More Great Reviews for RIFT at JMWW and Goodreads!

RIFT FINALHey, the snow has finally melted here in Colorado and there’s some good news to share! Co-author Robert Vaughan and I were thrilled by this lovely review of RIFT by Amelia White at the JMWW blog:

“There were moments of peace and violence, of connection and loneliness, of levity and weight. Ultimately, the beauty of Rift lies both its scope and its detail. Even on the second read through, every story held its own surprises, some small, some large, all profoundly human.”

You can read the whole review HERE.

Also, some great new reviews on Goodreads by amazing writers Nancy Stohlman, Mark Kerstetter, Jen Knox, and Christopher DeWan. (Reminder: you can purchase a signed–by me–copy of Rift right here on THIS PAGE of my website.)

Also, my NEW Flash Creative Non-Fiction workshop with Word Tango is now open for registration. It will run online from May 20-22nd. These are a lot of fun and fill up quickly! More info HERE.

And stay tuned for more information about the upcoming Writing Workshop in Taos that Robert and I are teaching in August. That is also filling quickly! It’s going to be a very busy summer…

“surprisingly bizarre & unexpectedly touching collection of short/flash stories that deliver healthy doses of heartbreak, memories, weirdness, and violence”

RIFT FINALRIFT received three new glowing reviews this past week! Co-author Robert Vaughan and I could not be more grateful for the surge in attention the book is getting lately. Thank you to everyone who has bought the book, read it, reviewed it, mentioned it, promoted it, etc.!

Gabino Iglesias, in his review at Dead End Follies, says:

“Rift is constructed so that each writer has an equal amount of space and they trade stories so that, instead of half and half, readers get four sections in which they alternate narratives. This works really well because it allows for the stories to flow nicely and for each voice to feel fresh every time it comes around. Fish is up first, and her work throughout the book is outstanding. Her knack for surprising the reader and writing about relationship as it were a new theme is enough to make this book one that all fans of short fiction should check out. There are many standouts from Fish, including Vocabulary, which puts an entire new relationship and its possibilities inside a paragraph, Grip, which pushes the boundaries of how much sadness and reminiscing can be crammed into a very short tale, and The Blue of Milk, which is at once gritty and incredibly haunting but also poetic and beautiful in the way only unexpected encounters can be. That being said, this is a review and one piece needs to be held above all other and given the space/spotlight of a quote, and that story is There is No Albuquerque, a narrative that packs the heart-wrenching biography of a pale-eyed woman born with a hole on her neck and three horns. This one is what happens when literary fiction, bizarro, and magic realism collide:

When I was little, my mother used to stand me before the mirror every morning and make me say: I am beautiful. After she died, I keep doing it for a while until Buddy told me to stop. After he married the Tattooed Lady, they soon lost interest in me, and I was sent to a foster home. My foster parents thought I was retarded. They told everyone who would listen that they saved me from a dumpster. I ran away when I was sixteen.

You can read the entire review HERE.

Gay Degani, in her lovely review at Heavy Feather Review, says of Rift:

“Imagine a coffee shop, something independent, unique, not part of a chain, where the air is filled with a rich, dark aroma, where the tinkle of music is subtle, underlining real conversations about real things. Now imagine a solid wooden table, highly polished by hand, scarred by time, yet warm with love. Stitting across from you are two writers you admire, not just for the skilled pieces of written art they create at their computers, but also for their humanity, their generosity, their views on the human condition. Who would those two writers be? How about Kathy Fish and Robert Vaughan? What if they were taking turns, telling you stories? What would that be like?”

You can read the rest of her review HERE.

At The Tavern Lantern, the blog for the lit journal Literary Orphans, Ray Nessly wrote another wonderful review. In it, he says:

“Simply put, Rift is a collection of stellar examples of an infinitely variable art form, by two writers at the top of their game.”

You may read the entire review HERE.

Many thanks to Gabino Iglesias, Gay Degani, and Ray Nessly!

*cover photography courtesy of Casey McSpadden

RIFT is coming to Kindle soon! And lots of other news…

RIFT 4th July*Happy to announce that RIFT (Unknown Press), co-authored with Robert Vaughan, will be available on Kindle soon. Will keep you posted!

There’s been a flurry of press for RIFT recently, in the form of reviews (Change Seven Magazine and Goodreads), two interviews (Midwestern Gothic and Bartleby Snopes) and research notes at Necessary Fiction. If you’re interested, please follow the links below:

Interview with Rachel Hurwitz at Midwestern Gothic

Research Notes for RIFT by Kathy Fish & Robert Vaughan at Necessary Fiction

Interview with Leonora Desar at Bartleby Snopes

Review of RIFT by Anne Weisgerber at Change Seven Magazine

Goodreads review of RIFT by Al Kratz

Goodreads review of RIFT by Steve Karas, author of Kinda Sorta American Dream

Goodreads review of RIFT by Meg Tuite, author of Bound by Blue & Lined Up Like Scars

I will be conducting another weekend workshop through Word Tango in May. This time, we will focus on writing flash creative nonfiction. Go here for more info and to get on the mailing list!

Tomorrow I begin my SIXTH Fast Flash© Workshop! Very excited to work with a new group of amazing writers!

*cover photography courtesy of Casey McSpadden

Together We Can Bury It featured at Blue Fifth Review / Workshop Update

my books deskWoke up to a lovely surprise this morning. The editors of Blue Fifth Review have featured excerpts from my collection, Together We Can Bury It (The Lit Pub, 2012), along with gorgeous excerpts from Barbara Jane Reyes’ Poeta en San Francisco (Tinfish Press, 2005) and Evie Shockley’s a half-red sea (Carolina Wren Press, 2006) as part of their Blue Fifth Reviews for the month of July. Very honored. Thanks to Sam Rasnake and Michelle Elvy. You can find the featured works here:

Blue Fifth Reviews (July 2015/#2).

Regarding the Fast Flash© Workshops: I want to make sign ups and payment easy for workshop attendees, so I realized I need to upgrade my website to do so! I am in the process of changing this site over and hope to have it done soon. I’m going to run workshops in August, September, and October to accommodate everyone who expressed interest. Please stay tuned as I get everything organized and in place. I’m so excited to get started!

All best to everyone and have a wonderful last day of July. Enjoy that beautiful blue moon! full moon

Great review of TOGETHER WE CAN BURY IT at Book Riot

Wow. Huge thanks to David Abrams (author of the novel, Fobbit), for this beautiful review of my collection for the Riot Round-Up. I’m so happy and honored by this praise from a writer I admire so much:

I’ll keep this short: After reading Together We Can Bury It, I’m convinced there are few living authors who are better at flash fiction than Kathy Fish. She packs an incredible array of life, in all its rich complexities, into each one of the 40 stories in this 2012 collection. Unlike many short-shorts, Fish’s fiction doesn’t lean too heavily on allegory or turn characters into symbols and it rarely (if ever) leaves the reader scratching her head in “WTF?!” befuddlement. These are beautiful slices of life–little gems that, at every turn, left me feeling like I was filled with sunlight. — David Abrams

Here’s a link to the whole article, listing some fabulous books: Riot Round-Up: The Best Books We Read in December. The book may be ordered directly from The Lit Pub.

Good things galore!

I know. I’m sorry I’ve left this blog untended. I had surgery Sept. 12th and I’m in recuperation mode. Recuperation mode is really nice at first until one starts to go seriously stir crazy. But I’m doing well and getting stronger every day and I really, really, don’t want anything to do with hospitals for a long time to come.

Doll PalaceOk, enough about that. I have good things to report. First, my review of Sara Lippmann’s fantastic short story collection, DOLL PALACE, is now up at The Lit Pub blog. Here’s an excerpt:

“These are stories filled with talk, conversations, recitations, memories, flirtations (often dangerous ones) and hard-won epiphanies I think what I love best about these stories though is their refusal to dot every i. There are no simple answers and lessons aren’t always learned. A deft writer, Lippmann displays control over her narratives even as she achieves a certain wildness and strangeness that both fascinates and feels entirely true. I love the fearlessness of these stories (see “Target Girl” and “Everyone Has Your Best Interests at Heart” and “Babydollz” and “Talisman”among others).”

One cool aspect of recommending books at The Lit Pub blog is that you’re asked to suggest other books readers might enjoy (that are similar in some way to the book you’re recommending), and I was happy to suggest Pia Ehrhardt’s Famous Fathers and Other Stories, Emma Straub’s Other People We Married, Amy Hempel’s Tumble Home, and Rachel Sherman’s The First Hurt. (I noticed later that Rachel Sherman actually wrote a blurb for Sara’s book, which is perfect.)

So. Just get this book. The stories are superb and Sara Lippmann is a terrific writer and human being. One of the kindest people I know in the lit world or any world. And oh, Dock Street Press is exceptional.

The other good news I have is that my short story, “The Wide and Lonely World” has been accepted! I was solicited to send something and did and hadn’t heard back for awhile so assumed they didn’t want the story (writers, you know the feeling), but yay, they liked it a lot and I’ll post a link and more info when the story’s up. I’m delighted. This is a story I messed with for so long, not quite knowing why it wasn’t working for me, until one day I gave myself the challenge of cutting it by 50%. Crazy! So I cut it from 5,000 words to 2,500, which required huge objectivity and mercilessness, but I did it, and the story is much better for the cutting I do believe.

And! I was surprised and thrilled that Blue Fifth Review nominated my story, “The Blue of Milk” for Best of the Net 2014. It’s a story I really liked but felt shy about sending out into the world. I’m very honored and cheered by Sam Rasnake and Michelle Elvy’s confidence in and support of the story. I posted it here awhile back.

Lastly, the website for the new MFA program that I’ll be teaching flash fiction for will be up and running soon and I’ll post a link to it here when it is. I’m VERY excited about this and proud to be a part of it. More to come!

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

Kathy Fish’s Flashes of Life: A Review of Wild Life

Many thanks to Randall Lahrman for this lovely review of my chapbook with Matter Press, WILD LIFE, at Litconic, where he says, among other nice things:

“The stories are short, intelligent, and linger. Although capable of being experienced in small doses, these are not stories to be rushed through. This is a book to keep at the kitchen table and read one story during breakfast, and then spend the day with it roaming through your mind and dissecting the meaning until you get home and read it again to verify your discoveries.”

Read the rest of the review here:

Kathy Fish’s Flashes of Life: A Review of Wild Life.

Also, Randall asked me a lot of very smart questions here.

As Outside the Clouds Made Fists / New Review of TWCBI

clouds

Christopher Allen asked me to contribute something to Metazen, a journal I’ve long admired. I haven’t been writing much flash lately, working on a much longer story, so it was fun to write a microfiction. You can read it in 40 seconds here: As Outside the Clouds Made Fists. Thanks, Chris and thanks Metazen for having me. I feel 78% cooler as a human and a writer now.

Also, Chris posted a fantastic review of Together We Can Bury It at Fictionaut, saying, among other very kind things:

“…the profound beauty of Fish’s prose starts and ends with the lovingly observed character.”

You can read the whole review here: Books at Fictionaut: Together We Can Bury It

Two New Reviews of WILD LIFE

Nice to get two new reviews before the year is out. Jim Ruland, author of Big Lonesome, included a mini review of WILD LIFE in this article at San Diego City Beat: Collections of Short Stories to Hang by The Fire With Care

“The most slender of the books assembled here—each story in Fish’s “collection of undomesticated flash fictions” is fewer than 600 words—Wild Life has teeth. Although you can read it from cover to cover in a few hours, there’s nothing slight about these slim fictions. These stories are culled from real life, making them all the more harrowing.

Quote: They discovered the baby in the grass, under the frantic cotton sheets. The clothesline spun and creaked throwing light, then shadow on his face, his wee head smooth and curved as a doorknob.

Also reviewed are: VOLT (Alan Heathcock, Graywolf), MUSEUM OF THE WEIRD (Amelia Gray, Fiction Collective 2) MAGNIFICENT MISTAKES (Eric Bosse, Ravenna Press), TUND (Thor Garcia, Litteraria Pragencia) and AMPERSAND, MASS. (William Walsh, Keyhole Press). I’ve read Museum of the Weird, Magnificent Mistakes and Ampersand, Mass. and recommend all three highly.

Also, the great Roxane Gay reviewed Wild Life at Beyond the Margins. And says, among other kind things: “Fish does what the best writers of flash fiction hope to accomplish—she finds the most necessary moments, and reveals their complexity with an economy of language.” There, I’m also in good company with reviews for The Rest of the Story by Chris Tarry, Green Girl, by Kate Zambreno, Game of Secrets by Dawn Tripp, and the debut issue of Unstuck, which is excellent.

Latest posting during my month as Writer-in-Residence at Necessary Fiction: a reprint of a Robert Lopez story (originally appeared in Sententia), “Inconsequential, Oklahoma” and you can read it here: Robert Lopez story.