The Carve Magazine Esoteric Award: This year's theme was LGBTQ. I found out Thursday morning that my story, "Angels," was one of four winners. This is huge for me. Not long ago, I told Georgia that I really wanted to win a queer award soon. As someone whose first book is maybe two-thirds queer, this is nice recognition, a reminder, and acknowledgement.
|my very first MR|
So, before I knew I'd been included, I grabbed my old grad school friend, Barrett Bowlin, editor now of Memorious, and told him to come with me, because if I wasn't in it, tears were imminent. Barrett's tough. He's a dad and a husband. He's seen some tears. When we got to the MR table, though, editor Elizabeth Wagner handed me a copy. Take one, she said. You're in it.
No tears. In fact, it was much the opposite. This is a huge anthology, and tremendous company: Margaret Atwood, Joyce Carol Oates, Raymond Carver, Rick Moody, Amy Hempel . . . to name just a few. MR's been a huge part of my writing life, so it's great to see Rick's tenure there properly recognized, and compiled into such a beautiful book.
Ocean State Review. A day after the MR 30 and "Angels" flurry, I walked over to the Barrow Street table, to see if the new Ocean State Review was out, and they were handing out flyers of recent contributors. My name was on it. I grabbed it. Wait, I said. Wait.
I just about drove the intern crazy.
Um, that's me, I said.
Oh, he said. No one told you?
We went back and forth. Apparently, not only had they accepted my story, "Knoxville," but there was, as editor Peter Covino said, a buzz about it.
This story had come close -- been named a finalist -- the year before at American Short Fiction, but ultimately lost. It's a hard story, one I worked on for over a year, hammering through the old song, Knoxville Girl -- a murder ballad so old, no one knows its exact origins -- and fleshing out the boy, Will, and the poor roving eyed girl, only to kill her all over. I love this story. It's violent, and terrible. Biblical and trashy.
Needless to say, I was thrilled.
|What are you? Fiction or poetry?|
In the meantime, I'll be home in my own lace tights, trying to catch up on writing. Of all the pins and stickers handed out at book fair tables -- including my usual favorite Lets Make Out -- there was one that simply said, Remember who you wanted to be. That's always the benefit of AWP for me.