Tag Archives: reading list

Step 9: “Resisting plot is a political act”

When Lidia Yuknavitch spoke these words at her workshop last May, I scribbled them in my notebook and something broke loose. My entire life has resisted plot, and seeing my writing life in this context was more than pivotal – it’s become a daily mantra. (If you’re nodding your head, you know.) Art as an act of political resistance is the theme of Step 9, but first, a quick announcement:

melidleighIn November, I’ll be joining Lidia Yuknavitch as an online workshop leader for Epistemologies: Writing to Unmake and Remake Meaning. Over the past year, I’ve been a columnist and the curator of Corporeal Clamor, a curated series at Corporeal Writing. Part of the CW philosophy is “leading people into new and unknown territories from which they can make art,” and because I so love collaborating with other writers, this new role at Corporeal Writing sets my heart on fire.

Class begins November 4.

Over the past two years, the writers I’ve met through Corporeal Writing are part of a revolution. They’re publishing pieces like this one by my friend Marissa in Harper’s Bazaar, and last week, NPR featured artist Laura Gibson’s song “Domestication.” Laura was working on lyrics to the song when she took the “Exhausting Metaphor” workshop at Corporeal Writing a year ago. As an added bonus, Anya Pearson, who she met at the workshop, plays a character in the video.

This is what Lidia means when she calls Corporeal Writing “a creative process that values participant collaboration.” If this idea sets a fire inside of you and you’ve got something to say, come write with us.

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Step 9: Leaflets, Pamphlets, and Books

Step 9 in the “blueprint” From Dictatorship to Democracy emphasizes the critical role of artists and intellectuals in making political and social change. Lidia Yuknavitch’s The Book of Joan was released just after T– entered the White House, and the post-apocalyptic nature of the work struck a chord with the public.

From the New York Times Book Review:

“Telling the truth with precision and rage and a visionary’s eye, using both realism and fabulism, is one way to break through the white noise of a consumerist culture that tries to commodify post-apocalyptic fiction, to render it safe.” – Jeff VanderMeer, A Brilliant, Incendiary Joan of Arc Story for a Ravaged Earth, The New York Times

Throughout history, times of political turmoil have been influenced by works of art. My project 3.5% was inspired by a pamphlet by Gene Sharp that has been passed around the globe since its release in 1993. Others on the list of transgressive game-changers:

The Republic – Plato

Liberty Leading the People – Eugène Delacroix

A Room of One’s Own – Virginia Wolfe

The Jungle – Upton Sinclair

1984 – George Orwell

Beloved – Toni Morrison

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

When Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe

50 books that changed the world.

15 Banned Books

What’s on your list?

Share it in the comments.

What’s On My Nightstand: July 2018

Fiction

Two Spoons of Bitter | Sonja S. Mongar

The Catcher in the Rye |JD Salinger *

*missed it in high school

 

Short Fiction

Under the Wave | Lauren Groff

Pause | Mary Ruefle

The Blackout | Kelly Thompson

 

Nonfiction

Emergent Strategy | Adrienne Maree Brown

Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Account Right Now | Jaron Lanier

Energy Transmutation Between-ness and Transmission | Richard Rose

Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities |Rebecca Solnit

How to Love | Thich Nhat Hanh

 

Memoir

Pastrix | Nadia Bolz-Weber

 

Journal

The Paris Review, Summer 2018

 

Essay / Interview / OpEd

Why I helped organize the ‘Handmaids’ protest of Mike Pence| Samantha Goldman

American Garbage | Marissa Korbel

From Dictatorship to Democracy | Gene Sharp

The Saddest Children’s Book in the World | Yevgeniya Traps

 

Poetry

Call Me By My True Names|Thich Nhat Hanh

Running| The New Yorker | Joy Harjo

 

Magazine / Newspaper

Lesbian Connection: free to lesbians worldwide, but the suggested donation is $7/issue (more if you can, less if you can’t)

The New Yorker

The Week

 

Random 

pine cone

 

 

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What’s On My Nightstand: June 2018

Fiction

There, There / Tommy Orange

 

Short Fiction

“Without Inspection” | Edwidge Danticat

People Like You | Margaret Malone

Nonfiction

Emergent Strategy | Adrienne Maree Brown

Who Will Speak for America? | edited by Stephanie Feldman and Nathaniel Popkin

Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities |Rebecca Solnit

Tao Te Ching | Lao Tsu

 

Journal

The Paris Review, Summer 2018

 

Essay / Interview / OpEd

Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions | Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Comes to Terms with Global Fame | Larissa MacFarquhar

 

Poetry

If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho | Ann Carson

For You / Sharon Olds

 

Magazine / Newspaper

Lesbian Connection: free to lesbians worldwide, but the suggested donation is $7/issue (more if you can, less if you can’t)

The New Yorker

The Week

The Shuttle – Weaver’s Way Coop

 

Random 

rock: “There will be rough times and hard times, but you can never be put down” – Alexander, age 8

180 | Mnemosyne notebook

Blessing Spray: palo santo + selenite | Ark Made

June 30 flyers

 

 

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What’s On My Nightstand: May 2018

Fiction

La Bastarda, Trifonia Melibea Obono

The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy

brown girl dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson

 

Short Fiction

Without Inspection, by Edwidge Danticat

The Long Black Line, by John L’Heureux

 

Nonfiction

we are never meeting in real life. by Samantha Irby

Energy Transmutation Between-Ness and Transmission, by Richard Rose

 

Journal

The Paris Review, Spring 2018

 

Essay / Interview / OpEd

Why Are We So Fascinated by Cults? by Kirstin Allio (The Paris Review)

What Just Happened in Malaysia? by Tash Aw (The New York Times)

Stop mocking Kim Kardashian West for caring about prison reform, by Chandra Bozelko (Los Angeles Times)

 

Poetry

The morning after / my death, by Etel Adnan

The Universe in Verse, by Maya Angelou

Testament Scratched into a Water Station Barrel (Partial Translation), by Eduardo C. Corrall

Reconsolidation: Or, It’s the Ghosts Who Will Answer You, by Janice Lee

Marina, by Cynthia Zarin

 

Monograph

A Commonplace Book, by Christina McPhee

 

Magazine / Newspaper

Lesbian Connection

The New Yorker

The Week

The Shuttle – Weaver’s Way Coop

 

Random 

paper cranes

peonies

map of Portland, OR

map of Powell’s Bookstore

day planner, Mon Carnet de Poche

Rosebud Salve

purple pony

 

 

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What’s On My Nightstand: April 2018

Fiction

Future Home of the Living God, by Louise Erdrich

Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead

 

 

Short Fiction

Scapegoat Child, by Kathleen Collins

What it Means When a Man Falls From the Sky, by Lesley Nneka Arimah

 

Nonfiction

The Little Book of Feminist Saints, by Julia Pierpont

May Cause Happiness, from the teachings of Brother David Steindl Rast

 

 

Journal

Big Big Wednesday, Issue Five, Fall 2017: Stranger

The Paris Review, Spring 2018

 

 

Essay / Interview / OpEd

Will We Stop Trump Before It’s Too Late? by Madeleine Albright (The NY Times)

Pruning Rose of Sharon Shrub, by Becca Badgett

Eileen Myles, When Dogs and Mothers Die, by Carlie Fishgold (Guernica)

How Women See How Male Authors See Them, by Katy Waldman (The New Yorker)

 

 

Poetry

Hold: A Poem, by Gowri Koneswaran

 

 

Magazine / Newspaper

Lesbian Connection

The New Yorker

The Week

The Shuttle – Weaver’s Way Coop

 

Random 

palo santo wood

ceramic bowl

Rosebud Salve

pot of thyme

pot of basil

staples

earbuds

dream journal

pen

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What’s On My Nightstand: February 2018

 

Fiction

Lucky Boy, by Shanthi Sekaran

SHTUM, by Jem Lester

 

Memoir

Heart Berries, by Teresa Marie Mailhot

Priestdaddy, by Patricia Lockwood

Twenty Horses, by Nancy E. Peter

 

Nonfiction

Thoughts on Solitude, by Thomas Merton

Hope in the Dark, by Rebecca Solnit

 

Poetry

Why I Wake Early, by Mary Oliver

 

Magazine / Newspaper

Lesbian Connection

The New Yorker

The Week

The Shuttle – Weaver’s Way Coop

 

Random 

paper clips

thumbtacks

Blue Marble Bookstore 2018 book challenge card

plant cutting

pebbles

rock:

“There will be rough times but you can never be put down.” – Alexander, age 7 (at the time of inscription)

 

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What’s On My Nightstand: December 2017

 

Fiction

The Child Finder, by Rene Denfeld

The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesymyn Ward

Affinity, by Sarah Waters

 

 

Short Fiction

Cranford, by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

Cat Person, by Kristen Roupenian

The Lazy River, by Zadie Smith

 

Hybrid

Bluets, by Maggie Nelson

 

Poetry

Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings, Joy Harjo

 

Magazine

The New Yorker

The Week

 

Random 

cork board samples

packing tape

broken scissors

plant cutting

“In the midst of winter I found there was within me an invincible summer.” – Albert Camus (card by Remy and Me)

 

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