I’ll be in Los Angeles next week for the Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference. I’m still working out where I’ll be other than these times, but here is my official list!
Reading from Theater of Parts at
Milquetoast has found his way into Tropics of Meta.
a bland, timid, or ineffectual person easily dominated
from Caspar Milquetoast, character in H.T. Webster’s
The Timid Soul comic strip, 1924 to 1931
and later, Milquetoast the cockroach, purple crossdressing character in
Berkeley Breathed’s comic strips Bloom County and Outland, 1980 to 1995
And now, this.
When Milquetoast became a cockroach, he lost his mustache. He tried fulfilling this lack of apparent gender with a penchant for what he and many others understood as crossdressing, in a wig and an ugly green dress, but this became an occasional activity: the Christmas special, big fights or fancy dinners with Opus the penguin.
When Milquetoast was a man with a name given and not received, he longed for the silent middle syllable to assert itself in conversation. When given the opportunity, he pronounced it as the Spanish what or the English wuh? When folks called for Milktoast…
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Three poems from Imaginary Kansas, forthcoming from dancing girl press in spring/summer 2015 went up at Melancholy Hyperbole: Poetry About Longing on March 12. I love longing. Well, my poems love longing. Or, I’ve always said that Imaginary Kansas fragments and queers longing. So.
The micro-poems featured are “[In this one, I imagine myself as a],” “Why can’t we be married and live in the farmhouse your parents bought on a whim?,” and “Undressing in front of your photograph in the evening.” These are some of the tiniest fragments in the project and, especially in the case of “Why can’t we…” some of my (terrifying) favorites. I’m really excited by the format of Melancholy Hyperbole, which invites direct commenting from readers. What a thrill!
On Friday, we will participate in the Dirty Laundry First Friday Reception at Paulk+Co. The event features the photography of Diane Corey, community arts projects from KnoxKnowHow and Breaststrokes Knoxville, and, of course, pop-up poetry from SAFTA.
On Saturday, we will give a writing workshop at SAFTA. In Monsterworks: Hybrid Genres and Revision, we will explore collage, remix, and a little bit of book arts to revise stuck projects in any genre and to create new pieces. We did a mini-sode of the SAFTAcast to talk about the workshop and…other things. A lot of other things.
On Sunday, we will join Artress Bethany White in the SAFTA Reading Series at The Birdhouse.
This weekend is the launch of Sarah’s chapbook from Sundress Publications, Portage. My full-length collection Theater of Parts is forthcoming from Sundress in 2016. I’m so excited for this trip and to hang out with the wonderful folks of SAFTA and Knoxville!
I’m incredibly excited that my chapbook Traveling survived Thunderdome and emerged as one of five (!) winning titles. Margaret and Tess at Hyacinth Girl are wonderful to work with, and I’m so grateful to be publishing a project with a press that identifies as feminist and that encourages work from writers of all genders.
Traveling will be part of the 2015 series, along with books by Thunderdomers Neil Aitken, Jenn Blair, T.A. Noonan, Kimberly Ann Southwick, and by Pamela Taylor.
Traveling is a book that grew out of a book. I recombined the prose sequences from my full-length manuscript Theater of Parts and started sending them out as Traveling last year. The manuscript came in as a finalist and semi-finalist a few times, and I am so happy that it has found a home. I’m also really excited that my first larger publication comes from my first book. More and more, I hear of poets publishing other projects before the book they wrote first. This work represents me well, I think. I couldn’t be happier.
I’m really excited to have a poem in the latest issue of Stone Highway Review (Issue 3.3). Stone Highway is one of the first markets I ever wanted to have work in, as they started up and caught my eye right when I was starting to think about sending out work near the end of my MFA. Stone Highway is an imprint of the wonderful Sundress Publications. My poem “To the tune of waste” is in this issue; it is one of the first poems I wrote toward my chapbook manuscript Imaginary Kansas. I’m also thrilled to share journal space with the incredible Kirsten Clodfelter!
You can purchase the print issue or download a pdf here.
The Inner Loop is a new reading series that I am unabashedly thrilled about. I recently watched an episode of some house show where a woman who really, really wanted to buy a historical farmhouse left presents on the porch each morning: home-canned jam, vase of fresh-cut flowers, platter of scones. I was sort of like this with The Inner Loop, but with tweets and emailed sweet nothings about how glad I was that they decided to exist.
Despite all that, I’ll be reading there on May 13! This is their second event after an awesome debut last month. I’m performing a feat of genre switching (which just comes down to naming) and reading as a fiction writer. Sweet. I’ll read some flash fiction prose poem things.
Interested in reading for this great new series? Submit some work for a five-minute feature to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, May 13, 2014, 7:30 p.m. at:
The Madhatter in Dupont
1319 CONNECTICUT AVE NW,
WASHINGTON DC 20036
Here’s the full line-up:
Diana Smith Bolton
In bursts. With other people. Of character. In my body.
I’m a fiber artist. I sew plushies and crochet and embroider and needle felt and just about anything else. In 2012, after we graduated, Susan Falcon suggested I sew plushies as gifts for my committee. First, I sewed a Milquetoast for Michael as a going-away present. I made it in the style of Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp, the major subject of Michael’s work. And when I gave it to Michael, this little felt Milquetoast had a life. Milquetoast in Michael’s hands. Milquetoast in a Crepe Myrtle. I wrote three poems that day. And since sewing five more Milquetoasts (which I still have because Introversion), I’ve been planning to sew the rest of the characters in Theater of Parts. I have a sketchbook full of plans for plushies and embroidery hoops. Now that I’m working on the book again, I plan to sew these this summer. As soon as this semester ends, in fact. Sewing is meditative, and so is revision. So each of these characters (and their conflicts) will get some time and intention, and then I will finally figure out who gets to be satisfied, and who remains frustrated. And it will be freaking cool to have them there with me when I write.