• Douglas A. Wright

“Life in a Box”, a short story about the claustrophobia of cubicle life, was published last month in The Offbeat Literary Magazine out of Michigan.

It’s the first story in their Spring issue. You can check it out here.

I performed an early version of “Life in a Box” back in the day at Goodbye Blue Mondays (RIP!) in Bushwick with friend/jazz guitarist Chris Conly and his ever-changing trio. Here’s the audio link. It’s a little hard to hear, but I still really love the music we came up with for this piece.

  • Douglas A. Wright

I’m still recovering from a mind-blowing experience at the Tin House Summer Writer’s Workshop. From the incredible faculty (Jonathan Dee, Rachel Kushner, Jess Walter, Sharon Olds, Jericho Brown) to the diverse community of talented writers, I’m at a loss for how to fully express my gratitude for this amazing workshop.

Set on the Harry Potter campus of Reed College in Portland, Oregon, the Tin House Summer Writer’s Workshop is essentially a super cool summer camp for writers serious about craft and the greater conversation of contemporary literature across disciplines. Seven days of manuscript critiques in small workshop groups assigned by genre (novel, short fiction, poetry, non-fiction), faculty craft talks and lectures, nightly readings in a gorgeous natural amphitheater on the river, and… karaoke?

It’s kind of a strange social experiment to bring together over two-hundred writers from across the country and force them to interact like, say, “normal” people. Writers by nature are often not the most social animals, spending most of their time lost in imaginary worlds. So, sure it was awkward at first. But the initial first-day-at-school jitters quickly gave way to a feeling of camaraderie, thanks in part to a steady flow of alcohol at the many happy hours hosted after class. What impressed me most was how the Tin House staff created such an inclusive and collegial atmosphere. It felt like we were all peers, grateful for the experience, grateful for this unique moment in time where we were free to talk about the craft of writing and share our art with each other.

It was an honor to be included in the 2016 class of Tin House Summer Workshop writers. Thank you, Tin House!

  • Douglas A. Wright

If you happen to find yourself in Maine (and you should… it’s beautiful this time of year), this is the final week for the Everything You Know is True at the Engine, a exhibit of the illustrations and artwork by Portland’s very own Kimberly Convery.

Kimberly is an amazingly talented illustrator full of whimsy and wonder, living in a hot-air balloon of her imagination far above us boring landlubbers, drawing wild landscapes of the mind. She’s an old friend and one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. An honest heart, as they say. A true believer in art.

Anyway, I’ll let the artist statement for Everything You Know is True speak for itself:

Artist Statement

The drawings are mixing soft subtle skies with glass buildings and implied landscapes. Interrupting this dream like world gems or sharp shapes shift through with no explanation. The incorporation of all of these subtle symbols blend together to create a familiar comfortable space, which isn’t necessarily questioned. The new combination of this time and space becomes a new truth. The comparison of color, unexplained spatial relations and objects that are adored create new truths when placed in a narrative that is left to be discovered. The combination of things can be organized in the brain by lots of different learned behaviors, tastes and categories that were taught over the years. This accumulation and assimilation into image making makes all of these things that I’ve assumed to be true a new truth. Even things that I know to be a lie or not real are also a truth, the very concept of knowing something creates a path of truth. The enjoyment of the thought “Everything You Know is True” has inspired me to extend this conversation and invite artists that I find extremely respectable and insightful in their own work to respond in a short writing about their understanding or argument against this phrase. As I am not the first to question this, I hope this show provokes a sort of new perspective on trusting your inquisitive reaction to making and viewing and noticing the new truth that is being mixed into your own truths. – Kimberly Convery

My favorite drawing of Kim’s is still the incredible balloon illustration that she let us use for the cover of Exit Strata: PRINT! No. 1. Stop by the exhibit at Engine, or check out more of her illustrations at kimberlyconvery.com.