Dear friends of the unreal — I’m cutting and pasting my newsletter so you can see for yourself all the activities that are happening in the writing life of yours truly. Please share the word about two fun classes I’m teaching for Hugo House. Thank you and HAPPY APRIL!
March was a whirlwind in Hammerland, as I revised and revised THE NOVELLA THAT I THOUGHT WAS DONE BUT WASN’T. Then I finished off my first SoCal sojourn in Riverside, with a beautiful conversation with my friend, poet and Inlandia artistic director Cati Porter. I really opened up about my relationship with realism and magical realism in both my prose and poetry practices. Cati’s questions were so thoughtful, that she got me thinking in new ways about what I’m trying to do as a writer. The audience members had some great questions and comments, and I read my favorite poem from my newish collection CITY SLICKER (can you guess which one it is? [buy it here — the perfect kooky gift for that secret city-lover in your life]).
I loved this conversation. You can watch a video of it here: https://www.facebook.com/cati.porter/videos/1408326006665470
After that convo, we both got on different planes and went soaring up to the American Writing Programs Conference in Seattle. I participated in a group reading on social justice with Cati, and incredibly gifted friends Juanita Mantz, Nikia Cheney, and James Coats. I also got to hang out with some other writing friends, whom I hadn’t seen since Covid!
Then I went back to Whidbey did laundry, and got in the car with my husband, as we drove back down the Left Coast through Oregon and beautiful Northern California. Intrepid Larry Behrendt drove us through an atmospheric river in the central coast, and managed to get sunburned charging Anderson, the electric car (the eye of the storm requires sunblock, apparently). We saw a few friends and family members, but not enough of them, as we meandered between the strange weather conditions. Once again, we were amazed by the miraculous number of climates and landscapes that the great state of California provides the viewer. From joshua trees to sequoia semper virens, we were continually awed by the natural beauty that met our eyes.
In the meantime, my two little stories made it into the Seattle Public Library story dispenser! If you can’t make it over there physically, you can read them for free here, if you haven’t already taken a look:https://lit-sea.short-edition.com/story/the-beautiful-pilot
and here. https://lit-sea.short-edition.com/story/island-story
Now, let’s talk about teaching! My latest iteration of Poe-try went like a dream and I’m so thankful to the incredible writers who joined me on that journey. Stay tuned for Poet-Try 13 coming up in 2024!
Next up are two classes that I would love for you to consider taking and/or that you would share with your writing friends who might be interested.
The first one is called THE LATE SHOW. It starts the first week of May, and I am teaching this class with my friend, the writer and painter Deborah Nedelman. Here’s the description: This supportive, welcoming generative writing class explores the crucial steps to (re)enter and maintain a writing practice at a later stage in life. We will experiment with three different genres (fiction, nonfiction, and poetry) through prompts and readings. Additionally, we will discuss effective revision techniques through workshopping and talk about publishing strategies in this age of shorter attention spans. Students will write in class and have short weekly homework writing and reading assignments.
Find out more here (note that scholarships are available if the cost seems steep)
The second one is a class that I am doing on my own and that I also love teaching! It’s called HELP, I HAVE A FEAR OF FICTION. It is a one-meeting gig on June 8th. Here is the description: Are you confused about how to “make things happen?” It’s easier than you think! This class is a three-hour playground of generative writing geared in particular to poets and nonfiction writers who want to tell a story but are terrified of things like “plot,” “action,” and something called “raising the stakes.” We’ll play with lies, write a story out of almost nothing, and experiment with magical realism. You’ll come out with a story. Maybe two!
You can find out more here (again, scholarships are available): https://hugohouse.org/product/help-i-have-a-fear-of-fiction/
What are you doing to celebrate NAPOWRIMO — national poetry writing month?
What? You’re not writing a poem a day?
But what about reading a poem a day? That’s doable. Take a look at the Poetry Foundation’s Poem a Day series: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/poem-of-the-day
Question: Do you fancy a book club devoted to magical realism and other odd literary books? If so, message me here, and I’ll talk to the Inlandia people about it.
Finally, I can share a rollicking conversation with poet/activist Gina Duran, host of THE COLLECTIVE radio show. I talk about my early childhood adventures, my love of teaching, Judaism, lgbtq identity and the crucial importance of eyeglasses. You can listen to it here: https://www.mixcloud.com/GinaDuran/the-collective-stephanie-barbé-hammer-episode-34/
Got questions about anything? Please make a comment here or write me at stephaniebarbe dot hammer at gmail. 🙂
2 thoughts on “so much going on! new classes, editing, conversations and more!”
Stephanie, my head is spinning! You are a marvel and must have ten times more energy than the “average” person. Well done! And thanks for being the stellar writer and literary citizen you are! 😽🙏🌞
Love and blessings,
thanks so much Lorna. Back at you! You’ve been running SHARK REEF for almost 25 years, and supporting all of us along the way! ❤