ASFA-CW Senior Reading Spotlight: Allison S.

20190215_193647_resizedAllison’s Bio

Allison is a fifth year senior here at the Alabama School of Fine Arts. She is a creative nonfiction writer that focuses on her rocky relationship with her father. In her senior thesis, Allison writes about the evolution of their relationship by discussing the television and movies they used to watch together. This fall, she will be going to Auburn University for Animal Sciences.

Reading Excerpt

I was half asleep when I heard it. I twitched, hard, and flung out my arms to find the remote hidden underneath the covers. I upended the popcorn bowl and sent the sleeping cat flying from the foot of the bed. Finally I found the remote tucked up underneath my favorite pillow and I mashed the buttons with my fingernails. Rewind. Rewind. Play. They are out by the docks, shifting drugs from one storage container to another. The screen is dark. Batman, my father’s favorite, is hidden in the shadows where the viewers can just barely see his smile. Bullets bounce off of his body armor like rain as he beats every last bad guy black and blue. The scene cuts to the mob boss, signaling his driver from the back of the limousine. He cannot see that his driver is slumped over the steering wheel. (We viewers must then guess when Batman had the time to kill him soundlessly.) The sunroof cracks open and the mob boss is pulled through by his collar, his cashmere coat sliced by the glittering glass. “I’m Batman,” he tells him.

And then I was young again, back when we all lived at the old house and my father didn’t sleep on the couch sometimes. I remember pulling the covers back and slipping from my bed, tiptoeing down the hallway with walls painted red. It is dark in the house and if I listen, I can hear my mother snoring. The house creaks; daddy says it’s just settling in the night. The kitchen tile is cool against my toes as I take a chair from the table and drag it as slowly as I can to the counter. I steal up the chair, standing on it to reach the sugar jar my mother hides when she’s not cooking. Slowly, so slowly, I lick my finger until there is just the right amount of spit and send it down into the sweetness. My tongue just barely touches the tip of my fingernail. In the stillness of the night, he leans himself where I can just barely feel his breath against my neck. “I’m Batman,” he growls in his best Bale voice and I laugh just loud enough for only us to hear.

And I’m back, years later and miles away from that little yellow kitchen with sunflowers in the windowsill. My boyfriend had been calling my name, I think, but I ignored him and his questioning eyes. I settled back onto his chest, my cheek pressed to his soft skin, and prayed that my daughter will never have to wonder if her father had forgotten her. She will never feel alone, I promised myself, she will never have to feel this way.

Allison On Writing

For me, writing is all about wanting release. I am haunted by my relationship with my dad and I think about him constantly. I let all this emotion build up inside me until I find release by writing it all down. Because I am not pursuing creative writing as a degree/career, there is a sense of urgency about finishing this essay collection about our relationship. I write and edit and edit again and write more so I can immortalize the place I am in with my father to look back on years down the road.

For some photos of the event, click here.

ASFA-CW Senior Profile: Ashley Tate

Memory Lane

Ashley’s Cadence bios through the years:

  • Ashley Tate is the new black. (2015)
  • Ashley Tate: “My mission in life is not merely to survive but to thrive; and to do it with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” — Maya Angelou (2016)
  • Ashley Tate: I don’t wear outfits; I create looks. (2017)
  • Ashley Tate has never seen a thin person drinking diet coke. (2018)

Seven Questions: Past, Present, Future

What’s your first creative memory?

My first creative memory would be when I was in second grade. That is when I really got into reading any book I could get my hands on, which led to me writing. There was a field that the kids used to play in at after school care. I was lollygagging in the fields, not really paying attention to the people around me. I was focusing on the grass and the little flowers that were blooming around that time. I looked at a flower and saw a little ladybug, and I thought that it was the prettiest thing. I couldn’t stop writing little poems about that ladybug. Continue reading

ASFA-CW Senior Profile: Blanca Tallaj

Memory Lane

Blanca’s Cadence bios through the years:

  • Blanca Tallaj hopes she will somehow get transported into a book and see what it would be like to be a character from a story, feeding adventures to hopeful, dreaming people who read. (2013)
  • Blanca Tallaj is in the gutter, but she is looking at the stars. (2014)
  • Blanca Tallaj will tell you she loves you even though she knows you know (talking to you, Han Solo). (2015)
  • Blanca Tallaj transcends. (2016)
  • Blanca Tallaj stops time for ten seconds even though it’s more like ten minutes. (2017)
  • Happy #CincoDeMayo! Blanca Tallaj loves Hispanics! (2018)

Seven Questions: Past, Present, Future

What’s your first creative memory?

My first creative memory dates all the way back to preschool. I went to a Montessori school, and my favorite lesson in school was dictating a story to a teacher, who would write it down on a sheet of paper. Once you finished telling your story, the teacher would hand you the piece of paper and you could draw a picture next to your story. I don’t remember the first story I wrote, but I have old preschool stories from that time, and they’re really amusing to read. They’re completely nonsensical, but wildly entertaining. I’ve been writing ever since. Continue reading

ASFA-CW Senior Profile: Dan Lucia

Memory Lane

Dan’s Cadence bios through the years:

  • Sage Lucia: Coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffe kaffe coffee cafe cof fee xoffee coffww codffeecoffeecoffeexoffeecoffee (2015)
  • Dan Lucia could write it better than you ever felt it. (2016)
  • Dan Lucia once launched the Babbadook on Blu-ray in the middle of Teavanna. (2017)
  • When I said that Dan Lucia got schlonged by Obama, it meant got beaten badly. The media knows this. Often used word in politics! (2018)

Seven Questions: Past, Present, Future

What is your first creative memory?

My first creative memory involving writing was when I was in elementary school—we were instructed to journal in our notebooks every morning following new prompts given to us each day. I found myself wanting to exceed our thirty minute time frame of creative writing and immerse myself further into the stories that I had only begun creating. I had begun to handwrite a story about me and my close friends getting sucked into the most famous horror movies ever filmed, and it actually exceeded over 300 pages. That was my first breakthrough that influenced me to continue writing.
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ASFA-CW Senior Profile: Dimari Jordan

Memory Lane

Dimari’s Cadence bios through the years:

  • I came here as Dimari Jordan, grew to be known as Dimartini, and will probably leave sophomore year as Dim-Dim. (2016)
  • Dimari Jordan is officially a meme; AKA, he can no longer be taken seriously. (2017)
  • Dimari Jordan looks disgusting — nipples protruding — in his blue shirt before Congress. Very very disrespectful. (2018)

Seven Questions: Past, Present, Future

What is your first creative memory?

My first creative memory would have to be drawing and creating stories about the Power Rangers, which I was absolutely obsessed with as a child. I basically would just come up with similar ideas to what I watched, but occasionally I’d creating something somewhat original. Continue reading

ASFA-CW Senior Profile: Scarlett Connolly

Memory Lane

Scarlett’s Cadence bios through the years:

  • Scarlett Connolly enjoys doing dangerous things things that make you feel alive. (2015)
  • Frankly, my dear, Scarlett Connolly doesn’t give a damn. Jay Long fights Blanca Tallaj every single day. (2016)
  • Frankly, my dear, Scarlett Connolly doesn’t give a damn. (2017)
  • Let’s properly check goofy Scarlett Connolly’s records to see if she is Native American. I say she’s a fraud! (2018)

Seven Questions: Past, Present, Future

What is your first creative memory?

My first creative memory is being asked to write a story from the point of view of a pet fish. I ended up writing about 5 pages and my teacher was so impressed that he gave it to the principal to read. I remember trying to put myself in the mindset of a fish and at first having difficulty because I had no idea what fish thought about. Soon, I realized that no one knows what fish think about so whatever I wrote literally couldn’t be wrong. That was the first story I ever wrote. I think my mom still has a copy somewhere.
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ASFA-CW Senior Profile: Emma Camp

Memory Lane

Emma’s Cadence bios through the years:

  • Emma Camp has saved the world seven times, wears glasses, goes to magic school, and loves snakes. She is not to be confused with the high and mighty Harry Potter. (2013)
  • Emma Camp is looking for Alaska. (2014)
  • Emma Camp curses thee and all of thy descendants. (2015)
  • Emma Camp is what makes a Subaru, a Subaru. (2016)
  • Emma Camp’s entire life is just the setup for one big Shakespeare joke. (2017)
  • Emma Camp loves Twitter . . . It’s like owning your own newspaper—without the losses. (2018)

Seven Questions: Past, Present, Future

What is your first creative memory?

My first creative memories are probably from when I was around four or five, when I would constantly perform skits/songs/long nonsensical monologues to just about anyone who would listen. I was constantly making up stories and acting them out with the begrudging help of my little brother — at least until he grew old enough to be a sentient being who could resist my tyranny. Continue reading

ASFA-CW Senior Profile: Avery Brooks

Memory Lane

Avery’s Cadence bios through the years:

  • Avery Brooks just looks at memes all day. He is not happy with his chair. His favorite book is Oliver Twist. (2013)
  • Avery Brooks refuses to submit a bio because he is rebellious and stubborn. (2014)
  • Avery Brooks wants to believe. (2015)
  • Avery Brooks has that minty fresh Brooklyn flavor in his teeth. (2016)
  • Avery Brooks would kidnap a thousand children before he let this company die! (2017)
  • While Avery Brooks is a joke, not very bright and totally overrated, some losers and haters will miss him & his dumb clown humor. Too bad! (2018)

Seven Questions: Past, Present, Future

What is your first creative memory?

I remember pretending to run an episode of American Idol when I was a very young kid, and putting my own twists on the format of the show. Continue reading

Writers on the Mic: Sheree Renée Thomas, Jenny Sadre-Orafai, and Robert Collins in the Magic City — This Thursday (7 PM) @discobirmingham!

We’re pleased to again join forces with the Nitty Gritty Magic City Reading Series and the Desert Island Supply Company (with an able culinary assist from the good folks at Church Street) to host “Writers on the Mic” this month. Here’s the deets:

  • Who: Sheree Renée Thomas | Jenny Sadre-Orafai | Robert Collins [Scroll down below the break for more about these fine writers, including bio material and related links…]
  • What: Poetry! Fiction (speculative and otherwise)! Hybridity! Books! (And music and food and drink, oh my!)
  • When: Thursday – Feb 8 |Doors – 7 pm | Show starts at 7:30 pm
  • Where: DISCO | 5500 1st Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35212
  • Why: Because art saves the world. Every time. But don’t take our word for it: just ask the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the Alabama Humanities Foundation, who have generously supported this program for precisely that reason.

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