Frankie Rollins’ latest book is a flash fiction novella titled, The Grief Manuscript, published with Finishing Line Press in May 2020. Tucson’s Poet Laureate, TC Tolbert, writes “Here are remnants carried over from the surreal specificity of living in the threshold of loss. Rollins’ power lies not in getting over but in her attention while being in the midst. In fact, this is her invitation, her demand, and her gift. Open this book knowing you’ll be greeted by pain so pure as to border on the ecstatic. Expect, too, to be seared by immaculate images, ransacked by dexterous tonal range, and shorn to the bone by the wry sweep of grief written into, which is not to say explained. Each time I read The Grief Manuscript, I am wildly undone, genuinely grateful, and profoundly impressed.”
Frankie published another novella, “Doctor Porchiat’s Dream,” in the Running Wild Press Novella Anthology 3 Volume 2 in December 2019. Frankie previously published a collection of short fiction, The Sin Eater & Other Stories with Queen’s Ferry Press in 2013. Her work has appeared in Feminist Wire, Fairy Tale Review, Sonora Review, Conjunctions, The New England Review, and Bellevue Literary Review, among others.
Since the The Grief Manuscript was released in May 2020 during the pandemic, a book tour was cancelled. Instead, Rollins opted to celebrate the release of the book by inviting various accomplished artists, videographers, and musicians to create art in response to the imagistic text. The resulting video is a rich tapestry of vivid compositions. This unconventional video was directed and produced by multi-media artist and composer, Samantha Bounkeua (Arts Foundation of Tucson & Southern AZ grant recipient & Rogue Violin Studios LLC founder), and digital artist, Cyane Tornatzky (recipient of SUPERNOVA’s Director’s Choice selection in Denver, September 2020 for the animation “Where I Am When I’m Not with You”).
Damage suffuses The Sin Eater and Other Stories. From within Elizabeth Frankie Rollins’ construct of the blighted home an adulterous husband calls on the services of a stranger to expunge his guilt, a young couple is diagnosed with the bubonic plague, and a bored woman finds herself growing a tail. Yet these others don’t dwell; instead, they frame themselves in a way that is sound in structure and sentiment and plunges them from metaphor into modern-day marvel. In the evocative stories of this debut collection, even the tightest crevices dazzle with restorative possibility.
“Then, readers take a sharp turn into the fantastical with an eerie fairy tale called Doctor Porchiat’s Dream by Frankie Rollins that follows the adventures of a quirky physician in a superstitious town as he chases scientific proof of the soul. . . [and makes] full use of the novella form by deftly exploring the perspectives of various characters.”
Here are remnants carried over from the surreal specificity of living in the threshold of loss. Rollins’ power lies not in getting over but in her attention while being in the midst. In fact, this is her invitation, her demand, and her gift. Open this book knowing you’ll be greeted by pain so pure as to border on the ecstatic. Expect, too, to be seared by immaculate images, ransacked by dexterous tonal range, and shorn to the bone by the wry sweep of grief written into, which is not to say explained. Each time I read The Grief Manuscript, I am wildly undone, genuinely grateful, and profoundly impressed.
Frankie has thought deeply about the psychology of people who write, and she has found ways to guide them into their own processes. Her manuscript, Writing from the Fifth Brain, is the culmination of this work, a book that teaches readers how to understand and value their own imaginations and harness those wonders to the page. She has honed a way to help people understand their own patterns of sustaining their own thinking and writing routines. She is currently seeking a publisher for this book. Along with Tucson writers, Eric Aldrich and Sandra Shattuck, Frankie is part of the Fifth Brain Collective, a social media project and coming YouTube channel that advocates for artists getting their work made.
~Events on hold for the pandemic~
Zoom Release Party for The Grief Manuscript featuring The Grief Manuscript Video, March 2021.
Moderated and participated on a panel, “The Cultural Contours of Grief,” for the 2021 Virtual Associated Writing Programs Conference with Michelle Chikoanda, Monica Macansantos, and Kimi Eisele.
(Canceled due to pandemic: “We Are Not Saying We Are Not Strange People Book Tour” with Tim Dyke, Summer 2020)
Release party for Doctor Porchiat’s Dream in Oro Valley, January 2020.