Interview at The Weird Show

I am honored to be featured on the great art website, The Weird Show. I was interviewed by one of my favorite collage artists in the world, Andrea Burgay. Enjoy!

What Even is Now?

It’s mid-2020 and the world is simultaneously burning down and rising up. The weirdest year possibly ever. The “president” sucks. The coronavirus is a menace. The police are dicks. The wrong people are dying. Karens are abusing their cell phones. Sports are put on pause!

But. But! Some social justice work is finally happening, at least in the ways that people can instigate. Sometimes by resistance and force. Sometimes by discussion and amplified voices. A rebuilding and a rethinking. The thing more people are learning: Just because something is part of history (or perceived as history) doesn’t mean we should glorify it with statues, flags, monuments, and misguided team names. This is why Germany doesn’t have statues of Hitler or fly Nazi flags–because they are symbols of shame and embarrassment.

So while we count down the days to when Trump gets dumped and shit settles down a bit, and since it’s been a long while since I updated folks about my creative adventures, I thought I’d give a quick update…

I started the year by taking some time off of my job at Powell’s to finish work on a novel I’d been working on for about seven years. The timeline on this book and how it was build was a good lesson in perseverance. Up until last summer (August 10th to be exact), I had written just 22,400 words on it. With a renewed focus and commitment, I was able to strap myself in and finish the rest of it in about six months (final word count around 62k). I’m super happy with it and currently querying agents for representation. In a lot of ways, it felt like it was the first time I’d written a novel, maybe because it’s more linear than my past books. I don’t want to tell you too much about it yet, besides the fact that it’s narrated is two years old at the beginning of the book and five at the end.

Then I got a kitten. Her name is Susan. She is perfect.

Then I went back to work. Only to get punked by COVID-19, which shut down nearly everything everywhere. Since mid-March I’ve been out of work and on unemployment (hoping to return to work later this year), giving me some extra solitary time to work on various projects. One of them is an upcoming book of some of my collages that Clash Books is putting out at the end of the year. It’s called I Made an Accident and it will also include some of my poems. I should have more info and a cover reveal for you soon. Here’s a recent collage…

I put Future Tense Books on hold for a bit while I worked on this stuff, but I have our next release set for early 2021 (which will also be announced soon as well) and more to be announced later this year. Recently, we had a Black Lives Matter fundraiser which was a great success (over $800!).

I had a poem in the Winter/Spring issue of Poetry Northwest.

I wrote an essay about cleaning out my desk at work for Book and Film Globe.

I have an essay about living during COVID-19 coming soon in this anthology.

I am very proud of this longer short story published in Southwest Review.

A short essay and three collages were just published by the friendly folks at Old Pal.

Another essay from early this year, about trying to grow a beard! In Split Lip Magazine.

Thank you for reading and for all the things that you do to make this a better world. xo

Working It!

As the summer slides into fall, I find myself with a plate getting fuller. This post sort of doubles as my to-do list. Haha. Projects I’m working on for the next few months…

Just did final edits and now working on production of the next Future Tense release by Felicity Fenton and her lyric essay chapbook, User Not Found.



After that, going to be publishing the paperback release of Rob Roberge’s memoir, Liar (originally published by Crown). Out in time for AWP.

Getting ready for a number of book fairs: Short Run Seattle (Nov 3rd), Portland Book Festival (Nov 10th), Publication Fair at The Cleaners (Dec 19th), and AWP (March 27-30).

Getting ready for some readings soon too. Oct 27th at Mother Foucault’s w/ Rebecca Brown and Kate Carroll de Gutes, Nov 8th at Rose City Book Pub for Clash Media, Nov 9th at LitCrawl in Portland, and some stuff for AWP next year as well.

Been trying to squeeze in some writing as much as possible. Submitting new work when I can. Right now, I have a couple of flash pieces looking for a home, a longer story I’m not sure what to do with (though it was recently rejected with a personal email–with praise and comments!–from the New Yorker), and an essay about Prince/The Revolution I hope will land somewhere soon.

A couple of things recently published: A longer story on Joyland. This reprinted essay on the Freeform Radio blog about Til Tuesday and Everything But the Girl. And if you see the new issue of Post Road in your fave bookstore, pick it up. My essay on Claire Dederer’s memoir is in that.

Collage-wise, I’m still making stuff and I’m currently working on a couple of movie-related things, including a commissioned job for a movie poster.

Thanks, everyone, for reading, and for being a friend. xo

Look at What We Found

Kolaj Fest Was Hot!

I went to New Orleans last month and participated in the first ever Kolaj Fest, organized by Ric Kasini Kadour and Christopher Byrne of Kolaj Magazine. The whole festival gathered almost 200 artists from around the world and offered talks, demos, parties, gallery walks, and a collage making space (run by me and my friend Jay Berrones). On top of all the collage activities, there were of course many hours of enjoying the New Orleans party vibe and historic neighborhoods. And though it was hot and humid as heck, all the venues (Cafe Istanbul, Antenna Gallery, Artisan Bar, etc.) were stone cold cool and it seems as if the general consensus among the festival-goers is that they will gladly be back for future Kolaj Fests.

Here are a bunch of photos from the four days of fun. A few awesome people I enjoyed spending time with but didn’t get photos of: Andrea Burgay, Nikola Janevski, Kike Congrains (from Peru!), Marlies Oakley (from Australia!), Alex Hood, John Hundt, Janina Anderson, Lybra Ray, Charles Wilkin, Clive Knights, Beth Guipe Hall, Baleigh Ann Kuhar, and Chelsea Dean. Also, big thanks to Laurie Kanyer, who put a lot of love and energy into this event…


At the collage making space, there were many collage all-stars at work. This is a beauty-in-progress by Ben DiNino.


Janice McDonald lead a workshop on the first day.


New Portland pal Arthur Franklin (of Milk Bandits) and former Portlander (now Mexico City resident) Jay Berrones made the nights out wild and amazing.


The Kolaj Fest show at Antenna Gallery featured this amazing walls of Zach Collins collaborations.


#squad  (w/ Ric Kasini Kadour, Mighty Joe Castro, and Morgan Jesse Lappin)



My collage, Savior, was at Antenna Gallery (next to a beautiful Aaron Beebe piece here)


Seeing Danielle Krysa (The Jealous Curator) was one of the big highlights of the festival. So funny. So inspiring.


The night Jay almost jumped in the Mississippi. Good thing Aaron Beebe talked him down.


Tourist photo with Ignatius J. Reilly.


A Collaboration with Chris Kurts! 


The amazing Allan Bealy multi-tasks at the collage making space.


The last day featured a collage swap of art made at the festival


My contribution to the collage swap, which was snagged by Daniel Lynds.


Two of the collage GOATS: Aaron Beebe and Zach Collins


It was great to meet Seattle artist Cheryl Chudyk (Stitch Pixie). She joined Arthur and a bunch of us for breakfast on the final day.


What We Talk About When We Talk About Sports

So, yeah–I wrote a long-ass essay about being a Cardinals football fan for forty years. It’s up at Longreads and I felt such a weird relief and catharsis writing it. In many ways, being a sports fan (mostly football and basketball) is as big a part of me as being a writer or father. I mean, the shit feels ingrained! And if you think 4,605 words is a lot for an essay (it’s my longest one yet), I have to say that I had to hold myself back. It could have been longer! In fact, I think I’m going to write a follow-up piece and publish it somewhere in September, when the next NFL season starts up. This follow-up piece will be more fragmented (my usual style, haha). Like if Joe Brainard or Maggie Nelson wrote about football.

And I haven’t even written about the Philadelphia 76ers yet. Is sports writing my new jam? Nah, not really. In fact, I have mostly been writing short stories this past year. A new flash fiction (and a postcard) appeared recently on Wigleaf. And some other stories have popped up since my last update here too. Lookee here!

Besides that, I’m working on some other Future Tense stuff, doing more collage (including this current show at Redux!), and reading some great books like the amazing Liartown compilation, Myriam Gurba’s newest, this weird-ass graphic novel, and the Carmen Maria Machado collection.

I’m going to add an update to this post on Monday because I have a new poem popping up that day and also because today I’m going to boldly pick the Eagles to upset the Patriots in the Super Bowl on Sunday. Mind you, this prediction is made mostly from my heart as an eternal fan of the underdog and NOT my brain as a smart sports fan. Until then, here’s a link to a video about the Cardinals unlikely playoff run in 2009, and three photos of Larry Fitzgerald, my favorite player ever. ❤

TUESDAY AFTER UPDATE: Holy crap! The Eagles actually won! That means the 76ers are next, right?

Also, I have a poem up at Interruprture for their farewell issue. It’s a weird trilogy about animal creatures.



Twenty + Twenty Five

On November 25th, 1997 (it was a Tuesday), I started working at Powell’s. I couldn’t have guessed that I’d still be there twenty years later or what an important part of my life it would be. Being a bookseller, event coordinator, and champion of small presses at the largest bookstore in the world feels like my calling, perhaps even more important than being a writer or publisher.
But all of this time–this life–wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t fell in love with the transformative act of reading. Before bookselling, before writing, before publishing, I was a reader.
Working at Powell’s has been such a rewarding experience and the people I’ve worked with are truly my family. Thanks to everyone who has made these first twenty years such a wonderful experience. 💕

Also–this past summer marked 25 years in Portland total! Fun fact: The first five years I lived in Portland, I worked at a convenience store for a couple of months and then ran an espresso cart business with the mother of my son.


Hey, check the Fictions page for a couple of new stories that recently went up. Including this one that just went up at The Elephants and this one from last month at apt. BTW–One of my absolute fave books of the year is The Week by Joanna Ruocco and it was published by The Elephants. I highly recommend this brilliant collection of stories.

Mom’s Fading Mind

I wrote an essay about my mom’s struggles with Alzheimer’s and it was published at Longreads. It was a hard and emotional thing to write but was greatly aided by recordings I made of various conversations with my mom. Here are some photos of my mother, who is still living in the Olympia area. We’re working on getting her into a more full-time care facility. In the past few months, her behavior has become more agitated and she sometimes acts violent. She’s been on anti-depressants for over a year but sometimes refuses to take them. Lately, she has attempted to get out of the car when my brother Mark is driving her somewhere. She’ll say that they’re going the wrong direction and try to open the door as the car is moving. Along with losing memory, she has become manic and fearful.

I know a lot of people who have dealt with this terrible disease or are currently doing so. I hope those people will find some kind of comfort in this essay and remember who the Alzheimer’s patient/loved one was before the disease. I really hope that someday they find some kind of cure.

Patsy holding Elinda (w someone named Jean)

Mom holding Elinda, her first child

Patsy (w: dog) & Her Sister Betty

Mom, holding her dog with one of her sisters

Mom w Dad (probably late 1950s)

Mom with Dad, probably late 1950s


Mom (around age 17)

Mom in her Hallway2017

Mom in the hallway where she continuously walks in laps, August 2017

Patsy on Tire

Goodbye 2016

It’s almost over, folks. The nightmare that was 2016 is coming to a halt. Sure, there were a few good things but let’s be real–society and the world lost its shit.

But let’s try to spin back to some good stuff. A few things I feel good about lately…

I talked about some of my fave books of the year for this Portland Mercury roundup.

I also talked about hyping the new Mary Ruefle beauty at Publishers Weekly.

This book by one of my new favorite writers (you’ll be hearing about her more in 2017 for sure).

Joe Bonomo finds some sweet nostalgia in A Common Pornography and Bruce Springsteen’s memoir. 

This cool new book about collage.

Fear No Lit asked me to make a collage with this weird stock photo and Jamie Mortara wrote an awesome poem to go with it.

The beautiful movie Moonlight.

A new season of Nashville!!

I’m keeping busy with more Future Tense releases–the Meredith Alling books is fresh out the oven and Gary Lutz is coming SOON!

Okay, folks. Let’s catch up again soon. Hopefully after all this cold and gloom goes away.



The Beauty of Passing Through

Oh wow. It’s like I had a summer vacation or something (yeah, right).

But some cool stuff has been happening and I’m here to update!

I have a new story in the City of Weird anthology! It’s a book that’s been haunting lots of Portland bookshelves lately (it’s a bestseller at Powell’s). In a book full of scary tales and weirdness, my story is about riding public transit in Portland. Thanks, Gigi Little! Boo!


I’ll be reading my story at Lit Crawl this Friday the 4th. It’s also Wordstock this weekend and I’ll be roaming around there a lot to see friends and look at books.

I have a show of mostly new collages up at Rudy’s Barbershop on SE Division in Portland. It’s called The Beauty of Passing Through. I’m really pleased with it. Many of the pieces were made just in the last month inside the “Collage Garage,” the art studio in the backyard of my new home in Northeast Portland. It’s a space I share with fellow collage artist Kurtiss Lofstrom. We’re thinking about opening it up for shows and events sometime in 2017. Stay tuned. In the meantime, I hope you’ll come to the reception of my Rudy’s show on November 17th.

Colorblind Child, collage, 2016

Colorblind Child, collage, 2016

I’ll also be in Los Angeles this month! You know I love L.A. and all my peoples there. I’ll be at the book release party on November 19th for Meredith Alling’s debut, Sing the Song, which I’m publishing on Future Tense. So pumped for this book! Always exciting to find daring new writers and help them get their genius out in the world.

from Future Tense Books

from Future Tense Books

What else?

I was on the Go Away, I’m Reading podcast and we talked for so long it became a two-parter

I haven’t been working on my next novel as much as I want to this year but I am working on other writing, including essays on anxiety and sports…

I collaborated with Siel Ju on this great illustrated story for 7×7 called Vaseline

My poem “Anti-Extinct” is now available as a tote bag (and T-shirt) from Backwords Press…

I voted for Hillary

I’ve been reading a lot (often too many books at once!). My faves this year have been by Ottessa Moshfegh, Rob Roberge, Melissa Broder, Mary Ruefle, Jon-Michael Frank, and Chelsea Martin

and like so many other folks, I have been listening to Angel Olsen.

Feeling the Love in Los Angeles

I had such a fantastic time in Los Angeles this past week for AWP. I want to thank Jamie Iredell for organizing and hosting the Future Tense anniversary reading at AWP. I also want to thank Justin Maurer for putting me up at his homestead again and for setting up the great Future Tense off-site reading at the Redwood Bar. And thanks to the Timberline Review folks for letting me share their table.

It was so fun to talk to so many people at the Future Tense table at the book fair and to sell SO MANY books as well. A lot of people said they thought the Future Tense anniversary panel/reading was their favorite and that they could feel the love in the room. It was such an honor to be in that room with Jamie, as well as Chelsea Martin, Wendy C. Ortiz, and Meredith Alling (and Chelsea Hodson in the audience) and to see a great turnout for it. I LOVE being a publisher and ushering these amazing people and books into the world, into peoples’ hands–into hearts and brains. I freakin’ love it! This year’s AWP left me feeling so inspired and appreciated. I appreciate you all back, so so much.

Here are pics of some of my AWP highlights.


Beginning of the book fair on Thursday!


Jamie Iredell, dapper southern gent and literary powerhouse


I read a little bit from a few of the Future Tense chapbooks at the anniversary reading. And also gave out Spudnut doughnuts to the morning crowd.


I went to see Wendy C. Ortiz get a Lulu Award and sat with these stars: Cheryl Strayed, Melissa Chadburn, and Lauren Eggert-Crowe


Later, at the Standard Hotel rooftop party, there were pods with waterbeds in them. Wendy C. Ortiz gets comfortable.


Here’s upcoming Future Tense author Meredith Alling and Wendy by the pool


With Meredith in very uncomfortable chairs by the poolside


Big crowds at the panels, like this one for the “Year of Magical Thinking” panel I was on. It wasn’t about Joan Didion. It was about the first year of your debut book’s life.


Always fun to make Myriam Gurba laugh. She has the best laugh. And the best hair.


Sean Kilpatrick owns the floor (and kicks a chair across the room) for the Dark Fucking Wizard reading Friday night.


Awesome to see Brandi Wells also read for Dark Fucking Wizard.


Meredith Alling reads about an ancient ham at the Dark Fucking Wizard reading.


Awesome to see Monica Drake’s book on this Small Press Distribution display.


And to see Ooligan Press captain Abbey Gaterud (the day before I saw old friend Kait Heacock, who they’re publishing later this year).


Before going to AWP, I found one lone copy of Chelsea Hodson’s highly sought-after chapbook, Pity the Animal, and packed it with the rest of he books. On Friday, while taking a break from the table, Meredith Alling (salesperson of the month!) sold it to an excited fan for $50. I wanted to give the money to Chelsea, but she’s too dang sweet and generous to take it.


Ran into Kattywompus Press’s Sammy Greenspan after spotting Leah Umansky’s books on display.


Finally met the fabulous Ashley Perez in person


I didn’t get a lot of time to wander around the book fair, but I did get a few breaks thanks to Jamie, Meredith, and Darkmouth Strikes Again author Jay Ponteri. Here are the much anticipated books I’ll be reading soon by Natalie Eilbert, Ben Mirov, Chelsea Martin, Melissa Broder, John Colasacco, and Lincoln Michel.


Saturday night wrapped up with the 17 Television/Future Tense Books reading. Meredith Alling killed it again at the Redwood (one of the highlight of the whole trip was seeing her read THREE times in three days–good practice for her book readings later this year).


One of my favorite writers, Zoë Ruiz, at the Redwood


Thanks again for everyone who stopped by to say hi and check out the Future Tense stuff. We even officially sold out of our print run for May-Lan Tan’s Girly.

I’m not sure if I’ll be going next year or not. Washington D.C. is great but maybe too far away. We’ll wait and see. But for now, the L.A. AWP was such a good one and will be one to remember for a long time. Thanks again, my friends.