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30 March 2006
MAGICAL REALISM NEWS FOR THURSDAY, MAR 30
Topic: March 2006
CELEBRATE NATIONAL WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH WITH US!

[3.30.06]
Kathleen Alcala always has plenty of news to share with us. She recently attended the AWP Conference in Austin, contributing to a reading which honored the 30th anniversary of Calyx. Alcala writes: "This was a magazine started with the expectation that after five years, there would no longer be a need for a feminist press!" She's recently published essays in Re-Markings, The Pen and the Key and One Wound for Another / Una herida por otra, Testimonios de Latinos in the U.S. through Cyberspace. Nibir Ghosh, the editor of Re-Markings, also recently published Multicultural America: Conversations with Contemporary Authors, in which Alcala was profiled along with Octavia Butler, Colleen McElroy and others. Alcala also reports "I was privileged to work with the science fiction cooperative on Bainbridge Island as it published its second anthology, Obliquity."

She's done some teaching as well for Seattle's premier writing hub, The Richard Hugo House, where she also serves as secretary; her class, entitled “Called to Witness,” discussed writing after disaster, which led to some excellent essays.

And speaking of Octavia Butler, Alcala will speak about the much-beloved science fiction writer, who recently passed away, at this year's Rainbow Bookfest on April 29 (Margin will be there, too, selling Southern Revival: Deep Magic for Hurricane Relief). She will also present before a conference of educators in June concerning her book, The Flower in the Skull, and if that weren't enough, she's shopping an essay collection right now and working to complete a second collection of short stories under the working title, Cities of Gold.

[3.30.06]
Margin contributor Katherine Grace Bond has been running a series of workshops and events geared toward teenage writers for quite a while now. Today, she announces Teen Write 2006, a 3-day "hero's journey" scheduled to take place at Fort Worden (near Port Townsend, WA) on August 18-20. For more info

[3.30.06]
Zelda Leah Gatuskin, whose Ancestral Notes excerpts we reprinted, with accompanying digital collages, back in 2001, announces the Ancestral Notes website, a repository for all the family history information, interviews and stories she gathered while writing her book, as well as related research and creative writing she has done since. One of her first big projects is a virtual tribute to her grandmother, Sadie Gordon, a prolific artist/craftswoman who served as her first mentor and role model. Writes Gatuskin: "I hope she will inspire other creative women in all fields as she continues to inspire me."

[3.30.06]
The Underwater Hospital, Jan Steckel's first poetry chapbook,will be released from Zeitgeist Press next week. Steckel points out: "The title poem, which I consider magical realist, is appearing until April 21 in The Pedestal Magazine." She'll be reading and signing copies of her chapbook at the Albany Library in Albany, California on Thursday April 6 at 7 pm. You can pick up a copy of her book through her website.

[3.30.06]
Dan Jaffe's interview with Ruth Knafo Setton appears on the online literary journal, Bibliobuffet. Setton will also be reading, with other contributors, from the literary journal, Zeek, at Makor in New York City on May 18th. Read her poem, "Holy Thighs," here. Meanwhile, she's just finished her latest novel, Darktown Blues, and a poetry collection, Dance of the Seven Skins, which she describes as "prose/poetry that interweaves the Hansel and Gretel story."


Posted by magicalrealismmaven@yahoo.com at 8:48 AM PST
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27 March 2006
MAGICAL REALISM NEWS FOR MONDAY, MAR 27
Topic: March 2006
CELEBRATE NATIONAL WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH WITH US!

[3.27.06]
Great news from Katherine Vaz: She's just been named a Radcliffe Fellow for 2006-7. She'll be taking a break from being the Briggs-Copeland Fellow in Fiction at Harvard to complete the Radcliffe fellowship, then will return to her Harvard work in a year. She also announces that she has a story about Lisbon set to appear in the Spring, 2006 issue of The Harvard Review. Congratulations, Katherine!

[3.27.06]
Today's The Rocky Mountain News features young stage director Wendy Goldberg, who is currently directing The Clean House at Denver Center. "I think it's magic," she says of the production. "I think you can label it as magical realism if you want. All of the memory scenes are not literal, and so how to articulate that is a lot of fun, how to bring those background memories into the house." The play runs through April 22.

[3.23.06]
Naomi Ayala recently announced a new poetry series in Chicago. Palabra Pura is a collaborative endeavor sponsored by the excellent organization, the Guild Complex, with Letras Latinas of the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame, and the Rafael Cintron-Ortiz Latino Cultural Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Palabra Pura "promotes literary expression in more than one tongue through a monthly bilingual reading featuring Chicano and Latino artists." The series is held the third Wednesday monthly. More info.

[3.16.06]
Writing it Real, a terrific resource for writers on the web, recently featured Janice Eidus on the subject of Reading for Writing. Eidus's essay, "The Best Authority," is not to be missed—a lively account of writing from the perspective of Otherness. [Note: This essay may require logging in.]


Posted by magicalrealismmaven@yahoo.com at 10:20 AM PST
Updated: 27 March 2006 10:24 AM PST
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22 March 2006
MAGICAL REALISM NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY, MAR 22
Topic: March 2006
CELEBRATE NATIONAL WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH WITH US!

[3.22.06]
Today, Margin launched its vernal equinox edition, Earth~Words: The Nature of Magical Realism, to celebrate the beginning of spring as well as the extraordinariness of Mother Nature, who might be considered the most amazing female magical realist of all…

[3.21.06]
Yesterday, Cynthia Ozick confessed that Christopher Robin inspired her to write Heir to the Glimmering World at a reading she presented before The Writer's House at the University of Pennsylvania.

[3.21.06]
Saturday, folks in Palm Beach can don their smartest headwear when they attend Zora Fest, a celebration of the life of Zora Neale Hurston , the Harlem Renaissance writer, folklorist, anthropologist and author of Their Eyes Were Watching God. Hurston, the author of 30 books and plays during the 20s and 30s, was well known for wearing what the Palm Beach Post describes as "a snappy chapeau." Going with that theme, a salute to the author—"Hattitude"—happens from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. as the first event in this year's annual Zora Fest in Fort Pierce, to be held at the Koblegard Student Union at Indian River Community College. Zora Fest continues April 28-30 with lectures on Hurston's life and work, music and a festival on April 29 at Lincoln Park Academy in Fort Pierce. Hurston died in Fort Pierce in 1960, taught for a brief time at Lincoln Park Academy and worked for The Chronicle newspaper in Fort Pierce.

[3.12.06]
Out of Alaska comes Ella Bandita and Other Stories, a collection of dark adult fairy tales written by Montgomery Mahaffey. Mahaffey won a $5,000 Individual Artist Project Award from the Anchorage-based Rasmuson Foundation and applied it toward her collection, which has been described by Fairbanks Daily News-Miner as "more akin to magical realism or the modern fables of authors such as Paulo Coelho." Oh, I can't wait to read this one!


Posted by magicalrealismmaven@yahoo.com at 2:09 PM PST
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20 March 2006
MAGICAL REALISM NEWS FOR MONDAY, MAR 20
Topic: March 2006
CELEBRATE NATIONAL WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH WITH US!

[3.20.06]
TODAY ONLY! A special musical performance of Oprah Winfrey’s production of Alice Walker's novel, The Color Purple, will play tonight only at the Cadillac Palace Theatre to a hand-picked audience in Chicago. More info.

[3.20.06]
Now this is exciting: Animation film director, Hayao Miyazaki, has optioned the rights to Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea six-volume cycle, which Miyazaki plans to adapt into one movie. Stay tuned, this could be one of those amazing adaptations that's long in the making (i.e. The Lord of the Rings).

[3.19.06]
This Thursday, folks in Garden City, NJ can catch Gloria Naylor discussing her popular novel, The Women of Brewster Place, about a community of black women, at 1 pm at the College Center Building at Nassau Community College. The event is free; for more info, call 516.572.7082.

[3.16.06]
Ann Patchett will appear before audiences at the North Carolina Festival of the Book in late April 2006. The festival will take place at Duke University and other locations in Durham and will feature as many as 80 authors. More info

[3.14.06]
New Zealand's independent news media, Scoop, showcased Louise Erdrich all last week as part of their "Writers and Readers Week." According to the article in Scoop: "She spoke…about how the storytelling traditions of her family and heritage have influenced her and about writing from outside the mainstream culture."

[2.23.06]
Okay, so you may have heard of cowboy poets, but what about fisher poets? Margin contributor Erin Fristad, who also works as a commercial fisherwoman, fits that bill. Her work as a poet and poetry instructor recently made waves in Astoria, Oregon, when an entire fleet of fisher poets took up residence to celebrate their art. Read the article in The Daily Astorian.


Posted by magicalrealismmaven@yahoo.com at 1:09 PM PST
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13 March 2006
MAGICAL REALISM NEWS FOR MONDAY, MAR 13
Topic: March 2006
CELEBRATE NATIONAL WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH WITH US!

[4.03.06]
Melissa Mia Hall recently gave Alice Hoffman's latest release, The Ice Queen, a major thumbs up, declaring it her “best novel since Practical Magic bewitched readers in 1995.”
Editor's note: Don't ask me to explain how it is that today is March 13 but the publication date of Hall's review is April 3…

[3.12.06]
Hampton University welcomes Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker (The Color Purple) as part of the university's annual Read-In event on March 23. Walker will discuss the relationship between her novel and its film adaptation. For more info || Walker's novel, which has been adapted already for Broadway, will hit the road for a national tour in 2007, beginning with at least 3 months' staging in homegirl Oprah Winfrey's Chicago in April, according to Broadway.com.

[3.12.06]
Okay, so it's not magical realism per se, but Margo Hammond's article, "To tell the truth, we should value fiction" (reprinted here in The Kansas City Star), addresses the subject of fiction, fabulation, embellishment and memoir in a thoughtful manner. Indirectly, it has everything to do with magical realism, which has had its detractors over the years who've disparaged its writers for their interest in contrivances and artifice.

[3.10.06]
The Washington Blade, in its spring 2006 preview, mentions that a new critical book examining feminist writer Kathy Acker, Lust for Life: On the Writings of Kathy Acker, is set for release in May.


Posted by magicalrealismmaven@yahoo.com at 10:26 PM PST
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9 March 2006
MAGICAL REALISM NEWS FOR THURSDAY, MAR 9
Topic: March 2006
CELEBRATE NATIONAL WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH WITH US!

[3.07.06]
Amy Tan's short story, "Immortal Heart," will be staged this coming Friday by Word for Word, a theater company which performs short stories and other texts with every word intact. The performance will be held at Pacifica in San Francisco. The story eventually became the basis for her novel, The Bonesetter's Daughter. For more info

Speaking of The Bonesetter's Daughter, the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Tan's novel has been commissioned by the San Francisco Opera for production during the 2008-09 season. Composer Stewart Wallace will adapt the novel. Imagine, Amy Tan in choruses.

[3.06.06]
The 11th annual Orange Prize, which honors the year’s best female-written, English-language novel published in the U.K., announced its longlist at the London Book Fair last Monday. It's not just U.K. writers that have qualified this year; American author Nicole Krauss's title, The History of Love, is up for an award. Look for the shortlist in April and the winners announcement in June. Read the Book Standard review here.

[3.06.06]
The Washington Post's occasional series reconsidering notable and/or neglected books features Toni Morrison in a piece written by Jonathan Yardley. A great recap of Morrison's œuvre, if you're not already a huge fan.


Posted by magicalrealismmaven@yahoo.com at 7:54 AM PST
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6 March 2006
MAGICAL REALISM NEWS FOR MONDAY, MAR 6
Topic: March 2006
CELEBRATE NATIONAL WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH WITH US!

[3.06.06]
On Wednesday, March 8, magical realist author Carmen Tafolla will present a one-woman show, "My Heart Speaks a Different Language," at the College of Southern Idaho's Fine Arts Center. The performance has been seen by audiences throughout the United States and in England, Spain, Germany, Mexico and Canada. According to an article in the Twin Falls, ID Times-News: "In her stage presentation, she appears as bag lady, a first grader, a college student, a retired soldier, an outspoken black janitor and other characters. Each portrayal emphasizes in its own way the strength and beauty of the individual and cultural diversity." The performance begins at 7 pm.

[3.06.06]
On Thursday, March 23, Gloria Anzaldua will be the featured subject of an ongoing program on KHSU-FM 90.5 and KHSR-FM 91.9 (broadcast in and around Eureka, CA) entitled "The Mirrors of Metis, a collaboration between KHSU, Humboldt State University and the community. Meant to educate radio listeners about the important contributions of diverse women throughout the world, the program recently trained the spotlight on Toni Morrison. For more info

[3.06.06]
And speaking of Toni Morrison, work inspired by her novel, Beloved, is included among a variety of creative efforts from Miami Beach High School students which comprise the "Avant Garden: An African-American Slave Garden." Locally, the Center for Emerging Art provided the art supplies and the research to teach the children about African American slave gardens. The Beloved piece, an acrylic painted by 17-year-old Leila Ali, depicts the love between slaves and their families. Recently, the exhibit was displayed by the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens, which plans to incorporate a slave garden among its themed gardens. For more info

Posted by magicalrealismmaven@yahoo.com at 8:41 AM PST
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3 March 2006
MAGICAL REALISM NEWS FOR FRIDAY, MAR 3
Topic: March 2006
CELEBRATE NATIONAL WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH WITH US!

[3.03.06]
Guilford College has been presenting "A Year of Spirit and Spirituality" for 2005-2006. Upcoming contributions to that event include lectures by both Amy Tan (March 30) and Linda Hogan (March 31). For more info

[3.03.06]
Adam Begley, for The New York Observer, reports that Houghton Mifflin will release Cynthia Ozick's fifth collection of essays, The Din in the Head, in June.

[3.01.06]
Jessa Crispin of Bookslut.com gives Rebecca Brown’s latest book, The Last Time I Saw You, a big thumbs up, comparing her work to Kathy Acker's, in a recent column in The Book Standard.. "In the end, the book didn’t have Acker’s sharpness, but her stories did remind me why I won’t be renewing my subscription to the New Yorker: It should be publishing stories as fearless and nonlinear as Brown’s, not the pat white-people-getting-a-divorce stories they go for."

[2.27.06]
On April 30, novelist Sandra Cisneros will be presented with the First Annual Distinguished Gloria Anzaldua Scholar/Activist Award by the UC Santa Cruz at the campus's Chicano/Latino Research Center (CLRC). For more info

[2.26.06]
Fans of Zora Neale Hurston might be interested in this interview in The Detroit News with her niece, Lucy Anne Hurston, who presented a talk about her aunt before the State University of New York at Albany. The talk, which contributed to the Department of Africana Studies' commemoration of Black History Month, discussed Zora Neale Hurston's involvement as an anthropologist, among other things. The younger Hurston is a professor of sociology at Manchester Community College in Manchester, CT. She has produced a documentary about her aunt and has directed stage productions of her works as well as authored the biography, Speak, So You Can Speak Again: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston (2004).

[2.24.06]
Carol Emshwiller's short story, "I Live With You," which appeared in Fantasy & Science Fiction in March 2005, has made the final ballot for the Nebula Awards, according to Locus Online

[2.23.06]
Author Aimee Bender will appear before Penn State University's Erie Campus School of Humanities and Social Sciences as part of their Creative Writers Speaker Series celebration of Women's History Month on March 16. For more info

[2.16.06]
Cinema Blend reports that the controversial director Bernardo Bertolucci will write and direct the film adaptation of Ann Patchett's Bel Canto. No word on cast or release date thus far.

[2.05.06]
Louise Erdrich's novel, The Painted Drum, is up for a Minnesota Book Award this year. The 18th annual Book Awards ceremony will be held in Minneapolis on April 29.


Posted by magicalrealismmaven@yahoo.com at 9:53 AM PST
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2 March 2006
MAGICAL REALISM NEWS FOR THURSDAY, MAR 2
Topic: March 2006
CELEBRATE NATIONAL WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH WITH US!

Check out WOMEN'S WISDOM: Celebrating National Women's History Month at Margin throughout March. Currently, you can find feature essays on Toni Morrison and Zora Neale Hurston, as well as overviews of Native America's magical realist women, magical realism's "blue-stockinged" heroines and an American Top Forty list of key magical realist divas. Forthcoming: a discussion of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" as a magical realist treatise on suffrage. Also, in March our newsblog is entirely devoted to magical realist women authors from the US; we'll keep you posted on what's happening throughout the month.

[3.2.06]
Alice B. Hoffman's lovely young adult story, "Aquamarine," was released as a feature film that will probably interest "tweens" more than adults, according to USA Today. But that's okay, the story is simple and lovely. I read it to my kids last summer and it left them in a romantic buzz. I hope the movie does that to them as well.


Posted by magicalrealismmaven@yahoo.com at 7:50 PM PST
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