Tag Archives: bryan coffelt

What the Heck Am I Doing?

Well, I was planning on laying low this summer, but after updating my Events page, I realize I am actually pretty dang busy. Go check it out.

I’m also hosting an event with my fellow Future Tenser Bryan Coffelt on August 3rd at Colonel Summers Park. Outdoors! In the shade of trees! BYOB! The readers will be three of my favorite people: Amelia Gray, Matthew Simmons, and James Gendron (a poet I’m pretty obsessed with right now). Details here.

colsummersevent

In the meantime, Mr. Coffelt and I are also putting the finishing touches on the paperback reprint of Gary Lutz’s book, Partial List of People of Bleach. It’s going to be as amazing as you’d expect a Lutz collection to be. At the same time, we’ve started work on putting together the fall Future Tense release, a collection of personal essays by Jamie Iredell. We’re still wrestling with titles ideas. Jamie will be in Portland for Wordstock and we’re hoping to have copies of his book by then (first weekend of October).

In other news, the audiobook of my memoir, A Common Pornography, was just released by Audible. If you’re an audiobook fan and aren’t hooked into Audible, you really should be. They’re producing some great stuff. They did the audio book for Chloe Caldwell too. And they’ll be doing the audio version of my novel, This Is Between Us, as well. Rumor has it, that they’re also going to do a bunch of audiobooks of the Akashic Noir series, including Portland Noir, which I edited in 2009.

Writing-wise, I seem to have picked up on some poetry mojo and have written a good dozen or more poems in the last couple of months. I read one as the surprise guest at Dena Rash Guzman’s book release party recently while Ryan Werner danced in spandex pants and cowboy boots. I ended up riding on Ryan’s shoulders by the end of the poem (it was called Rock Criticism).

acdc

I have my own page on Ink Node if you wanna read some poems. I also have some appearing soon on Sink Review and elsewhere.

In the more journalistic side of things, I also have a article in the current Poets & Writers Magazine about people who are kick-ass live readers. You gotta buy the mag to read it but they also ran this cool web-only feature with clips from the people I interviewed (Almond, Lisick, McClanahan, Heald, Zhang, Kennedy, Nutting, D. Brown).

july_august_cover

Speaking of Alissa Nutting, I am crowning her saucy novel, Tampa, my fave of the year so far. And I talked to her about it for Tin House. That woman is tearing up the summer reading lists right about now, and for good reason.

Non-bookish stuff? TV stuff? Our household has been really into The Killing this season (the last Jonathan Demme-directed episode was amazing) as well as The Bridge and the new season of Wilfred (so depraved and funny). I also like that Amy Schumer show quite a bit. And we can’t wait for Breaking Bad, of course.

That’s all for now. Stay cool out there, friends. See you soon.

Summer Splash

Hi friends,

Summer is officially here and I’m planning on doing some fun stuff and getting a few important things done. Here’s a quick rundown.

Tomorrow night, I’ll be hosting a kick-ass outdoor reading at Colonel Summers Park. It starts at 7pm and the weather is supposed to get clear and nice by then so we’ll probably even get there early and play some basketball or frisbee or something. I’ll be introducing Eirean Bradley, Diana Salier, and Chloe Caldwell for their short readings and fellow Future Tense peeps Bryan Coffelt and Becca Yenser will also be there. Check out the details here. It was also a featured pick in the Mercury and Oregonian!

Bryan Coffelt and me, pimping some literature (from AWP 2012)

In July, I’m going to fly down to visit my brother in Houston and also read alongside some of the coolest ladies in America (I’m reading at the Houston and New Orleans stops on their tour). I love going to the south, so this should be a blast.

While I’m down there, I’m hoping to finally finish up some of the final edits and revisions of the novel I’ve been working on for twenty months (feels like twenty years). More updates on that as they come.

Summer reading? Well, right now I’m about to finish Ryan Boudinot’s Blueprints of the Afterlife, which is one of the weirdest and funniest books I’ve read in years. I also have the debut issue of Radio Silence that looks fantastic, Pauls Toutonghi’s new beauty, some more poetry by Sharon Olds and Matthew Dickman, the new novel by Padgett Powell, and that newish dirty Nicholson Baker book that I still haven’t gotten to. I like to do a lot of my reading on the Max train or at Bipartisan Cafe, where they have the best pie in Portland.

Summer literary happenings? I’ve set up a reading for Justin Maurer and Lindsey Kugler for Friday, July 27th at Ampersand that should be awesome. And then in August, I’m helping coordinate the Portland stop of the “Lil’ Bitch Tour” with Chelsea Martin, Elizabeth Ellen, and Scott McClanahan. That’s on August 17th, location TBA.

Summer movies? I saw Prometheus with my son a couple of days ago and it was pretty fun I thought. But most new movies have looked real crappy lately, so I’m not sure what else. Ruby Sparks could be a guilty pleasure. Maybe The Bourne Legacy too? I don’t know. Where are the slow, depressing dramas about fucked-up people when I want them?!

Summer songs? I hope to listen to Peggy Lee a lot. Mates of State always sounds good when the sun is out too (I hope to see their show in Portland on June 30th). That new Best Coast is also playing around here.

Peggy Lee!

Also, I’m not a strong swimmer, but I may put some floaties on for this year’s Big Float. (Watch for the awesome promo videos coming soon–written and produced by B. Frayn Masters!)

That’s all for now. See you in the sun!

AWP 4EVA

I had a great time at AWP this past week. There were so many people to see, meet, and say hello to that it’s really kind of an impossible mission to complete. Someone should make a video game out of it to inspire kids to become writers. It would be like: I have to make it to the Hobart table before they run out of magic juice (whiskey)…I have to make it to the Sun Magazine reading to see Cheryl Strayed and get 500 points…I have to find Lindsay Hunter and give her a high five…I have to avoid that dude with the long beard who keeps submitting manuscripts to me…I have to meet the guys from McSweeney’s and have a discussion about irony for 800 points and a bronze coin with Dave Eggers’s face on it…I have to try to remember who that guy is who wrote that poem I liked in that new lit journal…AAAAAARRRRRGGGH! I’ve been stabbed by Jamie Iredell!!

GAME OVER. (well, I imagine an AWP video game would be pretty close to that anyhow)

But AWP is also like a yearly class reunion made up mostly of your good friends and Internet celebrities.

Here are some of my AWP 2012 highlights in no particular order.

1. Seeing a killer line-up at the YesYes reading at Columbia, which included my pal Emily Kendal Frey and one of my favorite poets, Ben Mirov, whom I met for the first time. He was freaking great. He reads kind of like a loud robot (sorry, Ben, but it was AWESOME!) and I can’t wait for his next book from Octopus as well as this thing. Also reading that night was the surreal southern charmer Nate Slawson and the fantastic Mark Leidner, whose reading was the best I saw on the trip. His poem, Memoirs of a Secret Agent, was one of the weirdest and most entertaining things I’ve heard in a long time.

2. Chloe Caldwell’s book, Legs Get Led Astray, made its debut at the conference. CC and I hung out a lot and sold almost all of the copies we had of her book at the Future Tense table and at her readings. The book, which comes out officially next month on Future Tense, is one of the most exciting things I’ve ever edited. Here’s the happy author with one of our favorite people, Mark Cugini.

MC & CC

3. I rented a car for Chicago. I guess I didn’t realize that it costs like $50 an hour to park in Chicago. Plus, the lady voice in the GPS would often send me on the wrong route, which made me lost and late to a few events. In hindsight though, I guess it was pretty entertaining to drive around aimlessly in a huge white Dodge Charger with Chloe Caldwell and Bryan Coffelt punching buttons on the GPS.

4. I snagged my contributor copy of the new Fairy Tale Review at their booth and chatted with the lovely weirdos, Alissa Nutting and Kate Bernheimer.

I'm all up in this beautiful thing.

5. Met some awesome folks for the first time like Molly Gaudry (The Lit Pub), Jimmy Chen (HTMLGIANT), Matthew Salesses (PANK), Joseph Riippi (“A Cloth House”), Jen Companik (Triquarterly), Zach Wilson (musician/writer whose couch I crashed on), Andrew Shuta (Spork Press), Gary Sheppard (Kitty Snacks), xTx (“Normally Special”), Marion Winik (Above Us Only Sky), Lily Hoang (HTMLGIANT), Sy Safransky (The Sun Magazine), and Sam Pink (“No Hellos Diet”).

6. Books! I didn’t really get a ton of books but I did get the following: Meat Heart by Melissa Broder, Treesisters by Joseph Riippi, a bunch of stuff from Spork Press, and an issue of Oxford American.

7. My friend, Joseph Lappie (who used to work with me at Powell’s back in the day, but now lives and does book arts in Iowa) gave me a stack of these beautiful mini-broadsides.  I’m trying to figure out how to distribute these to interested folks. If you want one, let me know. We’ll work out a deal.

Printed by the amazing Joseph Lappie. He's also printed work by Aaron Burch and Farrah Field recently.

8. I got to be on a pretty fun panel about chapbook publishing (specifically fiction chapbooks) and I got to do a fun reading with Adam Robinson, Vanessa Place, Amelia Gray, and special surprise guests, Chloe Caldwell and Blake Butler. Thanks to the Ear Eater folks for that awesomeness.

Thanks for reading, folks! I hope to make it to next year’s AWP as well–in Boston. The year after that it’ll be in Seattle. That means no rental car. Hallelujah!

 

A Weekend of I Remember

This weekend, over at the Future Tense Books Facebook page and also on the new I Remember fan page, you can post your own I Remember. I love the whole I Remember form and often have student do it when I teach workshops and visit classrooms. It’s a pretty great writing prompt that is easy to get into but has the power and potential to result in multi-faceted work.

During a recent workshop that I taught in Seattle, I told students that memory is more important than story when it comes to writing about your life. The pressure of building a “traditional” story (beginning, middle, and end) is often too much pressure when the fact is this: in real life things don’t often unfold that simply.

So go check it out over on the Facebook, or if you want do some tweeting about it, write your own 140 character or less I Remember with a hashtag of #Irememberbook so I can go find them all. This is all to help us get the word out about the remarkable new Future Tense release, I Remember by Shane Allison (which is inspired by the Joe Brainard 1970 book of the same name).

Book, me, giant cat

Thanks for participating!

In other news, the upcoming Chloe Caldwell book is now available for pre-order as well. We’re doing the final edits on that book as I type (seriously–the Google doc is open in another tab!).

And oh, hey–look! I have a new poem on Housefire. And I’m reading at If Not For Kidnap next Friday with Bryan Coffelt, Edward Mullany, and a special secret guest who may have been mentioned previously in this post!

See y’all soon!

 

 

2011 is Dead. Long Live 1997.

Hey–First off, I have new little stories at Unshod Quills and Hart House Review!

And since 2011 is just about over, I thought I should post a little year-end thingamajig. A few of my favorite things:

Novels: Donald Ray Pollack’s The Devil All the Time and Patrick deWitt’s The Sisters Brothers were both pretty kick-ass rough and tumble kind of novels and both steeped in a dark Americana style.

Mr. deWitt

Short story collection: How many times do I have to tell you. Lutz is a master. Divorcer simply destroys.

Memoir: Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy. So, yeah, it was all popular like ten years ago but I just finally read it and it’s pretty awesome. Some people say the Ann Patchett book, Truth & Beauty (about her friendship with Grealy) is even better. Can’t wait to read that one. I’m sad that Grealy is not around anymore.

Poetry: Gregory Sherl is the new leading man of the drug-addled emo poetry scene. Does that make it sound bad? I hope not. Because it’s beautiful. He’s also kind of like the Rob Pollard of the lit world now too–so many books coming out (including Monogamy Songs from Future Tense, summer 2012), so many words coming out of him.

Surprise Manuscript: Chloe Caldwell sent me a query in 2010 that piqued my interest enough to have her send me more stuff in 2011. In that short amount of time, her essays became even more powerful and I signed her on for a Future Tense release in spring of 2012. Legs Get Led Astray is gonna kick your butt and give you a heartache. Helping her edit her essays the past couple of months has been a constant thrill. She’s my favorite writer of personal essays. Watch out for her!

Movies: Oh, man. Has it been a shitty stretch of years for film? It feels like the quality of movies is down lately. I did really like Drive (like everyone else, I know) and Buck was great as well. My favorite DVD release was definitely Dogtooth, the strange and brilliant Greek film about a fucked-up family in a world all their own.

TV: There are many shows that I once really liked and have lost interest in (Dexter, Weeds, maybe even American Horror Story already) but the ones that have stayed awesome are Breaking Bad and Mad Men (in other words, the usual suspects). The saddest goodbye this year was for Friday Night Lights, one of the greatest and most realistic shows about small town living and family life to ever be on TV. Luckily though, FNL writer Jason Katims also does the AWESOME show Parenthood, which has a lot of the same great qualities of FNL. I never miss it–and yeah, I have a crush on Lauren Graham. So what?

Lauren

Music: I feel like I got more and more behind on the music scene this year. I’m just not as on top of it as I used to be. I remember people would ask me, ten or fifteen years ago: How do you find out about all these cool bands that you listen to? I would usually answer that I hung out at listening stations a lot, had friends with record store jobs, and that I read a lot of music magazines (NME and Melody Maker, Copper Press, Spin, or whatever). Now my answer is: the library. I get stuff at the library all the time. Just recently, I snagged a CD by Sarah Jaffe, thinking it was my friend Sara Jaffe. It wasn’t, but now I have a new favorite singer. Also discovered this year: Ayvett Brothers, Blind Pilot, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, and I got to interview The Decemberists’ Colin Meloy and Jenny Conlee for Relix Magazine, which was cool. My 17-year-old son has reached the point where he’s listening to all these weird bands I’ve never even heard of.

The Decemberists

There were a lot of other personal highlights in 2011 as well. Getting married to B. Frayn Masters in January was a beautiful moment that keeps turning into more beautiful moments.

Married Bliss Attack!

Now come on, 2012!

I’m reading at If Not For Kidnap on a special Friday night edition, January 20th. I’m joined by Bryan Coffelt, poet, designer, Future Tense co-hort, and 49ers fan. There will also be Edward Mullany, a musical guest, and a secret special surprise reader at this event. Not to mention booze. House readings: They’re the best.

Alright, folks. Have a great Christmas and New Year.

love,

Kevin

Marriage, Staples, Freaks…

Alright, 2011! It only took you two weeks to change my life!

On January 15th, I got married to the beautiful B. Frayn Masters.

B. Frayn Masters Sampsell

I will put up some more wedding photos soon, I hope. Just waiting for friends to send their pics from the ceremony.

You may know B. Frayn from her smash hit storytelling series, Back Fence PDX, or her own writing. If not, get with the program, because everything she does is golden. Her next big show is Entertainment For People 4, which is on February 23rd at The Woods.

In other event news, I’ve been organizing the next Smallpressapalooza, the annual celebration of small press writers at Powell’s Books. This year includes folks like James Gendron, Nicole Georges, Jennifer Denrow, Alissa Nutting, and Suzanne Burns. More details on that as it gets closer.

Speaking of small press, I wrote this article for The Center For Fiction’s new website about how to start your own little press. It’s pretty much a behind the scenes look at what I’ve been doing for the past couple of decades (stapling, stapling, stapling).

The newest book on Future Tense though, is a fancy paperback tome called The Book of Freaks by Jamie Iredell. It will be out really soon, but in the meantime, the book’s trailer (created by cover artists Bryan Coffelt and Brian David Smith) has been creating a buzz with various mentions on blogs and international newspapers. Check it out.

Jamie will be touring soon for the book, doing a bunch of west coast readings with Mike Young, one of my favorite young writers out there. Watch out for that. Their Portland stop will be March 5th.

Alrighty, folks. I’ll be back with an update in early February.

In the meantime, I have been tweeting a little more these days–most recently about fashion! One of my favorite trivial things to be cranky about. Come follow me!

Stay warm!

Video Action!

Earlier this year I set up a reading for three great poets–Emily Kendal Frey, Evelyn Hampton, and Bryan Coffelt. I made a special effort to write funny intros for each person (they were recently published at Lamination Colony!).

It was a beautiful time at Ampersand in Northeast Portland. And look: there’s video to prove it.

Thanks to Bryan and B. Frayn for the camera help and the uploading.