I Shot the Moon, Calamari Press, 18 / 39, SLEEPINGFISH [0.875]

Stubbornness is hard-wired in me, so I know that I’ll finish what I started in March 2010, which is a review of every title in the Calamari catalogue.

So far, I’ve reviewed these:


Now that the faux-break is over, I return with a review of SLEEPINGFISH [0.875], the eighteenth in this full-press review of Calamari books. Click through to give it a read.

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Hard to Say from Pank, available now

Ethel Rohan’s latest book Hard to Say is now available from the fine folks at Pank. These little books are always awesome, & I’m sure you all know Rohan’s work, but if you don’t, how about this for a vouch: “Hard to say, but Ethel Rohan does in tremendous words that hold up a mirror to the struggles of a family, a little girl, a young woman, a mother, a life. The stories in this collection read like crossing a river by way of rocks; unsteady, precarious, exhilarating and scary.  But Ethel takes our hand and guides us, showing us a fragile beauty just under the surface. –xTx, author of Normally Special” Buy your copy here.

Flatmancrooked is done

From FMC:

“Dearest Readers,

You’ve might’ve heard the rumors by now and, unfortunately, the rumors are true. Flatmancrooked is closing its doors. The reasons for this are varied but are largely due to my decision to leave publishing in order to focus on my family and health. Various editors, including our illustrious Senior Editor Deena Drewis and Associate Editor Steve Owen shall remain in the game, producing good work with new entities. Deena will be continuing with a novella press much in keeping with LAUNCH and the novellas we put out at FMC–stay tuned here: nouvellabooks.com; Steve is starting a journal and press called Mixer, which promises all the whimsy and brains of a mixed-genre, experimental endeavor; details TBA, so keep your eyes peeled.

Starting today, April 4th, 2011, all remaining stock of FMC titles in house are deeply discounted and priced to move. Go to the store link for an opportunity to get your copies while they are still available. As of May 1st, we will close our doors permanently.

The FMC Poetry contest entries will be refunded in mid-April, so fret not all you poets, and thank you for your participation.

On a personal note, Deena and I, along with the many folks that helped make Flatmancrooked what it was, would like to thank you for all your support over the last three years; it was an incredible and unforgettable experience.


Hey Small Press!

Hey Small Press! was founded in 2011 by current and former public library employees to promote independent publishers to public libraries.  HSP! provides a curated monthly list of upcoming fiction and poetry releases from small presses all over the world for librarians and readers.  With our list, librarians can find great books to order for their collections and readers are armed with all the information they need to walk into their nearest public library branch and request the books (then check them out!).

Year after year, independent presses publish the most exciting books but lack the marketing budgets to get noticed by public libraries. The lack of marketing leads to under-representation on library shelves and lack of access for readers.  HSP! exists to pick up the publicity slack and push hard to get these books noticed. Every month.  Free of charge.  Because amazing books should be available to everyone.

Every tour needs groupies. Be one and get pictures of sexual diseases.

This is a guest post by Caleb J Ross as part of his Stranger Will Tour for Strange blog tour. His goal is to post at a different blog every few days beginning with the release of his novel Stranger Will in March 2011 to the release of his second novel, I Didn’t Mean to Be Kevin in November 2011. If you have connections to a lit blog of any type, professional journal or personal site, please contact him. He would love to compromise your integrity for a day. To be a groupie and follow this tour, subscribe to the Caleb J Ross blog RSS feed. Follow him on Twitter: @calebjross.com. Friend him on Facebook: Facebook.com/rosscaleb

Since Big Other was kind enough to offer me two spots on this skankily named Stranger Will Tour for Strange blog tour, I figure the best way to leverage that generosity for my own personal gain would be to 1) pander to the editors, and 2) bookend the tour with exclusive before and after content meant to inflate my ego into the realm of rock star in an attempt to legitimize this virtual tour as an actual tour.

J.A Tyler is a beautiful man. And did you know Ryan W. Bradley smells like cinnamon gum and compassion? Also, I am a rock star.

The before is understandably lame in comparison to the impending after. I’m sitting at home, spilling mild genius all over my computer screen. My butler is kissing my child and wife goodbye for me. I’ve recorded some credits footage for the behind-the-scenes dvd (mostly shots of me playing guitar while my road crew prays in a circle behind me before some unnamed big show). And I’ve got three hookers packing my bags, with two, hotter hookers unpacking them.

I love the infinite online literary community. I simply love that it exists. And that’s what this blog tour is about; spreading my diseases to as much of the community as possible. Street cred bonus if I pick up a few herpes (bookworms?) along the way. But as much as I may take home a few crawlies, this tour is about spreading the love as well. That’s why I’ve put together a very special package for a very special groupie. This is for real, so read closely.

The package to be given away will include:

1.      A VERY GRAPHIC PHOTO FILLED book about sexual disease called Color Atlas and Synopsis of Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Seriously, this book makes me queasy.

2.      A used t-shirt from the 1999 Goo Goo Dolls Dizzy Up the Girl tour. Why? Because I can’t go on living with this thing in my closet.

3.      Cecada’s debut EP, Fog at Midnight. This one, unlike the Goo Goo Dolls t-shirt, is not ironic and is actually an incredible album. I’m just sharing the wealth with this item.

4.      A paperback copy of Stranger Will, possibly slathered in my own DNA, definitely slathered in a personal inscription

5.      An 11” x 16” poster from the 1970 movie “I Am a Groupie.”

Blurry-headed cat not included (unless you want her)

So how do you become a groupie? Simply comment on every blog post I make during the Stranger Will Tour for Strange, beginning with this one and ending with my second Big Other stop, to be posted in November 2011. That’s it. Then, after the tour is complete, send me an email to let me know you are qualified, and if my roadies agree that you’ve skanked your way into every blog, you get a groupie prize. If more than one person qualifies for this prize, I’ll randomly draw a name to receive this package. But I WILL MAKE SURE that every qualified person gets something cool. It might not be as cool as a vomit-inducing book and a 1970s movie poster print, but it will be close.


Mezynski’s GLIMPSES available for pre-order

Scrambler Books is a righteous press (says the author whose first book was with them). Shane Jones’s A CAKE APPEARED, Kendra Grant Malone’s EVERYTHING IS QUIET, Matthew Savoca’s LONG LOVE POEM WITH DESCRIPTIVE TITLE, & now, available for pre-order, Neila Mezynski’s GLIMPSES. I’ve been reading quite a bit of Mezynski for awhile now, & I’m hooked. Check out the excerpts of this collection & I think you’ll find yourself pre-ordering.

a new Dark Sky book

from Kevin Murphy @ Dark Sky Books:

Dark Sky Books is proud to announce the publication of Stephen Sturgeon’s first collection of poems, Trees of the Twentieth Century.

Composed between 2005 and 2010, the poems in Trees of the Twentieth Century range in style from classically formalized stanzas on memory and vitality to allusive and lyrical free verses, and chronicle — among other subjects — the stories of lost friends, prophesies from a wandering head that speaks from a tree branch, and the experiences of a man as he pursues a curtain rod through the woods of Young Goodman Brown.

Stephen Sturgeon’s poems have appeared in Boston Review, Cannibal, Harp & Altar, Harvard Review, Jacket, Typo, Tuesday; an Art Project, and other venues.

Hear the poet recite his work, read a sample from the book, and place orders for Trees of the Twentieth Century at Dark Sky Books.

Praise for Stephen Sturgeon’s Trees of the Twentieth Century:

“Driven by synesthesia, Stephen Sturgeon’s magnificent poems affect the senses and embed themselves in the intellect, permanently.” — Philip Nikolayev, author of Letters from Aldenderry and co-founder of Fulcrum: an Annual of Poetry and Aesthetics

“There are poems in this collection that I consider to be among the finest poems in the English language, and they have made me shiver until I wept.” — Ben Mazer, author of Poems and January 2008

“Sturgeon illuminates the otherwise transparent impressions of memory and conscience, those opaque connections between our imaginations and each other, in music that sharpens the verse with thrilling uncertainty. His poems impress themselves upon the mind like an iron. He may be the first major poet of this generation.” — Daniel Pritchard, editor of The Critical Flame

Visit Dark Sky Books to order.

What are the AWP haps?

I want to compile a list of the AWP goodies & events our readers can look for.

I will kick it off by mentioning that the PANK / Annalemma / Mud Luscious Press  off-site reading will be 2.3 @ 7 pm & features readings by Molly Gaudry, Amber Sparks, Sasha Fletcher, Matt Bell, Mathias Svalina, & others. & at the Mud Luscious Press table (shared with our Dzanc friends) we are giving away 5 signed copies of Andrew Borgstrom’s new Greying Ghost chapbook & 5 super-signed editions of FIRST YEAR, autographed at AWP by Michael Kimball, Michael Martone, Brian Evenson, Kim Chinquee, Kevin Wilson, Jac Jemc, & a host of others.

But MLP is only a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of what is going on at AWP.

How about: 

2.3: FC2 reading with Kate Bernheimer, Amelia Gray, Lance Olsen, & others

2.3: The Literati Gong Show with FlatmanCrooked, Dzanc, Featherproof, Hobart & Barrelhouse

2.4: Post Road / Redivider party (they promise: absolutely NO readings)

2.4: Atticus Books happy-hour reading with Steve Himmer & others

2.4: Vermin on the Mount, sponsored by Annalemma, with Roy Kesey, Kim Chinquee, & others

All the details on these (& many other off-site events) are listed here, thanks to the AWP organizers, but what else is there? Freebies? Giveaways? People to meet or sign or hear read?

tiny hardcore & roxane gay & xtx & normally special & these are not enough words to say what I mean about reading this

Listen: For better or worse I read a ton of books, & I am treated to the growth of presses, the sophomore-slump of authors, the brush of writers with greatness & the heavy sink of a hole in a book that opens & will not shut up again. So when you read what is a book that is a book like xTx’s Normally Special, forthcoming from Tiny Hardcore Press, it is important to write of it where everyone can see, & where people can learn to read the words that are words that mean so much.

from ‘The Girl Who Doesn’t Know She Has Everything’:

A part of me inside a part of you but you didn’t know it yet. Not then. Instead, you kept on crying whenever you felt so lonely it made you want to swallow pills, cut yourself, say yes to boys. If you had known I was there, waiting to be born, maybe it would have made a difference. But you didn’t. It wasn’t time. You had to keep falling down. You had to endure everything that would eventually become scars.

I reviewed xTx’s chapbook from Safety Third Enterprises here at BigOther, & while I shortly stated my enjoyment of that chapbook & the words that xTx uses, reading Normally Special is seeing that chapbook amplified, exploded, opened up like a star blooming.

from ‘Marci is Going to Shoot Up Meth With Her Friend’:

I know that no matter how cute I would be or how pretty you thought I was, you wouldn’t reach across to touch my face.

If all I want is lying beside you and you not wanting that moment to stop, even with more than enough clothes on, is that not such a small wish that could be granted?

The stories in Normally Special are artfully connected, linked by thin chains like those we hang around our necks with wrecked-love at their center. The book moves fluidly, shapes as it goes, & doesn’t ever leave us feeling severed. If Roxane Gay’s editing is to blame for this book, then glory be to her reader-eye. Or if this is just where xTx is headed, hoorah, I love following these blooded tracks in the sand. & if this is what can be expected from Tiny Hardcore Press, I am game to read the next & the next & the next. Understand that this is bone goodness wrapped in massacres of lovely, & if I wasn’t before, I am now an official fan of xTx.

Pre-order Normally Special

I Know Nothing About Translating(ion), a review of Z213: EXIT by Dimitris Lyacos, translated by Shorsha Sullivan

What I know of translation comes from some naïve college years where I thought I could pick up the original French version of Camus’ THE STRANGER &, by reading it alongside an English translation, learn French. This was a stupid idea & a fruitless endeavor, but I did learn one thing: translating is pivotal. Only one or two pages in I came across some dialogue in the French version, the protagonist declining an offer – & while I didn’t (don’t) know French, I could (can) recognize even European quotation marks, so I knew that our character was speaking words. Strangely enough though, in the English version, Camus’ translator didn’t have our character saying anything – no – in fact, he merely shook his head, being ‘too tired to speak’. I am no translator, but this seemed wrong, was wrong, is wrong. I knew it, know it. & that is the entirety of my knowledge on the subject of translation(ing).

& then, there is this:

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