What follows is a complete list of authors participating in the “15 Views of Orlando” project, along with the specific date on which each installment will be published on the Burrow blog. We kick off next week with Gene Albamonte, and then we finally close off at the end of summer with Susan Hubbard. I can hardly wait for some of these authors, but if the names are unfamiliar, take a moment to read through the bios and visit a few author sites.
(To read more about the basic concept of the story and to access the Orlando Wishlist, click here for last week’s post.)
June 2: Gene Albamonte
Gene Albamonte graduated with an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida. In 2010, he attended the Sirenland Writers Conference. Thus far, his fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Southern Indiana Review,Â Clapboard House and Fragmentation + Other Storiesâan anthology published by Burrow Press. He was a finalist in Glimmer Train‘s January 2008 Family Matters competition and earned an Honorable Mention in the April 2008 Family Matters competition. He writes a weekly column for PANK Magazineâs blog and two columns for Burrow Pressâs blog. Read more at www.mynameisgene.com.
June 9: Chris Wiewiora
Chris Wiewiora has lived in Orlando since 1996. He holds an Honors in the Major BA from the University of Central Florida where he was the assistant editor of The Florida Review. He works at a pizza place called Lazy Moon.Â This year his prose has appeared on The Planet Formerly Known As Earth, Etude, SawPalm, SwinkMag.com, and The Quotable and is forthcoming on Splinter Generation. Read more at www.chriswiewiora.com
June 16: J. Bradley
J. Bradley is the author ofÂ Dodging Traffic (Ampersand Books, 2009),Â The Serial Rapist Sitting Behind You is a Robot (Safety Third Enterprises, 2010),Â My Hands Are As Thick As Dreams (Patasola Press, 2011), and the upcoming e-chapbooksÂ A Patchwork of Rooms Furnished By Mistakes (Deckfight Press, 2011) andÂ Our Hearts Are Power Ballads (Artistically Declined Press, 2011). He is the Interviews Editor of PANK Magazine and lives atÂ iheartfailure.net.
June 23: Dan Sinclair
Dan Sinclair spent about a third of his life living in Orlando, FL.Â During that time, he had his Acura Integra GS-R stolen from out front of his apartment and earned an MFA from the University of Central Florida.Â He now resides in Los Angeles, CA, trying to be some kind of professional writer.Â Through his primary focus is television and film, he also writes for an indie music site (theheardproject.com), tries to make people laugh with his blog (thingsbadhappen.com/thislifepathetic),Â and hopes to someday finish his novel (sigh).
June 30: Hunter Choate
Hunter Choate lives and writes in Orlando. His work has appeared in elimae, Word Riot, and others. Find him online at www.hunterchoate.com.
July 14: Tom DeBeauchamp
Too quick across the face of this earth, Tom DeBeauchamp has never watched a puppy grow up to a dog and die. His stories and reviews have appeared here and there, online and in print. He waits for mail that never comes. He attracts sometimes the inverse of moths and jars them and stores them in cool, damp, dark places where they batter the glass with their bodies, desperate to touch the unity for which inverse moths despair. He reminds you we are all closer always to the molten central fire than we’ll ever be to the distant radiations of space. His most recent attempt at a web site is the following: http://softsolids.tumblr.com/
July 21: Jay Haffner
Jay Haffner is an English teacher and baseball coach at Apopka High School. He is a former editor for both The Cypress Dome and The Florida Review, and now works with the smartest and most talented of the Apopka youth at the campus newspaper. He is a native of Detroit, Michigan, and though he has lived in Florida for many years, he has never been able to tan.
July 28: Ashley Inguanta
Ashley Inguanta earned her MFA from the University of Central Florida and has taught several Introduction to Creative Writing courses at the university level. She has also worked as a Creative Writing Instructor at Lakeside Alternative, a mental health facility. Most recently, her photography has appeared inÂ make/shift magazine.Â Â Ashley is also a contributing photographer forÂ SmokeLong Quarterly. Her fiction and poetry have appeared inÂ SmokeLong Quarterly, Pindeldyboz, Elephant Journal, Breadcrumb Scabs, andÂ All Things Girl. She recently earned an Honorable Mention inÂ Glimmer Train for their Very Short Fiction Award. Â Also this year, Ashley has been nominated as UCFâs choice for the AWP Intro Journals Award in fiction.Â Â Her short-shortÂ âTrashâ is forthcoming in Gone Lawn. Soon, she hopes to find a good home for her first experimental fiction collection, Wires and Light. You can visit her at http://ashleyinguanta.wordpress.com.
August 4: Chris Heavener
Chris Heavener is the editor of Annalemma Magazine: Annalemma.net.
August 11: J. Christopher Silvia
J. Christopher Silvia is a writer, probably.
August 18: Lindsay Hunter
Lindsay Hunter grew up in Orlando and now lives in Chicago, where she co-hosts the Quickies! reading series. Her work has been published widely online and in print, and her first book, Daddy’s, is out now on featherproof books. Find her at lindsayhunter.com.
August 25: Philip F. Deaver
Philip F. Deaver is an award-winning short fiction writer who publishes in three genres, stories, poetry, and creative nonfiction.Â He’s a professor of English and Writer in Residence at Rollins College, and also teaches fiction and poetry in the Spalding University brief residency MFA program.Â His books are available locally in the Rollins bookstore or online at Amazon.com orÂ philipfdeaver.com.Â For 25 years he’s run fiction workshops in Central Florida and the southeast US.
Sept. 1: John King
John King, an aficionado of college degrees, has just acquired his fourth, an MFA in creative writing from NYU.Â While his doppelganger proudly teaches composition and creative writing at the University of Central Florida, John currently resides at an undisclosed location and toils on his epic novel, Guy Psycho and the Ziggurat of Shame.Â He also reviews books for The Literary Review and theater for Shakespeare Bulletin.Â His work has appeared in Turnrow, Gargoyle, and Pearl, and is forthcoming from Palooka.
Sept. 8: Mark Pursell
Mark Pursell has served as an intern and later the poetry editor at The Florida Review; his work has appeared in The New Orleans Review and Nimrod International Journal.Â He is currently employed as the Associate Course Director for the Historical Archetypes and Mythology course offered within multiple degree programs at Full Sail University.Â You can read his musings about books, movies, music, television and his sometimes futile attempts to fill in his embarrassing pop-culture knowledge gaps at his blog, The Markness (http://www.themarkness.com).
Sept. 15: Vanessa Blakeslee
Vanessa Blakeslee’s work has been recognized by grants and fellowships from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Yaddo, the Ragdale Foundation and the United Arts of Central Florida, and has appeared or is forthcoming in Harpur Palate, The Bellingham Review, Green Mountains Review and The Southern Review, among other journals. Her latest online story can be found at nthposition, and her latest essay can be found online at The Paris Review.
A Final Note About Inspiration:
Though this project began as a mutual curiosity between myself and Ryan Rivas, the design and structure owes itself to a semester-long project I conduct in many of my fiction courses at UCF (a 20-part linked story by the entire class, with some of the same rules as stated above), but which itself owes its existence to my former mentor Jeanne Leiby.
Jeanne Leiby was a beloved creative writing professor at the University of Central Florida, a woman known for intense Diet-Coke-fueled enthusiasm and a fierce dedication to the tradition of character-driven storytelling (I can still hear her voice in my head, reminding me to create honest characters, to âTell a story, and tell it trueâ), but also the inventive possibilities of fiction writing. At a memorial just a few weeks ago, former students and colleagues recounted the many quirky assignments she gave in her fiction writing courses, from postcard stories to opening-line auctions. Perhaps the most endearing of her assignments was the âCity Story,â where the class would spend a day creating a fictional town: what would be the name of the town, and what businesses would be located in downtown, and what would be the major industry? Throughout the semester, at the start of each class period, a student would read his/her contribution to the City Story. Inevitably, the townâs history would transform, the residents would grow stranger and stranger, and studentsâperhaps upset at workshop comments from other studentsâwould kill one anotherâs characters, make men into women, children into ghosts, thriving businesses into sweatshops, all before someone decided to blow up the city and leave the final writers(s) with the tall task of resurrecting the story.
Overall, a lot of fun, but also a great introduction to understanding the authorâs responsibility when writing a setting (real or imagined), to playing by the rules that youâve established (or that have been established for you) in the world that youâre writing.
Jeanne Leiby passed away on April 19, 2011. We wish we could have had her longer, and we wish she could have been part of this project, but her work as an editor (at Black Warrior Review, The Florida Review, and finally The Southern Review), a teacher/mentor (at Alabama, Tennessee, UCF, and LSU), and a fiction writer (Downriver), will be remembered for quite awhile. Google her name, and you’ll find countless tributes.
Though we’ve only just begun, I do want to take a quick moment to thank Ryan Rivas and Jana Waring, founders of Burrow Press and collaborators on this “15 Views” project, for working so hard to bring together our sprawling community of Orlando writers. If this blog post was shared with you on facebook, or if you’ve stumbled across it but have never heard of Burrow Press (or met Ryan and Jana), make sure to attend a local reading, shake their hands, and thank them for their tireless efforts.