Thursday, June 22, 2017

Finding Magic In Kolkata: An Interview With The Current Magazine

Took part in an interview with The Current Magazine, where I write about my time spent in Kolkata, India, my background, Cajun culture, Langston Hughes, and their influences on my collection, Anklet And Other Stories. Please click here for the interview.

A story from the collection, "Samosa," can also be found in the same publication. Please click here for the story. Thanks to Christiaan Mader for such thoughtful questions and for writing a bit about Anklet And Other Stories.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Big Thanks To UL-Lafayette For Mentioning Anklet And Other Stories

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Anklet And Other Stories

Anklet And Other Stories (Golden Antelope Press) is now available.

Please click here for more information.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Nicole Dennis-Benn, On Reading

There’s nothing like finding a book that makes me read for hours at a time; one that I look forward to going back to after being away from it for too long, or re-read without hesitation. I have a tendency to linger in bookstores and libraries, browsing titles. While many people fall in love with covers, synopsis, and maybe authors they’re use to reading, I tend to fall in love with first sentences and paragraphs. I like to feel I’m in conversation with the author and the people they write about. More than that, reading fuels my writing, my craft. It’s the only thing that pacifies my anxieties about writing. After completing a project, I like to just relax with reading a well written book with fleshed out characters, reasonable prose, and a good plot. 

{Nicole Dennis-Benn is the author of the highly acclaimed debut novel,HERE COMES THE SUN (Norton/Liveright, July 2016), which has received a starred Kirkus Review and is deemed one of the best books to read this summer and beyond by New York Times, NPR, BBC, BuzzFeed, Book Riot, Bookish, Miami Herald, Elle, O Magazine, Marie Claire, Entertainment Weekly, Flavorwire, After Ellen, BookPage, Cosmopolitan, Brooklyn Magazine, among others. New York Times Book reviewer, Jennifer Senior describes HERE COMES THE SUN as a “lithe, artfully-plotted debut”; Pulitzer Prize finalist, Laila Lalami, as well as Booklist have deemed it a "fantastic debut"; and Man Booker Prize winner, Marlon James says “[Here Comes the Sun] is a story waiting to be told”. Dennis-Benn has also been recently nominated for the 2016 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. Her work has appeared in The New York TimesELLE MagazineElectric LiteratureLenny LetterCatapult, Red Rock ReviewKweli Literary JournalMosaicEbony, and the Feminist Wire. Nicole Dennis-Benn has an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College and has been awarded fellowships from MacDowell Colony, Hedgebrook, Lambda, Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, Hurston/Wright, and Sewanee Writers' Conference. Dennis-Benn was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica. She lives with her wife in Brooklyn, New York.}

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Rien Fertel, On Reading

I am an obsessive completist reader. Which is to say I read much like a collector amasses coins or comic books or rust-covered cast iron pans. I’ll read a book, and if I more than mildly enjoy it, there’s a good chance I’ll move on to another work by the same writer. Often, I’ll even follow an author’s oeuvre in chronological order, watching her/his skills grow then fade over time. I’ll then read a biography, followed by letters and unpublished diaries (I also do this with directors/movies). Last summer I did this with Flannery O’Connor. This summer I’m afraid I’ll do the same with Carson McCullers. Sometimes I convince myself that this is a productive, healthy way to read, and maybe it is. Taking in all that remains of a writer, in a way, allows you to live the life of that writer. But often it feels like a compulsion.

I know where this drive comes from, or at least I think I do. My grandmother read not only constantly but with a similar consistency. During family visits I’d stare up at her tall bookshelves and see all of Agatha Christie, every Dick Francis, each title by James Clavell (she enjoyed breezy, British-y beach reads obviously)—all neatly arranged, like  in a real library, throughout numerous rooms of her house. One summer, after telling her how much I enjoyed reading Pudd’nhead Wilson, she bought me the complete works of Mark Twain, in these matching hardcover volumes that shined so beautiful on my childhood bookshelves. I read all of Twain that summer, from The Innocents Abroad to all the lesser Tom Sawyers. But when the first volume of Twain’s Autobiography was published in 2010 I could not bring myself to complete my collection. Obsessions fade away, often with an intensity matching the way they once burned so bright. Perhaps I’ll return to Twain someday—I might even plow through some Dick Francis!—and that old compulsion could be renewed. But I’m hoping there’s a chance that I can reread Pudd’nhead Wilson and leave it at that. 

{Rien Fertel is the author of Imagining the Creole City and, most recently, The One True Barbecue. He lives in New Orleans.}

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Rob Roberge's Liar, A Memoir

Recommended Rob Roberge's memoir, Liar and wrote a review of his latest book over at The Lit Pub.

More information about Rob Roberge can be found here.

Liar is available online, including at Powell's.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Recent Reviews for The Sea Singer

Recent reviews for The Sea Singer can be found in:


The Sea Singer is now available in print in electronic editions through AmazonBarnes & Noble, and Accent Press

Please See Also:

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Cormac McCarthy -- The Orchard Keeper

The sun was high now, all the green of the morning shot with sunlight, plankton awash in a sea of gold."

Monday, July 28, 2014

Catherine Lacey, On Reading

Writers live in reading. They're reading the odd line in the email repeatedly. They're reading the lines overheard on the street or through the wall. They're reading lyrics as they're sung. They're reading books and stories, of course, because writers write books and stories as a way to process all you've read. And if you're not reading, you're not writing. Like a sink unhooked from pipes, turn the dials all day-- nothing will happen if you don't read.

{Catherine Lacey is the author of Nobody Is Ever Missing. Her work has been recently published in The New York Times, Guernica, Granta, Adult Magazine, Buzzfeed Books and others. She has earned fellowships from NYFA, Columbia University and OMI International Arts Center. Her website can be found here.}

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Wendy C. Ortiz, On Reading

I stash them in my bag. I finger their spines. I spread them open and inhale. I move them around with my hands, stack them, sort them. My eyes take them in and my central nervous system responds with just the right combinations of words. Books have always been a welcoming place to me, so I started living with them right away, shacking up with them in my bedroom, reading late into the night. We used to have so much more time together, books and me. Every stolen moment I get now involves reading. Reading books ranks as one of my favorite all-time love affairs, and the best part is it the affair never ever ends.

Wendy C. Ortiz is the author of Excavation: A Memoir (Future Tense Books) and the forthcoming Hollywood Notebook (Writ Large Press, Nov. 2014). She writes the monthly column "On the Trail of Mary Jane," about medical marijuana dispensary culture in Southern California, for McSweeney's Internet Tendency. Her work can be found in The New York Times, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, The Nervous Breakdown, The Rumpus, and many other journals. Visit her at}

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Brandon Hobson, On Reading

I read as a kid and have great memories of my mom reading to me. I didn't read very much in high school, but in college I started reading pretty heavily. This is also when I started writing fiction. I think it's obvious how important reading is in order to be a good writer. I would rather read than watch TV--in fact, other than sports on occasion, I don't watch much TV at all. I used to stay up late nights watching cable reruns of What's Happening or Dobie Gillis, but I don't do that much anymore. But it means I'm out of the loop when everyone starts talking about Breaking Bad or Mad Men or whatever. I've never watched those shows. There's so much out there I still need to read. Just knowing that is more exciting to me.

{Brandon Hobson is the author of The Levitationist (Ravenna Press) and Deep Ellum (Calamari Press). His novel Desolation of Avenues Untold is forthcoming from Civil Coping Mechanisms in 2015. His work has appeared in The Paris Review Daily, The Believer, NOON, New York Tyrant, Post Road, Puerto del Sol, and elsewhere. You can read more about him here.}

Monday, May 19, 2014

Anna David, On Reading

One of the greatest gifts my family gave me was a love for reading. My mom and I would lie around, side by side, reading our respective books from the time I was a little girl. Even though she was getting her PhD in English and reading 18th century literature and I was reading Judy Blume, she always told me that what I read wasn’t important so long as I had a love for reading. I did—and still do. Reading is also, I believe, one of the only ways to get better at writing. Writing classes can be great when the teacher and students are just right but in my experience, that is rarely the case. If you’re reading something you love, it’s always just right.

My biggest problem with reading is that I have to be moderately obsessed with a book to want to finish; if I’m not looking forward to picking it up again with something of a passion, I’ll sometimes just abandon it part of the way through. But I look at reading the same way I do exercise or eating well: it’s important to find what you love about it so it can remain a pleasure and not be a chore.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Dancing On Glass | Susan Taylor Chehak

Dancing on Glass
by Susan Taylor Chehak

Monday, April 21, 2014

Triplines | Leonard Chang

By Leonard Chang

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Runaway Dish Culinary Journal Vol. 3

The Barbecue And Film Issue

"...just really incredible food experiences that expand, enhance, and celebrate our entire community." 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Allen Ginsberg Project

The Mystery of the Inner Moonlight

Saturday, February 1, 2014

In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods | Matt Bell

"Drown yourself away, my wife sang, and despite my want to stay I found myself again outside the house, for against the fury of her song my horror held neither strength nor will nor strategy."

Friday, January 3, 2014

Belle Journal Volume I

With a mantra that rises from the soul of a sometimes forgotten land and a tenacity instilled by those that came before, Belle Journal emerges as a home for the voices of “alternative” southern belles. Based in Baton Rouge, La., this new literary journal features prose, poetry and visual art from women all over the South.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Runaway Dish

Runaway Dish is a private, not-for-profit organization with a mission to promote the creative culinary talents and resources that thrive in Southern Louisiana while raising funds for various local charities.

Runaway Dish Culinary Journal Vol. 2:

Runaway Dish Culinary Journal Vol. 1:

Each themed dinner will spotlight a different chef and a different charity.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Puerto del Sol | Volume 48 | Number 1

Alongside the works of:

Matt Bell,
Steven Ramirez,
Robin Lee Jordan,
James O'Brien,
Brenda Rankin,
Lisa Estus,
Sonya Huber,
Julia Cohen,
Joelle Biele,
T Kira Madden,
Jennifer Buxton,
Max Somers,
Britt Melewski,
Matthew Wimberley,
Sheryl Luna,
Dani Sandal,
Eric Morris,
George David Clark,
Noah Eli Gordon,
Myronn Hardy,
Catherine Kasper,
David Romanda,
Nora Hickey,
Sally Wen Mao,
Megan M. Wong,
Kelsie Hahn,
Sessily Watt, and
Jeanine Deibel,

"Went The Bite" can be found in Puerto del Sol (Volume 48, Number 1).

Puerto del Sol (Volume 48, Number 1) is now available for preorder.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Fight Song By Joshua Mohr

"Not many authors can shift from satire to sentiment so easily, but Mohr is a clever enough writer that he manages to pull this off...As the plot in Fight Song becomes increasingly surreal, it gets funnier, and the emotional veins it taps into grow more real and textured. The novel becomes a kind of parable, a story of man searching for redemption." —LA Times

Joshua Mohr is the author of the novels Termite Parade (a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice selection), Some Things that Meant the World to Me (one of O Magazine's Top 10 reads of 2009 and a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller), and Damascus, published in the fall of 2011 to much critical acclaim. Mohr teaches in the MFA program at the University of San Francisco.

Fight Song is now available at Powell's Books.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Time And Language: An Interview With Gabriel Blackwell

It was such a pleasure to interview Gabriel Blackwell. He is the author of Shadow Man: A Biography of Lewis Miles Archer (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2012), Critique of Pure Reason (Noemi, 2013), and Neverland, a chapbook with video/audio/illustrations. He is also the reviews editor of The Collagist and a contributor to Big Other.

Time And Language: An Interview With Gabriel Blackwell can be found at Carbon-Based Lifeform Blues.

For more about Gabriel Blackwell, please visit his website here.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Uncanny Valley Magazine 0002

Alongside the works of:

John Colburn,
Rachel B. Glaser,
Tyler Gobble,
J. A. Tyler, Rachel Yoder,
Kathleen Rooney and Elisa Gabbert,
A. D. Jameson,
René Georg Vasicek,
Michele Harris,
Justin Anderson,
Lindsay Hunter,

"Mud" and "Gone Went The Rabbit" can be found in  Uncanny Valley Magazine 0002.

Uncanny Valley 0002 is now available for preorder (includes a free copy of issue 0001).

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Mark Maynard, On Reading

"Reading is the antidote to loneliness. Through the characters of prose, and via the persona of poetry, we come to understand ourselves. We know that our experiences -- whether sunk in dark thought and despair, or raised by moments of joy and promise -- are things that have been felt before, and will be felt again. Our unspoken thoughts and outward actions are mirrored, and often shown to us in a new light. Reading confirms our humanity."

Mark Maynard is the author of Grind and the Fiction Editor of the Meadow. Visit his website here for more information.}

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hilary Plum, On Reading

"I read The Tunnel mornings at my kitchen table, all day had to sweat off the stench. Reading about Sacco and Vanzetti I rode a train across Germany; against the green countryside, red roofs, slim roads diving into fields and threading mountains, they must die. In bed as a girl I read Yeats and Dickinson and remember no more than a rhythm. I hope I am not alone in this, I read that passage from 'Orbit' aloud again and again. My vision descends the archaic torso of Apollo. For a series of nights I read the first page of Der Prozess, Jemand musste Josef K. verleumdet haben, I get no further. Sick I lay on the couch and heard 'Hymn to Life' in Jimmy’s thick tones, a half hour in tears. I sat reading 'The Morning of the Poem' in a library in Concord, Massachusetts, until a man interrupted me. He was from Ghana, was it, and trying to get into a business class, could I read his application? My publisher was the ocean: I read a poem and was almost angry, how much of myself I needed to offer in response, and what fool wouldn’t know this as love? There are days that won’t pass without a detective novel. The mornings in Tucson, some chair at some historic inn, agog at The Making of Americans. Child on each side of my father reading Treasure Island, our eyes on N.C. Wyeth’s men, their round muscled limbs. I lie in a park in Oregon and Bolaño would forgive me each interruption. It is winter, Blood Meridian. I still have some lover’s mother’s William Maxwell, never read. I read every Anne of Green Gables then read each one again and she did the same. Years later I went to the red clay and warm sea of that island; years later I bought books I didn’t want when she sold them. It is surprising, who might give you The Dubliners. I did skip one section of Les Misérables, never finished Portrait of a Lady nor Anna Karenina. Sat in a friend’s hammock before the exam reading Andrei Bely. To my lovers gave Nabokov and Beckett, why; from another borrowed Beckett back. She and I read all of Beckett then went to the ice cream shop where they microwave the cookies, listened to the town fool dictate a personals ad, to whom we couldn’t see. Manuscripts on my desktop that despite guilt I don’t reply to. The Qur’an, the rest of Sebald. I sat on the roof of the dorm reading Blake aloud and like a sophomore hoped someone could hear me. Sick I lay in bed and he read me the poems of Lawrence, which I do not care to read under other circumstances. Lost a manuscript he had given me; panicked; moved out. Skimmed everything on the internet. Stood in Penn Station, book propped open. Wrote a book."

Hilary Plum is the author of They Dragged Them Through the Streets (FC2, 2013). She’s co-director, with Pam Thompson, of Clockroot Books and is a consulting editor with the Kenyon Review. With Zach Savich she edits the Open Prose Series for Rescue+Press.}

Monday, October 22, 2012

Jessy Randall, On Reading

"A book crush is different from a regular crush. With a regular crush, you don’t want to share the boy with anyone, you’d prefer if nobody else could see him or hug him or smell him but you. But with a book crush you want everybody to read the book. And that's how I feel about Daniel Pinkwater’s Lizard Music.

It's about a kid named Victor who has the house to himself for a few days while his parents and sister are away. He stays up late watching TV and happens upon a lizard band show. Soon he’s on his way to Thunderbolt City, an invisible floating island populated by large, upright, talking lizards. The story is absurd. It’s ridiculous. It’s awesome.

I still think about Lizard Music every day, mainly because of the Museum of Lost Things in Thunderbolt City. Victor visits this museum, which on the outside doesn’t look like much – it’s like a little shack – but on the inside it’s quite big. In it, he gets back his old teddy bear from when he was younger, and he can see (but not touch) the lost things of other people. There are so many of my things there. I’ve made lists.

Here’s another way a book crush is different from a regular crush. It can last for decades. Some books, you read them, you crush on them, and five or ten years later, you don’t know what you ever saw in them. But Lizard Music has stood the test of time for me. I go back to it every few years and it hasn’t disappointed me yet. I still get that heady feeling, that I-must-go-and-tell-everybody-I-know-about-this.

And here’s something else that’s great about book crushes: they’re addictive. You fall in love with the one book, and if you’re lucky, the author has written others. In the case of Pinkwater, there are a LOT of others. You’re set for life. Particularly in this case, because there’s a new Pinkwater, Bushman Lives, and … well, I won’t give away any surprises, but let’s just say that for all fans of Lizard Music, a lost thing has been returned."

{Jessy Randall is the author of, most recently, Injecting Dreams into Cows, a collection of poems from Red Hen Press. Annalee Newitz of io9 says that one poem from it, "The Consultant," is "the best science poem you'll read this month." For more information, visit her website here.}

Friday, September 28, 2012

Brian Allen Carr, On Reading

"At the moment, I'm not a fan of books. By that I mean, I'm not a fan of lots of books. I go through phases. Sometimes I can sit and read anything, sometimes I'm waiting for something, what, I don't know. I get book hangovers like a mother fucker. I finished Broken Glass by Alain Mabanckou a few weeks ago, and everything I've read since has seemed hollow. I need to get the rest of his books. I've got shit tons of books I haven't read. I'm staring at my shelves, nothing's calling. They will. It's odd. I'll look at something's spine 100 times before I decide, 'I'm reading this fucker right now.' I wonder what causes that.

I know this, if I want to read a book, I need it now and forever until I've turned the last page. If I'm suggested a book the chances of my liking it are reduced dramatically. The best is when you happen on a book. It stumbles across you. You're locked in that intimate dance.

Then there are the books I can always read because they just found me at the right time: The Stranger, The Little Prince, Jesus' Son, Norwood, Paris Spleen, Tomato Red, As I lay Dying, and the earth did not devour him.

We can't help the things we're in love with, the flavors our tongue craves. I can't talk my eyes into liking any sentence. I can't tell my mind to cry at a narrative. It's magic, that.

Some books seem fantastic until you start them, and some books seem terrible until they're finished. Which is the fist and what is the palm and who gets to make these decisions? It's peculiar, frightening, worse than nostalgia. Worse then the dances they used to make us go to, where the one you wanted to dance with was the stiffest body of them all, and someone you thought boring dragged you until you understood the music wasn't coming from the speakers, it was playing through their souls. Then you just turn into the kind of flower that no one would buy a bouquet of, but that smell sweeter than all the bullshit. Then you don't need to look pretty. You just fucking feel it.

Maybe I'll read the Bible. Maybe I'll read Henry Miller. Maybe I'll draw a picture with a crayon of an ocean and try to drink it off the page."

Brian Allen Carr's book Vampire Conditions is out with Holler Presents.}

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Gabe Durham, On Reading

Every library with a Banned Books shelf knows that reading is best when it feels like a subversive act. A few weeks ago, I bought and read Nicholson Baker's The Fermata (the Vintage paperback with its innocuous, literal cover) while on a vacation with my wife and parents. It was privately funny to me to be reading such a raunchy book so secretly and yet so out in the open.

But the truth is, I'd have felt that way reading nearly any good book--I'd still get to relish my detachment. 'They all think I'm here with them--I'm not!' Maybe that's why reading at home alone so often puts me to sleep: There's no one there to bear witness to my secrecy.

I was still reading The Fermata on my trip home (my wife having flown back a few hours earlier), and at the airport gate I saw a woman reading a book that made all of us, the citizens of C-9, consider, if ever so briefly, that this comfily clothed women was a sexual being. The book, of course, was 50 Shades of Grey. I was pleased that my raunch was so much more obscure than hers, that her predilections were on display and mine remained in the darkness, that my book simply looked like a history of punctuation, the sort of thing a glasses-wearing skinny white guy would be reading, when it so surely was not.

Then it occurred to me that what I really wanted was for just a few members of my C-9 family be in on the joke, for them (men or women, best if a combination) to look at me in such a way as to have me understand that they knew exactly what I was up to. It is then that we would exchange grins I am nervously willing to describe as fiendish. But this did not happen, not even with one of them. And suddenly I felt very alone.

Gabe Durham is the author of Fun Camp, a novel forthcoming from Mud Luscious Press. He lives in Northampton, MA and edits Dark Sky Magazine. For more information, visit his website at}

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Lysley Tenorio, On Reading

"I'll start by saying the obvious. All writers should read fiction, non-fiction, poetry, plays--that stuff feeds the work, it's inevitable. But I'll add one more thing to that list: graphic novels (which I'll consider interchangeable with comic books). Reading a graphic novel/comic book requires you to negotiate dialogue and exposition with image and layout, with visual sequence. Think of a panel: the form uses the panel as a visual representation of a definitive temporal moment--an actual unit of narrative. As writers, we can learn so much from a narrative moment that's represented visually, with (and often without) text--one of the most powerful things I've ever 'read' is from Frank Miller's The Dark Knight-- a page full of wordless panels depicting the unraveling of Martha Wayne's pearl necklace, that moment she and her husband are gunned down in front of their son, a young Bruce Wayne. Few images (and perhaps fewer words) explain Batman's psyche more clearly than that.

Reading comic books has helped me understand that we read narrative not for information, but for experience. Comic book writers and artists understand this from the very first panel."

Lysley Tenorio is the author of Monstress. His stories have appeared in The Atlantic, Zoetrope: All-Story, Ploughshares, Manoa, and The Best New American Voices and Pushcart Prize anthologies. For more information, visit}

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

John Minichillo, On Reading

"When the time came that I was too embarrassed to check out children's books I didn't venture all the way into the adult library but stopped at an aisle of science fiction, with covers that promised life and love on other planets, and lasers. Despite the covers these books were work, and I didn't always finish but I learned how one book led to another, one author to another.
In high school I still wasn't a reader, but I had an imagination and I wrote with confidence. In college I wanted to read more because reading seemed the best way to spend time on myself. The old library made the tuition seem worth it. The untrustworthy elevator, the smoking lounges, the reading room, the tapestries, the dust.
Summers I worked in a cemetery where I got more reading done than I did as an English major. We took long breaks in secluded sections where I would sit on a headstone and read. I read Vonnegut. I read Steinbeck. I read Moby-Dick.
After teaching science for a year and working as a bank teller for a year I went and got an MFA. But I was just starting to get it so I went to work on a Ph.D, where they looked at my transcripts and saw gaps. I had studied English but not enough. A professor said to me, 'You've never read Eliot?' Another professor said, 'You've never read Shaw?'

As I neared the end of my Ph.D. work I took a semester without classes to prepare for comprehensive exams. The reading list was insurmountable but I read all day every day. It was a gift, the time to read. I put my back out sitting in a second-hand chair. I bought a new chair and wandered into readings not on the list.

I have always loved that books arrive at my door in brown boxes, but now I read less. I write every day that I'm able. I teach. I have a family. I've gone electronic with my reading so I can sneak it in between classes, or in bed, or I listen to the Kindle robot-voice on my commute. I'm still discovering new writers who open me up. I still feel more confidence as a writer than I do as a reader. I still love the old dust of an old library but I'm not nostalgic about books. Pixels and e-ink get me there. I was hesitant to wander into the adult library as a kid, because I suspected reading was work. And it is."

{John Minichillo's novel, The Snow Whale, a contemporary retelling of Moby-Dick, was an Orion Magazine Book Prize notable and an Independent Publishers Book Awards regional gold medalist for the West-Pacific. Hey Small Press! selected The Snow Whale as a Best of 2011 and called the novel "the funniest book we reviewed all year." He's a 2012 recipient of a Tennessee individual artists grant and he lives in Nashville with his wife and son.}

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Dan Gillen has been posting some cool paintings over at his website, Skulltoons. Visit his website here.

Black Balloon

Neat website and artwork for Black Balloon Publishing: check it out here.

Monday, April 2, 2012

"You Or Someone Like You" by Rob Roberge

Over at
The Rumpus, Rob writes about some of the obstacles of teaching--sometimes it's just really difficult. The essay can be found here.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Around And Around And Around And Around And Around And Around

The voice in my head is now speaking in a Cockney accent, saying "qu'est-ce que c'est" and "evening sun" over and over again.

But more importantly:

The Lit Pub, founded by the wonderful Molly Gaudry, is accepting submissions.

Blake Butler's Nothing is insanely awesome.

Roxane Gay's updates are always a pleasure.

Really liking the
Research Notes column over at Necessary Fiction.

Recently read Orion You Came and You Took All My Marbles by Kira Henehan--it's a great read.

James Greer and Guylaine Vivarat are rocking out in a new band called

Cataclysm Baby by Matt Bell is coming out April 15, 2012--a neat trailer can be viewed here.

Always fun to see what Sandra Beasley is up to.

Ravi Mangla's Visiting Writers over at Uncanny Valley Press is very engaging.

Caty Sporleder's Flay, a Book of Mu and it was just amazing as the first four times I had read it.

Choke On These Words.

Emily Rapp rules.

And locally:

It's Spring, and
Greenscape is blossoming.

Artist Terry Grow is in the middle of setting up his new website--here's what it looks like as of now.

Always fun to relax at
The Saint Street Inn--great food and drinks.

Enjoying the
Leather Candle from Kiki.

Rien Fertel and Photographer Denny Culbert have a Barbecue Bus.

Mais La à la Hollie Gargano.

Art art art over at
Freetown Studios.

Love this painting called
"Le Lapin" by Catherine Fontenot.

Looking forward to checking out more
documentaries over at The Passion Series.

Caught up with
Diwang Valdez and the Motion Family Crew not too long ago at Walk On's.

Just ordered
this for yonder C. Parker.

More later.

Back to the Cockney voice in my head. Fancy that, I fancy.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Joe Dunthorne, On Reading

"Growing up with two academic parents and a bibliophilic sister in a house seemingly propped up by bookshelves, one way in which I rebelled was by not reading or, at least, by not reading anything printed on paper. Many of my early reading experiences were through text-adventure computer games. My favourite was a brilliant spin-off of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams. You can play it here. After that, I started writing my own games. Much later, I called them stories.

{Joe Dunthorne is the author of Submarine and Wild Abandon. Visit his website here for more information.}

Monday, March 12, 2012

Freetown Studios

From the website:

Freetown Studios believes that Lafayette Artists need to have a space to work with other artists and art enthusiasts. Since there are few established venues or artist studio/production spaces in Lafayette Parish, we have established a public forum/community center for artists and the general public in an up-and-coming neighborhood. The community will be encouraged to take advantage of the space while being introduced to various artists’ work processes and creative influences. The artists, on the other hand, will not only have the opportunity to see their work in the space, but will be able to present their work to the public – a chance many young artists have not had so far. There is also the lack of production space to consider — a problem that Freetown Studios hopes to solve.

Emerging artists often work from home, in small kitchens or living rooms hardly conducive to creative exchange. Having a place to work gives artists the drive to keep going. In addition to workspace, Freetown Studios will further the organization’s mission statement by providing quality services and programming which gives artists a public forum to discuss a variety of artistic mediums, emerging and cutting-edge work, and the importance of local access to cultural resources. Freetown Studios understands this drive and hopes to provide a perfect space to work, teach, and learn, a space that will inspire both struggling and established artists and members of the community to exchange ideas, work in different genres, and understand the extraordinary role art plays in everyday life. The goals of our programming and services scheduled are to provide space and support for multi-disciplinary, interactive workshops which will allow for work to be made and experienced by novices, professionals and spectators alike.

Freetown Studios Inc., is a nonprofit organization located in a 4,000 sq. ft. warehouse and dedicated to promoting emerging contemporary artists who work in Printmaking, Painting, Drawing, Installation, Theater, and other Multi-Media disciplines. We provide the artists with workspace and artistic support.

Freetown Studios
421 E. Convent St.
Lafayette, La, 70501

Freetown Studios 2012 Event Listing:


1.9.2012 – Intro Silkscreen begins – runs for 6 classes Mondays from 6-8 ($160 for course + few supplies)

1.21.2012 – Bonnie Camos Live Encaustic Demo 6-8p


2.13.2012 – Intro Silkscreen ends

2.25.2012 – Reggie Rodrigue presents Present Tense an open discussion on contemporary arts 6-8p


3.10.2012 – UL Writer in residence Kate Bernheimer and playwright Dayana Stetco will read from their writings & theatre productions 6-8p

3.16-18.2012 – Liz Hill figurative painting workshop (weekend workshop)

3.19.2012 – Intro to Relief begins – runs for 7 classes Tuesdays from 6-8p ($160 for course + few supplies)

3.20.2012 – Reggie Rodrigue presents Painting and Drawings 6-8p


4.7.2012 – Marie Hendry presents Paintings and Drawings (show opens 4.2.12-ends 4.7.12) 6-8p

4.21.2012 – Slava Broussard presents Paintings, Drawing, and Prints 6-8p

4.23.2012 – Intro Silkscreen begins – runs for 7 classes Mondays from 6-8p ($160 for course + few supplies)


5.1.2012 – Intro Relief ends

5.19.2012 – Giorgio Russo Multimedia Performance 8-10p; Doors open at 7:30p

5.26.2012 – Chris Deshazo Music Performance 8-10p; Doors open at 7:30p


6.11.2012 – Susan David Live Silkscreen Demo 6-8p

6.11.2012 – Intro Silkscreen ends; Classes will continue to be announced on Facebook and our website

6.23.2012 – Patterson Willis presents the Iconographer: The Publics Theatre 8-10p; Doors open at 7:30p


7.21.2012 – Stephanie Patton presents a Multimedia Installation 7-9p


8.18.2012 – Catherine Siracusa Live Encaustic Painting on Fabric/Canvas Demo 7-9p


9.15.2012 – Reggie Rodrigue Part 3 of Present Tense an open discussion of Louisiana contemporary arts 7-9p


10.13.2012 – Freetown Studios “Trunk Show” 3-6p (a live demo workshop including a variety of artists)

10.31.2012 – Printzero Studios travelling Printmaking Portfolio Exchange 2012.


11.1.2012- 11.11.2012 – Milena Theatre Group Closed Rehearsals

11.12.2012 -11.16.2012 – Milena Theatre Group OPEN Rehearsals – Open to the General Public; Time TBA

11.17.2012 Freetown Studios presents Sleeping with Vagabonds a Milena Theatre Group Production
Doors open at 7:30p. Show starts at 8p. SHARP. Limited Seating.


12.1.2012 – Printzero Studios show ends.

12.1.2012 – Sleeping with Vagabonds a Post Production Art-Space Dialogue
Doors open at 5:30p. Show starts at 6-8p. Show Ends 12.31.2012.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

3 x J.A. Tyler

"J.A. Tyler doesn’t write mythsof creation and destruction. He makes language-shards that refract your consciousness, that draw blood and make you wonder if it’s real. If you exist. At the end of the book, you won’t know.”
--Joanna Ruocco

Patasola Press

"Read this for the sake of beauty that exists but is not yet inside of you."
--j/j hastain, author of new forms and meditations

In Love With A Ghost
Lit Pub

"In Tyler’s hands, static concepts become Möbius strips of subversion. This incredible text is a kalidoscopic set of bifocals: look up and you’re in a far-away war, down and you’re in a suburban treehouse. Up and you’re the victim, down and you’re the aggressor. What is so important throughout – what Tyler so remarkably and irrefutably convinces the reader of – is all the ways these binaries are indeed, are inescapably, fused together on the same lens."
--Alissa Nutting, author of Unclean Jobs for Women & Girls

Variations of a Brother War
Small Doggies Press

Thursday, March 8, 2012

fuckscapes | Sean Kilpatrick

“The violent, sexual zone of television and entertainment is made to saturate that safe-haven, the American Family. The result is a zone of violent ambience, a ‘fuckscape’: where every object or word can be made to do horrific acts. As when torturers use banal objects on its victims, it is the most banal objects that become the most horrific (and hilarious) in Sean Kilpatrick’s brilliant first book.”
– Johannes Göransson

“Pregnancy dream of poetry has this Sean Kilpatrick book by the fist. You learn to signal to others from the woken state, here, line-by-line. Do you have any extra money? Buy this book! If you have to skip lunch, buy THIS BOOK! “I held my breath so hard I ended up in the country.” Some poetry you read is forgotten, and never remembered. Some poetry, this poetry, Sean Kilpatrick’s poetry, is a manual for exciting the engine to throw you out of the vanquished pleasures. Here is your I.V. drip of sphinx’s blood.”
– CAConrad

by Sean Kilpatrick

Mud Luscious Press/ Blue Square Press
100 pages
December 2011

Friday, March 2, 2012

Take Care Fake Bear Torque Cake, by Heidi Lynn Staples

“Heidi Staples is one of the most sparkling, indelibly unique writers in English there is. Smart readers should follow her every move, including this quirky offering. She’s a beauty.”
--Mary Karr, author of

“Like Magritte’s The Son of Man, Take Care Fake Bear Torque Cake is a work that unabashedly walks a line between ‘the visible that is hidden and the visible that is present.’ It is a work full of a curious and exhilarating obfuscation that, when a reader is willing to look behind it, reveals an unexpectedly touching and delightful memoir.”
--Darby Larson, author of The Iguana Complex

For more information, and an excerpt:

Take Care Fake Bear Torque Cake
A Memoir By Heidi Lynn Staples
Caketrain Press

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

the discoverers the creators the seekers

Daniel J. Boorstin

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Catherine Chung, On Reading

"For me, reading is a full-bodied hunger that is spiritual as well as emotional and intellectual. In the poem 'The Cleaving,' by Li-Young Lee, there's this amazing line: 'my reading a kind of eating, my eating/ a kind of reading...' that describes what reading does for me as well as anything can. Reading is essential and sustaining: it nourishes me, fills me up and delights me, teaches me, makes me feel everything and think about everything, and connects me to the world. It not only shows me the path, but is often the path itself."

Catherine Chung is the author of the novel Forgotten Country, and a Granta New Voice. To learn more about her, visit her website at}