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Katie Riegel
Works at University of South Florida
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Katie Riegel

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"My body is wildly undisciplined and I deny myself nearly everything I desire. I deny myself the right to space when I am public, trying to fold in on myself, to make my body invisible even though it is, in fact, grandly visible. I deny myself the right to a shared armrest because how dare I impose? I deny myself entry into certain spaces I have deemed inappropriate for a body like mine—most spaces inhabited by other people."  --Roxane Gay
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"But there’s a more sobering take-home for me: our success is, partly, out of our hands. We do our best, and sometimes we still can’t quite write the way we want to. Or we (more or less) succeed at that part and just can’t get stuff published in the best magazines because we don’t know the right people, or our stuff reaches exactly the readers who (for their peculiar, idiosyncratic reasons) are not very open to our particular style, or maybe our writing is amazing but in a style that’s no longer fashionable—or that isn’t fashionable yet.

So, what can you do with that? Well, first of all, you just keep hammering away, working on your stuff and shooting it out into the world pretty much relentlessly. The more you write and the more you send it out, the better the odds are that someday you’ll be the person recommending that writers only work under full moons or in basements or only write about cousins or without dialogue or whatever it is. We still can’t control those odds, but we hammer away. And I’m starting to think that, in the meantime, we should listen to the wisdom of famous writers with a lot of skepticism." --David Ebenbach 
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Katie Riegel

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Two new poems! "...When a kingfisher dies, I fall/into dark water, my feathered heart/dwindling down to ash..."
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Katie Riegel

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...I’m not angry. I don’t hate men. I’m not oversensitive. I’m not militant (whatever that means). I am a feminist. And I am a teacher. I like people, in general. I think the best of them. I don’t want to make anyone who laughed at the “tons of chicks” line feel like a bad person, and I definitely don’t want to make them defensive. I just want to explain. I want to take apart this bit of language and show why it made me sigh to come across it. To let regular people, those who don’t live in my heightened-awareness-of-language world, in on why words matter—even jokes.

Yeah. So this line (“Tons of chicks, just not very many”) reinforces two worldviews that I believe hurt people a great deal, and are untrue: 1) That the primary value of a woman is her appearance and 2) That fat equals ugly. (For a good discussion of this second one, read The Militant Baker )...
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Katie Riegel

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The 15-year-old girl who committed suicide after having been sexually assaulted while she was passed out drunk and then subjected to shame and ridicule from friends and authority figures because the perpetrators posted photos of her naked body–she was the victim not only of a crime committed by boys who were her own acquaintances, but of an idea perpetrated by every aspect of the popular media every day: that women are bodies primarily made for sex, and not quite real human beings.
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Have them in circles
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Katie Riegel

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From the Introduction to The Manifesto: "In any case, you are reading this book because at some time you have felt on the edge of things. Breakable. On the brink. Sinking, dull, numb, hopeless. You have cried, or you are crying. For me, the manifesto didn’t balance that platform on its pivot point, but it helped me stop some of my painful, exhausting lunging. And, quite simply: before the manifesto, I mostly did not want to live. After, there are stretches—hours, sometimes even days—when I do. 

I don’t think I have all the answers. I don’t think anyone does."
 --Katherine Riegel 
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Katie Riegel

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One of my Ragdale peeps with photos of what we've been up to!
Ragdale held a contest for its residents. We had to respond to "Ragdale is.... " with words and/or images. Both the awesome visual artist Olivia Petrides and I won. Chances are this is the only time Olivia and I will ever be ...
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Katie Riegel

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"Peeps, I am in a trench. You know how I get. My 2014 Happiness Project has taken a direct hit, and me and all the metaphorical paperwork are flailing about in our own little wind tunnel. My eyes have swollen up from crying. I think I might look rabid..."
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So the key difficulty here—the key reason, I think, that the question gets asked—is that the point of studying creative writing isn’t to generate answers. It’s to generate questions. It’s to work continually to understand that the world is not a set of dichotomies—that most situations, to be understood fully, require a willingness to see nuance. To be a good writer, you must be willing to be uncomfortable, to empathize with both protagonist and antagonist, to write the poem that acknowledges the messy side of an experience.
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Katie Riegel

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I know better than to ask, “If you’re one of the boys, how do you know you’re not an asshole?” 
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Katie Riegel's profile photophilip deaver's profile photo
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Lol. Could be. ;) But it's true--every club excludes people, and when it comes to literary success (whatever that is), it often seems to come down to luck. But systematic exclusion of certain groups--well, that has to be questioned, and thought about, and connected to bigger cultural ideologies.
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Work
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writing, teaching, editing
Employment
  • University of South Florida
    Continuing Instructor, 2008 - present
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