The Furnace

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

Tag: performance

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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Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore on Vulnerability in Writing

by Anca Szilagyi

Mattilda

As we prepare for The Furnace Says Goodnight, Kyle Getz is interviewing Furnace contributors about their past performances. First up is Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore! 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: Before your reading, you said that you already liked the crowd because “the only terrible audience is the dead audience.” How did the live audience and radio broadcast of The Furnace influence your reading?

MBS: Yes, it was a lively audience, right from the beginning, which is not always the case. I always pause when audiences get particularly loud, to let everything sink in, but other than that it doesn’t change my delivery, I don’t think. But, it changes how I’m feeling—it makes me feel the resonance of my work, it gives me energy, so I’m not the only one producing the momentum. And then, afterwards, I feel enlivened instead of drained, which is how I feel when I read for an audience that doesn’t really respond. Sometimes a quiet audience is responding, and I find out afterwards, and that’s great too, but there’s nothing that beats the immediacy of interaction with a louder, more boisterous crowd.

KG: “The Freezer Door” ended with the idea of taking risks. When you share very personal stories, like you did at The Furnace, does this feel like a risk to you? Does it come naturally for you?

My goal with my writing is to be as vulnerable as possible. This helps me to feel like I can go on living, by telling everything, and not dying right then. That’s the fear, right, when you share something particularly vulnerable, that suddenly you won’t be able to go on living anymore. But for me it’s the opposite.  I need to be vulnerable in order to survive.

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!

August 13: The Furnace Artist in Residence Alan Sincic performs “Sugar”

by Anca Szilagyi

The covers of

The covers of “Sugar” being ferried from Bremelo Press, where Big Fiction is produced.

On Thursday August 13, 2015  we join forces with Big Fiction to present Alan Sincic and his story “Sugar” at Hollow Earth Radio from 7-8 pm.

Told in crackling prose, “Sugar” is the story of a “hobo” of a guard dog, a “veritable dynamo of decay” whose escape pulls her human companions from motel and factory floor to film drive-in and steamed up Coupe Deville windows–to contemplations of love. The performance will feature an original soundscape created by Seattle filmmaker Stephen Anunson.

Alan Sincic’s fiction roams the borderland between children and adults, poetry and prose, the page and the stage. He currently teaches at OCSA and Valencia College. He was the winner of Big Fiction’s  2014 Knickerbocker Prize and he’s performed most recently at The Orlando International Fringe Festival.

Sponsored by the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, Florida based writer Alan Sincic is the first recipient of The Furnace Residency, a partnership between The Furnace Reading Series and the Seattle-based literary journal Big Fiction to introduce a writer from outside Seattle to the community. This launches the Furnace’s fourth season, riding the theme The Furnace Neighborhood featuring work where setting plays a major role. The rest of the season will feature Seattle based artists writing about or around Seattle: Anastacia Tolbert, Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, and Christine Texeira.

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

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This project could not happen without support from Seattle's Office of Arts & Culture. Thank you, OAC! We love you!

This project could not happen without support from the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture. Thank you, OAC! We love you!

The Furnace Residency: A Collaboration with Big Fiction

by Anca Szilagyi

OAC_logo[blue-rgb]big-fiction-logo

We are very excited to launch a new collaboration with the Seattle-based literary journal Big Fiction. Thanks to a grant from the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, Alan Sincic is the first recipient of The Furnace Residency. The project will introduce Alan to the Seattle literary scene and highlight the power of storytelling. Alan, winner of Big Fiction’s novella contest, will travel from Florida to perform a new piece with The Furnace Reading Series on August 13. He will partner with Seattle sound designer Stephen Anunson to create a multi media performance that merges literature and theater. An accomplished actor and teacher, Alan will also be leading a performance workshop for teens through Hugo House’s Scribes program the day before this event.

Alan Sincic’s fiction roams the borderland between children and adults, poetry and prose, the page and the stage. He currently teaches at OCSA and Valencia College. He was the winner of Big Fiction’s  2014 Knickerbocker Prize and he’s performed most recently at The Orlando International Fringe Festival.

Since both The Furnace and Big Fiction focus on expansive stories–literary works that have few venues in a landscape where brevity reigns–we’re stoked for this new collaboration. As the Furnace reaches to expand the richness of the Seattle community, nationally recognized Big Fiction looks forward to reaching more Seattle based writers and readers. This project will create a new opportunity for stories to come to life beyond the page. Alan Sincic’s performance at Hollow Earth Radio is free and open to the public. The youth workshop will take place before his performance and will encourage more youth to attend this all-ages event.

Please join us on Thursday, August 13 at Hollow Earth Radio!

The Last Night at Manuela’s – Video

by Anca Szilagyi

Video from Wednesday night’s performance of “The Last Night at Manuela’s” is available here. What a magical evening! Thanks to all who came down to Hollow Earth or tuned in online!