T. M. Semrad
T.M. Semrad lives and writes across and among genres in Los Angeles. She is Texas born and returned and Midwest reared. She is an old woman and is of old time southern and Czech Catholic immigrant tangled roots. Her writing has appeared in Entropy, the Black Clock Blog and in the collections After Life and Everybody Hold My Hand Right Now I Swear to God published by the California Institute of the Arts. She has been an editor for Black Clock, a leading literary magazine, curated the L reading series and coached writers. She hosts a weekly writing work space and facilitates writing workshops. She has completed an M.F.A. in Writing at the California Institute of the Arts and is the recipient of a UCLA Writing Project Fellowship. In her spare time, she plays in the mud and paint with 2 and 3 year-olds and provides parent education and support.
She has two book length projects in progress. The first crosses lines between fiction and nonfiction and documents collected family stories and a father-daughter/mother-son road trip traversing America from the perspective of the daughter/mother. Data gathered in route from interviews with the widows of her paternal uncles provide the raw material from which the book is shaped. Semrad attempts to make sense of trauma, the maternal role and her identification with the paternal. The book is elegiac in tone and uses assembled fragments. All loss is conflated with the mother’s death which is simultaneously impending and past. The second is a collection of 52 poems, one poem a week for her 52nd year, exploring the author’s familial relationships. Like family portraits in a hallway, Semrad frames an image, captures a moment in time or hangs a studio triptych of shots.
Excerpts from Birthmark, (working title from a creative nonfiction book in progress)
- “Fragment 1”and “Fragment 2” Out of Anonymity Volume 4: La Cañada Flintridge: The Journal of the UCLA Writing Project, 2018. Print.
- “An Overture.” Ephemera. Valencia: California Institute of the Arts, 2015. Print.
- "Virtual Realized." Put Into Words, My Love. Monee: A Petite Pomme by Pomme Journal, 2020. Print.
- “Picnic Blanket Poem: a re-enactment.” After Life. Valencia: Autobiography Club, California Institute of the Arts, 2015. Print.
- Untitled Poem. Valencia: Tiny Press Practices, California Institute of the Arts, 2015. Print
- “Somnambulist,” “For William Grady Montgomery” and “Parallel Lines.” We’re Just Glad You Finally Figured it Out. Los Angeles: UCLA Writing Project, 2010. Print.
- “wild everything.” Bold Ink: Collected Voices of Women and Girls. Los Angeles: WriteGirl Publications, 2003. Print.
- Edible. Santa Monica: Mí Conchita Press, 1997. Print.
- "A Wedding." love. nightingaleandsparrow.com: Nightingale & Sparrow, Issue V, 2020. Print and online.
- “Venice of America.” Entropy, 2015. Online.
- “Parallel Lives: Cynthia Carr and her Subject, David Wojnarwicz.” Black Clock Blog. Valencia: Black Clock, 2014. Online.
- “Harbor.” Everybody Hold My Hand Right Now I Swear to God. Valencia: Interventions, California Institute of the Arts, 2013-2014. Print.
- “Interview: Noah Saterstrom and TC Tolbert (Trickhouse).” Valencia: Tiny Press Practices. 2015. Online.
- “The Lives of Used Books, Their Purveyor & His Dog, Sunshine.” Black Clock Blog. Valencia: Black Clock, 2013. Online.