Welcome To My LitLetters!

Acts of a Recovering Drama Queen? Yes. I’m done with melodrama. I’m taking my cue from nature’s dramas, where protagonists and antagonists are only a matter of perspective.

I offer you poems, essays, and the occasional playtext, all with shifting perspectives.1

I write to challenge our cultural ideas of beauty, and to offer hope.

No platitudes, no deus ex machinas!

Authentic hope doesn’t require happy endings. It requires close, unbiased attention in the present, and the Buddhists’ paradoxical attempt to accept things as they are while seeking change.

Art and science work in quite different ways: agreed. But, bad as it may sound, I have to admit that I cannot get along as an artist without the use of one or two sciences. ... In my view, the great and complicated things that go on in the world cannot be adequately recognised by people who do not use every possible aid to understanding. — Bertolt Brecht

When we borrow a scientist’s neutral view, we aren’t distancing ourselves from the world’s pain. On the contrary: we are better able to shift perspectives, and cultivate compassion instead of choosing (illusory) sides.

I hope that my writing will resonate with what you already know intuitively and/or nudge you in new directions.

Subscribers receive

Weekly

  • Sunday Shares for Inspiration: literary birthday bios of writers who nudged the world towards good, personal essays, links to art/artists, literary excerpts, short films, etc. that inspire me to question myself.

  • Tuesday’s Process Journal Essays (with Audio & References): Craft considerations related to a current project & not-so-random facts about the natural world in relation to metaphors.

  • Thursday’s Poem (with Audio), practicing the values of right view and right speech, with an invitation for readers to write/link to answer poems in the chat.

Monthly

  • Announcements: Personal essays, new play synopses, mini-reviews, interviews, etc.

A word about paid subscriptions.

I pledge (and will be accountable) that every subscription payment I get, will be used to invest in another literary substack of my choosing (not a reciprocal subscription)—up to 100 subscriptions.

You would essentially be giving three gifts in one. You give me confirmation that my writing is valued. You give me access to read great, inspiring work. And you enable me to support another writer, passing on your investment t

I hope you’ll think about it.

Spread the love. ❤️

Paid Subscribers, who are choosing to support indie publishing, will also receive

Monthly Subscribers

  • Access to the archives (NB: As this is a new substack, there are no newsletters archived at the moment.)

  • Annotations - A break-down and discussion of natural facts, imagery, allusions, and biography in poem by Ren, or by someone else. More free-association than academic argument.

Yearly Subscribers also receive

  • A PDF version of Ren’s upcoming book in August, 2024 (Mad Orphan Lit.).

Patrons: While it’s true that the patron support on substack would provide me more time to write, it will also help to pay editors and designers for their work on new books—so others benefit from your generosity.

Your name will be listed as a patron on subsequent Mad Orphan Lit. publications.

About Me (the formal bit):

Ren is a poet, playwright, and teaching artist living in Jæren, Norway. She has published six full-length poetry collections, several bilingual chapbooks, and more than a dozen books of translations. Her plays have been performed in Canada, Norway, and the United States.

Ren has a Ph.D. in Creative Writing from Lancaster University (England), and a BA in Theater Arts from Texas A&M University (USA). 

A member of The Norwegian Author’s Union, The Norwegian Guild for Drama & Theatre Instructors, and The Dramatists Guild (US), Ren also served as the International PEN Women Writers’ Committee representative for Human Rights.

You can find an informal introduction here: Beyond the writer’s bio.

If you’ve read this far, thank you for taking the time to do so!



1

LitLetters is a term coined by Tara Penry to describe a substack missive that is not a “newsletter”: https://substack.com/home/post/p-144621450

Subscribe to Acts of a Recovering Drama Queen

Writing against Melodrama by Engaging with the Natural World. ➤ Poems. Plays. Process Essays. Inspiration.

People

California-born, poet/playwright/teaching artist. Settled in the gray/green landscape of Norway. Author of Impermanence (2021), The Elephants Have Been Singing all Along (2017), and others. Buddhist-ish. Lapsed scholar. Meditative runner (ie slow).