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:
and following news here:
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.
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.

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
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:
And this is Frank Ocean's poetic letter about his male muse:
And this is an examination of his letter's complexity:
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:
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
It's wonderful when a reviewer takes this much time
to meditate on a text. I feel lucky to have been read wisely.
Visit and Bensel's review right here:

Interview in

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, right here: