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AWP Offsite Event: Books & Brass

Flyer for Books & Brass event

AWP is finally coming to The Conium Review‘s home-city of Portland, and we’re excited. We’ll be doing several on-site and off-site activities. Over the coming weeks, expect to hear about more upcoming gatherings, readings, and author signings.

To kick off AWP, we’re hosting a reading on Thursday, March 28th at the 1905 Jazz Club (830 N. Shaver St., Portland, OR). The readings begin at 6:00 and feature Theodora Bishop, TJ Fuller, Rachel Lyon, Simone Person, Caitlin Scarano, Rebecca Schiff, and Eliza Tudor. The featured live band is the Michael Raynor Quartet.

The readings are completely free, but if you stay for the music at 8:00, there is a $5 cover for that portion of the evening.

Throughout the event, we’ll have free swag available from Conium Press, and authors will have their books for sale. Find this event on Facebook for more information.

About the Readers

Theodora Bishop is the author of the novella, On the Rocks (Texas Review Press), winner of a 2018 Next Generation Indie Book Award, and the short story chapbook Mother Tongues, winner of The Cupboard’s 2015 contest. Theodora Bishop’s poetry and short stories have appeared in Glimmer Train, Prairie Schooner, Arts & Letters, and Short Fiction (England), among other journals, anthologies, and exhibits. A Best New Poets and four-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Theodora Bishop holds an MFA from the University of Alabama and is pursuing her PhD in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Houston. She serves as Poetry Editor for Gulf Coast, Fiction Editor for Big Fiction, and occasionally subs as a life care specialist at a memory care center in Houston.

TJ Fuller writes and teaches in Portland, Oregon. His fiction has appeared in Hobart, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Jellyfish Review, and elsewhere. He won the 2017 Flash Fiction Contest at The Conium Review.

Rachel Lyon is the author of the debut novel Self-Portrait With Boy (Scribner 2018), which was longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. Her shorter work has appeared in Joyland, Iowa Review, Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading, McSweeney’s, and other publications. A cofounder of the reading series Ditmas Lit in her native Brooklyn NY, Rachel has taught creative writing for the Sackett Street Writers Workshop, Catapult, the Fine Arts Work Center, Slice Literary, and elsewhere. Subscribe to Rachel’s Writing/Thinking Prompts newsletter at tinyletter.com/rachellyon, and visit her at www.rachellyon.work.

Simone Person is the author of Dislocate, the winner of the 2017 Honeysuckle Press Chapbook Contest in Prose, and Smoke Girl, the winner of the 2018 Diode Editions Chapbook Contest in Poetry. She grew up in small Michigan towns and Toledo, Ohio and is a dual MFA/MA student at Indiana University in Fiction and African American and African Diaspora Studies. In 2018, Simone became the Prose Editor for Honeysuckle Press. She sporadically, and to varying degrees of success, uses Twitter and Instagram at @princxporkchop.

Caitlin Scarano is a writer based in Washington state. She holds a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and an MFA from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She was selected as a participant in the NSF’s Antarctic Artists & Writers Program and spent November 2018 in McMurdo Station in Antarctica.  Her debut collection of poems, Do Not Bring Him Water, was released in Fall 2017 by Write Bloody Publishing. She has two poetry chapbooks: The White Dog Year (dancing girl press, 2015) and The Salt and Shadow Coiled (Zoo Cake Press, 2015).

Rebecca Schiff is the author of The Bed Moved, a finalist for an LA Times Book Prize. Her fiction has appeared in n+1, Electric Literature, The Guardian, Guernica, BuzzFeed, The American Reader, Fence, Washington Square, Lenny Letter, and in The Best Small Fictions 2017. She lives in Oregon.

Eliza Tudor grew up in Indiana and holds an MA in English and an MFA in Writing from Butler University. Her stories have appeared in The Conium Review, PANK, TLR, Hobart, Annalemma, and Paper Darts, among others, as well as in the anthologies, Mythic Indy, and Dark Ink Press’s Fall. Her novella,Wish You Were Here, won the 2017 Minerva Rising Press Novella Prize and was published by that press. After spending the last few years living in places as varied as Silicon Valley, the south coast of England, and Austin, Texas, she is currently in the process of moving to the Pacific Northwest.

Rebecca Schiff to judge The Conium Review 2017 Flash Fiction Contest

Rebecca Schiff headshotWe’re pleased to announce our next Flash Fiction Contest judge: Rebecca Schiff.

The winner of the 2017 Flash Fiction Contest will receive $300, online publication, publication as a limited-run micro-chapbook or broadside, and a copy of the judge’s latest book. Submissions open October 1st, 2017. Full guidelines are available here.

Rebecca Schiff is the author of The Bed Moved (Knopf, 2016). She graduated from Columbia University’s MFA program, where she received a Henfield Prize. Her stories have appeared in n+1, Electric Literature, The American Reader, Guernica, The Guardian, and Lenny Letter. She lives in Brooklyn.

If you’d like to get a taste of the judge’s style, you can read some of Rebecca’s work on Buzzfeed and The Guardian. (Of course, you could also just go buy her book).

You can also read last year’s winning flash fiction, selected by Leesa Cross-Smith, on our website. Or stop by our AWP table (548-T) to get a copy of the free micro-chap.

“5AM Vampire,” by Andrea Arnold

doodle blood bag

The lab technician said it was his first day on the job. He was joking, of course, as he drew vials of my blood. The needle poked in my vein. The red oozed through a long, plastic tube and filled the glass. He sealed and labeled each vile with a sticker drenched in black numbers. My blood surprised me; it looked strong. It made me confident. Like I can do this. I can live. I can survive. I can have a baby.

 “Do I get a Hello Kitty Band Aid?” I said, trying to be funny too, like him, grateful he didn’t spill my blood on the floor. Just then I heard myself and remembered I’m a blueprint for how not to raise a child. Where do I begin?

It had been ten years since anyone had taken blood from me. It never occurred to me to take care of myself. Blood tests weren’t on my radar. My gynecologist had insisted. She was pissed, even. How could anyone let me go this long and who was my general practitioner and what was she thinking?

“I’m from the Philippines, not Japan,” the guy tells me, but he’d already explained where he was from, how he came here young, joined the marines, and that his time as a combat medic prepared him for a career as a “5AM vampire.” Another joke, of course. “Men with no legs, from bombs. It was gross.” The word came out sloppy, like he had soup in his mouth. “Now I get here at five in the morning and suck blood,” he said, filled and sealed another vile.

My arm began to ache. I felt the bruising. “It hurts.”

“Are you having surgery?”

I shook my head. “Why? Should I?”

“This much blood. Why not?”

This morning all I could think about were my ovaries and whether my husband’s sperms were making ground, like good soldiers, charging up the fallopian tube and busting through the shell. In my mind the vampire could fly. He had wings. He could hunt and kill in the moonlight, under a bridge; he’d lay down his prey and drain the body until it was stiff and cold. He’d stay young forever.

But we are worriers, not warriors. My husband swears he will rip in half the day he hears his baby cry.

I don’t march or charge or win. I play. I drink moon juice and leap from star to star. This is the most real thing I’ve ever done. Now I feel old, but I take it as a sign of strength. I can read it in my blood. It’s regenerating.

The lab technician assures me this was easy, everything was easy, in comparison to what he’s seen. He points to the wound, how it’s already closed, and I reach up and pull apart a cloud.

About the Author:

Andrea Arnold’s writing has appeared in places like Electric Literature, The Rumpus, The Nervous Breakdown and as scripts on Travel Channel. She also edited The Craft: Essays on Writing from the Yale Writers’ Conference Faculty for Elephant Rock Books. She’s currently busy with edits on her novel. She has an MFA from USC, a JD from Chicago-Kent, and a BA in English from GWU. She lives and surfs in Santa Monica, CA. For more info please visit www.andrea-arnold.com.

Image Credit: © dule964 – stock.adobe.com