My AWP Schedule! Hope to see you!

Books & BoozeI’m excited that AWP is in L.A. this year! Yay, for warmer weather than we typically have to deal with at the annual AWP conference! I really hope to see as many friends as possible this year, but it’s a huge conference and I’ve come to expect that I won’t get to see everyone I want to. Here’s (roughly) where I can be found:

Thursday, March 31st

I’ll be arriving with my daughter and checking into the J.W. Marriott and the conference. No specific plans until the afternoon, when co-author Robert Vaughan and I will meet with Brad Listi to do the Other People Podcast. Thursday night may involve dinner & drinks with friends.

Friday, April 1st

Book Fair

10:00 – 11:00 I’ll be signing books at the Matter Press / Journal of Compressed Creative Arts table (831)

11:00 – 12:00 I’ll be signing copies of RIFT at the Cossack Review Table (1236)

(“free” time…I may be working the Unknown Press table (1442) for awhile, selling Rift and other Unknown Press titles)

Off-Site Readings

4:30 – 5:30 The North/South Short Shorts Reading (Passages North & New South) Pyo Gallery, 1100 South Hope Street, Suite 105, L.A. 90015 (featuring Zach Doss, Megan Giddings, Michael Martone, Kelly Magee, and myself)

5:00 – ??? Hot Pillow Reading hosted by Joani Reese, Ginosi Figaro Apartel, 1361 South Flower Street, L.A. 90015


6:30 – 8:00 Literary Colorado Reception, Diamond Salon 8&9, JW Marriott LA, 3rd Floor

(Join the literary communities of Arapahoe Community College, Colorado College, Colorado Review, Colorado State University, Conundrum Press, Lighthouse Writers Workshop, Lithic Press, Mile-High MFA, University of Colorado, Western State Colorado University for refreshments and a chance to socialize and network.)

Later Friday evening, may be attending a BBQ/Reading, but I anticipate collapsing early that night. We’ll see. I may get a second wind!

Saturday, April 2nd

May be spending some time at the Unknown Press table in the morning before the book fair closes up?

“Free” time.


7:30 – ??? Books & Booze, hosted by Alternating Current Press, Los Angeles Center of Photography, 1515 Wilcox Avenue, L.A. 90028

Join us for Alternating Current’s #AWP16 Offsite Reading Event at LACP! $3 LIQUOR, WINE, & BEER. Free snacks. No cover charge (Donations always welcome.). Readers include: Sunil Yapa, Matt Bell, Eric Shonkwiler, Will Chancellor, Kathy Fish, Ben Tanzer, Ryan Ridge, Andrew F. Sullivan, Ashley Farmer, Carmen Lau, A. Jay Adler, and Tabitha Blankenbiller. Mayhem will ensue. Fun will be had. Booze will be consumed.

RIFT is chosen as The Nervous Breakdown Book Selection for December!

RIFT 4th July*Cover photography by Casey McSpadden

The Nervous Breakdown Book Club

Robert Vaughan and I are thrilled to pieces that RIFT has been chosen for the TNB Book Club! Past monthly selections from: Matt Bell, Lidia Yuknavitch, Jami Attenberg, Amelia Gray, and more. If you want to receive an early copy of RIFT you need to subscribe by November 15th. It’s a low, low $9.99 per month and you get great books!

Here’s how it works:

What is it?

It’s a book club. Each month, we’ll be featuring a new title, hand-picked by TNB executive editor Jonathan Evison and TNB founder Brad Listi.

How does it work?

Every 30 days, a book will be mailed directly to your door. Depending on the publisher and its plans for the specific title, the book will either be a hardcover or a paperback. It should be noted that members may receive advanced review copies, particularly for titles distributed prior to publication.

The TNB Book Club is diverse in its offerings. From month to month, we’ll be featuring both fiction and nonfiction — novels, story collections, memoirs, anthologies, translations, histories, biographies, true crime, you name it.

We sometimes feature new titles, pre-publication, and also feature already-published titles that did not receive the attention in the marketplace that we feel they deserved — overlooked gems by underrated authors.

The common denominator is that we’re always working hard to offer you great books at an amazing price on a monthly basis.

That’s it! You may go here to learn more: The Nervous Breakdown Book Club

Beautiful Smokelong Quarterly: Part One

Have you seen the new look for Smokelong Quarterly? It’s stunning. I’m so proud to be a part of this issue. I’m back from AWP and just getting all the stories and interviews read. Man, it’s impressive. As always. I wanted to talk about the stories, but time and exhaustion do not permit proper reviews, so I thought I’d pick out some bits from each to tempt you to go read the stories if you haven’t yet had a chance. Nine today and the rest in my next post…You won’t be sorry! The stories are phenomenal.

from “The Pool Guy” by Jessica Alexander: “Do you like it? He said like what. I said my body, Thomas. Touch it. He did not budge. It’s not a body. I said it’s a crack in a house where the TV plays all day.”

from “The Dentist’s Parrot” by Ann Hillesland: “While shooting x-rays, the doctor puts a lead blanket over the parrot’s cage. The parrot likes the muffled dreaminess—it reminds him of his rainforest home’s heavy air, so different from this air-conditioned chill. He closes his eyes and imagines the thick brown river, the shaggy heads of trees, green imprinting the sky.”

from “Alphabet War, Alphabet Letters” by Shannon Sweetnam: “Her dreams are simple, but unpleasant—bang she is shot, the bomb explodes crash goes her home caving in upon her, yet she does not wake crying because there at the foot of her bed is her favorite Siamese cat, there in the distance, the sound of Father talking quietly to Brother in the kitchen, the smell of coffee, the knowledge they have returned.”

from “Moon Wishes” by Mark Jabaut: “A bloated, pale orange moon bent the horizon like an overweight tightrope walker.”

from “At Night, By the Creek” by Ashley Hutson: “We have been pretending we are brave so long we believe we are brave. Bravery is like a sport we practiced until everyone said we were aces. We are young, I notice. We are always young.”

from “Six Ways to Break Her” by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam: “Her father sculpted her from melted vodka bottles in his workshop where he slept and ate and molded this daughter from his mistakes.”

from “Wayne Kumai, Novelist, Centaur” by Matt Bell: “Our Wayne Kumai’s bio is getting dangerously close to being too personal. He tries to adjust his course. This is a professional statement, he thinks, not a tell-all biography. Stick to the basics. Magazine publications: Cryptozoology Lit Review, Centaur v. Fawn, Casa del Caballo. He writes a quick sentence about not having an MFA, for increased credibility with his intended audience, then deletes an additional sentence about the institutional insularity of today’s writers.”

from “The Replacements” by Kirsten Clodfelter: “Lemon is drawn to their mother shape and smell, climbing without any prodding into soft laps warmed by cashmere sweaters in bright colors she longs to taste.”

from “Discipline” by Michael Don: “Though Harold made it through an entire war, and only had one bad ear, the good one too good for his own good, the one I must have shouted into. I tried hard but couldn’t imagine anyone or anything able to harm Harold, so I imagined him even angrier, my head a basketball as he dribbled it off our dining room table. A flash of light and then I remembered the Shabbat candles, and my mother who lit them coughed.”

Aren’t those gorgeous? Part Two to follow!

Books I've read, am reading…

I’m making some progress on my initial set of ten books to read. I listed ten so that I would not be so overwhelmed. I have strayed from this list since I made it, reading Sweet Talk by Stephanie Vaughn (it’s fantastic, I love her writing) and rereading Pride and Prejudice. When I finish these I’ll make a new list which will include Matt Bell’s Cataclysm Baby and Jac Jemc’s My Only Wife. Also, Jensen Beach’s book For Out of the Heart Proceed, which comes out in May. But I still feel overwhelmed. There are so many great books.

1. Shut Up/Look Pretty –Lauren Becker, Erin Fitzgerald, Kirsty Logan, Michelle Reale and Amber Sparks READ, loved, want to review, but damn if Len Kuntz didn’t write an amazing, thoughtful review here on his blog

2. The Last Repatriate –Matthew Salesses JUST STARTED

3. Wild –Cheryl Strayed

4. Birds of a Lesser Paradise –Megan Mayhew Bergman READ, it’s so good

5. Treasure Island!!! — Sara Levine

6. Betty Superman –Tiff Holland READ, SO good! Tiff Holland!

7. Threats: A Novel –Amelia Gray

8. Bluets –Maggie Nelson READ, gorgeous, still thinking of this one…

9. Girlchild — Tupelo Hassman

Together We Can Bury It — Coming Soon! The Lit Pub Bookstore…

Very excited to see my new short story collection at the Lit Pub Bookstore page with such a stellar list, including books by Aimee Bender, J.A. Tyler, Matt Bell, Andrea Kneeland, Scott Garson, Caitlin Horrocks, Miles Harvey and Ben Segal and Erinrose Mager. I seriously want to buy all of these.

Here is the link. These books will launch at AWP in Chicago: The Lit Pub Bookstore