Tag Archives: Crow Arts Manor

Wife Beaters, Cut-Offs, Flip-Flops, Sunscreen

I don’t think I’ve ever worn flip flops in my life. And I know that driving through the south in July is going to be sweltery (I’ve done it before). I know I won’t be wearing army boots or anything. But I probably won’t wear cut-offs either. Maybe a wife beater, though, you know, I’ll call it a tank top (still sounds kinda aggro though, right?).

But I’m getting ahead of myself here. First I need you to help me and the wild women I’ll be appearing with to get some gas money for our summer adventure. I promise not to spend any at Whataburger. I’m talking about the Southern Summer Comfort Book Tour, which I’ve helped organize for my friends Elizabeth Ellen, Chloe Caldwell, Mary Miller, Brandi Wells, and Donora Hillard.


Domy Books will host the ladies in Austin and Houston.

Help us raise some moolah on their Kickstarter page. There’s some cool stuff to be had–books, Polaroids, private editing sessions. Hair pulling? If you’re into that sort of thing.

What else is happening?

I’m teaching another class on personal essays. This time with young hotshot, Chloe Caldwell. CC, as you may know, is the author of Legs Get Led Astray, the latest release from Future Tense Books, It’s on June 23rd at the Crow Arts Manor. I think there may just be one or two spots left in the class, so act fast! It’s only $40 for three hours of hard work.

If it’s warm out, we’ll be doing it outside. I won’t be wearing flip-flops.

Teacher Man

Hey friends,

Just a quick update to let you know that I’ve got some teaching action coming up. If you want to hang out and listen to me jabber a little and do some writing and stuff like that, please sign up!

First off, I’m doing this flash memoir class at the Crow Arts Manor (bottom of the page) on Saturday, August 13th. We’re gonna do it outside if it’s not raining, so it won’t be like you’re wasting a Saturday afternoon behind a desk! C’mon–it’ll be fun!

At the end of September, I’ll be doing a special weekend stay for the Oregon Writers Colony. I’ll be having 1-on-1 meetings with writers and sharing meals and hopefully enjoying the beach a little too.

In November, I am reading at Hugo House and will be doing a workshop there the next day as well. Check out the sweet poster for the reading.

In other news, I watched the movie version of The Men’s Club tonight with my friend Santi. Like me, he’s a big Leonard Michaels fan and we’d been talking about seeing the movie for a while now. It’s on Netflix Instant and it stars some great talent like Roy Scheider, Harvey Keitel, and Jennifer Jason Leigh. The book was probably my favorite blast-from-the-past discovery of last year (it was published in 1981) but I’ve heard rumors that the movie was terrible. And well, it pretty much is. For starters, the beginning music and titles are like something you’d see and hear on a cheesy 80s TV series. Santi and I just looked at each other and laughed.

Some of Michaels’s great dialogue is preserved but something is lost in the translation to film. Maybe reading funny quaint sexual euphemisms like “We made it” are better read in your head than spoken aloud.

About halfway through the film, the dudes go to a whorehouse and spend the rest of the movie there. For about the fifth time in our viewing, Santi and I laughed and said, This wasn’t in the book! But those scenes did have some of the best lines, especially as Jennifer Jason Leigh breaks down Frank Langella’s comically uptight character.

But man–the MUSIC! It was uncomfortable. At the end we found out that this guy was to blame. I mean, the dude should really be ashamed.

The point is this: Go out and read some Leonard Michaels books (ESPECIALLY The Men’s Club) but avoid the movie, unless you just want some curious and cringey chuckles.



Dudes I Love

Sometimes I got to celebrate the dudes I love and a couple of them are coming to Portland town soon. Check it out:

1. Tom Franklin

Tom and his foxy wife, Beth Ann Fennelly

Last summer, when B and I went on our Southern voyage, we stayed in the awesome guest house of Tom and his wife (the great poet, Beth Ann Fennelly) in Oxford, Mississippi–for two nights! It was one of the highlights of the trip. I’ve loved Tom’s writing since his debut story collection, Poachers. He has put out some other beauties since then and his newest, Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, is a stunner. He’s reading on Tuesday, June 14th at the Powell’s at Cedar Hills. It’s gonna be good.

2. Davy Rothbart

Davy hangs out with star all the time. Here he is with "Hurt Locker" star, Jeremy Renner

I’ve been pals with the Found Magazine boss since he came into Powell’s several years ago and dropped off a copy of his then self-published story collection, The Lone Surfer of Manhattan, Kansas. I see him every time he comes to town now because the dude is so entertaining and awesome! He once told me that he gave his dad a copy of the first edition of A Common Pornography when his dad wanted advice on writing about his life. That, my friends, is sweet. Also, he published a story of mine in the Found fiction anthology. (I published two of Davy’s stories–one in The Insomniac Reader and this one in the Spork that I guest-edited.)

He’s in town on Wednesday, June 15th, to talk about the documentary movie about his love life, My Heart Is An Idiot. It was created by another cool-as-hell sweetheart of a man, David Meiklejohn. This will most likely sell out, so get your tickets fast.

3. Dan Kennedy

DK: Nice hair and a tasty drink

Like many folks, I discovered Dan Kennedy through his awesome writing that would appear on the McSweeney’s web site back in the early days of Dave Eggers empire. He’s had a couple of awesome humorous memoirs published since then and has been to Portland a few times to read from them.

He’ll be here, at The Woods, on Wednesday, June 22nd to host the next Entertainment For People, which I will also be reading at (with a special secret musical accompaniment)! We’ll also be doing the show in Seattle on Friday the 24th. DK is a genius of the deadpan and his writing shows up in all sorts of big-shot places now, like GQ and also on The Moth. Don’t miss this show!

Thus ends this episode of Dudes I Love. Thank you.