The Heart You Save Won’t Be Your Own

“That August I moved from a high ceiling dorm room in a historic landmark to the attic of an old flag shop downtown. The distance was a few miles, but the difference was like flipping channels from Masterpiece Theater to Cops. My dorm had overlooked manicured lawns and a circular garden with an endowment all its own; my new house was two doors down from a grass rotary where women sold blow jobs for $5.”

 

Over at Guernica, I wrote about heart transplants, social services, and quitting my first job after college. Here’s a link!

Literary Mothers

“Ole Miss has the prettiest women in the world,” a fellow MFA bragged. “They come for their M.R.S. degrees.”

I love the new lit journal Literary Mothers, which describes itself as “an ongoing project featuring short essays by writers (of all genders) on the female writers who have inspired and/or mentored them.”  I wrote about Beth Ann Fennelly and getting my MFA in Oxford, Mississippi, home of some of the best male writers around.

 

 

REGISTRATION IS OPEN!!

I’m teaching a class called Writing The Personal Essay for the Walker Percy Center.

The class starts on March 24th and enrollment is open to the public. Here’s a description:

Writing the Personal Essay
Instructor: Anya Groner • Mondays from 7 – 9 pm • begins March 24

Classes are held at Loyola University in New Orleans
We will read and discuss the writing of essayists such as David Sedaris, Eula Biss, Joan Didion, John Jeremiah Sullivan, and others, paying special attention to the literary elements that make good writing come alive. Short, generative writing exercises will give students the opportunity to practice specific craft skills, leading up to a final project, a personal essay which we will workshop toward revision. We will also look at markets for creative nonfiction and at the process of submitting work for publication.

I’d love for you to join us! Check out my class and the other fantastic writing classes the Walker Percy Center sponsors  HERE!

My Childhood Espionage

My essay “Suspecting The Smiths” is up at the Oxford American.

“From the ages of nine to eleven, I worked as a spy. No one paid me, nor did I report my findings to any higher-ups. I discussed my cases with my partner, who went by code name Mountain Chicken Mother of the Buddha. Mountain Chicken also happened to be my identical twin sister, and during morning recess or summer afternoons at the neighborhood pool we let lifeguards, teachers, and stray dogs in on our findings. Eventually, the Department of Labor, the U.S. Postal Service, the Virginia State Police, and the State Corporation Commission got involved. Our next-door neighbors were indicted in September of 1998 by a federal grand jury, Joe Bob on eighteen counts and his wife, Jeannie, on fifteen.”