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.
DO YOU FEEL LIKE WRITING?
A guidebook into personal imagination with metacognitive prompts that teach each writer how to know their own material, habits, rituals, dreams and writing communities. This book offers the Fifth Brain as a way to empower writers at all levels of experience.
THE EMPTY HOUSE FAIRYTALES
In this book, disappointed women find ways to morph into other creatures or other situations to save themselves. Weaving fairy tale tropes into modern problems, this book explores failed love, pandemics, loss, empowerment, and acceptance. In “The Empty House,” a woman facing a hysterectomy grows increasingly invested in the stray cats outside of her house until a moonlit night offers her another option. In “Humpty Dumpty,” a furious woman flies apart in her office and must wait for her coworkers to find her, pick up her limbs, and show her the way back to herself. “The Witch Begins” traces the way that an unhappy girl finds her way into alchemy and power. A young woman seeking an authentic life finds herself facing aliens in “Sweetpea Believed.” In “The Monster Waits,” a monster suffering the entrapment of an iced cave must face the loves and losses in her life.