A Reading and Other Events

FBomb Flash Fiction Reading Series. Here is a wonderful photo of our host, Nancy Stohlman: unnamed-1   How fortunate for me that she seems happily engrossed in Addicts & Basements! The event is Tuesday, July 21st at The Mercury Cafe, 7:30 p.m. Other featured readers include Paul Beckman, Karen Stefano and Meg Tuite. Also reading are Kathy Fish, Sally Reno, Kona Morris, Rob Geisen, Jonathan Montgomery, Nick Morris and many more! PLEASE COME and join us!!! Also, I did a little sleuthing, and you can now get Addicts & Basements in the following countries: Paperback and Kindle: Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, and United Kingdom Kindle Only: Australia, Brazil, Spain, Japan and The Netherlands And, recently I participated in a chat with Karen Stefano, on her new podcast radio talk show, from Rare Bird Lit. Listen here as we discuss her fantastic book, THE SECRET GAMES OF WORDS and Addicts & Basements. Thanks for this opportunity, Karen: https://soundcloud.com/rarebirdlit/karen-stefano-with-robert-vaughan-final-01 I’m also going to be a reader/ presenter at the Small Press Festivus on August 1 & 2, 2015 in Hammond, Indiana. Save the dates… more information forthcoming! Happy Trails, everyone! What’s your summer reads so far?    ]]>

Room with a View: The Clearing, part 2

campusentrance1 Upon arriving at the Lodge, I was greeted warmly by Tammy, and shown my Loft room in the Professor’s Quarters building (same building, different entrances). Although the stairs to my room were possibly lethal, I had the best view on the planet! mainlodge The first morning, I had a taste of our entire week: five writers showed up to take the Mixing Genres course: Nancy, Pete, Jami, Siobhan, and Cate (would have been six, but one had a last minute family commitment). After a hearty breakfast, I worked my way through the woods to the Schoolhouse where we hosted the entire week of Mixing Genres in the Weaver Room: schoolhouse The workshop went great; here is a brief outline, some of what we covered: Monday: We opened with a quote by Steve Jobs. Talked elements of Poetry,  including poems by Marie Howe, Li-Young Lee, Stanley Kunitz, Dorianne Laux, David Wojnarwicz, and Ocean Vuong. We also tried a prompt called Making the Ordinary into the Extraordinary. And in the afternoon, we roundtable the new work. Handout from Ray Carver’s “On Writing.” Also, every day I met with one writer one-on-one so we could discuss whatever they desired. Tuesday: Discussed Mark Twain’s concept about Truth is Stranger than Fiction. Five Elements of a Story. “Read” by Kathy Fish, Russell Edson, Evelyn Hampton, Elizabeth Ellen, Len Kuntz, William Goyen, Brandi Wells, and returned to Kathy Fish. We did an in-house prompt on character, using photographs. In the afternoon, after a filling lunch, another roundtable. Wednesday: We chatted about the ever-evolving landscape of Memoir. Read and discussed Anais Nin’s prologue to House of Incest. Samuel Delaney, Lidia Yuknavitch, Kate Braverman, Mark Doty. Then we read the entire Yiyun Li’s “Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life”, published at A Public Space. We did another in-house writing prompt. And we round-tabled after lunch. Thursday: Biography: we read the forward of Shadows and Light, by Joni Mitchell’s biographer Karen O’ Brien, talked about D.T. Max’s Every Story is a Ghost Story: David Foster Wallace; Diane Arbus by Patricia Bosworth; Raymond Carver by Carol Sklenicka, and Cynthia Carr’s Fire in the Belly about David Wojnarowicz. 5 writing prompts on the board. Afternoon free. And so, I used the opportunity to do a couple of things I’d wanted to do: photos_labyrinthhomesteadmeadow I walked the entire labyrinth, and then soared through the breath-taking Homestead Meadow, following the footpath through deep woods to the Cliff House, Jens Jensen’s original private retreat: cliffhouse8 This is Jens, the founder of The Clearing, sitting on his Cliff House bed. I spent time inside of this small but incredibly special place on the campus. I really felt Jens’ presence more than once during the week, but no place more than here. Back in class, Friday, we discussed the essay, beginning with Bob Hicok’s “Prose Poem essay on the Prose Poem” which is the forward of the Rose Metal Press’s Field Guide to Prose Poetry. We also discussed Kate Zembrano, Ben Tanzer, Hilton Als, and Roxane Gay. We talked about all sorts of other things you might do with a writing career: radio, television, travel writing, literary journalism, plays, writers on craft (like Judy Bridges’ Shut Up and Write) We practiced our pieces for the Friday evening Camp night! Then we did one last exercise to honor one another and the great week we’d spent together. After Friday’s supper, all the workshops performed: first my writers read their original works, then a Jeopardy game by the Touring Door County group; the Wood Working workshop explained their shed they’d built, and finally the Novel Discussion group performed an impromptu performance. Afterwards we had refreshments and I joked “don’t drink the Kool-Aid!” When I returned to my sleeping quarters, there was a group of new friends drinking wine: Marilyn and John, Mary, Pat, Joan, Russ and Corky. A nice way to round out the week! What a wonderful week! Thanks Judy Bridges for this amazing opportunity. Thanks Mike Schneider, Kathy Swanson, Eric Rinkleff, Tammy Musiel, and Melinda Schaufer for not only making me feel welcome, but taking interest in what we are all there to accomplish. To everyone I met, and spoke with, laughed and cried, risked and debated: I cherish you. I will return.        ]]>

The Clearing

The Clearing Folk School::Classes. This idea came to me over the past few publications I’ve had, and reading reviews for Addicts & Basements. One of the repetitive comments is ‘I’m not sure if Vaughan is writing poetry? Or fiction? Or something in between!’ Clearly, I’m not sure either! And so, I began to dig around and investigate the actual “rules of genres” and how much current writing blurs the lines of (for instance) memoir and poetry, or fiction and essay, etc. Thus, the class. It’s a full week at camp, in some of the most luxurious environs. Just take a gander at those photos at their website. Here’s one of the building in which I’ll be staying: mainlodge I’ll return with plenty more. I want to thank Judy Bridges, my mentor and friend, for the suggestion. Also, the team at The Clearing, especially Mike and Kathy who are so pleasant and professional. And to you, writers who have registered: Let’s have a ball! See you in a week…take a risk! Do the unexpected.]]>

HOME

unnamedcropped-bud.jpgcropped-1477829_10152076445982472_727471328_n.jpgcropped-69495_10200388385650749_1199773541_n.jpg After the reading, a smaller group of about ten of us headed to a local watering hole in Brooklyn, and sat at outdoor picnic tables. I had a blast (reminiscing, mostly) with Cindy List, Valentin Ortolaza, Michael Thompson, Andrea Falkenstein, Gessy Alvarez (and her sister), Jamez Chang, Bud Smith, Rae (Spout) Buleri, Julie, Robb Todd and Emily, and Russell Dillon. What a cool mix of writers and artists: Andrea Cindy List and me, June 13, 2014   On Thursday, my pal David and I went to Jones Beach for the 1,000,000th time. It never gets old. Nor do we: cropped-tn.jpg IMG_0012 On Friday, we left for Omega Institute, where we made a detour for lunch and Bee Cake! Intoxicated by sugar: photo-15photo-16 Friday evening until Sunday I took a course called Spirit and Craft of Poetry with Richard Blanco. He is the fifth inaugural poet, Obama selected him for his 2012 inauguration where he read his poem, “For All of Us, One Today.” Richard Blancophoto-13   Richard is smart, insightful, sensitive, funny. He lead us mostly through workshop, each of the 25 poets chose one poem, and received feedback. The bulk of the weekend was taken up by this exercise. My pal, Michael Gillan Maxwell was there, and another writer Gloria who we’d both met at Omega in 2010 (another workshop, another time). We discussed some craft tools like Imagery and Figurative Language, Show Don’t Tell, Rhythm and Iambic Pentameter, and were guided to two writing exercises at night: Why I Write (prompted by Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones) and also My Obsessions. Both were very effective. And we read some excellent poems like “A Blessing,” by James Wright, “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke, and “One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop. My favorite moments of the workshop came at the very end. We witnessed Richard reading three of his monumental pieces: “Betting on America,” “Looking for the Gulf Motel,” and “For All of Us, One Today.” The return to the city was swift and fun. I was off to LaGuardia, David off to a life-altering surgery (he’s healing magnificently!) Then, home again, home again, jiggety jig: IMG_0007our-driveway-in-summer-2003.jpg What does HOME mean to you?]]>

Addicts & Basements at 2paragraphs

Amy King, Bud Smith, and Robert Vaughan Reading at Unnameable Books I’ve been inviting everyone I know (and their illegitimate cousins and poolboys), and imagine how honored I was when one Facebook invite responded with a possibility for Addicts & Basements to gain more exposure! Joseph Mackin runs a site called 2 paragraphs, and defines it as “Short. Smart. Shareable.” Basically, articles are compressed, wetting one’s thirst for the current sound-bite of news, culture, etc. If curious, please check out my Addicts & Basements publication at the site here: Addicts & Basements — by Robert Vaughan I hope to see you in NYC! Until then go get some vitamin D!  ]]>

AWP recap and more

Boswell Books with Gina Frangello We had a great turn-out, and thanks for all of my writing buddies from Red Oak Writers, as well as several local friends who made the event so meaningful to me. We sold every single copy of Addicts & Basements! And thanks Daniel, and Gina for making this possible: Welcome to Boswell Book Company’s website! | Boswell Book Company ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ I also read in four events at the Seattle AWP: Festival of Language Festival of Language, hosted by Jane Carmen. This is my third year reading in this event, always takes place the first night, Wednesday, of the conference, so it’s also a “reunion” of sorts. Robert Vaughan Hot Pillow On Friday, I read in two separate events: HEAT, hosted by Anna March and Laura Bogart (who was off-site with a broken ankle) and proceeds raised all went toward VIDA, a wonderful organization. That afternoon, I was interviewed by Literary Orphans editor Mike Joyce back at the Westin for an upcoming interview series in his stellar magazine. Then, this photo (above) was taken at the Hot Pillow event, hosted by Joani Reese, Jen Knox and Meg Tuite, at the Roosevelt Hotel. Left Bank Books Left Bank Books Seattle Saturday, I read at the venerable Left Bank Books, on Pike Street at the Public Market. This bookstore, with the legacy of hosting such luminaries as Bukowski,  Kerouac, and Grace Paley, was both a tremendous highlight of the conference, and also made me proud to represent my newest publisher, Civil Coping Mechanisms: Left Bank Books Overall, the AWP conference leaves one with a complex, mystical feeling; like yes, I belong in this sea of misfits, but also, everyone in the entire world is a writer! Get back to the notebook, head down, and plow through those empty pages. There is a very nice mention today at Indie Authors Network of my new book. Thanks Alan Kealey for this: New Indie Book Release: Addicts & Basements (Robert Vaughan) | Indie Author News And huge thanks to anyone who purchases, mentions (or intends to) Addicts & Basements!!! ]]>

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.    ]]>