Archives For AWP

The AWP gods are against me. Last year none of my panels was accepted; this year all three were accepted so I had to drop one. And the two panels I’m on are in the first and last slots of the conference!

In between panels, I’ll be at the Rose Metal Press table (#629) to sign and hopefully sell a few copies of The Bitter Life of Božena Němcová. Because the second half of the book is my memoir-in-postcards, the first 20 people to buy a copy of the book will get their choice of a Prague-themed postcard hand-painted by me. They are made on watercolor postcard paper and have all the postcard markings on the reverse to be sent in the mail.

If you’ve ever been to Prague, you have seen these posters around town:

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And here is the Golem as seen on a Prague sidewalk, a hearty glass of pivo, and Kafka’s head based on a new statue in Prague:

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And here is Kafka’s tiny house at No. 22 Golden Lane on the grounds of the Prague Castle:

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I still have a few more to make this weekend. What should I paint? Accepting ideas in the comments!

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– Here are my events –
Hope to see you! Say hello!

Feb. 8-11, 2017 – AWP in Washington, DC
Thurs. Feb 9, 2017 at 9:00-10:15am
PANEL: “The Long from the Short: Turning Flash Pieces into a Novel, Novella, or Memoir”
Abigail Beckel, Lex Williford, Kelcey Parker Ervick,  Tyrese Coleman, Tara Laskowski
[Rm 206, Washington Convention Ctr, Level Two]

Thurs. Feb 9, 2017 at 10:30-11:30am

Table 629: BOOK SIGNING AT ROSE METAL PRESS TABLE with Lex Williford

Fri., Feb 10, 2017 at 12:00-12:30

Table 629: BOOK SIGNING AT ROSE METAL PRESS TABLE

Fri. Feb 10, 2017 at 6:30-9:30pm

OFF-SITE READING with authors from Rose Metal, Cupboard, and Soho Press

at BABY WALE DC

1124 9th St. NW

Sat. Feb. 11, 2017 at 4:30-5:45pm

PANEL: “Attempting the Impossible: Strategies for Writing Creative Biography”
Kathleen Rooney, Sarah Domet, Anthony Michael Morena, Kelcey Parker Ervick, Sarah Blake

[Rm 101, Washington Convention Ctr, Level One]

I’m at AWP, where it’s crazy and awesome. I should have posted my schedule before, but three out of four events are still to come!

Schedule (copied from Rose Metal Press, which is why I seem to be referring to myself in the third person):

Thurs 2/27, 10:30 to 11:45 pm: RMP author Kelcey Parker will be doing a panel called “How Many Readers Is Enough” along with Valerie Vogrin, Allison Hedge Coke, Chad Simpson, and Kellie Wells in the Willow Room, Sheraton Seattle, 2nd Floor

Fri 2/28 6:30 pm: Rose Metal Press authors Kelcey Parker, Aaron Teel, and Sierra Nelson will be reading in an offsite reading near the convention center co-hosted by Toadlily Press and Cortland Review at Rock Bottom Brewery, 1333 5th Ave.

Sat 3/1, 12:00 to 1:00 pm: Kelcey Parker will be signing Liliane’s Balcony at the RMP table, R5.

Sat 3/1 1:30 to 2:45 pm: RMP author Kelcey Parker and RMP co-founder Kathleen Rooney will be doing a panel called “Please Mind the Gap: Innovative Approaches to Writing Historical Figures” with Caitlin Horrocks, Gretchen Henderson, and Cathy Day in Room 202, Western New England MFA Annex, Level 2

 

 

The spotted hawk swoops by and accuses me, he complains
          of my gab and my loitering.
I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable,
I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.
-Walt Whitman, Song of Myself
Last week I went to the AWP Writers’ Conference, where I guess I at least tried to sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs – of Boston.

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But I don’t know, it was kind of a fail for me. I’m not a big yawper. I didn’t have much to yawp about. And I got all lost in the shuffle of a DOZEN THOUSAND people. Nay, not just people. WRITERS. My favorite type of people, except when there are 12,000 of you. Them. Us. Maybe I just felt lost in the biodome/mall where it was held.

My highlights were:

1. seeing my long lost BFF who drove in for a visit of sushi and tapas
2. meeting my editors at Rose Metal Press for my next book and plotting the fall release
3. rooming with my partner in cosmos and crime and plotting all the ways we will transform the literary landscape.

A review!

A gloriously long and detailed review of my book For Sale By Owner and Laynie Browne’s The Desires of Letters (Counterpath) was just posted at the awesome site/resource/lit journal, Literary Mama. Here’s an excerpt:

Thus, while the stories are in fact disturbing at times, these disturbances create layers of interest and intrigue. Parker causes the reader to reconsider the things she takes for granted (healthy children, mental well being, family connections) and asks that she appreciate these things a little more, hold them a little closer to her chest.

…Parker’s collection is at once practical and poetic, somber and funny, abstract and exact.

A question!

At the AWP Kore Press 20 Year Anniversary Poetry Reading, an audience member asked, “How can the average reader support independent publishing and women writers?”

The panelists and moderator addressed the importance of buying books, especially from the publisher, and making donations. I was just another audience member, but I chimed in with my own response: Talk about indie books, tell your friends about them, teach them in your classes, write about them on your blogs, interview the authors, link to them on Facebook. If you tweet, tweet about them.

So, in the spirit of buying and talking about books published by indie publishers…

a bag of books!

…here are the books and lit journals that I picked up at AWP:

Irlanda, Espido Freire, trans. by Toshiya Kamei (Fairy Tale Review Press)
— ooh la la, this is pretty, and the opening pages irresistible. Rilke epigraph: “How would I begin to recall you, dead as you are, you willingly, passionately dead? Was it as soothing as you imagined, or was not being alive still far from being dead?” First line: “Sagrario died in May, after much suffering.”

The Louisiana Purchase, Jim Goar (Rose Metal Press)
–stunning cover; tells how we got the moon: “President Jefferson walks off the mound. The Cardinals take the field. Ozzie Smith falls over dead. The crowd falls silent. Phil Niekro throws a ball at the sky. The ball does not return. We call it the moon. It becomes a crescent. When Jefferson holds up two fingers, the moon breaks into the dirt.”

It Was Like My Trying to Have a Tender-Hearted Nature, Diane Williams (FC2)
–i bought this because of the novella-in-flash, and the flash stories with titles like, “Well, Well, Well, Well, Well,” and because it’s Diane Williams

Kino, Jurgen Fauth (Atticus Books, ARC)
— kinda got this as a sneak peek; it looks full of hip german madness

The Book of Portraiture, Steve Tomasula (FC2)
— steve runs the show at notre dame and lives in town; he’s not only brilliant, he’s super kind and welcoming to us iusb folks who always come to his amazing parties

Lizard Man, David James Poissant (Ropewalk Press)
— jamie is one of those people who i hope will remember me when he’s rich and famous

Three Ways of the Saw, Matt Mullins (Atticus Books)
— i interviewed matt here; his book has a beautiful design and i’m excited to read it

When She Named Fire: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry by American Women, ed. by Andrea Hollander Budy (Autumn House)
–i wasn’t exactly planning to buy a poetry anthology, but this one looks great. i love that there are bios and photos of each poet followed by a cluster of poems (not just one), that the poets are all women, and awesome: Lia Purpura, Kim Addonizio, Sheryl St. Germain, Aimee Nezuhukuatathil, Julia Kasdorf, Juliana Baggott, Camille Dungy, Mary Ruefle…

The Desires of Letters, Laynie Browne (Counterpath)
— reviewed this week with my book at Literary Mama (link above)

Love and the Eye, Laura Newbern (Kore)
–i saw her read at the kore anniversary reading and really loved her poems; it was one of the few kore books i didn’t already have

Journals:

Absinthe: New European Writing
Booth
Midwestern Gothic
The Common
Exit 7 (first issue!)

At AWP I got to meet with Kathleen and Abby of Rose Metal Press, who publish amazing, beautiful, and unique hybrid-genre books like these:

They also say super-smart things about the importance of indie-publishing, like this short essay, “On Being Indie,” at The Next Best Book Blog:

Compared to trade publishers, we have more creative freedom because we are independent and a nonprofit and can publish and encourage the kind of writing that we see as ground-breaking and innovative rather than focusing heavily on the marketability and projected sales numbers of any given project. We obviously want our books to sell, but the quality of the work takes precedence in our process of choosing what we’ll publish.

So you can imagine how thrilled I am that they are publishing my book, Liliane’s Balcony, in fall 2013. They wrote up a juicy description of the book to preview their upcoming publications:

Liliane’s Balcony is a novella-in-flash that takes place at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater. Built for Pittsburgh merchants E.J. and Liliane Kaufmann in 1935, the house is as much a character as it is a setting. One September night in 1952, Liliane Kaufmann—tired of her husband’s infidelities with a woman named Stoops—overdoses on pain pills in her bedroom. From there, Liliane’s Balcony alternates Mrs. Kaufmann’s mostly true story with the fictional narratives of four modern-day tourists who arrive at the historic home in the midst of their own personal crises, all of which culminate on Mrs. Kaufmann’s over-sized, cantilevered balcony. With its ghosts, motorcycles, portraits, Vikings, and failed relationships, Liliane’s Balcony is as dizzying and intricately beautiful as the structure in which it is set.

Here’s a link to the opening chapter published at Talking Writing:http://talkingwriting.com/?p=640

Frank Lloyd Wright was on my mind because of the book and because I was in Chicago, where he’s kind of hard to avoid. On Sunday, after I had my final coffee-with-a-friend and before I drove back to South Bend, I visited FLW’s home and studio in Oak Park. Here are a few of the like 50 pictures I took. They’re kind of crappy because I used my iPhone and was often rushing to take pics before other tourists got in my frame, and they’re in reverse order so just pretend you’re walking backward through the tour.

Wright's Oak Park house and studio, 1889-1909.

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Love the ceiling lights throughout the house.

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Secretary's desk in the studio office.

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Waiting room to the studio. And also a talking room where they could lay out plans on the table and shut the studio door and discuss the PLANS.

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Side of studio.

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Model of the Robie House.

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Center of studio with hint of the vaulted ceiling. Amazing.

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Yep. Apparently the second floor was originally supported by the chains, but current building codes won't allow it.

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First view of studio. Robie model on left. The desks straight ahead are the ones in earlier photo. Light shining down from upper level windows.

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The children's play room! (There were 6 kids.) Windows on both sides. Grand piano wedged into the wall on the left side of image.

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More awesome ceiling lights. These are in the dining room, which was pretty small and typical of the time.


Living room. Bay window seating.

For Wright, the hearth is always the center of the house and family.

Maybe you’ve noticed: I’ve been posting interviews, but I haven’t been blogging so much. Where am I going? AWP in Chicago! Where have I been? Busy. In a good way: Taking an online mixed media art class. Teaching my classes. Applying for grants. Writing new stories.

I’ve been here at New Purlieu Review, where my flash piece “Three Women” was published in January. There’s a Professor Plum and a Lady Bret. Here’s a snippet:

In Plum’s office Lady Bret wanted to slide across the floor to the shelves of books and inch her way into their pages, like an actual bookworm, eating away the words and pages until she created a space she could fit her whole body in. Plum said you need to develop this section and read so-and-so’s article on that section if you want to—. But Lady Bret didn’t want to. She wanted and wanted.

The art class was part of my 2012 New Year’s LIVE LOVELY campaign. Here’s a portrait I made (inspired by Alfred Henry Maurer):

I also made air-dry pottery, drawings of moths, a rhinoceros, a peacock, lots of portraits, collages, etc.

Now it’s time to head to AWPthe annual conference of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs – in Chicago.

My book For Sale By Owner will be at the Kore Press/Arcadia booth 822.

And Rose Metal Press (Table N4) will have a bit (a very little bit) of promotional material about my forthcoming book, Liliane’s Balcony, set at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater house.

I’ll be on this panel on Saturday:

Home Sweet Home: Short Story Collections and Small Presses
Caitlin Horrocks, Amina Gautier, Shannon Cain, Adam Schuitema, Kelcey Parker

(4:30-5:45 Sat. 3/3 Lake Erie, Hilton Chicago, 8th Floor)

With trade publishers less willing to take a risk on story collections and agents and editors advising writers to just finish a novel, where can the story writer turn? Five debut authors discuss their experiences with the small, independent, and university presses that are increasingly the most welcoming homes for story collections. They’ll discuss how they found their publishers, what small publishers can (and can’t) offer story authors, and how these presses are helping collections thrive.

And I’ll be spending quite a bit of time at the 42 Miles Press table – M 12.

Carrie Oeding – who was featured in my How to Become a Writer Interview series – will be there signing her book Our List of Solutions on Friday, 3/2 from 1-3 p.m.

If you’ll be at the conference, stop by one of these tables, say hello!