Meet a Grubbie: Kenan Orhan
GrubStreet runs on coffee, printer ink, and community. This series features just some of the Grubbies who make our community strong. In this edition, meet Kenan Orhan, a recent graduate of the Short Story Incubator. Kenan is a Turkish-American writer. His stories appear or are forthcoming in The Common, Massachusetts Review, McNeese Review, and others.
What are you working on right now?
I'm in the process of putting together and polishing a collection of stories set in Turkey. The stories follow such people as an exhausted florist training a neighborhood stray to blow up the president, a cage-maker who learns he can talk to birds, a smuggler trafficking a girl who claims to be pregnant via parthenogenesis, a swimmer hoping to escape the gravity of the Soma mine, and a soldier on a mission to kill two hundred mules.
What are you reading?
Yesterday, I read Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter on the recommendation of a friend. I wish I could capture the cruelty of loss half as well as Porter does. For class this week we are reading Helen Phillips' collection Some Possible Solutions. I am most of the way through a book on the thirty years war it has taken me six months to get through, and so to replace it I am reading the One Thousand and One Nights. For now I'm doing one a night along with Shahrazad.
What is the strangest place you've ever been?
I once stuck my head in a crock pot used to boil away flesh from bones by a forensic anthropologist who conducted investigations for the state in her laboratory at North Carolina State University.
What was the most important thing you took away from the Short Story Incubator?
Stories are truly written in revision. I have always hated revising, but I have learned that revising comprises at least two thirds of the process of writing a story. I am fortunate to have learned from my instructor the best ways of not only approaching revision but seeing it through in a way that is meaningful and resonant for each individual piece.
Want to find out more about all the other amazing people who make the GrubStreet community what it is? Check them all out here! And while you're at it, see what other classes are on offer at Grub this fall.