Seer of ghosts & weaver of stories

(You are very much not forgotten)

Belated October / Commence November
Coming back
The three new poems I'd mentioned are now live in SWAMP Issue #17, along with work from a colleague of mine, Matthew Porto.  Please do support this fantastic Australia-based MFA journal!

I'm well aware that November heralds the arrival of NaNoWriMo.  I've by now had so many people ask if I'm participating that I feel compelled to make a public answer: no, not in the traditional sense.  My goal isn't to write a novel this month, but to write a poem a day (if I can manage it; the MFA program has me writing so much more verse at a baseline than ever before that kicking production up a notch even from several poems a week may prove stressful).  If you're a pledger over at my Patreon, you will have access to these locked drafts as they come; I've just posted the first one.

Letters from the front-lines of MFA Land
As many of you know via my Patreon page, I'm currently a Teaching Fellow and MFA (Creative Writing: Poetry) Candidate at Boston University. I had meant to start blogging more faithfully here once classes started, but the truth of the matter is, four weeks in, I'm completely swamped with work (and therefore completely exhausted). I'm not sure why I found blogging while I was in grad school the first time around in the UK so much easier; my archives on this account are full of personal-essay-like stories of my years discovering England. I'd like to think I have such things to say about Boston, as I've only been back here for a few years now (only to be leaving for England again next summer), but it somehow feels like too-familiar ground. My love letters to Boston are much further back in the archive of this journal, as I wrote them while I was an undergraduate at Wellesley.

My classes started on August 27th. This semester, I'm taking the two core Poetry Workshops (one with Robert Pinsky, one with Karl Kirchwey) plus a course in Creative Nonfiction (taught by Bill Loizeaux). I won't be teaching undergraduates till the spring, so I've had some time to mess around with one of my former UK teaching syllabuses in order to make it functional in a Creative Writing context (the reading selections in poetry, fiction, and drama, I'm pleased with, so those will change very little). I've missed teaching a great deal. My class size here won't be much different from the class sizes I had at York, so that's also reassuring.

I've been remiss in sending out submissions, too, although I did sell three poems to SWAMP; I think those will be coming out in October, so watch this space. I have maybe two submissions out with other journals at the moment, but they aren't journals in my usual milieu by any stretch. They're journals with which I've traditionally had as little luck as anyone else in the SF/F/Spec community, but it's high time I tried them again.

I'm finding more time to read things (that aren't poetry) just for the sake of reading again, which is a pleasure I'd left by the wayside some time ago. I demolished this 534-page book in 48 hours, and that's on top of the intense class-work schedule in which I'm currently enmeshed. Whether you're autistic or not, read it. I haven't read anything so compellingly informative in years. In the meantime, I'm tweeting a lot. Come say hi.

This went live last night, and I'm very grateful to WU:
Wellesley Writes It: An Interview With Poet / Editor A.J. Odasso '05

Nine Worlds 2015 & Elgin Awards Voting Reminder
* I'm going to be at Nine Worlds from Thursday through Sunday this week. Hope to see you there! Tight turn-around on this trip, yikes.

* This is where you vote for the 2015 Elgin Awards. Votes are due by September 15th. If you need a PDF copy of The Dishonesty of Dreams, please email me on ajodasso [at] gmail [dot] com.

Concern re: 2015 Elgin Award nomination & voting procedures
Questions & seeming inconsistencies, etc.Collapse )

My Readercon 2015 Schedule:
Friday, July 11

11:00 AM G Drift-Compatibile Fictional Characters. Amal El-Mohtar, Victoria Janssen, Nicole Kornher-Stace (leader), A. J. Odasso, Navah Wolfe. The film Pacific Rim created the idea of two people who are "drift-compatible," able to live inside each other's minds and memories without sustaining massive psychic damage. Let's use this as a metaphor to explore our favorite speculative fiction duos—whether they're friends, traveling companions, siblings, or spouses—and talk about what makes those deeply intimate pairings work.

5:30 PM EM Reading: A. J. Odasso. A. J. reads selections of poetry from her newest poetry collection ("The Dishonesty of Dreams," Flipped Eye Publishing, August 2014), as well as some brand-new work.

6:00 PM E Autographs. LJ Cohen, A. J. Odasso.

Saturday, July 12

9:00 AM EM Strange Horizons. Gillian Daniels, A. J. Odasso, Sonya Taaffe. Group reading of Strange Horizons affiliates.

10:00 AM CL Kaffeeklatsch. Jeff Hecht, A. J. Odasso.

1:00 PM F Making SF/F Careers Viable. Sandra Kasturi, Matt Kressel, Bart Leib, A. J. Odasso, Alex Shvartsman (leader). Writing, editing anthologies or magazines, running small presses, creating artwork... these pursuits demand a great deal of investment, and returns are unreliable. Few people can spend weeks writing a story on spec, wait months for a contract and longer for a check, or absorb financial losses for years while trying to make a business profitable. Let's talk frankly about how low pay rates on all fronts affect the demographics of professional SF/F, and what we can do to make SF/F careers more accessible to people with limited tangible and intangible resources.

Sunday, July 13

12:00 PM ENL Fandom and Rebellion. Gemma Files, Catt Kingsgrave, Kate Nepveu (leader), A. J. Odasso, Ann Tonsor Zeddies. ifeelbetterer on Tumblr writes, "No one is more critical of art than fandom. No one is more capable of investigating the nuances of expression than fandom—because it's a vast multitude pooling resources and ideas. Fandom is about correcting the flaws and vices of the original. It's about protest and rebellion, essentially.... Fandom is not worshipping at the alter of canon. Fandom is re-building it because they can do better." Our panel of creators and fans will dig into the notion of when, why, how, and whether fan works and remixes are "better" than the original, especially when they come from a place of protest and challenge.

More poetry errata:
Demon King
My new poem, "Bone-House," is now live in Liminality, Issue 4.

Patreon update & poems to look out for:
* I'm at $388/month on Patreon, and my goal by August is to reach $500/month. As promised, I have been posting poem drafts as they become available; these are viewable by Patrons only. I will no longer be posting locked poem drafts to this journal. If you would like access to these drafts, please do consider pledging $1/month.

* I've sold a poem called "Augur Effect" to Spelling the Hours. This means a great deal to me, as the poem deals not only with some courageous women scientists who didn't receive their due, but also with some trauma I'm finally able to discuss without shattering. This is a huge step.

* I'll have a poem called "Transition Metal" coming out in My Dear Watson: Elemental Poetry, a Periodic Table anthology of verse coming out later this year from Beautiful Dragons Press. You may remember their Heavenly Bodies anthology; they produce beautiful books!

* The next issue of Liminality is almost upon us. I have a piece called "Bone-House" that will be appearing in it, which also pleases me very much.

* The Dishonesty of Dreams has been nominated for an Elgin Award in the Collection category. I also had two poems up for Rhyslings (one of which was co-authored with domparisien), so my thanks to anyone who may have voted for these!

Another recent interview, with S.C. Flynn at Scy-Fy:
Candle & Swan
Interview with A.J. Odasso (of Strange Horizons)

I have been interviewed over at Poetry Has Value:
Wherein I talk about Strange Horizons, (hopefully) paying poets what their work is worth, editing poetry, and other related issues.


Log in