Jill Christman: If This Were Fiction & Katy Didden: Ore Choir
Jill and Katy will read selections from their new books: If This Were Fiction: A Love Story and Ore Choir: the Lava on Iceland. This reading and discussion is suitable for all ages. Signed copies of the books will be available to purchase.
ORE CHOIR: THE LAVA ON ICELAND
by Katy Didden
Part miracle, part oracle, in these poems lava speaks “with the focus of a burning glass,” lighting lyric core samples through geo-historical and cultural texts about Iceland. Shifting the ground so “nouns are never still,” the lava reveals how language itself is a record of collisions: poem as matter, sound as forge, form as friction. And what does it mean to be human in the face of such ancient forces, especially as climate change unsettles the earth that anchors us? By the light of the “sphere’s credo,” can we, too, be remade? https://www.tupelopress.org/product/ore-choir-the-lava-on-iceland/
If This Were Fiction: A Love Story
by Jill Christman
If This Were Fiction is a love story—for Jill Christman’s long-ago fiancé, who died young in a car accident; for her children; for her husband, Mark; and ultimately, for herself. In this collection, Christman takes on the wide range of situations and landscapes she encountered on her journey from wild child through wounded teen to mother, teacher, writer, and wife. In these pages there are fatal accidents and miraculous births; a grief pilgrimage that takes Christman to jungles, volcanoes, and caves in Central America; and meditations on everything from sexual trauma and the more benign accidents of childhood to gun violence, indoor cycling, unlikely romance, and even a ghost or two. Playing like a lively mixtape in both subject and style, If This Were Fiction focuses an open-hearted, frequently funny, clear-eyed feminist lens on Christman’s first fifty years and sends out a message of love, power, and hope. https://jillchristman.com/2022/06/06/ifthiswerefiction/
Katy Didden is the author of a previous poetry collection, The Glacier’s Wake (Pleiades Press, 2013). Her poems and essays have appeared most recently in Sewanee Review, West Branch, Public Books, and Ós Pressan. She teaches Poetry and Creative Writing and the Environment at Ball State University.
Jill Christman is a 2020 NEA Prose Fellow and the author of If This Were Fiction: A Love Story in Essays (2022) and two memoirs, Darkroom: A Family Exposure (winner of the AWP Prize for CNF) and Borrowed Babies: Apprenticing for Motherhood. Her essays have appeared in magazines such as Brevity, Creative Nonfiction, Fourth Genre, Iron Horse Literary Review, Longreads, and O, The Oprah Magazine—and her first essay collection will be released by the University of Nebraska Press in fall 2022. A senior editor for River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative and executive producer of the podcast Indelible: Campus Sexual Violence, she teaches creative nonfiction writing and literary editing at Ball State University.
A graduate of the Robert D. Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon and the MFA program at the University of Alabama, Jill has worked as a cook at a kayak school on the Rogue River in southern Oregon, programmed pixelated birdies to flap in circles as a research assistant in a cognitive psychology lab in Eugene, traveled the Alabama backroads to count potted meats for the USDA, and somewhat more recently, served on the board of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) and taught creative nonfiction writing in Ashland University’s low-residency MFA program. She was born during the summer of love in the now defunct Miami Baby Hospital while her older brother watched the largest crocodile in captivity—Cookie—swallow live chickens at the also obsolete Serpentarium.
She lives with her husband, poet Mark Neely, and their two cross-genre teenagers in Muncie, Indiana.
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