Chiasmus invades Powells: 17 Feb

Chiasmus Press authors Lance Olsen (10:01), Doug Nufer (On the Roast), Jeanne Heuving (Incapacity), and R. M. Berry (Frank) will read at the flagship Powells store on 17 February at 7:30 pm.  If you’re even remotely curious about the future of fiction, your attendance is mandatory.

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3 responses to “Chiasmus invades Powells: 17 Feb

  • heidi

    I went to this seminar with my boyfriend and we’ve both never heard writing that was so confusing. Two out of the four writer’s writing was poetry mixed with stories and than and unwriting(rewriten story of Frankenstein), I was so lost. The other two writer’s stories had plots I coud grasp and made sense. I especially like the one about peoples thoughts before a movie starts. The lady’s was poetry mixed with fiction. I now have no desire to read those books but to stay away. The author can write but did not sell their books to me at all.

  • trevor

    Thanks for attending the reading and for giving your honest response, Heidi. The kind of work these four authors produce certainly isn’t for everyone, and I appreciate your saying so.

    That said, however, I think it’s important to understand the necessity of experimentation in writing, and to support that whenever possible. I thought Doug Nufer was especially forthcoming in this regard, when he said he turned to more experimental/theoretical forms of writing after becoming “bored to death” with conventional, mainstream fiction. There’s certainly a lot of experimental work out there that tests its audience’s patience, and quite frankly, I think that’s a big part of what makes this kind of writing interesting. Unlike most things you’ll read on the NY Times bestseller list, experimental writing forces us into a conversation about what “writing” is in the first place, and ultimately, into a larger conversation about art.

  • Christina Wessels

    I went to the reading at Powell’s last Friday. I enjoyed some of the readings,but couldnt understand some of them. I attributed my lack of understanding not to the content itself, but to the voices of the authors, and my capability of focusing my attention.
    In my opinion, the first author’s voice was monotone and hard for me to follow. I believe his name was Ralph Berry. Jeanne Heuving read from her book “Incapacity”. Although I may have enjoyed the content (if I was able to hear it), her voice was very shaky and sounded as if she was on the verge of tears. When your trying to interpret poetry and you only understand every other word, its easy to get lost.
    I enjoyed Lance Olsen’s description of the diversity of personalities in a movie theatre. His reading was clear and intense. I thought the way that he depicted various personalities was imaginative and interesting. I noticed that the audience was effected by his reading; shifting in there chairs, making strange facial expressions at one another. Maybe they were confused, or slighly disturbed by the portrayal of a man who likes to study his nieghbors, or a lady who makes her own sex tapes.
    I noticed similar reactions to Doug Nufer, who was the last reader. He was very animated and also made the audience think. I think that, just like with movies, the best books are the ones that shock, teach and maybe disturb the audience. I am glad that the authors featured are not writing “Oprah’s book club” books, because it keeps life from getting stagnant.

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