I looked at a calendar the other day and realized that since New Year’s I’ve barely been home in Chicago for more than four solid weeks at a time. Some of this travel was for fun, some for work, some for family — and while it may sound wildly jet-set, I have to say all this bouncing around has left me a little scattered. So I sat down to figure out what I’ve been up to in an attempt to get some of the pieces back in the box.
This month Ms. Fit – a great online (and Chicago-based) magazine dedicated to “real world feminist fitness” — published an essay I started almost two years ago, now titled Almost There: Trusting My Body Again, One Lifeboat at a Time. A lot has changed since I started working on this, and in some ways its very odd to see it finally out in the world, but I’m really happy this piece found such a good home.
Also this month I was asked to contribute a personal letter to the Rumpus’s Letters in the Mail project. If you’re a subscriber, some free-associative popcorn on what it means to be “underwater” (economically, medically, emotionally, ecologically) should be landing in your mailbox sometime soon.
Once the letter goes out I’ll see if I can post it here as well. You can squint at it here.
Last month I interviewed Jon Fine — a writer, musician, and my long-ago college boyfriend — for Belt magazine about Oberlin, nostalgia, the Midwest, how to write an honest memoir, and god only knows what else. That interview, ridiculously long and riddled with conflicts of interest, can be found here: Your Band Sucks: An Interview With Jon Fine
Speaking of Belt, I sacrificed my vanity to appear via Skype in the video for Belt’s current Kickstarter campaign. We are trying to raise $10,000 to expand our freelance budget and our pool of freelancers to better bring readers (like you, right?) excellent writing from across the postindustrial Midwest. If you would take a look and consider a donation, I’d be very grateful.
If you’d like to know more (or would like to see me with my hair brushed), Belt also has two events coming up in Chicago in the next week. On Friday (July 17) we host our first-ever Chicago happy hour (though technically we’re not supposed to call it that) from 5:30-7:30 pm at the Hideout. I’ll be there along with publisher Anne Trubek, and we’ll have books and other merch for sale, while DJ Bobby Conn spins the music of the Rust Belt. Then on Monday (July 20) I’m moderating a post-screening discussion as part of the experimental documentary series Run of Life at Constellation Chicago. Screenings of Kevin Jerome Everson’s The Island of St. Matthews and Fe26 will be paired with a printing of Jacqueline Marino’s essay “A Girl’s Youngstown,” from Belt’s recently published From Car Bombs to Cookie Tables: The Youngstown Anthology, and we will try to find the resonances among them all.
Also this weekend I’m one of a host of women reading a section of Anne Elizabeth Moore’s Sentimental — a contemporary reinvisioning of the Seneca Falls “Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions” as part of an event called “Feminism: Then and Now” at Defibrillator Gallery on Saturday. (Info seems to only exist on Facebook, sorry.)
And then, well, I’m leaving town again for a while. But I’ll be back by August 16 for that month’s installment of The Marrow reading series at the Whistler, at which I will present some further thoughts on water and its absence and excess. It would be great to see you here, or there, or somewhere, friends.