Most Anticipated Small Press Books of 2016!

Few exceptions aside, the most compelling, challenging, absorbing literary art is being produced by small presses and their respective writers. I asked a number of writers, editors, and publishers to send me a list of small press books to look out for in 2016. Below you’ll find my own list, which is informed by Kate Angus, John Cayley, Lauren Cerand, Samuel R. Delany, Rikki Ducornet, Andrew Ervin, Lily Hoang, Sean Lovelace, Scott McClanahan, Hubert O’Hearn, Jane Unrue, and Curtis White.

Below you’ll also find lists from Jeff Bursey, Tobias Carroll, Gabino Iglesias, Janice Lee, Dawn Raffel, Nick Francis Potter, John Reed, Adam Robinson, Michael Seidlinger, Terese Svoboda, Jason Teal, Angela Woodward, and Jacob Wren. All the abovementioned people are small press heroes and great writers in their own right. My thanks to all of them.

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An Interview with Paul Maliszewski

Alban Fischer (of TRNSFR Magazine) sent me a copy of Paul Maliszewski’s Prayer for What They Said and What They Were Not Told (a new chapbook from TRNSR‘s book imprint Varmint Armature), and asked me to contribute to a group interview. It is here.

Also participating were Scott Bradfield, Molly Gaudry, Caitlin Horrocks, Paul Kavanagh, Brian Mihok, Mike Topp, and J.A. Tyler

Announcing the Summer 2011 Issue of Requited

Carl Baratta, "Driver Take Me to the River 3."

The Summer 2011 issue of Requited is now online. It features:

  • fiction by Josh Collins, Jess Upshaw Glass, Suzanne Scanlon, Ben Slotzky, and Simon A. Smith;
  • poetry by Kristy Bowen, Nicelle Davis, Eric Ellingson, Molly Gaudry, Monica Gomery, Rich Ives, Alyse Knorr, Kate Martin Rowe, and J. A. Tyler;
  • essays by Steve Katz, Mark Rappaport, and Viktor Shklovsky;
  • visual art by Carl Baratta and Alexis MacKenzie;
  • and videos by Anne Elizabeth Moore and Hyon Jung Kim.

Please check it out! And since the nonfiction section is my domain, allow me to say a few words about the pieces there.

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The Latest from Octopus

Congratulations to Jenny Zhang, Christopher DeWeese, and Rebecca Farivar for having their manuscripts selected for publication by Octopus Books 2011.

Congratulations also to finalists: Claire Donato, Julie Doxsee, Laura Eve Engel, Sasha Fletcher, Dan Hoy, Brenda Iijima, George Kalamaras, Kirsten Kaschock, Seth Landman, Linnea Ogden, Alexandria Peary, Craig Rebele, Rob Schlegel, S. E. Smith, and Melinda Wilson.

And in other Octopus news. . . .

www.octopusmagazine.com

 

#14 is live and features the following sixteen long poems:

The Water’s Piety in Doubt and Question by J. Michael Martinez

It is Especially Dangerous To Be Conscious of Oneself by Jeff Alessandrelli

Dwell-E by Brandon Downing

The Massachusetts Book of the Dead by Katie Peterson

Coney Island Avenue by Andy Fitch

Length of Fetch by Jesse Lichtenstein

A Geography of Pleasure by Amy King

Descend, Descend by Samuel Amadon

Vertigo and Bone Room by Julie Doxsee

from Rosalia by Molly Gaudry

The Kingdom of Blizzards by Michael Rerick

The Erotic Life of Art: A Seance with William Carlos Williams by Eileen R. Tabios

Topic Sentences by Dot Devota

We Know in 2010, We Survive by Claire Becker

The Personal History of Wind by Jennifer Denrow

Dark Highway by Zvonko Karanović transl. by Ana Božičević.

And the following reviews:

Not Blessed by Harold Abramowitz, reviewed by Janice Lee

Under the Quick by Molly Bendall, reviewed by Suzette Bishop

Sum of Every Lost Ship by Allison Titus, reviewed by David Carillo

Mr. Worthington’s Beautiful Experiments on Splashes, reviewed by Sommer Browning

Happy Birthday, Big Other!

With sites (especially blogs, I’d imagine) coming and going, resembling fairweathered friends with their weighty promises and concomitant lack of follow-through, and with evanescence and disposability, perhaps, being two of the internet’s primary characteristics, an internet year must be to an in-real-life year as what a dog year is to a human year. But it’s not for these reasons I’m happy to say that Big Other is celebrating its first year today.

A year ago, thinking about how frustrating it was to find a place that invited dialogue (and by “dialogue” I mean the concept formalized best, for me, by Paulo Friere, that is, a nexus that allows, encourages, fosters communication characterized by respect and equality, where diversity of thought is encouraged, where understanding and learning are privileged over mere judgment, although conclusions and sound and informed discernment, that is, sound judgment, and maybe even wisdom, may, in fact, result); thinking about how many blogs encourage stereotypes, discord, stupidity, inanity, macho posturing, and self-reflexiveness, blogs that are havens of groupthink, blogs that are really just another kind of mirror, mirror, on the wall, blogs that are really just digitized lint in an electronic navel; thinking about how I wanted something different from all that noise, I launched Big Other with the idea of it being what I, in some kind act of faith, called “an online forum of iconoclasts and upstarts focusing its lens on books, music, comics, film, video and animation, paintings, sculpture, performance art, and miscellaneous nodes and sonic booms,” a place to “explore how we are made and unmade by images, language, and sound; examine computer-mediated worlds; and dance along with various tumults, genre- and other border-crossings, trespassings, transgressions, and whatever, nevermind.” And I have to say that I haven’t been disappointed. Big Other has become all those things for me, and so much more, and by “so much more,” I mean, it has truly become a conduit for meeting many incredible people in person, and so, I really can’t wait to see what comes next for us.

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Partial Thoughts for a Partial Wolf

I received my copy of Matt Bell’s Wolf Parts yesterday. Read it last night. It made me want to say things about it.

I didn’t really know what to expect. I’ve read a healthy dose of Bell’s work, but hadn’t read this piece. With a title like “Wolf Parts” so many things come to mind. If you’re like me you may have had TV On The Radio’s “Wolf Like Me” pop into your head. If you’re like me you may have thought of M. Night Shymalan’s The Village… for some reason.

I expected Wolf Parts to be good. But not as good as it actually is. It’s really good, and I don’t say that lightly.

I didn’t expect a dissection, a recreation of Little Red Riding Hood, which is what “Wolf Parts” is. In this aspect it reminded me of Robert Coover’s re-imagining of the fairytale in his novella, Stepmother. Only Bell’s story has a vibrancy, a violence, an empowerment that never got cemented in Coover’s novella. Sure, Coover’s had some moments. But “Wolf Parts” has it in spades from beginning to end.

I can’t fully articulate it, but something in the way the story is formatted reminded me of Molly Gaudry’s We Take Me Apart. I think it has to do with how the sections start. They are sort of introductions into each individual moment. It’s a technique I think is hard to pull off. But Gaudry did it well, just as Bell does here.

“Wolf Parts” is part of Bell’s forthcoming story collection, How They Were Found, due this October from Keyhole Press.

Look at this fucking writer: Molly Gaudry

My folks like to tell the story about when we went to Disney and searched all over for Minnie Mouse. When we finally found her in the late afternoon, my father tried to take the picture but I kept craning my neck to see behind Minnie. Later, when asked why I wouldn’t pose for the picture after all that time we’d spent looking for her, I said, “So hey, Dad, guess what?” He said, “Okay, what?” I said, “That was the real Minnie Mouse.” “Oh?” he said. “Yeah,” I said. “No zippers!”

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Want to be a part of “Look at this fucking writer”? Send a childhood photo and caption to molly.gaudry@gmail.com.

Big Other Contributors’ News #7

J.A. Tyler‘s book THE ZOO, A GOING has officially been contracted for publication with Dzanc Books, 2013.
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Molly Gaudry has received four Pushcart Prize nominations this year! For “Beneath mosquito netting I imagine,” from PANK #3; “Parts,” from Whiskey Island Magazine; “Potpourri,” from Emprise Review; and “Excerpts from We Take Me Apart,” from Mud Luscious Press.
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John Dermot Woods‘s story called “Waterslide” is in the new issue of Anemone Sidecar (#5). Big Other contributors Greg Gerke, Ryan W. Bradley, and J.A. Tyler have stories in there too.
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Shya Scanlon will be reading with Leslieann Hobayan and Douglas Treem  on Wednesday, Dec. 9th at  Cornelia St. Cafe, 29 Cornelia Street in New York City. Details HERE.

Also, Shya’s Forecast 42 Project came to a close on Monday at Monkeybicycle.  He’s going to be guest posting about it on Monkeybicycles’s blog on Wednesday, Dec. 9th, too.
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Stacy Muszynski is conducting a series of interviews with writers, asking their thoughts on online publishing. Rick Moody, Matt Stewart, Matt Bell, Dagoberto Gilb, and others join the discussion. It’s all happening at American Short Fiction’s blog.

Stacy’s interview with Laura van den Berg, of What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us, will be at ASF blog next week, followed by three days of her guest blogging. Her review of Michael Zadoorian’s The Lost Tiki Palaces of Detroit will appear in the next issue of The Collagist.
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Sean Lovelace has a new flash in Hayden’s Ferry Review. He has another flash in PANK.
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John Madera‘s review of Justin Sirois’s MLKNG SCKLS appears in New Pages’ December issue.

Big Other Contributors’ News #6

Molly Gaudry and Kim Chinquee have been translated into Polish, alongside Matt Bell, Jamie Iredell, Claudia Smith, and a number of others.

A review of Molly Gaudry’s We Take Me Apart appears HERE.
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Shya Scanlon curated a Fan Fiction section for Opium 9, which includes work by Brian Evenson, Matthew Simmons, Matt Briggs, Blake Butler, Nick Bredie, Sean Carman, E. Loic Leuschner, Ben Greenman and Ryan Boudinot.

Shya’s story “Waiting,” from a semi-autobiographical novel-in-stories called Look No Further, is in Monkeybicycle 7.

He’ll be reading with Leslieann Hobayan and Douglas Treem Wednesday, Dec. 9th at  Cornelia St. Cafe, 29 Cornelia Street in New York City. Details HERE.
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Jac Jemc has five poems in the new Front Porch.  Here’s the link.
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Christopher Higgs‘s prose piece titled “Parents Being We Are Wrongly” in the inaugural issue of We Are Champion.
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Stacy Muszynski‘s review of Bonnie Jo Campbell’s National Book Award-finalist American Salvage and interview with the author at The Rumpus. Recent book reviews at The Collagist include: Josh Weil’s The New Valley, Skip Horack’s The Southern Cross. An interview with the editor of National Book Award-finalist American Salvage at American Short Fiction blog. Three-part interview with B.J. Hollars, editor of You Must Be This Tall to Ride, at American Short Fiction blog: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.
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Greg Gerke is reading with Barry Graham Reading at Freebird Books on Sunday, December 6 at 7:00pm. Greg’s new story “Truth Be Told” and interview is up at Dark Sky. And Sam Pink interviews Greg at Html Giant.
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J.A. Tyler‘s Inconceivable Wilson is officially available for order now from Scrambler Books.
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John Madera‘s review of Jamie Iredell’s Prose. Poem. A Novel. is up at the Rumpus.

Big Other Contributors’ News

header3Leni Zumas has a fantastic new story in Kitty Snack’s 2nd issue. Please check out an excerpt of “On Water” HERE.

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Artistically DeclinedRyan Bradley is co-publisher of the new press Artistically Declined which will be releasing Ken Sparling’s elusive second novel, Hush Up and Listen Stinky Poo Butt in early 2010. Sparling is the author of three other novels, Dad Says He Saw You At The Mall, For Those Whom God Has Blessed With Fingers, and [untitled]. Previously Hush Up and Listen was available only in handmade editions by request, Artistically Declined is looking forward to bringing this fantastic novel of fatherhood to more readers. Ryan is also the editor of their journal Sententia. Check out guidelines HERE. And please feel free to use that “poster” on the left on your blog, Facebook, and/or the like to help spread the news!

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John Madera has a review of Nick Antosca’s Midnight Picnic at The Collagist. Check it out HERE.

He’s also posted Music Inspired by Light Boxes HERE.

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pretty

Check it out and spread the love: Kim Chinquee‘s new book hits in April. Here are blurbs:

“There is always a roiling subtext beneath the seemingly placid surfaces and tones of Chinquee’s pieces, a dichotomy which speaks to deep truths about the human condition. Kim Chinquee is a true artist with a true vision, and Pretty is a brilliant book.”—Robert Olen Butler

“These brief snapshots of conversations manage to seem not like fragments of lost wholes but like vivid distillations of essential dramas, each a variation on the shared subject of thwarted intimacy.”—Carl Dennis

“Kim Chinquee writes with remarkable heart and grace. Her wise capsulizings of love’s devastations and of life’s roil and disappointments come at you with a sorrowing precision that comforts even as it haunts.”—Gary Lutz

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We Take Me Apart

Check out Molly Gaudry‘s We Take Me Apart (forthcoming from Mud Luscious Press, December 2009)

There is no more perfect place to be than in Molly Gaudry’s tender, dirt-floored novel(la), WE TAKE ME APART. Oh cabbage leaves, oh roses, oh orange-slice childhood grins: this book broke my heart. Its sad memory-tropes come from fairy tales & childhood books. With language, Gaudry is as loving & careful as one is with a matchbook . . . when wishing to set the whole word on fire.—Kate Bernheimer

Entwining the trance that is childhood around the hallucination that constitutes adulthood, Molly Gaudry’s WE TAKE ME APART is a bewitching & carefully barbed tale.  A cross between silence & a fairy tale, Gaudry’s Beckettian narrative sews bright bits to near-faint whispers, slowly swaddling us in quiet & darkness.—Brian Evenson

Molly Gaudry’s WE TAKE ME APART is a dazzleflage of a book.  The stuttering disrupted language of this cubist con-coction disappears before your ears, sinks into your eyes.  This aggressive dress camouflage reweaves Gertrude Stein’s rewoven grammar of worsted silk-screened gabardine into a fully ripped patois-ed pattern of stunning wonder.—Michael Martone