Monday, May 31, 2010

Deborah Poe, On Reading

"Not long ago, I dreamt I was looking at a highly intricate book that writer Selah Saterstrom had made. But every page was more like a drawer, a compartment or a box. I considered how long she must have saved all the objects that were within every 'page.' In every 'page' were at least 20 objects—colorful fish beads, miniature tarot or decorated cards, stones. Every 'page,' with all enclosed objects, contributed to a story. I mean the objects were acting as 'text(s),' and those texts were a means of storytelling. It probably goes without saying after relaying this dream, but I think reading is a magical thing. I often read a book, either conceptually or formally, tied to what I will write the following day and let it seep into the twilight hours of writing when I wake up. I believe reading what you love comes to inhabit the pieces you write in mysterious and beautiful ways. As a teacher, I believe that a student who devours books is more likely to enlarge his or her range of influence in the world. A student with an understanding of prose and poetry can read the world in terms of metaphor, point of view, and association, expanding and deepening his or her perceptions—of self and other. Reading helps us negotiate human experience which can be terrible, overwhelming, confusing, lonely. A recent British study indicated women in impoverished areas around the world were less depressed than those who were disconnected from the Internet. Reading helps us connect with human beings. Reading allows us to see, and to be seen, within a larger framework of complexities. This framework is necessary for 'grasping' a richer understanding of social, political and cultural questions—questions dominant narratives don’t necessarily ask or answer. I believe reading and language are the connective tissue that allow us to resist barriers of thought and experience. Rikki Ducornet, in her essay The Deep Zoo, writes: 'In the tradition of Islam, the first word that was revealed to Mohammed was Igrá (Read!) The world is a translation of the divine, and its manifestation. To write a text is to propose a reading of the world and to reveal its potencies. Writing is reading and reading a way back to the initial impulse. Both are acts of revelation (para.1) .'"

{Deborah Marie Poe is fiction editor of
Drunken Boat, guest curator/editor for Trickhouse in 2010/2011 and assistant professor of English at Pace University, Westchester. Deborah is the author of the poetry collections Elements (Stockport Flats Press 2010) and Our Parenthetical Ontology (CustomWords 2008). Her prose and poetry have recently appeared in Give a Fig (Les Figues Press’ blog), Colorado Review, Sidebrow and Denver Quarterly. For more information, please visit her website here.}

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Patrick O'Neil, On Reading

"I write like a speedfreak. I just keep going until my fingers bleed. Then I crash out and sleep for three days straight. I read like a junkie. I get a book. I get all calm, thinking I'm good for a while. Then I read it straight through until there's no more. Two hours later I'm Jonesing again for another. I gotta have more books. I mean really, I don't think you understand. I need to read or I don't write. I always plan on stashing a book, but it never works out. Then I'm scamming 'em from friends and hustling my local used bookstore. Come on man, I'll pay ya the twenty I owe you next week. Just give me the damn thing now!"

Patrick O'Neil writes nonfiction most editors don't want. He has been known for intimidating literary journals and a few have fallen for it and printed his work. His junkie memoir, Opacity has yet to find a home. He teaches English comp to students whose idea of literature is a text message. Visit his blog: Full Blue Moon Dementia.}

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Davy Rothbart, On Reading

"21 Of My Favorite Books!

The 21 Balloons by William Peñe Dubois
Into the Dream by William Sleator
No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July
Sightseeing by Rattawut Lapcharoensap
Clumsy by Jeffrey Brown
The Basketball Diaries by Jim Carroll
The Adderall Diaries by Stephen Elliot
The Combination by Ashley Nelson
This Is Our War edited by Devin Friedman
The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
Stealing Buddha’s Dinner by Bich Nguyen
On The Road by Jack Kerouac
Methland by Nick Reding
The Last Shot by Darcy Frey
How to Rent A Negro by Damali Ayo
A Common Pornography by Kevin Sampsell
Burn Collector by Al Burian
Clock Without A Face by Eli Horowitz and Mac Barnett
Please Don’t Come Back from the Moon by Dean Bakopoulos
The Skeptical Juror and the Trial of Byron Case by John Allen
Saguaro by Carson Mell"

{Davy Rothbart is the author of The Lone Surfer Of Montana, Kansas and the creator and editor of Found Magazine, and he contributes regularly to This American Life. Visit his website
here for more information.}

Friday, May 28, 2010

Brian Evenson, On Reading

"When I was just a kid I remember my mother lying on the couch reading Agatha Christie novels. Often she'd fall so deeply into her book that she wouldn't respond when I spoke to her, wasn't even quite aware that I was there. Seeing that made me think of books as something with a hypnotic, almost mystical power.

A good, well-written book, whatever its genre, is capable of erasing the world, and of making the world feel as if it's been changed by the time you return to it. In my process of reading (and of writing) that act of effacing or erasing or blotting out the world is always present, as is the sense of estranged return. I'm not sure how I can simultaneously fall into a book and still admire and enjoy what it's doing with syntax and language, but somehow it happens. And it happens more completely for me with books than with any other activity."

Brian Evenson is the author of ten books of fiction, most recently the limited edition novella Baby Leg, published by New York Tyrant Press in 2009. In 2009 he also published the novel Last Days (which won the American Library Association's award for Best Horror Novel of 2009), and the story collection Fugue State, both of which were on Time Out New York's top books of 2009. His novel, The Open Curtain (Coffee House Press), was a finalist for an Edgar Award and an IHG Award. He is the recipient of an O. Henry Prize as well as an NEA fellowship. Visit his website here for more information.}

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Matt Bell, On Reading

"The only books I want to read are ones capable of getting inside me, of remaking some part of me into something better, so that the person I was before reading is unrecognizable to the new me that has read. This is the same effect I now aspire to as a writer, that I am trying to get better at creating with each progressive fiction I make."

{Matt Bell is the author of
How They Were Found, forthcoming from Keyhole Press in October 2010, as well as three chapbooks, Wolf Parts (Keyhole Press), The Collectors (Caketrain Press), and How the Broken Lead the Blind (Willows Wept Press). His fiction has been selected for inclusion in Best American Mystery Stories 2010 and Best American Fantasy 2. He is also the editor of The Collagist and the series editor of Dzanc's Best of the Web anthology series. Visit his website here for more information.}

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Scott Garson, On Reading

"I have a seven-year old, and when it's my turn to put her to bed, I read to her from 'chapter books' that are somewhat beyond her own reading level. Right now we're reading William Pene DuBois' The Twenty-One Balloons, which is great. I read that one when I was young, but even when we're reading something new, like Brian Selznick's The Invention of Hugo Cabret, the pleasure for me is a nostalgic one. Is my own reading different? Yes and no. Nostalgia is an existential tension, if that's not too heady a thing to say. You feel, maybe deeply, what's no longer there. It's a state that can't be secured. For me that's a basic part of the appeal of all of the reading I value. Something in a voice connects with you, wholly. What is it? Where has it gone?"

Scott Garson edits Wigleaf and is the Series Editor for the Wigleaf Top 50 (Very) Short Fictions annual. His collection of microfictions, American Gymnopédies, was published by Willows Wept Press. Visit his website here for more information.}

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tod Goldberg, On Reading

"When I was a child I remember being told I would never read or write above the 4th grade level. I was only six or seven at the time and was profoundly dyslexic. I was at an optometrist's office getting my eyes checked and as I sat there in the dark with my eyes dilated, the optometrist turned to my mother and told her my future as if I was incapable of understanding what he was saying. I spent the next several years in special classes filled with other kids with far more significant maladies -- cerebral palsy, missing limbs, Downs Syndrome -- and every day that I spent in those classes, and every day I spent being tormented by what I couldn't do and couldn't be, the more I wanted to simply be able to sit down and read, get swept away to a better life than what I was mired in. Of course I didn't know how hard it would be, or how long the journey, or how grand the payoff would be. I don't know if I write above a 4th grade level -- at least not according to some reviews on Amazon! -- but I surely read above that level now."

Tod Goldberg is the author of several books, including Fake Liar Cheat, Other Resort Cities, Burn Notice: The Fix, and Burn Notice: The End Game. His novel, Living Dead Girl ,was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and his collection of short stories, Simplify, was a finalist for the SCIBA Award for Fiction and winner of the Other Voices Short Story Collection Prize. Visit his website here for more information.}

Monday, May 24, 2010

Bradley Sands, On Reading

"I have met a lot of self-proclaimed 'writers' in the 'real world' who do not read. I rarely meet people like this online. I suppose there are some who are mostly influenced by movies, which can be valuable in regards to learning plot structure, but a movie is a poor substitute for a good book. The best way to learn to write is to read as many books as possible. This practice is more helpful than taking writing classes. Reading a good book is more beneficial than studying a book about grammar. It’s also helpful to expose yourself to 'bad writing,' so you can learn to identify mistakes and avoid them in your own work. The best way to do this is to read the slush pile for a literary magazine. I did this when I worked for a magazine called Weird Tales."

Bradley Sands is the author of It Came from Below the Belt and My Heart Said No, but the Camera Crew Said Yes! He edits the journal, Bust Down the Door and Eat All the Chickens. Visit his website here for more information.}

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Ana Božičević, On Reading

"I'm a little dysfunctional as a reader. I sometimes find it hard to read. Existential or trivial thoughts intrude and unstick the eyes from the page. Or I feel the urge to look at my phone. It happens without effort and then: regret. Amy King gave me a book to read called Creative Reading by Ron Padgett. I think this book will help me with my problems, if I can keep my eyes on it. Another thing that happens is: I read a few lines of poetry and then I want to write. It feels joyous but rude, like interrupting someone mid-sentence: 'Yes! I also....' Or I question whether a book/poem I'm reading is really necessary. So why don't I question whether a leaf or a day is necessary? Why is a book/poem any different? I did question whether leaves are necessary at one point, and that's a road you don't want to go down. It's a dark road. If you actually want to live, write and read, it's a mistake to think of a book/poem as a premeditated act, I have to keep reminding myself. People just sing. It's OK. I can just listen. It's fine."

Ana Božičević is the author of Stars of the Night Commute (Tarpaulin Sky Press). Visit her website here.}

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Jack Pendarvis, On Reading

"I love to read. I read all the time. I just read Wuthering Heights, Frankenstein, and Citrus County -- the latter by John Brandon, in galley form. They made a great trio. Don't you love how one book seems to lead to another? You read the book you're supposed to read at the time. The book decides. Now I'm reading I Was Looking For A Street by Charles Willeford. I'm reading fast. I'm eating books up. I teach for many weeks of the year and don't have much time for 'mere' pleasure reading. So when I get the chance, I guess I go nuts. Of course, I try to teach books I enjoy reading. Recently I read Lee Durkee's Rides Of The Midway for a second time because I was teaching it. That was a luxury. Same with Ghosts by Cesar Aira. Three times now. Always more to find in that one. In the fall I intend to teach Bats Out Of Hell by Barry Hannah so I can revisit it in a serious way. I have a lot of books about birds I've been meaning to read. I like to read about birds for some reason. Birds are growing on me. I avoided them for years. Crow Planet by Lyanda Lynn Haupt is one I'm really excited about. I'll probably read it after I finish the Willeford. I go to the local bookstore, Square Books, almost every day. I like looking around and talking to my friends who work there. Sometimes I buy a book even when I can't afford it. Sometimes I don't buy a book, and then I think about it all night, and come back and buy it the next day. Day Out Of Days by Sam Shepard was one of those. I'm glad I read it. I just loved it. It's fun to wander around in a bookstore. There are books about everything! Sometimes that feels daunting. Other times you just sink into it."

Jack Pendarvis has regular columns in The Believer and The Oxford American. He has written three or four books (including Awesome, and Your Body Is Changing). Visit his website here for more information.}

Friday, May 21, 2010

Jillian Lauren, On Reading

"There's only one good reason to be a writer--if reading saved your life. I live to read things that change me so profoundly they alter my cellular structure. I aspire to write words that leave readers transformed. I don't know if I'll ever get there, but that's my goal."

{Jillian Lauren's memoir, Some Girls: My Life in a Harem, was published by Plume in April of 2010. Visit her website
here for more information.}

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Nick Antosca, On Reading

"Reading is the nutrition. Often I get depressed and unproductive and can't understand why I haven't written anything in a long time. Almost invariably that dead streak coincides with me not reading enough. The moment I get back into a book that amazes or impresses or deeply engrosses me, I can write again."

Nick Antosca is the author of Midnight Picnic (Word Riot Press). For more information, visit his website here.}

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Arthur Nersesian, On Reading

"The best advice I ever got about being a writer was: the more you read, the more you write the better you'll get. It's true. Everyone should read as much as they can, particularly young writers. What's also true is that after putting my best hours into squeezing out a few usable pages... well, vulgarity aside, returning to my great love of literature after reading and writing all day, I feel like an exhausted porn actor who has to go home to make love to his wife. (Actually that's not fair, porn actors make a lot more money and have a much bigger audience.)"

{Arthur Nersesian's latest novel, Mesopotamia, will be published by Akashic Books in June of 2010. Visit his website
here for more information.}

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Shane Jones, On Reading

"For a writer, reading is your power source. When I don't feel like writing it's usually because I haven't been reading. It's a lot like the cartoon He-Man when he picks up the sword and yells 'I have the power!' You're either Prince Adam just being a Prince, or you're getting your power levels up and being He-Man -- eating words up and putting words down on the page."

Shane Jones is the author of Light Boxes. Visit his blog here.}

Monday, May 17, 2010

Abayomi Animashaun, On Reading

"Reading is a blessed act, that has the potential of leading an individual toward (re) examining the foundations of his imagination. And, in some cases, forcing him to pull out the stoppers. Shake loose the dikes. So the waters from one region of his mind gather. Flow. And rush into others… Until that individual breaks, then settles upon a knowing which feels infinitely beyond himself. For me, anyway, this is why Rilke is so essential. And, Elytis. And, Emerson. And, Gibran. Because they remind me that, more than 'finishing' a book, the business of reading is one of continued exposure and meaning."

{Abayomi Animashaun's collection of poems, The Giving Of Pears (Black Lawrence Press), won the Hudson Prize in 2008. His writing has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Prize, and he was a recipient of a grant from the International Center for Writing and Translation. Please visit his website
here for more information.}

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Gabriel Blackwell, On Reading

"Four days ago, I sat down at my desk to watch Eyes Without a Face (1960) a movie that I remember enjoying, for a story that I'm writing. The opening credits play over this Mobius strip of a tracking shot, spotlit trees along some dark road, with music that puts me in mind of Carnival of Souls. So far, so good. And then the real kicker: the credit for screenplay comes up, and it's Boileau-Narcejac (they wrote the novel that Hitchcock's Vertigo was taken from). Now I'm really excited. But at Doctor Genessier's speech, at about the nine-minute mark, I turn it off. The whole time I've been watching the movie, I've been thinking, 'I wish there was a book about what happens in Eyes Without a Face, so that I could read it instead of watching the movie.' There is, of course--it's based on a novel, albeit one that's not readily available in English--but that's not exactly what I have in mind. And it's not lost on me that the reason that I'm watching it in the first place is that I am, in fact, trying to write just the exact kind of thing that I do have in mind, but still, I'd rather be reading. And it gets worse: while I'm sitting at my desk, thinking that I wish there were a book about the movie Eyes Without a Face and watching the movie Eyes Without a Face, what I've really been doing is reading the book Conquest of the Useless. So when I turn the movie off, it's actually because, even though I sat down to watch a movie, now the movie that I sat down to watch is distracting me from reading this book, a book about a movie. And I know that, even though I really like Fitzcarraldo and I'd like to see it again now that I've read Herzog's book, if I put it on, I would just turn it off so that I could read some more of Andrei Tarkovsky's Sculpting in Time, or The Elephant Man, as told to Frederick Treves, the 'reminiscence' that eventually became David Lynch's The Elephant Man, which is what got me thinking about Eyes Without a Face in the first place. And this might make it seem like I'm just easily distracted, but that's not it. Because when I turned Eyes Without a Face off and gave my attention to Conquest of the Useless, I read it for three hours straight, all the way up until I had to leave for work. I could have watched Eyes Without a Face twice in that span, but four days later I'm still at that nine-minute mark. And I've read five books in those four days."

Gabriel Blackwell's fiction has appeared in Conjunctions and The Collagist, and is forthcoming in Puerto del Sol and Conjunctions. Visit him here for more information.}

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Erik Smetana, On Reading

"I find the more I read, the better my own writing becomes. And as I discover new voices lining the shelves at my local bookstore (as well as online, in magazines, and through word of mouth), my world expands a little with every new cover I crack open.

When I first started writing with any serious intent, the feedback I'd get on those early futile attempts often included the old adage 'Write what you know,' but the thing is, when you read broadly, that idea becomes moot.

Making a point to read across genres, taking in both popular and literary fiction, picking up titles from major publishing houses and independents alike, devouring every journal (online and print) you can find, that changes a writer. It makes one better (stronger, faster, well at least more literate) and what you know becomes endless."

{Erik Smetana is currently working on a novel, Brighter than Sunshine, and is the founding editor of Stymie Magazine. More about Erik, his writing, and other such things can be found

Friday, May 14, 2010

Laura van den Berg, On Reading

"I read to inhabit other worlds and to find things in those worlds that are at once unfamiliar and recognizable, like glimpsing someone you once knew off in the distance. I love books that make visible elements that I have vaguely sensed or perceived in the world as I know it, but never knew how to name."

Laura van den Berg is the author of What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us (Dzanc Books), which was recently longlisted for both The Story Prize and the Frank O’Connor Award. Visit her website here for more information.}

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Gayle Brandeis, On Reading

"Reading creates compassion. It lets us see the world through the eyes of the Other, and helps us realize that the Other isn't so Other after all--we all have a human heart, with all its fallibility, all its potential grace."

{Gayle Brandeis is the author of several books, including Fruitflesh: Seeds of Inspiration for Women Who Write (HarperOne), and the novel The Book of Dead Birds (HarperCollins), which won Barbara Kingsolver's Bellwether Prize for Fiction in Support of a Literature of Social Change. Her first novel for young readers, My Life with the Lincolns (Holt), was published earlier this year. Visit her website
here for more information.}

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

D. Harlan Wilson, On Reading

"They say that, for writers, writing is a way to exorcise demons. That’s an illusion—and a romantic illusion at that. For writers, writing is utterly ordinary, a daily task, an extension of selfhood that, in its absence, would considerably redefine (and quash) selfhood. In other words, writing, like dreaming, is a simple means of processing, filtering, negotiating the nightmare of everyday life.

As for reading—this, too, for writers, is an essential component of identity. You can’t be a good writer if you’re not a die-hard reader. And you can’t become a better writer unless you develop a steady, if not rabid, habit of reading."

{D. Harlan Wilson is an award-winning novelist, short story writer, literary critic and English professor. Visit his website
here, and visit his blog here.}

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Amelia Gray, On Reading

"Read good books as critics would, better books as writers should, and the best books as readers do."

{Amelia Gray is the author of AM/PM, published by Featherproof Books, and Museum of the Weird, due August 2010 through Fiction Collective 2. Visit her website
here for more information.}

Monday, May 10, 2010

Sean Lovelace, On Reading

"Currently, the act of reading is subversive. You are not gobbling into your MePhone. You are not Face booking (a matter not of faces or books) a “friend.” There is no clacking, beeping, or sing-song tune to the turning of pages. But you are immersed, intoxicated. The book is a drug. It is the drug that made you want to write your first word."

Sean Lovelace teaches creative writing at Ball State University. How Some People Like Their Eggs is his award-winning flash fiction collection published by Rose Metal Press. His works have appeared in Crazyhorse, Diagram, Quick Fiction, Sonora Review, Willow Springs, and so on. Visit his blog here. He likes to run, far.}

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Barry Graham, On Reading

"A friend of mine told me that the only way to get rid of writer's block is to read a lot of books. I call bullshit. Stop reading and analyzing and tearing apart other people's words and lives looking for flaws, imperfections to capitalize on. Read books because you love them, because the Cat in the Hat is a true friend, because you'll never experience America the way Dean and Sal did, because Huck Finn changed the world. If you want to get rid of writer's block, turn off your goddam laptop and get some fresh air."

{Barry Graham is the author of The National Virginity Pledge (Another Sky Press) and the editor of Dogzplot. Visit his website
here for more information.}

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Ryan Dilbert, On Reading

"I always find inspiration when I read. Sometimes it is the kind that bestows wings, the Gatorade for the muse kind, the type of literary gourmet experience that leaves me with ideas fluttering and my heart grinning. Sometimes it is the other kind, the one where I say to myself, 'I can do better than that.' Both are equally valuable."

{Ryan Dilbert’s novel Time Crumbling like a Wet Cracker is forthcoming from No Record Press in 2011. You can find a list of his published stories and miscellany
here. He is a below average basketball player and the editor of Shelf Life Magazine.}

Friday, May 7, 2010

Andy Devine, On Reading

"The order of the letters in the English alphabet is not an accident. If the reader learns to read alphabetically, then reading takes on possibilities that are impossible with traditional English grammar and syntax."

Andy Devine’s alphabetical fiction and essays have appeared in a variety of literary magazines, including New York Tyrant, Unsaid, elimae, Everyday Genius, and Taint. WORDS (Publishing Genius) is his first book.}

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Michael Kimball, On Reading

"I think of myself as a writer, but I have spent more time reading than I ever will writing. Why don't I say that I am reader?"

Michael Kimball is the author of Dear Everybody. He also writes postcard life stories and collaborates on films.}

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Steve Almond, On Reading

"The only reason I stopped being a bored, boring, self-regarding nincompoop is because I started reading. This was in my twenties. Up till then, I've been a standard issue screen zombie. But reading implanted the radical notion that I had an actual, you know, internal life, one that might be reached directly via acts of imaginative engagement. My life has been a lot less wretched, and lot more honest, since."

{Steve Almond's latest book is Rock And Roll Will Save Your Life (Random House). For more information, please visit his website

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sarah Eaton, On Reading

"When I don’t read, I feel depressed. Reading stories on the internet doesn’t count, it has to be a book, in my hand, and I have to read every day. If you are depressed, you should try reading. I think it might be a substitute for meditation or something else healthy. My mom told me this story about how when she was a little girl she would hide in a closet to escape chores and read. My granny used to check out a huge stack of books from the library and sit on her porch and read and chain smoke. When I was small, I could read any of my family’s books that they got from the library, which was strange because I was not allowed to watch anything I wanted--like I remember desperately wanting to see Top Gun but not being allowed--but I could totally read books about hard-boiled detectives who have raunchy sex in their spare time. And so I did. I read everything. And I still do. I’m trying to teach my cats to read, to keep up the family tradition, but mostly they just sleep instead."

{Sarah Eaton's poetry book, Tough Skin (BlazeVOX Books), is available
here and here.}

Monday, May 3, 2010

Adam Robinson, On Reading

"I read on the toilet a lot, and every morning for about an hour in the tub. I don't have a comfy chair, so these are the only two places at my house to focus. Either I'll read several poems (most recently it's been Z. Schomburg, D. Lasky, M. Broder, H. Ito, P. Davis) or movie reviews in the New Yorker, or I'll try to get engaged with a novel or short story. This morning I read a bit of The Ask, by Sam Lipsyte, and will probably read the whole thing (recent unfinished books, on the other hand, include Babble by J. Baumbach, House Of Sand And Fog by A. Dubus III, Birds Of America by L. Moore).

I'm the kind of person who wishes for "a program" but can't get on one. I mean, I'd love to become an expert on Russian Formalism or French misanthropy or something, and I used to consider myself a light completist, at least when it comes to Beckett, Vonnegut, O'Connor. Now I spend so much energy on submissions that I resist any prescriptive reading schedule because, more than anything, I'm just looking for a good time."

{Adam Robinson lives in Baltimore, where he runs Publishing Genius. His books include Adam Robison and Other Poems (Narrow House Books) and Say, Poem (Awesome Machine Press). Visit his website here for more information.}

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Jessie Carty, On Reading

"The first thing I ask new writers is - Do you read? If they reply not much or not at all, then I tell them they need to stop so much writing and spend a bit more time reading because the act of writing is a conversation with all the writers that have come before you."

{Jessie Carty is the author of three poetry collections and has managed to have one piece of fiction and creative non-fiction published! Yeah. She was really excited about that!! Most of her other writing is spent trying to help other writers via coaching, reviewing and blogging. She reads A LOT. For more information, visit her website

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Mike Young, On Reading

"Reading is over there in a here house. Reading is fruitful psychotic installation art. When I'm reading, I like to forget I'm reading, but I like to remember that I'm forgetting. It is most fun, for me, to imagine vocality as the genesis of language. Sure, semiotics, but there's a team in your brain that doesn't know the difference between the sentence "He walked into the room" and someone actually walking into a room. That team is driving. Also there are mirror neurons that make you wince when the quarterback goes down. Sometimes, if I don't like the chips I'm eating, I read the ad copy, and then they really do taste bolder, I swear. Like boulders. The ability to read is a privilege; the ability to read well is a sleep killer. If you just accidentally thought of dead sheep, you're my kind of reader. When I visit, I try to act kind--so goes the read act. No one ever wishes me good luck when I tell them I'm going to read, but I wish a lot of things I never tell, and I wonder about the wishing of others, which is why somebody put two eyes in the middle of the word look."

{Mike Young is the author of We Are All Good If They Try Hard Enough (Publishing Genius Press), Look! Look! Feathers (Word Riot Press), and the chapbook MC Oroville's Answering Machine (Transmission Press). He co-edits NOÖ Journal and Magic Helicopter Press. Check out his website
here for more information.}