Tag Archives: In Print Festival of First Books

Get Ready for In Print 2014 by Reading These Interview Excerpts

The 2014 In Print Festival is coming next week in Assembly Hall at the Alumni Center! On Tuesday, March 18 at 7:30 PM, the visiting authors will read from their work.  The authors, along with editor Jodee Stanley, will also participate in a panel discussion on Wednesday, March 19, at 7:30 PM. By attending the Festival, you will be able to reach out to the writing community and gain insight into life as a writer from experienced authors. To get a taste of who will be speaking at the Festival, take a look at these interview excerpts from the In Print panelists.  Full versions of the interviews can be found in the newest edition of The Broken Plate, which is available for free to all who attend In Print.

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In Print Interview: Marcus Wicker, Poet

Marcus Wicker is this year’s poet for the In Print Festival of First Books, which will be on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week! His debut collection of poems, Maybe the Saddest Thingwas selected for the National Poetry Series and published last year by Harper Perennial. Below, Wicker discusses his book, inspirations, and writing experiences among other topics in an interview conducted by Makayla Sickbert. Also, be sure to check out interviews with In Print Festival’s fiction author Eugene Cross and nonfiction author Elena Passarello, and don’t forget to join us on March 19 and 20 at 7:30 PM in the Student Center Ballroom for the 8th annual In Print Festival of First Books!

*Photo provided by Marcus Wicker

*Photo provided by Marcus Wicker

Marcus Wicker’s first book Maybe the Saddest Thing was selected for the National Poetry Series and published by Harper Perennial in 2012. He has received fellowships from The Poetry Foundation, Cave Canem, the Fine Arts Work Center, and Indiana University. Wicker’s work has appeared in Poetry, Beloit, Third Coast, and Ninth Letter, among other journals. He is assistant professor of English at University of Southern Indiana and poetry editor of Southern Indiana Review.

The following interview was conducted by Broken Plate 2013 student faculty member Makayla Sickbert.

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In Print Interview: Elena Passarello, Nonfiction Writer

Elena Passarello is this year’s nonfiction author for the In Print Festival of First Books, which will be held on March 19 and 20 this yearHer debut collection of personal essays, Let Me Clear My Throat, was published last year by Sarabande Books. Below, Passarello discusses her book, inspirations, and writing experiences among other topics in an interview conducted by Veronica Sipe. Also, be sure to check out an interview with In Print Festival’s fiction author Eugene Cross, and don’t forget to join us on March 19 and 20 at 7:30 PM in the Student Center Ballroom for the 8th annual In Print Festival of First Books!

*Photo provided by Elena Passarello

*Photo provided by Elena Passarello

Elena Passarello is the author of Let Me Clear My Throat (Sarabande 2012). Her writing on music, performance, pop culture, and the natural world has appeared in Slate, Creative Nonfiction, the Normal School, Ninth Letter, the Iowa Review, and the 2012 music writing anthology Pop When the World Falls Apart. For a decade, Elena worked as an actor and voice-over performer throughout the East Coast and in the Midwest. She is an Assistant Professor at Oregon State University.

The following interview was conducted by Broken Plate 2013 student faculty member Veronica Sipe.

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In Print Interview: Eugene Cross, Fiction Writer

The annual In Print Festival of First Books at Ball State University includes readings, discussions, and classroom visits with authors who have recently published their first books. The two-day event, which takes place on March 19 and 20, typically includes three emerging authors and an editor or publisher. This year, the authors are Eugene Cross (fiction), Elena Passarello (nonfiction), and Marcus Wicker (poetry). Fulfilling this year’s editor/publisher slot is Sarah M. Wells, editor of Riverteeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative.

In Print also marks the release of The Broken Plate. This year, the editors of The Broken Plate asked the visiting authors to contribute an interview to the issue. TBP’s editors would like to note that they are grateful to Eugene Cross, Elena Passarello, and Marcus Wicker for the opportunity to share their ideas about writing with the readers of TBP. In the weeks leading up to In Print, we will be excerpting these author interviews here on the BSU English Department blog. Continue below to read Eugene Cross‘s interview.

*Photo provided by Eugene Cross

*Photo provided by Eugene Cross

Eugene Cross is the author of Fires of Our Choosing, published by Dzanc Books in 2012. His stories have appeared in Narrative Magazine (which named him one of “20 Best New Writers”), American Short Fiction, Story Quarterly, and TriQuarterly, among other publications. He is the recipient of scholarships from the Chautauqua Writers’ Festival and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. He currently lives in Chicago where he teaches in the Fiction Department at Columbia College, Chicago.

The following interview was conducted by Broken Plate 2013 student faculty member Chaylee Brock.

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In Print Interview: Bonnie J. Rough, Nonfiction Writer

Our third and final interview from The Broken Plate’s In Print Festival interviews is with nonfiction writer, Bonnie J. Rough. Rough is the author of the memoir, Carrier: Untangling the Danger in My DNA, a story of family history, moral dilemmas, and life as a carrier, not expresser, of a genetic disorder. Her writing has appeared in multiple anthologies, such as Modern Love: 50 True and Extraordinary Tales of Desire, Deceit, and Devotion (Three Rivers Press), The Best Creative Nonfiction Vol. 1 (W.W. Norton), and The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2007 (Houghton Mifflin). Her essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Sun, Huffington Post, The Iowa Review, Ninth Letter, Identity Theory, and Brevity. Bonnie has traveled extensively and calls three cities home: Minneapolis, Amsterdam, and Seattle, where she currently resides. Her blog, “The Blue Suitcase,” follows the life and adventures of an airline family.

The following interview was conducted by Broken Plate 2012 student faculty member John Carter.

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In Print VII Interview: Glenn Shaheen, Poet

Our next In Print Festival interview is with poet, Glenn Shaheen. Shaheen was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In high school he was set on fire, which is the only time he has ever punched someone in anger. He is a former nonfiction editor for Gulf Coast and presently edits the journal NANO Fiction. His work has appeared in many publications, including Subtropics and Barrelhouse. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Radius of Arab-American Writers, Inc.

The following interview was conducted by Broken Plate 2012 student faculty member Aaron Haughton.

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In Print Festival VII Interview: Caitlin Horrocks, Fiction Writer

The annual In Print Festival of First Books at Ball State University includes readings, discussions, and classroom visits with authors who have recently published their first books. The two-day event typically includes three emerging authors and an editor or publisher. This year, the authors are Caitlin Horrocks (fiction), Bonnie J. Rough (nonfiction), and Glenn Shaheen (poetry). Fulfilling this year’s editor/publisher portion is Christopher Newgent of Vouched Books based in Indianapolis.

In Print also marks the release of The Broken Plate. This year, the editors of The Broken Plate asked the visiting authors to contribute an interview to the issue. TBP’s editors would like to note that they are grateful to Caitlin Horrocks, Bonnie J. Rough, and Glenn Shaheen for the opportunity to share their ideas about writing with the readers of TBP. In the weeks leading up to In Print, we will be excerpting these author interviews here on the BSU English Department blog.

Caitlin Horrocks lives in Michigan with fellow writer W. Todd Kaneko, where she is an assistant professor of writing at Grand Valley State University and a fiction editor at West Branch. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Best American Short Stories 2011, The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2009, The Pushcart Prize XXXV, The Paris Review, Tin House, and One Story, among others. Her debut collection of stories, This Is Not Your City, was published by Sarabande Books in July 2011. She loves strange maps, has hugged a koala, and is terrible at baseball. She is not terrible, however, at Finnish baseball—as long as she remembers to run the bases backwards.

The following interview was conducted by Broken Plate 2012 student faculty member Catherine Roberts.

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Interview with Debra Gwartney, this year’s nonfiction writer for the In Print Festival of First Books

Deborah Gwartney

Debra Gwartney is this year’s nonfiction author for the In Print Festival of First Books, and also the star of our second excerpted interview from The Broken Plate. She is the author of the memoir Live Through This, published by Houghton Mifflin in 2009, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She is a former reporter for the Oregonian and worked as a correspondent for Newsweek for ten years. She teaches writing at Portland State University and is the mother of four daughters. Here is our excerpt of her interview:

What was your thought process on how to structure the book? I noticed the events were mostly chronological, but you use quite a few flashbacks. Why did you include flashbacks?

When I first began writing about this time in my family’s life, I found I could structure a fairly decent two- or three-thousand word piece. I wrote, and published, maybe six such stories and then I figured I’d just put those together and have at least a good hunk of a book. Um, no. That didn’t work in the least. I wasn’t after a book of essays—nor did the stories succeed as a book of essays—and yet the over-arching arc of a book-length memoir eluded me. After many failed attempts at discovering a structure, I finally one day sat down and wrote a list of the, say, ten integral scenes. Ten scenes onto which I’d hang the rest of the narrative. I didn’t worry that much about the chronology of those scenes (although of course I had to consider chronology eventually), because I was determined not to let the narrative get trapped in the plodding episodic, “and then this happened, and then that happened…” I was much more interested in the themes I was watching emerge organically from the text, and in glimpses of metaphor, which I tried not to over-think but let take shape as they wanted. Flashbacks would occur to me here and there as ways to deepen the meaning, to sharpen the symbolism, of certain sections. I felt the reader needed to know at least a little something about my younger self—my childhood, and my young adulthood—in order to relate to the woman who, as narrator, was ready to face her own responsibility in the conflagration of her family.

What’s the future in writing look like for you? What are you working on now?

I’m working on another memoir, even while I have to ask myself how one person could have enough life experience, really, to justify two books about herself. I’d like to think I do, and so on I go collecting pages of drafts and continuing to research, in order to discover that “over-arching arc.” I’d like to write about growing up in the west, a fifth-generation Idahoan, my relationship to my region and my people, as well as my conflicted desires regarding place and family: to both celebrate and cling to my heritage, and to run from it as fast as I can.

*(Interviewed by Phoebe Blake)

We would like to thank the editors of The Broken Plate for allowing us to excerpt these interviews. We can’t wait for the new issue to be released at this year’s In Print. Here’s a breakdown of the In Print info as a reminder:

Wednesday, March 23, AJ 175, 7:30pm: In Print Reading.
Debra Gwartney, Paul Killebrew, and Tina May Hall will read from their recently published books.

Thursday, March 24, AJ 175, 7:30pm: In Print Panel Discussion.
The authors will be joined by James Tadd Adcox, editor of Artifice Magazine, for a discussion about writing and publishing.

As a bonus for attending this year’s festival, all In Print attendees will receive a FREE copy of the 2011 issue of The Broken Plate! There will also be a book signing and reception immediately following each event. We have one more excerpt in the works from an interview with poet Paul Killebrew, so keep watching, BSU!

Interview with Tina May Hall, this year’s fiction writer for the In Print Festival of First Books

The annual In Print Festival of First Books at Ball State University includes readings, discussions, and classroom visits with authors who have recently published their first books. The two-day event typically includes three emerging authors and an editor or publisher. This year, the authors are Tina May Hall (fiction), Debra Gwartney (nonfiction), and Paul Killebrew (poetry). Fulfilling this year’s editor/publisher portion are the editors of Artifice Magazine, a nonprofit literary magazine.

In Print also marks the release of The Broken Plate. This year, the editors of The Broken Plate asked the visiting authors to contribute an interview to the issue. TBP’s editors would like to note that they are grateful to Tina May Hall, Deborah Gwartney, and Paul Killebrew for the opportunity to share their ideas about writing with the readers of TBP. In the weeks leading up to In Print, we will be excerpting these author interviews here on the BSU English Department blog.

Tina May Hall

Our first interview is with Tina May Hall. Hall won the 2010 Drue Heinz Literary Prize for her short story collection The Physics of Imaginary Objects. She teaches at Hamilton College and lives in the snowy Northeast with her husband and son in a house with a ghost in the radiator. Some days, she spends with her ear pressed to the wall. Some days, she snowshoes with her son to the wolf-ring in the woods where they drink hot chocolate and howl until the crows chase them home. Here is our excerpt of her interview:

The characters in The Physics of Imaginary Objects are so fleshed-out and distinct. How do your characters come to you? How do you find their voices?

I usually begin stories with a line or image, so the character often evolves in surprising ways. I am a painfully slow writer, mostly because I love revising, and it is in the revisions (which generally span a couple of years at least) that the character begins to emerge.

In this book, the reader will find a pregnant woman who craves meat, a woman who keeps her own cut-off digit, a grandmother’s ghost, a museum full of body parts, etc. Is there something you are trying to say or explore with this reoccurring darkness?

What is odd is that many of these things don’t seem particularly dark to me. Which maybe is more revealing of my own worldview than the impetus behind the collection. Many of these things seem rather humorous or hopeful to me, even if a bit macabre. As you note, many of the tensions center around the body, and I think the body is a kind of mysterious, funny, sometimes shockingly strange thing. Then again, my mother is the only one who consistently finds humor in my writing, so maybe the lightness I see there isn’t translating well.

You have a unique ability to explore the absurd and the mystical. Who has helped influence and shape your distinctive style?

I’ve had lots of influences, writers I’ve read at various points in my life who have opened my eyes to what fiction can accomplish. The first was Jane Austen when I was very young, and after that, Gabriel García Márquez, Charlotte Brontë, Italo Calvino, Jayne Anne Phillips, Angela Carter, and many others.

*(Interviewed by Alysha Hoffa)

We are very much looking forward to this year’s In Print. Remember to pick up a copy of TBP for the full interview, and have a safe and fun spring break, BSU!