For National Poetry Month, today I read Yusef Komunyakaa’s “Ode to the Maggot:”
National Poetry Month- April 23
For National Poetry Month, today I read Sean Shearer’s “Conor Oberst” from Red Lemons (University of Akron Press):
National Poetry Month- April 21
National Poetry Month- April 12
For National Poetry Month, today I read Donika Kelly’s “Love Poem: Centaur” from Bestiary, winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize (Graywolf Press):
National Poetry Month- April 11
For National Poetry Month I read Adam Clay’s “If I Could Write Small Enough, These Words would Fit on the Back of a Postcard” from To Make Room For The Sea (Milkweed Editions):
A Couple of Busy Weeks
Two weeks ago, from Wednesday, March 3 through Sunday, March 7, my company, Bending Genres was a sponsor of an event called @SMOLfair. It was complete great fortune that I came across this event online, in lieu of not attending my first AWP in ten years. Six writers got together (I knew 1/2 of them) and decided to host an alternative to AWP, even though both were to be held virtually. I reached out to Jason Teal, EIC of Heavy Feather Review on TW: “Is there still time to get Bending Genres involved?” Jason said, “SURE! Here is what you need to do,” and he put me in contact with Jesi Bender, EIC of whiskeytitbooks. She got immediately back to me, and Bending Genres was added to the virtual BookFair! Then, through several conversations with Meg, and Adam and many others on our team, we created a flyer:
And decided to host our very first Bending Genres reading, Friday, March 5 at 9:00 pm EST.
Dominique Christina was our featured reader. She transformed the entire zoom room of all 60 of us!!! DC read three fearless, gut-wrenching poems.
And Sara Lippmann pinch-hit well beyond the park, reading “Neighbors,” from her upcoming collection, JERKS.
Three fantastic bending poems were shared by Despy Boutris.
We also had four OPEN MIKE readers and all were exceptional: Kona Morris, Ben Woodard, David Byron Queen, and Rogan Kelly. OH WHAT A NIGHT!!!
In addition, we gave away Bending Genres merch: John Steines won a BG mug! Victoria Buitron won our BG journal, pen and bookmark! Yunya Yang won our BG Anthology! Brittany Terwilliger won our Ron Kibble tee! Jason Teal won our BG Logo tee! And our GRAND PRIZE was the winner gets to select his/her free Bending Genres weekend workshop. Amy Q. Scott took that prize.
I want to thank Meg Tuite for co-hosting, and helping to envision and make this event happen. Also, to the readers and guests who made that Friday reading so spectacular! And to SMOLfair for providing the backdrop and support.
Two more things: Bending Genres found out recently that Leah Christianson has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize for her “Strawberry Jackknife” which we published in Nov/Dec 2020, Issue 18: https://bendinggenres.com/strawberry-jackknife/ Huge Congratulations, Leah! We are rooting for you.
And on a personal note, on March 1, I sent my latest manuscript to a publisher. Fingers and toes crossed. It’s a good month. Hope yours has been the same.
Oh! What a WEEK
<![CDATA[Hi Friends, Our March/ April issue of Bending Genres online journal, ISSUE 8, published on Tuesday, April 9. Filled with amazing, diverse flash fiction, stunning poetry and brave, insightful creative non-fiction, we had more than 1,200 hits the first day we published! A new feat!!! Thanks to our BG editors Meg Tuite, Jessica Mehta, Samuel Fox, David O’Connor, Jonathan Cardew, Davon Loeb, Corey Holzman, Adam Robinson, and KJ. And also thanks to our writers, and those of you who tweeted, added your own or your favorite stories to FB, IG, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and more.
Also, this week, the stories in Best Small Fictions 2019 were announced. And my piece, “Six Glimpses of the Uncouth” was included with many stellar authors like Lydia Davis, Amelia Gray, Michael Martone, Kim Chinquee, Ann Beattie and SO many more. I’m truly honored to be included, my second time (I also had a piece selected in the 2016 BSF). I wanted to mention that the particular piece which was selected truly had some serious legs. Originally it appeared in Bud Smith’s anthology, Uno Kudo. He ran this project (2012-2015) with many friends including Aaron Dietz, Erin Parker, Erin McParland, and Chuck Howe (RIP). Then, it was picked up by Metazen, an online journal which mined GOLD in its heyday. Then it was selected to appear in my third book, Addicts & Basements. And finally, last November, it was published at Hobart Journal, with four of my other short fiction pieces. The theme here is never give up on your work!
And then, Nancy Stohlman, dear friend and terrific writer, interviewed me about my latest book, FUNHOUSE, in her series, So You Wrote A Book. She asked some terrific questions and I so appreciate her verve and support of fellow writers.
We still have some openings at Bending Genres for online workshops May 24- 26 with Kaj Tanaka; and June 14- 16 with Sabrina Orah Mark.
Also, consider joining us in Taos, New Mexico for our second week long writing retreat at Mabel Dodge Luhan House! July 21-27. Incredible vistas, inspiring daily writing talks, roundtables to receive and give feedback, gourmet food. Want to change your writing life? Talk about a busy week… and it snowed all day yesterday. What the latest with you? ]]>
<![CDATA[Hi Friends, I've had two pieces published in the past week or two. One of them is a triptych, a piece told in three separate, distinct or linked sections. Mine is called “Three Tide Pools,” and is published at New Flash Fiction Review, a terrific literary zine based in England. Thanks editor, Steven John, for this opportunity! The other piece, “Sirens,” was published at Eunoia Review, and I want to thank editor Ian Chung. He runs a very tight magazine, also online, and is very supportive of writers. Also I recently attended AWP19 in Portland. It blew my mind!!! My favorite city thus far (and this was my 10th AWP), and as always, a terrific way to experience a location, while catching up with so many of my writing tribe. I also had the opportunity to meet some of my writing idols, like Alina Stefanescu, among so many others. Bending Genres is now full for our Sara Lippmann “Mine What Matters” weekend workshop. Please consider joining us for Kaj Tanaka’s “Opening Up & Shutting Down- The Art of Beginning and Ending.” And Sabrina Orah Mark’s “Writing & Failure: On Disappointments, Shame, Failure and Getting Lost.” Also this Tuesday, Our March/ April Bending Genres issue will be live! Stay tuned for some great hybrid content!!! And Meg Tuite and I have some space available for our second summer writing retreat, July 21-27, at Mabel Dodge Luhan House in Taos, New Mexico: http://retreat.bendinggenres.com. And last, but certainly not least, Milwaukee lost one of our veteran, devoted, and passionate writers, editors and citizens this week. Philip Martin was a friend, a mentor, and a sweet, kind, generous soul. He also designed this website for my last update. I will miss him very much. I’m reading T. Kira Madden‘s Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls, on the heels of finishing a life-altering book, Edinburgh, by Alexander Chee. What are you reading? How was your AWP or how did you experience it online if not in-person?]]>
<![CDATA[Hi Friends, Last August, an incredible anthology called New Micros: Exceptionally Short Fiction, was published by W.W. Norton. This was expertly edited by Robert Scotellaro and James Thomas, and I was fortunate to have two of my pieces included, both formerly published in RIFT, my co-authored collection with Kathy Fish. Writer and Editor Tommy Dean is now conducting interviews about the craft, the construction, and ideas behind the pieces chosen for New Micros. I was so happy when he asked me to participate in his project, and our exchange was published at New Flash Fiction Review. Thanks, to everyone, for believing in my writing, both in the publishing realm, and in these kind editors like Tommy, who endlessly support writers and writing. Also, thanks to NFFR, who have a terrific team and publish innovative writing. Check out their journal and submit your best! In three short days, I head to Portland and AWP commences. I hope to see so many of you, my writing tribe. I’m both excited and terrified. And I have new Bending Genres postcards, thanks to Adam Robinson and his talents, so be forewarned. And last, here is a goofy office photo of me in rad shades. Future’s so bright?!! Happy Spring: ]]>
This Writing Life
<![CDATA[Hi Friends, I had a good writing week, as far as the usual week goes. I wrote every day, had my Friday Roundtable today (we missed you, Nancy BK! And Carol!) and after 14 years of leading that group, I almost always drive home in amazement of the work, the comments, and support. So grateful; I'm a lucky guy. I also had two acceptances (back in the Submission game!) and found out some exciting news about one of my pieces that was published at Hobart Journal last November. Bud Smith was the guest editor and he accepted 5 flash fictions, mostly all from journals that have gone out of publication. You can read them all here: http://www.hobartpulp.com/web_features/five-stories. I can’t share the “exciting news” part quite yet. Just know I am over-the-moon!!! Today was the beginning of Jonathan Cardew’s Ugly Real Beautiful: Let Your Characters Tell the Story. It’s our third Bending Genres weekend workshop of 2019, and all three (Meg Tuite in January; Alina Stefanescu in February) have been full so far. We only take 20 writers max, and our next opportunity, Sara Lippmann’s Mine What Matters, is more than half full already. So, don’t wait!!! More here: https://bendinggenres.com/monthly-workshops/. Today I also booked flights for Synergia Ranch, our first Bending Genres retreat on May 10-16. I am so excited for this! Also, we still have some openings for our second Bending Genres retreat at Mabel Dodge Luhan House in Taos, N.M. on July 21-27. Come write your heart out in the desert, eat gourmet food, laugh and dream with like-minded writers: http://retreat.bendinggenres.com And, I hope to see you in Portland at https://www.awpwriter.org, March 27- 31? I’ll be floating around the book fair needing a haircut, hiding in back booths at late- night readings, toasting friends like Bill Soldan, Karen Stefano, Len Kuntz, Jayne Martin and a plethora of other talents who have new books, or books being birthed soon. Please let me know if you have any signings or engagements. Happy writing! What are you reading lately?]]>