There’s quite a bit of news. I have two academic books in the pipeline, both co-edited with Sam Meekings, a friend and colleague who’s from the UK but is based in Qatar. We met a couple of years ago at the very excellent Great Writing conference in London and realized from our presentations that our research interests and our professional backgrounds (in academia, anyway) overlapped quite a bit.
Book #1 is called The Place and the Writer: International Intersections of Teacher Lore and Creative Writing Pedagogy, and it’s due out from Bloomsbury in October 2020. The title is a reference to a famous essay by Paul Engle, the former director of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop: in it, Engle rhapsodizes about the bucolic goodness of the program’s Iowa setting upon the work the students (especially the international ones) produce. In the scholarship of creative writing, much of the discussion is dominated by people in the US, the UK, and Australia. This is probably not surprising, considering the history of the discipline. The book features chapters from those three countries as well as Hong Kong, Finland, Greece, Poland, China, Japan, Korea, Brazil, Iceland, and South Africa. To be honest, the book came together amazingly well, and we’re quite proud of it. Now we just have to finish preparing the manuscript for submission (next week)…
Book #2 has a working title at this stage: From Practice to Print: Creative Writing Scholars on the Publishing Trade. We’ve just gotten the contract from Routledge (I have been too busy to even look at it!), and some of the logistics are still being hammered out: who’s in the final lineup, when we’ll need to submit the manuscript, and so on. Although you’d think the topic would have been covered by now, there aren’t really any academic books in which the people who teach CW at universities apply the scholarship to trends in the publishing industry (at the moment, a lot of the research tends to focus on the workshop and on matters of social justice and inclusion). That’s what we’re planning to do. I would imagine this one will have a pub date of late 2021 or early 2022.
In terms of my creative practice, there isn’t much to report. The memoir was almost picked up by a very reputable small press but in the end, alas, they didn’t take it. It’s still under consideration elsewhere, and I still have a couple of short stories in circulation. It would be nice if they are published (I’ll admit to being surprised no one has taken “The Man Who Loved Airline Food” yet), but I will still include them in Love Is a Poisonous Color whenever I get around to compiling it.