Introducing Parker, Dunnion, and Sallis
By Derek Nikitas, Director, Bluegrass Writers Studio
Time to open some more presents.
Last week, the exciting details about the Bluegrass Writers Studio Winter Residency 2015 began to roll out, with the news that poet Matt Rasmussen would be visiting us on January 9th, and that his collection of poetry, Black Aperture, will be our common book. Here are three more of our special guests:
The first, JEFF PARKER, is no stranger to many of us in the Bluegrass Writers Studio. As director of the Disquiet International Program in Lisbon, Portugal, Parker has been a close friend of ours since we began our Summer Residency partnership two years ago. But Parker’s intense focus on oiling the summer program gears means he never has an opportunity to showcase his own remarkable creative writing.
Well, that’s going to change, as Parker joins us on Monday, January 5th to talk about the book he released earlier this year, Where Bears Roam the Streets: A Russian Journal. It’s Parker’s signature take on his experiences in post-Cold War Russia, and his friendship with a young Russian named Igor who is, like his country, a little messed up and desperate to figure out his identity.
This year we’re also going to have our first international guest, all the way from Ontario, Canada. She’s KRISTYN DUNNION, a Young Adult novelist and a celebrated performance artist (cabaret, drag shows, heavy metal, you name it). Her books are touted as wild mash-ups of punk, science fiction/speculative and horror elements—a kaleidoscopic lens through which we witness her dramatization of vital social concerns. She’s also the author of an audacious and stunning short story collection, The Dirt Chronicles, a Lambda Literary Finalist in 2012. Kristyn Dunnion will be in our midst on Tuesday, January 6th.
And last—for today’s unveiling, at least—is JAMES SALLIS, a true legend in the world of crime fiction. His style is just a bit too artful to make him a household name, but he’s top shelf quality among most of the crime writers and critics I know, including me. His books are lean and mean, elliptical and minimalist, exhibiting the precision of poetry, and refusing to play by the procedural rules. He often veers toward the meditate realm, existential matters, where other writers might simply “wrap up the case.”
Even if you’ve never picked up one of his books, you might’ve seen a testament to his skewed and dreamlike world in the 2001 Nicolas Refn film Drive (starring Ryan Gosling), adapted from Sallis’ book of the same name. Some of his other books include Cypress Grove, Cripple Creek, Driven, Death Will Have Your Eyes, The Killer is Dying, Others of My Kind and the long-running Lew Griffin series. Also an accomplished poet, Sallis will release an omnibus of poetry soon after our residency, titled Black Night’s Gonna Catch Me Here: Selected Poems 1968-2012.
James Sallis will be with us on Wednesday, January 7th.
More thrilling revelations forthcoming on Thursday. Keep watch!
Published on October 20, 2014