Joe Sacksteder, Director of Creative Writing at Interlochen Center for the Arts, will read stories from his debut collection, Make/Shift, winner of the 2017 Linda Bruckheimer Series in Kentucky Literature from Sarabande Books. In a rave review, Melanie Rae Thon calls Make/Shift “subversive, provocative, and piercingly poignant,” and Caitlin Horrocks offers the following description: “This is an inventive, high-flying, often moving collection of stories told with screenplays and squiggles of road sealant, sheet music and taglines and game shows.”
With subject matters ranging from time capsules to youth hockey, the stories of Make/Shift strike at the minor chords of human emotion, and yet are hyper-inventive in structures abuzz with playful language. In one story, a grieving mother finds herself filibustering a piano recital, looping an intermezzo by Johannes Brahms over and over, the story itself taking on the structure and musical qualities of the repeated intermezzo. The artistic heritage of Make/Shift is far-reaching, pulling from influences like David Lynch, Nick Cave, Werner Herzog, and Muriel Rukeyser. Interspersed throughout the collection are flash vignettes based on corporate marketing slogans—“Subs so fast you’ll freak,” “Put a tiger in your tank,” “Cover the Earth”—that blur the lines between fiction and poetry.