Blogettes & Essays

Dec 19 2023


SEPTEMBER 13: WHAT THE BODY HOLDS: ITS SHAME & ITS PLEASURE The Women’s National Book Association – SF Chapter and The San Francisco Mechanics Institute, co-hosted a reading and discussion with myself and Isidra Mencos, Barcelona-born author of the memoir, Promenade of Desire. Here is a taste of what I had to ...
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Jun 28 2023


I was the oldest, but my brother was born 11 months after me. Which meant my mother stopped breastfeeding me so as to nourish her new arrival to the fullest extent. (The female body is miraculous that way!) Her entire body and psyche started honing in on the human who ...
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Feb 8 2023


And what an incredible ride it has been. I have grown both older and younger, wiser and more in love with the human heart. I can’t believe everything that has happened, actually happened! Or that I have done all that I have done!!  Here is a brief recap:  Photo credit ...
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Nov 15 2022

Autumn News & Holiday Book Sale

THE MAN WITH EIGHT PAIRS OF LEGS WAS SELECTED BY THE WOMEN'S NATIONAL BOOK ASSOCIATION (WBNA) AS A GREAT GROUP READ!  The annual list features 20 books chosen by a committee of 46 readers out of hundreds of submissions. According to the WBNA announcement, “books were chosen for their literary merit ...
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Aug 16 2022

My Writing Life.

I want to first pay tribute to the world’s on-going efforts to champion free speech, but particularly when it comes to the free expression of art: novels, poems, theater, visual art, dance. I stand in solidarity with Salman Rushdie, an internationally known novelist who has, for decades, been a leading ...
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May 24 2022

2022 National Book Tour Winds Down

FOR STARTERS: What a pleasant surprise to find my book recommended in Stanford Magazine, along with these other dynamic, diverse Stanford alumni! NEW RELEASES THAT INSPIRE US, they wrote, and mailed the magazine to thousands of alums! (I wrote for the Stanford Daily in 1970, covering anti-war marches and sit-ins, and worked one-on-one ...
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Apr 4 2022

Welcoming The Storm

Yes! It was 24 degrees Fahrenheit in Madison when I arrived last Friday. And it snowed two inches on the first day of April!! Mamma mia! In Chicago, the cold rain chilled all exposed parts. In Wisconsin, the wind felt Arctic! But the storm is also a metaphor: I have been performing ...
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Feb 28 2022

Calm Before the Storm

THE BOOK TOUR:  Well, the rubber really did hit the road. I did six book events in February. I have seven book events in March. Five in April. And I just found out I will be presenting on a featured fiction panel during the Bay Area Book Festival the first ...
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Jan 31 2022

Exhaustion & Gratitude

On this day, the day before the public launch of my book, this is how I feel. Exhausted after juggling dozens of balls in the air for months – details, people, dates, queries, correspondences, posts, promotions – and grateful for the many incredible people I have met along the way, which includes, ...
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Jan 18 2022

When the Rubber Hits the Road (Almost)

I am freaking out over here. To say that this has been a long time coming is an understatement. I read my poems at public readings in the late 70s, produced a couple of short plays in the mid-80s. A single mother with an eight-year-old, I published Journey into Motherhood: Writing Your ...
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Louis Macouillard

Dec 27 2021

Location, Location, Location

Mariam likes to get up before Cedric, just as the world is taking shape, and stroll in her nightgown and robe through their newly-built home on Novato Ridge – her Shangri-La. Oh, how they soothe her, these rolling hills that stretch north and west beyond the tidy housing development – ...
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Dec 9 2021

The Animated Role of Inanimate Objects in The Man with Eight Pairs of Legs

I am a visual thinker. A sensual woman. A sensory woman. What I see is important to me. What I touch, the texture. What I smell. What I hear. Light and the way light alters the density of things as they appear, muting or brightening color, shading, creating atmosphere and ...
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Nov 18 2021

Rauschenberg, Rejection, & Being True To Your Own Heart

Two years ago, I sat down with my brother, a website designer at the time, to work on creating an author website. It was late 2019, and The Man with Eight Pairs of Legs & Other Stories had not yet won the McCarthy Prize for Short Fiction. It had, however, received what ...
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Oct 21 2021

Why Did I Write This Quirky Love Story?

Body memory fascinates me. The ways we are marked by our pasts, literally, on our skin – bruises, scars, tracks, tattoos – and invisibly – memory of genocide over generations, phantom limbs. My entire collection explores these themes. The title story explores the unexpected encounter between a tall, thin high school history teacher, Harriet, who ...
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Sep 30 2021

Inspiration Can Come From Unexpected Places

When I went to the Legion of Honor Art Museum a few years back to an exhibit of the 18th C Swiss watchmaker Breguet, I was drawn to the beauty and complicated inner workings of one pocket watch in particular. As it turned out, this watch was, in fact, called ...
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Sep 10 2021

Where Did The Man with Eight Pairs of Legs Come From & How Did It Get Written?

HOW IT BEGAN: This debut collection of short stories has been a long haul. One could say it started one summer day when I was nine years old in Capitola, California and wrote my first poem extolling the vastness, power, and sheer magnificence of the Pacific Ocean. From that moment ...
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Leslie's Recent Interviews & Essays

Feb 14 2024

Women’s National Book Association Featured Member Interview – Leslie Kirk Campbell

Leslie Kirk Campbell is the inspiring author of the short fiction collection The Man with Eight Pairs of Legs and the founder of Ripe Fruit Writing in SF. She emphasizes the importance of one’s identity, freedom, and self will through her own personal experiences across her various works. How would you describe yourself as an author? What inspires your creativity and writing style? (LKC): I fell in love with language when I was 9 years old, the way a dancer falls in love ...
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Oct 28 2022

1-Week Critique: The Interview Series – An Ongoing Discussion of Process

Watch Matthew Schmidt's in-depth video interview with Leslie Kirk Campbell. Their conversation focuses on the revision of the titular story from the collection The Man with Eight Pairs of Legs (Sarabande Books, 2022). Schmidt and Campbell chat about the importance of beginnings, middles, and ends of stories, and more. Enjoy! Interview conducted on 10/19/2022. The Interview Series is a production of the Iowa-based arts and education nonprofit 1-Week Critique (1WC), which provides pedagogical resources and editorial support to students and ...
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May 18 2022

Musings & Meanderings: Leslie Kirk Campbell talks about her debut collection in our ‘4 Questions’ chat

Interview with Leslie A. Lindsay, self-declared Book Nerd. 1. Without responding in complete sentences, what would you say THE MAN WITH EIGHT PAIRS OF LEGS is about? Leslie Kirk Campbell: *BODIES PHYSICALLY MARKED BY MEMORIES: The way our bodies hold our pasts, visibly – bruises, scars, tattoos – and invisibly over a lifetime, or through generations. How this guides us. How this makes us feel as we sit in a chair or walk down the street. *RISKING EVERYTHING TO ESCAPE THE CARDS ...
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Mar 17 2022

Interview with Caroline Leavitt, NYT best-selling novelist and co-founder of A Mighty Blaze, a social platform for authors

Leslie Kirk Campbell, winner of the Mary McCarthy Prize for Short Fiction talks about her astounding new collection, THE MAN WITH EIGHT PAIRS OF LEGS, longings, settings, and so much more. I always think that writers are haunted into writing their stories, or looking to write their way into an answer for some questions they have. Was it this way for you? I am a writer richer in ideas than in characters. These ideas often arise from a question that ...
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Mar 9 2022

Leslie Kirk Campbell Recommends… in Poets & Writers

“I remember the dramatic moments that nearly stopped me as I wrote my first story collection. After a tough manuscript review with a top-notch editor, I dove, seemingly irretrievably, into deep despair. I lost belief in myself. I mean, it was bad. Days dragged into weeks, my desk uninhabited. Then one day, I went and sat in my garden, long my refuge. I breathed in the roses, looked for buds on the camelia, stood in awe of the yellow trumpet ...
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Feb 25 2022

A Constellation of Fiction: How to Tell When You Have a Short Story Collection in LitHub

Leslie Kirk Campbell on Finding the Shape of a Book Alnitak, 800 light years from the Earth; Alnilam, 1340 light years, and Mintaka, 915 light years from where you are sitting now—the three stars that make up Orion’s Belt, one of the most recognizable stellar events in the Earth’s night sky, are each more than 90,000 times more luminous than the sun. Add to them: Betelgeuse, a red supergiant, Orion’s right shoulder; Bellatrix, a blue giant, Orion’s left shoulder; and ...
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Dec 30 2021

December 30, 2021 – Article by Vanessa Hua in SF Chronicle Datebook

Excerpt from article 'Bay Area authors share their rituals for celebrating New Year's Eve and beyond' "For Leslie Kirk Campbell, 'the season of the longest nights - winter solstice and the end of the calendar year' - she organizes her study and clears away clutter, until her workspace represents her writing priorities for the coming year, said Campbell, author of the forthcoming 'The Man With Eight Pairs of Legs.' In years past, she and her partner would drive to Green ...
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Nov 1 2021

November/December 2021 Issue of inMotion Magazine

Looking Forward The Man with Eight Pairs of Legs: Why I Became a Disability Advocate Body memory fascinates me. The ways we are marked by our pasts, literally, on our skin - bruises, scars, tracks, tattoos, and invisibly - genetic memory of genocide over generations, phantom limbs. My debut collection of eight short stories, The Man with Eight Pairs of Legs explores these themes. The title story is about the unexpected encounter between a tall, thin high school history teacher, ...
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