”grin & shimmy” // paper darts (print)
People get an ass-backwards impression when I say I’m a backup singer at a karaoke bar in Orlando. What they think: bleak, drab, desperate. What it is: karaoke writ large. It’s a full band with a repertoire hundreds of songs long—White Snake to Whitney Houston, Adele to Aerosmith. It’s a black-painted stage looming above the audience, computer-controlled lighting and fog machines, wall of booming speakers, two floors of table seating with tea candle centerpieces and leather-bound cocktail menus, table service from two bars, but also translucent Solo cups and pleather upholstery, minus the handful of reservation-only booths with their tufted red velvet backrests.
So it’s a simulated spectacle of a place, right outside the gates of Universal, among a towns’ worth of themed bars and restaurants and shops. Every inch oversized and gaudy. So, exactly what you expect from evening entertainment when you’ve hauled your family down to this fantasy land for a week of packaged vacation. Not that I’m against it—I’ve always kind of adored the gimmick of it all, the plastic sheen.
Sadie had written bring a swimsuit for the hot tub! on our invitations, and right then was the time she wanted to get in, so I pulled my one-piece from my backpack, but Sadie said oh no no no, you can borrow a bikini, and she dug through an entire dresser drawer full of them, grabbed a hot pink one and said, you’ll look so cute in this.
I blurted out that my mother won’t let me wear a bikini yet.
Sadie said aw you poor thing, said my mom doesn’t give a shit, said at least you can live it up for one night.
And then we were down on the back deck all dropping our towels to climb into the bleachy bubbling water, me with my body down in Sadie’s bikini.
"all of us animals" // longleaf review
Freshmen get a third-floor lounge across the quad and we paper the walls with torn-out magazine pages. Boys everywhere—acjtors, singers, models—bodies hairless and hips slim, leaned against palm trees.
A thousand gazes follow us always. We think we wish they were real, prowling among us while we swap nail polish and complain about our mothers. While we speculate about which upperclassmen are having sex—with boyfriends, with each other.
nominations: pushcart prize + best small fictions + best of the net
finalist: best of the net 2018
"slather" // cheap pop
Billie bought her first tube of eye cream at twenty-two. Too young? Well, maybe. But when your botoxed,microdermabraded, laser-resurfaced mother slips you that slow scrutinizing look of hers, lets it slide down the length of her poreless nose, tries to squint but can’t and finally says, Ooh honey you might wanna start using a good eye cream—how do you stop the subsequent spiral?
If you’re Billie, you don’t. You ride that spiral right down into the dark, baby girl. You research ingredients and procedures into the night, fingertips pressed to marred face, cellphone screen aglow. That’s what Billie’s done, year after year.
nominations: pushcart prize + best small fictions
"serpentine" // still: the journal
I’m getting worked up again feeling that snaky rustle in my ears that electricity down in the roots of my teeth and the jangling rhythm of my poor old heart so I press my palms together like a prayer braid my fingers press until my arms shake and quiver and Susan’s saying something but I can’t hear her over the roar of that serpent crashing through brown dried leaves and pine straw just writhing around and raring back fangs dripping and finally I hear something over the din and it’s Susan saying Momma Momma shhh and she’s got a hand on my arm not moving just placed there so gentle and I snap out of it and say I’m sorry baby that one came on quick and hard.
nomination: best of the net
"nightmares" // crack the spine
The mares arrive slowly at first, starting with a mother and her wobble-legged filly, both the color of old pennies at the bottom of a purse. Then the scrawny buckskin quarter horse, the limping bay Warmblood, the shaggy white Shetland pony so starved her hide drapes over angular hips like angora on a coat hanger. Next come the matched pairs—two gray Connemara ponies, two hulking Clydesdales, two bird-boned Thoroughbreds so black they’re nearly blue, like a pair of oil slicks sliding down the road. Soon they come in groups of four and five, then in herds, in droves, in hordes. Mares, every last one of them.
anthology: crack the spine xvi
"the garage" // apt magazine
Bunch of boys, bunch of dark-haired boys running around summers shirtless and shoeless on the asphalt driveway hopping on and off bikes and Big Wheels, grey dust pressed always into the swirled prints of their little feet. You can see the color when they run. The mom probably does scrub them down every night but it doesn’t budge, that ground-in asphalt grime. They’ve got a couple of battery Jeeps, the kid kind, but only two and there’s the four boys. So two get to drive, two sit passenger, then passengers get antsy, start trying to hurl themselves head-first out of moving vehicles or stay in and punch their drivers.
"sakura" // north carolina literary review (print)
These days Kuromon market is where I go to retreat. I ride the subway and I step into the light at the Nipponbashi station. I linger at the vegetable stands, my fingertips tracing the contours of white daikon, bright slick eggplants, lumpy kabocha squash with their secret orange insides, brilliant red tomatoes in blue bowls.
honorable mention: 2013 doris betts fiction prize
nomination: pushcart prize
"driving with lucretius"// nc literary review (print)
Alone on a mountain road sloping toward flatter land,
I drive—now swaddled by arching branches
and leaves and dim light filtering through, now
exposed and rolling loose along cupped valley floors.
In deep shadow, streams tumble frothy
between bare blackened stones, then disappear
into earth beneath the road. A valley church’s
glossy white paint scatters sunlight in all directions
as if for fun God’s mimicking that first breathy time. . .
"severance" // nc literary review (print)
in tyndale’s outlawed book
about popes and kings
ideas saved for henry’s eyes
meant for revolution
even for love
she pressed her thumbnail
into the margin and dragged it
down the page
to create a faint
line. . .
"deciphering the oracle" // philosophical idiot
perhaps mothers of diapered babies
do this too: examine each new shit produced.
the horse was sick last week. miles
of tangled intestines stalled & stilled. stagnant.
so here i am, bending & peering into the miracle
pile he’s just made, searching for meaning
like a priest of delphi straining to interpret garbled nonsense
uttered by the writhing girl inhaling noxious vapors. . .
"florida fauna suburbia" // the cabinet of heed
they don’t even hide anymore,
the snakes in the ferns, draping slack & slick
& blue-black across giant fingered fronds.
lizards skitter away but come right back
to catch dinner. quick dart toward
ants hauling a husk of grasshopper,
theft of a feast. even the big owls
don’t seem to mind you passing
where they perch on fence posts. . .
"farm nights" // nclr online
towering live oaks
for a lost halter
buried in sand
bandaging a leg
on a flesh sliced open
who knows how. . .
nomination: best of the net
Annie Frazier grew up in North Carolina, lives in Florida, and received an MFA in fiction from Spalding University (Louisville, KY) in 2017, where she served as Social Media Coordinator for the program and as a student editor for The Louisville Review.
Annie's fiction and poetry have appeared in print and online at Longleaf Review, Cabinet of Heed, Philosophical Idiot, CHEAP POP, Still: The Journal, Crack the Spine, apt magazine, and North Carolina Literary Review, and her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best Small Fictions, and Best of the Net.
a little more.
Annie currently manages a small horse farm of retired show jumpers in Central Florida. She studied Classics as an undergrad at New College of Florida. She's currently working on a bunch of flash fiction, short stories, and poems. And revising a novel...
get in touch.
"all of us animals" | longleaf review | apr 2018
"slather" | cheap pop | jun 2017
"nightmares" | crack the spine | jun 2017
"the garage" | apt magazine | sep 2016
"severance" | north carolina literary review (print) | june 2018
"driving with lucretius" | north carolina literary review (print) | june 2018
"deciphering the oracle" | philosophical idiot | june 2018
"florida fauna suburbia" | cabinet of heed | may 2018
"farm nights" | nclr online | jan 2018
"waterfall" | north carolina literary review (print) | jul 2016
nominations, contests, etc.
pushcart prize | “all of us animals” | longleaf review | 2018
best small fictions | “all of us animals” | longleaf review | 2018
best of the net | poetry | "farm nights" | north carolina literary review | 2018
best of the net | fiction | "all of us animals" | longleaf review | 2018
pushcart prize | fiction | "slather" | cheap pop | 2017
best small fictions | "slather" | cheap pop | 2017
best of the net | fiction | "serpentine" | still: the journal | 2017
pushcart prize | poetry | "waterfall" | north carolina literary review | 2016
pushcart prize | fiction | "sakura" | north carolina literary review | 2014
CONTESTS & AWARDS.
READINGS & PANELS.
graduation reading |spalding university mfa in writing | louisville, ky | may 2017
excerpts from creative thesis, crazy house: a novel
"james applewhite & more" | quail ridge books | raleigh, nc | nov 2016
reading with fellow winners and finalists of the 2015/2016 james applewhite poetry prize, along with readings by james applewhite
"global north carolina literature" | panel discussion | north carolina writers' conference | asheville, nc | jul 2014
north carolina writers who had written about other places or have written about north carolina while living or traveling elsewhere
press: "north carolina in a global context: writing beyond the state's borders," by margaret bauer, nclr online 2015
north carolina literary review issue 22 release party | malaprops bookstore | asheville, nc | aug 2013
reading with writers published in issue 22 (2013) and those with work forthcoming in issue 23 (2014)
press release | 2017 james applewhite poetry prize | jun 2017
press release | 2015 james applewhite poetry prize | jun 2015
"north carolina in a global context: writing beyond the state's borders" | nclr online | jan 2015
press release | 2013 doris betts fiction prize | jun 2013
review of north carolina literary review, issue 23 | new pages | dec 2014
"[T]he power of a first-person narrator . . . obliterates the distance between author, reader, and subject, transporting us to a place we’ve never been, a place that only exists on the page and yet feels so real that we could walk around it blindfolded after shutting the magazine." –Elaine Fowler Palencia
"two selves: crafting effective first-person retrospective narrators" | lecture | spalding university | may 2017
"telling girlhood: narratorial duality and the expansion of the female bildungsroman" | extended critical essay | spalding university | mar 2016
"as you look closer, you notice: ekphrasis in three ancient greek novels" | honors thesis | new college of florida | apr 2008
WORK IN THE LITERARY FIELD.
social media editor | pithead chapel literary journal & press | nov 2017 – current
social media editor | spalding mfa alumni association | @spalding_mfa_aa | august 2017 – current
steering committee member | spalding mfa alumni association | june 2018 – current
first reader | clmp firecracker awards | nov 2017 – mar 2018
book cover designer | don't you fall now: a memoir by claudia love mair | feb 2018
social media coordinator | spalding university mfa in writing | jun 2016 – aug 2017
organizer | café mfá: spalding mfa student reading series | louisville, ky | nov 2015 – may 2017
student editor | the louisville review | nov 2015 – apr 2016