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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.

“This Childhood, sponsored by Chanel,” by Eliza Tudor

Accordian

1. “What do we do before we eat?” Rhetorical. Don’t ever forget, my children.

“We take a picture,” the five of us muttered. Pim just pounded her tiny fist on the table while watching Mama. Mama was up the ladder, her eye obscured, exchanged for a larger one, a creature looking down at us.

One more breath.

“Now,” she called. Our hands reaching out for bread and butter. “Pause.” We stopped, hands hovering in place. “Go.” Berries. Our goat’s cheese. “Can you spread with your elbow down, Hal? Yes. Like that. Good. Freeze.” The sound of the click. Click click click. “Stop. Stop! Pause. Okay. That’s good. That’s enough. Enjoy everyone. Bon appetite.” Tired, she came down the steps of the ladder, both eyes her own.

2. “Life is about risk. Good food and good eating are about risk.”

“I want us to make a manifesto for our family.”

Yes. Okay.

“What do we think are important? I hate (‘Mama said the h-word!’)—Sorry!—I detest the word—laws—but if we had them—guidelines, rules,” she said, her upper lip a snarl. “What would they be? Our values. Our ethos.”

She took a drink. “We need a manifesto.”

I leaned against her and read aloud as she wrote: Stop Consuming. Eat good food. Play the banjo. Take a risk every day.

“We fight the isolation of parenthood, the isolation of ‘jobs’ and ‘suburban culture’ every day. We are warriors, my love. We are a new vision of what a ‘homemaker’ can be. A maker of the home, genderless. Radical stuff, my angel. And let’s say, several years from now, you want to build something for yourself. You, my love, will have a head start. A readership in place. So will Bette and Lev and Pim and Freya and Hal.”

3. An unsponsored life is not worth living. (or, The Emperor’s new clothes)

“If we didn’t accept sponsors, love, we might have to work for big corporate firms and then we’d be away from you all day,” Mama said. “This is better. This is a new world order.”

First, it was Timex, not Chanel. It was mid-level corporations. The fun we had at mail time. All the boxes, all the packing supplies; we used to make entire villages. Sure we had to wear the stuff in pictures, taste the snacks they sent, packaging forever font-forward.

“Sponsored posts help keep our family work going,” my mother reminded us.

But then Karl started reading Mama and he was doing a kind of Swedish-19th century-Japanese farmer-before-the-war look and that was her exactly. He flew us in. My mother in her headscarf and handmade sweater, her overalls setting off the security sensors; her clogs kicked off as we stood in front of her, waiting. I will never forget that flight.

“I love everything about all of you,” Karl said, when we arrived. “The family VonTrapp.”

“But modern,” the crowd beside him spoke.

“Yes, so modern.”

Papa played the banjo. Bette played mandolin, Lev on fiddle, Hal on accordion. I was on uke. And then, Freya began to sing and Mama joined on harmony (Pim peeking out from her sling, waving) and I can’t remember what happened next until the clapping started. Everyone stood; the mounds of hay that had been shipped into Paris, between us.

About the Author:

Eliza Tudor is a recent transplant from Silicon Valley to the south coast of England. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Hobart, PANK, Annalemma, specs, Weave, Punchnel’s, Paper Darts, The Flyover Country Review, graze, and the anthology, Mythic Indy. You can find her through www.elizatudor.com.

Image Credit: © Kreatiw / Dollar Photo Club