Katherine E. Standefer is creating nonfiction writing about the body, consent, & medical technology
16

patrons

$104
per month
TL;DR: You can honor the writing you love and help me make even better art by supporting me with a monthly Patreon pledge.

TL; DR, but I'll read a little:
A literary life is full of uncertainty. In the past, crowdfunding campaigns have helped not only make my writing life viable, but take it to the next level, supporting everything from international reporting to dedicated writing time. Now I'm reaching out to those who love my work to ask for a more ongoing investment that will allow me to not only pursue new writing projects & build new classes, but live a more sustainable personal life, one in which I know rent will be paid, can afford necessary healthcare, get to save for retirement, and can hire an assistant to manage some of my travel and marketing logistics. In exchange, you'll get a behind-the-curtains view of my wacky writing, research, and teaching life, along with other fabulous potential rewards like a yearly private reading at a venue of your choice.


The long essay version:

The first time I traveled to Sierra Leone, we rolled into remote, tiny villages in a bus with planks for seats, all of our butts bruised and jostling. Small mud houses with roofs of dried palm passed quickly on the roadsides. I was part of a sociology class on development, and we'd been told to bring used clothing folded into a suitcase, for gifts; we'd been told there would be singing, and a meeting with the elders. What I didn't expect was the way the musicians burst in front of the crowd, wearing suits too large for their bodies, dapper nonetheless--who sort of exploded all of our hearts. These men pulled out drums, hammered hard, and threw back their heads, so that everyone else could begin the dancing. And we danced, in that dust-road-pounding West African way, with fast feet and rumps thrust out quivering, our arms slicing the air.

It was the job of the musicians, I was told, to be musicians. That was their job. The community kept them on a retainer, of sorts; the community kept them, so that in these moments the music would be done right. The music was important, essential. The music was for everyone. Even in a place where the people struggled to eat, they needed music, and looked after their musicians. It was true that a swelling of joy pulsed among us, so long as we were dancing; the women locked eyes with me and hooted in glee when I thrust my own ass out as far as it could go and pumped. I was a bluegrass dancer, with quick feet, landed on the Atlantic edge of Africa. I was--arms slicing the air also--out of breath, in love.

I thought of Dante then, the Italian poet I'd studied as an undergraduate, who lived in the castle of a man named Cangrande. He, too, was a kept man. Cangrande fed him, and gave him a wing of the estate in Verona, and took him to parties to show him off: "My poet, Dante." Dante, of course, was miserable-- he'd been exiled from Florence, the city he loved, and his girl-obsession Beatrice was nowhere to be found, and his wife & children (perhaps because of said girl-obsession) had chosen not to go into exile after him. But the point was that he, too, was kept. 

What I mean to say is that as long as there has been art, it has been essential. As long as there have been artists, they have made our lives better, brought us a thrumming joy or focused for us the questions we are living. And as long as there have been artists, it has been worth it to keep them. A writer who has been given the gift of time, of extra support, is a writer who can better do her job. 

The writer on this page, of course, is me. I have been all my life a writer. I told my parents when I was seven that I would move to Wyoming and live in a cabin and write novels. Although I had to give up the cabin in Wyoming years ago (god help me, it will come back) and although I've since moved on to creative nonfiction, this vision has never wavered, even as I've played with other art forms and careers on the edges. In 2012, I left a promising career in public health to complete my MFA at the University of Arizona, aware that the life I had chosen was full of uncertainty and hubris. I couldn't have fully known what I was in for; perhaps if I had, I would have turned back. I only knew it was right. It has been six years now, and from those beginnings I am beginning to see a path opening for myself. My book is under contract and will be out next year; my essays are landing in good places. I have heard from so many people who care about the work that I am making; I have had extraordinary people walk into my classrooms, and blossom. 

This Patreon page exists to honor the real, hard work of being a writer in a society and system that undervalues them. Writing-- storytelling, art-- has never become less important to us, but it has become even less stable as a livelihood. For years I have cobbled together jobs, and hustled endlessly, to try to keep myself afloat. I have struggled to manage my heart condition, ADHD, and depression in the way they demand. I am proud of what I have built for myself, but I can acknowledge this: I still live an enormous uncertainty. At 33, I have never saved a cent for retirement. There is, always, important medical care that I either put off, or go into credit card debt accessing. My writing life requires research trips + conferences + residencies, and my teaching life involves investing in the fixed costs of a website + marketing materials + travel + space rental fees, and I can tell you that I hold my breath a lot of the time, as classes don't run or run underenrolled. I know that risk is what it takes to pull this life off, but I also know the ledger grows more and more lopsided.

And yet I do not doubt the worth of what I do, nor that it is the work I was born for. I am here to help shift the way we think about and relate to our bodies: personally, in the medical institution, in our sex culture. I am here to hook personal stories up to the larger questions we need. I am here to help people access their best selves through storytelling, becoming the most powerful voice they can be. If you believe in this vision, I ask that you join this beautiful crew of patrons. Give me the reassurance that I will be kept--that I can count on making the basics of my life happen. That I can, in the worst months, pay rent without a thought; that I can access healthcare, save for retirement, make larger student loan payments, hire an assistant to take off my plate the logistics that are not the best use of me, and, as a result, build the most beautiful and powerful art I can.

In return, I invite you into the wacky, absurd life of making art. Here I will share with you the crazy process of preparing to report from remote places, and the behind-the-scenes shit-shows of those places. Here I will offer you a glance at what I'm reading, where I'm traveling, how a writer's life gets hemmed together. It is a chaotic life, and an exciting life, something different than what many people live; an ex has told me he found me "endearingly sloppy," and I can't think of a better way to say it than that. Let's make each others' lives full of more life. 

We are on this planet to dance in the streets, people; I am grinning at you in my oversized suit.
Tiers
Team Sex & Death
$2 or more per month 4 patrons
Access to my behind-the-scenes feed, including reporting photos, artifacts of the young writer, journal excerpts, and occasional posts about the writing process. 
Agent of Disruption
$6 or more per month 5 patrons
· The above benefits, as well as

· Name in the acknowledgements of any book published with your support

`

Most Likely to Be Naked In the Desert
$10 or more per month 6 patrons
· The above benefits, as well as

· Exclusive rotating monthly surprises for the writing life, including reading recommendations, writing playlists, and live Q&As with Kati

`

My Sweet Sweet Lightning Flowers
$30 or more per month 0 patrons
· All the above benefits, as well as

· Signed book (one per release, anthologies included, forthcoming only (beginning August 2018))

`

"Supply Chains Are Sexy" Squad
$50 or more per month 0 of 10 patrons
· All the above benefits, as well as

· Personal postcards twice yearly from research sites, residencies, and/or readings

· Once yearly packet of gorgeous greeting cards with images from research sites

Kati for President, sort of
$100 or more per month 0 of 6 patrons
· All the above benefits, as well as

· Once yearly private dinner party & reading in your home (or other reasonable location)

TL;DR: You can honor the writing you love and help me make even better art by supporting me with a monthly Patreon pledge.

TL; DR, but I'll read a little:
A literary life is full of uncertainty. In the past, crowdfunding campaigns have helped not only make my writing life viable, but take it to the next level, supporting everything from international reporting to dedicated writing time. Now I'm reaching out to those who love my work to ask for a more ongoing investment that will allow me to not only pursue new writing projects & build new classes, but live a more sustainable personal life, one in which I know rent will be paid, can afford necessary healthcare, get to save for retirement, and can hire an assistant to manage some of my travel and marketing logistics. In exchange, you'll get a behind-the-curtains view of my wacky writing, research, and teaching life, along with other fabulous potential rewards like a yearly private reading at a venue of your choice.


The long essay version:

The first time I traveled to Sierra Leone, we rolled into remote, tiny villages in a bus with planks for seats, all of our butts bruised and jostling. Small mud houses with roofs of dried palm passed quickly on the roadsides. I was part of a sociology class on development, and we'd been told to bring used clothing folded into a suitcase, for gifts; we'd been told there would be singing, and a meeting with the elders. What I didn't expect was the way the musicians burst in front of the crowd, wearing suits too large for their bodies, dapper nonetheless--who sort of exploded all of our hearts. These men pulled out drums, hammered hard, and threw back their heads, so that everyone else could begin the dancing. And we danced, in that dust-road-pounding West African way, with fast feet and rumps thrust out quivering, our arms slicing the air.

It was the job of the musicians, I was told, to be musicians. That was their job. The community kept them on a retainer, of sorts; the community kept them, so that in these moments the music would be done right. The music was important, essential. The music was for everyone. Even in a place where the people struggled to eat, they needed music, and looked after their musicians. It was true that a swelling of joy pulsed among us, so long as we were dancing; the women locked eyes with me and hooted in glee when I thrust my own ass out as far as it could go and pumped. I was a bluegrass dancer, with quick feet, landed on the Atlantic edge of Africa. I was--arms slicing the air also--out of breath, in love.

I thought of Dante then, the Italian poet I'd studied as an undergraduate, who lived in the castle of a man named Cangrande. He, too, was a kept man. Cangrande fed him, and gave him a wing of the estate in Verona, and took him to parties to show him off: "My poet, Dante." Dante, of course, was miserable-- he'd been exiled from Florence, the city he loved, and his girl-obsession Beatrice was nowhere to be found, and his wife & children (perhaps because of said girl-obsession) had chosen not to go into exile after him. But the point was that he, too, was kept. 

What I mean to say is that as long as there has been art, it has been essential. As long as there have been artists, they have made our lives better, brought us a thrumming joy or focused for us the questions we are living. And as long as there have been artists, it has been worth it to keep them. A writer who has been given the gift of time, of extra support, is a writer who can better do her job. 

The writer on this page, of course, is me. I have been all my life a writer. I told my parents when I was seven that I would move to Wyoming and live in a cabin and write novels. Although I had to give up the cabin in Wyoming years ago (god help me, it will come back) and although I've since moved on to creative nonfiction, this vision has never wavered, even as I've played with other art forms and careers on the edges. In 2012, I left a promising career in public health to complete my MFA at the University of Arizona, aware that the life I had chosen was full of uncertainty and hubris. I couldn't have fully known what I was in for; perhaps if I had, I would have turned back. I only knew it was right. It has been six years now, and from those beginnings I am beginning to see a path opening for myself. My book is under contract and will be out next year; my essays are landing in good places. I have heard from so many people who care about the work that I am making; I have had extraordinary people walk into my classrooms, and blossom. 

This Patreon page exists to honor the real, hard work of being a writer in a society and system that undervalues them. Writing-- storytelling, art-- has never become less important to us, but it has become even less stable as a livelihood. For years I have cobbled together jobs, and hustled endlessly, to try to keep myself afloat. I have struggled to manage my heart condition, ADHD, and depression in the way they demand. I am proud of what I have built for myself, but I can acknowledge this: I still live an enormous uncertainty. At 33, I have never saved a cent for retirement. There is, always, important medical care that I either put off, or go into credit card debt accessing. My writing life requires research trips + conferences + residencies, and my teaching life involves investing in the fixed costs of a website + marketing materials + travel + space rental fees, and I can tell you that I hold my breath a lot of the time, as classes don't run or run underenrolled. I know that risk is what it takes to pull this life off, but I also know the ledger grows more and more lopsided.

And yet I do not doubt the worth of what I do, nor that it is the work I was born for. I am here to help shift the way we think about and relate to our bodies: personally, in the medical institution, in our sex culture. I am here to hook personal stories up to the larger questions we need. I am here to help people access their best selves through storytelling, becoming the most powerful voice they can be. If you believe in this vision, I ask that you join this beautiful crew of patrons. Give me the reassurance that I will be kept--that I can count on making the basics of my life happen. That I can, in the worst months, pay rent without a thought; that I can access healthcare, save for retirement, make larger student loan payments, hire an assistant to take off my plate the logistics that are not the best use of me, and, as a result, build the most beautiful and powerful art I can.

In return, I invite you into the wacky, absurd life of making art. Here I will share with you the crazy process of preparing to report from remote places, and the behind-the-scenes shit-shows of those places. Here I will offer you a glance at what I'm reading, where I'm traveling, how a writer's life gets hemmed together. It is a chaotic life, and an exciting life, something different than what many people live; an ex has told me he found me "endearingly sloppy," and I can't think of a better way to say it than that. Let's make each others' lives full of more life. 

We are on this planet to dance in the streets, people; I am grinning at you in my oversized suit.

Recent posts by Katherine E. Standefer

Tiers
Team Sex & Death
$2 or more per month 4 patrons
Access to my behind-the-scenes feed, including reporting photos, artifacts of the young writer, journal excerpts, and occasional posts about the writing process. 
Agent of Disruption
$6 or more per month 5 patrons
· The above benefits, as well as

· Name in the acknowledgements of any book published with your support

`

Most Likely to Be Naked In the Desert
$10 or more per month 6 patrons
· The above benefits, as well as

· Exclusive rotating monthly surprises for the writing life, including reading recommendations, writing playlists, and live Q&As with Kati

`

My Sweet Sweet Lightning Flowers
$30 or more per month 0 patrons
· All the above benefits, as well as

· Signed book (one per release, anthologies included, forthcoming only (beginning August 2018))

`

"Supply Chains Are Sexy" Squad
$50 or more per month 0 of 10 patrons
· All the above benefits, as well as

· Personal postcards twice yearly from research sites, residencies, and/or readings

· Once yearly packet of gorgeous greeting cards with images from research sites

Kati for President, sort of
$100 or more per month 0 of 6 patrons
· All the above benefits, as well as

· Once yearly private dinner party & reading in your home (or other reasonable location)