Wednesday, November 28, 2012


I should say some basic things here.

My book of stories--IS THAT YOU, JOHN WAYNE?--is forthcoming from Queen's Ferry Press.

I've been working on these stories, and on this book, for a while. I'm all happy on it. It's better than I am. Lots better.

The individual stories range kind of wildly in length-- from 25 words to about 12,000. Most of the stories first appeared in journals: New Orleans Review, New Ohio Review, New York Tyrant, No Colony, Kenyon Review, Redivider, Carolina Quarterly and others.

The collection is lucky to have ended up w/ a great editor and advocate, Queen's Ferry's Erin Knowles McKnight. Am thrilled to be on the list there w/ some super-fine writers: Corey Mesler, Kristine Ong Muslim, Bayard Godsave, Michael Nye, Kevin Grauke, Elizabeth Frankie Rollins, Ethel Rohan, Phong Nguyen and others. The collection's also lucky to have found its way to cover designer Jason Hieronymus.

Okay. That's all for now.

Wait. Release date! (Spring 2013)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Goodbye, elimae

Some of you have heard that the current issue of elimae is the final one. I feel like we should be making more of this! elimae was a pioneer web journal—started up by Deron Bauman way back in ’96 (when most people still didn’t have email accounts, when you had wait long seconds for each web page to load). Under Bauman and subsequent editors (and super-fine writers) Cooper Renner, Kim Chinquee and Brandon Hobson, elimae specialized in a kind of fiction that was more or less disappearing in New York. Gordon Lish’s final year at Knopf was ’95, and New York was starting to narrow down to the two types of literary fiction it could hope to do profitably: moral entertainment and authorial spectacle. elimae did neither. Under Renner’s stewardship, the journal solidified its reputation for a distinctive sort of fiction—tight, minimal, sentence-aware, often very short (under three hundred words). As a reader, I didn’t always love everything I found in elimae, but I was always excited to read through the monthly issues. I always felt like an elimae story might find a way into me, changing my brain or the way I saw fiction or life on earth…

Monday, January 9, 2012

Laura Ellen Scott's DEATH WISHING

Still tying up loose ends from '11....

Death Wishing: a fave read of the year. Here's my Amazon take on it:

This is a good book in lots of ways—but one really basic one: when you set it down, after finishing a section, it’s going to call you back to it; and when it’s over, you’ll miss its people—maybe a lot. Scott’s narrator, Victor, is a piece of work. Lives with his kid, works for his kid in the back of his kid’s vintage clothing shop. As for which one of them is the more together individual, it’s kind of an open question. But he’s a wonderful narrator—really wonderful, with a touch that’s warm and amused, sometimes sardonic but never closed off. With Victor as narrator, Scott’s able to deliver some knock-out prose. And with Vic as our guide, Scott’s New Orleans becomes—for me, at least—something like a recurring dream: a twisted, innerly glowing place, one that follows a logic you don’t fully get but will recognize, still…..

Monday, January 2, 2012

Wigleaf 2011 (Props + Thanks)

Cezarija Abartis
Krammer Abrahams
Steve Almond
Kate Axelrod
Kyle Beachy
Lauren Becker
Lena Bertone
Michael Bible
Robert Bradley
Ryan W. Bradley
Craig Buchner
Amy Butcher
Kate Hill Cantrill
Brian Allen Carr
Doug Paul Case
Lucy Corin
Christy Crutchfield
Shome Dasgupta
Tim Dicks
Claire Donato
Trent England
Ashley Farmer
Michael Fischer
Kathy Fish
Jane Flett
Jen Gann
Rachel B. Glaser
Luke Goebel
Amanda Goldblatt
Carissa Halston
Casey Hannan
Kyle Hemmings
Frank Hinton
Jessica Hollander
Tim Horvath
Joanna Howard
Emily Howorth
Lindsay Hunter
Ashley Inguanta
Travis Kurowski
Catherine Lacey
Molly Laich
Suzanne Lamb
Jeff Landon
Catherine LaSota
Sean Lovelace
Ling Ma
Lacey Martinez
Tara Masih
Courtney Elizabeth Mauk
LaTanya McQueen
Rob Mentzer
Brian Mihok
Greg Mulcahy
Edward Mullany
Darlin Neal
James O'Brien
Brian Oliu
Ellen Orleans
David Peak
Adam Peterson
Jennifer Pieroni
Glen Pourciau
Sam Rasnake
Ryan Ridge
James Robison
Andrew Roe
Nicholas Rombes
Jim Ruland
Joanna Ruocco
Ann Rushton
Niloo E Sarabi
Ben Segal
Gregory Sherl
Curtis Smith
Lauren Spohrer
Angi Becker Stevens
Terese Svoboda
Robb Todd
J.A. Tyler
Valerie Vogrin
Chelsea Laine Wells
Bonnie ZoBell

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!