My short story, “Primrose, Or Return to Il’maril” (originally appearing in Apex Magazine, Oct. 2014) is currently being featured by Drabblecast, an award-winning speculative podcast, for Women and Aliens Month. You can listen to the story here (scroll down for the link to audio). Host Norm Sherman makes an intense Vierro Casstratil, and Gabrielle deCuir’s voice acting for Virginia Booth is out of this world. There’s even original art, based on Il’marillian mythology, by E. C. Ibes.
In honor of Women’s History Month, today, I’m posting about one of the medieval women I’ve been researching for my novel in progress. Relatively little is known of Beatrice of Burgundy (c. 1143-1184) compared to what is known of her husband. She was about thirteen years old when she married the German king and Roman Emperor Frederick “Barbarossa,” but she was no stranger to royal titles even at that age. She had become the Countess of Burgundy at five when her father died and somehow managed to keep the title despite her uncle trying to take it from her. Imagine that–becoming Countess at five and Holy Roman Empress at thirteen. Imagine what such a woman would be like, what she would be capable of.
In most of the allusions I’ve found to Beatrice, she is mentioned for the land she owned, her childbearing, or her beauty. In Alfred Haverkamp’s Medieval Germany (1992), she is indexed three times as “Beatrice, w of Emperor Frederick”: first, with a description of the properties she owned upon their marriage; second, with a description of what happened to those properties after … READ MORE
My review of Jeannine Hall Gailey’s haunting new poetry collection, The Robot Scientist’s Daughter, is up at The Rumpus:
Jeannine Hall Gailey’s fourth poetry collection, The Robot Scientist’s Daughter, reanimates the haunting world of 1970s Oak Ridge Valley, Tennessee, where residents lived in the shadow of both the Smoky Mountains and a government nuclear research facility once known as “America’s Secret City.” In an author’s note, Gailey describes her childhood as the daughter of a robotics professor who consulted at the classified Oak Ridge National Laboratories (ORNL) and introduces the fictional Robot Scientist’s Daughter of her collection, who she calls “fantastic” but admits shares many of her traits. The poems that make up this collection move in a controlled way between fact and fiction, autobiography and fantasy, giving readers glimpses into the secret world surrounding ORNL in which Gailey grew up, at the same time as they tell the story of a fictional Robot Scientist’s Daughter who was transformed by that world into something other, something monstrous.
My poems, “The Day the Woman Shed Her Skin” and “The Frog King,” are featured in the Fall/Winter 2014 (34.2-3) issue of The Chattahoochee Review, alongside a review essay by contributing editor Gregg Murray on “Confessionalism and High Modernism in Recent Work by Sampson Starkweather, Mary McMyne, and Okla Elliot.” I’m honored to see Wolf Skin get such a close reading and to see my work included in this issue. One of the highlights for me was “Nathan,” a wonderfully bizarre story by David James Poissant, which reminded me of one of my favorite shorts by Donald Barthelme.