BURN PILE: “I’ve got good news! That gum you like is going to come back in style.”

Dorothy Bendel looks behind the curtains in the red room to ask What ‘Twin Peaks’ Can Teach Us About Writing—And Experiencing—Trauma.

‘Twin Peaks’ storytelling shares similarities with “hermit crab” essays, braided essays, and other experimental forms that provide structures we can upend.

Serious fun and games at Playtime.pem.org: Turnabout: A Story Game by J. Robert Lennon

Turnabout 20stories_SIZED.jpg

You stare at the folded paper in your hands,

knowing you shouldn't open it, but also knowing that you must.

 “J. Robert Lennon presents us with an engaging maze of story—move left, right, up, down, and find a new twist with each read.”

And look!

J. Robert Lennon has visited the Burn Pile before, with "Hibachi" by J. Robert Lennon - A Single Sentence Animation from Electric Literature.


Joanna Walsh Is Setting Language on Fire: Tobias Carroll and Joanna Walsh at Electric Lit.

I’m a writer because I know that language is a borrowed or stolen, imperfect and communal attempt to create meaning. It’s best not to take it too seriously, but it’s also good to take that unseriousness as seriously as possible.

All Accounts and Mixture contributor, Brian Czyzyk, stands “In Defense of Beige” at Gulf Stream. My choice for Most Surprising Defense? “Color of Patti Smith’s tongue.”

Samantha Grad talks with Emily Elizabeth Thomas about the power in “intelligence and grit” at Amadeus: “Lola: Girl Got a Gun”: Director Emily Elizabeth Thomas on Female-Focused Storytelling “…when I was a kid growing up in Texas, I wanted a gun. I wanted it to be bubble gum pink, with roses painted on the side. I think I thought it would give me power that I didn’t have, and I didn’t yet know the trauma that guns cause.”

At Commonplace: Conversations with Poets (and Other People), “Rachel Zucker speaks with Erika L. Sánchez about her first book of poems, her first YA novel (currently shortlisted for the National Book Award), her experience as a sex advice columnist, how her manuscript became a book, writing unlikeable characters, shame, obsessions, sex, making things up in poems and prose, authenticity, feminism, Buddhism, and DACA.”

If you’re not acquainted with Owen Egerton, stop by the monkey cage for a visit. “Unspeakable” at the PowellsBooks.blog:

If we could just say what it is to be alive, if we could communicate directly the cosmos of experience inside each of us, we wouldn’t be driven to color canvas, pen operas, or spend years of our brief lives typing out fictions; or stand at the bars of a cage dancing and screaming.

We are pulsing with hunger and starlight and we don’t have the words to say it. But we do have stories.

Thank you, Owen, for this week’s mic drop.