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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]

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Congratulations to these THREE winners of the latest book giveaway! Each winner receives a copy of Juliana Gray’s Roleplay.

First Winner: REBECCA, Comment #13


Second Winner: RENJU, Comment #19 [also most creative comment!]


Third Winner: KASMIRA BARRETT, Comment #7

[WordPress doesn’t seem to allow Random Number Generators to be coded onto their blog posts, so I’ve taken screenshots of the winning results.]

I’ll contact each of you individually about getting your mailing information. Or you can send me your info directly through the CONTACT widget on the right-hand side of the blog. It comes directly to my email address.

Congratulations to the winners and thanks so much to everyone who entered! You made my mouth water with all of your descriptions of yummy summer veggies.

Just a reminder that you have until midnight tonight (Friday, September 7, 2012) to enter to win a copy of Roleplay, a beautiful book of poems by Juliana Gray.

But you can’t enter here! You have to go HERE.

And all you have to do when you get there is post a comment and you’re entered. Winners announced right away if I’m awake and not watching Netflix, otherwise sometime before noon tomorrow. Instant gratification.

It’s been a little quiet here at Ph.D. in Creative Writing. Let’s liven things up with another Book Giveaway!

Juliana Gray, from the most recent interview, How Juliana Gray Became a Writer, is giving away three copies of her new book of poems, Roleplay. Contest runs until midnight Friday. Winners will be announced and contacted Saturday shortly after the contest closes.

Here is what superduperpoet* Mark Jarman says about the book:

To find such wit and canniness about self and sex in American poetry, we have to look back to Dorothy Parker. Of course, we can look across the Atlantic to Wendy Cope. Juliana Gray has their sense of style but something else, too, which is all her own.

She has located the ferocious tension in the undercurrent of society, which comes out as slapstick in comedy and violence in tragedy, but in either case is the same thing: human desire in conflict. Gray’s inimitable humor is dark, indeed, but brilliant.

HOW TO ENTER

It’s super easy. Post a comment on this post before this Friday, September 7, 2012 at Midnight (Eastern time). (Don’t know what to say in a comment? Tell your favorite summer vegetable. Juliana probably grows it in her garden. See picture and poem below.)

Your comment number will be your entry number. A Random Number Generator will select the THREE winners.

One comment per person, please. With one exception: If you reblog this post or mention it on your blog, your pingback counts as an eligible second entry.

Juliana’s Labor Day Weekend harvest.

And a garden poem from Roleplay:

Late Blight

Mornings in late May, dew ascends
in smoky plumes from sunstruck rooftops, while I
bend low, my hands deep in fresh-tilled earth.
Wrinkled beet seeds nestle in rows beside
the garlic and spring onions’ tender spears.
The last of fall’s potatoes have gone crazy
in basement isolation, shooting out
identically pale roots and stems.
I cut them into soft, bristly chunks
and bury them in furrows mulched with hay.
I leave plenty of room for kale and chard,
nudge the climbing peas toward the fence.
Tomato seedlings, toughening against
a late frost, bask in greenhouse sun.
I straighten, arch, pull against the ache.
Warmth, light, calls of chickadees
around the feeder, smells of earth and grass—
mornings such as this are reason enough
to go on living.  Tonight I’ll have to cut
my fingernails to rid them of the dirt.

Then, one day in August, a single Roma
overloaded with green fruit wilts
as if it alone were kissed by early frost.
Then all the Romas turn limp and spotted brown.
Then the cherries.  Heirlooms.  Early Girls.
And all my plants must be uprooted, bagged,
denied even the humble dignity
of compost, hauled away with the rest of the trash.
I gather up the fallen, blighted fruit
so there may be no seed of return.
And I was not wrong before: these small
earthly pleasures are all that we are offered.
And they shall ever come to such an end.

*Editor’s note: formerly “superpoet,” corrected to “superduperpoet”

One thing about blogging about writers and writing is that you encounter a lot of good writers and good writing. The comments all of you posted on the giveaway are a great example. The comments had all the elements of good writing: fresh ideas, fun phrasing, unique styles, distinct voices, and an overall delight in language.

I’m a strong believer that good writing transcends your chosen form (fiction, poetry, essays, etc.). Good writing shines through in your emails, your holiday cards, your business proposals, the notes you sign in a yearbook (do people still do that?), your texts and tweets, your blog posts, and yes, even your blog comments. In other words, even if the form itself is not known for being interesting, you make it interesting.

For example, Darrin Doyle is an awesome fiction writer. But he’s not only an awesome fiction writer, he’s an awesome blurb writer. He wrote the blurb that my publisher put on the cover of my book, and that I put on the cover of my web page:

The stories in Kelcey Parker’s For Sale By Owner are gorgeous, sinister dreams that sweep us into the unsettled lives of women – wives, mothers, lovers, friends – straining against the bonds of expectation.

What a beautiful sentence! I told Darrin his blurb was so awesome that I wanted to blurb his blurb: “Darrin Doyle’s blurbs are exquisite carafes of words…” – or something.

Then last fall I gave a reading at Central Michigan University, hosted by Darrin. Before the reading Darrin gave the most elegant and engaging introduction to me and my work. It went far beyond the call of boring biography, and I just kept thinking, “This guy is such a great writer.” [For more evidence of his writerly awesomeness, check out my interview with him here.]

So, that’s a long way of saying, I loved reading your comments on the book giveaway and I think you all are awesome writers: a sloth! an okapi! a lion with a huge mane and glorious roar! And the reasons for your choices were equally delightful.

Here then are the lucky winners of Jennifer Perrine’s awesomely written poetry collections:

Winners of In the Human Zoo

brookeellen328@gmail.com, Comment #4
(who loves free books and poetry!)


Ben Hoffman, Comment #13
(whose body would be a toaster, and who would be a seal)


Winners of The Body Is No Machine

lazarusdodge, Comment #14
(who has a cool blog, you should visit)

petrujviljoen, Comment #8
(who would be a horse, or a long-crested eagle)

[Note: WordPress doesn’t allow for Random Number Generators to be coded onto their blog posts, so I’ve taken screenshots of the winning results.]

I’ll contact each of you individually about getting your mailing information. Or you can send me your info directly through the CONTACT widget on the right-hand side of the blog. It comes directly to my email address.

Congratulations to the winners, and thanks again to everyone who entered! A new interview posts this weekend…

Another book giveaway begins now!

Jennifer Perrine, who reminded us “to be wild, to be bewildered, to be wilderness” (see last week’s interview, How Jennifer Perrine Became a Writer), is giving away two copies of each of her books of poems – In the Human Zoo and The Body Is No Machine. That’s FOUR books to be given away. Contest runs all week. Winners will be announced and contacted Friday shortly after the contest closes.

HOW TO ENTER

It’s super easy. Post a comment on this post before this Friday, June 29, 2012 at 12:00 noon (Eastern time). (Don’t know what to say in a comment? Tell what animal you would be in the non-human zoo. Tell what machine your body would be if it were a machine.)

Your comment number will be your entry number. A Random Number Generator will select the FOUR winners.

One comment per person, please. With one exception: If you reblog this post or mention it on your blog, your pingback counts as an eligible second entry.

You know I get paranoid that no one will enter my contests, so have mercy. Post a comment. You might just win a book.

ABOUT THE BOOKS

In the Human Zoo reveals encounters with a world that is both fragile and dangerous, a perilous, surreal place where not only humans but also creatures as innocuous as fireflies and owls become potential threats. Throughout the collection, speakers wrestle with human violence through a multitude of perspectives: the fear and resistance of victims, the frustration and outrage of witnesses, the regret and recognition of a global history in which so many people have participated as perpetrators. While the people who inhabit the world of this collection might yet remain caged, they nevertheless struggle to unleash themselves and each other through language.

Coveting, with Pronunciation Guide
____________________________________

And what if I said your breasts rise
like an umlaut over the o of your stomach?
That I have imagined two hipbones, grave
and acute, inflecting legs long as vowels,
ohs and oohs, the tendons at the backs
of your knees taut as macrons? Who else
will tell you how your top lip lurks
over your teeth like a tilde, the small list
of your smirk to the left?

Let me whisper you
seduction like a cedilla, soft and complex,
an arcing voice full of hooks and barbs.
Let me rest the circumflex of my hands, tented,
tentative, against your waist. Let my body
be a breve, the cup into which you drop
your breath. Let desire be clumsy
as a schwa, upside-down, almost soundless.

From The Body is No Machine by Jennifer Perrine

While I absolutely loved giving away copies of Anne Germanacos’ books, I was terrified to give away copies of my own. Mostly because I was afraid no one would enter the contest.

But my blog followers and especially my Facebook friends took mercy on me and supported this little endeavor and made it into a really fun, really gratifying event. Each comment that I read from followers, friends, friends of friends, relatives of friends, and friends of relatives made me well up with gratitude, and I keep thinking of a phrase I learned from my Norwegian relatives, “Tusen tak!” A thousand thanks.

In fact, I’m so thankful that I’ve decided to give away a third copy of my book. (I’d give away more, but I only have three copies of my book right now.)

So without further ado, congratulations to these THREE winners of the book giveaway! Each winner receives a signed copy of my book, For Sale By Owner.

First Winner: GARY LEISING, Comment #25


Second Winner: MRUMIS, Comment #64


Third Winner: KSCHWENKMEYER, Comment #7

[It seems that WordPress doesn’t allow for Random Number Generators to be coded onto their blog posts, so I’ve taken screenshots of the winning results.]

I’ll contact each of you individually about getting your mailing information. Or you can send me your info directly through the CONTACT widget on the right-hand side of the blog. It comes directly to my email address. Or, you know, message me on Facebook.

Thanks again to everyone who entered. A new interview posts tomorrow, and I’m looking forward to having more book giveaways here soon!

And a Happy Bloomsday to all…

yes I said yes I will yes