Gary Lutz, a masterful prose stylist, is the author of three short-story collections: Stories in the Worst Way, I Looked Alive, and Partial List of People to Bleach. A fourth, Divorcer, is forthcoming from Calamari Press. On July 14th, he will be reading at the Soda Series in Brooklyn with Mary Caponegro and Tim Horvath. From my forthcoming review of I Looked Alive:
Unlike most people’s stories that appear clean and remedial in their telling, Lutz’s have already been lived in, occupied for a long time, and they have a stifling air similar to the curmudgeon’s den in Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape, where no one dusts, no one keeps house, and the whole enterprise stinks with the ancient odor of paper and page. Their minds ragged and rugged from overburn, Lutz’s unloved, unlived, destitute narrators squawk their findings: “It is said, isn’t it, that you “make” love because it’s otherwise not really there?” (“I Have to Feel Halved” p.45)
In this interview, we spoke mainly about his new story in the 2011 NOON, “To Whom Might I Have Concerned?” A wonderment of dazzling sentences and rigorous thought, it is 27 pages, one of his longest stories.
Big Other presents Soda Series with Melissa Broder, Stever Himmer, Josef Horáček, and Joseph Riippi. Facebook RSVP
Melissa Broder is the author of MEAT HEART (forthcoming from Publishing Genius; 2012) and WHEN YOU SAY ONE THING BUT MEAN YOUR MOTHER (Ampersand Books; 2010). Poems appear or are forthcoming in Opium, Redivider, Barrelhouse, The Collagist, et al. She edits La Petite Zine and curates the Polestar Poetry Series at Cake Shop in NYC. http://www.melissabroder.com/
Steve Himmer is the author of the novel THE BEE-LOUD GLADE, and editor of the webjournal Necessary Fiction. His stories have appeared in a number of journals and anthologies, most recently Hawk & Handsaw, Weber: The Contemporary West, The Collagist, and Re:Telling. He lives near Boston, where he teaches at Emerson College, and he has a website at http://www.stevehimmer.com/.
Josef Horáček’s poems, translations, and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Action Yes, New American Writing, Circumference, 1913, Translation Studies, and elsewhere. As a doctoral student at Emory University, he received a 2009 NEA Translation Fellowship and a 2011 Ransom Center Dissertation Research Fellowship. Currently living in Baton Rouge, he teaches at Lousiana State University. He writes for montevidayo.com and his multimedia work can be found at vimeo.com/josefhoracek.
Joseph Riippi is the author of THE ORANGE SUITCASE (2011) and DO SOMETHING! DO SOMETHING! DO SOMETHING! (2009), both from Ampersand Books. RESEARCH (a novel for performance), is currently in development with [the claque] in New York City for staging in November, and has showcase performances scheduled for May 20 and 22 (visit http://www.theclaque.org). A chapbook TREESISTERS, is forthcoming from Greying Ghost Press.
Vincent Czyz is the author of the short story collection Adrift in a Vanishing City, to which Paul West devoted a chapter of Master Class. He received two fellowships from the NJ Council on the Arts and won the Faulkner Prize for Short Fiction. His stories have appeared in Shenandoah, AGNI, Louisiana Literature, the Double Dealer Redux, and the Massachusetts Review, which nominated his work for a Pushcart Prize. One his stories was translated into Turkish for an anthology published in Turkey in 2010.
Michael Leong’s poetry career began in the sixth grade when he won his first and only poetry prize in Mr. Harrison’s class for a haiku about a snake. Since then, he has received degrees in English and Creative Writing from Dartmouth College, Sarah Lawrence College, and Rutgers University and has published poems in journals such as Bird Dog, jubilat, Marginalia, Opium Magazine, Pindeldyboz, and Tin House. He is the author of two volumes of poetry, e.s.p. (Silenced Press, 2009) and Cutting Time with a Knife (Black Square Editions / The Brooklyn Rail, forthcoming), as well as a translation of the Chilean poet Estela Lamat, I, the Worst of All (BlazeVOX [books], 2009). He currently lives in New York City.
Janice Shapiro studied film at UCLA where she won first prize in The Samuel Goldwyn Screenwriting Competition. The short films she directed were screened widely at film festivals around the world and she was a recipient of an AFI Filmmakers’ Grant. She has written scripts for numerous studios and independent producers including the cult film, Dead Beat that she co-wrote with her husband, Adam Dubov. Janice’s short stories have been published in The North American Review, and The Santa Monica Review. A graphic piece that she wrote was part of the anthology, What Were We Thinking? published by St. Martin’s press. Another graphic piece appeared in The Seattle Review. Bummer and Other Stories is her first book. She is currently working on a second collection of short stories, a collection of food essays entitled, Eat Like Me, and a graphic memoir, Crushable – My Life In Crushes From Ricky Nelson to Viggo Mortensen. Janice lives in Brooklyn with her husband, son and dog.
Mike Young is the author of WE ARE ALL GOOD IF THEY TRY HARD ENOUGH (Publishing Genius Press September 2010), LOOK! LOOK! FEATHERS (Word Riot Press December 2010), and the chapbook MC OROVILLE’S ANSWERING MACHINE (Transmission Press 2009). He co-edits NOÖ Journal and Magic Helicopter Press. He lives in Northampton, MA.
Our fifth reading and conversation is Sunday with Nick Ripatrazone, Robin Beth Schaer, Brenda Shaughnessy and Anthony Tognazzini. You can RSVP here.
Our sixth will be on March 20th with Michael Leong, Mike Young, Dylan Landis, and Janice Shapiro.
Upcoming readers include Steve Himmer, Joseph Riipi, Tim Horvath and Gary Lutz.
Nick Ripatrazone is the author of Oblations (Gold Wake Press 2011), a book of prose poems. His work has appeared in Esquire, The Kenyon Review, West Branch, The Mississippi Review, Sou’wester, The Collagist and Beloit Fiction Journal. He will graduate from the MFA program at Rutgers-Newark in May.
Robin Beth Schaer’s poems have appeared in Barrow Street, Denver Quarterly, Washington Square, Tin House, and
Prairie Schooner, among others. She has received fellowships from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Saltonstall Foundation. She teaches at Marymount Manhattan College and works as a deckhand aboard the Tall Ship Bounty.
Brenda Shaughnessy was born in Okinawa, Japan, in 1970 and grew up in Southern California. She received her B.A. in literature and women’s studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and she earned an M.F.A. at Columbia University. She is the author of Human Dark with Sugar (Copper Canyon Press, 2008), winner of the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, and Interior with Sudden Joy (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1999), which was nominated for the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry, a Lambda Literary Award, and the Norma Farber First Book Award. Her poems have appeared in Best American Poetry, Bomb, Boston Review, Conjunctions, McSweeney’s, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Yale Review, and elsewhere.
Anthony Tognazzini’s work has appeared in Denver Quarterly, Sentence, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Quarterly West, the Hat, and the Alaska Quarterly Review, among other journals. His collection, I Carry A Hammer in My Pocket for Occasions Such As These, is available from BOA Editions. He lives in Brooklyn.