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. . . .


#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


Love Is a Road and a River: A Review of Sasha Fletcher’s When All Our Days Are Numbered Marching Bands Will Fill the Streets & We Will Not Hear Them Because We Will Be Upstairs in the Clouds

With When All Our Days Are Numbered Marching Bands Will Fill the Streets & We Will Not Hear Them Because We Will Be Upstairs in the Clouds (Mud Luscious Press, 2010) Sasha Fletcher has distinguished himself as a writer of great imagination, a careful craftsman of sentences, one attentive to tone and rhythm, to the visual dynamics of the page, to a profluence not beholden to the unbreakable chain of this-follows-that, a profluence sensitive to the reader’s inherent capacity to fill in the mortar between the bricks of text. The novella’s unnamed narrator, a bemused creator who, traveling to and from a kind of dreamland, performs many magical acts like walking into telephone lines and out of phones, like “building” a garden, steamboat, window, river, meadow, fridge, table, stove, sink, and even a well on the roof. At one point, he even tries “so hard to make lightning come spilling out of the clouds.” And that “so” is one signal of the narrator’s earnestness. If there is any single theme to Fletcher’s novella it is acceptance, not a bored resignation but a surrendering to life’s absurdity, its whimsy, even its flimsiness. The narrator, after disbelieving that his “stories are getting sadder & sadder every day”, asserts: “There are lots of things on this earth not worth questioning.” And toward the end of the novella says, “There are some things we know & there are some things we don’t & for everything else just close your eyes and go to sleep. Tomorrow is another day.”

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Summer? Reading

Sure, I understand summer is when kids and teachers have months-worth of vacation time. When people of means take trips to Hawaii or something. But for most of us, summer just means it’s better weather out while we’re inside working. So, by all means, make summer reading lists. But why not just make reading lists. Period. ?

To that end, here’s a list for you:

Books to Read During Your Lunch Break While at Work this Summer

{some new}

BOOK by Ken Sparling

The Awful Possibilities by Christian TeBordo

Pee On Water by Rachel Glaser

When All Our Days Are Numbered by Sasha Fletcher

{some old}

The Journey of Ibn Fattoum by Naquib Mahfouz

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Siddhartha by Herman Hesse

Q Road by Bonnie Jo Campbell

As Cool As I Am by Pete Fromm

All of these are quite digestable in a few lunch hours (or half-hours). Besides, who needs to eat.

Big Other Reading Series, #5


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