About Me

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My work can be found in REAL: Regarding Arts and Letters, The Jabberwock Review, The Emerson Review, Storyglossia, The MacGuffin, Confrontation, Passages North, SmokeLong Quarterly, elimae, wigleaf, Pank, New Delta Review, and Gargoyle #57, among others. One of my stories has been translated into Farsi by Asadollah Amraee, and many others by Jalil Jafari, two of which have been published in the Iranian journal, Golestaneh Magazine. Currently, I'm an Associate editor for Narrative Magazine. In 2011, I was awarded the Carol Houck Smith Contributor Scholarship for the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

SmokeLong Quarterly Issue 23

As always this issue looks amazing--gorgeous, evocative cover art and lots of good writing inside.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Writing News

I've just been told that REAL is nominating my short story/novel excerpt, "Everything Rises," for a Pushcart.

Wigleaf took a micro fiction, "Peace."

Also Passages North, who published my story "Madrid," will also be publishing "Blue Moon." That one will come out in January 2010.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Storyglossia's Pushcart Nominations

Storyglossia editor Steve McDermott has announced his nominations for the Pushcart Prize.

Congratulations and good luck to all!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

In the Devil's Territory by Kyle Minor

I read a lot of short story collections and once in a while I come across one that does more than dazzle on the technical level, does more than introduce me to foreign lands, does more than show me a different side of humanity. Once in a while I come across a collection, such as this one, Kyle Minor’s “In the Devil’s Territory,” that does all those things and at the same time, reaches in and holds my heart all the way through, sometimes giving it a pinch or a jab, and other times stretching it, stretching, until I fear the very flesh of it might rip, then massaging it gently back to …to…well to a state of calm, but most definitely changed.
What struck me most about the six stories in this collection is that all of them have redemption at their core without being obvious about it. Minor’s characters stumble into or upon grace through the ordinary, such as with the first harrowing story of a man on the verge of possibly losing his pregnant wife and his child, and through all of this drama his understanding of his own mother’s pain, both literal and metaphorical stands out. Ironically, it is in the quiet moment in the end of the story between three generations of men that the reader can find a seed of grace.
“A Day Meant to do Less” is as rich as a novel. It begins with a man left with the troubling task of undressing his mother and takes us through the journey that was the woman’s life. In the end, the reader understands that is the secrets we refuse to reveal that are our eventual undoing.
Minor shows us the many faces of love in his story “A Love Story,” and how lives are affected when people attempt to squeeze such an abstraction into neat boxes.
In “Goodbye Hills, Hello Night,” we see how for a young man out with his friends a night can start innocent enough and end up with a murder. And to that young man the murder might have appeared inevitable but upon further inspection he knows there was opportunity for prevention all along and how then does he live with that? He’ll live with it through the generosity of his father. It is this quiet, understated scene at the end of the story that best underscores Minor’s success in delivering uncontrived redemption.
In “The Navy Man” I think I fell in love a bit. For how could I resist such assured knowledge of the other? The reader is introduced to the fact that once again love is not something that can be shaped or channeled, but rather, like it or not, love often has a will of its own and we can stifle that will or we can flow with it.
And in the last story Minor tells us the story of several people whose pasts lead them along a path that merge unhappily in the end and without spoiling the story, I will point out the inspired genius of Minor’s last sentences: “Mistakes were made long ago. It is someone else’s fault. We can’t be held responsible, but we are very sorry.”

Sadly I'm leaving out comments regarding the many gems inside this collection, all the ways in which the sentences glitter, all the wisdom, all the loveliness, all the earth-shaking ugliness. But perhaps it's best for you to discover them on your own.
Yes. I think it is.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Two Essays

by my talented and wise friends, Mary Akers and Cliff Garstang, and both in the same new journal, College Hill Review!

National Book Award

Congratulations to Mark Doty for winning the National Book Award with his book of poems, Fire to Fire!

Here's the full list of winners.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Reading List

Two books I'm very excited to have on my reading shelf are "Doctor Olaf van Schuler's Brain" by Kirsten Menger-Anderson and "in the devil's territory" by Kyle Minor.

I'm almost finished with Kirsten's book and let me tell you it's an amazing tour of primitive medicine through the years. If you're anything like me, and know that mad doctors, weird cures and history all woven together with excellent prose is your thing, then this is definitely a book you will want for reading pleasure.

And I'm itching to dig into Kyle's collection. I'm a fan of his nonfiction which is emotive and human and beautifully written and now I'm looking forward to reading his made-up stories.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


The latest issue of Farafina, a Nigerian magazine, guest-edited by Laila Lalami, is now available. Some of the contents are online.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Storyglossia Issue 30

The latest issue has published!

Reading, Traveling and the Election

I've been caught up in all three lately, thus my posts have been few. We took a mini trip to a train yard for my youngest who's still loves trains, though I can see his passion for them is nearing the end and we went to Charleston, a city that we all love. The presendential campaign has been exciting me (Obama--love his economic rescue plan for the middle class) and driving me crazy with outrage ("No. No, ma'am.
He's a decent family man with whom I happen to have some disagreements." That is response to a woman who said Obama was an Arab. As if the two were mutually exclusive. What an outrageously disrespectful and dehumanizing thing to say. You cannot pander to the few U.S. citizens that are ignorant and full of fear and hate and expect to come off sounding intelligent and presidential.)

I've read a few books lately, mostly novels and some stuck out for me:

Cost by Roxana Robinson was amazing. She's an elegant writer and one of my favorites. I usually prefer her short stories to her novels but this novel wowed me. Set on the coast of Maine and on the streets of New York, it centers around a staid New England family and shows that family's reaction to one of its own trying to survive with a heroin addiction. The novel is affecting and beautifully written. I was particularly impressed with Robinson's ability to get inside the addict's head.

I also read "Something for the Pain," by Dr. Paul Austin. I met Paul briefly at Bread Loaf in 2006 and when I heard him read I thought he was funny and down to earth. "Something for the Pain" is a series of connected essays on working as an E.R. doctor. It's enlightening, impressively honest, and it changed the way I see E.R. doctors and their role as emergency caretakers.

At present I'm reading "The Tenderness of Wolves" which is blowing me away. It's evident the writer is also a screenwriter as this novel would easily be captured on the big screen. Penny is a visual writer, a visceral writer and this novel is amazing in its detail, setting, characterization and premise. Love it, love it.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Why Obama...

Largehearted Boy has a series of essays called Why Obama. Check them out.

Thanks to Paul Lisicky for pointing the latest one out.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Five Star Literary Review

This awesome new site that promotes writers, journals, editors and stories has just put up their 25th review, this time Jessica Lipnack reviews "The Whale Hunter" written by Steinur Bell, published in AGNI.

Well done, Five Star Literary Review!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

RIP David Foster Wallace

What a loss for his family, friends, and the literary world.

Los Angeles Times Article

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Dangers of Falling in Love

It has long been the argument of the Republican party that Obama supporters react to him on a visceral level--that the hope he inspires in the American people smacks a little of love and idolization. And I agree that it's dangerous to pick a candidate without understanding fully what the candidate believes in. For me, the Obama idolization issue is irrelevant because his beliefs are quite closely aligned with my own.

But for those out there who compare Sarah Palin to Hilary Clinton and believe that Sarah represents "Our last chance to break the glass ceiling," I would caution: a woman is more than her vagina. Because Sarah Palin, with her extremist views, scares me. And the thought that she could step in and run this country should something happen to McCain scares me.

If, like me, Palin's extremist views make you very very nervous, or even if they don't--maybe especially if they don't--read this article.

"...Palin's out of the mainstream, especially on social issues. If a woman aborted a disabled fetus, Palin would send her or her doctor to jail. She's against sex education and cut funds for teen moms. Her views on global warming (it's nature, not humans) and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (in favor) are to McCain's right. Running for governor, she called for teaching creationism alongside evolution. ...

and this one.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Interview with Chad Simpson

Randall Brown of SmokeLong Quarterly interviews Chad Simpson.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Storyglossia's Issue 29 is now live and sizzling!

Here is editor Steven McDermott's introduction:

With its utilitarian format, lack of artwork and programming chops, STORYGLOSSIA is not on anyone's list of sexiest online journals, but it's always been about the stories. Not a feast for your eyes or your clicking fetish—it's for your reading addiction.
Truly, a literary journal is only as good as the quality of its submissions. And you would be astounded by some of the stories I rejected. Many will surely appear elsewhere. Also true that no one else, sitting with the same stack of submissions, would select the same stories I did. It's a fallacy to think that each issue represents "the best" of the submissions (as some journals nobly proclaim). It's all mood and taste; an editor's desire. The eleven remarkable stories in Issue 29 are a statement, a message I want to send, about what I think is vibrant in short fiction right now (from the admittedly narrow perch of STORYGLOSSIA's submission queue).
I've been around long enough to have both believed in the redeeming quality of literature and to have lost faith in its ability to make a difference. Having read, during the selection and the publication process, each of these stories a half-dozen times or more, I can say that they have restored my faith in literature's ability to change, if not the world, at least one's perspective. Read these stories and see if they don't change yours, too.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Myfanwy Collins at The Mumpsimus

Join Myfanwy Collins as she guest-blogs at The Mumpsimus, and talks about her story chosen for Dzanc's Best of the Web 2008 anthology and other interesting things!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Congratulations to Roy Kesey and Laura van den Berg!

From Dzanc Books:
Dzanc Books recognized by The L Magazine!

The L Magazine has just announced their Best of NY City Issue and when it comes to the area of letters, Dzanc Books and our authors have done well. The L Magazine noted the four best independent works of fiction in 2008 (so far) and praised Dzanc's debut title, Roy Kesey's All Over by saying:
"Short stories: we love ’em, and Dzanc Books, a small press out of Michigan that
shot out of the gate with Kesey’s All Over, is going to be publishing a lot of them.
This is a book that combines the wiliness of George Saunders and the wisdom of
Ron Carlson. Put simply: this is a great collection."

They also pointed out the best short stories published by NYC publications and tops on that list was "What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us" (One Story #102), which is the title story from the forthcoming (November 2009) collection Dzanc Books will be publishing by Laura van den Berg.

We're both proud and thrilled to see Roy and Laura's names alongside authors like Lydia Millet, Robert Coover, and Louise Erdich!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dime Stories

3 minute stories here from authors Robin Slick, Ellen Meister, Susan Henderson and more!

Ellen Meister and Sandy Novack

These two talented friends have fabulous new websites to launch their new books. Ellen, the author of "Secret Confessions of the Applewood PTA," is about to release her new book "The Smart One." I read her first, and it's hilarious, smart, and suspenseful. I'm looking forward to reading her second.

Sandy's work has been published in many outstanding journals, won awards, and she's taught at Duke, NC State and UC. She's an incredible writer and I cannot wait to read her new book "Precious."

So check out the websites of these two amazing writers and be sure to get their new novels. I know I will.

Ellen Meister
Sandra Novack

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Raleigh Quarterly

I first heard about this journal on NPR. It's attractive, exciting, fun, and most importantly, offers good stories. I'm looking forward to Issue 2.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Congratulations to Matt Bell

for winning the Million Writers Award this year with his AMAZING story "Alex Trebeck Never Eats Fried Chicken." A well deserved honor for a fabulous story.

Lit Mag Reviews

I'm a few days late in noticing, but I see New Pages has new reviews of literary journals posted.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

"Eating Crow" by Steve McDermott

in Dogzplot.

I like this one a lot. Every word sings. Even with so few words, the reader's senses are engaged. I can even taste the smell of exhaust as she leaves him. And I love the title.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Interview with Jim Shepard

One of my favorite writers, Laura van den Berg, interviews another of my favorite writers, Jim Shepard here.

Thanks to Cliff at Perpetual Folly for the link to Memorious.

Monday, June 16, 2008

SmokeLong Quarterly Issue 21

I'm so honored to be a small part of SmokeLong Quarterly's 5th Anniversary Special Issue. For five years, they've been an exciting, innovative, unflinching showcase for talent and one of my all-time favorite journals.

I hope to read SLQ for many, many more years.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Heat Wave

Coming on the heels of a comfortable spring, this heat wave in the southeast feels particularly brutal. Am dreaming now of a cool Vermont lake.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

"Half of a Yellow Sun" by Chimanda Ngozi Adichie

is one of my favorite books. The story by the same name is the featured story at Five Star Literary Stories First published in Ink Pot, then reprinted in Zoetrope, you can read the story then what the editor, Bev Jackson, and the reviewer, Susan Lago, have to say about it.

Monday, May 26, 2008

News from Redivider:

Welcome to the summer installment of Redivider's newsletter. We appreciate your support of Redivider in the past and want to let you know what's new with us. This time around, we have news from past contributors, the winners announcement for the 2008 AWP Quickie Contests, exciting website developments, and more!

Department of Congratulations

Tao Lin's (Spring 2008) new poetry collection, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, is just out from Melville House.

Michael Martone's (Fall 2008) Racing in Place: Collages, Fragments, Postcards, Ruins was published by University of Georgia Press this January.

Fans of Hannah Tinti's (Fall 2008) wonderful story collection Animal Crackers should look for her first novel, The Good Thief, on bookstore shelves this August.

Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond, an anthology co-edited by Ravi Shankar (Fall 2008), was published by Norton in April.

Benjamin Percy (Spring 2007), author of the acclaimed story collection Refresh, Refresh, recently sold his first novel, The Wilding, to Graywolf. The Wilding is scheduled to be published in late 2009.

Kim Chinquee's (Spring 2007) first story collection, Oh Baby, was published by Ravenna Press in February.

Darcie Dennigan's (Spring 2007) poetry collection, Corinna A-Maying the Apocalypse, was published by Fordham University Press in March.

A collaborative poetry collection by Elisa Gabbert (Fall 2004) and former Redivider editor Kathleen Rooney, That Tiny Insane Voluptuousness, was published by Otoliths Books in April.

Are you a Redivider contributor with news to share? Keep us in the loop by e-mailing RedividerEditor@gmail.com and we'll include your news in our next newsletter!

Starred Reviews

A record four poems from the Spring 2008 issue have been selected for Verse Daily: Jason Bredle, "Twilight Box," Paul Muldoon, "Quail," Claudia Emerson, "Orchid Anatomy," and Kurt Brown, "The Hierophant Of Hartford."

Julianna Baggott's "Bus Stop" (Spring 2007) was recently chosen by Wigleaf as a top 50 flash fiction. Check out the full list at www.wigleaf.com.

Website Happenings

Redivider is delighted to present a web exclusive of the title story from Pulitzer Prize Winner Robert Olen Butler's forthcoming collection, Intercourse, scheduled to be published by Chronicle Books in 2008. Visit www.redividerjournal.org to view the story.

Quickie Contest News: Winners & Finalists Announced

Poetry Winner, Judged by Ravi Shankar:

"I have Forgotten All My Spainish," John Finclura

Runner-Up: "Each Day You Become Something Different," Janaka Stuckey

Finalists: "Untitled," Kira Frederick
"What Would Jesus Wear," Jenna Risano
"All I Could See, I Named Darkness," Rhett Iseman Trull

Nonfiction Winner, Judged by Lee Martin:

"12/25/07," Kelly Hould

Finalists: Victoria Barrett, "House"
Miriam Bird Greenberg, "(Autobiography!)"
Shuchi Saraswat, "Untitled"

Fiction Winner, Judged by Brock Clarke:

"Untitled," Megan A. Crouse

Finalists: "The Frog Experiment," Todd Seabrook
"Lying to God," Sarah Barr
"Backbone," Amelia Gray
"Performance is an Old Man," Thom Blaylock

Congratulations to all the winners and finalists, and many thanks to everyone who entered. Look for the winners in our Fall 2008 issue and be sure to stop by our table at AWP Chicago!

Redivider Sightings

Redivider will be attending CLMP's Literary Magazine Bookfair at Housing Works in New York City on Sunday, June 15th (126 Crosby Street, 12:00 to 5:00 pm). If you're in the area, come say hello and check out our most recent issue, which features new work from Nathaniel Bellows, George Singleton, Paul Muldoon, Claudia Emerson, an interview with Ander Monson, and much, much more.

Also on June 15th, Redivider will be co-hosting the summer installment of the Dirty Water Reading Series, held at the Grub Street Headquarters and co-hosted with Quick Fiction, Black Ocean Books, and Fringe Magazine. More details will be posted on our site soon!

Summer Submissions

Unlike many magazines, Redivider does take submissions over the summer. We now take submissions both via post and electronically. Please visit our site to view our guidelines.

Redivider Welcomes New Editors

Please join us in welcoming Kirstin Chen to the top of the masthead for 2008-2009. Kirstin will be joined by Managing Editor Katie Sticca, Production and Web Editor Daniel Quinn, Fiction Editor Akshay Ahuja, Poetry Editor Grace Schauer, Nonfiction Co-Editors Kara Brown and Kim Liao, and Art Editor Bethany Carland. Visit our website in early June to see the full staff list for 2008-2009.

Thanks for reading and for your support of Redivider!

Best Wishes,

The Redivider Staff

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Burma Cyclone Aid Report

If you joined me in donating through Avaaz, or if you're considering a donation, here is their recent report.

Friday, May 16, 2008

wigleaf's Top Fifty

wigleaf, one of my newest favorite journals, has put up a list of their fifty favorite short fictions published on the web in 2007. So many great reads in one place! Many of which are by writers I admire. Happy reading!

Note: the list of writers I admire found on this list was too long to keep linking. Let's just say the people at wigleaf have excellent taste.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Five Star Literary Stories

My review of D.E. Fredd's excellent story "Steiner Requests That His Hole Be Dug in Poland," is up today.

New Color

Comments welcome.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Kathy Fish

has a gorgeous new story at wigleaf.

"Apologies Forthcoming"

Xujun Eberlein's prize-winning collection is now available for sale!

New Pages

New Pages has a new group of lit mag reviews up.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


My youngest came home from the farmer's market this morning with these flowers for me. My eldest is coming home from college for a week. My cup runneth over.

Happy Mother's Day

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Got Crime?

Storyglossia's Issue 28, guest-edited by Anthony Neil Smith, does.

Enjoy...and you might want to turn on all your lights.

Read This

Small Pale Humans by Daniel Spinks.

What an incredible ride.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Robert Olen Butler

has an excerpt of his new collection "Intercourse" in Redivider.

The rest of the issue looks great, too.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Dzanc Prize 2008

Submissions are now open. Information here.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Laila Lalami and Moshin Ali

Laila, my talented friend, has a piece in the Boston Globe, and Moshin Ali, a wise and lovely man from my town, offers a look at the rising power of India and China.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Steven McDermott, editor and publisher of Storyglossia and author of Winter of Different Directions has posted his interview with me on his Blog.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Here's an interview with Jhumpa Lahiri. I have her latest collection of short stories "Unaccustomed Earth," and am really looking forward to diving in.

Thanks to Kate's Book Blog for the original interview link.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Storyglossia Issue 27

Dan Wickett at EWN shares his thoughts about the issue. Thanks Dan!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Monday, April 14, 2008

Sunday, April 13, 2008

In My Neighborhood

Sometimes I only have to walk five minutes to see paradise.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


David Leavitt, editor of Subtropics and author of The Indian Clerk, is interviewed at Court the Jesters.

Thanks to TEV for the original link.

Snow in Segovia

On the train ride to Segovia we could see the digitally displayed temp steadily sink from 11 degrees celcius all the way down to 4 degrees. On the way back to Madrid it was minus 1 celcius. In Segovia, we walked from the train station into town through pouring rain. We took shelter in the famous Candido's where the wine warmed me up and I had the best roast chicken I've ever had and I tried lamb that tasted far superior to any I've had before. Later, at the palace, we sat against warmed seats while hail pelted the ground. The hail soon turned to a gorgeous snow storm--very magical.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Monday, April 07, 2008

New Work by Talented Friends

Myfanwy Collins has a new piece up at Mississippi Review. Just click on the Movie Issue link and scroll down to read her story "Verbatim."

Maryanne Stahl is the author spotlight at Insolent Rudder this issue.

Kim Chinquee has a new piece up at Wigleaf. (I love Wigleaf!)

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Segovia's Aqueduct

"People of the Book"

I loved, loved, loved this book by Pulitzer Prize winner, Geraldine Brooks. Inspired by the rescue of the Sarajevo Haggadah by a Moslim librarian, Brooks takes the reader backward along the sacred book's journey from the late 1990s, when a rare book expert comes in contact with it, all the way back to the 1400s. This book is rich with history featuring people at their worst (Bosnian war, World War 11, the Spanish Inquisition) and the people who broke through any boundaries set by society and their own religious beliefs to save the exquisitely illustrated Jewish book.

"The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox"

Imagine if you could be locked away in an institution simply for being a woman who refuses to conform to her family's wishes. A friend loaned me this novel by Maggie O'Farrell and it was wonderfully gothic and moving. Iris, the main character, gets a call to pick up her great aunt from a mental hospital that's closing but Iris has never been aware of this aunt's existence. It seems Iris's grandmother has kept the secret of her sister quiet her whole life. It's an intriguing, fast read and O'Farrell's prose is spare and cuts to the bone.


I took "Fieldwork" by Mischa Berlinski to Spain with me and it was a great read--interesting enough to hold my attention depsite the city of Madrid calling me like a siren. It's about a young reporter, Mischa, whose girlfriend takes a job teaching english in Thailand. While there, he's told a story by an old college friend about a woman anthrolopogist who was spending time in prison for a murder she committed--the murder of a young missionary. It has many elements I love, an exotic locale, a moral dilemma, and a mystery.

Friday, April 04, 2008


Franco's Tomb

We were riding on a train out to Segovia when I saw this enormous white cross against the distant mountains (in the middle ground you can just make it out). I asked my sister-in-law about it. She explained that Franco had it built for his fallen men and that he was buried there. The men who built it were Franco's prisoners, some of whom died building it and many, many, injured. She also explained that as beautiful as I found it to be, many Spaniards still saw it as a fascist symbol and an ugly reminder of the cruelty of Franco. There are many pictures of the cross on the internet, but I couldn't find any that captured the sense of distant enormity as much as the one my niece took here.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Laila Lalami

on You Tube discussing "Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits" and her new novel. I've had the pleasure of hearing Laila read in person at Bread Loaf, and this was a nice reminder of what an intelligent, eloquent speaker she is.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Picasso at the Reina Sofia

Despite the fact that I was hit by the flu again my second week in Madrid, I got out everyday--some days in better shape than others. One of the things that lured me out of the flat was a special Picasso show at the Reina Sofia with over 400 of his pieces, many of which came from Paris. Picasso is one of my favorite artists and to see so many of his works was amazing, humbling and inspiring. One of the advantages of seeing so many pieces is that one can really see his progression as an artist, from age 14 until his death. Picasso seemed to be always stretching, growing, changing, yet maintaining his "voice." I love his masculine sense of color and design and the complete confidence he displays in his work--no matter the medium.

The most powerful part of the exhibit was when I entered the room in which photos of the bomb victims were hung and then walked straight from there to the room that housed Guernica. I don't think I've ever been so moved by a piece of art as that.

My favorite pieces in the show besides, of course, Guernica, were La Cocina and Embrace

Me encanta Espana!

I'm home. I'll write a bit of something after I've rested.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Down and Out

My family and I have been down with with the flu lately and we're working hard to get better for our trip to Madrid on the 17th. Normal posting will resume when I return. Happy reading. Happy writing.


Friday, March 07, 2008

"Killing Trout & Other Love Poems"

New Pages has published their first title, poetry by David Fraser.

"If you ever had any doubt as to who ‘the people’ are, doubt no longer. They are the tough-speaking, hard-living, heart-broken mysterious creatures in Dave Fraser’s poems. Their voices are as real as the world is unreal, but they stubbornly insist on the sometimes meager, but always live, facts of their lives. Find the ‘Americans.’
Read these poems."

– Andrei Codrescu, author of it was today: new poems, and MacCurdy Distinguished Professor of English at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Per Contra

The latest issue is live with amazing pieces by Kathy Fish and Dave Clapper and the winner of the Per Contra Prize for Short Fiction, Vanessa Gebbie.

Congratulations to all the finalists!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Storyglossia Issue 27

I'm delighted to announce Storyglossia's Issue 27, guest-edited by me, is now live with stories by Claudia Smith, Eugene Cross, Myfanwy Collins, Brandon Keat, Liz Prato, Rob Ehle, Miriam Cohen, Laura van den Berg, Terri Brown-Davidson, Kathy Fish, Gavin S. Lambert, Elaine Chiew, Amy Purcell, Matt Baker, Alicia Gifford.

A group of amazing stories by talented writers all. I hope you enjoy.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Darlin Neal in Wigleaf

Darlin Neal has a gorgeous piece up at Wigleaf.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Three Recommended Reads

I've been reading some great books lately. Earlier this month I raved about Fecilia Sullivan's memoir "The Sky Isn't Visible From Here." Not only is it an amazing story but it's artfully written as well.

I've also read Patry Francis' "The Liar's Diary." Just when you think you know where the story is headed, Francis surprises and surprises. A great read!

Vendela Vida's "Let the Nothern Lights Erase Your Name" is beautifully spare and sophisticated. I enjoyed this book so much I'm looking into reading her others.

And lastly, "The Underrstory" by Pamela Erens is an incredible read. She's given us an interesting, flawed, wonderful character in the narrator and her prose has an elegance similar to that of Coetzee.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Get Real:

There's another installment of the unique conversation between editors and writers hosted by Kelly Spitzer and Ellen Parker. This time it's about money.

Kyle Minor

Congratulations to Kyle Minor whose story "A Day Meant to Do Less" has been chosen for inclusion in the Best American Mystery Stories 2008. Well done!

I'm also looking forward to reading Kyle's collection of stories forthcoming from Dzanc Books, "In the Devil's Territory."

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Barack Obama

Yes We Can!--Si, Se Puede

Obama's speech in New Hampshire.

Not in a longtime have I heard so eloquent a speech--not since I first heard Obama speak at the Democratic Convention in 2004. Barack Obama is the kind of leader I want for my children, my country. Not only do I agree with his policies and ideals, he has the comportment, the dignity, I expect from a president, and haven't seen in too long.

The Audacity of Hope.

"In the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope"--Barack Obama

*Obama on
Civil Rights
Foreign Policy
Homeland Security
Social Security

Our country and the world need leaders that can heal, unite, inspire. I believe Obama is that kind of leader.

"The Sky Isn't Visible From Here" by Felicia C. Sullivan

Once in a while I read a book that brings me to my figurative knees. This is one of those books. Felicia writes of growing up in the shadow of a fiercely protective (at times), careless (at other times), seductive, larger-than life, drug-addicted mother who disappeared from her life when Felicia graduated from college. Amazingly, she survived the dangerous situations in which her mother placed her, but not unscathed. Like the generational cycles that occur in many families, Felicia found herself battling the same alcohol and cocaine addictions her mother had. Only, Felicia's story, her life, is much, much different.

"You accepted these things as fact: Normal people shot heroin in their arms, in the spaces between their toes, in their neck. This was normal. This was normal.You kept repeating that to yourself as you played house with Big Michelle, the blond-haired plastic doll with the blue eyes that fell out, the doll that towered over you. When the meth addicts dropped by, raking their arms because of the itch, you colored in the lines of your coloring books with crayons that has exotic names like honeydew and cobalt."

and then later:

"Here on your desk is the stack of business cards that read Felicia C. Sullivan, Project Manager. This is 2001 and you work in a restaurant at a venture capital-backed dot-com. The cards' presence somehow comforts you. Why can't you stop shaking? You know logically that your body is here, but you can't feel it--your lips are numb, limbs slack, toes smothered in these crocodile shoes. And when you talk about milestones, forecasts, and budgets, you get your first nosebleed. Your boss winces and hands you his clean napkin and says, wipe here, wipe there."

But Felicia emerges the woman she was meant to be, the woman she always was: a strong, honest, vibrant, beautiful soul, and sober. I can't help thinking that Gus, "the man who is not my father but whom over the last fifteen years I've come to call my father," helped to save her life.

Beautifully written, with unflinching honesty, "The Sky Isn't Visible From Here" is a work of the highest art. A brave story, it underscores how a life can be devastating and hopeful in equal measures. Though it brought me to tears in several places, they were tears of admiration, admiration for the fine, strong spirit of the woman who wrote it.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

For a Good Cause

Only for charity will I dress up in a chain of plastic bottles. (Tom's wearing a hat with a plane on it made from recycled tin cans.) I'll also be sporting a hand bag made from recycled dryer sheet boxes. Tres chic, n'est pas? Tonight Tom and I, along with a friend of ours, are battling in our town's spelling bee for literacy. Our team's name is The Three Rs and we hope to inspire our town to have recycling pick-up. All proceeds from the teams' entry fees as well as donations go to our local Adult Literacy Center. Wish us luck!! We need it.


Last week I finally got to see snow in my back yard:

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Storyglossia's Issue 26

is now live. Looks like lots of good reading in there. I can't wait to dig in.

My guest-edited issue will be live in early March.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Liar's Diary: Blogging for Patry Francis

I'm great about buying all my writer friends' books, but ever since this summer, they've been stacking up, calling to me from my shelves. You see, the summer is when I started getting behind on my reading. The Liar's Diary by Patry Francis is one of those books calling to me. In fact, it's right over my right shoulder on my shelf as I sit and read submissions right now for Storyglossia. And I know how good a read it's going to be because of the response of her readers.

"The Liar's Diary" is now out in paperback and if you haven't bought it already in hardcover, do yourself a favor and buy it now! And stop by Patry's blog where she inspires her readers with her honesty, grace, and courageous wisdom.

From LitPark:

"Today, over 300 bloggers, including bestsellers, Emmy winners, movie makers, and publishing houses have come together to talk about THE LIAR'S DIARY by Patry Francis. Why? To give the book the attention it deserves on its release day while Patry takes the time she needs to heal from cancer."

If you buy directly from Penguin you get 15 percent off!

Patry, you rock.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


I've cancelled my My Space account. I got tired of all the spam/pirates. Facebook is probably next...

"The Sky Isn't Visible from Here"

Felicia Sullivan's new memoir is available in bookstores. (Mine is on its way!!!) If you want to hear Felicia read, here's a list of her events:

Bookstore EventsTuesday, February 5—NEW YORK CITY—Barnes & Noble Chelsea, 7:00 pm
Thursday, February 7—PORTLAND, OR—Powell’s (Hawthorne Boulevard), 7:30 pm
Saturday, February 9—SEATTLE, WA—Elliot Bay Books, 7:30 pm
Tuesday, February 14—MILWAUKEE, WI—Schwartz Books, 7:00 pm
Tuesday, February 19—NEW YORK CITY—KGB Non Fiction Series, 7:00 pm
Wednesday, February 20—NEW YORK CITY—PAGE Series, National Arts Club, 7:00 pm
Saturday, February 23—NEW YORK CITY—Ear Inn Reading Series, 326 Spring Street, 3:00 pm
Monday, March 3—CAMBRIDGE, MA—Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Avenue, 7:00 pm
Sunday, March 16—BOSTON, MA—Grub Street, 160 Boylston Street., 7:00 pm
Thursday, April 10—NEW YORK CITY—KGB Behind the Book Series, 7:00 pm
Thursday, April 24—NEWTON, MA—Books & Brews, Newtonville Books 296 Walnut St., 7:00 pm
Friday, May 9—LOS ANGELES, CA–Booksoup, 8818 W Sunset Blvd., 7:00 pm
Sunday, June 15—BROOKLYN, NY—Sunday Salon @ Stainbar, 766 Grand Street., 7:00 pm

Radio Events
Wednesday, February 6-Motherhood Uncensored Radio Show, 9:00 pm

Virtual Blog ToursFebruary 11-February 29 Mother Talk BLOG TOUR

Note: all events are in EST

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


As if the facts exposed by Eric Schlosser in his book Fast Food Nation aren't alarming enough, this country is now taking slaughtering for cash one step further: cloning. I've never had much faith in the FDA to begin with, and this latest decision to okay cloning animals for mass slaughtering (and milk--ew) strengthens my distrust and disgust.

It's ironic really, that as more and more Americans educate themselves on the benefits of eating local, organically raised, produce and meats, the government approves a transparent attempt from the cattle industry (and others) to make more money than its greedy hands can hold by unethical means.

You are what you eat. Shoveling in that hamburger made of meat that happens to be tainted with shit, antibiotics, growth hormones, and a myriad of other chemicals from a cow that's been mistreated and inhumanely slaughtered won't make you healthy, baby.

Let's take the power (and money) from the people who care nothing about us, our families and the health of the planet and back to us where it belongs. We can do this by going to our local markets and insisting they give us healthier choices. No cloned meat. Only locally-grown or responsibly raised meat from now on. And if you find you're not getting anywhere that way, you can order your meat online.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Storyglossia's Crime/Noir Issue

Submissions are now closed for Issue 27, the issue guest-edited by me. Anthony Neil Smith will be guest-editing Issue 28, a special crime/noir issue. Should be a great issue!

guidelines are here.

Per Contra Contest

From Bill Turner:

Per Contra has featured winners of The MacArthur Award, the Caine Prize, the Orange Prize, the Walt Whitman Award, the Flannery O'Connor Award, the Pushcart Prize and more. Per Contra has published authors from the United States and North America, South America, Europe, Africa and South Asia .

Our March 2008 issue features former poetry consultant to the Library of Congress (the position now known as the U.S. Poet Laureate) Daniel Hoffman, Pulitzer Prize Winning former poetry consultant to the Library of Congress (the position now known as the U.S. Poet Laureate) Maxine Kumin, Pulitzer Prize winning author and poet John Updike, poetry consultant to the Library of Congress (the position now known as the U.S. Poet Laureate) William Jay Smith and O. Henry Prize winner Stephen Dixon, as well as great emerging writers from around the world.

You may have seen our ad in the Fall 2007 Edition of Poets and Writers.

We are now accepting submissions for the 2008 Per Contra Prize. Because of the public interest generated by our lineup for the Spring, we are working hard to find talented emerging writers to submit manuscripts for the Prize. The grand prize winner will be published in our Spring 2008 issue.

Grand Prize is $1,000 and publication at our regular professional rates. The top ten stories submitted will be published at our regular professional rates during the 2008 editorial calendar.

Deadline for Entry is January 31, 2008. We would appreciate it if you would spread the word in your writer's group and to friends. This is an excellent opportunity for an emerging writer to be published with several elite writers and poets.

You can find us on the web at http://www.percontra.net/ .

Thanks for your time and consideration.

Best Wishes,
Bill Turner

Monday, January 07, 2008


I'm still reading submissions for Storyglossia's Issue 27, and I'm amazed by the large number of top quality stories. It's been a real joy. I plan on getting back to more regular blogging soon, but for now, this issue is taking priority.


If you're a fan of Sia's music as I am, you'll be happy to know that her new album, some people have real problems, is scheduled for release Jan 8 in the US. You can listen to it in its entirety on myspace.com.
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