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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wednesday, May 28 - Ashley Farmer

Tonight on Bibliocracy Radio, KPFK 90.7 FM:  ASHLEY FARMER. My guest this week is a writer who purposefully confuses syntax and word choice, and leaves loudly unsaid what is not absolutely necessary, both moving the narrative along and yet, always, moving toward something slower, bigger, mythic and fable-like.  She simultaneously concentrates her wit and tunes our ears to wonder over the delicacy and opportunity of puns, grammar, parts of speech and the nutty-wonderful possibility of language and dream.  The short-short stories or prose poems of my guest Ashley Farmer are evocative, aphoristic, but bigger, and suggestive of a whimsical confidence, faith in language and idiom, fun and funny and yet heartfelt serious.  In her new collection, Beside Myself, Farmer assumes a kind of unspoken connectedness of association, between words on the page and in the experience of readers and listeners. While built on experiential aesthetics, the plots of these small, fragment fables stand strong on their own:  a father who digs a hole into which his entire family sinks, Ronald Reagan as, yes, a bad precedent --- pun intended --- a church called Perfect Christmas, as if a kitschy Thomas Kincaide portrait or snow globey idealization, and a perfume called "Heavenly."  Farmer is the author of a previous collection titled Farm Town, is an editor at the online journal Juked, and teaches writing in Southern California. Thanks for listening on the radio or online, or as a free download from the KPFK audio archives any time you like.