Who is Mrs. Porter?
It depends where and when you ask. In T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, she’s a character. In Cairo, during WWI, she’s the owner of a notorious brothel. In Los Angeles, from 2004 – 2013, she hosted an art and literary salon, sponsored by Les Figues Press. During the global pandemic, she is hosting an online art and literary salon in the Echo zoomsphere. You’re welcome.
What is Mrs. Porter’s Salon?
There are rules. Yes, rules.
1.Thou shall bring something to the conversation.
Each person in attendance must bring an aesthetic object of their own creation or their most carefully considered thoughts about the generals or particulars of an aesthetic work, their own or another’s, which they will present to the group, as a whole or in fragments. These aesthetic objects may include any genre of writing, painting, photography, performance, video, sculpture, mixed-media, etc.
Each presentation shall not exceed a very strict time limit of 2.5 minutes. The order will be determined randomly, with bingo chips.
Examples of such show and tell items include a ballet, a bird call, a bouts-rimés, a blues song, a ballade, a broom-swished painting or broom-using ritual, a breviary on the Blakean vision of one P. Smith.
2.Thou shall not talk during show and tell.
All conversation shall be saved for the conversation portion of the afternoon. Mrs. Porter is not interested in hosting a workshop. She is however, most interested in fashioning an aesthetic experience, subsequently created as the attendees stitch together various threads that appear in the presentations. Mrs. Porter expects you to stay for hearty conversation, light snacks and a beverage of your choice. (Yes, you will be responsible for providing your own comestibles, served in the blue light of your own abode, though we can all take pleasure in watching each other chew.)
Where is Mrs. Porter’s Salon?
For the safety and security of Mrs. Porter’s guests, the salon will be hosted online during the global pandemic.
When is Mrs. Porter’s Salon?
The next salon will be at 3pm Pacfic Time on Sunday, February 28, 2021. Mrs. Porter requests that you save the date.
Why do people submit to Mrs. Porter’s rules?
Because they want to write.
Because they want to talk to writers.
Because they don’t want a workshop.
Because they aren’t in school anymore.
Because their days are filled with children.
Because they want to screen a new short film.
Because they have a deadline and something to say.
Mrs. Porter’s: Isn’t it rich?
Follow Mrs. Porter on Twitter. If you dare.
Teresa Carmody’s writing includes fiction, creative nonfiction, inter-arts collaborations, and hybrid forms. She is the author of three books and four chapbooks, including, most recently, The Reconception of Marie. A co-coordinator of the first Ladyfest Olympia, WA in 2000, she has two decades of experience organizing and curating events that create community in the arts. With Vanessa Place, she co-launched Mrs. Porter’s Salon in 2004, and Les Figues Press in 2005. Her collaborations range from artist books to site-specific installations, and her co-edited anthologies include I’ll Drown My Book: Conceptual Writing by Women and TrenchArt: Monographs. Carmody currently lives in Central Florida, where she teaches fiction and prose workshops, and directs Stetson University’s low-residency program, the MFA of the Americas. You can also find her on Four Queens, hosting Second Sundays: conversations about writing, art, spirituality, divination, feminism, and magic. https://www.teresacarmody.com/
An attendee of Mrs. Porter’s salon since 2004, Johanna has given dozens of presentations in a variety of formats on the identity of the mysterious Mrs. Porter. What started as a casual effort to investigate the relevant literary references in T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, turned into an exciting journey through poems, novels, comics, memoirs, art exhibitions, letters, recordings of bird-song, religious screeds, and once confidential government documents. Johanna wrote a dissertation on literary modernism at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and she is currently based at the University of Southern California, where she has developed masters courses on multiplatform storytelling and where she directs The Norman Lear Center, a research institute that studies the social impact of storytelling. She was a founding board member of Les Figues Press and now serves as President of its Board of Directors. https://johannablakley.wordpress.com/
Les Figues Press
Les Figues Press is a nonprofit literary organization that publishes experimental writing and literature in translation with a focus on feminist and queer authors. The press partnered with the Los Angeles Review of Books in 2017 as an imprint of LARB Books. Founded in 2005 by Teresa Carmody and Vanessa Place, Les Figues promotes emerging and established writers as well as interdisciplinary artists who take the book as an object of study. Les Figues’ titles include award-winning works of poetry, prose, visual art, conceptual writing, and translation. We circulate writing that imagines new artistic practices, establishes new theories of literature, and questions the avant-garde alongside the status quo. We also host and curate literary events, including readings, conversations, performances, and Mrs. Porter’s Salon. Our mission is to create aesthetic conversations between readers, writers, and artists in Los Angeles and around the globe. Follow Les Figues Press on Twitter and Instagram.