anjette's blog

July 7, 2013

For Work by Abriana see:

Filed under: Uncategorized — anjette @ 10:32 am

http://www.womenwritersoftheworld.com/?page_id=20

http://www.everydaypoets.com/in-moonlight-by-abriana-jette-2/

http://theboilerjournal.com/category/spring-2013/

http://www.bu.edu/236magazine/current-issue/poetry-abriana-jette/

http://poetsandartists.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/corpses.pdf

http://gulib.georgetown.edu/newjour/e/msg03626.html

http://www.empiricalmagazine.com/

http://blogs.bu.edu/crwr/2013/02/22/new-publications-for-abriana-jette/

March 29, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — anjette @ 10:32 am

“The Next Big Thing”

For “The Next Big Thing,” each participating poet or fiction writer engages the same set of questions pertaining to a recently published book, a soon-to-be-published book, or a book-in-progress. This week, I am proud to host fiction writer Dariel Suarez, an almuna of the Boston University MFA program. Check out his wonderful interview below.
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1. What is the working title of your book?

I’m working on two manuscripts at the moment: a story collection and a novel. The collection is titled A Kind of Solitude (named after one of the pieces in the collection), and the novel is titled The Playwright’s House.

2. Where did the idea come from for your book?

I decided to write a collection of stories set in Cuba about two years ago. I left Cuba when I was fourteen years old, so I wanted to use the stories as a way to explore my native country and its people by fictionalizing real stories I’ve heard or experienced myself, and by looking at national events that never got the attention they deserved.

The novel came out of an exercise for my novella class at Boston University (I completed an MFA in fiction at BU). The great Ha Jin and my classmates helped me develop an outline based on an idea I had about two estranged Cuban brothers whose father, a playwright, is imprisoned for political reasons. Now the manuscript is well on its way.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Literary fiction, I believe.

4. Which actors would you choose to portray your characters in the
movie version of your book?

Interesting question. I’d say Daniel Day-Lewis, Jennifer Lawrence, Denzel Washington, Marion Cotillard, Christoph Waltz, Al Pacino and Cuban actress Isabel Santos could all do an amazing job. I think they would do justice to the characters, in any case.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

For A Kind of Solitude: This story collection delves into multiple facets of Cuban life through characters whose struggles are at once particular and universal, characters who offer a fresh insight into a culture that has often been distorted by the veil of political and social stereotypes.

For The Playwright’s House: This novel explores the complex relationship between love, art, and Cuban politics through two estranged brothers who must overcome their violent past in order to help their father, a renowned Cuban playwright, who is suddenly imprisoned.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I’m hoping they will be represented by an agency.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

The story collection has taken me over two years, and it’s nearly finished. The novel has been in the works for a few months. Due to the amount of research needed, it will probably take me another 5-6 months to complete.

8. What other books would you compare this story to in your genre?

It’s very hard to say. Ha Jin’s work has definitely been an influence. The same can be said for Dostoevsky, Hemingway, Ralph Ellison, Paul Bowles, Milan Kundera, and Tobias Wolff. Flannery O’Connor is great for character development. But it’s difficult for me to pick just one book. I try to read as much as I can while I’m writing. There are aspects of Cervantes’s Don Quixote and Eliot’s Middlemarch which I have implemented in some of my stories, for instance. I read poetry, too. Poets such as Michael Hettich, Charles Simic, and Stephen Dunn, who use simple, artistically precise language to delve into broader, more ambitious themes, something I aspire to accomplish in everything I write.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I wanted to dig deep into Cuba’s culture, into those aspects of everyday life that are rarely explored in the literature written about the country, while avoiding the stereotypes and propaganda-like approach of some of the work that’s been published outside of Cuba. I’m a fiction writer, and my own political views should not interfere with what I’m narrating. My job is to show life as it is or was, and let the readers judge for themselves.

I also wanted to explore my own childhood and teenage years by taking a good look at what surrounded me, at the experiences those around me had gone through. I must admit that writing these books makes me feel closer to my native country; it makes me immensely appreciative of what Cuba did for me. It’s a difficult place to live in because of the poverty and political climate, but there’s so much beauty and richness in the way people endure and overcome. It’s a place full of energy, history, and breathtaking nature. It just made sense to throw myself into this world and try to follow characters who exemplify so much of what Cuba has to offer, whether inspiring or absolutely heartbreaking.

10. What else about your book might pique a reader’s interest?

It’s an opportunity to read about a place and a people that have been off limits to a lot of the world for over half a century. Cuba, when you think about it, is a very unique country: a tropical island with heavy African influences and a Communist government that has brought with it Eastern European elements to the culture. There’s a lot to be discovered in such a mix. Hopefully my books can give readers both a broad and detailed glimpse into what is like to live there. I’ve also written stories based on historical events and parts of the culture that are unknown to many, such as the underground rock and heavy metal scene in the late 80s and early 90s, right around the fall of the Soviet Union. More than anything, however, I hope my books serve as an opportunity for readers to see themselves in characters who are otherwise distant, characters who up to now have been practically hidden from their view and their minds.

March 20, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — anjette @ 12:38 pm

For “The Next Big Thing,” each participating poet or fiction writer engages the same set of questions pertaining to a recently published book, a soon-to-be-published book, or a book-in-progress. This week, I am proud to host Mimi Lipson, an almuna of the Boston University MFA program in Fiction.
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1. What is your working title of your book?

It’s a collection of stories, which I’m calling “The Cloud of Unknowing” right now. That’s the title of one of the stories, and I think it might also work for them in aggregate. And I’m writing a novel, but I’m too superstitious to talk about it.

2. Where did the idea come from for your book?

Mike McGonigal at Yeti Publishing was the one who suggested putting together a book. The germs of most of the stories came from life—things that happened to me or someone I knew, or from places I’ve been. Everything changes once you start writing, though, and especially when you revise.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

I guess you would call it literary fiction.

4. Which actors would you choose to portray your characters in the movie version of your book?

That’s hard for me to say because I’m not familiar with a lot of contemporary actors. There’s a movie called You Can Count On Me in which Mark Ruffalo plays someone similar to one of my recurring characters, but that movie came out over ten years ago, so Mark Ruffalo would be too old now. And I have a Gene Hackman type in a few of the stories. But I’m probably just saying that because I love Gene Hackman so much. Also Linda Manz at various ages, and one story has a Gena Rowlands. I’m really showing my age with these answers.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Fourteen stories about the mystery of personality, maybe?

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Neither. It’s coming out next year from Yeti Publishing. There is an agent who’s (I hope) going to help me with the novel when it’s ready, but she’s not involved with the story collection.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I wrote the stories over the last five or six years.

8. What other books would you compare this story to in your genre?

I think the stories vary a fair amount in terms of style and theme, so I suppose I’d compare the collection to someone with a lot of range. V.S. Pritchett comes to mind.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

People have been bugging me to write my whole life. It seems I have a reputation as an amusing storyteller. I only started writing seriously when I was 40, though, and a lot of the struggle, for me, is to NOT write like I’m spinning a good yarn, because writing and talking are two very different things.

Another answer to that question: I worry that what I know, what I’ve experienced, and how I think about it–my particular sensibility–will die with me. Writing is a pretty self-involved pursuit.

10. What else about your book might pique a reader’s interest?

I always try to put a few good gags in each story.

Thanks for hosting me, Abe! I hereby tag Dariel Suarez.

March 11, 2013

Next Post

Filed under: Uncategorized — anjette @ 1:34 pm

Thank you to the poet Caitlin Doyle for tagging me for “The Next Big Thing” interview series! You can read her self-interview here: http://caitlindoylepoetry.com/?page_id=302.

For “The Next Big Thing,” each participating poet or fiction writer engages the same set of questions pertaining to a recently published book, a soon-to-be-published book, or a book-in-progress. Here are my responses regarding the development of my debut poetry collection.
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1. What is the working title of your book?

            Pink Houses.

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

            Sometime three years ago the local news hummed from the television, and I chased around my keys and wallet while my mother sat on the couch commenting after and about each reel. Like many other times, the newscaster reported from her old neighborhood, the Louis. H. Pink Housing Project, in the East New York area of Brooklyn: another shooting, another youth found dead. The neighborhood is notorious for its brutality, but my memory associates the complex with green lawns and pastel colored Cadillacs, my father’s blue bellbottoms and my mother’s long hair. My mother’s best friends, the people I call aunt and uncle, my godparents, and brother’s godparents, and sister’s godparents, grew up together, some on different floors, some right across the hall from one another, in that project. They refer to each other, the group of them, as the Pinks. As I walked out of the door, my mother juxtaposed her past to the present life of the current tenants: “when we lived there we were poor, well, we were not poor because we didn’t know we were poor, but we were poor…” she said.
            It was in that moment Pink Houses was born. 

3. What genre does your book fall under?

            Poetry.
 
4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

            Much of Pink Houses surrounds the bereft, so I only hope the voices of the souls of those who I listened to and tried to pay homage to have been accurately, articulately and successfully reproduced on the page.
            The characters who appear in Pink Houses also range from members of my family, strangers I’ve encountered on the street, victims from stories I’ve heard on the news, and most noticeably, powerful mythic women: mothers, daughters, and lovers. If there is one thing Pink Houses throbs with, it is passion.
Sometimes it takes a week to get a Persephone, Eurydice, or Apollo poem out. First there is an emotion, an unwavering connection to a sentiment, and then I listen for days until I hear something I can translate through line. These poems are cathartic, ecstatic experiences in which tone is crucial, and choosing an actor seems an impossibly difficult decision.
That being said…
            The “protagonists” of sorts, the driving forces and organizing factors of the collection, to me, are Persephone, Hades, and Demeter. Johnny Depp, in all of his long-haired calm glory, would have to play Hades, the comical, understanding lover who doesn’t take that world above too seriously. I think Julianne Moore would make a fabulous Demeter with her straight hair the color of the setting sun, and those tight lips asserting she will take no nonsense. If I can’t play the role of Persephone (oh, to be Johnny Depp’s tortured lover…), I’d give the privilege to Natalie Portman.
 
5.      What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

What a difficult question — to summarize my own work in one sentence! This will most likely do the collection no justice but I will try:

            Pink Houses yearns to preserve the various dimensions of contemporary consciousness through moments of chaotic displacement, relying particularly on the vernacular to reveal the importance of tradition, character, and the power of art.
 
6.      Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?


              Ideally, I strive to find a press confident in the strength of my first manuscript, a publisher who shares similar beliefs in my work and for the craft of poetry, with whom I can develop and sustain a steady relationship.
            Perhaps the most spectacular moment of creating a manuscript is the feeling of being finished. I finally acknowledged I had done all I could with the voices and places and twists in Pink Houses just a few months ago and have been in the steady process of writing query letters, entering first book contests, and sending individual pieces out for consideration ever since.
 
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

            The first draft of Pink Houses must have begun while I wrote my thesis at Hofstra University, though the poems I was writing then focused more intensely on the self than the mythic alternatives I have since chosen to love. A handful of those poems still appear in the collection –poems I revisited two years later while writing my thesis at Boston University to recreate, and, in a way, resurrect. 
 During April of 2012, along with two friends and fellow poets, I wrote a poem a day (and sometimes more!) in honor of Poetry Month. The experience was both exhilarating and exhausting and helped me discover more intuitively what I seek to discover in writing. During that month, I felt as if I were a faucet that would not stop running; the poems poured out.
              Three years is the short of it. It has taken me three years to write the first draft of Pink Houses, though it feels the voices have been inside me my whole life.
  
8. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
    
        For me, this question may as well be “who or what inspires you to write poetry”, so my answer will reflect such sentiments:
              As a young girl I wrote poetry as an outlet to express my emotions nonverbally. Poetry seemed to me the perfect venue to remain silent, to not cause a stir or worry, and yet control, manipulate, and raise my voice. I relied heavily on end-rhyme and the “I”. 
            When I began seriously studying the craft of writing, poetry transformed from a personal, private art into a complex, antiquated, intimate, and somehow mythic experience, one which held with it the power to multiply the virility of written word. Ambitiously, I wanted to twist syntax like Gerard Manley Hopkins, complicate lines like e. e. cummings; I wanted to elicit fear, wonder, and pity and somehow arouse the lyric. I wanted the power of the poet, and the only way I knew how to go about this was by mimicking those I read. By attempting to write like them, I began to live, in a way, like them, listening, for instance, to what I believed Seamus Heaney might hear in the middle of a crowded department store.
 I began to find ordinary happenstances wonderful sources of inspiration; I sought to expose the extraordinary appeal of the regular as Eugenio Montale illuminated the brilliance of a drying leaf. In another sense, with another part of my brain, I became determined to see the writing of a poem the way Joan Didion or Phillip Lopate saw the composition of a personal essay. It was in the company of these voices that I was able to find my own. 
            The workshops I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of inspire me to write poetry, the students I teach, the essays I read, conversations I overhear on the bus back and forth from work, the notes I scribbled during lectures with fascinating professors and reread, the scent of sunday sauce from the staircase, my conscience, my dreams, the slice of onion under the stove I cannot reach, the weather, the moon, everything in my sight inspires me to write poetry.

9.  What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
            I fancy my poem “If You See Something, Say Something” to be an anthem for New York City, and believe it should be on rotation on the Coney Island Q through the Arts for Transit program. (Shameless plug?)

For more on how poetry has shaped my life see: http://www.womenwritersoftheworld.com/?page_id=20
 
My poetry is forthcoming or has appeared in: Empirical Magazine, Perceptions Literary Magazine, and Every Day Poets.

I am also working on a collection of personal essays, tentatively titled “Lucky”. Essays from the collection can be found at: The Boiler Journal, dirtCakes, and Elsewhere.

Thank you so much for reading! For next week I’ve tagged Mimi Lipson.

July 23, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — anjette @ 4:16 pm

Since I’ve been here I have taken over 2000 photos, and today only added to the bunch with a trip to the ancient city of Tharros, one of the largest and most important Phoenician-Roman ruins in the world. Once an active port, a narrow road also leads to the nuraghi village of Marru Mannu, dating from 18th century B.C. Tharros, located on the peninsula di sinis, is around 45 minutes away from Bosa, located in the province of Oristano. In Oristano, life is even simpler than life in Alghero. Alghero even seemed too busy considering the bulls on the side of the road, and the townsmen wondering through town on horseback. Yes, horseback. One thing is for sure, as the graffiti on the way shouts, Sardegna is not Italy.

Peninsula di Sinis, Tharros

Roman Columns at Tharros

Phoenician-Roman ruins

Today a trip back in time to the Nuraghe Palmavera and Anghelu Ruju. The Nuraghi, of which over 700 can be found on the island, are remnants of small villages which have been preserved from 1500 B.C. The name nuraghi doesn’t say anything about the people, but about the construction of the circular stone huts inhabited by them. The Nuraghe Palmavera was apparently destroyed after a major fire, and is just a decent walk, a short bike ride, and an even shorter car ride from the center of Alghero. The Anghelu Ruju is even older, a necropolis dating by from around 3300 B.C., suspected to belong to the Nuraghe as well. Climbing in the tombs, one can feel the presence of a thousand souls, and smell the history through the small inlets where the sun and lizards climb in.

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A voyage to the east side of the island, today, to the famous Costa Smeralda, known for its fancy yachts and V.I.P visitors. We packed our own lunch, some dried sausage, tomatoes, and frozen water, as paninis cost 8 euro at the Prince’s Beach. The history of Smeralda is simple and recent. On an excursion, a group of financiers found the natural untouched beauty of the beach beautiful enough to invest in, and so they did. Up until the 1970’s the area was pretty deserted, or so the book I have been reading about Sardinian history tells me. The sights are indescribable, and the water is unlike any I have ever seen, but there is a lack of spirit in the air, if you ask me, which comes with places like Alghero, Bosa, or Porto Torres, areas where history is as important as the view.

Entrance to the courtyard at Nuraghe Palmavera

Nuraghe PalmaveraHat & Tomb @ the Anghelu Ruju

Interior of Tomb V Anghelu Ruju

Inside of Tomb XX, Anghelu Ruju


Inside of Tomb XX Angehlu Ruju

Aerial view of Costa Smeralda


Prince's Beach, Costa Smeralda


Today we explored more of the northern coast, and after a thirty minute adventure lost in Sassari, we were well on our way to Castelsardo, a medieval town similar to Bosa, in which homes are built into the side of the mountains, presumably for protection from Moor invasions, to Valledoria, then finally to Isola Rossa, where we settled on a small beach with a cerulean sea.. Living here has made me quite a beach snob, I must admit. The vast beach of Valledoria, with sand split between a fresh water lake where horses stop for a small drink, and the crashing waves of the Mediterranean for surfers and small, brave children on the other side, was too much. Give me the private, azure blue sea, with water like glass in which I can see the chipped red of my toe-nail polish any day.
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D.H. Lawrence once wrote something regarding the Sardinians and their eagerness to be alone. In Italy, he says, groups of people form together in the market, gossip on a bench in the park, but in Sardegna it is not odd to find a lonesome shepherd walking for miles with no one but his flock of sheep. I find myself yearning to walk alone, the other night, I felt an extreme jealousy for the stray cat I have semi-adopted. How wonderful it must be to have no one to answer to, to tour the forests until you are hungry and then purr next to the first person who will listen. This must be part of the Sardinian sickness, the resistance to be anything tranquil, to be alone, not lost, in the middle of the Mediterranean. After all, Lawrence writes, “I am no more than a signal human man wandering my lonely way across these years.”

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Interested in some nut cream for your rubber dingy? Well you should be, for that means some delicious homemade amaretto gelato and a chance to ride in a small boat. 

The translations here are of pure wonder. I have a small tourist guide which I refer to often for the sheer charm of the grammar, “walking north we see goat feeds with sheep”, is one particular favorite construction. A dear friend from Cagliari, Sardinia’s capital, agrees. We have a good laugh over my misunderstanding of the movie title for “Snow white and the Huntsmen” which is “Bianca en la cacciatori” Isn’t cacciatore a style of cooking, I ask? It doesn’t take long for me to understand the relationship between the rustic style of onions, peppers, and tomatoes, and the translation of “huntsmen”. I like it, I tell Valentina, it has a history. Plus, I am relieved the movie isn’t “Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter.”

Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys are still alive in Alghero, and the young children sing along, not understanding what it means when they shimmy and bob to “I’m not that innocent”, but much differently than those young children did in America, for literally, these innocents don’t speak a lick of English. It is a wonder, all of the songs on the radio here are pretty much British pop, with the occasional italian songstress belting out words I wish I could half knowingly sing along to, and yet hardly anyone speaks fluently in English. In fact, there are five different dialects in Sardegna. Ajo, ejo, aio, ijo, all mean let’s go, but are each pronounced distinctly differently depending on the region. The waiter who serves Valentina and me is surprised to hear her speak such good Italian, and he says it in Sardo to test her, we believe. She says she is from Cagliari and he smiles, and I hold on to every other third word as they speak.

Perhaps the free internet at McDonald’s was too good to be true. The employees know what I want when I come up to the counter. Sorry, signora, they say, we don’t know what to do. I hear one girl say she doesn’t understand why I am so concerned about the internet, maybe I should go to the beach, but I don’t know enough Italian to tell her I have to put up a blog post. Mamma mia, I say, it is important. Lavorro, I say. Work. One man tries to help me, but explaining computer issues is difficult enough in English, and alas we have no shot at helping the other out. He apologizes profusely, as if it is his own fault I can’t upload a blog post. It is okay, I say, tranquile, which I have learned can be translated into “don’t worry” or, what I like to imagine, “be tranquil”. After three days of trying to post with no luck, I treat myself to a chocolate gelato near the Old Town. Certainly the McDonald’s employees were right, this is much better than surfing the web.

Tower & Asinara

Catapult and the Sea

Castelsardo

Alghero sunset

Road to Isola Rossa

A few days ago, like Kenny Chesney, with nowhere to go and no where to be, I thought a walk to the medieval town of Bosa would be a fun way to spend the day. I was originally going to live in the fisherman village, which overlooks the River Temo, and have been eager to compare it to Alghero. After around 9km, crossing over granite bridges, leaving the smooth coast line of Alghero for the rocky cliffs and crashing waves, we asked a local surfer ‘dove Bosa?’. His expression said it all…40km away! A bus another day sounded much better of an option. A walk 10km back to watch the sunset.

The MTA can’t compare to the public transportation system in Sardegna. Lord knows, Sardinian’s would frown upon the T. Coach lines, panoramic views, cushioned seats, and air conditioner awaits everyone. The forty minute ride to Bosa, the town next, and by next I do mean the next and closest town to Alghero, is filled with goats, sheep, horses, and shepherds, not to mention unbelievable views. Bosa is charming, beautiful, historic, indescribable really, but mostly it was on siesta. No matter, what we really came to do was walk up over 200 steps to see la Castella Seravilla, built in 1010. The tower’s bases and walls are still intact, as well as a small chapel.

In the chapel are original paintings, discovered during reconstruction in the 1700’s, of the last supper, the theology of saints, and the Sardinian depiction of the decomposition of the body, which begins with the body fully intact, but ends, as we all will, with the salvation of the soul. It seems this belief is what truly lies at the root of Sardinian culture. There is a tourist shirt I’ve seen around, nothing special, black cotton and an imitation Nike symbol, with the words “Sardegna — Just Do It Later”. One lives by the sun. It rises early and sets late. My days are spent walking by the sea, watching the sun, and reading Eugenio Montale. If there is anything to worry about, I will worry later.

Once again, being from New York is a blessing. Everyone here loves New York — “I want to go” they say. “Okay, let’s switch”, I say. I like to pretend I don’t know what it is about my hometown that is so special, but walking down the streets of Alghero, I realize why. Nick knows how to work down the street vendors euro by euro, and I, well, I suppose it is my smile and the phrase “mi despiache, parle poco italiano” that has helped me get by. Still, Brooklyn is no Sardegna.

After seeing us unlock our rented bikes during the morning, Pina wanted to know why we were on foot walking home, and why we were coming home so early, weren’t we going to have dinner by the water? She uses her hands and points to her feet to make her question clear. I make a funny face, one which I hope shows pain and excitement, and point to my bottom. I’ve found a new respect for cyclists after yesterday — after a 21km bike ride, it hurts, I say. I rub my thumb against my fingers in hopes that the international sign for too much money translates. She holds my hand when we speak. We have no idea what the other is truly saying, but somehow we know what the other means.


Today I jumped overboard, twice. I even swam with fish while they ate penne alla pesto! If you ever find yourself in Alghero, the Andrea Jensen is an absolute must — a private yacht owned and operated by a lovely British couple, Vivienne and Geoff, which sails around the various cliffs and capes, and docks in the middle of Cappo Caccia. Aboard, I met a lovely couple from Surrey, who happened to live quite close to where I lived when I studied in London, and a truly charming couple from Ireland, who helped me write my first poem…(Pat and Eileen): “There once was a man named Pat, when he jumped he made a big splash.”


Walking through Old Town

Internet is hard to come by in Sardegna, and for good reason. Why worry what the rest of the world is worrying about? Around here one frets about littering on the beach. Why, just last night there was a twenty minute news report about cigarette butts on the beach. One older gentleman proposed using empty advil containers as ash trays. Nothing extraordinary, but genius none the less.

The words I want to write are simple, as the way of life is simple. One may rise at eight, have a few too many espressos, take a simple walk down to the water, pass a catapult or ancient watch tower or two, and find the shop keepers still preparing their merchandise, and that the town is still rising. Of course, siesta is near, so one mustn’t get too used to browsing.

Life begins after dinner, really. And for good thing — I’ll let the photos speak for themselves. Alghero’s history seems to be stuck somewhere between the eleventh century, and today. The children speak English as adults shake their heads. I live in the outskirts of town, above an older couple, Pina and Giorgio, and a younger woman, perhaps a few years my senior, Gulianna. The generation gaps make no matter, there is still no WiFi, no dryer, and no air conditioner if the radio or water heater is on, but there is fresh basil, lemon trees, and lilacs galore. There is a McDonald’s, yes, which is where I am sitting now to write these few words. All there is to know is that the tomatoes are ripe, the cheese is fresh, and at night, there is always a purple sky.

July 16, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — anjette @ 9:59 am

Internet is hard to come by in Sardegna, and for good reason. Why worry what the rest of the world is worrying about? Around here one frets about littering on the beach. Why, just last night there was a twenty minute news report about cigarette butts on the beach. One older gentleman proposed using empty advil containers as ash trays. Nothing extraordinary, but genius none the less.

The words I want to write are simple, as the way of life is simple. One may rise at eight, have a few too many espressos, take a simple walk down to the water, pass a catapult or ancient watch tower or two, and find the shop keepers still preparing their merchandise, and that the town is still rising. Of course, siesta is near, so one mustn’t get too used to browsing.

Life begins after dinner, really. And for good thing — I’ll let the photos speak for themselves. Alghero’s history seems to be stuck somewhere between the eleventh century, and today. The children speak English as adults shake their heads. I live in the outskirts of town, above an older couple, Pina and Giorgio, and a younger woman, perhaps a few years my senior, Gulianna. The generation gaps make no matter, there is still no WiFi, no dryer, and no air conditioner if the radio or water heater is on, but there is fresh basil, lemon trees, and lilacs galore. There is a McDonald’s, yes, which is where I am sitting now to write these few words. All there is to know is that the tomatoes are ripe, the cheese is fresh, and at night, there is always a purple sky.

Filed under: Uncategorized — anjette @ 9:55 am

Internet is hard to come by in Sardegna, and for good reason. Why worry what the rest of the world is worrying about? Around here one frets about littering on the beach. Why, just last night there was a twenty minute news report about cigarette butts on the beach. One older gentleman proposed using empty advil containers as ash trays. Nothing extraordinary, but genius none the less.

The words I want to write are simple, as the way of life is simple. One may rise at eight, have a few too many espressos, take a leisurely walk down to the water, pass a catapult or ancient watch tower or two, and find the shop keepers still preparing their merchandise, and that the town is still rising. Of course, siesta is near, so one mustn’t get too used to browsing.

Life begins after dinner, really. And for good thing — I’ll let the photos speak for themselves. Alghero’s history seems to be stuck somewhere between the eleventh century, and today. The children speak English as adults shake their heads. I live in the outskirts of town, above an older couple, Pina and Giorgio, and a younger woman, perhaps a few years my senior, Gulianna. The generation gaps make no matter, there is still no WiFi, no dryer, and no air conditioner if the radio or water heater is on, but there is fresh basil, lemon trees, and lilacs galore. There is a McDonald’s, yes, which is where I am sitting now to write these few words. All there is to know is that the tomatoes are ripe, the cheese is fresh, and at night, there is always a purple sky.


December 12, 2011

Writers at the Black Box

Filed under: Uncategorized — anjette @ 7:12 pm

Hosted by Creative Writing Graduate Students at Boston University, Writers at the Black Box is a reading series devoted to showcasing the talents of past and present Boston University MFA students. The series presents a group of current students reading along with one graduate of the program. On Tuesday, April 24, the Writers at the Black Box is proud to present poetry by current MFA candidates Laura Goldstein and Abriana Jette, a play by current MFA candidate Megan Fernandes, and poetry by alumna Rebekah Stout.
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Information:

Date: Tuesday April 24, 2012
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: 949 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston MA 02215

*Wine & Cheese Reception to Follow*
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FEATURED READERS:

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Laura Goldstein is from Niceville, Florida. She finished a creative writing M.A. in August from the University of Southern Mississippi, and is now pursuing her M.F.A in poetry from Boston University.

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Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Abriana Jette holds an M.A. in Creative Writing and English from Hofstra University. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Poetry at Boston University where she is a Betsey Leonard Fellow. She is a Robert Pinsky Global Fellow, an AWP Intro Journal Project nominee, and teaches at the Boston Academy of Arts.

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Megan Fernandes is a PhD candidate in English at the University of California, Santa Barbara and a current poetry MFA student at Boston University. Her poems have been published in Upstairs at Duroc and Media Fields: Science and Scale. She is the poetry editor of the anthology Strangers in Paris and is the author of two chapbooks, Organ Speech (Corrupt Press) and Some Citrus Makes me Blue (Dancing Girl Press). She was recently named the recipient of the 2012 “Writer’s Room in Boston” Fellowship in Poetry.

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Rebekah Stout is the 2009 Poetry International Prize winner. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry International and Salmagundi. She currently works as the Program Director for the Favorite Poem Project and is a reader for the poetry page for Slate.

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Hosted by Creative Writing Graduate Students at Boston University, Writers at the Black Box is a reading series devoted to showcasing the talents
of past and present Boston University MFA students. The series presents current students reading along with alumni of the program.
On Tuesday, March 20, Writers at the Black Box is proud to present fiction by alumna Jessica Ullian and current MFA candidate Soo Hong,
poetry by current MFA candidate Natasha Hakimi, and a play by current MFA candidate Phil Schroeder.

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Information:

Date: Tuesday March 20, 2012
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: 949 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston MA 02215

*Wine & Cheese Reception to Follow*

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Jessica Ullian
Jessica Ullian’s work has appeared in Meeting House, Upstreet, Slice, and Slate. Her short story “The Scottish Gentlemen” recently received an honorable mention
in Glimmer Train’s Short Story Award for New Writers. She lives in Boston with her husband and daughter.

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Natasha Hakimi holds both a B.A. in Spanish and a B.A. in English with a creative writing concentration from the University of California, Los Angeles.
She has received several awards for creative writing, including the May Merrill Miller Award for Poetry in 2008 and 2010,
the Ruth Brill Award for short fiction in 2010 and the Falling Leaves Award in 2010. Natasha’s interned at Los Angeles Magazine and Truthdig, and continues to write for both publications. At the moment, she’s pursuing her M.F.A. in Creative Writing, with an emphasis in Poetry at Boston University.

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Hosted by Creative Writing Graduate Students at Boston University, Writers at the Black Box is a reading series devoted to showcasing the talents of past and present Boston University MFA students. The series presents a group of current students reading along with one graduate of the program. On Tuesday, February 7, the Writers at the Black Box is proud to present a play by featured alumni playwright Walt McGough, poetry by current MFA candidates Mike Brokos, and Kelly Morse, and fiction by current candidate Mimi Lipson.
_______________________________________________________________________
Information:

Date: Tuesday February 7, 2012
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: 949 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston MA 02215

*Wine & Cheese Reception to Follow*
__________________________________________________________________
FEATURED READERS:

Walt McGough Headshot - Web
Walt McGough is a Boston- and Chicago-based playwright, originally from Pittsburgh. His plays include The Farm, Priscilla Dreams the Answer, Dante Dies!! (and then things get weird), Everything Freezes, Paper City Phoenix, and True Places, and he has worked around the country with companies including Boston Playwrights Theatre, Fresh Ink, Sideshow Theatre Company, Orfeo Group, Nu Sass Productions, Chicago Dramatists, Infusion Theatre Company and The Second City Chicago. He won the 2011 Best Comedy Award from the Capital Fringe Festival in Washington, DC, and was named one of the Boston Globe’s 2012 Artists on the Rise. He was the recipient of the Kennedy Center’s 2010 Ken Ludwig Scholarship and a writing fellowship to the 2010 O’Neill Playwrights Conference, and was a finalist for ACTF’s John Cauble Short Play and ten-minute awards. He is a founding ensemble member of Sideshow Theatre Company, for which he serves as Literary Manager. He currently serves on the staff at SpeakEasy Stage Company in Boston, and was previously the Company Manager at Chicago Dramatists. He holds a BA from the University of Virginia, and an MFA in Playwriting from Boston University.

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Mike Brokos hails from the mid-Atlantic, growing up outside of Baltimore, earning an undergraduate degree in English from the University of Maryland, and living in the Washington, DC area for several years before coming to Boston to work on his MFA in Poetry.

Kelly Morse Photo
Kelly Morse grew up in the Pacific Northwest, but has since drifted as far as Spain, South Africa and even the East Coast. Most recently, her work has appeared in PoetsArtists and Strange Roots: Views of Hanoi. Kelly is currently working on a series that explores linguistic and world-view gaps between Eastern and Western cultures after a two-year stay in Vietnam.

Mimi Lipson
Mimi Lipson studies creative writing at Boston University. She grew up primarily in Cambridge. Her chapbook, Food and Beverage, is available from All-Seeing Eye Press.MA. When not in residence at BU, she lives in the Hudson Valley.

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Hosted by Creative Writing Graduate Students at Boston University, Writers at the Black Box is a reading series devoted to showcasing the talents of past and present Boston University MFA students. The series presents a group of current students reading along with one graduate of the program. On Tuesday, November 14, the Writers at the Black Box is proud to present fiction by featured alumna
Caroline Woods, a play excerpt by playwright Michael Parsons, poetry by Bryan Coller, and fiction by Dariel Suarez.

Date: Tuesday November 13, 2011
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: 949 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston MA 02215

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Caroline Woods (MFA Fiction 2008), a 2011 Pushcart Prize-nominated writer, currently teaches fiction writing at Boston University anliterature at the Boston Conservatory. She is also the Administrative Coordinator of Creative Writing at BU. Her short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Slice and Lemon Magazine. As a teenager, she self-published a book of ghost stories, Haunted Delaware, which has been mentioned in The Village Voice and Writer’s Digest. She has just finished writing her first novel.

Dariel
Dariel’s work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and his fiction, poetry, and nonfiction have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, both in print and online. Dariel is currently finishing a collection of stories set in his native country as well as a poetry chapbook. Once upon a time, he was an avid metalhead.

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Bryan Coller grew up in Southern California where he attended UC Irvine. He studies and teaches creative writing at Boston University.

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Michael Parsons’ one-act play, House Rules, has just been nominated for the John Cauble Short Play Award from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) for 2012.

November 3, 2011

Writers at the Black Box

Filed under: Uncategorized — anjette @ 1:27 pm

Hosted by Creative Writing Graduate Students at Boston University, Writers at the Black Box is a reading series devoted to showcasing the talents of past and present Boston University MFA students. The series presents a group of current students reading along with one graduate of the program. On Tuesday, November 8, the Writers at the Black Box is proud to present poetry by featured alumna reader Caitlin Doyle, a play excerpt by playwright MJ Halberstadt, poetry by Megan Fernandes, and fiction by Shuba Sunder.

Date: Tuesday, November 8
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: 949 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston MA 02215

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Caitlin Doyle has been awarded residency fellowships in poetry from the MacDowell Colony, the Ucross Foundation, and others. She has held the Writer-In-Residence position at St. Albans School and the Jack Kerouac House Writer-In-Residence fellowship. Her honors include multiple Pushcart Prize nominations and the Tennessee Williams Scholarship in Poetry through the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Caitlin earned her MFA from Boston University as the George Starbuck Fellow in Poetry. Her work has appeared in Best New Poets 2009, Black Warrior Review, The Boston Review, Measure, and others. For more about Caitlin and her work, visit: http://caitlindoylepoetry.com/

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Shubha Sunder grew up in Bangalore, India and came to the United States in 2001. She earned her BA in physics from Bryn Mawr College and is currently an MFA student in fiction at BU. At Bryn Mawr, she won the Anne Winkelman Short Story Prize and the Academy of American Poets’ Prize. She has spent the last six years writing alongside teaching math and physics at a local high school. Her short stories and poems have been published in Nimbus and The Drum Literary Magazine. She lives in Jamaica Plain.

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Megan Fernandes is a PhD candidate in English Literature at UC Santa Barbara. She is the editor of Strangers in Paris (Tightrope Books 2011) and has two forthcoming chapbooks, Organ Speech (Corrupt Press, November 2011) and Some Citrus Makes me Blue (Dancing Girl Press, January 2012). She has also been published in Upstairs at Duroc and Media Fields: Science and Scale.

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MJ Halberstadt is a Boston-based playwright fresh out of undergrad (BA Theatre Education 2010, Emerson College). His plays have been developed and produced by/with CoLab Theatre Company, Emerson Stage, FV Productions, Small Theatre Alliance of Boston, Umbrella Theatre Company and Young Playwrights Incorporated. He has been the recipient of the Jack Welch Scholarship and EVVY award for Best Play. He earned his license to teach K-12 drama by student teaching at Thurston Middle School, and has interned with Holland Productions, FV Productions and SpeakEasy Stage Company. His play “The Sexual Politics of White People” will be featured in Another Country’s SLAMBoston next week, and his YouTube video series “Centre of the Universe” was recently featured in the Rockville Centre Herald, the same newspaper which is satirized in the videos. MJHalberstadt.com

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