susanstinson: (trike)
The Fat Girl Fleamarket is today in New York City. Open until 8.

In honor of such a mighty moment, I give you:

  • Charlotte Cooper's account of the Invasion of the Chubsters event at the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. That's in her rich blog, Obesity Timebomb.

  • youtube video of a closing song and spontaneous dance at the event that made my eyes well up. Honor also to [ profile] jasonelvis for curating and all.

  • Deb Malkin of Re/DressNYC interviewed in Plus Model Magazine. As Deb talks about in the interview, she is one of the founders of the Fat Girl Flea and, although she can't be there this year, she has poured a lot of work and love into it over the years.

  • The lineage of what I was wearing yesterday when I was videoed reading excerpts from my novel for the Jonathan Edwards Center website. I had been thinking that we were just doing audio, so I hadn't picked out my clothes to be on camera, but what I had on was:

    • the black linen jacket that I got at the Re/DressNYC opening. I would have succumbed to being overwhelmed with options at that event, if not for the intensity and focus of [ profile] beccawrites, and I'm really loving that jacket. We were thinking job-hunting clothes, but I'm wanting to wear it all the time.

    • a gold and black sleeveless silk top with calla lilies, hand-me-down from my beloved friend, Lynne.

    • The black skirt I got for Christmas that my mama hemmed to the perfect length for me. She's making me a top out of some blue checked fabric out of her fabric stash right now. I never appreciated these arts as much as I should have when I was a girl. They are highly charged with complicated feelings and practical advantages. How lucky am I that my mother can and is still willing to pick up a needle and thread on my behalf?

    • black leggings

    • marled ankle socks from Sock Dreams, which I learned about via [ profile] theoryofgravity.

    • my sturdy, new balance black shoes, because those are pretty much always the shoes.

    • I had on the vintage pearls that my friend gave me after she heard I had lost the other string!

    Can you see it? The beautiful way that varied relationships and communities are threaded into the clothes I had on? The power that the histories of those articles of clothing drape me with when I go somewhere like Yale Divinity School (where another community of people has been consistently wonderful to me)? The ways that the clothing that has been given to me or made or altered for me or made available to me has expanded the vocabulary I have with which to address the world?

And how events like the Fat Girl Flea and the Invasion of the Chubsters keep doing that -- in cloth, in images, in experiences, within and outside of language -- for expanding circles of people who are able to find ways to get themselves there or to make such moments on their own?
susanstinson: (Default)
That was very, very sweet. I feel satiated -- beautifully and thoroughly wished happy birthday. Thank you.

And it has been happy. )
susanstinson: (Default)
I haven't been posting about my trip to New York and all because I've been so busy and because so much great stuff happened that I wanted to get it together to write about it in a way that would do it all justice. But time's passing, and things are too wild, so I'm going to do it scattershot, starting with:

One of the other readers of at the Lambda finalist reading was Morty Diamond, editor of FROM THE INSIDE OUT: Radical Gender Transformation, FTM and Beyond from Manic D Press. I first heard about Morty from [ profile] charlottecooper because of his website, My Year In Pink, documenting a performance art project of a year of wearing pink from head to toe. We had a lovely conversation, and I just noticed that he posted about it the next day, with emphasis on my "very good looking beard" (thanks, Morty), and solidarity with all those who don't fit the norms.

It was great meeting [ profile] daharyn, there through the urging of [ profile] misia!, too. More on the reading, which was rich and varied and moving, later.

It was also lovely to have dinner with [ profile] eleanor on Friday.

The fat girl flea was intense and primal -- so so so so many clothes. Mountains of clothes, heaped high, high, high on tables, many of them in the 3x-4x section by yours truly (among many others -- there were more than 40 volunteers.) So so so so many people shopping. We generated a lot of heat, and one of my favorite moments of the flea was when Leah, who was central to organizing the Bluestockings reading for Venus of Chalk last year, stood up to her full height, raised her mighty, ringing voice, waved a stack of brown paper towels over her head and called out, "If anyone needs a schvitz rag, someone will be coming around the room to offer one to you." Everyone heard it, but it took the very small, warm smile on Bertha's face where she was helping me pick out my dress for the Lambda Literary awards from amongst her gorgeous, sassy Size Queen fashions -- I so love that the dress that I'm wearing to honor the character of Carline was made by a fat lesbian who clearly sews with deep passion -- that is so right for the book -- it wasn't until I saw Bertha's smile that I realized what a beautiful, gracious, body loving gesture that announcement and those sweat rags were. I heard women talking appreciatively about it on the elevator, too, just before someone offered to buy the shirt I was wearing...

And [ profile] beatgoddess looked stunning at the Northampton Pride march on Sunday, leopard-print bra to match leopard-print hat and all. There was an article about the book-signing that Judy Frank and I, among others, did at the Pride&Joy booth -- very fun doing that with Judy -- much more fun than alone.


Mar. 2nd, 2005 09:34 am
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There's a great new NOLOSE web site...

And they're taking registrations for the conference in July...

I'm excited about the programming!

Here's a description of the featured performer: Dynamic Boston area performance artist Gabrie'l J Atchison fuses visionary choreography with personal narrative and the healing arts. Her work is transformative, powerful, and deeply moving. Don't miss her!

The keynote speaker is the ever fabulous [ profile] charlottecooper! That is just too, too great. You probably already know that Charlotte is smart, rowdy, funny, independent-minded, sharp, incisive. Her work has qualities of courage and willingness to express fears, vulnerabilities and embarrassment. And, I don't know, but this might be the first time she's been a featured speaker at a conference in the US -- she lives in the UK. Exciting stuff. I hadn't been planning to go to Nolose this year, but that's a really hard choice to make when there's a rare opportunity to hear Charlotte.

And she's also a wearer of swim caps who has just posted a bunch of fine writing about pools. Riches! Check it out.
susanstinson: (Default)

  1. [ profile] charlottecooper
  2. has posted some really ravishing stuff about her recent trip to the US from London at, "Inside the American Beast." Every short essay is a gem -- really -- fireflies! doo wop architecture! chocolate fondant body wrap at the Hershey's Spa! Nolose! (and what she said about hearing me read there made me cry) -- but my very favorite is "Kill The Car, Robosaurus!" about a monster truck rally. The pictures are great, too. Don't miss this! So so so so good!

    2. The amazingly supportive Robert, who runs the website at Lambda Rising in DC, has put up a bunch of pictures of me at the recent reading there along with a blurb that calls me "wonderfully spirited," and ends, "Her energy is boundless and her writing is just delightful." Okay, then. I'm particularly happy about that boundless energy thing, because I've been wondering... There's a very sweet picture of me and Robert, and he gives ways to order autographed copies. (Also available locally at Pride and Joy.) Also please note: my beloved friend Lynne gave me the shirt I'm wearing at the reading, and I miss her and can't wait to see her!

    3. I just got an email from the Oxford American, which begins:

    Dear Susan,

    I love your fiction and would love to find a way to get your voice (whether
    via fiction or nonfiction) into The (new) Oxford American, which has just been resurrected down here in Arkansas.

    Can't argue with that! Especially since the description of the upcoming issue goes as follows:

    (Winter 2005) This big double issue stars Kaye Gibbons (debuting in THE OA with a new column), Barry Hannah (on encountering Jesus after a near-death experience), Wendy Brenner (on the trail of a snake fanatic), William Bowers (on movies), Billy Collins (two poems), et al.

    Plus, their last music issue won a Rolling Stone award and they were giving away signed posters of Lucinda Williams, whose music I love.

    Okay, so I haven't quite figured out how to do the list function. Still, things are pretty good.

susanstinson: (Default)
Here are some other things that happened at Nolose:

I got a big blast of fierce fat beauty and drank deeply from what Lilli Lewis called the well – all of that hot, hard work – writing, thinking, talking, organizing, singing, hustling, sewing, crying, tap-dancing – that so many people have been doing was right there for the taking. And, I did, I took plenty.

As I was talking about in comments with [ profile] beatgoddess a few posts back, many who read my lj gave me a lot of precise, tender-hearted, utterly convincing and much appreciated praise about my physical self and what I wearing. I do know my beauty (even if I doubt my quotient of coolness -- an essay in itself someday), but a fat woman can never have too much of that. [ profile] fattest said, "You look stunning this morning," at breakfast. Breakfast! [ profile] lovelikeyeast tucked a twenty in my neckline when she bought my book – hey, a five dollar tip! Then I immediately got two more!! There was so much sweetness about shyness of all kinds, so many chances there for the taking for anyone who wanted to stretch a little. And it looked to me as if folks who knew each other through lj were particularly willing and able to have conversations and make connections across lines of age, gender, life experience, sexual proclivities and personal style. [ profile] fattest has long been one of my models on how to do that.

Tensions that arose around some of those differences reminded me about how much fat people need each other, and how much work some folks (like the Nolose board) have been doing right at those points of tension to build contact and offer their gifts as widely and respectfully as possible, with emotional presence and openness, mind and balance. I think of [ profile] beccawrites in that, because I've seen her the most in action (and because I've developed such deep affection for her watching her live, work, play, think and feel -- she's amazing) but know that others have been working enormously hard from their vantage points, too.

I very much loved spending time with old friends and others I didn't know, loved seeing the faces of those I didn't get a chance to really talk with. The amazing Mo and Susan brought me a big red umbrella that they won at the Nolose raffle two years ago, all the way from California, and a great pair of stretchy little pants. I especially appreciated the transfolks bringing their radiance and perspectives. And being around fat people who talk openly about their pleasures and struggles always reminds me of the stunning work of early fat liberation activists like the Fat Underground (that's a link to the fat liberation archives on Largesse), and the gifts that radical lesbians gave me in the early eighties when I was trying for the first time to find my own core strength.

Nomy Lamm gave a thrilling keynote speech that took on a lot a taboo subjects in a smart, refreshing way. Then she whipped up her accordion and did a room rocking rendition of "Fat-Bottomed Girls" (yep, the old Queen song), followed by a totally amazing and world spinning rock star version of "Free Bird." (You know the one – "and the birds they can not chaa aa aaa aaa ange.") She and others are organizing Phat Camp for teenage girls – check it out.

Taboos were being broken all over the places. [ profile] beccawrites facilitated a very well-attended discussion of ableism in the fat community that respectfully, productively went places I'd felt that some fat activists – but not all -- had been avoiding for years. And it can and will go further -- some of [ profile] ericaceous's good questions about strategies and next steps will start to get answered, for instance -- but it made an opening for the conversation to be more deep and broad I think.

I was so happy dancing on the dance floor and to Creamy Goodness, and also in the pool.

Folks from Toronto -- Pretty Porky N Pissed Off (that's a link to a great article about them by [ profile] charlottecooper) and KingSize Kings -- did some amazing drag, culminating in a tap dance in skin tight, white outfits with bands of shiny stuff to -- as I learned only after I came home (because what do I know about pop culture? just what I learn on ABC, the only TV channel I get) – an Eminem song. I didn't have to get the irony, because the whole thing was already so amazing and entertaining.

I read as part of the closing panel, which was an honor and a gift. It was a combination of writers of very different styles. Being given that time with all of those gorgeous, radical, proud and getting-there fat queers in front of me, a chance to offer my work in such company – nothing in the world beats that.

Plus, I'm now a Chubster. Chub chub chub chub…
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This interview of me by [ profile] charlottecooper is now up at Her questions are so juicy and good.

I'm just back from housesitting in the hilltowns, where a tiny spider slid in the air in front of my face on a strand of web that was the same color and consistency of my new silver hairs. The tough old goat blocked the door and leaned against my legs so I couldn't leave the barn until I rubbed her knobby back. The donkey ate grain from the palm of my hand and tried to get out of the fence by sticking his very big head through the gate. The chickens went in at night, as requested, mostly, even if they did lay only three eggs every day instead of four. The dog was devoted and the cats were polite. Potato bugs were numerous, and the smaller ones flew.

My initials are in the concrete of the hearth, along with others, including the paw prints of much-loved dogs who are no longer with us, with the date: 9/90. Hard to believe that it's been almost thirteen years since I lived there. The chickens live in the toolshed where I used to write. That's the reason it has electricity, although I didn't dig the ditch for the line.


Jun. 9th, 2004 03:30 pm
susanstinson: (Default)
Here's a lovely review of the book by [ profile] charlottecooper. (To find it, hit the link, click on "books" under Culture, then click the cover of Venus of Chalk.) Charlotte writes a little about being nervous about reviewing a book by someone she knows, but it's an interesting thing, because the reason we know each other is through lj and links that our work has made. I love the way books can do that, create conversation and connections where they haven't previously existed. And it makes me so happy that she praised the story within a story structure -- for me, it's like a little love note to great fiction writers like Joseph Conrad to structure the book that way.

Felicia Luna Lemus sent me a copy of Trace Elements of Random Tea Parties, her lyrical and edgy novel set in Los Angeles (hey [ profile] fattest! Check it out!). I'm so excited to read it.
susanstinson: (Default)
Well, I know we were talking about serious literary matters, but a friend just gave me the following description of a blurb about my book in Diva magazine )


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May 2009



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