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Date(s): Mondays, June 11 - 25, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
Location: Piper Writers House, 450 E Tyler Mall, Tempe, AZ 85281
Genre and Form(s): Fiction
This fiction workshop focuses on conversation and interaction instead of prescriptive criticism. Individuals will bring their own stories and workshop participants will seek out “constellations” in the work by discerning patterns on the page. Participants will be encouraged to fight the urge to “fix” or “clean up” or “tighten” our stories, which in a traditional workshop model may lead to feelings of inadequacy and dismay. Instead, we’ll voice our curiosities, our observations, and the inadvertent echoes we perceived while reading one another’s work.
This course teaches the philosophy that each creative work is a wonder, as worthy of awe as a supernova or speck of space dust. Our intention is not an idea of correctness – our intention is to leave workshop feeling invigorated, encouraged, and aware of the greatness already within the universe on the page.
David Joseph is an MFA candidate in ASU’s creative writing program and servers as a graduate teaching assistant. He is the winner of Revolution John Magazine’s inaugural Highlander Fiction Award and placed second in Cheap Pop/GLCL’s 2015 Micro-Fiction Contest. David’s creative work has appeared in Hobart, Entropy, W.W. Norton’s Hint Fiction anthology, and elsewhere. He served as Co-Editor-in-Chief of Susquehanna Review for its 2012 and 2013 issues and now lives with his wife (Kristin) and two cats (Oscar and Mo) in Tempe. Connect with him on Twitter: @dfhjoseph.
"Super." LitBreak, November 17, 2017.
Hell’s Kitchen. 2AM. Your boyfriend, after sex, says “we need to talk.” In the nick of time, a masked vigilante crashes through your bedroom window. Your boyfriend gets two boots to the sternum. The hero knocks the wind out of Boyfriend like Boyfriend’s words knocked the air out of you. Boyfriend throws a right hook that catches your hero on the jaw. Your hero’s bottom lip splits and drips a red line through his chin-scruff. He grabs Boyfriend by the shoulders and tosses him over the dresser like a fish at market. There’s a Boyfriend-shaped crater in your drywall. Your hero spits a mist of blood on Boyfriend’s face and head-over-heels his naked, barely-conscious body out the shattered window. You live on the first floor, but you wish it were the thirtieth.
"Anna Karina Floats in the Ocean." Cheap Pop, November 4, 2015.
Anna Karina floats in the ocean, the shore just in view over a rip-curl. She heard someone say once that sinking is the quiet cousin of freefall. This seems wrong, thinks Anna Karina now, treading, tiring, her chin turned up to keep from dipping under. In freefall you might hear the swirl of air in the saucer of your ears, and maybe you’re singing, but it’s basically quiet—swish and done. Here, now, scissor-kicking at jellyfish, the sinking is blaring. The slush-slap of the tide like a slow-clap, the churning spiral of whales in schools, the grinding drag of clouds across sky, and a barracuda. It’s all so thunder-clatter-deafening that Anna Karina doesn’t even hear herself calling for help.
"Of Monsters: The Computer Game." Entropy, May 17, 2016.
In the video game Mark is a level 70 Fire Mage. In the kitchen Mark is doing the dishes. He remembers, too late, that Gail prefers he use the dish brush on caked tomato sauce. It turns her sponges brown, she says, but Mark thinks whose sponges are they really if he’s the one who ends up scrubbing? He props a shimmering saucepan on the drying rack with the other dishes and casts a light Scorch spell to dry them.
"How to Pitch a Full Count." Hobart, April 21, 2015.
Kneeling in her skirt in the clay, Mom recites
her morning prayer—in place of folded hands,
a catcher’s mitt. I rock back, plant my heel
on the mound, my knee floats to my chin.