This year at AWP, we’re going all out. The conference is coming to The Conium Review‘s home city of Portland, OR. We’re doing an event every night of the conference, starting with “Books & Brass: An Evening of Prose, Poetry, and Live Jazz” on Thursday, March 28th. Next, we’re hosting a “Literary Masquerade” on Friday, March 29th. Finally, we’re pleased to announce the lineup for our final event, “The Northwest Micropress Fair After Party” on Saturday, March 30th. This particular event follows the Northwest Micropress Fair, which is an independently organized book fair held in the Cleaners at the Ace Hotel. We’ll be tabling at this micropress fair and we’ll also have a booth at the main AWP Conference bookfair. We’ll be selling books and doing author signings at each location.
About the Event
The After Party officially begins at 7:30 when the doors of the Cleaners at the Ace Hotel reopen for business. The readings start at 8:00pm, with music to follow and a cash bar available. The Northwest Micropress Bookfair and After Party includes a ton of presses, including Presses and producers include: Entre Ríos Books, Scablands Books, Chin Music Press, Page Boy Magazine, Sage Hill Press, SPLAB, Short Run Seattle, Blue Cactus Press, Frontera Magazine, Margin Shift Reading Series, Cadence Video Poetry Festival / Northwest Film Forum, Till Writers, Ravenna Press, StringTown Press, Papeachu Press, Rhododo Press, Coast | No Coast, Winter Texts, Crab Creek Review, Poetic Games, Not a Pipe Publishing, Cascadia Rising Review, The Conium Review, Arq Press, Overcup Press, and Floating Bridge Press.
This will be a big event on the final night of the conference. Don’t miss it! Reading for The Conium Review are TJ Fuller, Chelsea Harris, and Simone Person. Find this event on Facebook.
About the Readers
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.
Chelsea Harris has appeared in The Portland Review, Literary Orphans, The Conium Review, Grimoire, and Smokelong Quarterly, among others. She received her MFA from Columbia College Chicago and currently lives in Washington State.
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.
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
Over the past few weeks, we’ve been posting about and previewing different happenings at the upcoming AWP Conference in Los Angeles, including our panel, book signings, and recommendations from Rita Bullwinkel and Caitlin Scarano.
William VanDenBerg joins the conversation, offering his top AWP off-site event choices. Check out the list below, and be sure to stop by our table (#1238) for William’s author signing on Saturday, April 2nd, from 2:00pm to 3:00pm and hear him read during the Caketrain and Solar Luxuriance off-site reading on Saturday, April 2nd starting at 7:00pm.
Outside the AWP Conference itself, a multitude of readings, parties, and activities will be taking place. Here are a few highlights among the many offsite events:
March 29th, 7:30pm to 9:00pm
The Tuesday before AWP begins, tNY Press will be hosting a pre-show party at The Last Bookstore. Expect stand-up, lit karaoke, and Mad-Libs, as well as readings by Zachary Cosby, Bridget Dooley, Uzodinma Okehi, and more.
March 31st, 7:00pm
On Thursday at Monty Bar, Tumblr, Catapult, Unnamed Press, Writing Workshops Los Angeles and Nouvella Books will be teaming up for LAwp!, a party with free drinks and absolutely no readings whatsoever.
April 1st, 12:30pm to 10:00pm
Camp Real Pants, taking place at Astroetic Studios on Friday, features a summer camp experience compressed into a single day. Includes a publishing talk by editor Calvert Morgan, readings by Dark Fucking Wizard and Green Mountains Review authors, s’mores, singalongs, hot cocoa, and relatively little poison ivy.
April 1st, 4:00pm to 5:30pm
On Friday, Wave Books, POOL Poetry Journal, and Saint Mary’s College MFA will be celebrating some big anniversaries (10, 15, and 20 years respectively). The event, also at The Last Bookstore, will feature Molly Bendall, Candace Eros Díaz, Brenda Hillman, and others along with host Matthew Zapruder.
April 1st, 6:00pm to 8:00pm
At R Bar, a Koreatown karaoke bar, Bennington Review and Black Warrior Review will launch their most recent issues. This Friday night event includes Dorothea Lasky, Mark Baumer, Kendra Fortmeyer, and many others.
April 2nd, 7:00pm
On Saturday evening, The Poetic Research Bureau will host an event for Essay Press, Siglio Press, Ugly Duckling Presse, and Dorothy: A Publishing Project. Features readings from Amina Cain, Will Alexander, and work by John Cage read by Richard Kraft and Joe Biel.
We’re pleased to formally announce our four newest staff members: Holly Lopez, Meredith Maltby, Marina Petrova, and William VanDenBerg! They’ve already begun reading submissions and have proven themselves valuable members of The Conium Review team.
Holly Lopez is a recent graduate of the MFA program at Queens University of Charlotte. Her work has appeared in Plots With Guns, Charlotte Viewpoint, and Choose Wisely: 35 Women Up To No Good. She is also the recipient of the 2012 Marjorie Blankenship Melton Award in Fiction. As an editor, she appreciates when writers subvert expectations and produce stories that are fresh and unconventional. She’s most interested in strange stories that also have dimension, red-blooded characters, and effectively tap into the human condition. Some of her favorite authors include George Saunders, Donald Barthelme, Aimee Bender, Kelly Link, and Karen Russell.
Meredith Maltby is the poetry editor for the Tulane Review and was a featured poet at Design Cloud Chicago’s HERE / NOW event. Meredith has previously published her work in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, The Chicago Tribune, ROAR: a literary journal for women of the arts, and Gravel Journal, among others. She appreciates interesting and strange writing from underrepresented voices. She admires and is influenced by Amelia Gray’s Gutshot, Lincoln Michel’s Upright Beasts, Flannery O’Connor’s Wise Blood, Bonnie Campell’s Mothers Tell Your Daughters, and anything by Ariana Reines or Melissa Broder.
Marina Petrova was published in The Conium Review: Vol. 4, and when we posted our call for editors, she was eager to get more involved with our small press. She graduated from the MFA program at The New School in May 2014, where she had previously served as a reader for LIT. Her work has appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Underwater New York, and Calliope Anthology. She’s currently working on a collection of short stories. In her non-writing life, she also works as a Business Analyst for a Media Tech company. Marina is a native Russian speaker, and growing up she was influenced by Chekhov, Nabokov, and Bulgakov. More recently, she’s become a huge fan of Donald Barthelme, Italo Calvino, Ben Marcus, Junot Díaz, and George Saunders.
William VanDenBerg is a first year MFA student at Brown University. He is the author of two chapbooks: Lake of Earth from Caketrain Press and Apostle Islands from Solar Luxuriance—he’ll be signing copies of these chapbooks at our AWP Conference table in Los Angeles (table #1238). He loves the work of Donald Barthelme, Ann Quin, Lindsay Hunter, Amelia Gray, and Steven Millhauser.
Visit masthead page to learn more about these editors and the rest of our staff.