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 IncubatorKenan 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.

 

Favorite drink?

Mint Julep.

 

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.

About the Author

GrubWrites is a space for the writing and reading community to share ideas and seek advice, a place where writers at the very beginning of their careers publish alongside established authors. Book lovers, we bring you reviews, recommendations, and conversations with exciting new authors to keep you up to speed on all things lit. Writers, this is your one stop shop for expert craft talk, opinions on how we learn and teach writing, and essential advice about the publishing industry.

Plus, we want to hear from you! Our ongoing call for submissions is open to literary community members of all types and persuasions. We want to hear from students, teachers, authors, readers, editors, agents, publicists, and any devotee of the written word. If you have something to say about writing, reading, the publishing industry, or anything related to the literary world, this is the place to voice it. We’re particularly committed to advocating for a diverse range of voices in the literary marketplace and raising the visibility of writers from under-represented communities.

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