The Kerouac Project


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JC Sevcik at the Kerouac House

JC Sevcik-vidDuring my time at the house I’ve been revising a memoir about my experience in the Troubled Teen Industry and working on a new manuscript which has me very excited—a book about how the science of sound can help affect social change. I’ve been warmly welcomed by the Orlando literary community to interviews, radio spots, and readings. I was on WPRK twice, once with Pat Greene on Rethink the City and once with Jared Silva and Ryan Rivas on Functionally Literate. I sat down to talk with John King for his literary podcast the Drunken Odyssey. I attended readings at the Winter Park Writers’ Conference and was honored to enjoy the company of my old friends and former instructors, Ilyse Kusnetz and Cate McGowan, at a dinner afterward where I was also honored to make the acquaintance of the poet Billy Collins. Tori Grahata and Susan Lilley invited me to attend Literary Death Match: Orlando, where Adrian Todd Zuniga hosted a mock competition among local talent and an entertaining evening engaging the written and spoken word was had by all.  I read my work at the Avalon Art Gallery in the reading series There Will Be Words, twice, sharing the stage with writers like Vanessa Blakeslee and Ashley Belanger. I had a short story published in the Orlando Weekly. Jesse Bradley and I hosted internet-famous poet and all around lovely human being Steve Rogenbuck for a fun and funny evening at the house. I’ve taught classes at Full Sail and a workshop at Valencia, and I expect to host a couple more salons before I depart as well. I’ve spent time with old friends in the area and made many new ones. I feel absolutely indebted to everyone involved in the Kerouac Project for the space this residency has given me to read, to write, to think, and to be. The atmosphere is utterly inspiring. The house has been everything I expected and some things I hadn’t. I am particularly in awe of how the Orlando Literary Community has blossomed. It’s so cool to see it burst and bloom. Don’t take it for granted, not for a moment, because it is a special thing you all have here in each other. So many kind and caring and considerate people who are passionate about literature and the craft of writing, all working together and supporting each other in fostering a literary ecosystem and a creative economy. The house is special, and the space it provides writers is sacred, but the holiest and most sacrosanct thing here isn’t this bright blue bungalow that may or may not contain ectomorphic energy left behind by one of America’s greatest writers—it is the community around it, the roots underneath it, the camaraderie behind it, the connection between all of you that creates a network strong enough to let an old oak surrounded by resurrection ferns and draped in Spanish moss rise high into a moonlit sky and soak up so much sun in the daylight. Roots are what let trees grow tall and not fall. The roots that grow underground are as big as the tree that you see. It’s because of your amazing community that the Orlando literary scene is thriving and so many of you have been able to rise so high and accomplish so much—from publishing to being published to running writing workshops and reading series and radio shows to offering a young nobody like me the time and space to create. All of it emerges up out of the ineffable intertwined underground connections you’ve forged to feed each other and this thing we call scene. I’m proud to have my roots here, among yours. Whatever you’ve made here, keep it going, to the benefit of all. My deepest gratitude and fondest wishes.