Bending Genres Issue 14

It’s such an interesting journey, living through these daunting times, and I’m buoyed by the creativity and impulses surrounding us. One friend mentioned he’s dipping back through the Twin Peaks series, another is watching the now most popular Netflix projects. I had the longest ZOOM workshop/stimulation/exchange with three of my dearest writer pals yesterday. It’s amazing what we can manifest. And this morning, I had a lovely message from a complete stranger who lives in Serbia: his mission is to send love, and eliminate fear, one person at a time.

Yesterday we reached another Bending Genres milestone: We launched our 14th issue: March/ April. We now have an incredible staff: for fiction we have Meg Tuite, David O’ Connor, and Len Kuntz. Reading poetry we have Samuel Fox, Davon Loeb and Sara Comito. We have added Corey Holzman to our CNF team. And Johnathan Cardew, recently returned from Cape Verde, will re-join Emily Bertholf on MicroViews. Also, thanks Adam Robinson for all that you do, and KJ for your behind the scenes support.

We also sold our 100th copy of the Bending Genres Anthology today, this tally is only from our website, not including the sales from our AWP20 launch in San Antonio.

Coming soon, we will have merchandise and our online store, including the Anthology, Bending Genres mugs (designed by Michael Seymour Blake), BG Journals (also MSB), pens, bookmarks and stickers (designed by MSB and Ron Kibble). Eventually we will have tee shirts (Ron Kibble Design) also.

And that, friends, is it for now. Be kind. Wave at a stranger. Be safe, keep distance. Send a loved one a kind note.

National Poetry Month 2020

Happy National Poetry Month! This year, to coincide with hunkering down at home, I decided to revamp my poem a day project on YouTube. I did this previously in 2013 and 2014. Every day, I select a poem with one self-imposed guideline… this year, I have read, or re-read each poem within the past twelve months. And so, each week, I will re-cap the poet, poem, book and link to my reading on Youtube.

On April 1st, I kicked off National Poetry Month with poet Molly Brodak, and her poem “Going Back to Sleep,” from her chapbook a little middle of the night (University of Iowa Press): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kq2uHJRXz44.

On April 2nd, I read Charles Jensen’s “H. Himbo” from Nanopedia (Tinderbox Editions): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55lgxUqLhwg.

On April 3rd, I read Katie Schmid’s “The Boys of Midwest 5” from her Split Lip chapbook, forget me hit let me drink great quantities of clear, evil liquor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0GbGrF0gqI.

On April 4th, I read Luke Johnson’s “Liner Notes to Benjamin” from :boys (Blue Horse Press): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYNNiB0KVjw.

On April 5th, I read Alina Stefanescu’s “But How Did He Look When You Told Him?” from stories to read aloud to your fetus (Finishing Line Press): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouMY5hhjGbE

Join me tomorrow when I will be kicking off an entirely new week with all new outstanding poets, poems of intrigue, hue and glow, and the alluring sounds, smells and tastes of a new dawn.

 

I'm Back!

We have some more exciting workshops to check out in our Bending Genres monthly weekend workshops, including Nancy Stohlman on August 23- 25; Robert Russell on September 20-22, and Steven Dunn on October 18-20. More information is available here:

https://bendinggenres.com/monthly-workshops/.

And on July 21-27, we will be back at Mabel Dodge Luhan House for our second Bending Genres retreat. There is more information about that here: http://retreat.bendinggenres.com. We’ve added our very first MIDWEST RETREAT for August 16- 22, 2020. More details are forthcoming! Needless to say, we are so excited.

And we will have our July/ August issue of Bending Genres available at the beginning of August. Some terrific writers are submitting, and we are still taking more fiction, poetry and CNF. Send us your best! www.bendinggenres.com

I hope your summer is rocking your world. Wasn’t it so great to see our Women’s Soccer USA team win the World Cup? Terrific for young girls and boys everywhere. For everyone, really.  ]]>

Oh! What a WEEK

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?  ]]>

New Publications

“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?]]>

This Writing Life

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?]]>

New Online workshops

  • Published ten solid issues of fiction, poetry, CNF, art, and VOICES
  • Our first Flash Fiction Contest with guest judge Kathy Fish; vetters Len Kuntz, Dianca Potts, and Nicholas Cook (winner was Quinn Madison)
  • Held three other postcard contests, (winners were Kara Vernor, Meghan Phillips, and Becky Robison)
  • Three readings at different venues in Milwaukee (with hosts Dora Diamond, Jonathan Cardew). Many of our magazine contributors read at these events.
  • Opened our new offices in Walkers Point, added our exceptional intern, Corey Holzman. Thanks, Ricco!
  • And to our amazing staff, some who remain, some who’ve moved on, I am eternally grateful: Meg Tuite, Chelsea Laine Wells, Jamal Parker, Caitlin Scarano, Samuel Fox, David O’Connor, Jessica Mehta, and Corey Holzman. Your hard work and editorial skills have made it the magazine for so many writers and diverse voices: over 30 different countries, a multitude of cultures represented, outstanding risk-taking writers.
  • In 2018, we will be launching our all new Bending Genres ONLINE WORKSHOPS!!! Beginning January 19-21, with Meg Tuite teaching Fast Flash Fiction: Close to the Edge. More information is here: http://boinkzine.com/january-fast-flash-fiction/. You can take this workshop from anyplace in the entire world! Don’t wait too long to nab your post, we are already filling up! Also we are adding to our current magazine staff: Fiction Editors Meg Tuite and David O’Connor; Poetry Editor Samuel Fox and our new Poetry editor Jessica Mehta; all new column curated by Jonathan Cardew called Microviews (might include reviews, interviews and more), and our inimitable intern, who does so much more than any intern, Corey Holzman. All this, and these are just a tip of the entire journey. I’m indebted, and so grateful to you all. Thanks for the amazing year. Sincerely, Robert Vaughan, Editor-in-Chief, Bending Genres]]>

    Synergia Ranch 2017

    We had 17 writers attend, some stayed the entire week, some commuted. It was a treat, the support flowed, and the powerful, astounding writing that all of the workshop participants conjured up was refreshing. Not to mention the lovely grounds, and sunrise/sunsets, fire pit, organic orchard, GeoDome, Dance Studio, and amazing restaurant/ food.   SAVE THESE DATES: Meg Tuite and I will be returning to Synergia Ranch for Bending Genres on April 27-May 3, 2018. We will have our website up and running very soon! In addition, we will be back in Taos, New Mexico on July 22-28, 2018 for Exploratory Fiction at Mabel Dodge Luhan House. Again, website forthcoming. Come one, come all. Let either Meg or me know if you have any questions, or plan to reserve for either week. WE BOTH HOPE SO!!! Big hugs, and warm wishes for a terrific, inspiring late summer/ autumn. More news forthcoming as we move ahead. Our September issue of (b)OINK published and is full of terrific fiction, poetry, CNF, and the VOICES column, dedicated to scatalogical issues this time around. www.boinkzine.com. What are you reading? I am almost through Maggie Nelson’s Bluets. Comments welcome!]]>

    August Recap

    FUNHOUSE had a mention in The New York Review of Books- The August 17th edition. Pinch me now!!! This is a pretty major accomplishment. They’d read my FUNHOUSE Kirkus Review and contacted me. FUNHOUSE is happy, and my family/ friends are happy. I am over the moon! Also, I recently read at Boswell Books with local writers, novelist Lee Kreckwell (The Expanse Between), poet Caitlin Scarano (Do Not Bring Him Water), and Chicago author Ben Tanzer (Be Cool– Essays/ Memoir). The evening was referred to as a mix of Micro, Poetry, Fiction and Memoir (a blend of genres): There was a nice write-up in our local Sheperd Express about the reading: http://shepherdexpress.com/article-30227-midwest-writers-gather-at-boswell-for-micro-memoir-poetry-prose.html And a couple of great things happened at (b)OINK, where I am the Managing Editor. First of all, we announced our nominees for Best of the Net. This was quite difficult because we were limited in terms of how many pieces, and so many terrific ones to select from. Please head over to (b)OINK and read these phenomenal nominations (www.boinkzine.com): And then, we announced the TOP 20 finalists in our very first Flash Fiction Contest. We had over 150 entries!!! And our vetters did a fantastic job: Len Kuntz, Dianca London, and Nicholas Cook. Then our guest judge, Kathy Fish, selected the top three winners- they will be announced on September 1st. Here are the top 20 stories, without the authors’ names: http://boinkzine.com/2017/08/25/boinks-flash-fiction-contest-top-20-finalists/ And finally, the Hurricane Harvey scared us so much, with precious family who live in the Corpus Christi area. Everyone is safe, and fortunately the rain damage is not over yet. Please think positive thoughts for all those in Hurricane Harvey’s plight. I leave on Tuesday for Bending Genres, a workshop at Synergia Ranch, outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico. I’m hosting with the kickass, and brilliant Meg Tuite. We have 17 writers aligned to arrive on Friday, September 1. I’m beyond thrilled and ready to have a stimulating and eye-opening week-long experience.    ]]>

    Summer is Here!

    FUNHOUSE had a very lovely KIRKUS review: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/robert-vaughan/funhousex/ I want to thank the editors at KIRKUS, and also all of your lovely compliments after reading the review. Also, at the international online magazine, Levure Litteraire, my dear friend Helene Cardona published three of my FUNHOUSE pieces: http://levurelitteraire.com/robert-vaughan/ Then, at the LOS ANGELES REVIEW OF BOOKS, there was a fine essay called Protean Miniatures: The Adaptability and Sustainability of Flash Fiction by Sean Hooks, in which he mentions RIFT, my last book with Kathy Fish (about halfway through the article). This was a shock, and a very pleasant one! https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/protean-miniatures-adaptability-sustainability-flash-fiction/ And many of you already know I am the Managing Editor at (b)OINK. Well, many things are happening with our magazine, including our Inaugural Flash Fiction Contest with guest judge Kathy Fish: https://boinkzine.submittable.com/submit/87025/boink-flash-fiction-contest-with-guest-judge-kathy-fish And we have a new (b)OINK poetry editor, Jamal, and an intern, Corey, as well as a new office in Walker’s Point, a diverse and fun neighborhood in Milwaukee. More new things forthcoming! Our first (b)OINK presents reading will be on Thursday, June 29th, at Sugar Maple in Bay View, WI. 7-9 p.m. Emceed by Dora Diamond. Surprises and gifts abound! I had the great fortune of attending Marjorie Pagel’s book launch (The Romance of Anna Smith and other stories) at Anodyne yesterday. I was so thrilled she had standing-room-only crowd and her book is available at Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Romance-Anna-Smith-Other-Stories/dp/1545412413/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1498235510&sr=8-1&keywords=Marjorie+Pagel. Enjoy summer. Read as much as possible. Looking for a workshop? Check this out: http://bendinggenres.com.  ]]>