Dragonfly Notes: On Distance and Loss, a memoir by Anne Panning (Philippines 1988-90) will be published in September 2018
When a seemingly routine medical procedure results in her mother’s premature death, Anne Panning is left reeling. In her first full-length memoir, the celebrated essayist draws on decades of memory and experience as she pieces together the hard truths about her own past and her mother’s.
We follow Panning’s winding path from rural Minnesota to the riverbanks of Vietnam’s Mekong Delta and all the way back again–a stark, poignant tale of two women deeply connected, yet somehow forever apart. Dragonfly Notes is a testament to the prevailing nature of love, whether in the form of a rediscovered note, a sudden moment of unexpected recall, or sometimes, simply, the sight a dragonfly flitting past.
Anne Panning (Philippines 1988-90) is a celebrated prose writer. Her second collection, Super America (University of Georgia Press, 2009) won the 2006 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and was selected as a New York Times Editor’s Choice. She is also the author of Butter (Northern Illinois University Press, 2012) and The Price of Eggs (Coffee House Press, 1992).
Her prose has appeared in The Kenyon Review, Brevity, Prairie Schooner, New Letters, Passages North, Black Warrior Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Quarterly West, Five Points and other, and four of her essays have been recognized in the The Best American Essays series. She has received The New York Foundation for the Arts Award, The Annie Dillard Award for Creative Nonfiction, the Passages North Creative Nonfiction Award, the Hackney Award for the Novel, the New Letters Literary Award, a Constance Saltonstall grant, and a residency at The Millay Colony for the Arts.
Originally from the small town of Arlington, Minnesota, Panning has traveled extensively, including to such places as Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, China, Singapore, Mexico, Jamaica, Turkey, England, Ireland, Montserrat and Iceland. After graduating from college, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer for two years in the Philippines, where she met her husband, Mark. In 1997, she relocated from Honolulu, Hawaii to Brockport, New York, where she currently teaches creative writing at State University of New York, Brockport and serves as Co-Director of The Brockport Writers Forum reading series. When she’s not reading or writing, Anne can be found shopping in thrift stores, riding her bike, taking long walks, listening to true crime podcasts, and planning her next travel adventures.
She is currently at work on her second memoir, Bootleg Barber Shop: A Daughter’s Story, about her late father, a barber and an addict.