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Archive for February, 2016

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You didn’t need to understand the intricacies of a relationship to feel the weight of those final words.

A project by Isabella Giancarlo, “Eat Your Heart Out” has been getting a lot of attention this week—and for good reason. On her website, Giancarlo describes the project as “…a series of words remembered from break-ups reimagined as something sweet.” We spoke with Giancarlo recently about her fascinating and tender medium.

What was the catalyst for “Eat Your Heart Out”? Had it been a long time in the works or was it created on a whim?

For me, a loss of appetite typically accompanies the end of a relationship. This is always particularly distressing, as I’m a voracious eater and cook.  After a break-up last spring, seven words sat with me that I couldn’t shake. I thought about ways to reclaim that phrase. How could I sweeten words that initially took my appetite away?

I asked friends for their heartbreak quotes and felt those familiar pangs. You didn’t need to understand the intricacies of a relationship to feel the weight of those final words. I’ve taken the last few months to collect my favorite quotes, decide which desserts would best accompany each quote, and finalize my aesthetic vision.

The incorporation of prose onto pastries is an interesting medium. What would you like the viewer to glean when seeing bittersweet messages superimposed on something comforting?

I hope the project says: Go ahead. Gorge. Engage with the uncomfortable, sticky feelings of a broken heart that are so often dismissed as self-indulgent.

Are these musings all your own, or are they a collection from friends and strangers?

Quotes came from my own experiences, those of close friends and, now, I’ve received a flurry from strangers via the submission form on my website.  It’s been humbling to have people willing to share their vulnerable parts and it has made the process feel even more intimate and collaborative.

Do you hope to expand “Eat Your Heart Out” and/or do you have other projects planned?

I’m flirting with the idea of doing large-scale prints and/or a small book.  I will definitely continue taking submissions and baking for the project, as well as experimenting with GIFs.

 

To submit your own quote from a breakup, head over to Giancarlo’s submission form. You just might end up becoming her new muse.

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Gold Line Press recently shared their 2015 selections for both the poetry and fiction chapbook competitions. Among the group of finalists was Sara Schaff, with her chapbook Incomplete Like Her.

Incomplete Like Her features two short stories–”When I Was Young and Swam to Cuba” and “Marie and Parker Threw a Party”–both of which appear in Say Something Nice About Me, Schaff’s forthcoming short story collection which we will publish later this fall.

Head over to Gold Press to read about the other finalists of both poetry and prose.

 

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In November of last year, we interviewed Lisbeth Redfield, the Literary Arts Manager of Pen and Brush, about the organization’s venture into publishing. Back in October, for the launch of their new imprint, they published two e-books—one, a book of prose; the other, a debut poetry collection by Lauren Amalia Redding. This Thursday, February 11th from 7:00-9:00 PM, come see their idea put into fruition with a conversation between Redding and Augury Editor Kate Angus, who helped curate P&B’s literary endeavor.

For more information about the event and P&B’s mission, head over to their website.

Lauren Amalia Redding is an artist and poet living and working in Astoria, Queens, New York. She received her B.A. from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and her M.F.A. from the New York Academy of Art in New York, New York. She has exhibited her artwork from Chicago and New York to Tokyo, with pieces in private collections in the United States, Europe, and Australia. Redding has also been featured as one of “Today’s Masters: Artists Making Their Mark” by Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. In October 2015, she will be an artist in residence at the Florence School of Fine Arts in Florence, Italy, housed in Giorgio Vasari’s old studio. Though Redding works primarily as a visual artist, she first expressed herself by writing, and has been writing in secret for ten years. This is the first time any of her poetry has been published.

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James Tate

Tomorrow evening, Arisa White, whose full-length poetry collection you’re the most beautiful thing that happened is forthcoming from Augury this fall, will read in tribute to poet James Tate at The New School. Several other poets will be reading to honor Tate as well, including John Ashbery, Matthea Harvey, Yusef Komunyakaa, Dorothea Lasky, Charles Wright, and Matthew Zapruder. In addition, David Lehman will be introducing, and music will be provided by Eve Beglarian and Charles Wuorinen, with vocals by Maya Sharpe.

This event is open to the public, and seats are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Find out more about this event on The New School’s website.

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Garo‘s apropos slogan, “Work that connects people to the land and each other”, did just that with their feature of “Diatomaceous Earth” by Augury’s forthcoming author Sara Schaff last Friday.

“Diatomaceous Earth” is from Schaff’s short story collection, Say Something Nice About Me, our prose selection for 2016 which we will publish this fall.

Like much of Schaff’s prose, “Diatomaceous Earth” is a haunting, naturalistic tale, heavy on dialogue, showcasing the many forms intimacy between two people can take.

After combing through online chat rooms devoted to households plagued by indoor ants, Ella, Stephen, and I finally settled on a remedy that sounded feasible and only mildly dangerous: diatomaceous earth, a powdery, porous substance that occurs naturally, is safe near food preparation, but illegal to sell in Ann Arbor. I purchased a bottle online.

When it arrived, days after my afternoon with Ella and Stephen, Gerry was downstairs with me. He thought we should celebrate me being done with all my papers. Also, he felt hopeful about getting the job in Dearborn. “The interview went great. They responded well to my enthusiasm.”

Gerry’s enthusiasm. My secret, gloomy future. I guess that’s why he and I had ended up in bed again, which is where we were when I heard the mail delivered. I put on a robe to go outside, and when I returned to the bedroom, I held out the package to Gerry. “I’m being proactive about my ant problem, see?”

Together, we laid the trail of diatomaceous earth: behind the toaster, leading from and to the hole Ella had spotted. “That’s where they’re coming from,” I told Gerry. “They’ll come out, gather the powder on their little bodies, and without realizing it, take it back with them to their nest.”

“And then?”

I shuddered, in spite of my new conviction. “Eventually, they all dry out, become little husks of their former selves.”

Sara Schaff’s fiction has appeared in FiveChapters, Southern Indiana Review, Carve Magazine, and elsewhere. A graduate of Brown University and the MFA program at the University of Michigan, she has taught in China, Colombia, and Northern Ireland, where she also studied storytelling. Sara is a visiting assistant professor of creative writing at Oberlin College. Find links to her work at saraschaff.com.

More of Sara Schaff:

Sara Schaff’s website

Author Page

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