Tag Archives: Emily Kendal Frey

What’s Inside the Sorrow?

Oh, man, do I love Emily Kendal Frey’s new book, Sorrow Arrow (Octopus Books). I also love the cover art by Treasure Frey (no relation).

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But I wonder… what is the void in the middle doing there? Is that the sadness? Is it a frame for something missing? A fill in the blank? Is it the arrow, or the target for the arrow? Or is it simply what it is?

As someone who thinks in collage (I say that like it’s a brain disease, and maybe it is) I had the urge to fill that space. To alter it in some way, as if that openness in the art were an invitation to collaborate.

So, here are some “remixes” of the Sorrow Arrow cover. Please enjoy…

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Now go out and buy this wonder!

And if you want to see Emily and I hanging out on the Casserole Reading on YouTube, check it out.

Also, there’s a video of me introducing Emily at a reading almost four whole years ago. 

As you can tell, I adore Emily and all her work.

 

The Last Two Nights

Some fantastic times were had the past two evenings.

On Tuesday night, I read at The Soft Show, a great reading series here in Portland where a trio of illustrators draw cartoons to go with your story. I read with fellow writers Martha Grover, Jason Squamata, Alissa Nielsen, and Justin Hocking. Here’s the panel of illustrations (by Pete Soloway, Emily Randazzo, and Becky Hawking) for my story…

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The story I read was an unpublished story called “The Baby and The Apple Bell”–it’s narrated by an 18-month-old baby. Here’s a few lines from it…

My mom told me about volcanoes once because that’s my middle name. Tony Volcano Martinez. My mom’s name is Jennie or Baby or Mom. Not all of them at once though. You just pick one and say it. I am always confused when people call my mom “Baby.” I’m the baby. Not her. We don’t look anything alike. I say the word baby and she adds it to my list of words. B-A-B-Y.

Then last night, I was on the YouTube show The Casserole, with one of my favorite poets and dearest friends, Emily Kendal Frey. It was a fun show, hosted by Chelsea Kurnick, who runs the show via the Interwebs at her place in Seattle. You can watch it here…

Also, a couple of fun things popped up this week:

This crazy interview for Propeller Magazine.

This interesting essay on the subject of marriage and how it’s portrayed in This Is Between Us.

And oh, you may have noticed I added a tab on top for COLLAGE. Because I’m going to be doing a lot of it this year. Believe dat!

Shelf Talker Shelf Talker Shelf Talker…

What the heck is a Shelf Talker you ask?

It’s one of those pieces of cardstock paper you see on a bookstore’s shelf that tells you when an employee really loves a book and wants to draw attention to it. I think the best bookstores are the ones full of passionate readers always willing to share their literary discoveries while also cultivating a sense of community. You can learn a lot about a bookstore’s collective personality by scanning what they choose to give shelf talkers to. I have been to a couple of bookstores where there are NO shelf talkers at all and it always jars me a little, like the store is saying: “You’re on your own here. We are not excited about anything and we have no opinions.”

Oof. What a downer.

Bookstores: Show us your shelf talkers!!

Last year, at work, we introduced a whole line of new shelf talker designs to freshen up the look of the store. That’s cool and everything, but (like a bibliophile hoarder) I am a little sad about throwing away some of my old stand-bys. I love making shelf talkers for my small press section. I think it has really helped a lot of readers discover new talent through the past fourteen years I’ve been in charge of it.

So before I tossed them in the recycling, I took photos of some of my favorites and decided I’d post them here (about 140 more are not pictured). That way, they live FOREVER! Enjoy this journey–and read these books!

(click on the pic to make it bigger)

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For Cowboy Maloney’s Electric City (Dark Sky Press)

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The first shelf talker I wrote for Gary Lutz, when 3rd Bed republished Stories In the Worst Way.

The first shelf talker I wrote for Gary Lutz, when 3rd Bed republished Stories In the Worst Way.

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Another book that we've sold a ton of at Powell's.

Another book that we’ve sold a ton of at Powell’s.

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Zachary Lipez, Stacey Wakefield, and Nick Zinner did a great reading for this book at Powell’s back in 2010.

I was so excited to introduce Chelsea Martin's magic to the world.

I was so excited to introduce Chelsea Martin’s magic to the world.

I think this was for Greg's first book, I Have Touched You.

I think this was for Greg’s first book, I Have Touched You.

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For CA Conrad

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I love Spork Books!

I love Spork Books!

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Proof of my early love of all things Iredell.

Proof of my early love of all things Iredell.

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My favorite literary journal.

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We've sold so many copies of Ghost Machine. One of my all-time faves.

We’ve sold so many copies of Ghost Machine. One of my all-time faves.

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Still pretty obscure, SJB was one of my first writing influences.

Still pretty obscure, SJB was one of my first writing influences.

I still think this is kind of a minimalist classic.

I still think this is kind of a minimalist classic. By Paul Fattarusso.

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Like how I burned the edges?

Like how I burned the edges?

The first shelf talker for Chloe's classic.

The first shelf talker for Chloe’s classic.

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I Have Never Won a Super Bowl But I Have Won Some Poetry Slams

Hi friends,

As many of you know, I have a love/hate relationship with poetry. Or maybe I should say a get it/don’t get it relationship. But poetry has made a comeback in my life the past couple of years. Take a look at my Goodreads page! It’s chock full of the stuff. I even started writing and publishing some again. This after claiming “retirement” from poetry in the late-90s, after a few years of being a Portland Poetry Slam regular (I was on the team from 94-96 and was even on the cover of the Willamette Week once).

Some of the folks who’ve inspired my new interest in poetry are hot new bloods like Ben Mirov, Zachary Schomburg, Gregory Sherl, Ariana Reines, Emily Kendal Frey, Mark Leidner, Sommer Browning, and Jenny Zhang. Not to mention my recent discovery of the legendary Sharon Olds.

Reading more poetry in the past year or two has also been a big influence on how I’ve been writing my novel, This Is Between Us, which I just finished a first draft of. Hooray for me! I hope to get it polished up over the summer and then submit it to publishers at that time. Stay tuned for more news about that.

For now though, I’m excited to announce a couple of my new poems today at Metazen. And look–I’m even growing out my “beard” so I can even look like a real poet!

The Poet at his home, June 2012.

Whenever I write poetry, I think/worry about a few things:

1. Is this worth anything? Will it ever be in a book, or does it hold the artistic longevity of a tweet or Facebook  status update?

2. Will other poets like me or do they just think of me as a poser?

3. Should I be studying what makes poetry good, like in an academic setting, and should I be trying harder at this?

4. By putting in a sports reference, am I ruining the form? Am I a ruiner?

5. How much honesty should I mix in with shenanigans?

6. What is the difference between a really good haiku and an advertisement for liquor?

7. How much longer should I not shave?

I will try to stop worrying. In all honesty though, I do write poetry to convey something and I hope you enjoy it.

What else is happening?

I am STILL talking about A Common Pornography to anyone who will listen! Hahaha. Recently, I spoke to a book club that met at the Powell’s Cafe. Photographic proof…

Some very nice Book Club members

If YOU want to talk about my book for a book club, I’m always game to come visit you and talk about it or even Skype with you! Don’t hesitate to ask: kevin@futuretensebooks.com

Also also–I’m hosting a super fun outdoor reading at the end of the month (June 26th at Colonel Summers Park at 7pm) with awesome writers Chloe Caldwell, Matthew Dickman, and Diana Salier. I hope to see you there. Maybe we can play some football in the grass before the reading.

Until later…bye bye.

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.

Return of Haiku! Plus…Laminate Me!

Hey–just a quick note to say that Haiku Inferno (me, along with B. Frayn Masters, Elizabeth Miller, and Frank D’Andrea) are performing at the Portland Rally to Restore Sanity event tomorrow. I think we go on around 2:30. Our set is pretty short (it is haiku after all), so don’t be late. We’re gonna do haiku about the Tea Party, Juan Williams, and Chris Dudley to name a few.

It’s been over a year since our last show and I’m a little rusty on my haiku writing. It’s taking me forever to write these little buggers. So please come out and cheer us on so that my hard work is rewarded!

In other news, I am excited to have some weird little stories up at Lamination Colony. I always wanted to be on this site (run by Blake Butler, who is probably my favorite tweeter on the planet) and now my dream has come true. And it’s a good thing too–this LC is the last one.

If these stories sound familiar, it’s because they were written as introductions at a reading earlier this year at Ampersand.

ACP stuff! I did a quickee interview recently for this blog.

And thanks to all the students of Rebecca Brown’s writing class at University of Washington (and especially RB herself!) for reading ACP and enjoying it. I love to hear about students reading my work. Thank you!

Fresh new work! I’m reading at the Tangent Reading Series on November 6th. I’ll be with Mark Wallace and K. Lorraine Graham. I will be reading from my new fiction project (a novel told in tiny stories!) called This Is Between Us. I’m very excited to share this work-in-progress.

Contest! I am the judge for the Burnside Review Fiction Contest. Details here.

I’ll write more next month. Have a great Halloween!

Some Shenanigans

Hey folks–a couple of fun things coming up. First off, I’ll be hosting a reading on July 2nd at Ampersand.

This all came about (or was INSPIRED by) Evelyn Hampton’s brain-meltingly good book of poems, “We Were Eternal and Gigantic.” I was so transfixed by the oddness of her unique world (I read a bunch of it while doing an info shift at work) that I quickly tracked her down and saw that she lives in Seattle. I emailed her to see if she’s come down to read here and she said yes. In fact, we’re getting her here before she goes off and moves to Rhode Island (read: Brown).

Phew! That was a close call.

I’m so glad I’ll get to meet her and see her read. And she’ll be joined by Emily Kendal Frey, whose new book, The New Planet, might be her best work yet. Not only that, but Bryan Coffelt, Future Tense intern/editor/designer will be reading from his new chapbook, The Whatever Poems.

I’m so excited to be hosting these fine folks that I have written some strange (maybe misguided?) long-form story intros for each person. They involve Bryan’s dad’s tattoo, Emily’s connection to NASCAR, and Evelyn’s mechanical arm (body part subject to change). It will be interesting to see how it all goes down. And oh yeah–there will be free beer. And hopefully if it’s nice, we can open up the big garage door/window thing.

In other news, I wrote this little list of awesome things I’ve recently read, for Impose!

And to convince you even more of my love for reading, see this Laughing Yeti post!

Pay attention!

And we’ll see you on July 2nd.