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Archive for the '2019 Writers' Category

Fireflies – Suzanne Warren

Suzanne Warren’s 2019 Jack Straw Writers Program project is a collection of short stories called In the Country of Husbands that marries domestic realism with magic realism and focuses on the lives of women and girls. In her conversation with curator Kathleen Flenniken, they discuss her background in experimental film, themes of rape culture, and […]

Survivor – Putsata Reang

Putsata Reang’s project for the 2019 Jack Straw Writers Program is a memoir that chronicles her life growing up in rural Oregon and her family’s journey escaping the war and genocide in Cambodia. In her conversation with curator Kathleen Flenniken, they discuss the difficulty of writing a memoir involving people who are living, displacement in […]

Birmingham/Mars – Gabrielle Bates

2019 Jack Straw writer Gabrielle Bates spoke with curator Kathleen Flenniken about her collection of poems about growing up in the South. In their conversation, they discuss her array of projects, including a poetry comic collection, surrealism in her writing, and finding patience during a project.  “I keep going back, lately, to this great quote […]

Comedy – Josh Axelrad

Josh Axelrad began his storytelling career on The Moth, and his Jack Straw project is a collection of short stories meant to live in the world of prose rather than performance. In his conversation with curator Kathleen Flenniken, they discuss his circuitous path to becoming a writer, the way we present our lives online, and […]

Empathy – Michael Schmeltzer

Jack Straw Writer Michael Schmeltzer spoke with curator Kathleen Flenniken about his poems that explore the line between good and bad, and his own history as a biracial Japanese-American man. In their conversation, they discuss the juxtaposition of tenderness and atrocities, the conflicting narratives about the Japanese during war, and the value of empathy and […]

Wet – Leanne Dunic

Leanne Dunic’s project for the 2019 Jack Straw Writers Program is a book of lyric pose called Wet that takes place in Singapore, inspired by the thick haze of forest fires during a writing residency. In her conversation with curator Kathleen Flenniken, they discuss rolling with the punches, the influence of nature, and the overlap […]

Suzanne – Christianne Balk

2019 Jack Straw writer Christianne Balk spoke with curator Kathleen Flenniken about her series of poems of early 20th century voices inspired by her grandmother’s life as a young nurse serving in France during WWI. They discuss the importance of research in her writing, her background as a biology major, and inspiration taken from naturalists […]

Lena – Samar Abulhassan

2019 Jack Straw Writer Samar Abulhassan’s poetry project unites several different bodies of work: in particular, a project called “Lena,” set near bodies of water. In her conversation with curator Kathleen Flenniken, they discuss the relationship between writing and listening, writing and movement, and the parts of our identity that sometimes stay hidden in the […]

Oblique Sonnets – Rena Priest

Jack Straw writer Rena Priest spoke with curator Kathleen Flenniken about her poetry project Sublime Subliminal, inspired by Jim Simmerman’s “20 Little Poetry Projects.” They discuss the richness of languages, where poems start, and expectations of identity. “In a way, language, using it for poetry or powerful prose that changes a person’s mind or changes […]

Selves – Sylvia Byrne Pollack

Sylvia Byrne Pollack’s project for the 2019 Jack Straw Writers Program is a collection of prose poems written from the perspective of two fictional characters who deal with disability and mental illness. In her conversation with curator Kathleen Flenniken, they discuss Sylvia’s history as a scientist, her return to writing, and personification as a tool […]

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