The Furnace

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

Tag: Essays

Brenda Miller on Bringing Multiple Voices to Life

by Anca Szilagyi

brenda-abbe

As we prepare for The Furnace Says Goodnight, Kyle Getz is interviewing Furnace contributors about their past performances. Next up is Brenda Miller! Please join us at Hollow Earth Radio on Friday, December 2 at 8 pm for a special collaborative performance and party. Without further ado:

KG: At The Furnace, you invited several other readers to read your piece, “We Regret To Inform You,” along with you. During the Q&A, you mentioned this experience was “blowing your mind.” Reflecting back on your reading, which was over two years ago, how do you feel about that experience today?

BM: I still remember it quite fondly as one of the best ‘readings’ ever! Rarely does a writer have the opportunity to hear her words in someone else’s voice, so the performance of “We Regret to Inform You” (which was written in the form of rejection notes) really brought the piece to life in a way that no other medium could do. Since each ‘note’ was meant to have a slightly different voice, the essay was perfect for this kind of collaborative performance. I really enjoyed the camaraderie, and the thoughtful care each participant brought to the work. Thank you for having me a part of The Furnace.

 

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Rae Diamond on the Musicality of Language

by Anca Szilagyi

rae

As we prepare for The Furnace Says Goodnight, Kyle Getz is interviewing Furnace contributors about their past performances. Next up is Rae Diamond! Please join us at Hollow Earth Radio on Friday, December 2 at 8 pm for a special collaborative performance and party. Without further ado:

KG: The sound that accompanied your piece, “Three Songs,” added a new level of depth, such as when you used the phrase “perfection of silence,” while a note played in the background. Can you describe your creative process and how you combine words and sound in your work?

RD: Words, sound and music are intrinsically interrelated in my mind. I explore this inherent interrelation by speaking and singing words slowly and repeatedly until I lose all sense of their meaning. I also consider the roots of words and the sounds of those ancient words-within-the-word. In addition to adding nuances of meaning, roots of words interest me because older languages were overtly musical – lilting with song-like shifts of pitch. The English language has traveled far from its musical roots, and I harbor a deep curiosity about creating a new experience of musicality in our language. I hear this potential as percussive and angular rather than the soothing lullaby quality of Old English. I seek a musical language of matured beauty.

KG: What experience did you want to create for the Furnace audience in person and on the radio with your piece?

RD: I wanted to cast a benevolent spell of understanding over the audience by immersing them in a soundscape that expressed deeper layers of the many strands of thought that interlaced through the essay. I wanted the listeners to be initially surprised and then comforted by the world the words and sounds wove, so that when the piece ended the “normal” world of straight speaking without sonic augmentation would feel strange, like stepping on dry land after spending some hours on a boat.

The Furnace Says Goodnight

by Anca Szilagyi

final-facebook-coverFriends! After a four-year run the Furnace will say goodnight. We are so grateful to the Seattle literary community. Join us on December 2nd, 8-10 pm at Hollow Earth Radio, 2018 A E Union St, or listen online live at hollowearthradio.org

Party Details:

A performance of a single story
-Furnace writers are at work writing individual pieces that Corinne and Anca will weave into a single story and performed by the writers below, who we know you love.

Music Performances:
– Previous collaborators perform music
WINDOWS95SECONDEDITION (as seen with Anastacia Renee Tolbert)
The Shtick Figures (as seen with Lisa Nicholas Ritscher)

Contributing Writers and Performers:
Chelsea Werner-Jatzke
Lacey Jane Henson
Jeanine Walker
Catherine Smyka
Rae Diamond
Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore
Alan Sincic
Lisa Nicholas-Ritscher
Aaron Counts
Nancy Jooyoun Kim
Anastacia Tolbert
Buffy Aakaash
Christine Texiera

Corinne and Anca love you forever but we are in our 30s and need to finish our books.

The series often gave a platform to writers who were not yet properly recognized in Seattle who then went on to become mainstays at other literary events. The series also gave a few well-known area writers the opportunity to innovate how they perform their work. With a desire to create a larger literary community, The Furnace invited readers from outside Seattle, such as essayist Brenda Miller from Bellingham, Kathlene Postma from Portland and Alan Sincic from Florida. Hollow Earth’s broadcast of each event created a new accessibility to readings that some people might not be able to attend and reached listeners across the country.

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About The Furnace

The Furnace Reading Series is a quarterly event that highlights one prose writer at a time. The Furnace is performed in front of a live audience and broadcast online at Hollow Earth Radio in an effort to integrate an ever spreading community. To complete the experience, audience members can hold the story in their hands with a professionally designed chapbook of the performer’s work.

Furnace History
Anca Szilagyi: August 2012 More Like Home Than Home
Buffy Aakaash: October 2012 The Last Night at Manuela’s
Rae Diamond: January 2013 Three Songs
Kathlene Postma: May 2013 Fetch
Lacey Jane Henson: August 2013 Trigger
Catherine Smyka: October 2013 Don’t Mess With Straight Girls
Nancy Jooyoun Kim: February 2014 My Piles
Brenda Miller: May 2014 We Regret To Inform You
Chelsea Werner-Jatzke: August 2014 Sweet Nothing: A Manifesto
Aaron Counts: October 2014 What Happened to Peace?
Jeanine Walker: February 2015 Polarities
Lisa Nicholas-Ritscher: May 2015 Fake Books
Alan Sincic: August 2015 (in partnership with Big Fiction and the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture) Sugar
Anastacia Tolbert: October 2015, The City
Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore: February 2016, The Freezer Door
Christine Texeira: May 2016 Immanent Ghosthood

Excerpt from Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore’s “The Freezer Door”

by Anca Szilagyi

Mattilda

We’re getting real excited for Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore’s performance at Hollow Earth Radio! Here’s an excerpt from “The Freezer Door,” the essay she will be reading on February 17 and the third installment of The Furnace Neighborhood, featuring work in which setting plays a central role.

Walking through Tashkent in the morning and doesn’t that sound romantic, but really it’s just a tiny park of dirt and dogshit, someone comes rushing up to me and says I hope this doesn’t sound weird, but I saw you on the bus the other day, and I really liked the way you dress. No, that doesn’t sound weird at all. He looks like the awkward best friend from one of those movies in the ‘80s except he was probably born in the ‘90s—in a month he’s flying to Bangkok to travel through Southeast Asia because he doesn’t know what he’s going to do with his life.

And then, as I’m getting closer to the real park, Volunteer, I mean I like everything about this park except its name in honor of the volunteers in the Spanish-American War, the way colonialism is always there, even when we’re looking at the trees and just as I’m about to enter the park I hear someone saying hell-lo! I look over, and there’s an older woman with curly gray hair in a sleek silver car, slowing down to stop the car behind her, and I think she’s going to ask for directions, but instead she says YOU. LOOK. FABULOUS.

And then I get a rush through my body, this is what I’m looking for, this feeling of feeling what’s going on inside, me…

Join us on February 17 live at Hollow Earth Radio, 2018 A E Union Street, or tune in online at 7 pm PDT!

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.

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February 5: Nancy Kim

by Anca Szilagyi

1395445_716832018346487_737212380_nSave the date for our first reading of 2014! On February 5 at 7 pm, Nancy Kim will read her gorgeous essay “My Piles”, about love, mortality, and “those sad nameless things that cannot be catalogued nor properly stored nor thrown away”. Kim’s writing has appeared in City Arts, Amerasia Journal, and on the Kenyon Review blog.

As always, the reading is free and open to the public, and handmade chapbooks of “My Piles” will be available for purchase.

The Furnace #3

by CM

Get ready for a pretty wild experience with sound and language!

 

Essayist and musician Rae Diamond with vocalist Jessika Kenney

January 16, 2013

Hollow Earth Radio

2018 A. East Union St. 

6-7pm