Post-AWP buzz

AWP feels like it was years ago, even though it's only been a month. It was so great to see those of you I got to see, and curses foiled by time, again! re/ all the folks I missed. 

I want to thank everyone who made it out to the reading on Wednesday night and all the folks who packed that little room for our panel on experimental forms of CNF. Since I've gotten a few messages about my handout, I decided to make it available here. 


This year, I'm participating in AWP's Writer to Writer mentoring program, and I got to meet a few of my fellow mentors.

AWP 2017 was marked by a unity of purpose unlike other years I've attended. In the very last moments of the conference-proper (by which I mean, while I was sitting at the gate to fly out of town), a fellow writer said that this unity made this year more bearable than years past, since everyone was consumed with politics and resisting, rather than their own writing and writer life. I spent a lot of conversations reminding folks who work at universities or live in the enviable coastal climes that not everyone in this country is distraught. Many of my neighbors and coworkers are breathing (albeit inexplicably) audible and even joyous sighs of relief at the terrible, current State of our Union.

I heard from people who are cautiously optimistic about the sea change in many well-meaning but previously-blindered people. I know my own activism has ramped way up. I'm going to local political meetings. I'm donating to 6 groups every month. I am calling or faxing or mailing my representatives every week, if not every day, and I can see in the news that the pressure is working. So, I'll keep it up, because AWP reminded me that art and literature reflect back to us news of all the people, places, and things that are worth protecting, and that the communities that surround and support these great institutions are full of people and ideas worth fighting for. RESIST. 

A new chapbook and a new class!

Hi everyone, I have some fantastic news: a new chapbook and another session of Eureka! Science Writing for General Audiences

First, the book: #Lovesong, published by Etchings Press, is now available for sale here. This book expands the ideas started in this piece on DIAGRAM. If you like that essay, I think you'll love #Lovesong: It has even more birds, more broken-hearts and more than a dozen tweet-length love stories. It is a collage of love and loss made up of images, found text, and micro-prose. 

Second, I was fortunate to get a chance to teach a workshop on science writing for the general public this past summer with Creative Nonfiction Magazine. The course sold out, and at the time, I wasn't able to offer a second session. Since then, I've gotten some great feedback from the first workshop group and have expanded the course to five weeks. You can read more about the class and how it's organized here. If you sign up by December 16th, you can save a bit on the enrollment costs. 

Finally, I am and will be appearing in an anthology near you: Best American Science and Nature Writing 2016 is finally available from Amazon and Waveform: Twenty-first Century Essays by Women can be pre-ordered for December release. Also coming soon: Environmental and Nature Writing (Nov 2016) and How We Speak To One Another (March 2017).

Thank you to all of you out there for your continued love and support and light. I couldn't do this without you. 

More copies of Ologies (signed) on the way and other news

I've ordered a few more copies of Ologies from the publisher, so if you wanted a signed copy after I ran out of the last batch, you will have another opportunity. 

(NOTE: The chapbooks are still available from Etchings Press here.)

But, if you'd like a signed copy instead, drop me a line using the "Say Howdy" page above ^. In your note, let me know which email address to use for the Paypal invoice. Once my copies have arrived, I will send you an invoice.

I am selling mine for exactly the same price as Etchings Press: $10 + $3 s/h.


In other news, I will be featured in a few upcoming anthologies. Waveform: Twenty-first-century Essays by Women (edited by Marcia Aldrich), How We Talk to One Another: an Essay Daily Reader (edited by Craig Reinbold and Ander Monson), and Nature and Environmental Writing: a Guide and Anthology (edited by Sean Prentiss and Joe Wilkins).

I also found out a few months ago that I will have an essay in the Best American Science and Nature Writing 2016, guest edited by Amy Stewart.

All are scheduled for publication this fall, so keep an eye out. I am so honored and excited to be among all of the powerhouses that I have seen in the the tables of contents of these books. 

If you can't wait, here are two places you can read some recent work. I have an experimental piece about love and heartbreak up at Diagram, here. And the latest issue of New Ohio Review, available here, has a lyric essay about birdsong and what I'm afraid my parent's relationship taught me. By way of plug for both journals: the editors at both were amazing to work with and I can't recommend them highly enough.

Lately links round up...

This one isn't my news, but is news from a former student. Emily Rooney was in my intro to creative nonfiction course at Colgate last spring. She originally wrote this essay as a hermit crab (in the form of a letter-to-someone-you-don't-expect-will-read-it). I am so happy for her that it found such a great home at the Feminist Wire.

Up next is an interview I did for The MFA Years about my time at the University of Wyoming.

I never did sufficiently brag this publication, but here's a flash essay up in issue 1 of the New Mexico Review. Huge thanks to Jill Talbot and editors Caitlin Bittner and Kelly Lucero for making such a beautiful home for this piece.

Speaking of Marvels...

The wonderful folks at the blog, "Speaking of Marvels," promote "chapbooks, novellas, and other short forms" via interviews with authors.  I am humbled and delighted that they saw fit to ask me a few questions about Ologies. You can read my answers here. But while you're over there, be sure to skim the sidebar; I am in some really amazing company. 

Buy my chapbook from me, get a sticker and a ♥-note!

My chapbook, Ologies, is available for sale from Etchings Press

But for a limited time (until I run out), it is also available from me, right here on this website. And as an incentive, if you buy the book from me, I will write a note and stick a bug sticker in it. 

Buying the book from me costs exactly the same as buying it from the publisher: $10 + $3 s/h. 

If you'd like a copy, drop me a line using the contact form and using the email address you'd like the invoice sent to. I use Paypal but can also accommodate Square, if that's your jam, just let me know which you prefer in the note.  

If you are a chapbook reviewer, I've also got a PDF version available for free. Drop me a line and let me know where you post your reviews and I will get you a copy post haste. 

Thank you all, both for helping to make this little book happen, and for helping me get some copies off my hands! 

Orion and Vela Magazine double-feature delight!

On the same day last week, two of my newest publications went live. It was dizzying.

First, my dream-publication-come-true, Orion, has published a lyric idyll about my time in a field of dead bodies. It can be read, alongside really beautiful pieces by Nicole Walker and Antonia Malchik, in the March/April issue. Or, you can see it online, here

Second, the gorgeous and stellar Vela Magazine published a personal essay about my existential angst over some recent writer's block and my deep and abiding love for Maggie Nelson's Bluets. You can read about my inability to write here

Finally, this Thursday, in the little town of Hamilton, I'll be reading from the vulture book at Colgate University. You can catch my act at 7 pm in Lathrop Hall, room 207, along with some knock-you-down poems written by my fellow fellow, the passionate and compassionate Javier Zamora.

How to Skin a Bird wins an award!

My essay, "How to Skin a Bird," has won the Carter Prize from Shenandoah, as well as a Pushcart nomination. 

I am over the moon, in part because this essay was important to me for a number of reasons. It was the first thing I wrote after all of my MFA workshops, it touches on an issue I've struggled to put into words for a long time, and it allowed me to talk about something I know how to do. (Still waiting for inspiration to strike on the knitting essay.)

Huge thanks to Shenandoah and Washington & Lee University. 

blackbird, fly / blackbird fly

blackbird, fly / blackbird fly

Recent publications, not-humble brags, and yawps

Some news.

I just received my pre-ordered copy of The Best American Essays 2014. Which I am IN (with a Notable essay on page 222. Right next to Sven Birkirts and Eula Biss. I am SWOONING. You can get your own copy by clicking the giant yellow box below.

Passages North will be printing a hybrid piece of mine in their next issue, so they were kind enough to let me talk a bit on their blog about my opinions on the mind of an essayist. The Essayist Stutters, Stops, Starts, Goes

I was also fortunate to find a home at Brevity for three of the latest dead animals. Rat. Cat. Crow.

And speaking of dead animals, a big thanks to PEN/America and Guernica for featuring an ode to the many dead animals I saw on Hwy 16 between Ucross and Sheridan, Wyoming. Raccoon, Pronghorn, &c

Finally, all the warm feelings and dewy gratitude eyes to Grace Liew over at Thin Air Magazine for republishing an essay that I was worried was lost to print archives. Bird by Desert-light. This is the first essay that I doggedly clung to, sure of its importance, even in the face of more than a dozen rejections. This lil hummingbird was edited and RE-edited and so many readers gave me great feedback. While it wasn't my first essay, it feels like my first proof of a process of writing. 

On being someone's daughter: new essay up at Shenandoah

I am very grateful to the editors over at Washington and Lee University who have published an essay I wrote in response to a question or just a questioning look I get from time to time. I've thought quite a bit about how I feel about the relationship the essay describes.

The way I feel isn't the way I'm supposed to, culturally, and people regularly tell me that it is a relationship I must "fix." There are a lot of reasons people give, but most boil down to the fact that this relationship will always exist, so it should be good. And what I tried to get at is that I'm not angry. This relationship isn't marred because of anger, but because of a lack of empathy and connection--I'm not interested in "teaching" a grown ass adult how to be a caring person. What I am interested in is protecting myself from objectification.  

Here's the essay: HOW TO SKIN A BIRD