Today we are happy to share the news of past contributor Maggie Kast! Her personal essay titled “Wide Awake and in Good Voice” was just published to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Links Hall, an art and performance space in Chicago. Maggie is a board member and her essay focuses on her experience working with the space and the people who run the institution. Maggie also has her newest book, Side by Side and Never Face to Face: a Novella and Stories to be published in May 2020 by Orison Books.
Maggie’s essay for Links Hall’s 40th anniversary series can be found here, more information about her forthcoming collection can be found here, and her nonfiction piece for S[r]’s Issue 19 can be found here.
Date: Thursday, March 21, 2019 Time: 6:30 p.m Location: Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W Rio Salado Pkwy, Tempe, AZ 85281 Cost: Free
One of the tragic consequences of being confined to a single body is that we will never know what other people experience when they meet us for the first time. We can’t know how someone will register the slight change in the atmosphere that our presence causes when we enter a room. We will never know what another person feels while keeping us company. Memoirists choose to make themselves, someone they can never objectively grasp or fully represent on the page, the primary subject of most of their writing. But there are ways to cultivate a kind of out-of-body-relationship to the self that does get on the page. Voice is the messenger we send to greet the reader. We can craft voice the way one might craft a social media presence. Voice can conjure an entire world in a few phrases, images or references. The question is how do we want to be represented on the page?
Join Pulitzer Prize-winning author Gregory Pardlo for his talk, “The Messenger is the Message: Voicecraft and the Personal Essay” on Thursday, March 21, 2019 at the Tempe Center for the Arts (700 W Rio Salado Pkwy, Tempe, AZ 85281) at 6:30 p.m.
While encouraged, RSVPs are purely for the purposes of monitoring attendance, gauging interest, and communicating information about parking, directions, and other aspects of the event. You do not have to register or RSVP to attend this event. This event is open to the public and free.
For more information and to RSVP, visit the Eventbrite page here.
About the Author:
Gregory Pardlo’s collection Digest (Four Way Books) won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. His other honors include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts; his first collection Totem was selected by Brenda Hillman for the APR/Honickman Prize in 2007. He is Poetry Editor of Virginia Quarterly Review and currently teaches in the graduate writing program at Rutgers-Camden University. Air Traffic, a memoir in essays, was released by Knopf in April.
About the Book:
The long-awaited extraordinary memoir and a blistering meditation on fatherhood, class, education, race, addiction, and ambition from beloved Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gregory Pardlo.
Gregory Sr. is a charismatic air traffic controller at Newark International Airport, leading labor organizer and a father to two sons, bookish Greg Jr. and musical-talent Robbie. But, when “Big Greg” loses his job after the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Strike of 1981, he becomes a disillusioned presence in the household and a disconcerting model for young Greg’s ambitions. As Big Greg succumbs to addiction and exhausts the family’s money on ostentatious whims, Greg Jr. rebels. He hustles off to boot camp at Parris Island, falls in love with a woman he follows to Denmark, drops in and out of college, and takes a job as a bar manager-cum-barfly at the family’s jazz club.
Rich and lyrical, Air Traffic follows Gregory Pardlo as he learns to be a poet, father, and teacher, as he enters recovery and hosts an intervention for his brother on national television. Throughout, Pardlo grapples with the irresistible yet ruinous legacy of masculinity he inherited from his father. This is his deeply-felt ode to Greg Sr., to fatherhood, and to the frustrating-yet-redemptive ties of family, as well as a scrupulous, searing examination of how manhood is shaped in contemporary American life. (Knopf)
Today we are pleased to feature author Bryn Gribben as our Authors Talk series contributor. The topic of Bryn’s podcast is “finding your voice.” She begins by saying that “Everything you do before you find your voice matters,” and, to demonstrate this truth, describes her own journey of discovery as a creative writer and poet.
In the beginning of her college experience, Bryn states that she “was more interested in learning than in creating.” However, after discovering that she “just wasn’t having enough fun,” she began to pursue the creation of poetry. She says that “the feedback I was getting at the time made it seem like I had to choose between two paths: the academic and the creative,” but as she continued to find her literary voice, she realized that she didn’t have to make a choice. She just, as she says, “had to find a different audience.” She emphasizes that nowadays, she is still “pulled constantly between those two modes of being,” the analytical and the creative; for, as she says, “both modes of being engage my best self.”
Today we are pleased to feature author Denise Emanuel Clemen as our Authors Talk series contributor. In her podcast, Denise discusses memoir and personal essay in this current era of “alternative facts.” Specifically, she talks about this in the context of “The Marriage Essay,” published in Issue 18.
Denise notes the difference between “truth” and “Truth,” and she reveals that memoir and personal essay must have both. She also discusses how “memoir writers are obligated to the facts, the unenhanced, unembellished facts,” though they do still have access to imagery, metaphor and reportage (like writers of fiction and poetry).
She ends her podcast by explaining how she hopes that readers will be “caught and lovingly held in the safety net of true stories,” as she is when she writes them.
Today we are pleased to feature author Judith Sara Gelt as our Authors Talk series contributor. In her podcast, Judith discusses the “hermit crab essay,” which she describes as an essay living inside a form that isn’t typically in an essay. In the case of her piece in Issue 18, it is an essay living inside a rubric.
Judith also shares how delighted she is that readers have found humor in her piece, “Loneliness Recovery Rubric–Female.” She then discusses her pursuit for authenticity and explains how personal sharing requires practice, practice, and more practice. Before signing off, Judith encourages everyone to try pushing the envelop because “it’s wonderful to experiment.”
The Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Prize is awarded to the best work submitted to the magazine’s annual contest for a genre that embraces, but is not limited to, the personal essay, memoir, narrative nonfiction, social commentary, travel writing, historical accounts, and biography, all enhanced by such elements as description, dramatic scenes, dialogue, and characterization.