Monday, September 30, 2013

Troubling The Line (new Trans and Genderqueer anthology)

I'm thrilled to be teaching Troubling The Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics in my Queer Studies class this quarter!
From Nightboat Books' website:

The first-ever collection of poetry by trans and genderqueer writers.
The first of its kind, Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics, gathers together a diverse range of 55 poets with varying aesthetics and backgrounds. In addition to generous samples of poetry by each trans writer, the book also includes “poetics statements”—reflections by each poet that provide context for their work covering a range of issues from identification and embodiment to language and activism.
Poets in Troubling the Line: Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhrán, Aimee Herman, Amir Rabiyah, Ari Banias, Ariel Goldberg, Bo Luengsuraswat, CAConrad, Ching-In Chen, Cole Krawitz, D’Lo, David Wolach, Dawn Lundy Martin, Drew Krewer, Duriel E. Harris, EC Crandall, Eileen Myles, Eli Clare, Ely Shipley, Emerson Whitney, Eric Karin, Fabian Romero, Gr Keer, HR Hegnauer, J. Rice, j/j hastain, Jaime Shearn Coan, Jake Pam Dick, Jen (Jay) Besemer, Jenny Johnson, John Wieners, Joy Ladin, Julian Talamantez Brolaski, kari edwards, Kit Yan, Laura Neuman, Lilith Latini, Lizz Bronson, Lori Selke, Max Wolf Valerio, Meg Day, Micha Cárdenas, Monica / Nico Peck, Natro, Oliver Bendorf, Reba Overkill, Samuel Ace, Stacey Waite, Stephen Burt, TC Tolbert, Tim Trace Peterson, Trish Salah, TT Jax, Y. Madrone, Yosmay del Mazo & Zoe Tuck

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Top Ten Reasons To Earn An MFA in Creative Writing from WWU

Top Ten Reasons to Earn an MFA in Creative Writing or an MA in English Studies from Western Washington University
1. We are a small program, where you will receive individual attention for your particular passions and goals. 

2. We offer thorough preparation for your future, whatever your destination: future graduate study; a teaching job; personal enrichment; or a career in professional writing and editing. 

3. We offer paid Graduate Assistantship positions, where graduate students receive intensive training within our renowned First-Year Composition program or gain experience by serving as assistants to professors in literature classes. 

4. We are proud of our award-winning graduate faculty members who are dedicated to teaching, scholarship, and creative work. Our faculty have received the highest teaching awards offered by the University. They have also received NEA and NEH awards, Pushcart Prizes, Fulbright scholarships, as well published a wide range of creative and critical work. 

5. We foster close working relationships between faculty and graduate students, with seminars limited to twelve graduate students, as well as small, customized advisory committees for exams and theses. Every year we offer a diverse range of seminar topics in national and global literatures, creative writing, composition and rhetoric, cultural studies, film studies, linguistics, literary theory, and pedagogy. 

6. Many of our students have gone on to receive critical acclaim in their work, including a Lambda Literary Award winner and a best-selling novelist. Many students have gone on to further graduate study with full fellowships at prestigious research and teaching universities, while many others have received tenure-track teaching appointments at community colleges around the region and the nation. Still other graduates are successfully employed as technical writers for major companies, and others have chosen to teach in the public schools. 

7. We foster close working relationships with your peers. We are a cohort program, so you will develop genuine community as you move through the two-year program together. 

8. We offer opportunities to work on the award-winning literary journal Bellingham Review: from a paid Managing Editor position, to volunteer genre editors and readers. 

9. You will live in one of the most beautiful places on earth—with Mt. Baker to the east, the San Juan Islands to the west, British Columbia to the north, and Seattle to the south. 

10. You will enjoy living in the “city of subdued excitement,” a small town on Bellingham Bay that has excellent film, theater, music, restaurants, lakes, and hiking trails. For less subdued excitement, Seattle and Vancouver are within easy driving distance! 

For even more reasons, visit the WWU English Dept. website:

Or contact Dr. Brenda Miller,, 360-650-3242

Seattle Reading Update / Call for Submissions

Hi friends. Unfortunately it looks like Kristina Marie Darling won't be able to fly out to Seattle for our upcoming reading at Open Books. So please note that her WWU reading is canceled due to An Injury Involving The Feet. I'll be reading solo from X Marks The Dress: A Registry at Open Books on Friday, October 11th at 7:30pm. This event is free and open to the public. Teachers: please note that I'm happy to correspond with you and your students about my books, so consider adding this text to your reading lists for poetry, prose poetry, hybrid texts, and Queer Studies. Kristina: please note that you will be missed! Open Books is in Seattle's Wallingford neighborhood: 2414 North 45th Street. It feels like heaven, because both heaven and hell are lined with words. 

Also, the After Coetzee Project has created a fabulous call for submissions of short fiction for a print anthology. Here's the call, which I'm pasting from Christiane Bailey's blog: 

The After Coetzee Project: A Call for Short Fiction

Deadline to Submit: December 1, 2013

Until Disgrace, The Lives of Animals, and Elizabeth Costello and other works by J.M. Coetzee, nonhuman animals figured in contemporary fiction primarily as metaphor, allegory, and objects of blood sport. Their worlds — their lives — had been elided. Coetzee’s work prepared the ground for the animal subject to reemerge in fiction*. The After Coetzee Project picks up from there.
The After Coetzee Project seeks short story submissions of up to twenty-five double-spaced pages for a print anthology. We seek stories that explore the worlds animals inhabit; depict non-dominion-based relationships between humans and nonhuman animals; deflate speciesist paradigms; enact the dismantlement of technologies of slaughter and confinement; and etc. So many possibilities exist for reimagining and reinviting animals back into the fictional space.
Because the namesake of Elizabeth Costello lectured so compellingly about nonhuman animals, it might be tempting to interpret these guidelines as inviting sentimentality and bald polemics. But if Coetzee’s work prepared the ground for the animal subject to reemerge, The After Coetzee Project wants fiction that engages those animal subjects. Stories that merely talk about animals — even those that feature virtuous activists “saving” them — would likely read as regressive.
Having said all that, we want to be careful to note that there always exceptions; convince us. In the short story The Transfiguration of Maria Luisa Ortega, for instance, animals are symbolic, but they are symbolic in a parable that’s about rejecting pillars of Western thought — science and religion — in favor of the nonhuman.
Above all, TACP seeks stories of nuance and depth. Moments of unbridled beauty and levity as well as moments of gravity and pathos. And innovation — all kinds of fictional approaches are welcome, but especially variants of weird fiction and hybrid narratives (e.g., Hilary Mantel’s French-Revolution novel A Place of Greater Safety). We look forward to your amazing forays into this terrain.
Please submit stories as attachments to and include a short bio in the body of the email.
*There are exceptions here and there. But Coetzee’s work sustains themes about the importance of nonhuman animals, both as subjects-in-themselves and as beings with whom we are interrelated.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Western Washington University's new MFA in Creative Writing

I'm happy to announce that Western Washington University now offers the MFA in Creative Writing. Our program emphasizes hybrid forms. We teach innovative workshops and foster a supportive community. It's a two year residential program with teaching fellowships available for our graduate students. Our faculty:
Bruce Beasley
Oliver de la Paz
Carol Guess
Kristiana Kahakauwila
Kelly Magee
Brenda Miller
Suzanne Paola
Kathryn Trueblood
Also, we live here:

Seattle Reading October 11th

I'm reading with Kristina Marie Darling at Open Books in Seattle on Friday, October 11th, 2013 at 7:30pm. We're excited to meet in person for the first time and read together from X Marks The Dress: A Registry. Please join us at Open Books, Seattle's only all-poetry bookstore, one of the most beautiful rooms I've ever seen:
Kristina will also be reading from her solo work at Western Washington University on Thursday, October 10th at 4:30pm in Haggard Hall 153. Both events are free and open to the public. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

New collaborations in Banango Street

Kristina Marie Darling and I have collaborative work in issue 5 of Banango Street. It's a fabulous issue, full of poets I admire. I'm honored to be included.
Art by Will McEvilly
Also, photographer Holly Andres has an exhibit forthcoming in Seattle at the Photo Center NW. Titled "The Homecoming," it's showing Oct. 24 - Dec. 15, 2013.
Holly Andres, Anna’s Birthday Party
Finally, although I think Breaking Bad is brilliant (up there with The Wire on my list of favorites), I don't have a TV and haven't yet seen the new season. Please don't spoil it! Also, I am so jealous that real live science professors get to be consultants on the show. When do I get to be a consultant? When is someone going to write a fabulous show about wayward academics in an English Department at a small state school? When will television ask me how it feels when someone disrespects Robert's Rules of Order? Or when a student won't stop texting during lecture? Or when the state budget for education is so tiny that we're forced to steal free pens from the credit union?
I know, Walt. Sometimes no one is paying attention so you have to set things on fire. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Animals In Art

Kelly Magee and I are pondering the art we'd like to use for the cover of our forthcoming short story collection, With Animal (Black Lawrence Press, 2015). Right now (and always) I'm obsessed with Todd Horton's animals -- foxes, bears, deer, and birds that feel simultaneously alive and mythical. 
Todd Horton
His art means even more set against the backdrop of Washington's Skagit Valley, home to the tiny town of Bow-Edison, with its sweet single street of commerce and community, bordered by two or three blocks of houses and miles of fields. 
Tweets = delicious

Friday, September 13, 2013

What I'm Listening To

Because poetry, dancing, activism, storytelling, and hope all come together so beautifully in Janelle Monáe's linked musical sequences. Because of the footwork in Tightrope and the anti-establishment vision of Q.U.E.E.N. Because I'm about to start teaching again, and I'm reminded that my students look to (liberatory) pop culture to teach them to resist the negative messages that (repressive) pop culture sends. Because the assimilationist focus of the contemporary GLBT movement is limiting and privilege-bound. Because I'm interested in art that sends a message without feeling didactic. Because if I hear or see Blurred Lines one more time, I'm going to scream. Because criticizing culture isn't as interesting as making it new.

New poems! New story!

Hi friends. Lots of new work to share! Kristina Marie Darling and I have a collaborative poem in the August/September 2013 issue of Shelf Unbound. "Flowers Pressed In A Book" appears on page 62. It's taken from our collaborative book X Marks The Dress: A Registry, which describes a faux wedding registry. Another collaborative poem, "3-Tiered Steamer," appeared on Verse Daily today. Sadly, D. Bruce Hanes has been barred from issuing any more same-sex marriage licenses in PA, while Batwoman's marriage to Maggie Sawyer 

via Jezebel
has also been called off (and the creative team of J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman quit in protest). In much happier news, Autostraddle is throwing a bake sale,
Graphic by Geneva Armstrong via Autostraddle
Orange is the New Black exists (THANK YOU FOR HOT, FUNNY, FEMINIST TV), 
and Writer's Digest interviewed me and Kristina about our book; thanks Robert Brewer! Finally, raccoons. They're here, there, and everywhere. For real. A few months ago, raccoons took up residence in a 150 foot tower crane in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle (ie where I lived at the time). Then the feisty creatures disappeared without a trace. Kelly Magee and I couldn't resist writing a story about raccoons for our collection With Animal (Black Lawrence Press, 2015). It's called "With Raccoon" and it lives here, in Animal Literary Magazine. 

(Also, we blame the typo on the raccoons. They steal C's and eat them. In fact it is possible to spell raccoon with only one C, but as a C name myself, I prefer two.)
Raccoons via