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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


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

Last Thursday I gave a reading at Grand Valley State University, where I was hosted by the super-awesome Austin Bunn, and after driving through farms, fields, and farm-fields-turned-suburban-street-pockets, I was impressed by GVSU’s size, and even more by its ART. Everywhere. Amazing collages and paintings and posters, many of which were made by recent graduates. And a great culture of literary arts – lots of enthusiastic students writing creepy cool flash fiction and getting into impressive graduate programs.

I kinda wish I’d taken pics of the visual art on the walls of the Writing Department. (NOT the English Department, mind you: the writers seceded from the union a decade ago. INteresting.)

I’ve been known to take pictures of art at other schools. Here’s a painting I liked at Taylor University:

That’s a bad picture. It was cool in person.

I was also fairly charmed by these snowcreatures, also near Taylor University:

So, why I didn’t take pictures of the cool art at GVSU is beyond me. My only other lament is that I didn’t get more time with Caitlin Horrocks, who caught my reading between classes, and who makes GVSU even greater.

Even though I didn’t take pictures like I should have, I received an amazing parting gift, which I have already framed and photographed: a broadside of my story, “Mermaids”:

And staff writer Rebekah Young published a lovely article about my visit in the Grand Valley Lanthorn. (Thanks, Rebekah!) Here’s how it ends:

“I love the act of creating — of generating material, shaping phrases, arranging segments and creating something meaningful,” Parker said. “After a long night of writing, I sometimes look at my hands expecting to see something like dried paint or clay residue. After all that hard work, there should be some physical evidence.”

Read the rest here.


An excerpt of Rebecca Gibson’s review of For Sale By Owner in the  IUSB Preface:

In her book of short fiction, “For Sale By Owner,” Dr. Kelcey Parker, Director of Creative Writing, uses the rules of language and writing like advanced calculus.  She puts dimensions where there should be none, finding spaces folded out of seemingly flat planes, spaces that are always empty or wanting to be empty or wanting to retain the luxury of emptiness while being filled.

Geez, what an amazing review. I’d like to review that review: Five stars. (The rest is here. And there’s an interview with me here.) The funny thing is: I loved calculus. In college I gauged my relative tipsiness on whether I could still solve a derivative equation. (Did I just admit that?)

This week is all about South Bend and the home field advantage. I’ve got two readings in town – one at IUSB’s Schurz Library Tuesday at 7:00, and at Fiddler’s Hearth for the Hearthside Readers and Writers Series on Sunday at 2:00. Special thanks to Nancy Botkin, Clayton Michaels, and Anne Richmond for all their good work in making tomorrow’s reading happen. And I’m excited to be introduced by one of my favorite students, Mitch Robinson.

Kelcey Parker reads from her new book, For Sale By Owner
Tuesday, March 8
7:00 p.m.
Schurz Library – 5th Floor Atrium
IU South Bend campus

Reading followed by light reception and book signing
Free and open to the public

FSBO in IUSB Preface

February 15, 2011 — Leave a comment

I’m reading at Notre Dame , Wed. 2/16 at 7:30 p.m. in Hammes Book Store!

Here’s their nice link.

And many thanks to Rebecca Gibson for the following press announcement at the IUSB Preface:

For Sale By Author Kelcey Parker: For Sale By Owner

To read an author’s writing is to take advantage of the rare chance to look inside someone’s mind.  You now have this opportunity for Assistant Professor of English and author Dr. Kelcey Parker.

Read the rest here.

Kelcey Parker, David Dodd Lee, Clayton Michaels, Nancy Botkin - photo by Jessica Chalmers

There’s a short-n-sweet write-up about our Art Beat reading here.

Thanks to Jessica Chalmers for covering it – and for the fun spliced photo!

Also, on the IUSB Creative Writing blog (which I also maintain), I posted a copy of the community Exquisite Corpse poem that South Benders typed on my typewriter. It’s worth a click.