Award Winners / Artist Profile

About the Artist

Anne de Marcken (Olympia) received a 2007 GAP to complete the remaining three stories of her short-story manuscript, After Life, and submit it to agents, publications and granting organizations. The collection is concerned with “the life that reconstitutes in the aftermath of death,” each story finding a different way to address the place death takes in its characters’ lives. Anne says, “None of the stories are concerned with heroism or sentiment or conventional tragedy– they explore the subtle and intimate mechanisms of grief, love, anger, hope and futility.”

Information included above was provided by artist at the time of application.
From the Artist

Writing is like a snow globe paperweight: nothing happens unless you shake it up. And one of the best ways I’ve found to shake it up is to change the shape of my day. This is not easy to do. But during the month I spent on Camano Island last fall, the shape of my day—day after day—could not have been more different than what I am used to: there was nothing to do… except write. Really nothing.

I instituted some order: Get up when it is dark so that I am sitting at my desk with my first cup of coffee in time to watch the sun rise. Go to bed early enough that I can read at least one whole short story or a chapter before I fall asleep.

But still the unscheduled hours drifted over my habits, my patterns, my landmarks and turned me into a stranger: one day I discovered that I had stood for a good twenty minutes gazing down at my agitating laundry through the glass lid of the high-efficiency washing machine; another day I took three distinctly different naps.

In the regular world, this could not happen. Good lord! How would everything get done?! But in the world of the writing residency there are different forces at work. In just one month I finished writing or rewriting the eight stories of a collection I had been working on for two years. Shake it up, indeed. And it wasn’t just the writing that went spinning and swirling, and it wasn’t just for that one month: I am changed, and forever.

Anne de Marcken