Thursday, December 13, 2012

New Book With Noctuary Press


Noctuary Press is a fabulous new press founded by
poet and scholar Kristina Marie Darling.
http://noctuarypress.com/
From the website, their mission:
Noctuary Press is a small independent press that focuses on female writers working with cross-genre prose forms (such as flash fiction, prose poetry, footnoted texts, etc.).  All too often, writing that is easily classifiable as “poetry,” “prose,” or “nonfiction” is privileged over exciting literary work that is not so easily categorized.  Noctuary Press seeks to create a public space for women writers working across literary genres.  We publish writing that does not simply challenge the notion of genre, but engages it in a meaningful way, assessing both the artistic possibilities and the dangers inherent in maintaining genre categories.
With that in mind, Noctuary Press strives to open up a dialogue among writers, reviewers, and readers about what constitutes a literary genre, the purpose of genre categories, and, perhaps most importantly, the politics of genre categories in the literary community.  We focus on female writers because these efforts to define, label, and categorize literary texts often reflect larger power structures in the literary community and in the academy.  In most cases, only those texts that fit the established genre categories are perceived as “legitimate.”  Noctuary Press hopes to create a space where efforts to question, engage, and revise existing notions of genre are considered not only legitimate, but exciting, rewarding, and worthwhile endeavors.


I'm thrilled that Noctuary Press has chosen my manuscript
F IN to be their first book! F IN will be published in Feb. 2013
with a cover by Holly Andres, whose photographs you
can admire right here: http://hollyandres.com/

F IN has a complicated history. It was originally a novella titled
Willful Machine. It was intended as a ghost story, a mystery,
my attempt to subvert the conventions and tidy plot structure
of those forms. I wanted to appropriate those genres and tell
the story of the (ubiquitous) dead girl from the perspective
of a girl who makes the dead girl up. I was tired of watching
mainstream writers make money from dismembered female bodies,
and wanted to give those bodies agency. Instead I wrote
a book I wasn't happy with, and ultimately pulled the book
a few weeks before publication. Then I picked at it, trying to revise
by making it longer. Then I made it shorter. Then I whited out
the entire manuscript. After erasing the entire manuscript I allowed
a few words back in. Hey you -- you can come in. But you, stay out.
I got to be a bouncer at the club I'd constructed. F IN is an erasure
of Willful Machine. I like it much better than the original manuscript.
I did have moments of wanting to leave the manuscript
blank, all the words hidden in white font. The whole process
took a lot of time and focus and was incredibly pleasurably.
I continue to believe that compression is vital, that less is more,
that the goal must be to use as few words as possible. This is my
obstruction. I feel it within me very fiercely -- not for other writers,
simply for myself. There's an urgency to it. When I write something
I just want to erase it, because the words cancel out the idea
or emotion. If I were a choreographer I'd be obsessed with stillness,
like the moment in Balanchine's Serenade where the women
stand vibrating before suddenly snapping their feet into first:
http://www.nycballet.com/Ballets/S/Serenade.aspx
Paul Kolnik/New York City Ballet







Noctuary Press is also publishing books by two
of my very very very favorite poets, Kristy Bowen and Eva Heisler.
I'm so excited about their books and this new publishing
venture! More information about Kristy and Eva here:

Kristy Bowen Author PhotoA writer and visual artist, Kristy Bowen is the author of several book, chapbook, and zine projects, including the forthcoming beautiul, sinister(Maverick Duck Press, 2013) and girl show (Black Lawrence, 2013). She lives in Chicago where she runs dancing girl press & studio, devoted to paper-oriented arts and publishing work by women writers/artists.


Eva Heisler Author PhotoEva Heisler is a U.S. poet and art critic based near Heidelberg, Germany. Her poems have been widely published in journals includingCrazyhorse, The Nation, and Poetry Northwest. Honors include The Nation’s “Discovery” Award and the Poetry Society of America’s Emily Dickinson Award. A Fulbright grant brought her to Iceland in 1997 where she lived for nine years, researching Icelandic art with a focus on conceptual practices. Her essays on Icelandic contemporary art have been published in academic journals, art magazines, and museum catalogs. Recent publications include an art historical examination of Icelandic conceptualism for the five-volume History of Icelandic Art, published by the National Gallery of Iceland in 2011, and the chapter “Doubled Bodies and Live Loops: On Ragnar Kjartansson’s Mediatized Performances” in Bastard or Playmate? Adapting Theatre, Mutating Media and the Contemporary Performing Arts, published by the University of Amsterdam Press in 2012. Heisler’s collection of poems Reading Emily Dickinson in Icelandic (Kore Press, 2012)explores how language shapes perception and was inspired by her nine years in Iceland, a time in which the romance and astonishments of a foreign land were challenged by the difficulties of earning a living as a foreigner.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Binder Of Women Poets In Brooklyn

I'm reading in Brooklyn for Stain of Poetry
on Friday, October 26th at 7pm 
@ Goodbye Blue Monday
1087 Broadway (corner of Dodworth St.)
Fellow poets include:
Farrah Field

Elaine Kahn

Tanya Larkin
Of course I'm excited to visit the East Coast. I might even stop by my 
old college dorm, Carman Hall:
and I will definitely stop by Zabar's:

before reading on Friday, here:

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Rage and Referendum 74


If you live in Washington state, I hope you'll vote
for marriage equality. Vote Approve R 74.
http://washingtonunitedformarriage.org/
You can even buy a yard sign

Or a t-shirt
And walk around all signage-like. Or, like me,
you can sit around feeling really fucking grumpy,
because this stupid referendum should not be on
the ballot in the first place. In February 2012
Senate Bill 6239 was signed by Governor Gregoire,
legalizing same-sex marriage to take effect on
June 7th. This referendum was thrown together
by haters to undo what had already been done,
to take away rights set in place to be granted.
Allowing THE MAJORITY to vote on
the rights of A MINORITY (hello American
history) is not okay. This referendum allows my
heterosexual friends, neighbors, yoga buddies,
colleagues, students, strangers, and passers-by
to vote on my rights. You get to decide
if I can get married,  if lesbians and gay
men deserve the rights you enjoy, or if we
should be treated as lesser beings. You get
to decide how I should be treated, not in
a personal or social setting, but in the public
sphere of the law. I'm hearing all kinds of homophobic/
heterosexist rhetoric these days, which is nothing
new, but my patience for it is just exhausted.
Watching my rights be put to vote is taxing.
It makes me angry. It makes me sad. It makes me
feel ashamed, humiliated, as if I've done something
wrong. It triggers (a word I hate, an overused
word, but appropriate here) internalized
homophobia, making me think, well, maybe
I really am a second class citizen. Maybe there
really is something wrong with me. Maybe
I really should be shunned at work, on the
street, in social gatherings. And if I am thinking
this way -- a 44 year old woman, a college professor,
an author, a well-adjusted, happy person -- how
must a 14 year old queer kid be feeling? How about
an 85 year old who was forced back into the closet
when s/he entered a nursing home? How about
someone with fewer resources for the things that
have kept me sane: therapy, healthy food, yoga,
a comfortable house, my dogs? If I'm feeling this
way, other more vulnerable people are feeling
this way even more deeply. Whether we win or lose
this battle, the battle itself has taken a toll. It is not okay.
I am furious. And don't kid yourself that this is
just about marriage, because it's possible to harbor
deep ambivalence about marriage and still feel
outraged. Like many women, I'm suspicious
of marriage as a historically misogynistic institution;
like many queers, I'm resistant to the assumptions
and customs heterosexuals tend to attach to marriage.
I know many people who value non monogamy
and polyamory; many people who prefer to live
happily alone; many people who love a partner
or partners, but don't want the state involved in
their relationships. Unfortunately, queer peoples'
debates about whether marriage was even the political
road to take were mostly silenced as the LGBT movement
took a drastically assimilationist turn over the past
two decades, responding with conservative political
goals after the losses and emotional turmoil of the
AIDS epidemic. The LGBT movement focused on
two issues: Don't Ask, Don't Tell and same-sex marriage.
The push was, and still is, to prove to straight
people that we are just like them, and want to live
in the suburbs. I'm dubious of this strategy; I hate
the suburbs; I still fuck like a queer and I refuse
to downplay my differences. But I also pay taxes.
So this is where we are today. It's not the fight I want
to be fighting, but it's the fight I've got, and it is
a fight about my access to legal equality. To full
citizenship. To what my heterosexual friends and
neighbors already enjoy (or, judging by some
peoples' relationships, don't enjoy very much at all).
Moral of this blog post: ask a queer person how
they're feeling this election season. Demonstrate
that you're aware that queers are going through
something painful and de-humanizing. Remind us
that you see our humanity as no different from your own.
Then vote.


Friday, October 12, 2012

An Evening of Ghostly Intimations

If you're in New York, please join us at the 
Alice Austen House on Staten Island 
on October 27, 2012 from 4-6pm for 
"An Evening of Ghostly Intimations," 
art based on the theme of hauntings. 
This event features Zoe Beloff, 
Corinne Botz, Paul Moakley, and me. 
http://aliceausten.org/events/
Credit: Corinne May Botz
An Evening of Ghostly Intimations

Zoe Beloff
“Shadowland”, A 3D film based on the 1897
autobiography of Elizabeth D’Esperance,
a materialization medium who could produce
full body apparitions.
Corinne Botz
In correlation with her exhibition
of photography at the museum, Corinne
will play oral ghost stories collected
on location at haunted houses.
Carol Guess
Reads from her new book, “Index of Placebo Effects”.
Paul Moakley
Tells the Alice Austen House ghost stories.
Credit: Corinne May Botz

Monday, October 8, 2012

New Book In Collaboration With Kristina Marie Darling

Thanks to Kristina Marie Darling for being such
a delightful collaborator! The two of us just finished
writing a new hybrid prose/poetry collection
titled X Marks The Dress: A Registry. It's a series
of loosely interlinked stories, poems, and fragments
organized around a fake wedding registry.We had
a great time writing together, and we're thrilled that
Gold Wake Press has selected our book for publication
in 2014.  Here's the cover by artist Mandy Bryant:
Here's Kristina's website and the cover of her latest book:
http://kristinamariedarling.com/

And here's the website for Gold Wake Press:
http://goldwakepress.com/
Happy reading!








Wednesday, October 3, 2012

HTMLGiant Reviews Doll Studies

A brilliant review of Doll Studies: Forensics
just appeared on HTMLGiant. Thanks to Rochelle
Hurt for this intelligent, thought-provoking review.
It's called "The Feminist Peep Show." Read it here:
http://htmlgiant.com/tag/carol-guess/
Here is the Samuel van Hoogstraten peepshow
that Hurt uses to begin her discussion of voyeurism,
domesticity, and domestic violence:
http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/samuel-van-hoogstraten-a-peepshow-with-views-of-the-interior-of-a-dutch-house

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Readings in Seattle and Bellingham, WA

Greetings! I'm honored to be reading
with Suzanne Paola and Brenda Miller
at events in Seattle and Bellingham.
We're reading from a new anthology,
 The Rose Metal Press Field Guide 
To Writing Flash Nonfiction.
Find out more and order books here:
http://www.rosemetalpress.com/Catalog/FGWFNF.html
In Seattle, please join me and Suzanne Paola
at Elliott Bay Books on Sunday, September 30th
at 4pm. Suzanne is one of my very favorite writers
and my colleague -- how lucky am I?
http://www.elliottbaybook.com/node/events/sep12/guess
In Bellingham, I'm reading with both Suzanne
and our talented colleague, Brenda Miller,
a specialist in the lyric essay. We'll be at
Village Books on Sunday, October 7th at 4pm.
http://www.villagebooks.com/village-books-rose-metal-press-field-guide-to-writing-flash-nonfiction-10/07/12
I hope you'll spread the word if you're in town!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Emily Dickinson meets The Real L Word

I don't watch The Real L Word, but the recaps
on Autostraddle are hilarious. You don't need
to know anything about the show. It's probably
funnier if you don't:
http://www.autostraddle.com/real-l-word-309-recap-perfect-day-for-this-show-to-end-with-a-bang-bang-bang-145694/
The Real L Word gets real
And here's the link to Autostraddle: "news,
entertainment, opinion and girl-on-girl culture."
http://www.autostraddle.com/
This website is great for linking to nifty articles,
like this one about a new photograph of Emily
Dickinson! The real L word circa 1859. 
http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/382148/20120908/emily-dickinson-lesbian-new-photo-picture.htm


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Thursday, August 30, 2012

I suppose Target won't sell Pussy Riot's CD either

Years ago I belonged to a direct action group, The Lesbian
Avengers. Working together with a group of queer and feminist
women, I learned how to collaborate and connect private art
to political action. I also learned something about which rules
to follow and which rules to break. I see so much of myself
in the members of Russian punk band Pussy Riot, and feel outraged
as these brave women are sent off to several years of hard labor.
I could absolutely be among them, as could so many of my outspoken
friends and students. As this fight for artistic freedom,
self-expression, and women's rights continues in Russia, I'm scrolling
through Rolling Stones' photo essay of Pussy Riot's trial:
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/pictures/pussy-riot-their-trial-in-pictures-20120809
and following news here:
http://freepussyriot.org/
Pussy Riot is an anonymous Russian feminist performance art group formed in October 2011. Through a series of peaceful performances in highly visible places, the group has given voice to basic rights under threat in Russia today, while expressing the values and principles of gender equality, democracy and freedom of expression contained in the Russian constitution and other international instruments, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the CEDAW Convention.
AyO6XoACUAES-6f.jpg
Detained members of the art group Pussy Riot (from right to left):
Maria Alekhina, age 24. Poet and student at the Institute of Journalism and Creative Writing. Mother of a 5 year-old boy. 
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, age 22. Visual artist and 4th year Philosophy student. Mother of a 4 year-old girl.
Ekaterina Samucevich, age 29. Visual artist. Has a degree from The Alexander Rodchenko School of Photography and Multimedia in Moscow.

RMP Field Guide to Writing Flash Nonfiction

I'm happy to announce that the latest Rose Metal Press
field guide is available for pre-order! Previous field
guides included collections focused on prose poetry
and flash fiction. I've used these anthologies in the
classroom, and they're fantastic. They're also inspiring
for anyone who wants to try a new genre or refine
their skills.
http://www.rosemetalpress.com/Catalog/FGWFNF.html

The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Nonfiction:
Advice and Essential Exercises from Respected Writers, Editors, and Teachers

Edited by Dinty W. Moore
Paperback, 208 pages
September 2012
ISBN: 978-0-9846166-6-4
$15.95
Will be available as an eBook for Kindle, Nook, and Apple in late September
FEATURING ESSAYS FROM: Barrie Jean Borich Jenny Boully Norma Elia Cantú Rigoberto González Philip Graham Carol Guess Jeff Gundy Robin Hemley Barbara Hurd Judith Kitchen Eric LeMay Dinah Lenney Bret Lott Patrick Madden Lee Martin Maggie McKnight Brenda Miller Kyle Minor Aimee Nezhukumatathil Anne Panning Lia Purpura Peggy Shumaker Sue William Silverman Jennifer Sinor Ira Sukrungruang Nicole Walker

Unmatched in its focus on a concise and popular emerging genre, The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Nonfiction features 26 eminent writers, editors, and teachers offering expert analysis, focused exercises, and helpful examples of what make the brief essay form such a perfect medium for experimentation, insight, and illumination. With a comprehensive introduction to the genre and book by editor Dinty W. Moore, this guide is perfect for both the classroom and the individual writer’s desk—an essential handbook for anyone interested in the scintillating and succinct flash nonfiction form. How many words does it take to tell a compelling true story? The answer might surprise you.

Frank Ocean's Channel Orange

This is what I'm listening to/dancing to/thinking about right now:
And this is what Pitchfork has to say about it:
http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/16859-channel-orange/
And this is Frank Ocean's poetic letter about his male muse:
http://frankocean.tumblr.com/post/26473798723
And this is an examination of his letter's complexity:
http://www.npr.org/blogs/therecord/2012/07/04/156261612/a-close-look-at-frank-oceans-coming-out-letter
Just don't try to buy the album at Target; they won't be carrying it. Another homophobic gesture from another corporate giant.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

New Book From Matter Press

Hello friends. I'm delighted to announce that Matter Press
has just published my latest book, Index of Placebo Effects.
It's available for purchase right here:
http://matterpress.com/press/
We spent a long time deciding on a cover. Randall Brown
and students in the Rosemont College MFA program
created the format and book design. Thanks to all involved.













This tiny book is based on the index of my father's
co-edited anthology, The Science of the Placebo.
I selected terms from the index of his book
and used them to organize a fractured, fragmented
narrative that was originally part of a longer manuscript
titled Hand mit Ringen. While I was working on
Doll Studies: Forensics, I winnowed part of that longer
manuscript into the story of a vet returning from WWII.
It appears in Doll Studies as "Departure Lounge."
Then I worried and revised and changed the remaining
material, adding and subtracting, returning to the
original narrative: the story of two women, a plane crash,
and too many cameras. Guided at first by the NATO phonetic
alphabet, I eventually used the index of my father's book
to structure their story, which became Index of Placebo Effects.
As always, I miss my father, and wish I could share
this process with him. I suppose the path to scientific
discovery is not that different from the path to
a story: hard work and happy accidents.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Review of Doll Studies in New Pages

I was thrilled by Alyse Bensel's intelligent and creative
review of Doll Studies: Forensics for NewPages.com.
It's wonderful when a reviewer takes this much time
to meditate on a text. I feel lucky to have been read wisely.
Visit NewPages.com and Bensel's review right here:
http://www.newpages.com/bookreviews/archive/2012/08-01/#Doll-Studies-by-Carol-Guess

Interview in FlashFiction.net

Hello! I've been away from my blog for a while, but I'm back,
and happy to share this interview with you. Writer Nichole Beard
asked me some questions about teaching, writing, and community.
It's posted on FlashFiction.net, right here:
http://flashfiction.net/2012/07/-ffnet-authors-note.php


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Readings in Bellingham and Philadelphia

I'm excited to announce upcoming readings in Bellingham
and Philadelphia.
Bellingham, WA: Village Books on Wednesday, April  25
at 7pm. I'll be reading from Doll Studies: Forensics.
http://villagebooks.com/
Philadelphia: Rosemont College on Friday, April 27
at 7pm in McShain Auditorium. I'm reading with
Elizabeth Colen, Michael Martone, and Josh Weil
as part of Rosemont's Spring 2012 reading series.
http://www.rosemont.edu/calendars/detail.aspx?pageaction=VSIPublicBlock2&LinkID=972&ModuleID=72&StartDate=4/27/2012
This event is thanks in large part to Randall Brown
and his excellent publishing venture, Matter Press.
Find out more about Matter Press here:
http://matterpress.com/


Monday, March 12, 2012

New Pages Review

Thanks to Jodi Paloni for this insightful, elegant review
of Darling Endangered in New Pages:
http://www.newpages.com/bookreviews/archive/2012/03-06/#Darling-Endangered-by-Carol-Guess
It's exciting to feel read and understood.
In other news, I had to say goodbye to my
beloved dog Rainer. Here's a picture of him
with a tennis ball. I still feel him with me, very much.
He was born blind, and had epilepsy and
some form of brain damage. He was
incredibly smart and learned to work around
these disabilities in strange, brilliant ways.
For example, he could memorize the layout
of any room in seconds by sort of bumping his
way around the room deliberately, until he
understood where the furniture started and stopped.
He could only recognize the right side of the world,
not the left, but of course, if you spin to the right
hard and fast enough, you end up on the left.
He liked Johnny Cash and Mozart, but hated techno.
It's difficult to face loss fully, so I'm trying to think about
my two cats and sweet dog Cally right now. Cally
seems happy to be an only dog. She's puppyish
and playful, no longer watching out for the blind guy.
But I really miss him. He was incredibly loving and loyal.



Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Interview in the Seattle Star

I was lucky enough to be interviewed by Heather Logue
for the Seattle Star. She asked me really thoughtful,
challenging questions about using The Nutshell Studies
of Unexplained Death as the muse for Doll Studies: Forensics.
Thanks, Heather! Take a look:
http://www.seattlestar.net/2012/02/halogue/carol-guess-delves-into-doll-forensics/
And don't forget about my reading tonight at Open Books,
in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle. I'll be reading
from Doll Studies: Forensics at 7:30; the event is free
and open to the public. Here's a link to Open Books, our great
poetry bookstore, a sacred space for writers and readers alike:
http://www.openpoetrybooks.com/index.html

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Doll Studies: Forensics just released!


My new prose poetry collection Doll Studies: Forensics
has just been published by Black Lawrence Press!
You can order the book on BLP's website, at any 
independent bookstore, or on Amazon.
I'll be reading from the book in Seattle on Tuesday,
Feb. 21st at Open Books, our wonderful all-poetry
bookstore in Wallingford. The reading is free
and open to the public, and starts at 7:30pm.

Doll Studies: Forensics is based on artwork created 
by Frances Glessner Lee during the 1940's. Lee constructed 
a series of dioramas titled "The Nutshell Studies 
Of Unexplained Death." Each diorama depicts 
a crime scene, littered with clues that may be used 
to solve the crime. I developed my poems in response 
to artist Corrine May Botz's photographs of Lee's 
dioramas, as well as her research on the topic. 
Botz's website includes images from her brilliant book 
The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death:
http://www.corinnebotz.com/Corinne_May_Botz/Corinne_May_Botz.html
As always, I welcome inquiries from teachers 
and reviewers. I'm happy to send out review copies,
and to converse with instructors about ways to use
my book in the classroom. I also welcome feedback 
from readers and suggestions for my next obsession!
It was fun being in this book. I'd love to find another project
that feels similarly consuming.

Monday, January 16, 2012

wikiHow book forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press

I'm thrilled to announce that How To Feel
Confident With Your Special Talents has
been accepted for publication by Black
Lawrence Press! I co-wrote this book
with poet Daniela Olszewska, using entries
from wikiHow as our daily prompts. We
wrote every day, sending half-poems
back and forth on email, finishing each
other's work by nightfall. Titles came
directly from wikiHow: "How to Ride
an Icelandic Horse," "How to Do the Cha
Cha," "How to Stop Co-workers From
Stealing Your Food." Look for excerpts
in journals; the book will be published
in 2014. Here's a link to "How to Sneak
Your Cat Into Work (with pictures)":
http://www.wikihow.com/Sneak-Your-Cat-Into-Work

Monday, January 9, 2012

Doll Studies: Forensics available for pre-sale

My forthcoming prose poetry collection Doll Studies: Forensics
is now available for pre-sale from Black Lawrence Press:
http://www.blacklawrence.com/CarolGuess.html
I'll be reading from the book in Seattle at Open Books
on Tuesday, February 21st. Hope to see you there!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Fantastic review of Darling Endangered

It's always a gift when a stranger reads
one of my books and absolutely gets it.
Heather Seggel's lyrical review of Darling
Endangered reminded me of why I write, 
and who I'm trying to reach. Find her review,
"Prose Poems with Grit," in The Gay
and Lesbian Review Worldwide, January-
February 2012.
http://www.glreview.com/

Reading at Elliott Bay Book Company

Please join me and poet Kevin Simmonds at Elliott Bay Book
Company in Seattle on Tuesday, January 10th at 7pm.
I'll be reading from my essay collection, My Father In Water.
Kevin will be reading from his fabulous new poetry collection,  
Mad For Meat. Hope to see you there! (free and open to the public)
http://www.elliottbaybook.com/node/events/jan12/guess