• School’s Out and I’m California Bound

    First things first!

    New poems (REM,” “Magadalene,” and “Drought”) are up over at Neon Literary Magazine! The REM poem coincides with the dream map that I created in Rikki Ducornet’s class back in the day. And “Magdalene” comes from the liturgical poetry series I’ve been writing. 

    Also, I’ve a brand-spanking new article on the glorious work of Michael Rees over at Weird Fiction Review (Of Men and Monsters and the Wondrous Things In Between). Rees’ 3-D animations consist of surreal hybrids that come to creepy life. 

    dress 4

    As of this week, I finished teaching my final full year at the University of Colorado. To celebrate,  dress 2I decided to take a trip up the west coast, first to see my aunt in San Diego.  Then it is on to Los Angeles on the 11/12 to finally meet the most talented Laurie Lipton (after “knowing” each other for years online) and do some gallery hopping for future Weird Fiction Review articles. Sunday night I get to watch an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere with the most awesome John Remy and Tracie Weisler and a whole merry gang of folk.

    There will also be hard-core beach time, of course, as I am from a land-locked state, and need to see the ocean at least once a year. On the 14th, I’ll drive up to San Francisco and finally do some sight seeing (which I didn’t get to do at the last World Fantasy in San Jose). Also, there is the wonderful Jen Heddle to say hi to, Megan Kurashige to grab drinks with, and general carousing to do with David Edison and possibly Blake Charlton.

    On Thursday, it’s off to the Nebula Awards weekend. Hoping to say hi to as many of my writer, art, and ex-student peeps as I can, so let me know if you’re in town! Also, you’ll get to see me in many colorful sundresses, but that is another blog post altogether.

    After the CA trip, I’m going to WisCon (May 23-27), where I’ll read a story at the Oxford Comma Bonfire on Fri, 9-10:15 at Michelangelos. Then I get to deliver a poem at the Open Secrets poetry reading at 2:30pm on Saturday at Senate B. This will be my first Wiscon, and I am excited to be staying with my Wonder Twin Sofia Samatar (whose Stranger in Olondria just came out!). And then, and then—NYC in July! But more on that later. 

    Ah, me it’s looking to be a very exciting summer, no?

  • Beautiful Monsters

    cover-art-by-siolo-thompson3.jpgI start teaching again in a few days, and there is already too much to do! But oh, wonderful readers and teachers and writers and artists, I’ve got plenty of visual delights for you while keeping you updated on book news, reviews, and interviews soon to appear.

    First lovely thing: I caught a glimpse of my book cover by the wonderful Siolo Thompson, a fine artist who lives in Seattle. This is a portrait of the amazing Morgan, one of the fiercest water spirits that you get to meet in Elementarí Rising.  I hope to have a book trailer done by May that I can post here as well.

    SpellwrightSpeaking of epic fantasy, I get the chance to interview the fabulous Blake Charlton for Fantasy Matters and will be reviewing his novel Spellwright. I wish I could make every student who has struggled with writing read this book. There is something so lovely about watching the magical way that actual words come alive and erupt from the very sinews of the body in this story.

    Since you will have to wait a couple of weeks for that interview to Neil G. Interviewappear, I’m making it up to you by giving you an interview with Neil Gaiman, now out in Origin Magazine. You can purchase a print copy at most Whole Foods or Barnes and Noble, or get a digital version of the January/February issue here. Neil talks about Twitter, social media, the audio adaptation of Neverwhere, and the influence of Joel Peter Witkin. Go. Get. It.

    For Weird Fiction Review, I’ll be writing on two fabulous artists: Digital artist and sculptor Micheal Rees and Jessica Joslin, a brass and bone sculptor. Articles will go live on the 15th and 29th. Watch the video! 

    8 Legs from Michael Rees on Vimeo.

  • A Very Dangerous Tea and Other Adventures

    December started out in fine form, since I had three poems (based on Biblical stories) published in Danse Macabre, which you can read here. I also had a poem,Tamar, published in Strange Horizons in November (and another will soon be published there as well). I have a full manuscript of these strange little snippets that I started while writing liturgy for a local church. Hopefully, I’ll get more of them published.

    Now, about my NYC adventures! I didn’t post much last month since I got horribly sick during my Boston stay, but I will say that my lecture on Fairy Tales and Art went over swimmingly well in Dora Goss’s Fairy Tales and Literature class at Boston University. It was an excellent time, and Dora’s students had really insightful responses to the artwork. If you have not checked out Dora’s amazing short stories or novella, you need to.

    dangerous tea

    Rachel Boyadjis, Valya Dudycz Lupescu, me, and Rita J. King

    I recovered a bit in between visits and came back to NYC this past week in order to attend one Dangerous Tea, the brainchild of Valya Dudycz Lupescu and I on a twitter exchange late one night.  We hadn’t met yet, but wanted to, and also wanted  to connect other writers and artists. On December 16th, ten women (dressed dangerously) gathered in Cynthia Von Buhler’s gorgeous home, Archipelago. It was a night of getting to know one another sharing stories, tea cups, talking about creative processes, and generally having the best time. There were live doves, of course, which added tothe doves the rather magical atmosphere–between the stories and candlelight and these beautiful creatures, I was transported out of NYC and into some mythical place of words and light. The other women there were Rita J. King, EVP of Business Development at Science House; Jennifer Summerfield (aka Trillian Stars), a wonderful actress; Janice Cable, a “wine fabulist” and writer who had me smiling throughout her entire reading; the gorgeous Katelan Foisy, who inherited my tea cup with all its dark history. Dora and Valya were there, as well as my friend Ilana Teitelbaum Reichert, fantasy writer and Huffington dangerous tea, mePost blogger; Rachel Boyadjis, aerial performer, writer, and assistant to Cynthia; and Stefania Carrozzini, owner of I AM (International Art Media). I dressed up in dangerous heels for the night (which were also the most comfortable heels ever–go figure). For more pictures from the night, look up #dangeroustea on Twitter, and you’ll see us in masks and our dangerous dresses. Cynthia was a wonderful host, and if you’ve not checked out her Speakeasy Dollhouse, then you really should (I wrote a review of it here). We missed having Maria Dahvana Headley (who let Dora and I crash at her place while she was in Europe), but there will be more NYC gatherings in the future!

    It was also a great time reconnecting with artist Carla Gannis, and meeting Art Critical editor David Cohen. Carla and I are notorious for our dancing nights during Armory Arts weeks, and I admire her work that delves into the New Aesthetic. Dora and I had fun running around NYC, having lunch with the ever delightful Ellen Datlow and other peeps. We ended our trip by going to a reading at KGB Bar to hear Mary Robinette Kowal and Ben Loory read and watch one of Mary’s puppet shows. Dinner afterwards was a hoot, as I got to sit next to the very entertaining Jennifer Jackson. I left NYC by way of Philadelphia, where I got to hang again with Jennifer Summerfield and her husband Kyle Cassidy.

    And what else can I say? You can see, perhaps, why I go back to NYC as often as I can. Every trip is an adventure, an education, and re-connection to all the different, glorious tribes I belong to.

  • Ray Caesar’s Uncanny Beauties

    Ray Caesar, First of Days, 2004

    If you have not had the lucky chance to view Ray Caesar’s work before, now might be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for. A new exhibition, “Miles to Go Before I Sleep,” with Gottfried Helnwein, Catherine Howe, and Anita Kunzwill be shown at Gallery House, in Toronto, Canada, beginning November 29th. I have written on Caesar’s work before both at Weird Fiction Review and Fantasy Matters. If you find his work beautiful, entrancing, and disturbing, then I believe you’re experiencing the wonders of the grotesque. Here are a few sneak previews of the show. All images used courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House.

    Ray Caesar, The Manager, 2012


    Ray Caesar, Kitten, 2003
  • Big News

    First, the big news (why keep you all waiting?): I finally get to announce that my fantasy novel, Elementari Rising, will be published by Pink Narcissus Press in 2014. I am so excited that this manuscript I’ve worked on for so long is going to be a book! If you want to check out the prologue, go visit my website (it will be up soon). You can also see what short stories I’ve published lately under the News section (with links to the stories).

    It’s been a while since I posted, I know, and that is only because of one insane semester. I traveled to NYC in September to give a talk on the grotesque at William Paterson University, and then came back and worked furiously to get Paul D. Miller to come to the CU campus in the Spring. And in a few days, I’m hopping another plane to give a lecture on fairy tales and art in Theodora Goss’s Fairytales and Literature class at Boston University. Then I’ll pop over to NYC to attend exhibits and finally go to the Quay Brothers retrospective at the MOMA.

    And there’s a new issue of Origin Magazine that has my interview with China Miéville, wherein he discusses, art, politics, and of course, the fantastic in literature. You can pick up a copy at your local Whole Foods or Barnes and Noble.

    And keep an eye out for two poems of mine that I believe will be appear in Strange Horizions this month.

  • The Monstrous in Art–and My Fiction

    This will be a shortish post, but check back more often, since I plan on changing the nature of the blog to feature more artists and not just news about my latest articles and fiction.

    But first, here is my Weird Fiction Review article on the amazing sculpture artist Patricia Piccinini. Her work rides the in-between of nature and nurture and playfully questions the role of bioethics in our society. 

    Also, my story, “The Mummer’s Dance,” is up at Red Fez. The last quote marks were lost, but I think you can still track with it.

    I will be in NYC from September 26-October 1st to give a lecture about the grotesque in art, and also the role of social media in art today, so do contact me if you’re in the area.

  • This Summer Ends With a Bang, Not a Whimper

    From Stacey Steers’ Night Hunter

    So, a bit of grand news. I just got two poems accepted in Strange Horizons, which will hopefully be appearing soon. I had an most excellent time hanging out in New York City after Readercon, meeting up with my favorite artist and writer friends. Some really fun collaborations are on the horizon from that trip, so I am excited for this year (even though we’re already halfway through it!).

    Also, over at Weird Fiction Review we have a most wondrous clip of Stacey Steers’ gothic, surreal short film Night Hunter, as well as stills from the film. If you have ever experienced the madness of the creative process, you will very much appreciate Steers’ work (and hopefully I can shed some light on the delightfully Kafkaesque narrative).

    Speaking of the surreal and strange, if you’ve not had a chance to own a copy of the Cute and Creepy Catalogue that Carrie Ann Baade and I co-authored–we now have an Amazon page where you can order your very own (or post a review). You’ll not be disappointed with the design and quality of the images, and really, there’s nothing quite like it out there. If you’ve ever wondered what goes on in the minds of the artists who create such bizarre worlds, or how to read these landscapes, then this book will open up a new playground for you to frolic in. And who doesn’t need on last wild romp for the summer?

  • The Art of Tim Noble & Sue Webster and a Great Review

    On the side of Jake Walks bar

    I am typing this from a NYC coffee shop–I just got in on Sunday, July 16 after a great time at Readercon, a literary conference that features writers of speculative fiction. I’ll stay here until the 3st, before going back to Colorado. Am here to meet with my artist and writer community and just recharge a bit. Also, there is a Readercon report from me over at Fantasy Matters. If you’ve never attended this wonderful writer conference, then I think my post will give you many reasons (or at least a few) on why you should give it a try.

    As for art news: check out the work of Tim Noble and Sue Webster at Weird Fiction Review. I saw their exhibit Turning the Seventh Corner last May in Berlin, and so was quite excited to finally write about their work.

    Also, Carrie Ann Baade and I found out that our Cute and Creepy catalogue got a very nice review by the Art Libraries Society of North America.

    And back to writerly matters: my interview with the one and only China Miéville will be published in Origin Magazine later this fall—probably the November issue. You’ll want to hear about the very cool project he’s been working on!

  • Reviews and News

    If you’ve not read a good novel lately that takes you out of this hectic, frenetic,  zombie-induced existence, then it’s time to order Maria Dahvana Headley’s Queen of Kings. Go read my review over at Fantasy Matters to hear more about this glorious story that I greedily gobbled up within a few days. And while you’re over at Amazon, do take a quick a peek at the newest issues of Bourbon Penn and Prick of the Spindle (Kindle version), which contain my stories “Merea” and “Evangelical Wonderland.”

    Cover Art, Nervous Breakdown, by Julia Martínez Diana

    Next week I’ll have a new article in Weird Fiction Review about the ghoulish and grotesque art work of Mark Hosford, and my short story “The Four Horsemen” will be reprinted in Danse Macabre, so check back. And the semester will finally, finally, be done (congrats to all my seniors who are graduating! You did it, my lovelies). Immediately after my last class I’ll be taking the red eye to NYC for the Frieze Art Fair, which starts May 4th; there will be tweets and pics and follow up posts, I’m sure. But most of all, there will be dancing, my friends.

  • Uncanny Carnivals, Jonas Burgert, and the Weight of the World

    It is past mid April, a time when fatigue strikes all academics and writers–grades and manuscript deadlines loom ahead like some impossible chasm to cross. We hope we’ll make it, but often at the cost of sleep, healthy eating, and social connections.

    Given that, it’s only appropriate for me to introduce you to the stunning work of Jonas Burgert over at Weird Fiction Review. Intoxicating, lurid colors will bring viewers into a strange dreamscape that chronicles the exhilaration and isolation so many of us experience in this post-modern society. Paradoxically, these surreal conglomerations of pseudo-zombies, children, and monsters also create a desire for deeper community, a reconnection to the self and Other. My friend Creston Davis talks more about how to survive this “weight of the world” over at his blog. Go have a read.

    Other news: My short story, “The Four Horsemen” will be reprinted in Danse Macabre for their May issue! I originally wrote and published the story with Plus Gallery here in Denver for their “Apocalypse? How!” show in January. I love and am devoted to this beautiful, wondrous intersection of word and image. To that end, I’ll be going back to NYC in early May to attend the Frieze Art Fair. If you are in the city between the 4th and the 16, let’s get coffee!