New web series— Words on Air

This has been a summer of drafting and traveling, so the publication news has been sparse. However, I’d like to let everyone know that OSU’s Center for Poets and Writers is releasing a new web series, “Words on Air.” The series will be uploading new episodes weekly for at least the next couple months with more to come at a later date.

As a part of Tulsa LitFest, I had the pleasure of interviewing the illustrious Susannah Sharpless of Graywolf Press and this conversation will soon be released as part of “Words on Air.” My goal with the discussion was to provide an introduction to parsing the publication landscape at large and Graywolf Press itself.

If you get a chance, check it out. The series will feature some of my colleagues from the Tulsa Artist Fellowship as well as some of the best writers in Oklahoma.

Catch me at Tulsa Litfest

small-press-panel-graphic

Anyone who is around Tulsa in late April should register for and stop by the first ever Tulsa LitFest, presented by the Tulsa Artist Fellowship. Spots are limited and filling fast so registration is highly recommended.

I’ll be moderating a Small Press Panel with a few incredible publishers:

AWST PRESS: Awst Press, based in Austin, TX, features impressive work from diverse voices. Awst endeavors to support authors through each project and beyond by increasing their respective audiences, playing an active role in the editorial and publishing process of all projects, promoting their activities well past their publication with Awst via the website and social media, and seeking ways to compensate them for their efforts including generous royalties and identifying grants for which they might be eligible.

DEEP VELLUM PUBLISHING: Deep Vellum Publishing is a not-for-profit literary arts organization that seeks to enhance the open exchange of ideas among cultures and to connect the world’s greatest writers with English-language readers through publishing international literature in translation, while fostering the art and craft of translation, and promoting a more vibrant literary community in the Dallas community and beyond.

GRAYWOLF PRESS: Graywolf Press is a leading independent publisher committed to the discovery and energetic publication of twenty-first century American and international literature.

SIBLING RIVARY PRESS: Sibling Rivalry Press, one of the country’s premier independent presses focusing on LGBT literature and poetry, is based in Little Rock, Arkansas, with a mission to publish work that disturbs and enraptures. Its books, authors, interior design, cover art, and overall vision have been honored by the Lambda Literary Foundation, the American Library Association, and the Library of Congress, who, by special invitation, houses SRP’s entire catalog in its Rare Book and Special Collections Division.

A small interview- On Teaching

TCC Faculty Profile.

In which I talk about (or at least touch on in a couple words):

  • Trying desperately not to become a writer and failing.
  • Why coming to Oklahoma didn’t sound like punishment.
  • How certain hobbies inform my writing.
  • Dealing with the international travels of my wife through application-mania.
  • The inherent privilege of teaching*.

*Although teaching is inherently a privilege,  and I am inspired by my students on a daily basis, and, as with writing, I am not sure I could stop myself from being a teacher even if I tried, I would be remiss not to note, in solidarity with public educators, the current state of Oklahoma public teachers as the poorest paid in the nation

Correspondence in The Sun

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Maynard, August 2017

In the March 2018 issue of The Sun, the editors gave me the opportunity to respond to some reader correspondence. You may read it HERE.  I am very grateful to them for it. Although this is not a new experience, I was still surprised by this particular response to “Eclipse.” How strange, I thought, that someone could read my pain and react with such aggression toward me for it. But this week we’ve seen the teenage survivors of another school shooting receiving an even more venomous reaction to their pain.

I want to believe that those who see pain and think attack are outliers. I want to believe we are better than this.

I know that we can be.

Upcoming Reading- Tulsa, 2/16

As my creative writing students know, I’m a big fan of George Saunders. If you’ll allow me to be effusive, bordering on obsequious, I love the ways he plays with language and the empathy he manages to extend to every one of his characters. More than that, I like him as a person. In my personal experience, he’s open and gracious and doesn’t hesitate to hold up his book-signing line to offer a few words of encouragement to an aspiring writer.

And so, knowing this, imagine my excitement at being able to share a reading him. Friday, February 16, at the Philbrook Museum, I have the unbelievable good fortune to be one of the opening readers for “An Evening with George Saunders.” I won’t use emojis here, but I’m sure they’re easy to visualize floating around my head.

Unfortunately for all of you, as of right now, the event is sold out. Though, if you want details, and to keep up to date on if they expand to a new, bigger venue, follow along here: An Evening with George Saunders.

“Eclipse” live at The Sun

My latest essay, of the aforementioned TBA acceptance letter, is now live at The Sun Magazine. (Found here in its entirety.) I just reread it and the words felt new to me even if the events did not. Like someone else had been writing about my life. I wrote the piece to power through my grief and take me outside of the moment and myself. Guess it worked.

Over the holidays, I missed Maynard a lot. I kept forgetting our new normal. That when we returned from one family event or another, there would just be one dog waiting to be let out, not two. I’m thankful that he’s been extended to others through this piece.

The headlines haven’t really let up yet, but I’m hoping that this new 2018 will bring more light to all.

Acceptance Letter (Specifics TBA)

I’m happy to announce that another of my essays has been accepted for publication. Until I have all the details finalized, I can’t give you true specifics. I am proud of this one.

MaynardThe piece, like “Worry,” was very personal and very easy to write. I wrote it to process and in some ways escape the death of my dog (the handsome fella to the right). It just flowed out. After it was done, I was reminded of the sheer biological necessity of my writing. This catharsis was vital. I knew I’d done it right when, after the rush of writing and editing and submitting, I felt scooped out and empty. I’d been excavated. For several days, I lay on the couch and could do nothing. It hurt and was numb and felt good all at once.

I’m so thankful that I’ll be able to share it with you soon. Maynard touched my life very deeply, and I hope this piece manages to extend his reach even more.