Shanna Mahin


My Sordid Early Reading List

My mother taught me how to read when I was two. I had a few Little Golden Books that I kept on the table next to the sofa bed where we slept, but the real books lived in the hutch by the front door, including a full set of Encyclopedia Brittanica she purchased impulsively from a door-to-door salesman and grudgingly paid for from a coupon book each month.

Participant Interview: Shanna Mahin

Mark Program: Give us a brief synopsis of your project.

Shanna Mahin: THE CONCERNS OF THE BOURGEOISIE is a fractured, messy story about my fractured, messy childhood and the fractured, messy time in my life after my homeless mother killed herself and I was forced to consider the implications. No, no, wait. Come back. It’s a comedy. I promise.

MP: Who should apply to the Mark Program?

My 2012 Reading List (A Work in Progress)

Books I’ve loved so far this year:

Today in Writer Self-Sabotage

I’ve pretty much missed application season this year. I used to be relentless. I haven’t submitted work to many literary magazines—a couple, maybe—but I’ve been pretty regular about churning out intricate applications for fellowships and residencies over the past several years.

I Took A Wrong Turn and I Just Kept Going

I had a major writing fail this week. As I’ve documented here extensively over the past several weeks, this rewrite is kicking my ass. I’m trying new things and I feel insecure and wobbly, like a newborn colt or that Ikea bookshelf we dismantled when we moved and could never get back to its original shape. (Really, if you get nothing else from this post, I hope you’ll think twice before you take apart your Ikea Expedit shelving unit to make more room on the moving truck.)

I Want To Be Sedated

As a participant in the Mark Program, one of my responsibilities is to post a weekly entry on this blog. Inevitably I leave it until the last possible minute, which is an accurate reflection on my entire writing life. I’ve said this before: I loathe writing, but love having written. Here we are again.

Down the Rabbit Hole

My therapist has aggressive breast cancer. I want to start this story a different way, but it’s all I’m thinking about. My therapist - the woman who pulled me back from the brink of a brutal, consumptive anger that was like being stung by a thousand bees every minute of every day - is fighting for her life. At the risk of sounding like a total fucking asshole (too late), it’s really inconvenient timing.