blog.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

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I watched the movie "Sideways" the other night and loved it! Hilarious! And the acting couldn't have been better.

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Erin Macgraw's Lies of the Saints is full of quirky people with modest, earnest desires. In the first story, "The Return of the Argentine Tango Masters," a radio talk show host has to deal with daily phone calls from her ex-husband which make her ratings soar; in "Rich," a man believes he has won the lottery, only to find out his best friend had set it up as a joke; in "Blue Skies," a woman discovers she is uneasy with her husband's new sobriety and is constantly on guard for him to fail; in "Suburban Story," a woman performs an unexpected miracle and gains a reputation in her neighborhood for being a healer; and in the last three connected stories, saintliness is explored as the reader follows one Irish Catholic family through the years. I loved this collection and MacGraw's characters.

I also finished Mary Robison's Tell Me: 30 Stories a combination of selections from three of her previous collections. I loved these beautiful, often quiet stories. Most of all I appreciated Robison's unpretentious, perfect endings. The woman can end a story!

Thursday, February 03, 2005

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I cleaned my refrigerator this morning. Which felt almost as good as writing a first draft of a story. Apparently it doesn't take much to excite me these days. ;)

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

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I love glass.
There's this glass studio in Wilmington Vermont that I've always loved visiting. It's inside what used to be a church so not only is it filled with glass sculptures and vases and bowls, but the windows are stained glass as well.

Last year, we visited again and we brought home two pieces (on sale).

Here's a look at what the husband and wife designer team create:

Young, Constantin and Associates