Thursday, July 21, 2011

Bunch of Shit about Me Cause This Is My Blog about Me

Yesterday and the day before and the day before that I drove across Iowa. It's not that bad a state to drive across, if you stay off I-80 and I-35, which I did.

I read from the Gymnos @ Defunct Books in Iowa City Sat. Nite. Where was Barry G? I think Michigan. So I didn't finally get to meet Barry G. But the reading was great and it was good to hear and meet the others (readers): Charly Fasano, Becca Roberts, Amy Ganser and Jesus Angel Garcia.

My set list: Buffalo, Flagstaff, Asheville, Omaha, Albuquerque. (As an intro to that last one, I slipped in a Neil Young reference: something like, All I know about Albuquerque in real life is that they say Sante Fe is 90 miles away...)

David McNamara was there, and he verified that the snow of Buffalo is often a wet snow.

So that was the reading.

Also: new story at The Literarian: "Kiss of the Underachiever."

Also: me and Tim Horvath and others converse in Polish @ Minimal Books, thanks to the excellent Piotr Siwecki. ( Mine--"Kosciol"--was first seen as "Church" in Unsaid #4.)

Also: new story in Midwestern Gothic. When I heard there was a mag called Midwestern Gothic, I saw that I had no choice but to try to publish something there. This story, "Extravaganza," is set in the Twin Cities in the 90s, largely in St. Paul's Union Depot (which lets me pull in The Great Gatsby).

Also: Matt Bell gave my Redivider story, "Desultory," some nice consideration in one of his Short Story Month posts (This was late in the month, and I'd really enjoyed a number of the earlier ones, so seeing the "Desultory" post was super fun). Among other things, he gave some thought to the title and how it might be taken. Reading that part helped me expose for myself one interesting (and sort of wrong-headed) way I'd been thinking of the word: as being akin to the word "offertory" -- like they have in church.

That's two church references for this post. Three, if you count the words of the Flagstaff Gymnopédie.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Happenings in the House of Wigleaf

In his Foreword to this year’s Top 50, Ravi Mangla mentioned a few changes, which I’d like to highlight in this space.

First, I’ve stepped down as Series Editor for the Top 50. Among the factors in that decision (there are several): I’ve come to see that a formal separation between the editors of the Top 50 and the editors of Wigleaf proper can only enhance the status of our award annual.

Joining Ravi, who becomes Series Editor (three cheers!), are two new Associate Series Editors, Greg Gerke and Laura Ellen Scott. It’s fair to say that I’m ecstatic about having them with us.

Greg is the author of THERE’S SOMETHING WRONG WITH SVEN (BlazeVox), a collection of stories. He’s got fiction in or coming from Denver Quarterly, NOO Journal, Quarterly West, Puerto del Sol and lots of others.

Laura is the author of a forthcoming (and much anticipated!) novel, DEATH WISHING (IG), and a collection of shorts, CURIO (Uncanny Valley).

As writers, both Greg and Laura are great (objective fact), and in different ways they’re both inimitable (another objective fact). And as readers and people, they’re great too. Welcome, Greg and Laura!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Okay Other New Stuff

New CutBank. Sweet cover. Looks kind of New York Tyranty. Includes a short of mine, "Sixteenth Street."

Missed out on getting this @AWP: the new JMWW annual. Their '10 (awesome, w/ lots of writers I love) is documented. Includes--I think--the second of the two I pubbed there last year, "On the Bifurcation of Garments for Men."

And then Nicolle Elizabeth's supa gr8 diy zine, the 1 AM project. If you can't get hold of this--and getting hold of it will be tough--you can check it out in pdf thru NOO Journal. Includes another of my shorts, "Human Being."

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

AWP '11: Highlights and Regrets

Am still in recovery mode so I guess it's a good time to sloop back through stuff.

Will use the highlight/regret motif, see how that works...

Highlite: getting to see, on successive nights, Robert Lopez and Randall Brown read stuff from that great lost issue of Mississippi Review that Kim Chinquee edited.

Highlite: spending time w/ Ben Loory and Gabe Durham at/after the Thurs nite reading in Columbia Heights. Surefine human beings there, both.......

Regret: not getting to meet Cathy Day, who I saw at the Friday reading in Adams Morgan but couldn't get to before she left.

Highlite: getting to meet Steve Almond that same night and talking some Gary Lutz.

Highlight: huge flappy pizza w/ Lauren Becker in an overlit cubby of a place in Adams Morgan in the rain. And Tim Jones-Yelvington there, in black pumps, the full Tim J-Y splendor, saying, "I do not eat pizza." (that was a mishearing, it turns out, but Tim and I have agreed to let it stand).

Highlight: having Beth Thomas as a co-staggerer late late Thurs nite in Dupont Circle as we looked for our fancy hotel.

Regret: not meeting Terese Svoboda.

Regret: not meeting Mary Caponegro, who Greg Gerke was just about to introduce me to when I walked off.

Wandering around w/ Greg at the Book Fair, taking the slow ride of my hangover.

Highlight: talking w/ Erin Fitzgerald at the Black Cat about the deejay, who'd put on "Footloose." Our conclusion: not cool, never cool, never to be cool.....

Regret: not buying more books/mags when I was standing at the tables and had the chance.

Highlight: having the waitress @ Kramer Books ask me, when she realized I was at the conf, "Oh, what have you written!?" and being able to just pull out the AG's instead of stammering in my usual way.

Highlight: Getting to see Mary Hamilton read her Wigleaf story, "It Is True that Me and Theodore Swallowed Pop Rocks and Pepsi Cola and Now We Are Dead" (I told her afterwards, It's like I went to see Skynryd and they played "Freebird")

Highlight: Having Ryan Bradley as a tablemate at the bookfair. I wasn't there much because Wigleaf has no physical product, but people still came up looking for me, and Ryan didn't get too annoyed. Really enjoyed hanging w/ him when I was there: top notch man.

Regret: Attending two great readings and so missing two other great ones (particularly bummed not to have seen Divination at the 4 P's and Vermin on the Mount.

Regret: speaking of Vermin: not meeting Jim Ruland!

Highlight: meeting Mary Miller in a red hallway at Millie & Al's when we were both trashed (so I didn't have to worry about how trashed I'd been, later)

HIghlight: meeting Jurgen Fauth and talking to him and having the woman he'd been talking w/--a short woman in a dark coat--slowly turn around: Nicolle Elizabeth.

Regret: not meeting Dawn Raffel

Triple Highlight: texting Molly Gaudry from the too-loud/crowded Madam's Organ and having her call back to say she was across the street, and going over there and finally meeting her and then having her there for my reading Friday nite...... big hearts for MG...

Highlight: my reading Fri nite. Is that bad form, to have yr own reading be one of yr highlights? The thing: I hadn't read for a while, and I'd never read for a crowd like that, w/ so many people knowing my stuff..... Was super fun, and I feel good about how it worked out (I was going to read a passage from a novel in prog but let myself get pulled into going on w/ the AG's).

Highlight: Roxane Gay's line: "Facebook is in my face!"

Highlight: Smoking outside the Black Cat w/ a manic dude who turned out to be Corey Zeller, watching him propose switching lids w/ a third guy, and watching the third guy bristle and say, "No, no, it's my birthday."

Regret: saying a bunch of really stupid things to people, and having them say stupid things back.

Highlight: saying a bunch of really stupid things to people, and having them say stupid things back.

Highlight: getting to meet Myfanwy Collins and talk for a while. What an excellent person!

Highlight: Lily Hoang. That's it. Just Lily Hoang.

Another highlight: Matt Salesses. Just Matt Salesses.

Regret: not meeting Michael Martone (yes, Rob S told me to go that panel....)

Highlight: finally meeting Amber Sparks, after missing her for what seemed like the whole weekend.

Highlight: meeting Zach Dodson at the Featherproof/Make table, and having a guy on the Make side ask, "Are you Chris Garson's brother?" (turned out to be Joel Craig, who I'd met once half a lifetime ago--now poetry editor for Make)

Regrets: Not getting to talk more w/ all the very good people I met. Tim Horvath! Mitch Parker! Heather Fowler! Blake Butler! Rob Swartwood! Nicole Monaghan! Tara Laskowski! Mike Young! Randall Brown! Bess Winter! Jamie Iredell! Kirby Johnson! Glenn Shaheen! Brooks Sterritt! Luke Goebel! Jensen Beach! Jen Michalski! Dave Housley! Extie Ecks! David Erlewine! On and on........

Hightlight: Dinner w/ old friends and one new in Cleveland Park Sat. nite. Then debriefing w/ Laura Ellen Scott at her place in Northern Virginia.

Highlight: this exchange w/ a stewardess on the flight back:

me: I'll have--no. I'll just have a coke.

woman: what were you going to say?

me: I'll have a coke.

woman: no. say it.

me: it's fine.

woman: what were you going to say? tell me. I bet you'll be glad that you did.

me: did you say it was a 'cashless' bar?

woman: ah but i have these coupons! someone didn't want them up front. you could have one and be drinking for free.

me: then I'd love a Bloody Mary (translation: I love you very very much)

Highlight: Meeting and talking w/ Michael Nye on the shuttle ride home from the airport.

Regret: Being too whirled to mention--later, now--everybody I probably should mention here.

Regret: What yesterday was like.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New Ones

In the new issue of Carolina Quarterly, a longer story: "The Goth of SecurityOne Field." Other fiction there by Caitlin Horrocks and Samar Fitzgerald; thnx going out to Phil Sandick and Lindsay Starck at CQ, and also to Melissa Marconi, wherever she is, who gave me some feedback on a radically different first-version of this story in a coffee shop in Santa Clara.

And a 700-word piece, "Desultory," in the new Redivider, which also contains stuff by Randall Brown, John Oliver Hodges, Matthew Kirkpatrick and others. Brooks Sterritt helped w/ this one and so will get free beer if I run into him in DC.