X Marks the Spot
by Heather Cook
Exhibit X Fiction Series featuring Shelley Jackson
One word at a time, Shelley Jackson has been publishing one of her short stories on the skin of 2,095 volunteers. She’s also working on an Instagram-based, environmental fiction project called Snow (instagram.com/snowshelleyjackson), wherein she writes and photographs her story, one or two words at a time, on lightly snow-dusted surfaces across a city of her choice, “weather permitting.” Snow is scheduled to stretch across Buffalo this February (pun intended). Such innovative techniques defy classic narrative boundaries while providing readers the opportunity to watch Jackson’s words come alive and then inevitably expire.
Can’t wait until February? Jackson will be visiting Buffalo several times this year, under the guise of the WBFO Visiting Artist Professorship. The Exhibit X Fiction Series will showcase her at the Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, 341 Delaware Ave, on September 24th at 7pm, for a thought-provoking, performative reading. It’s free and open to the public.
Jackson is also the author of the story collection The Melancholy of Anatomy; the highly praised hypertexts Patchwork Girl (an adaptation of the Frankenstein myth), The Doll Games, and My Body; Half Life (winner of the Tiptree Award); and several illustrated children’s books, including her own, The Old Woman & the Wave and Sophia, the Alchemist’s Dog. Her works have also appeared in Fence Magazine, Paris Review, Guernica Magazine, and she is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize. Her latest piece, “Texts to be Written on the Moon,” is included in a current exhibit at the Guggenheim Foundation. Read more about her on her website: www.ineradicablestain.com.
Founded in 2003, the Exhibit X Fiction Series—in collaboration with UB’s Department of English, the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, and Talking Leaves Books—presents experimental and innovative novelists in order to encourage their campus and community audiences to re-evaluate the ways in which stories are/can be told. The University at Buffalo has hosted many cutting edge novelists, such as John Barth, Donald Barthelme, J.M. Coetzee, Raymond Federman, and Samuel R. Delany.
Curators of Exhibit X and professors at UB, Dimitri Anastasopoulos and Christina Milletti, will be hosting a salon prior to the reading for their graduate students studying English/Innovative Writing. There, students will have the opportunity to talk with Jackson regarding her works. Perhaps this discussion and Jackson’s experimental projects will motivate and inspire new ways of regarding and producing storytelling that stands apart.
From there, they will all meet you at Hallwalls, 341 Delaware Ave, on September 24th at 7pm, for a stimulating reading and discussion.blog comments powered by Disqus
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