Madame Karamazov Presents :

The Fictions of Elizabeth Frankie Rollins

About Elizabeth Frankie Rollins


Madame Frankie Karamazov speaks: In the dream, I was a gypsy fortune-teller.  Actually, I was only the head of a gypsy fortune-teller, kept in a glass box at the seashore.  Stricken poets and tangled storytellers and other writers came to me at this box and pressed their notebooks against the salty, dim glass for me to read.  I read their work and with a grinding of gears, my plaster hands moved once up and down the dusty crystal ball, and with a high clack! a paper fortune shot out of a slot below.  These slips held prompts, texts, urgings, prescriptions, single words, conversations.  I stared through my painted eyes as the reader took up their fortune slip and read it greedily.  Sometimes they glanced back up at me, wide-souled.  Sometimes they merely turned and hurried away, tucking the slip into a raincoat’s pocket.  Either way, I, though only a head, felt complete.



Elizabeth Rollins has previously published work in Conjunctions, Drunken Boat, Green Mountains Review, The New England Review, Trickhouse, Tarpaulin Sky, Superstition Review, The Bellevue Literary Review, and elsewhere.  She is the author of The Sin Eater, Corvid Press, 2004.  She received a 2003 New Jersey Prose Fellowship, and a Special Mention in the 2007 Pushcart Prize Anthology.  She is a co-founder of the Corvid Writers and the Curiosity Symposium. Rollins has two novel manuscripts, Origin and Doctor Porchiat’s Dream.  Her debut collection of fiction, The Sin Eater and Other Stories, is published by Queen’s Ferry Press.

Raised in Virginia, Rollins began roaming in 1986, taking up residence in Maryland, Wyoming, North Carolina, and New Jersey.  After receiving her MFA in prose from Goddard College in Vermont in 2001 (where she joined the Corvid Writers group), Rollins taught an independent series of Curious Creative Writing workshops in South Jersey from 2001-2009, and was a teaching artist for the New Jersey Writer’s Project and Rutgers-Camden Visual Poetry Poetry Program, winning the 2007 NJ Governor’s medal for her work.  In August 2009, she moved to Tucson, Arizona with her husband, Ben Johnson, a fine arts painter. Since arriving in Tucson, Rollins has become Chairwoman of the Board of Directors for Casa Libre en la Solana (a non-profit writing and arts enclave), a mentor for Kore Press, an instructor for fiction workshops at the University of Arizona Poetry Center, and full-time faculty at Pima Community College.  A long-time ambassador for the arts, Rollins is responsible for succoring, illuminating, and helping to develop the creative lives of many souls.

In early 2006, Rollins had a dream where she was a gypsy fortune-telling head in a glass box at the seashore.  Empowered by this and her literal act of teaching in the real world, she started the Curiosity Symposium with Ben Johnson.  Shortly thereafter, she had another dream where she was a circus master holding a ring that revealed the great beyond; an utterly white and warm and loving space.  With these two revelations, she created a second self to be the fortune-telling ringmaster of her writing arts and Madame Frankie Karamazov was born.   Look for her publications under the name Elizabeth Frankie Rollins, but feel free to call her Frankie.


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