August News

Hath No Fury coverMy birthday is right around the corner (August 31), which makes all the good news I’ve received lately even more enjoyable. On August 23, Hath No Fury was released into the world. This gorgeous anthology hold special meaning for me as it contains my “Jack and the Beanstalk”/”Rappaccini’s Daughter” mash-up “A Seed Planted,” which was one of the first manuscripts I workshopped with Liz Hand during my time at Stonecoast. I received the acceptance letter while I was in Puerto Vallarta celebrating the fact that I’d survived the first year of my bicycle accident in June 2016. It seems a lifetime ago now, but it was worth the wait. It’s a gorgeous books and an incredible line-up.

In other news, my poem “Blood Work” will be included in the HWA Poetry Showcase Vol. V, edited by Stephanie Wytovich. I worked on this particular piece with Cate Marvin, an extraordinary poet who took the time to really help shape the way I approach poetry. In the past, I had a fascination with Anne Sexton’s Transformations–a collection I still admire–but, I am not Anne Sexton, and with Cate’s help, I’ve been able to find my own path.  I still have a fascination with fairy tales and myth, but my poems have started to evolve into pieces with more concrete connections. It’s an interesting journey, and one I hope to continue.

During my time at Stonecoast working with Cate, I also wrote an academic paper on the brides of Frankenstein’s monster. Body horror tends to crop up in my creative work, so this felt like a natural transition. I ended up presenting that paper at the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts in March, and I ended up with some interest in an essay adaptation on my research. I recently had the opportunity to view the final draft of  Birthing Monsters: Frankenstein’s Cabinet of Curiosities and Cruelties, which will include my piece “Mapping the Collective Body of Frankenstein’s Brides.” Firbolg Publishing will be hosting a book signing on October 28 at Dark Delicacies (3512 W. Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, CA). Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend because of a prior commitment at Sirens; however, you can be sure I’ll be watching the festivities remotely. It looks like it will be an incredible event.

gorgon-emergenceMy last bit of news was just announced today–I have a story coming out in the stunning Pantheon Magazine anthology Gorgon: Stories of Emergence“Burning Bright” is the result of an experiment in literary style. I started with a flash piece written about an abused girl hidden in the skin of a circus tiger, which was originally inspired by Angela Carter’s short story “The Tiger’s Bride,” collected in The Bloody Chamber. When I decided to expand it in order to take a look at the cycle of abuse, I settled on the opening reference to Frank R. Stockton’s short story “The Lady or the Tiger?”, which was originally published in magazine The Century in 1882. The story has come to represent an unsolvable problem, which I feel reflects the emotional state of victims trapped in relationships ruled by domestic violence.

I also borrowed the spelling of “tyger” from the William Blake poem “The Tyger” to indicate the shift from beast to woman, and the fierceness of the human soul once it is freed from the conventions that bind it. Other references include instructions on how to sew a lining, a circus calliope driven by a steam-driven carousel, the children’s counting rhyme “Eeny Meeny,” depictions of children’s string games, and hints of resurrection through the connection symbolized by the red thread of fate. This piece is meant as an acknowledgment of the fact that many victims return to their abusers, often several times. That final act of separation is a brave one and it often comes at a high cost. “Burning Bright” is a reminder that there is hope. The uncanny connection between a victim and an abuser can be severed. Freedom can be attained.

 

 

Selkies, Sirens, and Shark Boys

selkieI have a thing about selkies, those maidens of the sea who shed their seal coats to dance on land. Don’t get me wrong. Mermaids and sirens have their own appeal, but it’s the selkies that I feel the most connected to. That connection evolved into my poem “Swimming with the Shark Boys,” which came out this month at Mythic Delirium.

Found predominantly in Irish and Scottish folklore, selkies live as seals in the sea. However, when they come ashore, they shed their seal skins and reveal themselves in their human form. According to folklore, these  beautiful women can be trapped on land if their seal skins are discovered and hidden. In this way, they become fairy brides, who can be beguiled into a marriage with the mortal who holds their coats and their freedom at bay. These selkies are said to make good wives, but as soon as one of these fairy brides finds her hidden seal coat, she returns to the ocean without once looking back.

mermaid-vertical_2445977k“In Swimming with the Shark Boys,” I took a different approach. In high school, I always felt awkward and ungainly, especially around the divas and cheerleaders who scored with early beauty. Mine took a while, so I watched the courtships and drama from the sidelines. After a while, I found that I was much more interested in the bad boys than the guys who feathered their hair and dressed in pastel polo shirts. That fascination got me into trouble over the years, but I always found it more exciting to swim with the sharks than the schools. What can I say?

“Swimming with the Shark Boys” is a cautionary tale. Whether it’s for the selkie girls or for the shark boys is something I’ll leave up to the reader.

patreon_navigation_logo_mini_orangeOn a side note, I’ve created a Patreon account. For as little as $1 a month, you can support the work I’m doing in poetry and fiction. And with just $5 a month, you’ll be given access to new stories and poems created for my benefactors. Every little bit helps. Thanks!

Images: Selkie by zirofax at DeviantArt; Hannah Mermaid Swimming with Whale Sharks by Shawn Heinrichs.

Poetry Publications

NBR Grimms Fairy TalesSo far, 2016 has been all about poetry. NonBinary Review has released all of the content for Grimm’s Fairy Tales (Issue #1), which includes my poem Wild Girl. This piece was nominated for Sundress Publications Best of the Net Award and the Pushcart Prize. It also marked the beginning of a wonderful relationship with the editors and publisher of NonBinary Review, a relationship that has resulted in the inspiration for of some of my favorite creative work of all-time.

womaninwhite_nonbinary6MEDNonBinary Review is a digital magazine with each issue publishing a well-known work in the public domain. The platform then provides a unique way of reading the content, which has been expanded with new works relating to the theme.

The current issue at NonBinary Review is The Woman in White (Issue #7), one of the first “sensation” or mystery novels, which was written by Wilkie Collins in 1859. My poem Tabula Rasa is included in this issue, which was released earlier this month.

Horror Zine 2016I am also pleased to announce that The Horror ‘Zine has published three of my poems – Figura Serpentinata, Paper Shadows, and Tinder— in The Horror Zine Magazine Summer 2016, which was released on January 29 at Amazon. Figura Serpentinata is a piece about the 13th hour, a creepy little wonder tale influenced by Edgar Allan Poe. Paper Shadows walks the edge of anorexia with expectations of cardboard cut-out women. And Tinder is a rendition of the fairy tale The Steadfast Tin Soldier, which I’ve imbued with elements of romantic obsession. These pieces will also be available to read online in the future.

Mythic DeliriumMy last bit of news is the release of the Table of Contents in the upcoming release of Mythic Delirium Issue 2.4. I’m exceptionally pleased that my poem Swimming with the Shark Boys will be in this issue along with work by some of my favorite authors including the fabulous Theodora Goss.

Stay tuned for the release date of Mythic Delirium Issue 2.4 in April. Happy reading!

Textile Dreams and Velveteen Allies

finch5Today at Myth and Moor, an incredible blog on the mythic arts, Terri Windling-Gayton posted musings by C.S. Lewis accompanied with images of textile sculptures by artist Mister Finch. I’ve been fascinated with Mister Finch’s textile creations since first being introduced to his work in 2014. The combination of quotes and images struck a chord of inspiration with me this morning, so I started the day by composing a little tribute to all of my friends working in the mythic arts. Without your words and your creations, my life would be lacking.

finch9Velveteen Allies
by Carina Bissett

Weave me a web of friendship and love,
secrets summoned through a needle’s eye,
stitches threaded from cobweb wishes,
and I will return with new designs
to complement your patterns and style
binding the network of common myths,
elegant strings of human desire.

Despite what you’ve heard about spindles,
the hidden ways wind through warp and weft,
finch6inspiration shuttled between frames
bound by hand, an interactive stage
piled with the textured intensity
of tapestries woven from silk shared,
landscapes braided with tales of wonder.

Weave me a web of new beginnings.
finch4Sit at your loom with your wit and words.
Tell me satin stories on the wing,
colorful tales writ in every shade,
and I will gather the castoff threads
in my basket filled with odds and ends,
fibers ready to be pinned again.

“Velveteen Allies” © 2016 by Carina Bissett. The poem may be not be reproduced in any form without the author’s express written permission.

finch1Visit Mister Finch’s website and blog to see more of his incredible work. All rights to the art above reserved by Mister Finch.