“Meg Pokrass’s Spinning to Mars is composed of “Micros”–some seventy of them. She also calls it a “very short book,” but it’s one of the most readable and illuminating experiences you’re likely to have in the coming years. It’s low-key funny but also subtly chilling. It’s about the vicissitudes of love, but then it’s also about the gift, the surprise, and the unfairness of human relationships. I find myself giggling or tearing up or just staggering around the house with what these “Micros” have done to me.” – David Huddle, author of My Surly Heart
“Meg Pokrass has written an exquisite collection of linked stories. As I read Spinning to Mars I felt plunged, soaked, immersed—however you want to get down into a life both deep and wide. This book will spin you off to Mars with its exacting language and biting insight. Here is the kind of compressed writing that I long for and rarely find.” – Sherrie Flick, author of Thank Your Lucky Stars
“William Faulkner famously wrote all those hefty expansive novels about his “own little postage stamp of land.” A supreme maker of Micros, Meg Pokrass in her adhesive and compressed collection of slips of the tongue, Spinning to Mars, creates exquisite prose postage. Within their precise selvages are whole intact and exacting universes, franked and cancelled galaxies. Philatelist Pokrass knows a good paradox when she writes one (or 70 some of them)—like how a tightly bounded space contains a multitude of possibilities, infinite points of points. She delivers, one issue after another, these little intaglio lozenges of singing, sinning synecdoche. These burbling bubbles of benday-ed miniature maps are really something, somehow more detailed than the mere life-sized things they represent.” – Michael Martone, author of The Moon Over Wapakoneta and Brooding
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.
Set in coastal California, The Loss Detector is a funny/sad portrait of teenage blues and of a small, transplanted family of non-conformists. The flawed but lovable characters in Pokrass’ novella remind us of how the world’s most beautiful places are not always the easiest in which to thrive. Moments of giddy, perceived freedom set against resignation dot the narrative in such a way that will leave you changed.
Praise for The Loss Detector
“Meg Pokrass is the virtuoso of the weird, a specialist of the out-of-the-blue. Her stories take the unexpected route every time, so that with each line the reader is bumped out of her preconceptions. Sometimes even the end of a sentence cannot be counted on. Her narration is confiding but marvelously unsettling…everything you never knew a novella-in-flash could be.” – Mary Grimm, author of Left to Themselves (novel) and Stealing Time
“Meg Pokrass’s sentences are shot through with wildness and her characters are deliciously untamed. The Loss Detector may be about stumbling adolescence within a dysfunctional family but every paragraph in it is a bible for how to live – with humour, affection, and a dose of anarchy.” – Michael Loveday, author of Three Men on the Edge
“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!