Writing Without Walls: Wild Animals

writing without wallsMore exciting news: I’m part of an awesome, submissions-based reading series in San Francisco called Writing Without Walls. The theme this month is WILD ANIMALS (so me, right?). This Thursday, October 23, 7pm, at Cafe du Soleil in the Lower Haight. More info on the book of faces event.

I’ll be reading three poems, one about San Francisco’s very own columbarium. Stoked to meet the other writers and to read my work in a cafe that I have “worked in” (read, camped out in) many Sunday afternoons, back when when I lived a few blocks away.

The 2015 AROHO Retreat

arohoSuper-honored to have been chosen as the Los Angeles Review fellow for the 2015 AROHO (A Room of Her Own) Retreat in Abiquiu, New Mexico! I’m in amazing company–so many brilliant poets, nonfiction writers, novelists, and more. You can read about all the participating writers here. The AROHO Retreat is “not simply a retreat, and much more than a writer’s conference, AROHO’s Retreat & Waves Discussion Series is a week-long interdisciplinary experience shaped by our transformative and generous history.” Even though it’s not until August of next year, I’m already stoked. A huge thanks to the Los Angeles Review for providing this fellowship, which goes to a woman who is an editor or works in independent publishing.

“I’m fundamentally, I think, an outsider. I do my best work and feel most braced with my back to the wall. It’s an odd feeling, though, writing against the current: difficult entirely to disregard the current. Yet of course I shall.” —Virginia Woolf’s Diary, November 22, 1938

 

Things Men Have Told Me About My Body: A Zine.

things men have told me about my body zineThe title of this brilliant zine that my friend Red Velvet just put out is pretty self-explanatory. Here’s an excerpt from the intro:

“Why does anyone feel like they can comment on bodies that don’t belong to them, particularly female bodies?

This is a zine about things that have been said to us: by friends, lovers, passerby, family, and strangers.

Some are funny, some are rude, some are simply puzzling.

Many are hurtful, and some are seriously upsetting.

things men have told me about my body zineAll are completely unnecessary.

Generally, the people telling you things about your body are people who are not used to having their bodies critiqued in turn. This is about power, and visibility.”

The zine features 30+ anonymous submissions of cat calls, drawings, prose, and more, all compiled, edited, stapled, and carefully laid out by Red Velvet. I’m super-proud to be included in this zine and hope more editions are forthcoming! If you want to buy it (a mere two doll hairs, people), head to her Etsy store.

The first photo above is me packing this zine to take to some feminist writer friends in Oregon.

Etymology in Up the Staircase Quarterly

up the staircase quarterlyWhee! The latest issue of Up the Staircase Quarterly just came out, and my poem “Etymology” is in it, alongside some beautiful art, reviews, and other poems. I’m trying to think of something interesting to tell you about this poem other than it has a lot of water in it and I started writing this poem over two years ago as a letter called “Dear Joe / Long Letter to a Friend” and it kept evolving and the margins kept changing–but you should probably just read it. If you want.

Also: April Michelle Bratten is the powerhouse behind the journal and a huge thanks to her for publishing this piece.

 

 

Two new pieces in Treehouse

treehouse poem caroline kesslerI’m beyond thrilled to have two short pieces in Treehouse, an online magazine that focuses on short writing, both poetry and prose. The editors of Treehouse accepted a poem I’ve been working on (aka coming back to and abandoning and coming back to…) for a while, “A Conversation in the Columbarium,” loosely about San Francisco’s columbarium. They also ask contributors for a “5 Things” list, which could be anything from an Amazon wish list to bodies of water you’re obsessed with. Read the poem and the list on Treehouse’s beautiful site.

The magic of the North Carolina mountains

wildacresI just returned from a magical writing residency at Wildacres in Little Switzerland, NC, where I had the honor of being there for  a week to work on my writing. I revised older poems, wrote new (weird) ones, started a few fragmented essays, sat in on a book arts demo (and made a few one-sheet books!), took walks, and napped in the gorgeous cabin. The people of Wildacres are wonderfully kind and gentle and I got to be there at the same time as a group of adult learners from Ringling College of Art & Design, who were painting, drawing, making books, and throwing clay.

 

wildacres caroline kesslerIt was a total gift to have so much quiet, focused time to spend just on my work. More to come soon, including books I’ve been reading recently and a new poem that just got published.

 

 

The 18 Somethings Project: June Edition #2

the 18 somethings project caroline kessler janet frishbergIt’s that time of year again, when Janet and I want to celebrate their birthdays with you by embarking on a writing adventure.

The idea, by the numbers, is this:

  • 18 days of writing for 10 minutes each day;
  • 18 original prompts we created especially for all of us;
  • 1 daily prompt, sent to you each morning by Janet or Caroline;
  • 1 supportive partner who reads your work and sends you only positive feedback, and vice versa;
  • Infinite: the amount of amazingness that can come out of this.

Learn more about the process behind the writing and the feedback on our updated websiteYou don’t have to be or call yourself a writer to participate in this. We believe writing and creativity is for everyone. If this scares or excites you at all, even more reason to do it!

You have until 11.11am PST on May 18 to sign up! There’s way more info on our site, or drop me a line with questions.