Posted by Christine On May 28, 2018
Posted by Christine On March 6, 2018
Ekphrasis: from the Greek: a description of a work of art produced as a rhetorical exercise.
I would love to say, “Sure, ekphrasis. I use that word all the time.” Except that I don’t. I have a master’s degree in creative writing and I’d never heard or read the word before.
Which is a little sad considering I have been known to fall asleep with the Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms over my eyes.
So it was with relief when I looked up the definition (after I’d already said yes to the reading event) and discovered I had ekphrasis-ed before. I just didn’t know it. When I was a young art major undergrad writing compare and contrast critical papers on pieces of artwork, I’d been ekphraisis-ing all over the place!
And now (too many years later to count), thanks to the wonderful invitation from Jotham Burrello, captain of the publishing ship Elephant Rock Books , director of the Yale Writing Workshop, and host of the ROAR Reading Series, I get to ekphrasis my little heart out. In public! And to a work by Edward Hopper! (I have a personal and very one-sided relationship with Hopper’s Rooms By the Sea.) Spoiler: I didn’t pick that painting.
April just can’t come soon enough.
If you’re looking for me before then, I’ll be in the corner with the literary dictionary.
Posted by Christine On November 22, 2017
“Horses” wins the knightville poetry contest.
The contest judge was New York Times best-selling memoirist and National Book Award-winning poet, Mark Doty.
About Christine’s experimental prose poem, Mark Doty writes:
“The poem is artfully understated; the speaker lays out a series of moments and invites the reader to draw connections between them. The form the poet has chosen feels just right, since this poem eschews the dramatic spotlight of the line, with its power to emphasize, in favor of the quieter, steady movement of prose. “Horses” is quietly devastating in its portrayal of an isolated speaker whose memories only serve to make her body seem more vulnerable and less reliable. But is there something comforting in the steady work of horses wearing a track into the grass? The speaker tells us she is not “horsey”, but the horses here serve as emblems of physicality, of the body as something both dangerous and durable. This multivalent quality makes the figure of the horse seem especially alive, and points movingly toward a speaker uncertain of the fate of her own body, a speaker subtly portrayed as desolate but not without hope.”
The New Guard will publish “Horses” in its summer/fall 2018 issue.
is a contest-centered, independent literary review, publishing 35+ emerging writers each year:
“We proudly publish in print, with the exception of our online feature, BANG!, a page on this site that publishes three short works by a single writer for a full month at a time. The New Guard is here to showcase newcomers alongside established writers, and to juxtapose tradition with experiment to create a new dialogue.”
is the author of nine books of poetry, most recently Deep Lane
(W.W. Norton, 2015), a book of descents: into the earth beneath the garden, into the dark substrata of a life. But these poems seek repair, finally, through the possibilities that sustain the speaker above ground: art and ardor, animals and gardens, the pleasure of seeing, the world tuned by the word. Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems was published in 2008 and won the National Book Award for that year—in their citation, the National Book Award judges wrote, “Elegant, plain-spoken, and unflinching, Mark Doty’s poems in Fire to Fire gently invite us to share their ferocious compassion. With their praise for the world and their fierce accusation, their defiance and applause, they combine grief and glory in a music of crazy excelsis.” Doty is the first American poet to have won Great Britain’s T. S. Eliot Prize, for My Alexandria (1993), which also received both the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. His other collections of poetry include: Turtle, Swan (1987); Atlantis (1995); Sweet Machine (1998); Source (2001); and the critically acclaimed volume, School of the Arts (HarperCollins, 2005).
Posted by Christine On September 25, 2017
christine’s experimental poem, “Horses,” selected as a finalist in the 2017 knightville poetry contest
The contest judge is New York Times best-selling memoirist and National Book Award-winning poet, Mark Doty.
While the Winners, including Finalists and Semi-Finalists won’t be announced until the end of October, Christine is honored that her poem will appear in The New Guard Volume VII, in 2018.
Posted by Christine On June 21, 2017
Storytelling. poetry. Fiction. Non-fiction. wine(!) don’t miss it.
I am delighted to be appearing locally at The Complex for Performing Arts in Putnam, Connecticut on July 13th.
I am even more delighted that three of my writing workshop students: Barbara Schneider, Joe Miragliuolo, and Claudia McGhee will also be appearing.
Join us for an entertaining evening of storytelling, poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. Oh, and there’s wine, AND a chance for you to get on stage.
Tickets are $5 and available in advance HERE.
Posted by Christine On May 23, 2017
looking foward to appearing IN NYC at the bowery poetry on june 11th!
Posted by Christine On May 3, 2017
And now for something completely different. . . Featuring
Karen Reid + me!
Artists are always asking each other, “What inspired you?”
Tickets are $15 by May 10th and $20 thereafter
What’s it about?
This is so cool. From the Silver Circle Gallery:
Artist Shaun Rock will improvise a new oil painting alongside jazz musician and composer Tim Peck, who will be improvising a new piece of music at the same time. Shaun’s painting will respond to Tim’s musical improvisation, and Tim’s music will respond to Shaun’s painting in an ongoing, live creative conversation.
Then visual artist Karen Reid and writer Christine Kalafus will engage in a creative conversation of their own: interspersing visual imagery with Christine’s lyrical descriptions of water and the body in her new memoir. Karen and Christine will discuss creative process, art-making, and their own recent collaboration on a new oil painting.
The Salon Series pairs artists, performers, and writers in creative conversation.
Experience art making and creativity through this dynamic new lens.
Looking forward to seeing you there!
Posted by Christine On April 4, 2017
“Without great solitude, no serious work is possible.”- Picasso
Writers work largely alone, seeking to breathe new life into familiar language. In my case the toil involves messy hair, no makeup, wearing rubber boots to walk my dog at inopertune creative moments, and heavy chocolate use.
I take a shower and dig around for lip gloss on those delicious days when I join other writers.
I am lucky to live in a rural landscape rich with literary talent. Crucial to my developement as a writer is my Writer’s Circle. Melissa Wyse and Matt Winkler join me at my dining room table every two weeks. In addition to indulging in banana bread, cookies, and all the tea I’ve collected, we read each other’s work and give constructive feedback.
What does that entail? We listen, we read, we circle words on the page we fall in love with, and suggest solutions to make the work stronger.
We support each other in the toil. We encourage submission. We celebrate each other when we have publishing success, even if that “success” is a kindly-worded rejection.
This is my tribe. Every writer needs one.
Posted by Christine On February 5, 2017
JOIN ME MARCH 6TH AT UCONN WHEN I READ FROM MY MEMOIR BLUEPRINT FOR DAYLIGHT
7 PM at the Barnes & Noble on UCONN’s campus
One Royce Circle (Dog Lane) Storrs, CT (860-486-8525
The ROAR Reading Series is produced by Elephant Rock Books and held the first Monday each month.
“Hang out, listen to some riveting stories, and meet us for a drink at Geno’s afterwards.”
I hope to see you there!
essays have appeared in The Woven Tale Press, The Writer in the World, and PAGE Arts Journal. “I Hear You Make Cakes,” performed at Laugh Boston, was selected by The Moth for its podcast. Blueprint for Daylight is Christine’s memoir-in-progress. It’s a story of survival: from her husband’s affair, a cancer diagnosis, twins, and the water in her basement – all determined to swallow her whole.
Posted by Christine On January 10, 2017
“Tell me something good,” is often the first thing I hear from my dad on the other end of the phone. It’s usually in place of “hello.”
My regular response is news about his grandsons, my boys. The oldest, nearly 21 or my 16 year-old twins. But I’ve got something about me to share the next time I talk with my Dad. I’m marching on Washington in less than two weeks. In the wee hours of January 21st I’ll board one of 80 buses that will depart Connecticut and arrive in D.C. I will march behind a banner with my Connecticut contingent.
I am not generally a joiner. I was raised to question ideas and form my own opinions. My parents are baby boomers and while well-informed, they have never attended a rally or protest in their lives. Neither have I. For the first time I feel compelled to be part of a movement: the Women’s March on Washington. I feel compelled to be among other women who feel the same and most importantly, I was compelled to buy a bus ticket.
If I drove myself to D.C. I wouldn’t have the opportunity to sit next to women and talk to them. I want to know what made them pay the $100 + bus ticket, walk all day in who-knows-what weather, and be up all night. Is it that Hillary lost? That Planned Parenthood is under more attack than ever? Is it education? Perhaps by interviewing others, I will be able to see clearly my own reasons.
I will be writing a piece about my participation in the march for inclusion in the next issue of PAGE, a Connecticut based literary and arts journal. I hope to include interviews with some of the women I am riding to Washington with. I hope that in some small way, I can expand the experience of the march past the day itself and into the hands of readers who may not have had the opportunity to participate themselves.
The Official Statement from the National Organizers of the Women’s March on Washington reads:
We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families — recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.
The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us–women, immigrants of all statuses, those with diverse religious faiths particularly Muslim, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native and Indigenous people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, the economically impoverished and survivors of sexual assault. We are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear.
In the spirit of democracy and honoring the champions of human rights, dignity, and justice who have come before us, we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore. The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new administration on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.
We support the advocacy and resistance movements that reflect our multiple and intersecting identities. We call on all defenders of human rights to join us. This march is the first step towards unifying our communities, grounded in new relationships, to create change from the grassroots level up. We will not rest until women have parity and equity at all levels of leadership in society. We work peacefully while recognizing there is no true peace without justice and equity for all. HEAR OUR VOICE