Readings Etc.

Microtones This was a reading for Red Oak Writers, hosted by our fearless director, Kim Suhr, soon after Microtones was published by Cervena Barva Press in 2012. Diptychs This was a reading in Chicago in early 2014 with Meg Tuite and David Tomaloff, hosted by Bill Yarrow. I’m reading from the newly published Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits (Deadly Chaps). My pal Meg’s entire family came (or nearly). It was a blast! A & B I think this was shot at the Seattle AWP#14. Addicts & Basements (Civil Coping Mechanisms) had just been released. Jane Carmen’s “Festival of Language” typically kicks off the AWP Conference with an ambitious line-up on Wednesday (opening day), 5-10 p.m. RIFT And last, but certainly not least, a RIFT (Unknown Press) photo! This was taken by uber-talented Nancy Stohlman at her F-BOMB Flash Fiction Showcase last July in Denver. I was able to read with Kathy Fish, co-author and celebrated writer. I recently returned from this year’s AWP Conference in Los Angeles. I had the opportunity to read in two different readings. The first, States of Terror’s “Creature Features” included many writers whose work I admire. One of them, Gabino Iglesias, wrote a stunning review of RIFT, and upon his return, published this great article about readings at Dead End Follies: http://www.deadendfollies.com/2016/04/essay-why-most-readings-suck-and-how-to.html I sure hope that Gabino was not referring to me! In any case, I took note, Gabino, and thanks for the succinct list. We have a few spots left for our August fiction workshop in Taos at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House, August 20-26. Please contact Kathy Fish or me. More info at www.kathy-fish.com. Also, please join us at the Marion Center tomorrow (Thursday, April 14th) night for our Red Oak reading, a mix of writers from several of our roundtables, to honor our years spent at this venerable institution. I will be reading, too! Pot luck starts at 5:30- 5:45 and reading begins at 6:30 p.m.]]>

2014 Reading list (and more)

Addicts & Basements, my first full length collection, and my third book. * I received my first Kirkus Review, among many fine, insightful, and supportive reviews. * I’m a Gertrude Stein Award finalist (second year in a row!!!) * There were over 20 different events in which I read, cities like Seattle, New York (twice), Madison, and Milwaukee. (The list continues with bookings in Santa Fe, Denver, and New York for 2015!) * I attended a weekend poetry workshop at Omega Institute with Richard Blanco (and my good friends Michael Gillan Maxwell and David Carter!) * I edited Bud Smith’s Everything Neon, his first stellar full-length poetry collection, from Marginalia Press. * Grateful for several journals, new to me, that published my work: Everyday Genius, theNewer York, and The Miscreant, among others. * Two nominations for the Pushcart Prize (added to two former): “Ten Notes to the Guy Studying Jujitsu” (Deadly Press): and “What He Left to Me” (The Miscreant). Thanks editors, Joseph Quintela, and Amanda Harris. * I’ve started new columns on my writer’s blog to add to HUMP DAY: “Two for Tuesday” and the new monthly book give-away! Both will continue in 2015. * Recently it was announced that I am one of four new deputy editors for Civil Coping Mechanisms: About CCM-Entropy | ENTROPY. I am truly excited about this opportunity, and look forward to working with new authors. Thanks, CCM Editor-in-chief, Michael Seidlinger. My Reading List from 2014– (starred books I recommend (*) You Sang it Back to Me– Amanda Deo (poetry) Calendar of Regrets– Lance Olsen * My Ghost in the Bush of Lies- Paul Wessels Frantic Transmissions to and from Los Angeles– Kate Braverman (memoir) * White Girls– Hilton Als * Cunt Norton– Dodie Bellamy Dreaming My Animal Selves– Helene Cardona (poetry) The Physics of Imaginary Objects– Tina May Hall (flash fiction) Watering Heaven by Peter Tieryas- Liu (short stories) Beautiful Ruins– Jess Walter Murmuration– Ryan Warner (chapbook) I Am Not a Pioneer– Adam Fell (poetry) Call Me Burroughs, A Life– Barry Miles (biography) Antidotes for an Alibi– Amy King (poetry) A Life in Men– Gina Frangello Vow– Kristina Marie Darling (kindle- poetry) Masters of Sex– Thomas Maier (biography) Twilight of the Superheroes– Deborah Eisenberg (kindle- poetry) Zoom- Zoom Room– Penny Goring (poetry) The Isle of Youth– Laura Vandenberg (stories) * The Dark Sunshine– Len Kuntz (stories) * Tollbooth– Bud Smith * The Motion of Light in Water– Samuel R. Delany (memoir) * Girls Standing on Lawns– Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman Misadventure– Nicholas Grider (short stories) Family Trouble– Joy Castro (memoir anthology) * Everything Neon– Bud Smith (poetry) * I Want to Make You Safe– Amy King (poetry) Kill Marguerite.- Megan Milks (short stories) * Stories I Only Tell My Friends– Rob Lowe (auto-biography) Holding on Upside Down: Marianne Moore– Linda Leavell (biography) Shotgun Lovesongs– Nicholas Butler (fiction) e.e.cummings: a life– Susan Cheever (biography) Stone Bride Madrigals– Nicolette Wong (poetry chap) Hello, The Roses– Mei- mei Berssenbruegger (poetry) The Poetics of Space– Gaston Bachelard * The Mourning Diary– Roland Barthes Blood a Cold Blue– James Claffey (short stories) * Balefire– Shann Ray (poetry) Black Cloud– Juliet Escoria * Steal Me For Your Stories– Robb Todd (flash/ short stories) * I’m Not Saying, I’m Just Saying– Matthew Salesses (flash novel) * The Great Floodgates of the Wonderworld– Justin Hocking (memoir) * The Mere Weight of Words– Carissa Halston (novella) flatscreen– Adam Wilson Tap- Root– Indigo Moor (poetry) Babel– Patti Smith (poetry) * Looking For the Gulf Motel– Richard Blanco (poetry) Deep Ellum- Brandon Hobson * Spent– Antonia Crane (memoir) Let Me See It– James Magruder Burnings– Ocean Vuong (poetry) * Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Prose Poetry (re-read) Letters To A Young Poet– Rainer Maria Rilke (re-read) A Season in Hell and The Drunken Boat– Arthur Rimaud (poetry) An Untamed State- Roxane Gay flatscreen– Adam Wilson F- 250– Bud Smith David and Goliath– Malcolm Gladwell (essays) The Sky Conducting– Michael Seidlinger (kindle) * ghostbread– Sonja Livingston (memoir) * The Mustache He’s Always Wanted But Could Never Grow– Brian Alan Ellis (stories) * Bad Feminist– Roxane Gay (essays) * Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Prose Poetry (essay/ poetry) Ariel: The Restored Edition- Sylvia Plath (poetry) * Excavation– Wendy C. Ortiz (memoir) * The Fun We’ve Had– Michael Seidlinger * Lost in Space– Ben Tanzer (essay) * Forest of Fortune– Jim Ruland * What the Light Reveals– Rachel Heimowitz (poetry) * You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know– John Bradley (poetry) American Prometheus– Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin (biography) Sentence #10– ed. by Brian Clements (prose poetry anthology) Like a Beggar– Ellen Bass (poetry) * Tender Buttons– Gertrude Stein Preparation for the Next Life– Atticus Lish * The Doll Palace– Sara Lippmann (stories) * BOMB: The Interviews– ed. Betsy Sussler * nagging wives, foolish husbands– Nate Tower (short stories) * Calenday– Lauren Haldeman (poetry) * Our Secret Life in the Movies– Michael McGriff and J.M. Tyree Clotheslines– Mathieu Cailler (poetry chapbook) * The Inevitable June– Bob Schofield * Paul Chan Selected Writings 2000- 2014, ed. by George Baker and Eric Banks UnAmerica- Momus (a/k/a Nick Currie) Fourteen Stories: None of Them Are Yours by Luke Goebel * As you can see, indicated by how many stars, this was an incredible year for books. Here are my favorites by category: Fiction: three way tie- Forest of Fortune– Jim Ruland; Preparation for the Next Life– Attticus Lish; Fourteen Stories, None of Them are Yours– Luke B. Goebel Short Story: two way tie- Doll Palace Stories– Sara Lippmann; Dark Sunshine– Len Kuntz Poetry: Like a Beggar– Ellen Bass Memoir: two-way tie- ghostbread– Sonja Livingston; Excavation– Wendy C. Ortiz Essay: Bad Feminist– Roxane Gay Hybrid: two way tie- I’m Not Saying, I’m Just Saying– Matthew Salesses; Black Cloud– Juliet Escoria And that’s it! Not sure I can choose a best book, but so many great reads. How about you? Did you read any amazing books this year? Please do share them in comments! I’m always looking to buy. Thanks for another amazing year.      ]]>

Three for Tuesday: Bill Yarrow, Darryl Price and Alex Pruteanu

TWO FOR TUESDAY- BILL YARROW Seven Dada Manifestos- Tristan Tzara Picasso said his art was “a sum of destructions.” I love that phrase for the way it cracks opens up a world we think we know. Some of my favorite reading is S.O.D. literature—think Tristram Shandy, Jacques the Fatalist and his Master, The Marriage and Heaven and Hell, Crotchet Castle, Max Havelaar, The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas, Ulysses, Tropic of Cancer, How It Is, The Innerworld of the Outerworld of the Innerworld, Flaubert’s Parrot…. So my first choice for Robert’s blog this week is Tristram Tzara’s “Seven Dada Manifestos,” a fabulous work difficult to find. I first came across it in Robert Motherwell’s outstanding anthology The Dada Painters and Poets and I still remember how shaken with excitement I was after I read it. It is to poetry what stock is to soup. Fun, experimental, shocking, unsettling, unreasonable, innovative, suggestive, and cleansing . Or, as Tzara explains, “A manifesto is a communication made to the whole world, whose only pretensions is to the discovery of an instant cure for political, astronomical, artistic, parliamentary, agronomical and literary syphilis.” I love explication, exegesis—the art of making things clear. Brown’s Life Against Death, Herrnstein Smith’s Poetic Closure, Frye’s Anatomy of Criticism, Booth’s The Rhetoric of Fiction, Hirsch’s Validity in Interpretation, Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, Sacks’ Musicophilia, Grandin’s Animals in Translation, among others, have opened my eyes. For me, education is about making connections, so works that help me make connections are the works I most revere. http://www.amazon.com/Seven-Dada-Manifestos-Tristan-Tzara/dp/B0037VIAP6/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1416673075&sr=8-4&keywords=Tristan+Tzara+Seven+Dada+Manifestos Paperback: Riverrun (1981) Tristan Tsara Understanding Comics- Scott McCloud My second choice is Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics (with his Making Comics a close second). This is a book about comic books in the form of a comic book, but it is so much more. You want to read the best book on comic art? This is it. You want to read the best book on art in general? This is it. You want to read the best book on the nature and potential of film? This is it. You want to read the best book on how to write fiction? How to write poetry? This is it. A book in which manifold connections abound and explode. ESSENTIAL reading. http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Comics-Invisible-Scott-McCloud/dp/006097625X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1416673203&sr=8-1&keywords=scott+mccloud+understanding+comics Paperback: 224 pages (William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition April 27, 1994) Scott McCloud Bill’s Bio: Bill Yarrow is the author of The Lice of Christ (MadHat Press, 2014), Incompetent Translations and Inept Haiku (Červená Barva Press, 2013) and Pointed Sentences (BlazeVOX, 2012). His poems have appeared in many print and online magazines including Poetry International, RHINO, Contrary, DIAGRAM, Gargoyle, and PANK. ******************************************************************************** TWO FOR TUESDAY: DARRYL PRICE Colorless Tsuruku and His Years of Pilgrimage- Haruki Murakami The best book I have had the immense pleasure of reading recently, and one of the best books I have ever read in my entire life, is the new Haruki Murakami novel called, Colorless Tsukuru and His Years of Pilgrimage. Murakami elevates this profound work of literature into the rarefied realm of true and beautiful works of art. It is brilliant. It is at once a fascinating, interesting and moving story, but beyond that it is an experience that reverberates deeply into both your heart and mind always. A masterful work of word genius on every level. http://www.amazon.com/Colorless-Tsukuru-Tazaki-Years-Pilgrimage/dp/0385352107/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1416352390&sr=8-1&keywords=colorless+tsukuru+tazaki+and+his+years+of+pilgrimage Paperback (Kindle, Hardcover): 400 pages (Knopf, August 12, 2014) Murakami   Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years- Volume 1- Mark Lewinsohn The other book I’d like to make your readers aware of is Mark Lewisohn’s terrific new book on the Beatles, simply called Tune In–All these Years-Volume 1. It is simply the best book out there about the Beatles written to date, and by that I mean it has the most accurate information available in it. It is beautifully told and written and deeply researched. There are so many boxes of books about this band that a book should be written on all the glut of books, the good, the bad and the ugly. But to get back to the point, this particular book does what so many other books and authors have failed to do, that is to talk about the music, and to make that the centerpiece of any conversation first. So many of the other books leave out the fact of the music or just gloss over it in an offhand kind of way. This of course is highly insulting to the band, its fans and to readers of every stripe. We would not be having a conversation about the Beatles still if the music didn’t warrant it. In so many of the older books they are so very quick to point out how humanly fallible the four Beatles were, but then fail to mention, oh yeah, and while this or that thing was happening to them in their lives they just happened to write a few masterpieces to go along with it all–which the whole world seemed to embrace to such a degree that it (their songs, their music) became a part of everyone’s daily approach to life. Beatle music sound-tracked us (those who were there) as we all grew and changed- for decades at a time. So I was happy to discover that Mark’s approach was all about getting the facts right, and inserting the musical main reasons that these facts are even worth being told again now. Can’t wait for Volume Two! http://www.amazon.com/Tune-Beatles-All-These-Years/dp/1400083052/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1416424214&sr=8-1&keywords=Mark+Lewinson Paperback: 944 pages (Crown Archetype: First U.S. Edition- Oct. 29, 2013) The Beatles Darryl’s Bio: Darryl Price has published dozens of chapbooks, and his poems have appeared in many journals. ******************************************************************************** TWO FOR TUESDAY: ALEX PRUTEANU Gravity’s Rainbow- Thomas Pinchon This is the most difficult book I’ve read in my life. Pynchon’s heavy work here is also the most polarizing I’ve ever known a book to be. People either give him up within the first 30 pages, labeling him a hack/lunatic/incomprehensible scheister, or work through the novel (like me) and are rewarded along the 800-page life-changing saga with the most remarkable and complex set of ideas, digressions, characters, and narrative ever they’ve come upon. I hesitate to even call this a novel. It is…at times an advanced course in engineering, propulsion, guidance, and physics. It is a slapstick silent comedy film along the lines of Buster Keaton’s or Harold Lloyd’s work. It is a philosophical meditation on humanity and war, a rhyming, naughty limerick, a drug-fueled hallucination marked by outrageous acts such as coprophagia and an unforgettable trip via a filthy toilet into the sewage pipes long before Trainspotting stole the idea outright and brought it to a new generation of readers. Listen, Pynchon was “edgy” a good 27 years before Irvine Welsh and Danny Boyle impressed you. Gravity’s Rainbow is a profound, brilliant, immense journey transgressing boundaries between high and low culture, literary propriety and profanity, and between hard science and metaphysics. This book was so important to me and affected me in such a heavy, great fashion that during the two months I read this work, I rearranged my daily life in order that I could come home and engage myself in Pynchon’s world. There were many times when ordinary details and daily chores were neglected in favour of reading this brilliant work. When I finished, I came away not only an inspired writer but a more complete (if astounded) human being. Amazon.com: Gravity’s Rainbow (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) (9780143039945): Thomas Pynchon, Frank Miller: Books Paperback, 776 pages; Penguin Classics, Deluxe Edition (Oct. 31, 2006) Pynchon 2666- Roberto Bolano Bolano’s imagination has always reminded me of our quickly ever-expanding universe. There are no limits to what this great writer can conjure, no boundaries—physical or metaphorical. This massive, posthumously released work redefines the idea of The Novel and its form. In his usual, self-interrogating way, Bolano’s 2666 is an ambitious, landmark master statement to, for, and on humanity. The novel consists of five sections, each with an autonomous life and form. These five long sequences—each a book’s length in itself—interlock to form an astonishing whole, in the same manner that fruits, vegetables, meats, flowers, and books connect in the amazing paintings of Giuseppe Arcimboldo to form a human face. “The Part About the Crimes” (pt. 4) is a massive display of genial, blunt power of documentary compilation. It’s grinding. It’s crushing. It’s harrowing. And it’s pure and beautiful. After nearly 300 pages of brutal, lyrical, poetic gravity in this section, the reader is rewarded with the oasis-like final part. I felt a sort of physical lift reading part 5…something I’ve only felt once in my life, in a state of trance almost, while listening for the first time to John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme.” With this novel, Bolano has proven what literature can do, how much it can discover, and how purely it can indict our often disastrous, violent footprint left on this world. In fact, Bolano has proven it can do anything, including giving a name to the un-nameable, un-speakable, transgressive acts committed by human beings. 2666: A Novel: Roberto Bolaño, Natasha Wimmer: 9780312429218: Amazon.com: Books Paperback, 912 pages, Picador; reprint edition (Sept. 1, 2009) Bolano Alex’s Bio:  Alex is author of novella Short Lean Cuts: Alex M. Pruteanuavailable at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s Books, and So & So Books (Raleigh, NC). He is also author of Gears, a collection of stories from Independent Talent Group, Inc. (Gears: A Collection: Alex M. Pruteanu). He has published fiction in NY Arts Magazine, Guernica Magazine, [PANK], Specter Literary Magazine, and others. He recently finished his first novel, The Sun Eaters. ******************************************************************************** There are two books I read during Thanksgiving week, and really enjoyed both. One is Lauren Haldeman’s Calenday (poetry). I had the great fortune of reading with Lauren in the recent MONSTERS of Poetry event in Madison. The other book is Our Secret Life in the Movies by Michael McGriff and J.M. Tyree (stories). What did you read Thanksgiving week? What are you reading now? Both of these books, and being with so much family made me feel extremely grateful for everyone who is in my life. So, thanks! HaldemanOur Secret Life in the Movies]]>

Writers Round-Up: How to Organize a Fiction Collection

Writers Round-Up: How to Organize a Fiction Collection, Part 1 « Flash Fiction Chronicles Also, I’m teaching a workshop for Red Oak Writing on April 26th, (9:30- 12 noon) called Publishing Your First (or Next) Collection. Here is the course description: Publishing Your First (or Next) Collection « Red Oak Writing.    ]]>

Four Myths at In Between Altered States; Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough at Awkword Paper Cuts

In Between Altered States | Flash Fiction that crosses dimensions Thanks, Aleathia, for publishing some of my most consistently stranger fiction! I truly appreciate the chance to stretch my own boundaries, and experiment fully. Also, at Awkword Paper Cuts, my non-fiction piece, “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” is included in Michelle Elvy’s Writers On Writing column. I was so happy when Michelle asked me to contribute a piece for the theme: ‘Rhythm, Breath, Dance.’ The multitude of different ways a topic like rhythm might be explored is staggering. I’m also honored to have my work appear with Nuala Ni Chonchuir from Ireland, and Tim Heath from New Zealand: December 2013 – Rhythm, Breath, Dance – by Michelle Elvy – Awkword Paper Cut Thanks Michelle, for your tremendous support, and all the instrumental editing suggestions, and also to Michael Dickes, editor at large of Awkword Paper Cuts for making this happen.]]>

Essay: Searching for the Solid

The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review » ESSAYS | Searching for the Solid I feel as this is an ongoing motif in my writing, a search, in some sense, toward or away from, something. After all, language is always a traveling between the obvious and the obtuse. And the point of a poem, or an essay, for that matter, is to pose questions, not answer them. I hope you enjoy! Also, if it is of interest to you, “Ten Notes to the Guy Studying Jujitsu” will be among the thirty pieces of mine collected in my forthcoming chapbook from Deadly Chaps, Diptychs, Triptychs, Lipsticks and Dipshits. Information will soon be available about how to purchase this. Thanks to editor Rae Bryant for the idea of this “essays” series, and to Vipra Ghimire, Assistant Non-Fiction Editor, for her great editorial guidance.  ]]>