DON’T MISS: John Fowles Center Reading w/ Bosnian Writer Ismet Prcic, Monday @7pm

Ismet Prcic as a young man, via BOMB Magazine // Click to image to read the entire BOMB interview with Prcic from 2007.

Bosnian novelist, playwright, and screenwriter Ismet Prcic (otherwise referred to ‘Izzy‘) will visit The John Fowles Center for Creative Writing Monday, March 2 at 7pm. This is an event not to be missed, so remember to stay after workshop this week!

Author Bio (via ismetprcic.com)

Ismet Prcic (ISS-met PER-sick) was born in Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina, in 1977 and immigrated to America in 1996. He holds an MFA from the University of California, Irvine, and was the recipient of a 2010 NEA Award for fiction. He is also a 2011 Sundance Screenwriting Lab fellow. He now lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife.


From the 2011 New York Times book review of Shards:

“‘Shards,’ the impressive first novel by Ismet Prcic, finds inventive ways to interrogate the anguish of enduring and then escaping Bosnia during the war of the 1990s.

The novel is constructed of fragments — shards — seemingly written by its main character, Ismet Prcic. Ismet grows up in Tuzla and manages to flee shortly before his induction into the “meat grinder” of the Bosnian infantry. He has survived and made his way to America, but is fractured by what he left behind. The novel comprises mostly segments from his therapist-­ordered memoir (or memoirs) and excerpts from his diary. These shards employ several narrative strategies. There are asterisked footnotes, italicized interruptions and self-reflexive comments about unreliability. There are first-, second- and third-person narrations, sometimes switching back and forth within a paragraph. This is a novel about struggling to find form for a chaotic experience. It pushes against convention, logic, chronology. But its disruptions are necessary. How do you write about war and the complications of memory? How do you write about dislocation, profound loneliness, terror? How does a human persevere?

 

For more information on Ismet Prcic, refer to his website, check out the entire interview with BOMB Magazine, or head over to his NEA Writer’s Corner.

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Friday Free Write: Three Prompts from ‘Poets & Writers”

Via Poets & Writers:

FICTION:

“So many great films have been released over the past year, many of which have been adapted for the screen from works of fiction and creative nonfiction. This week, think of a movie you love that isn’t based on a book and try to write a short story version of it. Examine the types of shots used, the lighting, how scenes are staged, and try to translate these visuals into the structure of your story. For inspiration, read this article in Electric Literature.”

POETRY:

“…write a poem about your name. When you were born, you were given a name before beginning to develop a sense of self. Have you grown into your name, or have you always resisted it? Knowing who you are today, where you’ve come from, and where you see yourself going, would you choose a different name for yourself?”

CREATIVE NONFICTION:

“The interplanetary travel nonprofit Mars One is holding a competition for those eager to be the first humans to live on Mars. One of the finalists has said, “If I die on Mars, that would be an accomplishment.” Would you ever volunteer for such a mission? Do you have what it takes to survive on a desolate, desert planet? Write about how you’d feel if you got the opportunity to leave Earth. What would you miss, and what would you be glad to leave behind?”

What is Literature for? via The School of Life

via The School of Life:

“Literature is the greatest ‘reality simulator,’ a machine that puts you through infinitely more situations than you could ever directly witness… It lets you speed up time, in order to see the arc of a life from childhood to old age…Literature cures you of provincialism and, at almost no cost, turns us into citizens of the world…”

Do you agree? What do you think literature is for? Write it out! 

Philip Levine: ‘What Work Is’


We stand in the rain in a long line
waiting at Ford Highland Park. For work.
You know what work is—if you’re
old enough to read this you know what
work is, although you may not do it.
Forget you. This is about waiting,
shifting from one foot to another.
Feeling the light rain falling like mist
into your hair, blurring your vision
until you think you see your own brother
ahead of you, maybe ten places.
You rub your glasses with your fingers,
and of course it’s someone else’s brother,
narrower across the shoulders than
yours but with the same sad slouch, the grin
that does not hide the stubbornness,
the sad refusal to give in to
rain, to the hours of wasted waiting,
to the knowledge that somewhere ahead
a man is waiting who will say, “No,
we’re not hiring today,” for any
reason he wants. You love your brother,
now suddenly you can hardly stand
the love flooding you for your brother,
who’s not beside you or behind or
ahead because he’s home trying to
sleep off a miserable night shift
at Cadillac so he can get up
before noon to study his German.
Works eight hours a night so he can sing
Wagner, the opera you hate most,
the worst music ever invented.
How long has it been since you told him
you loved him, held his wide shoulders,
opened your eyes wide and said those words,
and maybe kissed his cheek? You’ve never
done something so simple, so obvious,
not because you’re too young or too dumb,
not because you’re jealous or even mean
or incapable of crying in
the presence of another man, no,
just because you don’t know what work is.

Philip Levine, “What Work Is” from What Work Is. Copyright © 1992 by Philip Levine. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.

Source: What Work Is: Poems (Alfred A. Knopf, 1991)