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.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

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And speaking of Myfanwy Collins, you can find her amazing work in Swivel Issue #3 and Me Three; Issue #2, both out now!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005



I've just finished Yiyun Li's WONDERFUL story collection "A Thousand Years of Prayers," and although I don't have time right now to give the book its due, I will say this is one collection you must not miss reading. Intriguing and graceful; every story is stunning.

Yiyun Li

Monday, September 26, 2005

Congratulate!

Congratulations to Pia Z. Ehrhardt for winning the 2005 Narrative Prize! Well done, Pia!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Illuminate: Icarus Girl







Helen Oyeyemi’s "Icarus Girl" is a haunting first novel. Eight-year-old Jessamy is bothered by intensities and prone to screaming fits. She’s in between worlds: in between England and Nigeria; in between childhood and adulthood; in between rational and irrational; in between real and spirit worlds. When her parents take her to Nigeria to meet her grandfather and cousins, she also meets TillyTilly, a girl only she can see, a girl who is not a girl, but either a malevolent force or an alter ego, or both. When TillyTilly inexplicably shows up back in England, things take a dark turn. "Icarus Girl" explores the painfulness of not fully belonging and Oyeyemi captures brilliantly the mind of a clever and imaginative child. The language is poetic, lyrical, and as haunting as the premise. And of course, I won’t mention she wrote it when only eighteen. Oops, I just did.

You can read the first chapter of "Icarus Girl" online at Doubleday.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

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Read an essay from Katie Weekley in Moondance.

Friday, September 23, 2005

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A piece by Pia Z. Ehrhardt in Elimae: Brides.

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Felicia Sullivan interviews Adrienne Miller, Esquire editor and author of the novel, "The Coast of Akron.".

Great interview, and Miller's novel is in my stack. I'm looking forward to reading it.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

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The first story of Laila Lalami’s elegantly designed collection throws us into a tension-filled night with thirty Moroccans aboard a raft suited for eight. Through the unfolding of connected stories we come to know four of these desperate people intimately: Murad, Aziz, Faten, and Halima. They are all fleeing a life wrought with hardship in one form or another, in hopes of reaching the coast of Spain and promise of a better future. The trip is dangerous, and not all make it to the other side.

Lalami’s love for her characters is evident in the crisp, straightforward prose, and allowing us to see their dreams, their faults, their passions so vividly enables us to love them as well. In Part 1, we meet Murad, a lover of books and literature, who seeks a life in which such a calling is not as useless to his family as it is in Morocco. Aziz, jobless, newly married, is desperate to prove himself worthy of his new wife and to prove to himself he can succeed. Halima flees her abusive husband because she fears he may take her three children if she divorces him. And Faten, a young religious woman is forced to look outside her country when the corruption within gets her thrown out of university.

In Part 2, we learn what becomes of these four characters after their harrowing trip. We learn who must go back and face the difficulties they tried to escape. And even more than that, we learn of the complexities of social expectations; we come to understand the strength of conviction; and most importantly, we become certain of the resilience of the human spirit.

Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits shows us a view of Morocco through varied and just eyes. It raises many questions, yet doesn’t attempt to offer pat answers. It inspires, enlightens, and at times, moves us to feel something unexpected. The writing is superb, the details, exquisite. This is an experience not to be missed.

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An editor of a literary journal speaks on the state of submissions.

Illuminate: I'm Reading...



And I'm LOVING it!

It's available now: Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits

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The latest issue of Bonfire, and International Conflagration is available for purchase. It's full of fiction and poetry by Randall Brown, Liesl Jobson, Tom Saunders, Maggie Shearon, Gary Caldwallader, and Ann Walters, among others.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

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Night Train's Firebox Fiction Award results.

Congratulations to the winners and the finalists!

Celebrate--Autumnal Equinox



Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Illuminate--Dream



A copperhead bit me in my dream last night. I didn't tell my family; I didn't want to worry them. Instead, I drove to a doctor and he found eleven bite marks. After he applied a salve, he told me he wasn't sure if I would live or die. He placed a thick netting over me so I wouldn't harm myself (spread the poison) as I healed. I knew ultimately I would be okay.

I looked up the significance of snakebites in dreams and this is what I found:

"When the snake bites, in a dream, the story line usually turns into a healing and release situation." --Jane Anderson

11= purity

Hmmm.

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All of the stories in this first collection are as vibrant as the cover, with brighter-than-life characters who manage to illuminate the quirks and faults of human nature in a straight-up way.

My favorites were "Get Away From Me, David," about a man trying desperately to stay on the new side of sober; "Big Cats" which tells of a friendship tested; "Good to Hear You," in which a man discovers the unsettling aftermath of the attack on the Twin Towers before he learns of the event itself;" and "By the Time You Get This," a heartbreaking story of a woman lost after a tradegy.

Holiday Reinhorn is a graduate of the Iowa's Writers' Workshop, and a recipient of many awards and fellowships.

Reading

It seems I've fallen behind in listing the books I've read since I went away on vacation. Here's a pulled together list, although I may be missing a couple here and there:

“Snow Island” by Andrea Levy

“City Boy” by Jean Thompson

“Broken Verses” by Kamila Shamsie

“What You’ve Been Missing” Stories by Janet Desaulniers

“Final Vinyl Days” stories by Jill McCorkle

“The Difference between Women and Men” stories by Bret Lott

“This is a Voice from Your Past” stories by Merrill Joan Gerber

“Here Beneath Low-Flying Planes” stories by Merrill Feitell

“Through the Safety Net” stories by Charles Baxter

“An Ambulance is on the Way” stories by Jonathan Wilson

“Little Beauties” by Kim Addonizio

“The Myth of You and Me” by Leah Stewart

"New Stories of the South" edited by Shannon Ravenel and prefaced by Jill McCorkle

"Big Cats" stories by Holiday Reinhorn

My favorites were "Little Beauties;" "Snow Island;" "City Boy." Actually this month virtually everything I read was outstanding. The collections were superb.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

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Poet Sharon Olds, (a favorite of mine) writes to the First Lady her reasons for declining the First Lady's invitation: The Nation.

Thanks to Moorish Girl for the original link.

Monday, September 19, 2005

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New at Salome.

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At Small Spiral Notebook, David Barringer reviews the book I'm reading now: "Big Cats," a story collection by Holiday Reinhorn.

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Three poems by Theresa Boyar.

Be sure to check out the rest of edificeWrecked.

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A novel excerpt by Patry Francis at Verbsap

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It's available!

Laila Lalami's powerful collection is finally available for purchase!

Here too: Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits

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Essay on Hurricane Katrina by New Orleans writer, Moira Crone.

Moira Crone is author of Dream State, a collection of short fiction, and the amazing short story, "Mr. Sender," also one of the New Stories of the South 2005.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

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Sliver

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New-to-me print journal: Conduit.

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Today I'm meeting the fabulous Shannon Ravenel, Algonquin editor and long time series editor of New Stories of the South. Here are a couple of interviews with her:

Emerging Writers Network, and Frank; An International Journal of Contempory Writing and Art.

Friday, September 16, 2005

RIP Joan Scott

My town and I lost a friend Monday. Joan Scott, owner of our local bookstore and a mother figure to our community, died after living with lung cancer for over a year. She was an amazing woman, always concerned with supporting area children, area writers, downtown businesses.

Joan, you will be missed.

The Pilot--Wednesday September 14, 2005.

ABS Tribute to Joan Scott.

Friday Editorial--The Pilot.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

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The latest issue of SmokeLong Quarterly is live and it's hot! Issue ten was guest edited by Joseph Young and once again the stunning cover art was done by Marty D. Ison.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

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The finalists for the Night Train Firebox Fiction Award have just been listed: Finalists.

Congrats to all! And good luck!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

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A new story from the very talented Joseph Young at Pindeldyboz.

Thanks to Myfanwy Collins for the original link!

Monday, September 12, 2005

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Beginning September 18, the New York Times will feature Graphic Novels.

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Dan Wickett of Emerging Writers Network once again enlightens with another e-panel. This time his interview is titled Long Time Writers, First Time Authors and features such artists as Ron Hogan, Benjamin Percy, and Felicia Sullivan, among others.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

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The new issue of Narrative is available with fiction by Ann Beattie; E.L. Doctorow; Debra Spark; among others, and the site has been improved to offer easier access.

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A poem by Corey Mesler: Right as Rain.

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Jeanette Winterson on writers and their websites (or lack of).

Thursday, September 08, 2005

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A Post from Southern Review editor, Bret Lott at Hurricane Poets Check-in.

If any of you writers that have been affected by Hurricane Katrina want to send him something, he says to contact Southern Review, as he's planning to dedicate an issue to that cause:

"If the campus of LSU can be HQ for physical relief efforts, The Southern Review would like to be HQ for artistic expressions by those who have been hit by this."--Bret Lott

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I'm going to stray from literature for a moment...

I've been looking for a good bath salt--without chemical perfumes and junk inside. I think I've found one: Tired Old Ass Soak from Little Moon Essentials. Click on bath salts and scroll down.


I love the name.

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Swivel #3 is now available with stories from Meghan Daum, Melissa Bank, Lisa Glatt, and Myfanwy Collins.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

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Roy Kesey interviews George Saunders at Maud Newton's.

I'm a fan of Saunder's humor, and this interview is enlightening. I particularly liked the mention of "Not Knowing," which seems to be going on with the story I'm working on at the moment. Glad to know there's another (better) way to look at things.

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Michelle Garren Flye has a piece at Long Story Short.

Girija Tropp has a piece at Word Riot along with New Orleans writer, Susannah Breslin.

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Coast of Akron author, Adrienne Miller is interviewed at Zulkey.com.

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Cindy Sheehan and her group have now gone to NO. If you want to help her reach the people directly with specific items here's how: Veterans For Peace.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

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Writer Ken Foster has started a new blog, Here is New Orleans.

And writer Richard Ford has this Op-Ed in the NYTimes.

Monday, September 05, 2005

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New lit mag reviews at New Pages.

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For over four years I've been outraged at this administration. Now I'm beyond outrage.

I have grown weary of this president whose most notable characterisics are incompetence, greed, and dishonesty, and I have grown weary of the unthinking, power-starved sycophants with whom he surrounds himself.

Hasn't America and the rest of the world suffered enough?

Sunday, September 04, 2005

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Novelist Anne Rice on New Orleans: What New Orleans Means to Me.

Friday, September 02, 2005

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I have tried for three days to write about the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina and what is going on right now, and I have not been able to. I have literally been struck silent. Silenced by my shock. Silenced by my anguish. Silenced by my outrage.

I must push through this silence and write.

I have always had an ability to feel empathy for others, a habit of imagining myself in the life of another. That is part of what compels me to write. But how can I possibly understand how a mother feels when she has run out of formula and has nothing else to feed her baby? How can I understand the desperation that leads a person to break into a store and steal food because there is no other option? How can I understand what it is like to climb to the attic in hopes of escaping the rising water only to discover I've climbed into a trap? How can I know what it is to wait for days for the government and the people of this country to help and have no or little response? How can I know the nightmare of living through the hell of the hurricane and an even greater hell of the aftermath?

The media has made a great deal of “these people” living like animals. I remember when they first showed a clip of people looting a store and coming out with diapers, food, etc. I thought to myself, Why are they shaming these people? Why are they showing these people’s faces over and over? How dare they shame these people who are left with only an instinct for survival! And the media is still (shamefully) showing this same clip three days later.

I would ask the media: How would you expect these people to act in a situation like this? Do you expect them to politely and quietly die? Do you honestly expect the people who are desperate to feed their children, or their elderly parents, or themselves, to sit outside a store full of food and not DO anything? Do you expect the people who have been in 90 degree weather without water to act like they've been invited to a tea? And let's be honest here, do you expect the drug addicts and alcoholics, and yes, they are there among the crowds too, to sit demurely on their cots as their bodies are screaming for another fix? This is human nature pushed to the extreme. How dare you sit comfortably behind your news desks and call them animals. Show them some respect.

This is not say I understand or wish to excuse the violence, the raping, the murdering. I don’t. Because there is the rape of the ten-year-old girl. And there is the murder of the store owner who generously opened his store. I feel anguish these acts, and others, have occurred and are occurring right now.

I have felt some guilt over my own tears these past three days. Do I have the right to cry when I sit in a comfortable house with my family all safe and healthy near me? Do I have a right to feel empathy when I have such an inadequate understanding? After some thought, I have determined that my tears, my empathy, are what make me human like them, are what may connect us in the end, and are, finally, what pushes me to help, even when part of me judges my help to be insignificant.

List of Relief Charities

Thursday, September 01, 2005

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The very talented Myfanwy Collins is the featured writer on Michelle Cameron's website this month.