Workshops & Retreats

Hi friends! We wrapped our third 2021 Bending Genres weekend workshop with Freesia McKee on March 19- 21. Her course, “Crustacean Adaptation: Writing Hermit Crab Forms” was so much fun! Many of the writers wrote abstract and unusual pieces. What I love so much about these weekends is the freedom to take off, try new ideas and forms, and this weekend did not disappoint. Thanks, Freesia and participants. Also Meg for producing, and Corey for the IT support. Next, in April, we welcome Wendy Oleson back. She will be teaching “Big Characters.” More information here:

https://bendinggenres.com/writing-groups/

Meg Tuite and I have made our deposits for our two week long Bending Genres 2021 Retreats. Our dates are August 24- 30 at Synergia Ranch, in Santa Fe: and September 11- 17 at Cedar Valley in Wisconsin. We have already approached the writers who were all set for our 2020 retreats before the pandemic hit. We had to cancel both last year. Our hopes are that with vaccinations picking up speed, and Meg already received hers; I have my first shot on Monday, March 29. These spots are going to go quickly. There is more information on our website:

https://bendinggenres.com/retreats/

Our next issue of Bending Genres Journal, March/ April will be forthcoming on April 6. It’s going to be fantastic!

Been reading a lot of good books lately: David Tromblay’s As You Were; Nicholas Jennings Lightfoot; Jess Bruder’s Nomadland, and William Walsh’s forty-five american boys. What are you reading? Would you recommend it?

A Couple of Busy Weeks

Two weeks ago, from Wednesday, March 3 through Sunday, March 7, my company, Bending Genres was a sponsor of an event called @SMOLfair. It was complete great fortune that I came across this event online, in lieu of not attending my first AWP in ten years. Six writers got together (I knew 1/2 of them) and decided to host an alternative to AWP, even though both were to be held virtually. I reached out to Jason Teal, EIC of Heavy Feather Review on TW: “Is there still time to get Bending Genres involved?” Jason said, “SURE! Here is what you need to do,” and he put me in contact with Jesi Bender, EIC of whiskeytitbooks. She got immediately back to me, and Bending Genres was added to the virtual BookFair! Then, through several conversations with Meg, and Adam and many others on our team, we created a flyer:

https://twitter.com/rgvaughan/status/1367845506299363329/photo/1

And decided to host our very first Bending Genres reading, Friday, March 5 at 9:00 pm EST.

Dominique Christina was our featured reader. She transformed the entire zoom room of all 60 of us!!! DC read three fearless, gut-wrenching poems.

Aimee Parkison read “The Renovation,” a fantastic flash piece!

And Sara Lippmann pinch-hit well beyond the park, reading “Neighbors,” from her upcoming collection, JERKS.

Three fantastic bending poems were shared by Despy Boutris.

Kaj Tanaka read a sad, hilarious, dark flash piece.
Tommy Dean read his stormy flash. Everyone was mesmerized.
Kim Magowan read her exceptional flash piece, “Rascaly Rabbit.”
Nancy Stohlman read her exotic and enthralling flash, “The Butterfly Children.”

We also had four OPEN MIKE readers and all were exceptional: Kona Morris, Ben Woodard, David Byron Queen, and Rogan Kelly. OH WHAT A NIGHT!!!

In addition, we gave away Bending Genres merch: John Steines won a BG mug! Victoria Buitron won our BG journal, pen and bookmark! Yunya Yang won our BG Anthology! Brittany Terwilliger won our Ron Kibble tee! Jason Teal won our BG Logo tee! And our GRAND PRIZE was the winner gets to select his/her free Bending Genres weekend workshop. Amy Q. Scott took that prize.

I want to thank Meg Tuite for co-hosting, and helping to envision and make this event happen. Also, to the readers and guests who made that Friday reading so spectacular! And to SMOLfair for providing the backdrop and support.

Two more things: Bending Genres found out recently that Leah Christianson has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize for her “Strawberry Jackknife” which we published in Nov/Dec 2020, Issue 18: https://bendinggenres.com/strawberry-jackknife/ Huge Congratulations, Leah! We are rooting for you.

And on a personal note, on March 1, I sent my latest manuscript to a publisher. Fingers and toes crossed. It’s a good month. Hope yours has been the same.