Tag Archives: Ear Eater

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!

 

Catch Up (ketchup)

It’s already February? I gotta catch y’all up on some stuff.

Besides doing the final edits on the great Chloe Caldwell book (out in April!) and doing some other Future Tense-related work (for instance, we’re now distributed by Small Press Distribution!), I’ve had some fun readings lately. I read at the If Not For Kidnap party on January 20th (congrats to INFK host Donald Dunbar for his recent Fence Poetry Prize) and then also at a fantastic Planned Parenthood event (which was reviewed the next day).

Reading at the Planned Parenthood benefit on 2/8/12. Photo by Andie Petkus

My next readings are gonna be pretty sweet too. I’ll be wandering around AWP in Chicago through the first weekend of March and reading at the Ear Eater reading series on March 3rd at 6pm at Beef & Brandy.   (also–I am on a panel about publishing fiction chapbooks at 9am the morning of the 2nd on the third floor of the Marquette Hilton.)

The following week, I’ll be back in Portland and reading at this cool event called SongStory. It’s on Wednesday, March 7th at the Someday Lounge. Other awesome readers include Lidia Yuknavitch and Gigi Little.

In other news, I had this essay about my experience with riot grrrl that was just published by Jewcy. This is an interesting piece that I actually wrote about two years ago after I found a letter from Bikini Kill’s iconic Kathleen Hanna that I had buried in a box of correspondence.

Kathleen Hanna’s spoken word single on Kill Rock Stars

I shopped the piece around a little to some music magazines but it never quite fit anywhere. It was going to be published by a Portland paper, but they sat on it for over a year (waiting for a slow news week perhaps) that I finally sent it elsewhere. Thanks to Jason Diamond for taking it on.

Now, to tie this all together with the title of the post, I will tell you my thoughts on ketchup (or catsup, which is how you say it with a lisp):

The only thing positive that I ever learned from my first girlfriend was the trick of mixing ketchup and mayonnaise to make a yummy french fry sauce. We’d go to Burger King and chomp down two or three orders of fries at a time. Since then, I’ve done “the mix” everywhere I go, from burger joints to fancy places with twelve dollar burgers. Thankfully, one of my favorite Portland burger places, Little Big Burger, already has that delightful sauce ready-made for the asking. Thanks, LBB.

The only other time I like ketchup is with fish-n-chips. I’ll always remember filling up those tiny paper cup things at Skippers whenever our family went there on Friday nights during Lent. All-you-can-eat fried fish dipped in ketchup is a wonderful thing.

Okay, folks and friends. Thanks for reading! This post was written while listening to various videos by Eleanor Friedberger, like this beauty.