The Furnace

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

Tag: storytelling

Catherine Smyka on Getting Lost in the Moment

by Anca Szilagyi

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

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KG: How did you approach the selection and presentation of your work given the Furnace’s format of both a live and radio audience?

CS:I tried to find a story that folks could relate to. And my sound designer Stephen [Anunson] and I tried to find music that would take folks into their own memories. Their own first loves. Their own silly decisions. Their own experiences getting lost in the moment, forgetting common sense, and just going for it.

KG:Looking back on your experience with the Furnace, what stands out most to you?

CS:Hearing the story unfold all around me. I’ve done storytelling with The Moth for the last four years, and love the rush of speaking in front of a live audience. But when I heard the music and sounds accompany my story as I spoke the words out loud – it gave me the chance to experience the story all over again.

 

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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

On Navigating Words and Life

by Anca Szilagyi

Fetch: noun:  The distance traveled by wind or waves across open water; the distance a vessel must sail to reach open water.

Kathlene Postma’s performance of “Fetch” is this Thursday at 7 pm, at the Hollow Earth Radio performance space. The story’s title comes from a nautical term (definition above) and is one of several terms that organize the story. I asked Kathlene about it in anticipation of her reading.

AS: How did you come to use nautical terminology as headings for the sections of “Fetch”? Did the terms come before the story? Did the story call for the terms?

Kathlene Postma: Great question! The nautical terminology and the story “Fetch” grew up together.  My husband and I are both teachers, and we have three school-age daughters.  Every day at least one or more persons in my house are memorizing terms or figuring out how to explain them.  In this story Georgia, the central character tries to understand something as mammoth as Lake Superior while also struggling with the results of a terrible car accident.The funny thing about words and their definitions is the way in which a person comes to comprehend them.  Our lives are layered with seemingly random but powerful impressions and events–a car accident, a new town, a shattered foot–and those can saturate abstract words or principles we might be memorizing in school.  If you teach, you spend most of your time organizing knowledge for a group of students, but what happens creatively within that organization is unique to each student.  You can’t control what an individual does with the information you provide or the way it integrates into who she or he is becoming. There is a magic in how that works.  With this story I try to explore the illogical beauty of the process.  For Georgia, the nautical terms are peripheral–she merely learns them to help another teacher–but they help organize for the reader the direction her life takes.