Jane Eaton Hamilton

"At the bottom of the box is hope." – Ellis Avery.

Tag: Creative writing

Best American Experimental Writing 2020

I’m delighted to announce that editors Carmen Maria Machado and Joyelle McSweeney have chosen one of my pieces, Battery, for the 2020 volume of Best American Experimental Writing. Battery was chosen by George Saunders as the winner of Lit Pop 2015. He said, “I admired and enjoyed the wit, clarity, and compression of this story. It’s fast, funny, precise in its language. The author is really using language as a tool of persuasion. The story also has real heart – the narrator manages to make us sympathize for both chickens and executioners. The details of the operation are chilling and terrific. The story is beautifully shaped and minimal – the writer seems to recognize that the essence of making a work of art is choosing. The story makes us face a certain harsh truth, but without any sense of preaching, and even a sense of wonder. Above all, the story is musical – it zings along, making a world as it goes, with its confidence and its sense of curiosity.” —George Saunders

Joyelle McSweeney says this about the compilation on Twitter:

“I agreed to guest ed BAX 2019 only if I could undo every word in that title: our re-imagined antho that is defiantly anti- ‘Best’, de-prizes the category “American”, is not always ‘Experimental’ & or even ‘Writing’! It’s up to the series eds and authors to shape what’s next-“

Indeed. Should make for an exciting anthology!

“The Unbearable Too-Whiteness” of MFA programs: Junot Díaz

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I am a queer feminist author who admires the heck out of Junot Díaz’s work and who also never got an MFA–so was shielded from the fact that anyone not white and straight and male has a tough go of it in many of these programs. But I’ve experienced a lot of homophobia over my career, along with, of course, the side-lining that is ubiquitous for women writing.

Listen again to what Díaz says, folks, about racism in writing. As soon as he was published, he put together a writing workshop called The Voices of Our Nation, and now has compiled an anthology of workshop works and for which he has provided the introduction.

“…something right out of my wildest MFA dreams, where writers of colour could gather to develop our art in a safe, supportive environment. Where our ideas, critiques, concerns, our craft and, above all, our experiences would be privileged rather than marginalised; encouraged rather than ignored; discussed intelligently rather than trivialised.”

And “where our contributions were not an adjunct to Literature but its core”.

Here, as we lean hard into race relations around this globe, is the article from the Guardian, May 2014:

Junot Díaz condemns creative writing courses for ‘unbearable too-whiteness’

 

 

 

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