New Stories & Interview At The Short Story

TSSLovely Marie Gethins interviewed me about all things flash and my recent co-authored flash collection with Robert Vaughan, RIFT, for The Short Story. Marie asked great questions!

I have a couple of new stories published in stellar places! First, “Imagine Your Daughter Is a Cherry Red Convertible,” a micro under 100 words, at New World Writing. Many thanks to editors Kim Chinquee and Frederick Barthelme.

And “I Have Not Pushed Back My Cuticles with An Orange Stick Since the Nixon Administration,” at the wonderful, long-standing journal, Monkeybicycle. Monkeybicycle published one of my first stories, “The Next Stanley Kubrick,” back in 2007 or so. I’m honored to be back. Thanks so much to editor James Tate Hill.

dodge luhan houseAnd wow, it’s August already! Looking forward to the workshop I’m running with Robert Vaughan in Taos later this month. Some few spaces remain if you’re interested in joining us! What a magical place.

New stories, nominations, a podcast, and more…

I have so much to be thankful for as 2015 draws to a close. The short short collection, RIFT, co-authored with the great Robert Vaughan, is set to officially launch from Unknown Press on December 1st. Huge thanks to Bud Smith and Unknown Press! When Robert was in Denver for the F-Bomb reading, the talented and energetic Levi Andrew Noe interviewed us both for “Rocky Mountain Revival: Audio Art Journal” and you can listen to the interview and Robert and me reading some of our stories. It was great fun to do and thanks so much to Levi for being such a generous host!

My story, “Grip,” was nominated for Pushcart by R.K.V.R.Y. and you can read it here. Many thanks to everyone at R.K.V.R.Y., particularly editor Mary Akers. “Grip” is included in RIFT.

On the heels of that news, Scott Garson, editor of Wigleaf wrote to tell me he’d nominated my Wigleaf Postcard for inclusion in Best Small Fictions, 2016. And you may find that by going to Wigleaf and scrolling down a ways. It was published in April.

Both “Grip” and my Wigleaf postcard are works that mean a great deal to me personally, so I’m especially grateful for this recognition.

My story, “Giant” is up now in the Fall 2015 Issue of New World Writing, edited by Kim Chinquee, who is now also the Senior Editor there. Much gratitude, always, to Kim. The issue includes work from Bobbie Ann Mason, Claudia Smith, Pia Z. Ehrhardt, Robert Lopez, T.L. Sherwood, Tiff Holland, Pamela Painter, and more!

Also! I’m pleased to have two new stories forthcoming soon in New South and Alice Blue. (This week I believe.) This will actually be the final issue of Alice Blue, a great lit journal that’s been publishing for ten years. Sad to see them go. Edit: My story, “Sea Creatures of Indiana,” is up now and the issue is jam-packed with goodness. Go read the whole issue, because it’s stellar.

We have a page for RIFT now up at Goodreads and already have a review posted by David Atkinson, who read with Robert and me at F-Bomb. Many thanks to David!

Finally, the F-Bomb reading, hosted by the amazing Meg Tuite, was a huge success and great fun. Nancy Stohlman has created this great series of readings aimed entirely at furthering flash fiction, with monthly guest hosts and guests. November’s reading included Robert Vaughan, Len Kuntz, Kona Morris, Leah Rogin-Roper, Katharyn Grant, David Atkinson, Levi Andrew Noe, and more!

I will be hosting the next event on January 19th, featuring terrific writers and friends Sally Reno and Gay Degani. More details here!

New and forthcoming stories…

Just completed the first official Fast Flash© Workshop this past weekend and it went great! Had an amazing group of smart, talented writers who were so much fun to work with. And the September workshop is already filled! But watch this space for announcements of future workshops.

Heavy Feather front coverToday, I received my contributor copy of Heavy Feather Review 4.2 and it’s beautiful. You may subscribe HERE!

Also, I’m very honored by recent acceptances to the University of South Carolina’s literary magazine, Yemassee Journal, and the beautiful and innovative Threadcount Magazine .

THE LINEUP: 20 PROVOCATIVE WOMEN WRITERS, edited by Richard Thomas, is set to launch next month from Black Lawrence Press . I am super proud to be included along with: Laura Benedict, Paula Bomer, Karen Brown, Shannon Cain, Kim Chinquee, Monica Drake, Amina Gautier, Tina May Hall, Nancy Hightower, Jessica Hollander, Holly Goddard Jones, Stacey Levine, Kelly Luce, Nina McConigley, ŸJanet Mitchell, ŸEthel Rohan, ŸKarin Tidbeck, Damien Angelica Walters, and Claire Vaye Watkins.The LIneup

Here is some early praise for the anthology:

  • “These are stories that live on the edge of the cliff. They’re wild and unpredictable and important and wonderfully unsettling. Somewhere in this volume, you’ll find your new favorite voice.”
    —Rebecca Makkai
  • “The Lineup is full of ferocious, dark, and brilliant voices. The book as chorus both troubles and dazzles, as all great fiction does.”
    —Lauren Groff
  • “The writers that make up The Lineup are more than just provocative. With its anorexic ragamuffins and organ-thieving medical students, its doomed shot-girls and exterminator-besotted housewives, this anthology will pry your eyes open wide and weeping with gratitude to the spectacle of lives being lived under transcendent duress. By turns searing, heartrending, hilarious, grim, profoundly tender and indelibly macabre.”
    — Adrian Van Young

Available for pre-order: "The Lineup: 25 Provocative Women Writers"

Provocative cover photography by Jennifer Moore.

Provocative cover photography by Jennifer Moore.

So honored to be a part of this anthology, edited by the estimable Richard Thomas and published by Black Lawrence Press. Foreword by Alissa Nutting. The book launches in March, 2015, but is available for pre-order now from BLP here!

“There are women writing short stories today that take chances, risks—you might even call their work provocative. The Lineup is a collection of twenty-five of the most compelling, powerful, and honest stories that have been published in the last five years. Written by some of the most talented contemporary voices in literature today, this collection contains award-winning, anthologized, and recognized authors that are emerging as the voices of our time. These women are not afraid to tackle any subject, to write from any perspective, or to lay any secret bare. If the stories in this collection don’t make you laugh, enlighten you, and break your heart, then you should check your pulse, because you’re probably not alive.

Stories by: Paula Bomer, Karen Brown, Shannon Cain, Kim Chinquee, Monica Drake, Kathy Fish, Gina Frangello, Amina Gautier, Roxane Gay, Amelia Gray, Tina May Hall, Jessica Hollander, Lindsay Hunter, Jac Jemc, Holly Goddard Jones, Stacey Levine, Nina McConigley, ŸMary Miller, ŸJanet Mitchell, ŸEthel Rohan, ŸLaura van den Berg, ŸxTx, ŸClaire Vaye Watkins.”

Beautiful sentences: Flash Fiction in New World Writing

I’ve been reading the Spring, 2014 Flash Fiction issue of New World Writing and swooning over some of the lines. It is said that in flash, you have to make every word count, every sentence, and it’s true. There’s no room for the ordinary.

Here are some of my favorites:

How many Monarchs are there? Enough to make the boughs of giant trees bend beneath their weight, even while each one weighs less than a paper clip. ~from “Dave at the Sink” by Gail Louise Siegel

Monarch-butterflies-pacific-grove

and

Even though my mind is quite awake, my body is befud­dled, and parched from the ruckus from my head. ~from “License” by Girija Tropp

and

Downstairs, fail­ure waits at the kitchen table where my husband’s black work gloves rest palm to palm like the sin­gu­lar clap of a large man—a lum­ber­jack shak­ing the podium at which he speaks. ~from “Thaw” by Lydia Copeland Gwyn

and

canoe

“Wouldn’t it be great,” he said, “to row and row until we aren’t here anymore?” ~from “Oar” by Sherrie Flick

and

She fresh­ened her lip­stick com­pul­sively when she talked about him: his sil­ver beard, his open shirt, the gold chain across the hair on his chest, Just like a BeeGee, she said, smack, press­ing her lips to a square snatched from the bath­room roll. ~from “Kenny” by Tiff Holland

I’m honored to have a story in the issue called “Strings” and I hope you read that one, too. There are also flashes from such amazing writers as Andrew Nicholls, Bobbie Ann Mason, Ed Taylor, Eric Bosse, Nelly Zann, Pamela Painter, Terese Svoboda, and Tom Hazuka. And the issue is still taking shape, so stay tuned!

Many thanks to the fabulous Kim Chinquee.

Some very kind reviews for Together We Can Bury It…

my copies of TWCBI

I’m very grateful for the kind reviews I’ve received so far for my recently re-issued flash/short story collection on Goodreads, NANOfiction, Fictionaut, and elsewhere. Here is a sampling:

“Most of what I know about flash fiction I learned from reading Kathy Fish’s work. She’s a consummate master of the short form, and I’m so glad Lit Pub ran a second printing of this collection. These are the sort of stories that deepen and intensify with each rereading. Keep them close at hand.” Ravi Mangla, author of Understudies Goodreads

“This book is a Bible of the short form, meant to be savored then reread again and again. No one does compressed fiction like Kathy Fish. Her precision is unparalleled. Every detail, every line, every word does double, triple duty. Every beat is flawless. The stories in this stunning collection brim with such fullness and depth, they will break you up and cut you down – and leave you utterly mystified, wondering about the lives of these characters long after you finish reading. How does she accomplish all this in so few words? There lies the astounding genius of Kathy Fish.” Sara Lippmann, author of Doll Palace 

“So much attention is paid to the lyricism in each of the stories that a reader can’t help but find the beauty in each scene and through each character’s perspective no matter how familiar or mundane it may at first seem. There are so many examples of this lyricism at play in the collection but the language in “Rodney and Chelsea” stood out to me the most. In this story, the two titular characters, teen neighbors, are about to engage in their first sexual experience together. It’s a moment of great anticipation and anxiety, yet the narrative sweeps around them meticulously, not only registering their expressions and subtle movements, but their life histories, the space they share living next door to each other, and essential connections they share with family, friends, and neighbors. The entire moment is exquisitely rendered in just four pages, and it’s such a virtuoso accomplishment of prosody that I had to reread it twice more just before I could move on.” Peter Fontaine, NANOfiction NANOfiction

“If I were teaching a course in the form of very short fiction (not all of these stories are very short), I would certainly put Kathy Fish’s collection on my syllabus. In fact, I might just teach a course because I’ve read her collection. In sudden fiction, the writer/reader has no space for meandering or groping through the narrative for a story. Each move must stick, and in Fish’s stories every move does. Each beginning draws the reader in, and every ending satisfies. The middle is bursting with realism that does not seem constructed to be realism; it feels real and, yes, meaty.” Christopher Allen, author of Conversations with S. Teri O’Type (A Satire) Books at Fictionaut

“Fish’s writing is like a light gleaming up from the bottom of the lake, distorting itself as refracted waves curl or undulate. Her characters ring true yet they keep an appropriate aloofness. We both feel as if we know these people, as if they are friends or acquaintances in our own lives, yet it is often like we are watching these friends behave badly on screen so that we’re powerless to intervene.” Len Kuntz, author of The Dark Sunshine and forthcoming, I’m Not Supposed to Be Here and Neither Are You People You Know By Heart

“Read this on a train back to Baltimore. On the train were people in McDonalds uniforms making loud and beautiful jokes because they’d stolen a bunch of mayonnaise. If inside a jar of stolen mayonnaise you found a tiny Nina Simone singing her cover of “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues,” and you get to the part where she goes “Well that’s it folks, that’s it,” you would actually be getting to the sad and wan stories in this collection. And then this book sneaks the mayo back to where it stole it from, but it listens to Nina Simone on its off-brand MP3 player while drinking ginger ale at the mall, just wandering and wandering and remembering and trying not to regret anything.” Mike Young, author of Look! Look! Feathers! and Who Can Make It Big Noö Journal

“The worlds in this collection are often a little lopsided, a little worn, sometimes dark and piercing, yet always beautiful in one way or another. They never tip over into sentimentalism or conceit and give the feeling that anything can happen, good and bad. But whatever does happen, you know it will be brave and honest, in the most human sense of the word.” Berit Ellingsen, author of Beneath the Liquid Skin Berit Ellingsen’s blog

“A sweepingly excellent collection of 40 stories, a sort of retrospecticus of Kathy Fish’s writing career so far. Everything about this book is well-done…The stories themselves: amazing. There’s no filler: every story is aching and gorgeous.” Kevin Fanning, author of Jennifer Love Hewitt Times Infinity Goodreads

“These stories possess a clear and believable voice that is at home in the company of Lydia Davis, Russell Edson, Kim Chinquee. Fish breathes life to the page, so much so, the characters and actions stay with the reader long after the book is closed…The book is filled with so many strange and amazing moments the reader cannot avoid becoming a part of the lives and choices and passions discovered in it. This can only happen when the writing is of the highest quality and a true pleasure to read. “Highest quality” is the perfect descriptive for Together We Can Bury It – a collection that should not be missed.” Sam Rasnake, author of Cinéma Vérité and Inside a Broken Clock Used Furniture Review

“Kathy Fish’s Together We Can Bury It is so creative and beautifully written, it’s hard not to marvel at the richness in each of the pieces.” Peter Tieryas, author of Bald New World and Watering Heaven The Whimsy of Creation

“Within, you will find stories that will touch you, leave you breathless, make you laugh, make your heart ache. You will run the gamut of emotions–I promise you that–and you will find yourself living in the moment of these stories as filled with despair and hope as many of the characters are, waiting for change that may never come, but always waiting, never giving up.” Myfanwy Collins, author of Echolocation and I Am Holding Your Hand and forthcoming, The Book of Laney Myfanwy Collins’ blog

“There’s a movie’s worth of character and plot and insight in every blooming one of these short fictions. I finished this book feeling stuffed, dazed, and amazed by how much Kathy Fish gets done in such tight spaces. It’s a thrill to be privy to what she thinks about, the wonder she carries inside.” Pia Ehrhardt, author of Famous Fathers Goodreads

“Some authors have a way of mak
ing a reader forget the world, forget that she’s reading, allowing pure enjoyment of the art of story. This is especially difficult to pull off with reading author/teachers. We feel the pull to be critical, cautious, and read with our defenses up, ready to find something that jostles us from the narrative. Very few authors have the ability to make such a reader forget, and even fewer flash fiction and short fiction writers have this ability because the form means creating numerous worlds and engaging the reader wholly again with each new story. Some authors can do it, though. Kathy Fish is one. This book is a gift for a reader like me.” Jen Knox, author of Musical Chairs and To Begin Again Goodreads

“Beautiful collection by a master of the flash fiction form. These stories pack more loneliness, heartbreak, and despair into smaller spaces than ought to be possible, given the laws of narrative physics. But as one of Kathy Fish’s characters tells us: “this is an infinite universe and in an infinite universe all things are mathematically possible.” And yet, I still don’t know how she does it.” Mary Lynn Reed Goodreads

“1. I LOVE these stories. “Skinny Lullaby at the Lizard Lounge: Schenectady” where she writes: “The lady on the stage is skinny-singing something Joni Mitchell. We drink fuzzy navels. Get sleepy. Slide into each other like river otters.” I really LOVE “Snow” and “Wake Up” and “Be My Be My Baby” and “This is Dwight” and “Lens” and “Orlando” and “Tenderoni.” What I’m trying to say is that I love them all.
2. I love how Kathy Fish writes about: men & women, snow, food, cocktails, homes and music.
3. I love how Kathy Fish describes colors.
4. My husband is a VERY persnickety reader. I read a lot of these little stories aloud to him and he loved them as much as I do.
5. And I don’t feel this way about all stories/books I read but Kathy’s stories make me want to WRITE. And that’s probably my favorite thing about all of them.” Leesa Cross-Smith, author of Every Kiss a War Goodreads

Praise for Together We Can Bury It

Ohh, I do not love self-promotion, and I really suck at it, but damn, I’m so happy and so proud of this book, so bear with me here. I’ve gotten some lovely blurbs for my collection, which launches at AWP. I only asked writers I knew and who knew my writing. People who have supported me so much over the years and whose writing I admired beyond words. So thank you Pia Z. Ehrhardt, Kim Chinquee, Jennifer Pieroni, Jeff Landon, and James Robison. I am so honored and grateful. And my deepest thanks to Molly Gaudry for her extreme faith, boundless energy and incredible vision. The Lit Pub is doing amazing things and I’m proud to be a part of it.

Praise for Together We Can Bury It

“We readers are blessed to have these perfectly made stories by Kathy Fish, each one a distillation of novel-sized themes and predicaments to a heady, imperative, short short encounter, each story exact, humane, each story providing a language of music. And each the product of a writer who knows all the storms and terrors, the pathetic and somehow holy conditions of our existence. Masterworks!”

—James Robison, author of The Illustrator

“A space man untethered in the universe thinking of home. A young couple biking in the rain to a parade that must be cancelled. A woman losing her speech and balance but still leaving, she thinks, for New York. With remarkable precision, Kathy Fish champions the dreamers, believers, and lovers. If you are not one of those, you can trust Kathy Fish to show you the way back to your heart.”

—Jennifer Pieroni, editor of Quick Fiction

“Kathy Fish's Together We Can Bury It is a wonder—stories filled with sadness, humor, and longing—a slanted banged-up beauty of a world that feels like this one, only more.”

—Jeff Landon, author of Truck Dance and Emily Avenue

“Full of grace and wit, Kathy Fish's Together We Can Bury It takes one to the familiar, yet bizarre: worlds of wonder, ache, and hope. Worlds not to forget. A refreshing voice, busting of compassion, guts, and wisdom. This collection shines with amazing delight.”


—Kim Chinquee, author of Oh Baby

“There’s a movie’s worth of character and plot and insight in every blooming one of these short
fictions. I finished this book feeling stuffed, dazed, and amazed by how much Kathy Fish gets done in such tight spaces. It’s a thrill to be privy to what she thinks about, the wonder she carries inside.”

—Pia Z. Ehrhardt, author of Famous Fathers

Into and Out of the Wild–My final post at Necessary Fiction

Necessary Fiction.