Part 2 of Romani Gypsy Power in Sci-Fi and Fantasy & Book Giveaway!

In the second and final part of my essay “Romani Gypsy Power in Sci-Fi and Fantasy,” over at Kate Lechler’s column “The Expanded Universe”¬†in¬†Fantasy Literature, I discuss Romani writers who write speculative fiction/sci-fi/fantasy/magical realism, and then I explain why these distinctions between realism and magical realism are entirely arbitrary. I also take a look at Romani folklore and trauma narratives and discuss how these elements shape contemporary Romani fiction. In short, I really enjoyed writing this and I hope you enjoy the Romani writers Caren Gussoff Sumption and Rajko Djuric, who I positively gush about in this essay. And if you leave a comment on the¬†essay over at Fantasy Literature, you’ll be entered into a book giveaway! You people like books, right? What could be better for you?

Thanks for reading!

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The End of the Tour (2015) – David Foster Wallace in Mostly-Self-Aware Snapshots

Cambridge Writers' Workshop

TEOTT PosterTheEnd of the Tour (dir. James Ponsoldt, 2015) tells the story of writer David Lipsky’s unpublished Rolling Stone interview with David Foster Wallace, in which Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg), an emerging writer of some acclaim, follows Wallace (Jason Segal) on a five-day book tour, pitching questions the whole way along the road of junk food, hotels, and indie bookshops packed with fans. The screenplay, by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Donald Margulies, is based on Lipsky’s memoir Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip With David Foster Wallace. When first meeting Wallace in The End of the Tour, he is strikingly wry, reclusive, and aloof, which could be mistaken for the personality of a writer too full of his own genius to be close to the world. But soon Lipsky and the audience see that Wallace’s distance is the product of anxiety, his cutting quips…

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Success is Waiting by Buzz Durkin, available now!

51KDM0kNcFL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_I had the pleasure of editing Mr. Buzz Durkin’s debut book Success is Waiting, which details his¬†experience and advice founding and successfully running Buzz Durkin’s Uechi Karate School. This was hands-down one of my favorite jobs– Mr. Durkin is such a kind, intelligent, and driven person and those qualities come through in his writing. So if you are a martial artist and you’re considering opening your own studio, I really think you should let Mr. Durkin be your guide. He has decades of martial arts practice and exprience and is highly respected in the martial arts community for good reason. People from all over the country seek him out for advice on how to build a strong and successful dojo and foster a community of learning, and that’s why he’s written this book¬†which is now¬†available on Amazon, already with sparkling reviews.¬†Congrats, Mr. Durkin and William Leith who worked so hard on making this book great. It was wonderful¬†working alongside you both.

What is Literary Activism? A chorus of voices answers in The Poetry Foundation

Activism-quote-by-Alice-WalkerAmy King, WNBA Award Winner, member of¬†VIDA¬†Executive Committee, and Women’s National Book Award winner, has now asked us all “What is Literary Activism?” and then answered it for the Poetry Foundation, but the coolest thing in the world about Amy is that she takes all of her actions seriously. Her angle is that literary activism is about inclusivity and visibility. So what does she do? She asks a diverse array of writers to answer the question along with her. I am so honored to be among them talking about the necessity of Romani literary activism, because as far as I’m concerned, the very act of writing is activism ¬†for Roma. So read Amy, and read¬†Samiya Bashir,¬†Rosebud Ben-Oni,¬†Ana BoŇĺińćevińá,¬†Emily Brandt,¬†Ken Chen,¬†Melissa Febos,¬†Suzi F. Garcia,¬†Eunsong Kim,¬†Jason Koo,¬†Lynn Melnick,¬†Shane McCrae,¬†Laura Mullen, H√©ctor Ram√≠rez,¬†Metta S√°ma,¬†Melissa Studdard,¬†and Arisa White!

Write your activism, baby! Opre Roma!

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My story “Why the Pyres are Unlit” in Drunken Boat’s Romani Folio

Drunken Boat has a special Romani Folio and I feel so honored to be included in it alongside¬†Qristina Zavańćkov√° Cummings, Sydnee Wagner,¬†Glenda Bailey-Mershon,¬†Tamara Demetro, Allison Williams, and many others! It’s very cool to have a lit journal spotlight Romani writers in this way. Definitely take the time to check out all the wonderful writers in this issue. My short story “Why the Pyres are Unlit” came out of my first fiction workshop of my MFA with Robert Olen Butler, so a big thanks to him and everyone in that Fall 2011 class for helping me get it into shape.

And also in Drunken Boat, not in the Romani Folio but in the poetry section, is Brandon Lewis’s poem “On Solitude.” Another excellent read! While you’re at it, take a look at¬†Brandon and Elissa Lewis’s poetry and drawing collaboration “Projected Lives” in Quail Bell Magazine— so beautiful.

Romani Folio Cover

Drunken Boat’s Romani Folio Cover

Fantasy Literature’s Expanded Universe: Romani Gypsy Power in Sci-Fi & Fantasy Part I

If you don’t know Kate Lechler’s new column “The Expanded Universe” over at¬†Fantasy Literature, you’d best check it out. She thoughtfully features writers and their thoughts on the SciFi Fantasy genres, both the craft and the literary theory of it. One of my favorites is Micah Dean Hicks’ essay on Elite Groups in SFF.

I wrote a 2-parted essay on Romani (Gypsy) Power in SciFi and Fantasy, taking a look at who the Roma are, the role or function¬†that Gypsies play in Fantasy and SciFi and why, and what that means for both art and politics. I’m so thankful to be a part of such a cool publication, and I’m excited for Part II coming up featuring one of my favorite Romani writers of¬†SFF and why I think there is no such thing as magical realism. Stay tuned!

Space_Unicorn_by_SpieGirl

Space Unicorn by SpieGirl