The 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.
All 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.
Whee! 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.
I’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.
I 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.
It 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.
It’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 website. You 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.
Good news! I just printed another 30 (yes, thirty) zines about radically re-envisioning, re-seeing, rewriting, re-doing, re-whatevering your poetry and prose. You can still get Re[en]vision for $5 (plus 1 doll hair for shipping if you don’t live in the Bay Area). They’re exactly the same as the first print run, except they’re bound with some great navy thread I got at the amazing SCRAP in the Bayview. (You can send payment and your address to carolinehkessler [at] gmail [dot] com via PayPal or Venmo. More questions? Send ‘em to that same email.)
My first solo zine, Re[en]vision: A Guide to Radically Re-Imagining and Re-Writing Your Prose & Poetry, is going like hotcakes, which is super-surprising to me. I recently made this zine in less than 30 days, as part of a great program facilitated by Jessica Semaan of The Passion Co and Janet Frishberg.
The zine compiles some amazing revision exercises from various classes I’ve taken (huge hat tip to the exercises from Diana Park, via Arizona’s poet laureate Alberto Rios), and I walk one of my own poems through many of the exercises. I also have a bit about your inner critic and how to deal with him/her (mine’s the skinny hipster pictured), some extra tips for prose writers, and some wise words from poet John Mortara.
New for me in this zine: hand-lettering things, using a typewriter (thanks, Loren!), drawing a few things, and doing the layout old-school (copy and paste, not on a computer). From a print run of 50, I’ve got about 10 left. Shout if you want one, or keep your eyes peeled for a second print run and/or Re[envision] #2.