Flip to the back cover of Scars: An Anthology by Erin Wood (Et Alia Press, 2015), and you'll find this blurb from Dr. Sanders:
"If scars are the memory of pain, then this volume is a body of those memories recollected as stories--stories as compelling, as vivid, as dramatic as the thing, the scar, itself."
Endometriosis is a terribly painful, often debilitating, mis- and under-diagnosed, and under-treated disease estimated to impact 1 in 10 women. March is Endometriosis Awareness Month.
Pictured above, Scars: An Anthology contributor Lea Ervin White displays the statistic that led her to write “And We Closed Our Eyes,” which begins with a horrifying scene:
But since, she’s been taking it back as an endometriosis advocate. Aside from her essay in Scars, you can read Lea’s writing about endometriosis on The Mighty and elsewhere. Thank you for all you do to share your story for the benefit of all Lea! We're proud to call you part of our Et Alia family.
About A Single Thing: Most pop culture discussion about the single life points at how to avoid it at all costs. But many people will tell you that they’ve grown more, changed for the better, and learned the most about themselves while flying solo than they have being in a relationship. So how can we get the most out of being single? What can we celebrate about aloneness? In this culture of coupledom, why can’t singledom be a great thing? Writer Natalie Karneef speaks with friends, experts, and celebrities and gets their true tales on navigating the peaks and valleys of the unattached life.
Et Alia caught up with Natalie on Valentine's Day, to see what this day might look for those not coupled.
You are typically a nonfiction writer and essayist, and contributed to Scars: An Anthology in the form of an essay, “Removal.” What drew you to making this podcast, and to podcasting as a storytelling medium?
I used to work as a radio journalist and producer, and have edited video. Both those mediums allow for the use of music as part of storytelling, and I fell in love with that. I find there is something so moving about hearing someone tell their own stories, with their own emphases and pauses and emotions. There is something about the immediacy of podcasting (vs books) that is similar to blogging. Also, we're all getting a bit screen-tired. Podcasting seems like more of a conversation, there is more a more immediate response from the listeners.
What kind of feedback are you getting? From listeners and participants?
I'm hearing a lot of listeners who are in relationships say they can also really relate. Participants seem to find the process of telling their story cathartic, and it's nice because lots of great storytellers are not great writers—but when they speak their story . . . WATCH OUT! It's incredible. People have also loved the music, which makes me really happy as my brother composes everything. I'm getting a lot of “when is the next episode!?!?!”
You've talked to a woman whose marriage to a sex addict made her a better person and parent, a guy whose fundamentalist family encouraged him to pray the gay away, a friend of yours who asked out Amy Schumer at a spa, and so many other exciting guests. Plus, you share openly about your own divorce and dating life. What makes your interviewees so willing to talk openly about this stuff?
I think the power of these stories is that there is perspective, which means they are usually far enough in the past, whether that's a few months or years, that healing has happened. And when healing happens, I find people are often more drawn to opening themselves up. I think they also realize, and especially the people you mention, that they might be able to help others in similar situations by telling their stories. And in my experience of being pretty open book, that's worth it.
What do you hope listeners can take away from hearing these stories?
It’s the same as everything I write: I want people to know they're not alone in their suffering. We live in a society so obsessed with perfectionism and being #1 and putting on a big smile that people feel like they're the only one struggling. They feel isolated. It's that isolation that's the enemy, that idea that "there's something wrong with me". But when we share our stories, it connects us, which I believe is the way we are supposed to live.
Douglas E Kidd, whose essay, "Collide," appears in SCARS: An Anthology, will present his paper "Belonging, Meaning, and Identity: Living with Severe Traumatic Brain Injury" at the Third International Disability Studies Conference ‘The Art of Belonging’ on 12/1 in Amsterdam. Congratulations, Doug!
Paper Summary: With his life trajectory profoundly altered by a catastrophic automobile accident, the physiological separation Douglas Kidd’s brain experienced from time and reality for 65 days while in states of coma and amnesia produced complete social disconnection. . . . During his recovery from the severe traumatic brain injury he acquired, Douglas found acceptance and forged community with other impaired individuals. These disabled communities provide him with opportunities for advocacy, vocation, and artistic expression by presenting to conferences, and composing essays, articles, and poetry. Douglas’s life and connection to disabled individuals, as well as the larger disabled community, lead him to experience a profound sense of belonging.
Doug is also the founder of UDA (Undistracted Driving Advocacy).
Join us in Little Rock this weekend for Hillcrest HarvestFest!
Come to our Et Alia booth and:
- Meet The Mud & The Lotus: A Guide and Workbook for Students of Yoga author Courtney Denise Butler. Courtney can sign your book and talk to you about all things yoga, yoga business, and writing.
- Purchase your just-released copies of Home Sweet Home: Arkansas Rescue Dogs & Their Stories, with $1 from every book sold to be donated to Rock City Rescue. You'll want to stock up early on this book that is sure to be a favorite of the holiday season.
- Get special deals on our books to be revealed the day of HarvestFest.
- Learn about submitting to our Neglected Histories of Arkansas Contest, judged by poet and professor of creative writing HK Hummel and Arkansas Arts Center Executive Director Dr. Todd Herman.
- Meet members of our team and learn more about our Little Rock-local small press for big voices.
- Get your signed copy of Scars: An Anthology edited by Erin Wood.
Congratulations to Jill Christman, whose longform essay, “Spinning,” is True Story’s Issue #12. Christman’s essay, “Burned Images,” is the lead essay for Scars: An Anthology (Et Alia, 2015). Order your copy of "Spinning" here for $3.95 including shipping.
Jill Christman is author of the AWP-award-winning memoir Darkroom: A Family Exposure and Borrowed Babies: Apprenticing for Motherhood. Her work is forthcoming in Not That Bad: Dispatches from a Rape Culture, edited by Roxane Gay and Ashley Ford (HarperPerennial), and has appeared in O Magazine, Fourth Genre, Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers, Riverteeth, Iron Horse, and elsewhere.
About True Story:
“True Story is a new home for longform nonfiction narratives. Published monthly by the editors of Creative Nonfiction, each pocket-size issue of True Story showcases one exceptional essay by one exceptional writer. From issue to issue, this new mini-magazine features the widest possible variety of voices and styles and subjects. Offering vivid, immersive reports from real life, every issue of True Story is a small celebration of the larger-than-life stories and experiences that make us think differently about what it means to be human.”
Congratulations to Maurice Carlos Ruffin for his notables in both Best American Short Stories 2017 and Best American Essays 2017! Maurice's essay, "The Last Mark of Boyhood" appears in SCARS: An Anthology.
You can read Ruffin's essay, "Fine Dining," which appeared in The Virginia Quarterly Review, Fall. Ruffin's story "The Children of New Orleans" appeared in AGNI, no. 83.
What a great year, Maurice, reflecting many years of hard work before it!
Happy second anniversary to Scars: An Anthology! Celebrate with us, and take $5 off through 9/15.
Scars examines the range and nuance of experience related to scars of the body. Through various genres and mediums, forty contributors address self-mutilation, creating art, gender confirmation surgery, cancer, birth, brain injury, war, coming of age, pain, and love, all focusing on the central question of what it means to live with physical scars.
Q&A: Comedian Kelli Dunham on Storytelling as a Radical, Transformative Act
Ms. Magazine's Blog today features Et Alia's Erin Wood interviewing Scars: An Anthology contributor Kelli Dunham in a Q&A, "Storytelling as a Radical, Transformative Act." Enjoy reading about Kelli's latest project, Organ Recital: A Storytelling Festival about Bodies, Health, and Healthcare, her shitty knees partly attributable to her life as a nun, her next comedy CD Leak of Faith, and lots of other fabulous stuff. READ HERE.
More About Kelli:
A self-described “ex-nun genderqueer nurse author nerd comic so common in modern Brooklyn,” Kelli Dunham’s long list of “funny person/serious subjects” projects include appearances on Showtime and Discovery Channel, 7 books of humorous nonfiction with witty titles like Freak of Nurture, and 4 comedy CDs (I am NOT a 12 Year Old Boy, Almost Pretty, Why is the Fat One Always Angry, and Full of Bad Ideas) regularly on Sirius/XM and Pandora’s comedy stations. Her fifth comedy CD, Leak of Faith (tales of an exploding knee replacement, surviving the Lord’s Boot Camp, and the never-ending search for a gender friendly bathroom) will be released September 15. Kelli is considered an expert on grief and caregiving, and presents nationwide to healthcare providers about LGBT issues, LGBT health, and using humor to prevent compassion fatigue.