PITTSBURG - Authors of experimental work often are overlooked, but students, staff, faculty, and the community will have the chance to hear one read from her work at 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 29, in the Governors Room in the Overman Student Center.
"I’m happy to have one coming to campus, especially one as talented as Aimee Parkison," said Chase Dearinger, assistant professor in Creative Writing at Pittsburg State.
The event is free, and is sponsored by the Distinguished Visiting Writers Series, the Women’s Studies Lecture Series, and the Student Fee Council. A reception will follow.
Parkison’s most recent book, the story collection Refrigerated Music for a Gleaming Woman, won the FC2 Catherine Doctorow Innovative Fiction Prize. The collection of experimental shorts, which wavers somewhere between fiction and poetry, addresses a number of issues through the lens of absurdity.
About the collection, fiction writer Stephen Graham Jones says, “[I] can’t put a label on [the book]. Even better? Each new and wondrous and awful thing that happens around every next corner of this book, never once is what I’m expecting.”
Parkison’s surreal stories cover both the hilarious and the horrifying: a woman hears music in a fast food freezer while pulling pies for a serial killer, milk cows abuse and neglect their farmers, lunch ladies use frozen pizzas as weapons, a search party chases a girl who is already dead, and a multi-national corporation turns children’s eyes into jewels.
Parkison is also the author of The Petals of Your Eyes (Starcherone/Dzanc 2014), Woman with Dark Horses (Starcherone 2004) and The Innocent Party (BOA Editions, Ltd., American Reader Series 2012).
Her fiction has won numerous awards and fellowships, including a Christopher Isherwood Fellowship, the Kurt Vonnegut Prize from North American Review, the Starcherone Prize for Innovative Fiction, the Jack Dyer Prize from Crab Orchard Review, a North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship, a Writers at Work Fellowship, a Puffin Foundation Fellowship, and an American Antiquarian Society William Randolph Hearst Creative Artists Fellowship.
Parkison is the director of the Creative Writing Program at Oklahoma State University, where she teaches fiction writing. More information about Parkison and her writing can be found at www.aimeeparkison.com.