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AWP Offsite Event: Literary Masquerade

Flyer for Literary Masquerade eventWe’re hosting multiple events in Portland, OR for AWP. It’s our home base, so why not? This will be an AWP to remember. Books & Brass kicks things off on March 28th, and we’re excited for our Literary Masquerade on Friday, March 29th at 7:00pm.

This event takes place at the Beech Street Parlor, located at 412 NE Beech St. This restored Victorian is decked out with vintage furniture, decorative wallpaper, and antique fixtures, it’s the perfect place for a masquerade party. Costumery encouraged, masks provided, all are welcome. There will be some free Conium Press swag, many of the authors will be selling and signing books, and “DJ No Requests” will be spinning records later in the evening.

Readings from Rita Bullwinkel, Charlie Brown, John Englehardt, Ashley Farmer, James R. Gapinski, Chelsea Harris, Liz Kellebrew, and Christine Texeira.

Learn more about the event on Facebook (and invite your friends!)

2016 AWP Panelist Events

By now, hopefully you’ve heard about our AWP Conference panel, “What the Heck Does Innovative Fiction Actually Mean?: Authors Cut Through the Jargon,” taking place on Friday, April 1st at 3:00pm. The panel features Carmiel Banasky, Matt Bell, Ashley Farmer, and Manuel Gonzales. The Conium Review‘s managing editor, James R. Gapinski moderates.

The panelists have plenty of other events happening during AWP, and we hope you’ll attend a few other panelist readings, shindigs, etc.

Carmiel Banasky

Carmiel Banasky photoWednesday, March 30th, 2016 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. Shipwreck SF Presents: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, a Literary Erotic Fanfiction Competition. Bootleg Theater, 2220 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90057

Thursday, March 31st, 2016 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. Why There Are Words visits LA. Continental Club, 116 West 4th St. Los Angeles 90013

Saturday, April 2nd, 2016 from 8:00pm to 10:00pm. Semiotext(e) and Friends. Los Angeles Contemporary Archive, 2245 E Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90021

Matt Bell

Matt BellThursday, March 31, 2016 from 1:30 pm to 2:45 pm. ASU & HFR: A Celebratory Reading. Robert Muroff Bookfair Stage, LA Convention Center, Exhibit Hall Level One

Friday, April 1, 2016 at 7:30pm. Boss Fight Books Presents: HEART-POUNDING PANIC. Stories Books & Cafe, 1716 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90026

Saturday, April 2, 2016 from 10:30 am to 11:45 am. What I Did When What I Did Wasn’t Working: Teachers on Retooling Their Teaching. Gold Salon 2, JW Marriott LA, 1st Floor

Saturday, April 2nd, 7:30pm. Books & Booze. Los Angeles Center of Photography, 1515 Wilcox Ave, Los Angeles, California 90028.

Ashley Farmer

Ashley Farmer HeadshotFriday, April 1, 2016 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. AWP 2016 // LITERARY FOOLS RECEPTION: Solstice, Talking Writing, Juked, and Santa Monica Review. D’Vine Wine Cellar, 821 S Flower St, Los Angeles, California 90017

Friday, April 1, 2016 at 8:00pm. Two Dollar Radio, Civil Coping Mechanisms, Entropy, Action Books, and Writ Large Press @ These Days Gallery. Indian Alley, 118 Winston Pl, Los Angeles, California 90013

Saturday, April 2nd, 7:30pm. Books & Booze. Los Angeles Center of Photography, 1515 Wilcox Ave, Los Angeles, California 90028

Manuel Gonzales

Manuel Gonzales headshotThursday, March 31, 2016 from 4:30 pm to 5:45 pm. It Ain’t What They Call You, It’s What You Answer To: Peeling Off Genre Labels. Room 502 B, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level

Saturday, April 2, 2016 from 4:30 pm to 5:45 pm. Speculative Fiction: Defining the Rules of a Rule-Breaking Genre. Room 402 AB, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level.

Flyer for our 2016 AWP Conference panel

We’ve got a swanky flyer for our upcoming AWP Conference panel. Show your love for The Conium Review by making a gazillion copies and distributing them to every single person you meet. Get a printable PDF version of the flyer here.

Innovative Fiction Panel Full Page Flyer

What the Heck Does Innovative Fiction Mean?: Authors Cut Through the Jargon” is organized by The Conium Review, and it will feature a down-to-earth chat with Carmiel Banasky, Matt Bell, Ashley Farmer, and Manuel Gonzales. Our managing editor, James R. Gapinski, moderates. The panel is from 3:00 to 4:15 on Friday, April 1st. Join us at the Scott James Bookfair Stage for a riveting discussion and Q&A on innovative fiction. Directly after this panel, Carmiel Banasky will be signing copies of The Suicide of Claire Bishop at our table (#1238). We hope to see you there!

Rita Bullwinkel’s Top Ten AWP 2016 Panels

The annual Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) conference is less than a month away, and we’re getting amped up for the obligatory tote bags. Our staff and contributors will be sharing their favorite AWP happenings on our blog over the coming weeks, and we hope to see you at the conference (stop by table #1238 and say “hello” to The Conium Review staff).

First up, Rita Bullwinkel (Vol. 4 contributor) shares her top ten panels.


“The Violence of the Page”

Thursday, March 31, 2016, 1:30 pm to 2:45 pm

Room 403 B, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level

(Lucy Corin, Maggie Nelson , Brian Evenson, Ben Weissman, Fred D’Aguiar)

This panel explores the various tones, reasons, genealogies, and methodologies writers might choose to employ when representing violence, cruelty, and bodies on the page. The writers on this panel have explored these issues in a variety of genres (fiction, scholarship, and poetry) and in a variety of registers (comedic, elegiac, outrageous, conceptual, documentary, and more), and are uniquely capable of discussing the aesthetic, political, and metabolic effects of such writing.

“It Ain’t What They Call You, It’s What You Answer To: Peeling Off Genre Labels”

Thursday, March 31, 2016, 4:30 pm to 5:45 pm

Room 502 B, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level

(Daniel Orozco, Doug Dorst, Maureen McHugh, Kelly Luce, Manuel Gonzales)

How does fantasy fiction (or sci-fi, or detective or horror fiction) become literary fiction? Who decides how/when the genre label gets affixed, or peeled off? Why is the move from genre to literary always somehow a narrative of progress, implying a lesser realm left behind? Hear firsthand as writers with varying affinities to genre fiction reflect on how they negotiate with (wrestle, embrace, sidestep) genre conventions in the creation of their work.

“Translation as Animation: New Poetry from Japan”

Friday, April 1, 2016, 12:00 pm to 1:15 pm

Room 402 AB, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level

(Kyoko Yoshida , Forrest Gander , Sawako Nakayasu, Goro Takano, James Shea)

Beginning with a short reading, this panel of translators and writers explores the formal problems, aesthetic choices, and political implications of translating contemporary Japanese poetry. Panelists discuss the diversity of Japanese poetry and consider how the pleasures and challenges of translation animate their own writing. Poets under discussion include Takashi Hiraide, Sayumi Kamakura, Shirō Murano, Kiwao Nomura, and Gozo Yoshimasu.

“Korean Feminist Poetics and Translation”

Friday, April 1, 2016, 1:30 pm to 2:45 pm

Gold Salon 3, JW Marriott LA, 1st Floor

(Eunsong Kim, Johannes Goransson, Ji Yoon Lee, Don Mee Choi, Joyelle McSweeney)

South Korea’s contemporary history has been deeply impacted by US imperial policies. Yet its history remains relatively unknown: its war, dictatorships, and 47 Free Trade Agreements. We poets and translators discuss feminist Korean poets and propose poetry-as-activism and translation-as-resistance to colonizing power.

“What the Heck Does Innovative Fiction Actually Mean?: Authors Cut Through the Jargon”

Friday, April 1, 2016, 3:00 pm to 4:15 pm

Scott James Bookfair Stage, LA Convention Center, Exhibit Hall Level One

(James R. Gapinski, Ashley Farmer, Manuel Gonzales, Matt Bell, Carmiel Banasky) Innovative fiction is fast becoming a literary buzzword. It’s often a placeholder term for experimental or avant-garde, but what does it really mean? It’s time for a down-to-earth chat that eschews all the labels and jargon. In this panel, presented by The Conium Review, several authors cut through the marketing ploys and hype for a candid talk on the strange, weird, and new in contemporary fiction.

“Kelly Link, Emily St. John Mandel, and Ruth Ozeki: A Reading and Conversation, Sponsored by Penguin Random House Speakers Bureau”

Friday, April 1, 2016, 4:30 pm to 5:45 pm

Concourse Hall, LA Convention Center, Exhibit Hall Level One

(Emily St. John Mandel, Ruth Ozeki, Kelly Link)

This event brings together three brilliant contemporary female writers—Kelly Link, Emily St. John Mandel, and Ruth Ozeki—to read and discuss their craft and experiences as genre-bending authors. Kelly Link is the recipient of an NEA grant and is the author of Get in Trouble. Emily St. John Mandel is the author of Station Eleven, a finalist for the 2014 National Book Award. Ruth Ozeki is the author of A Tale for the Time Being, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

“In the Realms of the Real and the Unreal”

Saturday, April 2, 12:00 pm to 1:15 pm

AWP Bookfair Stage, LA Convention Center, Exhibit Hall Level One

(Katharine Beutner, Sofia Samatar, Carmen Machado, Alice Sola Kim, Kelly Link)

This panel explores genres of fiction that juxtapose the real and the unreal in experimental ways: historical fiction, literary fantasy/science fiction, weird fiction, and satire. Where do we draw the line between a secondary world and a distorted reflection of our own world’s beauty, violence, and diversity? Can we discern a poetics of the unreal in contemporary fiction? How have the continual debates over generic boundaries—and/or their irrelevance—affected the ways contemporary writers work?

“In Whose Image: Trans and Genderqueer Writers on Magic, Spirituality, and (the Bodies of) G-d”

Saturday, April 2, 2016, 12:00 pm to 1:15 pm

Room 402 AB, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level

(CA Conrad, Joy Ladin, Ryka Aoki, Ian Ellasante, TC Tolbert)

Spirituality, like writing, hinges on transformation. Similarly, trans and genderqueer writers have unique experiences with transformation on and off the page. This dynamic panel explored the intersections between ritual, myth, magic, magical realism, and even end-rhyme as they shape our various embodiments and faiths. We don’t want to save you, but we hope you are ready to be changed.

“New Directions in Contemporary War Fiction”

Saturday, April 2, 2016, 1:30 pm to 2:45 pm

Room 510, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level

(Peter Molin, Matt Gallagher, Andria Williams, Jesse Goolsby, Elliot Ackerman)

This panel features short readings and commentary by four first-time novelists in the burgeoning field of contemporary war literature. The authors’ novels, each published in either 2015 or 2016, highlight new possibilities for representing combat, war, and military culture in fiction. Building on recent critically acclaimed fiction depicting conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan, the panel authors refine our understanding of the human dimensions of war overseas and on the home front.

“Fables, Fibs, and Flat-Out Lies: The Material of Making, Sponsored by Copper Canyon Press”

Saturday, April 2, 2016, 4:30 pm to 5:45 pm

Concourse Hall, LA Convention Center, Exhibit Hall Level One

(Michael Wiegers, Richard Siken, Laura Kasischke, Roger Reeves)

Whatever the chosen form, making is a dominant force in any artist’s life. For writers, the creative material—language—is simultaneously precise and slippery, irreducible and expansive; metaphor is a lie that tells the truth, and image a construct made from the sound and meaning of language. This reading features three writers who practice various literary and artistic forms—fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and painting—and will be followed by a conversation moderated by their editor.


Rita Bullwinkel is a Conium Review Vol. 4 contributor. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee where she is a fiction MFA candidate at Vanderbilt University and the Fiction Editor of the Nashville Review. Her writing has appeared in several publications including VICENOONSpork anHayden’s Ferry Review. She is a graduate of Brown University, a Vanderbilt Commons Writer in Residence, a Sewanee Writers’ Conference Tennessee Williams Scholarship Award winner, and a Helene Wurlitzer Foundation grantee. Her story “In the South the Sand Winds are Our Greatest Enemy” was selected by Joyland Magazine as one of their top five favorite stories published in 2015. The Nashville Review will be exhibiting at AWP at booth #1500.

Congrats to Our Best Small Fictions 2016 Nominees

Best Small Fictions coverLast week, we mailed off our nominees for the Queen’s Ferry Press anthology, Best Small Fiction 2016. We’re proud to officially announce our selections. There were so many good stories to choose from. Congratulations to the five nominees:

About the Nominees:

Caitlin Scarano is a poet in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee PhD creative writing program. She was a finalist for the 2014 Best of the Net Anthology and the winner of the 2015 Indiana Review Poetry Prize, judged by Eduardo Corral. She has two poetry chapbooks. This winter, she will be an artist in residence at the Hinge Arts Residency program in Fergus Falls and the Artsmith’s 2016 Artist Residency on Orcas Island.

Tamara K. Walker dreams of irrealities among typewriter ribbons, stuffed animals and duct tape flower barrettes. She resides near Boulder, Colorado with her wife/life partner and blogs irregularly about writing and literature at http://tamarakwalker.wordpress.com. She may also be found online at http://about.me/tamara.kwalker. Her writing has previously appeared or is forthcoming in The Cafe Irreal, A cappella Zoo, Melusine, Apocrypha and Abstractions, Gay Flash Fiction, Identity Theory, a handful of poetry zines, and several themed print anthologies published by Kind of a Hurricane Press.

Ingrid Jendrzejewski studied creative writing and English literature at the University of Evansville before going on to study physics at the University of Cambridge. She has soft spots for go, cryptic crosswords, and the python programming language, but these days spends most of her time trying to keep up with a delightfully energetic toddler. Once in a very great while, she adds a tiny something to www.ingridj.com and tweets at @LunchOnTuesday.

Sarah Mitchell-Jackson is a novelist and a short story writer. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in The Critical Pass Review and Really System. Her debut novel, Ashes, will be out this year published by Blue Moon Publishers. You can read more of her work at www.smitchjack.wordpress.com.

John Englehardt’s stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Sycamore Review, The Stranger, Monkeybicycle, The Monarch Review, and Furlough Magazine. He won the 2014 Wabash Prize in Fiction, as well as The Stranger‘s A&P fiction contest. He’s a recent graduate of University of Arkansas’ MFA program, and now lives and works in Seattle.