Let’s be honest. We writers dream that the books that live inside us will find their way into bookstores, libraries, and homes, will come to life in the hands of avid readers under shady hammocks or in favorite chairs. These books will have splendid covers and rave reviews that honor the love we put into the process. But for many aspiring writers, the journey between finishing a manuscript and launching a book is veiled in mystery. The cogs and wheels of publishing are strangely opaque to the authors themselves. This Porch Happy Hour Series will both illuminate the process, and more importantly celebrate authors who have recently “birthed” their books.
This November, we welcome Minda Honey, author of The Heartbreak Years: A Memoir (forthcoming October 2023), in conversation with Destiny O. Birdsong!
In an unflinching memoir, Minda casts her gimlet eye on her past relationships and the complicated dynamics of consent culture, gender, sexuality, race, and class. Remembering the promise and disappointments of her twenties with wisdom and compassion, this is Minda’s story of a Black woman coming into herself and changing her own world with resilience and bracing independence.
Minda Honey’s essays on politics and relationships have appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Washington Post, the Guardian, the Oxford American, Teen Vogue, and Longreads. She is the editor of Black Joy at Reckon News and was director of the BFA in Creative Writing program at Spalding University, an advice columnist for LEO Weekly in Louisville, Kentucky, and founder of the alt-indie publication TAUNT. Her work is featured in Burn It Down: Women Writing about Anger, A Measure of Belonging: Twenty-One Writers of Color on the New American South, and Sex and the Single Woman: 24 Writers Reimagine Helen Gurley Brown’s Cult Classic. For more information visit www.mindahoney.com.
Destiny O. Birdsong is a writer whose work has appeared in the Paris Review Daily, Poets & Writers, African American Review, The Best American Poetry 2021, and elsewhere. She has received support from Cave Canem, Callaloo, Jack Jones Literary Arts, Pink Door, MacDowell, The Ragdale Foundation, and Tin House. Her debut poetry collection, Negotiations, was published by Tin House Books in 2020 and was longlisted for the 2021 PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry Collection. Her debut novel, Nobody’s Magic, was published by Grand Central in 2022, was longlisted for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize, was a finalist for the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, and won the 2022 Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction. She earned her BA in English and history from Fisk University, and her MFA in poetry and PhD in English from Vanderbilt University. In 2022, she was selected as the Hurston-Wright Foundation’s inaugural Writer-in-Residence at Rutgers University-Newark, and she currently serves as an Artist-in-Residence at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.