Friday, May 15, 2009

Kathy Anderson announces world premier of play


Writer Kathy Anderson invites fellow Fellows to the world premiere of "The Meatpackers Book Club," on May 30, 2009 at the Walnut Street Theatre Studio 5 in Philadelphia. The play runs through June 14, 2009.

Kathy explains: "Imagine a book club where the members wield bloody hacksaws for a living and discussions about literature break out in fistfights. It's the Meatpackers Book Club. To rise above the raw gore of their daily lives, clever Harry, tough guy Red, one-armed Augustus, and lone female meatpacker Tiny discuss Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, the Life of Pi, and the proper way to hack animal carcasses. Meanwhile, a love triangle is evolving and something very strange and troubling is going on in Sector 8 of the meatpacking plant. And today, while all these worlds are colliding, it's really difficult to get a meaningful discussion going."

Photo: Kathy Anderson

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Guest Blogger: C.M. Mayo


From Fellow C.M. Mayo:


In the years of writing, researching, and revising my novel, The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire (Unbridled Books, May 5, 2009), I enjoyed several  intensely productive stays at VCCA. A few sparkles:

 

In the corn crib studio: Drafting General Achille Bazaine's flashback scenes of 1850s Algeria, Arab music on the CD player, snow falling on the skylight.


At dinner: Chatting with novelist Josephine Humphreys about archives and the influence of the dead.


By the fireplace in the living room: Reading these same pages with Peter Behrens,  reading from his novel then in-progress, The Law of Dreams. Eating potato chips with poets Sandra Beasley and Alfred Corn. Trying not to be embarrassed when Alfred (bless him) corrected my French pronunciation.

 

In Sweet Briar's Library: After checking e-mail, reading Virgil. Rectangles of autumn light falling on the old tables.

 

One sunny afternoon outside my studio by the barn: Finding Peter Behrens, smoking a cigarette, looking stunned. He'd just written "The End." I thought, yes! It is possible! 

 

Morning on the hill: Mist covering the fields, new calves with their mothers. Arriving at that sign at the entrance to the highway that says, THE REAL WORLD---  and feeling a thrill of gratitude to be able to turn around and walk back up that hill to another day at VCCA.


Pictured: VCCA Fellow C.M. Mayo is a writer in Washington, D.C.