Michael Kimball Writes Your Life Story
(on a postcard)

The Fall 510 Readings


I just posted the Fall 510 Schedule. It's pretty good.


S17: John Brandon, Sandra Beasley, Christine Grillo, Greg Olear.
O15: Laura Ellen Scott, Mark Cugini, John Rowell, Jackie Wang.
N19: Joshua Mohr, Stephanie Barber, Ben Loory, Mike Young.
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Almost Everyone Is Ready

I have an interview with Stephanie Barber up at The Faster Times. We talk about her show at the Baltimore Museum of Art, "Jhana and the Rats of James Olds or 31 Days/31 Videos," working under constraints, and how people approach art.

More interviews @ The Faster Times: Gary Lutz, Blake Butler, Laura van den Berg, Brian Evenson, Robert Lopez, Dylan Landis, Padgett Powell, Sam Lipsyte, Dawn Raffel, Kevin Sampsell, Gina Frangello, Evan Lavender-Smith, Ken Sparling, Matt Bell, Ingrid Burrington, Andy Devine, and Jessica Anya Blau, Deb Olin Unferth, Blake Butler, Justin Taylor, and Susan Henderson.
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The Zoo Reading


I'm reading at an AWP off-site event at the ZOO -- Friday, February 4, 2pm. It's with Stephanie Barber & Matt Bell & Blake Butler & Amelia Gray & Alec Niedenthal & Alexis Orgera & Timothy Sanders & Deb Olin Unferth & Colin Winnette & Joseph Young. It's with Tigers and Polar Bears and Gorillas. Come see the animals. Come hear the stories.
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#184 The Art That Is Stephanie Barber

Stephanie Barber was born on Long Island and her childhood was complicated, chaotic. She didn’t enjoy that. She moved more than a dozen times as a child and chunks of time were lived in Florida and Pennsylvania. There were times when she swam in the ocean and there were often a lot of musicians around. When she was 6, Stephanie knew that she wanted to be a writer and started typing out her poems because she thought published poems were typed. When she was 8, Stephanie had a ballet recital that went particularly well, and, after the show, as she was driven home in her father’s convertible, she stood up in her seat and pumped her bouquet-filled fist into the sky in triumph. Sometimes, Stephanie thinks of that moment and how she never feels that unadulterated pride and joy after a performance or a screening. Stephanie regrets not having become a child star. Growing up, Stephanie was bizarrely serious and very religious (even though nobody in her family really was). She decided she was Catholic and walked by herself to church on Sunday mornings. She even talked her way onto a cheerleading squad at the Catholic school, which she did not attend. Stephanie thought that she was cheering for God or Jesus. Eventually, the Catholics realized that she was not one of them and wouldn’t let her cheer anymore. When Stephanie was 12, she fell out of the church and today she is a sort of lazy spiritualist. In high school, Stephanie studied playwriting and ballet at a performing arts school. In college, she studied film and anthropology and poetry. In graduate school, she studied film and poetry. Stephanie became interested in making films because the more experimental films she had seen seemed rooted in poetics. Stephanie reads a lot. She is an artist, a filmmaker, a videomaker, a performer, a writer, and, sometimes, a musician. The way that Stephanie believes in art has a religious fervor. There is a purposefulness that sometimes assuages the angry muddled tenor of her existence. As an adult, Stephanie has lived in 9 different cities. Whenever you see her anywhere, she is almost always smiling or laughing. To get by, she always gets different funny jobs for money—shoveling gravel, selling snakes, teaching water aerobics to senior citizens, college professor, street performer, freelance editor, adoption counselor at an SPCA, phone psychic. Other than where she is living and what job she has and who she is romantically involved with, Stephanie is pretty consistent. She doesn't have too many decisions to make. When she moved to Baltimore, she bought a house that used to be a corner grocery and leaks. It was full of groceries when she moved in, but the groceries are all gone now. Soon, she will move again. She will get her first professional job and win a large grant. She will write a novel and fall in large love.

More Stephanie Barber
Photo Credit: Joe Milutis
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