This week I had the pleasure of visiting Whitman College and viewing their Studio Art Faculty Exhibition. I'm excited to be collaborating with sculptor M Acuff on an image/text sequence (as yet untitled), and inspired by new work, including installations by Maria Lux and unfolding books by Nicole Pietrantoni. The exhibit is housed in the Sheehan Gallery, 814 E. Isaacs Ave., on the college campus through April 6, 2018.
Aimee Parkison and I recently finished our collaborative short story manuscript, Girl Zoo. We're in the process of revising the stories to create a coherent text. Each story describes a woman or girl confined or held captive. Taken as a whole, the stories invite parallels to social justice movements focused on sexuality and gender, as well as cautionary tales for our precarious political moment. Look for selections from the manuscript in future issues of Bennington Review and Winter Tangerine.
Coming in August 2018: True Ash, a short story collection co-written with Elizabeth J. Colen, to be published by Black Lawrence Press with cover art by Corinne Botz.
I'm making progress on both VORC, my solo prose poetry collection, and Mock City, my solo short fiction collection. Best of all, the two manuscripts are speaking to each other, and I find myself writing hybrid pieces that tie the two collections together, unraveling the boundaries between personal and political histories, situating both in the context of the current American political crisis. Lost in poems and stories, I'm having trouble sleeping because there aren't enough hours in the day or night to collect the words that hover in corners.
Finally, performance art: as part of my ongoing Performance of Privacy (a performance art piece in which I choose who sees and knows things happening in my life), I'm no longer engaging with Facebook. This seems to disturb people, but I assure you I'm thriving through live interactions with human beings, text-based communication, and contemplative practices such as reading, walking, yoga, and tossing a ball for my dog. As I pay closer attention to faces, words, and landscapes around me, I find that privacy is a resilient practice with permeable boundaries, delicately poised within, rather than in opposition to, political and cultural narratives of resistance. I consider my reclaimed privacy part of my writing practice, integral to my imagination, and to the elegantly mysterious aesthetic of layering prose blocks to create fractured, fragmented texts.
I'd love to hear from you about what you're working on. If we're too far apart for a cup of coffee, drop me a note via text or email: carolannguess (at) gmail (dot) com
Love and courage,
|M Acuff, Grid/Grave|