odds + ends

interviews & press
"I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that humanity is dealing with something that looks a lot like mental illness writ large. We’re suffering. And the planet is suffering because of us."
(from an interview in The Florida Review)
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"This notion that we have to separate the work from the writer is artificial and in reality nobody does that. We all have incredibly personal responses to literature. . . . But you can at least acknowledge the messiness of it all."
"The object of the sock interests me precisely because it’s so ordinary. So ostensibly boring. What’s to say about a sock? (I liked that challenge.)"
"An essay is an investigation, a very organic thing. Every sentence you commit to it opens up the field of discovery a little more and you basically let it work to take you where it needs to go."
"I understood that I had to trust my readers to grasp the nuances of the story on their own steam, and that that process might take a long time. It might take the entire length of the book."
"Although I'm happy whenever someone finds something beautiful in my work, I'm not personally interested anymore in writing beautifully. I'm interested in illuminating my subject, whatever that might be. It gives me a lot more energy to work in this way."
"Being a people pleaser can be a very dangerous proposition when it comes to writing."
"The honey badger makes a great mascot for all serious writing. It’s tenacious, a little insane, it gets the job done, even if it almost dies trying. But most of all, it 'don’t care.' That’s so key to writing well—outrunning your own demons."
"What Happens When You Write Karl Ove Knausgaard a Letter?"
Originally published on New Books Network, featured on LitHub

"The Face Behind the Mask"
The Colin McEnroe Show, WNPR Connecticut Public Radio
"You Can Keep Your Socks On"
The Colin McEnroe Show, WNPR Connecticut Public Radio

"Kim Adrian Recommends" 
Poets & Writers
September 3, 2020 Online
Brookline Booksmith Reading

April 1, 2021 Online
Arlington Author Salon - "Books about Books"

manuscript consultations
I work with new and established writers of memoir, short fiction, creative nonfiction, and more adventurous forms of criticism.
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My feedback style is honest, thoughtful, constructive. But I don't pull any punches. In short, my consultations are most appreciated by writers committed to the revision process and the general development of their craft. My method is to read and reflect on the work, then respond with a 3-5 page letter addressing large scale issues such as plot or throughline, pacing, voice, use of imagery and dialogue, scene building, and overall structure. I also address sentence level issues (syntax, diction, prose rhythms, et cetera). Written feedback is generally followed by a voice or video call during which we review my suggestions and discuss strategies for revision. To inquire about a consultation, please email me with details of your project and thoughts about what you'd like to get out of our work together.
client testimonials
"Kim Adrian is a powerhouse! With a remarkable eye for everything from structure to the smallest detail, she meets you where you are and helps you realize the full potential of your project. I can’t recommend her more highly."
—Ann Tashi Slater, publications in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and elsewhere
"Kim’s consultation is unfailingly on point. Her close reading and honesty help me take my writing forward. When it comes to assessing voice, Kim has a golden ear. Her love of language and deep understanding of craft inform her valuable feedback."
—Judith Helfand, working on a memoir
"Kim Adrian is an unusually perceptive critic with a keen sensibility and rare gift for writing. Her reading of my first chapter made me feel she’d caught every nuance I’d put into the material, and even every intention. Her observations and advice—written as a short lyrical masterpiece on pertinent aspects of the craft of fiction writing—helped me enormously and stayed with me as I revised other chapters and also as I produced some new material."
—Anne Mackin, author of Americans and Their Land: the House Built on Abundance (University of Michigan Press), working on a novel
"Kim Adrian is the consummate professional. She somehow strikes just the right balance between being warm and truth-telling, a winning combination to move writing to the next level. She both provided specific feedback on my piece and talked about general craft points applicable to the work. This two-pronged approach makes her an extremely effective teacher, not something that many excellent writers can do. I would absolutely hire her again."
—Sheryl Boris-Schacter, working on a memoir
"Kim Adrian consulted with me on an early draft of my memoir. Her suggestions for revision were spot on; she helped me clarify the themes in my work and create a narrative path for readers. She identified passages that needed to be expanded into scenes and and also areas where the writing was unfocused. In both her written comments, and during our face to face meeting, Adrian was fully engaged with me and my work, and brought her intelligence and keen instincts, as well as warmth and humor to our conversations. I came away with a list of tasks that have been a road map for my current draft. Though Adrian was honest about the flaws in my work, I felt very encouraged by her response and returned to my writing with renewed sense of excitement."
—Suzanne Simmons, publications in The New York Times, Rattle, Baltimore Review, and elsewhere
Louise Catherine Breslau—A Group of Friends (detail), 1905
craft advice
Write On is a newsletter I originally created for my writing students, but anyone interested in looking at how good writing works is welcome to subscribe. It's free :)
view a sample

I don't have any events scheduled at the moment. Concentrating on new projects. Please check back later.
past events

February 9, 2023
Lily Pad Lounge, Cambridge MA
"Big Screen" viewing party for The Strange Child

September 29, 2022
Book Launch for the U.K. edition of Dear Knausgaard.

September 27, 2022
Wheaton College
Visiting Artist - Reading from The Twenty-Seventh Letter of the Alphabet and a lecture on writing about family trauma.

July 3, 2022
Oberpfälzer Künstlerhaus, Schwandorf, Germany
Creative Arts Residency Studio Open House. Reading from new work.

June 17 and 18, 2022
Kelly Strayhorn Theatre, Pittsburgh, PA
Premier of The Strange Child, a chamber opera with music by Julia Werntz and libretto by Kim Adrian

April 11, 2022
University of Hartford, CT
Cardin Reading Series — a reading from The Twenty-Seventh Letter of the Alphabet

October 2, 2021
Norfolk, CT
Haystack Book Festival - "The Hidden Lives of Ordinary Things"

June 10, 2021
Cambridge, MA
Boston LitCrawl - "The Art of (Writing About) Reading"

April 1, 2021
Arlington Author Salon - "Books about Books"

March 4, 2021
AWP Conference - "Close Readings: Experiments in Bibliomemoir"

September 3, 2020
Brookline Booksmith Reading from Dear Knausgaard

August 31, 2020
Essay Daily Salon - "Books About Books"

March 12, 2019
PageTurners Series - "Head to Toe" - Readings from Bloomsbury's Object Lessons Series

November 29, 2018
University of New Hampshire
Lecture and Reading from The Twenty-Seventh Letter of the Alphabet for UNH Writers' Series

November 4, 2018
Denver, CO
Counterpath Press Reading from The Twenty-Seventh Letter of the Alphabet

November 3, 2018
Phoenix, AZ
NonfictioNOW Conference - "Writing the Hermit Crab Essay"

October 30, 2018
San Francisco, CA
Green Apple Books Reading from The Twenty-Seventh Letter of the Alphabet

October 18, 2018
Shakespeare & Co. Reading from The Twenty-Seventh Letter of the Alphabet

October 2, 2018
Brookline Booksmith Reading from The Twenty-Seventh Letter of the Alphabet

June 2, 2017
Reykjavik, Iceland
NonfictioNOW Conference - “Microhistories: Writing Deeply About Narrow Subjects.”

April 29, 2016
The Muse and the Marketplace Writers' Conference - "The Lyric Essay"

April 16, 2016
Boston, MA
The Art of Life After Workshop Series - "Grounded Words: a Body-Centered Workshop for Survivors of Sexual Violence"

January 28, 2016
McNally Jackson Bookstore Object Lessons Reading, Sock

Demonstration against Hubert Humphrey, New York City,
October 9th, 1968 - David Fenton