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Author: Amy McDaniel

Frenzied, Zesty, Voracious: A Writing Exchange Between Caracas and Sarajevo

Narrative Witness: Caracas & Sarajevo Sarajevo is so far from us. I will never go there, it is so far away. Maybe I should get myself a map and fold it in order to bring Caracas closer to Sarajevo. — Fedosy Santaella, “The Trees of Sarajevo” Last summer, 22 writers and photographers built a 5,478-mile bridge out of words and images, stretched between Caracas, Venezuela, and Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. As part of the International Writing Program (IWP)’s inaugural Narrative Witness collaboration, the participants met for videoconference workshops every week. They wrote in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, Spanish, and English, and two translators worked lightning fast so that...

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April 2015 Editor’s Letter

Dear Reader, Writers go to AWP the way Jane Austen characters go to Bath. One moment, you’re pulled in a thousand directions, eager to talk to everyone you see, buy every book, commit to attending twelve overlapping events. The next moment, you don’t see anyone you know, you’re walking down row Z12 and don’t recognize any of the journals or presses, and you can’t figure out why you came. It’s dry as toast, but it’s also a bacchanal and it’ll take a month to recover. And just as English society went to Bath ostensibly for the healing waters, but really...

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Happy Formidable Women Day!

In honor of the release of The Motion by Lucy K Shaw, which is the first perfect-bound book I’ve released on my press, 421 Atlanta, I declare today to be FORMIDABLE WOMEN DAY. The secret theme of The Motion—from the cover picturing her sister and a painting by Tracey Emin to the very end—is formidable women, and Lucy herself is formidable in all that she does. Plus, it is the final day of Women’s History Month so it’s fitting that we look forward from history to celebrate the now and the future of the formidable women in our lives and hearts. Formidable women form other formidable...

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Eat | Read with Amy McDaniel: Panama Edition!

What I Ate in Panama: Doubtless, there are undersung national cuisines that ought to rank with the greats. Turkey comes to mind. So do Malaysia and Singapore. If I could, I would forever breakfast on nasi lemak or kaya toast, lunch on Haianese chicken rice or jellyfish salad, snack on roti canai, dine on black pepper crab or char kway teow. The cuisine of Panama is not among the worId’s greats. I went last week, and I knew going in that Panamanian food wasn’t particularly renowned, and I found out why. Somehow, though, because I care so much about food, I thought the food would...

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The Making of The Motion by Lucy K Shaw

This is the story of how I got to publish Lucy K Shaw’s first book, The Motion. Besides editing Real Pants, I run a small press called 421 Atlanta. The Motion will be released on March 31. That’s in three weeks. You can pre-order it now and I suggest that you do. Here’s how it all happened. The story is a list, in honor of the stories in The Motion that are told in list form. 1. I met Lucy K Shaw at a bar on a July night in Baltimore. We played cards, and I ate a bad oyster. 2. This was at the end of...

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March 2015 Editor’s Letter

Dear Reader, February at Real Pants came in four neat weeks of Sunday through Saturday programming, which means we had two installments of What’s New in Poetry hosted by Bruce Covey. Most recently, Michelle Detorie reminded us that “It’s obvious that the whole world is haunted. Consider the disasters and broken spaces,” and “It is evil to imagine the self.” Tyler Gobble read an ecstatic sestina about peanuts and lettuce. And Jane Wong cut normality to the quick: In the middle of the night, the cat ate the heads off the flowers. I almost killed her. I imagined twisting the...

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A Poem by Leora Fridman in Response to Caroline Cabrera’s Prompt

From time to time, we will publish a creative piece that was inspired by a Friday Prompt. You can always submit your prompt responses for consideration to amy@realpants.com. Leora Fridman’s poem was written in response to Caroline Cabrera’s Prophetic Writing Prompt. Below the poem, you’ll find more about Leora’s process, as well as a note from Caroline about the poem. VESSEL FOR PURPOSE Leora Fridman I am coming on an age where I have no babies instead of no nothing: a woman grows old, it comes up. My pieces are compiling, never built. Essential is the rest, for example, the beers are...

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Eat | Read with Amy McDaniel

What I’ve been eating: For most of my life, I’ve been excluded from the general enjoyment of Greek salad because I don’t eat olives, and you never know whether the olives will be whole and easy to pick out, or whether they’re gonna be all up in there. Well, sometimes, you do know because you see an order of Greek salad arrive at a nearby table at the Atlanta Fish Market on Christmas Eve (not the table where a joyless couple sits silently, the woman making slow work of a crab leg bigger than her head, the man staring at his...

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February 2015 Editor’s Letter

Dear Reader, We have had a month. We had a party that launched us high into the air. All month, I keep thinking: This site is relentless. It’s happening and it keeps happening and I can’t believe the energy and goodwill, the writers and the writing. There are metrics and numbers that purport to speak to a website’s success, and they are important and should be looked at. Tracked. They don’t tell me what I want to know, however, which is: Are there conversations? I don’t mean, are there comments. We’re working on that. I mean the kind of...

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A Prix Fixe Menu for The Baltimore Atrocities from John Dermot Woods

At Table of Contents, the author of a new release provides a food/drink menu that’s themed to their book. Today, John Dermot Woods, whose Festschrift we’ve been celebrating all week, offers a delectable bill of fare for his new novel from Coffeehouse Press, The Baltimore Atrocities. Come celebrate John’s book with us on Saturday night (with very different food and drink...

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Arriving Promptly: Writing Exercises from Authors of New Books

One way that we will celebrate new books at Real Pants is by asking authors of recent releases to provide a writing prompt to our readers. These will arrive on Friday, beginning next week with a prompt from Niina Pollari, author of DEAD HORSE (Birds LLC). You’ll get some insight into how the guest author thinks and approaches writing and craft, probably in some way that relates to their new book, and you’ll have a gentle nudge for your own work. Something to play with. Then you’ll have all weekend to respond to the prompt, either on your own or in the comments...

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January 2015 Editor’s Letter

Dear Reader, In 2015, we resolve to be a website. Real Pants. It’s a whole thing: There are editors, writers, ads, design, and SEO stuff. We made a comment policy, a mission or vision or whichever sounds less corporate (neither) (and we haven’t actually written it yet, just talked and talked about it for a month of Sundays), a Twitter account, a Facebook page, and submission guidelines. And readers. We need those. That’s what will radiate and make us—a readership that’s motley (to borrow a word from the comment policy), friends and strangers, devoted and occasional, quiet and loud. Reader: you. In this letter...

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