October 29, 2016

Writer in the dark.

It's Halloween weekend, but I'm still not sure what to dress up as. I was debating going as a nasty woman. (Really all I'd need is some fabric paint and a shirt to print "nasty" on; I'm already a woman—woo hoo!) But now I'm thinking of dressing like a train wreck, and when people ask what I'm supposed to be I can say, "2016!" I'm into lazy-yet-semi-clever costume ideas, as it turns out.

Literary updates! I'm currently reading: Lolita in Tehran. (Loving it so far.) Recently finished: Lolita and The Handmaid's Tale. (Both disturbing, both captivating.) On hold for me at the library: Gold Fame Citrus. (Has anyone else read this one?) I have to read 19 more books this year if I want to reach my goal of 50. Gotta make it! Have a spooky weekend, y'all.

— Cassie

Interweb Finds

Ten lessons from 10 years of Brain Pickings from Maria Popova. Roxane Gay's 13 rules for female friendships. What happens when librarians are silencedWomen can't even avoid being groped in virtual realityA haunting elegy for the ArcticJunot Díaz on the young and the deadEight women on changing their careers. A long list of the best pop culture conspiracy theories. What it's like to see Lady Gaga in a dive bar.


Upcoming Deadlines

Nov. 1 Glamour Real-Life Story Essay Contest
Nov. 1 APS Emerging Writer Fellowships
Nov. 1 Patricia Bibby Memorial Scholarship (for poets; San Miguel Writers Conference in Mexico)
Nov. 1 Cornish CCS Residency
Nov. 4 Electric Literature Essay Submissions
Nov. 4 International Dylan Thomas Prize

Weekly Inspiration

"A writer loves the dark, loves it, but is always fumbling around in the light." — Joy Williams


Featured Writer: Katie Manning

About the writer: Katie Manning is the founding Editor-in-Chief of Whale Road Review and an Associate Professor of Writing at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. She is the author of four poetry chapbooks, and her first full-length poetry collection, Tasty Other, is forthcoming in November as the 2016 winner of the Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award. She has received The Nassau Review Author Award for Poetry, and her writing has been published in Fairy Tale Review, New Letters, Poet Lore, So to Speak, Verse Daily, and many other journals and anthologies. 

Q: What writing projects have you done recently/are you working on currently?
A: This past winter, I completed a revision of my full-length manuscript Tasty Other, which then won the Main Street Rag Poetry Book in March! In spring, I completed a revised draft of a full-length collection that uses the Bible as a word bank, and a selection of those poems was published this summer as a chapbook called A Door with a Voice. Right now I'm working on a sequence of poems about/to my late Granny and a sequence of poems that use board games as a starting point to explore memory, relationships, and loss.

In six words or fewer, describe your dream office.
Ocean view, tea, desk, books, quiet. 

What was the last book you read that rocked your world?
Most recently, The Walled Wife by Nicelle Davis rocked my world. I'd seen her perform the poems at a conference, and we had published one of the poems from this collection in Whale Road Review, but sitting down and reading through the whole book still left me feeling shocked, disturbed, and in awe of Nicelle's poetic treatment of the ancient ballad.

Finish this sentence: "The world of publishing desperately needs more..."
Genuine kindness (just like the rest of the world).

What is one lesson that writing has taught you (about writing, the human condition, yourself)?
I learned pretty quickly that writing does not have to be a lonely, solitary activity. Written texts can connect people across time and place, of course, but writing has also connected me more immediately with a community of current writers and readers, some of whom have become my dear friends. 

Visit Katie's website and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.


Community Congrats!

​Have any news to share? A byline, breakthrough, or big break? Go ahead and brag! No achievement is too small to shout from the rooftops (or interwebs). Email me the good news. We could all use the inspiration.

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Issue No. 55