Thursday, July 31, 2014

New Book! How To Feel Confident With Your Special Talents

It's here! Daniela Olszewska and I are proud to announce our book baby: a collection of poems based on wikiHow entries. How to Feel Confident with Your Special Talents is available from Black Lawrence Press, with a beautiful cover by Corinne May Botz. As always, I'm happy to give readings and interviews; send out review copies; and correspond with students if you choose to assign my book in your classroom. Daniela and I had a great time reading in Palo Alto, and we'd love to hear from the authors of the original wikiHow entries if you stumble on our work. 

In these miniature mock instruction manuals, lyric poetry meets wiki, 
generating wickedly funny prose poems based on the website wikiHow.

New Short Fiction & Interview

I'm delighted to be included in the most recent issue of The Ilanot Review, which focuses on the theme of conflict. Here's my collaborative short story, "Damage Control," co-written with Kelly Magee. 
I'm also happy to be featured on the Indiana Review blog. Here's an interview about writing and publishing conducted by Joy Travis, which also serves as a reminder that I'm judging Indiana Review's Half-K Prize. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Video: wikiHow Reading @ wikiHaus!

When Daniela Olszewska and I began writing our wikiHow poems a few years ago, we never expected to be invited to wikiHow Headquarters to read from our work.
But the folks at wikiHow were curious about How to Feel Confident with Your Special Talents, and of course, we were excited to meet the people who write, edit, program, design, and envision all of the fascinating articles that make up this ever-changing encyclopedia of knowledge and culture. Yesterday we met up in Palo Alto, where Daniela slurped soup in a vegan cafe, and we decided which poems to share with the crew. Check out our reading on YouTube, here.
While we were snapping photos of the house that houses headquarters, we spotted Kermit the Dog. 
Then we ate pizza, and Jack introduced us. A very good time was had by all. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

New Story: With Hippo

Kelly Magee and I have a new short story, "With Hippo," in the latest edition of Storm Cellar. Enjoy!

Seattle Action for Elephants!

On Friday, July 25th there will be a request for summary judgment for the lawsuit Fortgang v. Woodland Park Zoo. This lawsuit is an attempt by Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants to hold the Seattle Zoo accountable for providing basic financial and animal welfare information about its treatment of the elephants in its care. Animal advocates are welcome to attend this public event. Let's fill the courtroom with elephant advocates!
What: Request for summary judgment for Fortgang v. Woodland Park Zoo
When: Friday, July 25th, 2014 at 1:30pm
Where: King County Superior Court. 516 Third Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104
Honorable Judge Jean Rietschel’s courtroom.

Friday, July 18, 2014

How to Feel Confident with Your Special Talents

Do you have a special talent? I bet you do! As my third grade music teacher said when he made me a listener, "Everyone has a special talent, Carol Ann. Yours is listening." Ah, the good old days, when my only sin was singing Shenandoah off key. But poems sing, and giving advice can be a talent, and the good folks at wikiHow have created a forum where you can learn how to do almost anything. In the spirit of wikiHow, Daniela Olszewska and I collaborated on a book of poems based on wikiHow entries. Each title is taken directly from a wikiHow article; from there we went rogue, imagining warped worlds' worth of wicked advice. This is our special talent, and the result is How to Feel Confident with Your Special Talents, just out from Black Lawrence Press, with beautiful cover art from Corinne May Botz.

Steven Wise: Op-Doc video and Colbert Report

I have such admiration for Steven Wise and the work of the Nonhuman Rights Project. Take a few minutes to watch this stirring op-doc, adapted from a forthcoming feature-length documentary called Unlocking the Cage, created by filmmakers Chris Hegedus and D. A. Pennebaker. You can also find Steven Wise on the Colbert Report.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Elephants Suffer at the Woodland Park Zoo

On July 14th I participated in a peaceful demonstration against the Woodland Park Zoo at a Seattle City Council meeting. Although the City Council refused to allow us to speak, we were able to generate thoughtful publicity for the plight of elephants suffering in damaging conditions in Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo. 
These elephants deserve better; all of them deserve to be retired to a sanctuary. Moreover, the zoo is about to move one of the elephants, Watoto, to another zoo with similarly poor conditions for elephant health and well-being. Our question: since WPZ is moving Watoto anyway, why not transport this elephant to a sanctuary for starters? You can find more information about this issue on the website Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants. Also, on The Dodo today, there's a heartbreaking story about the death of a captive elephant that really highlights the importance of taking action on this issue now, before the WPZ elephants die in a heartbreakingly stressful environment. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Interview: With Animal at Hothouse Magazine

Sometimes someone's generosity just blows me away. Karin C. Davidson took so much time and energy with this interview, reading most of With Animal and crafting detailed questions for me and Kelly Magee about our writing process. Read it here at Hothouse Magazine. She also contacted Todd Horton, our cover artist, and highlighted his art throughout the interview. 
Todd Horton
This is a wonderful interview, and speaks to the process of collaboration, as well as lyrical fiction and non-human animal studies. Enjoy! With Animal will be published by Black Lawrence Press in 2015.  
"Together" - Todd Horton
"Standing Outside One's Own Dream" - Todd Horton

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Contest @ Indiana Review!

Do you have a stunningly good piece of writing under 500 words? Something you're totally excited about? Want to show it off? To me? Indiana Review is running a contest called the "Half-K Prize" and I'm the 2014 judge. Guidelines live here. There's lots of room for whatever craziness you concoct, so send me your best work. Of course, as with any meaningful and fair contest, you can't enter if you're "currently or recently affiliated with Indiana University or the prize judge." While you're thinking about what to send, check out Indiana Review's summer 2014 issue, which includes a short story I co-wrote with Kelly Magee titled "With Fox."