Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Lamination Colony: Spring 09: Guest Edited by Michael Kimball

The Spring 09 issue of Lamination Colony is live. I've been looking forward to this issue. Michael Kimball has delivered an issue stuffed with over 60 pieces by 38 writers. Exceptional design work by Blake Butler, as usual.

Here's what Kimball had to say about the issue:

I guest edited Blake Butler’s Lamination Colony and the issue looks amazing. Blake asked me what I wanted it to look like and then he made it look like that. It’s all different-colored boxes that you have to scroll over until a name pops up and then you click on that some-colored box and there is something for you to love there.

Contributors include: Kim Chinquee, Adam Robinson, Ben Mirov, DS White, Matthew Salesses, Blaster Al Ackerman, M.T. Fallon, Adam Good, Stephanie Barber, J.A. Tyler, Catherine Moran, Cooper Renner, Luca Dipierro, Amanda Raczkowski, Rupert Wondolowski, Whitney Woolf, Lauren Becker, Michael Bible, Robert Swartwood, Darcelle Bleau, Robert Bradley, Jamie Gaughran-Perez, Aimee Lynn-Hirschowitz, Shane Jones, Conor Madigan, Krammer Abrahams, Shatera Davenport, Jordan Sanderson, Stacie Leatherman, Josh Maday, Joseph Young, Jason Jones, Gena Mohwish, Jen Michalski, Aby Kaupang, Jac Jemc, Karen Lillis, and Justin Sirois.

My pieces in the issue, "Ashes to Undermine the Smell" and "[Night]", are two excerpts from my novella-in-progress. Here is the opening of "Ashes . . .":

Father is draped over the windows: what is left of him, dried and stiff and burgundy-brown: somewhat wrinkled and dirty, bleeding and caked with soul.

No, this was an accident. It should be soil. Soil, parched and small and something to be washed away at night. Just soil.

I'm honored to have my work alongside that of so many talented writers.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Molly Gaudry's WE TAKE ME APART

Here is an excerpt of Molly Gaudry's novel(la) we take me apart, forthcoming from ML Press (free for six-month subscribers). It appears to be maybe the dissection of a young woman's mind, where language spawns chains of images and feelings that accumulate with the movement of the text. I like the way the piece lives in the borderland between prose and poetry, which serves the stream-of-consciousness-ness of it well. Gaudry makes good use of repetition and makes poetic use of technical language blended into the text. I'm excited to read the rest.

Friday, March 20, 2009

FC2 podcast with Brian Evenson

Excellent. Listen to twenty-four minutes of a genius talk about the 'state of literature/publishing,' small presses, the book as object, etc. Brian Evenson podcast.

Publishing Genius: Colorless Green Ideas Sleep Furiously by Christopher Higgs: New: This PDF Chapbook:

I've been waiting for this particular TPC for months, and finally

I felt this this

or something like it

and something different

a cell phone conversation
poor connection/reception
static replaces every third word
struggle onward to the end instead of hanging up
feel the brain try to (re)build (re)construct (re)arrange
scrambling bits and orders and pieces
Wait, was it you who was telling me?
static becomes word becomes
feel the brain strain and meaning for struggle
feel Broca's area fold into itself

Read Colorless Green Ideas Sleep Furiously by Christopher Higgs

Thursday, March 19, 2009

New Work Forthcoming from ML Press

The line up for the next 18-volume batch of MLP chapbooks has been announced. The volumes run from 7.15.09 to 12.15.09 and go like so:

elizabeth ellen : A THOUSAND & ONE OTHERS, YES
kevin wilson : SO DARK IN THE WOLF’S MAW
mary hamilton : FROM THE HIP
kendra grant malone : RAPE CHILDREN
lily hoang : THE MOCKERY OF A CAT
amy guth : (TBD)
eugene lim : AND THEN SHE WAKES UP
c.l. bledsoe : TEXAS
joanna ruocco : THE BAKER’s DAUGHTER
josh maday : FOR
michael martone : (TBD)

Subscriptions are available for pre-order now. They don't last long, so get on it. This subscription includes the first ever perfect bound ML Press novel(la), Molly Gaudry's WE TAKE ME APART.

My piece is an excerpt from the novella I've been working on (two more pieces of which are forthcoming in the next issue of Lamination Colony). I'm proud to be a part of the MLP chapbook series, and among so many talented writers.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Source of Lit: Taint Magazine archives

While it's important (though mostly impossible) to keep up with all that is new and fresh and published just-this-minute in the crazy world of print and online literary magazines, there are still many venues either fallen or laid to rest that still have their archives available. I don't think that sneaking through the archives constitutes a looking backward as opposed to forging ahead with the new. All that to say that as I've been gearing up for an interview, I've been reading the archives at Taint Magazine (see, looking at the archives and forging ahead at the same time), an online literary journal formerly mastheaded by Mark Cajigao, Chris Young, Michael Kimball, and Bill Z. Duke. Sure, a new issue hasn't been published since 2004, but the archives generously remain, and my god there's so much good stuff in there. Here are just a few:

Editors Exposed: An Anthropological Investigation of the Editorus rejectionus by Shya Scanlon

Michael Kimball Interviews Dawn Raffel

In the Beginning, There Was ELIMAE: Michael Kimball Interviews Deron Bauman

An Interview with Neal Pollack

So You Wrote a Book? Michael Kimball on getting published

More Kimball: Where The Words Are: An Interview with Sam Lipsyte

Belongings: Items #3, #7, #15 by David Barringer

Burning Up by Peter Markus

Dark Property (An Affliction) by Brian Evenson

Fish Heads: Revisited by Peter Markus

Five Grim Tales by Norman Lock

Guts by Peter Markus

Hammered by Bob Thurber

If You Were Doing Things by Ken Sparling

In a Boat about to Drown by Robert Lopez

Photo Album by Chris Higgs

Provisionally, Steve by Sam Lipsyte

A Vestigial Interest by Derek White

A Real Good Guy by Joseph Young

That's just some of the columns and fiction. I think it might go on forever and ever. Just thought you should know.

* A whining aside: I don't care for the exclusive connotations of the term "literary", which for most people does not include science fiction, absurdist writing, and other "non-realist" writing; for me, "literary" certainly includes those categories.

Also, I used the word "forging" twice, which felt like too much for the space in which it occurred. It's a word of cessation, which is ordinary enough to use in a blog post, but unusual enough to stick when it occurs more than once in a small enough space of text, causing the silent reader in your head to linger on the word for an extra moment. Fortunately, though, that moment is much shorter than the time it takes to plough through an rambling off-topic footnote.

(did you notice the silent but sticky double "ough"?)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Baudrillard's Blender

Thanks to Ortho for linking to this site I will be spending a lot of time looking at, thinking about, etc. Put your brain through Baudrillard's Blender.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Blog: Best American Nonrequired Reading

Here is the blog that the Best American Nonrequired Reading committee is keeping this year, which includes excerpted transcripts of the meetings about what the students/committee members are reading. It's interesting and heartening to see high school students so sharp and insightful about contemporary fiction, non-fiction, etc, as well as to see how the 2009 edition is evolving.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Matt Bell's "An Index of How Our Family Was Killed" at Conjunctions

This is one of my favorite stories of Matt's, and in one of my favorite literary venues. Check it out.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Derek White's words; time and space cracked and inserted into each other's orifices; Gestating in mental disease: The Big Name Drop, Book Porn

Derek White posted some true/relevant things on his blog:

evidence-based trop-goth twitterings: doing time in the field before putting pen to paper

¢ It's 12°F. Back in Nairobi it's 27°C. Now I remember why I left NYC. Humans were not meant to be above the Tropic of Cancer.

¢ The night sky is glowing and full of snow, I have a belly full of sushi and the internet is fast as lightning. Backing up 17.7 gigs of new data to the Amazon via Jungle Disk. Besides not knowing the difference between coming and going, I'm also confused as to the difference between early and late.

[all italics mine]

Check Sean Lovelace's review of Mary Miller's Big World. Lovelace has the allusive gift of light-splattering schizo.

This is old news, but new news if you haven't heard it yet: Kate Greenstreet's chapbook This is Why I Hurt You is excellent (but what work published by Lame House Press is not superlative?), so excellent in fact that it was named best chapbook of 2008 by small press editors via Black Ocean Press. I liked TiWIHY so much that I bought Greenstreet's book case sensitive, which I'm looking forward to reading, obviously. Greenstreet's work lives at the intersection of prose and poetry, which reminds me of the work I've read by Thalia Field. As far as I know, there are still a very few copies of This is Why I Hurt You remaining for sale from Lame House. Congratulations to Kate Greenstreet and Gina Myers.

I am working on an essay, expanding on the name drop posts I did here awhile back. Gathering material right now from sources like Hegel and Cheerios commercials; but slowly, since I am behind on reviews and reading.

Coming soon: book porn as per the majestic omnipresent Ken Baumann's kind request. For now, here's a short piece, the first piece I ever had published, which is, appropriately, book porn in words.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Keyhole 6, Adam Robinson, Blake Butler, Second Run, Amazon Kindle 2

[we are going to act as though this blog has not been neglected and sparsely updated at best for the past 6 months]

Approximately 7 out of 5 people snore and/or suffer from sleep apnea and do not purchase enough consumer products in order to remedy their condition. Any products at all: artificial lemon juice, silver helium balloons, Drunken Scratch My Ass Elmo, warm winter mittens, perforated garden hose, etc.

Issue 6 of Keyhole, guest-edited by William Walsh, author of Without Wax and Questionstruck, is now printed and posted. I love the cover for this issue. It is based on Matt Bell's story entitled "Hold On To Your Vacuum", which I had the chance to read on Zoetrope and it is excellent. It secretes a special aura for me, since I recognized the story as taking place in Matt's and my hometown, at our school, specifically, and, most of all, the creeped out feeling I get from both of those places, the feeling of one of those dreams where you keep trying to escape something that will stop at nothing to hunt you down and always seems to find you in whatever crevasse you can manage to hide in, and you always have that one object/person you must absolutely maintain possession of (your vacuum, in this story) that is "bulky, as heavy as a ten-year-old" and slows you down, holds you back. I'm looking forward to reading Matt's story again, as well as the rest of the line-up including Blake Butler, Kim Chinquee, Peter Conners, Brooklyn Copeland, Renee D'Aoust, Darcie Dennigan, John Domini, Cooper Esteban, Sherrie Flick, Margaret Funkhouser, Amelia Gray, Steve Katz, Gillian Kiley, Michael Kimball, Samuel Ligon, Paul Long, Michael Martone, Noam Mor, Davis Schneiderman, Jason Stumpf, and Samuel White. Here is the opening paragraph of "Hold On To Your Vacuum":

According to Teacher, there is only one rule, and it is this: No matter what happens, hold on to your vacuum. We have each been given one, each a different shape and size according to our needs. My vacuum is bright red and bulky, as heavy as a ten-year-old, its thick black cord worn down so that the wires show through in places. Holding it in my hand, the cord feels like the tail of a rodent, thick and rubbery and slightly repugnant. The cord reel is broken off, forcing me to loop the cord around my arms and the vacuum itself, making the whole contraption much harder to carry than seems necessary. I start to complain, but Teacher holds up a hand and silences me. He says, "This is the vacuum that was assigned to you, and the only one you’ll be allowed to play with."

You can order Keyhole 6 and pre-order William Walsh's Questionstruck, both for $20. Meanwhile, check out the new web content with work by Peter Conners, Davis Schneiderman, Gillian Kiley, Samuel White, Noam Mor, Blake Butler, Steve Katz, Paul Long, Sherrie Flick, and new work by me (fiction? poem?) entitled "Parallelogical Circuit". Here are some words contained therein:

"wires" "robot" "lewd" "hard" "dark" "malleable" "powerless" "tickle" "I" "meaningless" "amps"

Yet another outstanding part of Keyhole 6 is that all of the author bios in the print edition were written by Michael Kimball as part of his series of Michael Kimball writes your life story (on a postcard). I don't know what kind of radioactive material that Kimball has driving him, but, man, he gets a lot of good work done. This issue deserves some kind of an award.

Here is a trailer for Adam Robinson and Other Poems. Michael Kimball directed/produced/etc. I am excited for Adam Robinson's poetry book. It is out from Narrow House in June of aught-9. Oh snap.

Blake Butler is making a remix contest to promote his forthcoming novel/story collection SCORCH ATLAS (Featherproof 09/09/09), which has one of my favorite covers ever. Here's the deal as Blake says it:

Basically, we're asking anyone and everyone to download a piece from the book, 'Tour of the Drowned Neighborhood,' in its .doc form, and do whatever you want to it. Scramble it, eat it death, insert a whole other line of story, insert pictures of your mother's anus, throw up into a file and mail it, insert characters, insert symbolist logic, insert fun, eat characters, insert sentences from anywhere, write a whole new story out of the title alone, make it into a nice calm piece about an expatriate who is obsessed with John Irving and loves backrubs, etc. Anything. All ideas are go.

Two winning entries, chosen by myself, will be published in SCORCH ATLAS Remixed, which will be published as an ebook and available on the Featherproof site. The stories will appear alongside some wild other contributions from some very exciting and powerful writers (who will remain a surprise for now, but if it works out as we're hoping, dang), so you will be in good company, etc.

The contest is free to enter, and the two winners will receive publication, plus copies of the actual SCORCH ATLAS. The first place winner will also receive a two year subscription to Paper Egg Books (which equates to four books over those 2 years = awesome).

You can enter as many remixes of 'Tour' as you like, under any title, any word length, etc. It is a fairly open and ambient story, so the gates are guns. Do some wildness. Have some fun. I'm really excited to see what mangling and electrifying can be made. Deadline is May 1.

For full info on the contest, plus where to send your entry electronically, and to download the file containing the text you are to rape, visit the Featherproof contest announcement.

This via Sean Lovelace: Here's a kind of online lit mag that I've never seen before: Second Run runs previously published work, work that you may have had published in what was an excellent print magazine that has gone belly up or a still-excellent print magazine that has published many issues since your work appeared and is now buried in the archives no one will ever find except by accident (I've found many stories by now-big names in old issues of STORY that have been tucked in my library for years, but it was all an accident). Second Run is on its first issue, which includes poetry by Patricia Smith, Ted Kooser, Matt Mason, Heather Knowles, Jim Moore, Deborah Keenan, Ada Limon, Bryonn Bain, plays by Murray Wolfe, Jim Fenn, fiction by Sheryl St. Germain, John Domini, and Michael Martone's fictions entitled "Achilles Speaks of His Deception in the Court of Lykomedes" and "The Sex Life of the Fantastic Four", which I had the pleasure of hearing Martone read a few years ago in Grand Rapids. Part of the submission process is that you tell where the submitted work was previously published and where you were at in life when you wrote them; I wish Martone's pieces came with those tidbits, but then that info would of course change the fictions by becoming part of them. I'm going to find my copy of Martone's book on writing, Unconventions, and eat some. I would sacrifice genitalia to be able to work with Martone.

Um, also, I got the Kindle 2, and it is awesome.

The thing that kept me from even considering buying one for so long is, first, probably the price. But at least as important as the price is that I had never actually seen one, held one, read from one. Sure, the videos and commercials on Amazon are nice, but it's not the same. I know that every photo of a person reading a Kindle on their couch with pretentious foreign pottery on a table in the background and smiling with self-satisfaction is supposed to show me how happy having a kindle makes people, but that stupid fake smile is just not the same as actually being able to see and use one in real life. So, after finally getting a look at one and holding it in my own hands (Matt Bell let me oogle his Kindle; thanks, Matt), I saw that it is nice on the eyes and handles well. So far, I'm happy with my Kindle 2. Converting the files is pretty easy. The only problem I've had is with file sizes that are too large to email to have them converted. Overall, it's worth it. I don't know about the original, but this version also plays MP3's and audio books and can read the text to you (which I have not tried yet). Also, unlike the first version, Kindle 2 does not have a drive for an extra memory card, but it connects to your computer with a USB cable (I'm not sure if the original connects with USB or not). It converts pdf, doc, txt, html, and some other extensions, so, everyone, please email me books and stories and things to read. joshmaday at gmail.com

Thank you.