I believe 2015 is going to be fantastic—the first two months of the year have been extremely busy and fruitful already!
To begin, while I’ve known about this since January, I had to wait on reporting it until the official announcement was made: I’m the recipient of a 2015 Individual Artist Fellowship award from the Oregon Arts Commission! Only 13 fellowships were awarded this year, just five of those to writers. You can check out the very nice profiles of me and the other recipients on the OAC website.
The editors of the anthology in which my poem “New Channel” will appear have found a wonderful publisher: the University of Washington Press. The anthology is to be titled Forest Under Story: A Decade of Creative Inquiry in an Old-Growth Forest, and it’s scheduled to be published in 2016.
I’ve had four poems accepted to be published in the forthcoming Fall 2014/Spring 2015 issue of Assisi.
It’s official! My proposal to redesign “ENG 210 Literatures of the World: Asia” as an online class at OSU has been approved and is scheduled for this upcoming summer term. I’m going to focusing on work by authors from Silk Road countries. Design is already underway. I’ve been dreaming of teaching this course ever since my Peace Corps days, and I’m feeling quite excited about it finally becoming realized!
A review by Christopher X. Shade of Everywhere Stories that was recently published in The Collagist has this very nice paragraph on my story in the collection, “A Husband and Wife Are One Satan”:
“Though these stories are entertaining and illustrative, the more compelling are those without Americans. One such story is ‘A Husband and Wife Are One Satan,’ set in Kazakhstan, in which a married couple quarrel to draw business to their restaurant. It is a moving portrait of identity and love, and the hard work required to attain them. Every scene is set in the restaurant, revealing the many walks of Kazakhstani life: Kazakh and Tatar and Russian, Muslim and Christian, coupled and widowed, teenaged and long in the tooth. A few pages in, the author lyrically addresses the nature of the everywhere story in a description of the restaurant patrons: ‘[they were] connected by a common energy, an energy unseen to them but to the spiritual master or poet as the blue-white glow simultaneously broadcasting the same flickering patterns from identical square boxes out window after window onto street after street night after night.’”
Here’s another excellent piece of news regarding Everywhere Stories: Worldview Magazine published a full-page feature with excerpts from two of the stories by Peace Corps writers, Susi Wyss’ “Eggs” and my own “A Husband and Wife Are One Satan,” in its current Winter 2014 issue.
Finally, I’m now on Goodreads! Please feel free to connect with me there if you wish.