Posts

Showing posts from June, 2015

Nick Krieger: Exploring the Territory Between Male and Female

Image
While in residence at VCCA, Nick Krieger was working on the third draft of the follow-up to his highly acclaimed memoir, Nina Here Nor There: My Journey Beyond Gender (Beacon Press, 2011). The book won a Stonewall Honor Book Award and an Independent Literary Award in the GLBTQ category.
“It’s still early on in a certain sense and yet there’s this feeling that I finally have some direction,” says Nick of this second book. “It’s been really great to immerse myself in the project. I’ve become interested in it again.”
Nick’s story adds a valuable, often overlooked voice to the transgender narrative, which typically presents a person born in the “wrong“ body. Nick shares a very different experience. For him, it is much more complicated. He embraces himself as both man and woman. 
“This gray area and middle ground is becoming a little more understandable to people because of progress in trans acceptance,” explains Nick. “Trans people have historically been so invalidated in our identities, tha…

Lisa Beane's Unflinching Gaze

Image
Lisa Beane doesn’t shy away from tough subject matter and the work she did at VCCA is no exception. All spring, Lisa had been galvanized by the story of Farkhunda, the 27-year old Afghani woman who was brutally murdered by a mob on March 19 in Kabul. The incident occurred after Farkunda confronted a mullah selling charms outside the Shah-e-Doshamshera shrine. Farkunda was a devout woman and was offended by what she saw as unseemly activity occurring so close to the holy site. It’s ironic that it was her very piety that got her killed. Because the mullah became so enraged by Farkunda’s scolding that he turned around and accused her of burning a Koran. Word of this spread quickly through the crowd, which turned on Farkhunda savagely attacking her. In a frenzy, they beat, stoned and ran over her. Eventually, they threw what was left of her body “into a river and set it ablaze in the presence of policemen.”
There is much fodder in this horrifying tale, which touches on tyrannical religion…

Stacey Gregg: Expanding Theater’s Boundaries

Image
Irish playwright Stacey Gregg, who just completed a month-long residency at VCCA, came armed with an ambitious project: to begin and end a play commissioned by the distinguished Abbey Theater, Dublin. She accomplished her goal, leaving Mt. San Angelo with a completed first draft and even got to experience “a sense of completeness” in her last two days.
Stacey writes for theater, film and TV. She’s incredibly prolific having written numerous plays including the award-winning Perve, several television scripts, a couple of filmsand even an opera. “I’ve always operated at a high energy level,” she explains. “Though it never feels that way. I’m always driving myself and really pushing.” If all this writing wasn’t enough, Stacey also performs as an actor in other people’s work. She started acting because “I just needed a break from myself. Acting’s a really good way to be in a room, to be physical and yet be out of my brain for a while. It’s galvanizing to disrupt patterns. And so far, I’ve …

Katherine Arnup's Compassionate Guide

Image
Katherine Arnup, a retired professor at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada has published I Don’t Have Time for This! A Compassionate Guide for Caring for Your Parents and Yourself. The book arose from Katherine’s own experience as a caregiver for her sister and her parents when they were dying. She also has worked for many years as a Hospice volunteer.
It’s an experience that, in a way, you’ll be lucky to have. If you’re caring for your parents it implies that you and they have all reached a ripe age and that your relationship was close enough that you are there. This does not by any means lessen the burden and the heartache. It is tough to see once vibrant parents fade away. It’s also a potent memento mori: for in their decline we see our own.
But there can be moments of joy and humor. Aging and death are profound parts of life and there is much to be learned from experiencing them.
Katherine provides sage advice, stressing the importance of being present. Acceptance, of your limit…