Our Writers

Adrian Blevins

I have found this profile horribly difficult to write! I used to tell students that writer's block was the consequence of a lack of information, so the difficulty I've undergone trying to describe myself worries me considerably. In addition to being sometimes manic and potentially schizophrenic, I seem to be lacking in self-knowledge. Perhaps writers are like psychologists and fall in love with sentences for the most narcissistic of reasons. Anyway, one thing I can say for sure is that I'm a fusion of opposites. I am both Cher and Emily Dickinson: I'm a biker chick reading in a midnight library.

I have a Master's in fiction writing from Hollins University, though I don't write short stories any more. I also have a MFA in Warren Wilson's MFA program for Adrian BlevinsWriters in poetry, though the magazine asking for this profile is featuring essays, rather than poems. My first full-length collection of poems, The Brass Girl Brouhaha, is available from Ausable Press and can be bought from Small Press Distribution and Amazon. To celebrate the publication of The Brass Girl Brouhaha, I'll be giving a lot of readings this year—email me if you would like the details re: where and when.

I'm also the author of The Man Who Went Out for Cigarettes, a Bright Hill Press chapbook of poems. Among my awards (oh, how awful that sounds!) are a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award for poetry, a Lisel Muller MFA Scholarship from the Friends of Writers, Inc., and the Lamar York Prize for Nonfiction. I have published poems, stories, and essays in The Southern Review, The Massachusetts Review, The Chattahoochee Review, The Utne Reader, Painted Bride Quarterly, the anthology The Leap Years: Women Reflect on Change, Loss, and Love, and many other magazines and journals. New poems are forthcoming in The Drunken Boat and Poet Lore.

I teach writing courses at Roanoke College and in the UCLA Extension Writers' Program. I also write critical essays sometimes for The Gale Group's Poetry for Students, Literature of Developing Nations for Students, and Nonfiction Classics for Students volumes. For ten years I was an Assistant Professor of English at Hollins University.

I think we live in order to learn to overcome ourselves, and must admit that I have spent a lot of years overcoming my own naïveté and complete stupidity. Once I was overheard saying that I had never gone a day in the world without a husband. I think this is both a failure and a virtue. A madman boyfriend I once had complained to my now-husband (who I met in a bar) that I was obscene because I liked to "talk about private things publicly." I think obscenity can be a virtue. The American poet Richard Hugo once said that writers write to untilt the world. Maybe we can call this the Chicken Little Theory of Writing. Because I was born and still live in the highly tilted American South and because I want to understand at least the catastrophe that is my own personality (to use Philip Lopate's phrase), I write, change diapers, make dinner with what my husband calls "poverty meat," and write some more.

Of course you can email me, if you'd like to talk about any of this or anything else. The address is adrianb@cox.net.

Adrian Blevins' writing on Conversely

Listed from the most recent.

Late-Breaking Yew-Berry News from the Madman's Love Shack
Temporary insanity? Adrian revisits a bizarre affair with a tall, good-looking, articulate and psychotic alcoholic. Date: 03/1/02

Portrait of My X
He wants me, I suppose, to get over it. But I still want to punish him for all the treacheries between us. Date: 05/1/01

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