Michael Kimball Writes Your Life Story
(on a postcard)

LitLive @ MICA

I'm excited to be reading with my pal Justin Sirois at MICA. The event is called LitLive and it's happening this Thursday, October 13th, 5pm, at MICA, Bunting Center Room 452, 1401 Mt. Royal Avenue (Corner of Lafayette & Mt. Royal). Thanks to Dan Gutstein for setting everything up and for bringing the cupcakes. I hope to see you there.
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#42 The Possibilities of E


E grew up in a creative family in Teaneck, NJ, and had a good childhood, except at school where she was picked on for being the smart kid. Being the smart kid, she planned to attend Harvard University and then become a heart surgeon, but after working as an EMT in high school she decided that making art was her only option. Her parents were disappointed in this decision and told E that they wouldn’t consider her a quitter if she dropped out of art school at MICA and studied pre-med at Hopkins instead. She continued with her printmaking studies at MICA, but found the medium limiting and switched to oil paint. Around this same time, E contracted HPV and developed cervical cancer. She underwent a series of painful surgeries and treatments. The most painful aspect of this, however, was when her mother told her that it was her fault. Their close relationship changed after that, but E is healthy again, and the difficult experience made her more responsible, more independent, and more self-sufficient. E recently switched from oil paint to acrylic paint and has mostly stopped using paintbrushes in favor of paint scrapers, which, of course, are usually used to remove paint. E’s new paintings exhibit her personal alphabet of abstract symbols that are full of implication. The possibilities for these new paintings—and the new E who creates them—are limitless.

[Update: After graduating, E’s three jobs weren’t enough to live on so she moved back home with her parents where she worked as a receptionist in a warehouse, which she hated, especially since she is paranoid about talking to people on the telephone. She also had an internship at a Chelsea gallery where she tried to be such a phenomenal archives intern that they would have to hire her. She was, but they didn’t. E felt like a failure. Months later, she found a job as a studio manager at a textile design studio and it’s inspiring and she loves it. A few months later, E’s parents put the family house up for sale and separated. E wishes that her parents had done this when she was younger, when everybody else’s parents were doing it, and she had some friends to relate to it. Also, last April, after an 11-year struggle with Alzheimer’s E’s grandfather died, which is still difficult to talk about or think about even though she knew it was going to happen. E’s grandmother donated his brain to Alzheimer’s research, which is a small comfort. In July, E moved to an apartment in the Bronx, which she loves. And she wishes that Nik were in NYC; it’s lonely without him. ]
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#163 The Fighting Poems of Paul Long

Paul Long was born in Cleveland, OH, and had a hectic childhood. The family moved often and Paul has lived in 10 different states including OH, MI, CT, MD, TN, MA, NC, VA, NY, and RI. It was difficult to keep moving and keep losing friends. It was difficult to keep trying to make new friends. A lot of times, Paul ate lunch alone. Writing became a release for him, creating a new world inside the one he lived in (when Paul was 8, somebody told him that he couldn’t write, as if it was illegal, and that’s when he decided to keep writing). In high school, Paul was the captain of the swim team and now he misses swimming, the discipline of getting up early in the morning and jumping into the water when it was cold, the back and forth of it. In college, Paul studied English and started writing stories with/for his best friend. They would sit in the library and create crazy stories that were often inspired by Grateful Dead songs. In graduate school, Paul met his wife, Kris, at Brown University, where they both received their MFAs. Kris is a playwright. Paul loves her stories and her smile. For now, Paul and Kris are living in MD, with their two Shitz Tsus (Annabel Lee and Conrad) and their two cats (Nickolai and Puchento), so Kris can pursue her PhD at the University of Maryland. Paul is teaching at BCCC and MICA and loves it. Working with inner city students in Baltimore has changed his life. Also, he is proud of the books of poetry that he has written so far and hopes to one day publish one. In the future, he will work on less abstraction and more physicality. He hopes that his poems will eventually bruise and pummel readers. Strange things happen to Paul a daily basis, but he tries to lead a normal life.

[Note #1: This postcard life story is part of a series of postcard life stories that appear in Keyhole #6 (guest edited by William Walsh), where all the contributor bios will be postcard life stories--the idea being to make every possible aspect of the magazine literature.]
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#42 The Possibilities of E


E grew up in a creative family in Teaneck, NJ, and had a good childhood, except at school where she was picked on for being the smart kid. Being the smart kid, she planned to attend Harvard University and then become a heart surgeon, but after working as an EMT in high school she decided that making art was her only option. Her parents were disappointed in this decision and told E that they wouldn’t consider her a quitter if she dropped out of art school at MICA and studied pre-med at Hopkins instead. She continued with her printmaking studies at MICA, but found the medium limiting and switched to oil paint. Around this same time, E contracted HPV and developed cervical cancer. She underwent a series of painful surgeries and treatments. The most painful aspect of this, however, was when her mother told her that it was her fault. Their close relationship changed after that, but E is healthy again, and the difficult experience made her more responsible, more independent, and more self-sufficient. E recently switched from oil paint to acrylic paint and has mostly stopped using paintbrushes in favor of paint scrapers, which, of course, are usually used to remove paint. E’s new paintings exhibit her personal alphabet of abstract symbols that are full of implication. The possibilities for these new paintings—and the new E who creates them—are limitless.
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