April’s curator at Nola Studiola Redux is Sarah Perry, known to me at first in my Baton Rouge days as Sarah “Tricky” Perry. Sarah is one of those people, like Drew Ervin and Rose Scholarina, who emanate a powerful aura of knowingness and kindness that I can’t really filter through an expositionary anecdote. (Well, Drew got a cute story, you’re right, you two readers out there who are paying attention.)
It takes a line or two over email or FB backchanneling from Sarah Perry to turn my day around. She has a resilient ability to stay wide-eyed and child-like in her big gorgeous smiles. She wears eyeliner like nobody’s business. One time she dressed up as Pris from Blade Runner for some party in those south Louisiana days, and I’ve been sort of mesmerized ever since.
Sarah Perry is a nonfiction writer with an affection for poets. Her work has been published in Blood & Thunder Magazine and Bluestockings Literary Journal, which, sadly, are not online. She’s received very sweet rejections from PANK and monkeybicycle, and hopes to join the cool kids soon.
Currently in her third and final year of the MFA at Columbia University, Sarah is working on a memoir. If you’re a stranger in a bar, it’s about “a family tragedy in a small town,” which is code for, “I’m just trying to enjoy this drink right now, okay?”
But (very) seriously, her book is about her mother’s murder in 1994, the long (now complete) search for the killer, and the complicated, full, interesting life that her mother led before that sad event. When not mired in the many, many pages that currently make up that manuscript, Sarah works on short lyric essays and memoir pieces.
In her second year at Columbia, Sarah was awarded the prestigious Javits Fellowship through the U.S. Department of Education. This means that she is currently, very happily, unemployed.
In 2011 and 2012, she served as Publisher of Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art, and was also a member of that journal’s nonfiction board. During the summers of 2011 and 2012, she taught in the Columbia Summer High School Program, which is full of awesome writers.
When not writing, Sarah plays roller derby under the name Tricky La Rouge.
Curatorial Statement of Intent:
The most common question I’m asked, when people ask me about my work and I actually answer them, is, “Wow, is that really hard?”
Is it hard to write about your life, the saddest, most terrible parts of it. Is it hard to write about your life. Is it hard to write.
But, how hard? What’s hard? And what’s not? Where do the book and the life collapse into each other, and what does that look like?
I thought the Studiola might be a productive way of answering these questions. I hope to talk about writing life and about process and about ways to stay sane while purposely going insane, i.e. writing anything at all. I don’t really have the answers but I have my answers.
I also might try to snag a good interview. And since it’s the Studiola, there will be at least one food post.
Please feel free to join the conversation in the comments. -SP