Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants

Seattle can do better than this: the Woodland Park Zoo's elephants are suffering. Science, compassion, and common sense obligate us to release these amazing creatures to a sanctuary. It's difficult to face this sadness, but please take the time to view the materials on the website of the Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants. This includes a heartbreaking video of Watoto pacing in solitary confinement. 

Only by speaking in defense of animals will human cruelty toward animals ever change. There are so many options for action. Anything you can do is helpful; take even the smallest step toward change and you will have an impact. Don't be overwhelmed; single out one or two actions that you can do today.
Elephant Sanctuary: Hohenwald Tennessee
A fantastic example of this sort of small step activism is the Justice for Joseph movement that's been created around the case of Joseph, a German Shepherd found starving and neglected, tied to a tree for four years in someone's backyard in Ohio. There's a wonderful community that has formed on Facebook to rally around Joseph's recovery; happily, this community has expanded to call for justice for the many other abused and neglected dogs who deserve rescue and loving homes. It's great to read posts by people who learned about Joseph and decided to take action -- adopting a dog from a shelter, donating money or time, writing letters, making phone calls, making art. Action is one alternative to depression and every action counts in this instance.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

New Short Fiction @ Word Riot

Kelly Magee and I have a short story up on Word Riot. It's titled "With Cat," but don't think cute, think claws. We had so much fun writing our first book together that we're working on a second short story collection, tentatively titled Your Sick
Also, today I'm giving a two hour lecture on the history of 20th/21st century American feminism and the lesbian sex wars. I'm very excited. Also, I've been thinking about shunning as a form of violence, particularly among women. It seems to me that there are some very specific ways that women bully other women, and shunning/exclusion/ostracism is a common kind of casual violence, usually justified by passing public judgement, which can also be a form of violence. I know there's lots of research on this, and I'm glad someone is finally paying attention to the particular ways that women bully women (or girls bully girls). Thinking about the history of feminism, I wonder what can be done differently to balance the need for inclusion with the need for definition; the very human need for kindness/compassion with the need to express rage. I'm also excited to be reading Sarah Schulman's The Gentrification of the Mind; you might want to read it, too.

Monday, October 7, 2013

New Fiction Collection in 2015

I'm thrilled that Kelly Magee and I have a short story collection forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press in 2015. Titled With Animal, the stories focus on humans who become pregnant with animal (or non-human) babies. We've got unicorns, dragons, jellyfish, locusts, hippos, sparrows, and lots more. Individual stories have already appeared here, there, and everywhere, including Smokelong Quarterly, Heavy Feather Review, Animal Literary Magazine, and Juked. Look for stories forthcoming in Hayden's Ferry Review, Passages North, Indiana Review, Sundog Lit, Word Riot, Animals Among Us, Spittoon, and elsewhere. We're incredibly lucky to feature art by Todd Horton on the book's cover.
Art by Todd Horton
If you're in the Seattle/Bellingham/Vancouver, BC region, be sure to catch Todd's latest show at Smith &Vallee Gallery in Edison, Washington.

In other book news,  decomP magazinE features a review of F IN. Thanks to Spencer Dew for such an insightful review! And while you're thinking about animals in art, please take a minute to learn about Justice for Joseph on his Facebook page, and maybe even donate to the cause at Network for Good.