The Furnace

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

Tag: readings

Brenda Miller on Bringing Multiple Voices to Life

by Anca Szilagyi

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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 “Immanent Ghosthood” by Christine Texeira

by Anca Szilagyi

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The final reading of the Furnace’s fourth season is next week! We’re excited to feature fiction from Christine Texeira. Here’s a taste of “Immanent Ghosthood,” which tells the story of a young girl, her father, their game of Mortal Kombat, and the mysterious sense of loss that between them hums:

He drove slowly and lit a cigarette. Elle worried about what might seep into the car through the window he rolled down. But only the smoke went out. It was like his ghost, willfully blown out over the water. It sunk down to the bottom, back to where there was dry dirt and foundation stone, and then emerged again from the river. The smoke then in the watery form of a man, dripping from his white button-up, pens in his chest pocket leaking and mixing, his glasses large and impossible to see through. Elle watched this form of her father sink back behind the railings of the bridge, allowing her eyes to refocus and hear the heaving breaths of the real watery man beside her.

Join us May 18 at 7 pm at Hollow Earth Radio, 2018 A East Union Street, or tune in online at hollowearthradio.org.

May 18: Christine Texeira

by Anca Szilagyi

Join us Wednesday May 18, 2016 as we present a performance of a short story by Christine Texeira at Hollow Earth Radio from 7-8 pm.

“Immanent Ghosthood” tells the story of a young girl, her father, their game of Mortal Kombat, and the mysterious sense of loss that between them hums. Christine Texeira received her MFA in fiction from the University of Notre Dame in 2014. She has been a reader for NorthNorthwest and currently works at Hugo House. Her work has appeared in Moss, and The Conium Review.

As always, the event is free, and chapbooks will be available for purchase.

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

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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!

February 17: Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore

by Anca Szilagyi

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Join us Wednesday February 17, 2016 as we present a performance of a hybrid work by Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore  at Hollow Earth Radio from 7-8 pm.

Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore  is most recently the author of a memoir, The End of San Francisco, winner of a 2014 Lambda Literary Award, and the editor of Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots?: Flaming Challenges to Masculinity, Objectification, and the Desire to Conform, an American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book.  Her elliptical essay ruminates on the complexities of desire and belonging in a shifting community.

This event is the third in the Furnace’s fourth season, riding the theme The Furnace Neighborhood, featuring work where setting plays a major role.

As always, the event is free, and chapbooks will be available for purchase.

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

Connect with the event on Facebook.

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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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.

At APRIL: The Bushwick Book Club Seattle Presents Original Music Inspired by The Furnace

by Anca Szilagyi

Come see us at APRIL’s Small Press Expo this Saturday, 11 am-4 pm at Richard Hugo House. We’ll have a table full of chapbooks and CDs from previous performances, and there’ll be a whole slew of other wonderful small publishers to check out. Annnd, be sure to see our event in the Hugo House theater 1:30-2:30. Musicians from the Bushwick Book Club Seattle have written original music inspired by the three pieces we’ve featured so far.

The performers:

Bradford Loomis marries grit and melody to dig to the roots of American folklore and speak of the raw reality of the human condition with soul, passion, and hope. Bradford will perform original music inspired by Anca Szilágyi’s story “More Like Home Than Home.”

On her critically acclaimed 2010 album, “Roses Guide to Time Travel”, Oklahoma native Nancy K. Dillon mapped the road West; the dusty highways that conjure up images like Kerouac’s road trips, traveling dustbowl carnivals, and free-spirited 70s hipsters. Inspired by Oklahoma/Texas troubadours Townes Van Zandt, Eric Taylor, and Kevin Welch, Dillon’s songs are short stories about the various characters that populate rural American life, as well as her own travels through the American West and beyond.  2013 will bring the release of Dillon’s latest creative sonic efforts in songs inspired by her exploration mapping her family’s origins throughout Scotland, Ireland, England and the New World on a brand new CD entitled “Game of Swans”. Nancy will perform original music inspired by Buffy Aakaash’s play “The Last Night at Manuela’s.”

Katrina Kope is a Seattle based singer/songwriter that has performed in and around the area for over 10 years as the Katrina Kope jazz Quartet, Soul/R&B with Soul Kata, and Reggae with Leisure Sounds and Roll:One. Currently, Katrina co-hosts the all improve “Sing it Live” Jam for vocalists at the Seamonster and is about to release an album with her pop/electronic band, Purr Gato. Katrina will perform original music inspired by Rae Diamond’s essay “Three Songs.”