Pamela Painter and Meg Pokrass: Saturday August 28th, 2021, 4.00 pm BST
We were honoured that eminent writer and teacher from the US, Pamela Painter, was able to join us at the inaugural flash fiction festival in Bath, 2017. And it is wonderful to have her back to read from her new and selected stories Fabrications
and talk about flash fiction in our Legends spot. She is joined by
inspirational writer, editor and teacher, Meg Pokrass, an American
expat, living in the UK. Meg, a flash fiction writer of many years
standing, is also our Flash Fiction Festival Curator. She is running a workshop in April in our Festival Series.
Pamela PainterPamela Painter is the author of five story collections, and co-author, with Anne Bernays, of What If? Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers. Her stories have appeared in The Atlantic, Harper’s, Five Points, Ploughshares, SmokeLong Quarterly, New Flash Fiction Review, among others, and in numerous Flash Anthologies such as Sudden Fiction, Flash Fiction, Micro Fiction, and New Micro.
Painter’s flash stories have been presented on National Public Radio,
and staged by WordTheatre in Los Angeles, London and New York. Painter’s
newest collection of stories is Fabrications: New and Selected Stories from Johns Hopkins University Press.
Festival Curator, is the author of seven flash fiction collections, two
novellas-in-flash, and an award-winning book of prose poetry. A
recipient of San Francisco’s Blue Light Book Award, her work has been
internationally anthologized in two recent Norton Anthologies, Best Small Fictions 2018, 2019, Wigleaf Top 50 (multiple times) and has been published in over 500 literary magazines including Electric Literature, Craft, Tin House, Passages North, Wigleaf and McSweeney’s. Meg serves as Flash Challenge Judge for Mslexia, Co-Editor of Best Microfiction, 2020, Co-Founder Flash Fiction Collective Reading Series (SF), & Founding/Managing Editor of New Flash Fiction Review.
“These 29 micro stories, which can be read in one sitting, are so interconnected that the effect is of one short story, told in fragments—a fitting format for a meditation on the unraveling of a marriage, with guest stars (dogs, lovers, therapists, the tiger cat, a rat). The compressed power of flash, however, combined with Pokrass’ lyricism, invites the reader to re-read each piece, and unpack each morsel line by line.
You can read the entire review below! Thank you to Smokelong, and to Amanda Krupman, reviewer!
“With multiple timelines that shift readers forward and back throughout the collection, The Dog Seated Next to Me confronts the often messy task of navigating life. This narrative structure of both united as well as standalone flashes allows readers to grapple with their own expectations of what one does after a marriage or relationship ends. What choices can or do we make and how can we reconcile ourselves and others with who we all become? Although we are invited into these stories, it is only for a single standalone moment—a flash, if you will—and then we turn the page and find ourselves stepping into another character’s world.”
Read the full review by clicking the thumbnail below:
“One of the marvels of this flash-fiction collection is Pokrass’s ability to create fully realized complex characters in the tradition of literary realism typically associated with longer narratives, even novels. She achieves so much deep characterization in such a tight space that she is like an architect of tiny houses that allow her characters to live full lives in extremely small spaces. The collection buzzes with naked insights on female heterosexual desire. Exploring the complex disconnect between sex and love in the lives of women, Pokrass maps an interior landscape of tenderness and connection between lovers. The need for greater, longer lasting connection means women falling in love keep ending up alone. These stories explore what happens when love doesn’t last or when sex and love become conflicted, in a world where “humans, like amphibious animals, developed ugly traits to protect themselves.” -Aimee Parkison, Book Reviewer
Author reading of “The Bug Man” which first appeared in Tin House, published in the collection “Alligators At Night” (Ad Hoc Fiction). Such an honor to have the story included in Best Small Fictions, 2019!