The Furnace

One Writer. One Story. Read to completion (with vigor).

February 18: Jeanine Walker

by Anca Szilagyi

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Join us February 18, 7-8 pm for Jeanine Walker’s play “Polarities”, the first Furnace of 2015!

Teen siblings swat at flies, greet annoying classmates, drink milkshakes, and philosophize one night in 1993 at a Friendly’s in south central Pennsylvania. This encounter, transcribed verbatim by Jeanine Walker and her brother over twenty years ago will be brought to life with the aid of  multiple performers (yes, including the original brother) and live sound effects.

Jeanine Walker is the host of Cheap Wine & Poetry and Cheap Beer & Prose at Hugo House. Her poetry has been published in Cimarron ReviewCream City ReviewNarrativePageBoyWeb Conjunctions, and other journals. She has a Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Literature from the University of Houston and for the past five years has been the manager of the Writers in the Schools Program at Seattle Arts & Lectures. Front woman of the Drop Shadows, she is co-founder of Buddy & Buddy Productions and host of Mixed Bag, their live, webcast variety show.

Join us live at the Hollow Earth Radio performance space, 2018 A E Union Street, or tune in at hollowearthreadio.org at 7 pm PST.

Connect to the event on Facebook.

Excerpt from “What Happened to Peace?” by Aaron Counts

by Anca Szilagyi

We’re excited to see Aaron Counts perform his story “What Happened to Peace?” with sound design by his son! Here’s a little taste of what’s in store this Wednesday night at 7:

 I watched each car inch forward towards the corner, where the man met the eyes of each driver with a wide smile and a nod. On corners like this, I usually sat comfortably anonymous behind the heavy tint on my windows, but this time I rolled down my window to get a better look.

See you at Hollow Earth Radio, 2018 A E Union Street, or tune in to hollowearthradio.org at 7 pm PDT this Wednesday, October 22!

October 22: Aaron Counts

by Anca Szilagyi

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Please save the date for our fall 2014 event! On October 22 at 7 pm, Aaron Counts will read his story “What Happened to Peace” at the Hollow Earth Radio Performance Space, 2018 A E Union Street.

A chance encounter between a commuter and a panhandler takes a startling turn in Counts’ story “What Happened to Peace.” Aaron Counts  was recently selected by 4Culture to be a lead engagement artist for their Creative Alternatives pilot. He has written and read with professors, prisoners, dropouts & scholars. He is the co-author of the book length curriculum Reclaiming Black Manhood, and lecturer on the subject of race and social justice. Aaron is an artist-in-residence with the Writers-in-the-Schools program, and the lead artist with King County’s Creative Alternatives Program, which uses art to reduce the number of kids we lock away in detention. Aaron’s writing has recently appeared in Specter Magazine, Bestiary, Aldebaran Review and Rufous City Review, though his first publication was on an old Kenmore refrigerator on 7th Street in Yakima. He holds an MFA from the University of British Columbia.

Connect to the event on Facebook.

Excerpt from “Sweet Nothing” by Chelsea Werner-Jatzke

by Anca Szilagyi

Our third season kicks off next Thursday, August 21 with Chelsea Werner-Jatzke‘s Velvet Underground-inspired “Sweet Nothing,” a manifesto pamphlet about a fictional cult. Here’s a little taste of what you’re in for next week.

“Without choice the writer received, through their arrest records and interviews, over the course of two weeks, the truth presented here to guide all of us, alone.”
 
“So we say: Oh Sweet Nothing. We have nothing, nothing at all.”

Join us at Hollow Earth Radio’s performance space at 2018 E Union Street, or tune-in live here, on August 21, 7-8 pm PST!

August 21: Chelsea Werner-Jatzke

by Anca Szilagyi

10447836_869885856374435_4005484198034646084_nThe Furnace will launch its third (!) season with Chelsea Werner-Jatzke‘s “Sweet Nothing” on Thursday, August 21, 7-8 pm at the Hollow Earth Radio Performance Space, 2018 A East Union Street. Inspired by the Velvet Underground, “Sweet Nothing” is the chilling story of a fictional cult, told in the form of a manifesto pamphlet.

Werner-Jatzke was a 2013 Jack Straw Writer, is a 2014 EDGE Artist Trust Graduate, and a Ragdale Foundation Resident. She is co-founder of Till, an annual writing retreat at Smoke Farm in Arlington, WA and her work is actively appearing all over the place, near and far, such as: SpringGun Press, Pif, Psychopomp, Beecher’s Magazine, Pacifica Literary Review, and Extract(s).

Join us live at Hollow Earth or tune in online.

Connect to the event on Facebook.

City Arts Previews Brenda Miller’s Reading

by Anca Szilagyi

Brenda Miller is coming down from Bellingham tomorrow for your listening pleasure. Here is a lovely write up in City Arts 

Aside from her six Pushcart Prize-winning essays, her work as the editor in chief at The Bellingham Review and her day (and night) job of teaching creative non-fiction at Western Washington University, Miller is famous for coining the widely used term “the hermit crab essay.” – See more at: http://www.cityartsonline.com/articles/brenda-miller-jumps-furnace#sthash.yzklgRzc.dpuf

See you tomorrow at 7 pm at Hollow Earth Radio, 2018 A E Union Street, or at hollowearthradio.org.

Excerpt from “We Regret to Inform You” by Brenda Miller

by Anca Szilagyi

We’re getting excited about Brenda Miller’s performance of  “We Regret to Inform You”! Originally published in The Sun, this memoir-in-rejection-letters explores the many “nos” we encounter in our lives and how we find or create for ourselves a yes. As a special touch, we’ve invited previous Furnace contributors such as Catherine Smyka and Nancy Kim as well as performers like Elissa Ball to participate in the reading of this piece.

Here’s a taste:

April 12, 1970
Dear Young Artist:
Thank you for your attempt to draw a tree. We appreciate your efforts, especially the way you sat patiently on the sidewalk, gazing at that tree for an hour before setting pen to paper, and the many quick strokes of charcoal you executed with enthusiasm. But your smudges look nothing like a tree. In fact, they look like nothing at all, and the pleasure and pride you take in the work are not enough to redeem it. We are pleased to offer you remedial training in the arts, but we cannot accept your “drawing” for display.
 
With Regret and best wishes,
The Art Class
Andasol Avenue Elementary School

See you Friday, May 9!

May 9: Brenda Miller

by Anca Szilagyi

 

On Friday, May 9, at 7 pm, Brenda Miller, hero of the essay, will read “We Regret to Inform You”, a memoir told through rejection letters that explores the many “nos” we encounter in our lives and how we find or create for ourselves a yes.

Brenda is the author of  five books including Season of the Body as well as the co-author of Tell it Slant: Creating, Refining, and Publishing Creative Nonfiction. The recipient of six Pushcart prizes, Miller is a Professor of English and Director of Graduate Studies at Western Washington University and serves as the Editor-in-Chief of The Bellingham Review.

Join us live at the Hollow Earth Radio performance space at 2018 A East Union Street or tune in at hollowearthradio.org.

Connect with the event on Facebook

The Furnace Family at #AWP14

by Anca Szilagyi

While The Furnace won’t be at AWP in an official capacity, we wanted to spread the word (and love!) about what our contributors and co-organizers will be up to. Come see our readings & panels!

Thursday, February 27

1:30-2:45 pm What’s Next? Pressures and Opportunities in Undergraduate Writing Programs: Audrey Colombe,  Kathlene Postma,  Janet Sylvester,  Abi Curtis,  Katharine Whitcomb. Room 2A, Washington State Convention Center, Level 2

4:30-5:45 pm New Fairy Tales from the North: Maya Sonenberg, Valerie Arvidson, Rikki Ducornet, and Anca Szilagyi. Room 3B, Washington State Convention Center, Level 3

8 pm- 10 pm Literary Bloggers Party: Andrew Ladd, Michael Nye, Wesley Rothman, and Anca Szilagyi. Canoe Social Club, 1423 10th Avenue, Studio C (next to Mo’s Bar).

Friday, February 28

8:30-10 pm A Night at the Victrola: Peter Mountford, Rita Banerjee, Diana Norma Szokolyai, Nancy Jooyoun Kim, Kevin Skiena, Jessica Day, Anca Szilagyi, Talia Shalev, Carrie Kahler, Dena Rush Guzman, Leah Umansky, & Lisa Marie Basile. Victrola, 411 15th Ave E.

Saturday, March 1

12:00-1:15 pm Afghan Women Writers Project: AWWP Writer Marzia & AWWP Director Lori Noack will host a panel highlighting AWWP’s work and impact. Readings by audience members and AWWP mentors Laynie Brown, Gabrielle Burton, Britt Gambino, Keya Mitra, Pat Mottola, and Kathlene Postma. Room 2A, WA Convention Center, Level 2

6:30-8:00 pm UNCW Alumni Reading: Kate Sweeney, Bill Carty, Corinne Manning, Eli Hastings, and Rochelle Hurt. Alibi Room, 85 Pike St.

On Writing Process with Nancy Kim

by Anca Szilagyi

This Wednesday at 7 pm, Nancy Kim will read her essay “My Piles.” We did a little q&a with Nancy about her writing process.

The Furnace: Is the writing process different for you when writing fiction vs. nonfiction? How?

NK: I write fiction more often. It’s part of my routine or at least I’ve prescribed it to be. It’s work. Really hard work that I return to time and time again because of, you know…that thing De Beers invented—indestructible love.

I have a tendency to write nonfiction in a flash. It’s not premeditated. I don’t sit down to write nonfiction. It sort of sits me down.

The difference between them? I think of it like this:

When I write fiction, I go with my gut. When I write nonfiction, I am gut. Literally, that’s all that I am—guts.

With fiction, there’s plot (usually), a series of decisions that need to be made, and all of those decisions are motivated by what is true to that story—its characters, landscape, language, all of those lovely things that stick to the bones of what you’re trying to say.

Sure, you can be indecisive, just like you can in life, but then more likely than not, you end up chasing your tail. Why? Because you couldn’t choose which scent you wanted to follow.

For me, nonfiction is the scent. It’s what you produce. And it’s organic, that produce. It sounds easy, like some kind of emission, but it’s just the opposite—it’s the hardest thing in the world. “Who wants to hear about my dental work? So what, I never met my grandparents?”

Oh, yeah, and there’s also that big problem of trying not to hurt people you love.

You know, with fiction, it’s like: “Mom, I know that character sounds exactly like you, but it’s clear that she’s not you because…you have a different name. And, bonus point: you’re not blonde.”

And with nonfiction: “Mom, we have a problem.”

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