Lit Fest 2021 Preview: Q&A with Visiting Author Leslie Jamison

Editor's Note: In advance of the March 13 deadline to apply for Lit Fest Advanced Workshops, we've asked the 2021 Visiting Authors for a preview of their workshop style, what they're reading, and more.

What books/movies/tv shows have fired you up lately?

I really loved Kathryn Scanlyn's Aug 9-Fog, a poem collaged from pieces of a diary the author found at a midwestern estate state, and a searing, shard-like kaleidoscope gaze at the everything-ness of daily life. I also loved Madeleine Watts' debut novel, Inland Sea, about climate change and big feelings. Totally disappeared into the limited series Chernobyl—could write an entire essay about its close attention to cigarette-smoking as respite from terror—and guilty pleasure is...Love Island. Don't ask how many seasons I've made it through.
What are you working/currently trying to work on these days?
A book about motherhood, life rupture, and making art. It's made of fragments and has pictures. Thinking of it as the book WG Sebald might have written if he'd been a single mom...
How would you describe your workshop style?
Rigorous and celebratory. We dig deeper into the ideas and questions animating a piece of writing in order to help it come alive more fully, and travel even further into its own beating heart.
Are we living in a simulation or no?
No! Pandemic living is full of life still happening, even in its pain, its compromises, its distances.

Leslie Jamison is teaching Advanced Weekend Nonfiction Workshop: Writing Intimacy. Learn more here. Apply via Submittable.