Hanging with beloved writer friends at Ernest & Hadley Booksellers in Tuscaloosa
last weekend plus this fascinating young photo of Annie Dillard.
1. Druid City Pride
When we moved back to Alabama and decided to raise small mammals, Druid City Pride was a beacon of light, hope, and love among the fundamentalisms. That's why I was thrilled when Brandy asked if I would donate a signed copy of Every Mask I Tried On for their fundraiser. As I pack up the book (with a few secret goodies), I want to make sure that Tuscaloosa mammals join Druid City Pride on Saturday June 16th from 6 to 8 pm for Equality on the River Tuscaloosa at Another Broken Egg Cafe as they celebrate equality in West Alabama! Admission is FREE, but you will want to purchase some tickets for your chance to win some fabulous prizes. There will be light hors d’oeuvres courtesy of Crimson Catering and a full cash bar provided by Another Broken Egg.
2. Amazing poetry in Pidgeonholes
Being poetry editor at Pidgeonholes has been an incredible experience--just getting to read so many different poets and covet so many forms of word magic--absolutely humbling. Jennifer Todhunter is a genius. Ana Prundaru is a freaking maven of every art medium and language. Cathy Ulrich is a fiction goddess of the first realm. On that note, if you have speculative, experimental, or absurdly unclassifiable poetry, please submit it. In the meantime, read these incredible poems by Devin Kelly, Chance Dibben, Kelsey Adams, Laura Page, Jim Zola, Gad Kaynar Kissinger, Christina Lee, Emily Tuttle, and Shriram Sivaramakrishnan.
3. A new flash in Dime Show Review
It's called "Asylum Junkies," and here's an excerpt:
The nation-state rose and fell like a wind tunnel of plastic grocery bags in the park square. She swatted a fly from her nose. No, she hadn’t been trafficked. She loathed the loaded words he wedged against her.
When in Rome, I speak Italian. She lifted her voice at the end of the statement as she’d observed American women doing when speaking to men. Was she flippant? She had watched soda commercials where females spoke flippantly in a very convincing manner. American men watched those commercials as well, given how much television they watched, given how hard it is to avoid it.
4. A reading/signing in at Little Professor Book Center
All the glorious details. Thursday evening.
5. Guest editing for Issue 27 of Cahoodaloodling
Submissions due 9/14/18. Issue live 10/31/18. Submissions call below. Submission magic right here.
Joy is elusive, sudden, unexpected, gradual, and sometimes grotesque. The week after my mom’s death, I remember a hideous joy on the fifth day at 3:47 pm when the sun burned my shoulders and all the world—the dogwoods, the warm pavement, the mockingbirds near the porch—was implicated in her presence. I could feel her laughing, smell her apple-tinged perfume, watch the red of her hair burn their way across the yard. Just one single minute of exuberant impossible and then back to the banality of living lies, telling others I was fine, negotiating the absurdity of death and imagining someone could be erased, gone, eternally absent.
Joy is so many flavors of awe. There are joys we fondle—memories we pick up and unspool in private. There are public joys—a friend’s description of holding her girlfriend’s hand for the first time on a public playground, the relentless joy of a gay pride parade. And yet, despite countless publications that swear to deliver it if you put your knees over your head and eat only almonds, there is no formula for joy on this planet. By its nature, joy is unsustainable, untenable, hard to hold, impossible to coerce.
What surprise is lovelier than joy? So give us your public joys, your private joys, your foolish fondles. Give us your transient, shameless, vulnerable, wimped-out absurdities. Give us the harrows of joy, its horrors. Give us your smallest joys, your childhood joys, your most monumental. Give us the elusive object that lacks a template. We can’t wait to read it. However it looks. However it haunts. Whatever it touches.