Dear Friends & Families,
It’s 2016! Here’s the year-end report from here.
I’m always grateful for the pretense of freshness the new year offers, but especially this year, as 2015 was somewhat shapeless and uncertain. I struggled (continue to struggle) with political depression and professional disappointment. I confronted (continue to confront) questions surrounding gender identity and embodiment, experimented with taking T, and so on. It’s been a year of deep doubt and profound introspection, a year of asking, in the words of Peggy Lee by way of PJ Harvey: is that all there is? What it is, I guess, is the first crush of midlife panic. Approaching halfway through: it’s scary, it’s predictable.
Some key moments from my 2015:
-My love Elliott passed in late January. ❤
-Spring’s a blur. I went to &NOW, AWP. Finished up my first year at Beloit. Now I’m in my second year teaching in the English Department there. Reports from the semester TK.
-In October I participated in the Devil’s Kitchen Literary Festival as the 2015 Fiction Award Winner, alongside David Tomas Martinez (in poetry) and Ben Tanzer (CNF). Thanks to Jon Tribble and Allison Joseph for bringing me to Carbondale and showing me such a fine time, and to the students at Grassroots who picked my book! It was esp. affirming to learn my book was selected by undergraduates. (Mom says my work is not accessible.)
-Also in October, I contributed to Platforms, a series of events celebrating ten years of Chances Dances, a Chicago organization devoted to building queer community through art and nightlife. Chicago is really where I came into queerness and it’s the place I think about when I think about queer community; I was honored to be invited to contribute an essay for the exhibition catalogue and read at one of the events.
-Incoming for 2016! My chapbook The Feels is forthcoming in the spring from Black Warrior Review. The Feels is a collection of writing that takes up fan fiction as a genre that feels. The manuscript developed out of a Mellon Workshop on fan fiction and affect theory that I led at UW Madison in December 2014. I’m stoked it has found a home at BWR.
-I’ve started contributing book reviews for Our Lives, Madison’s LGBTQ magazine. First up is Mecca Jamilah Sullivan’s debut collection Blue Talk & Love—my review forthcoming in the March issue is all enthusiasm.
-& I’m looking forward to AWP in Los Angeles, where I’ll be appearing on a panel with Mecca Jamilah Sullivan, Amber Dawn, Tom Cho, and Tim Jones-Yelvington, among other excitements.
-& in brief: I went to my first WisCon (annual feminist scifi convention in Madison–so fun and inspiring!); saw the the publication of The &NOW Awards 3: The Best Innovative Writing; deepened a number of important friendships, especially in my local community; wrote several new short stories; gave up on my novel (for now); did a lot of dancing, a lot of dyke volleyball, a lot of moving, a lot of exercise; and I read a ton, the majority written by people I know and respect and admire, people who move me again and again. Probably you’re one of them. Keep it coming: the art, the action, the caring, the smarts, the pursuits of change and uncomfortable and difficult desires. If that’s all there is (you know how it goes) … let’s keep dancing.
xoxo & hope to hear from you soon