Tag Archives: reading

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.

My Year End List of Books I Didn’t Get To

It happens every year. I want to read so many books and I uncontrollably start stacking towers of them all around my desk at work, my desk at home, and even in my Future Tense closet and on top of the washer and dryer. I NEED MORE BOOKSHELVES! Plus, more time to read! Also, a faster brain! Maybe I should read one of those speed reading books. Do people actually speed read books for enjoyment?

I confess that I’m kind of a slow reader, plus, you know, there’s been a lot of good TV this year (Hello, Nashville! Hi, Transparent. I’m going to miss you, Parenthood!). Also, there has been collaging (I ❤ you so much, collaging!!!). But I’ve still been able to read almost fifty books this year somehow (helps to read short books). However, it’s never enough. Here is my list of the top ten books I meant to read this year that I’ll definitely read in 2015.

The Free by Willy Vlautin

I have read every other Vlautin book and loved them all so much. But I somehow developed a slight disinterest in reading novels this year (in favor of poetry, memoir, and hybrid weirdness). But still: What is taking me so long to get to this one.

Revolution of Every Day by Cari Luna

Cari and I are label-mates (I think that’s what you call other writers on the same press as you, right?). She is an awesome friend and often smart and funny at the same time. Sometimes I avoid fiction that feels political or message-y but CL has assured me that her book is essentially about people–because she knows I’m a sucker for stories about people–especially underdogs! OK OK–I’m moving this up the list right away!


The Other Side by Lacy M. Johnson

Really enjoyed meeting Lacy this past summer and her reading at Powell’s was super powerful. I love the fragmented format of this memoir and it was edited by my awesome editor at Tin House, Masie Cochran.

What’s Important Is Feeling by Adam Wilson

Another guy I hosted at Powell’s who rocked the crowd with his funny, Sam Lipsyte-ish prose style. I’ve read about half of the book and need to slurp down the rest of this delicious brew.


If I Don’t Breathe How Do I Sleep by Joe Wenderoth

I worship Wenderoth’s classic, Letters to Wendy’s, but sometimes have a hard time getting into his poetry. Still, he’s such an enigma, I will always look at anything he writes.

Backup Singers by Sommer Browning

Another friend and someone I’ve even published, Sommer is someone who writes really funny, often surprising poems of wit and sass. Birds, LLC is one of my favorite poetry presses. I’m just going to read one poem really quick… oh, that was great.


The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld

Longtime Portland writer Denfeld has written some powerful nonfiction in the past and a couple of my Powell’s co-workers have raved incessantly about this book, so I better check it out…someday, damnit!

Who Can Make It by Mike Young

This is a freaking chapbook. Why don’t I have time to read thirty magical pages of freaky poem action from one of my favorite young writers? WHY!?


Sempre Susan: A Memoir of Susan Sontag by Sigrid Nunez

I’ve been wanting to read more about Sontag (I actually met her with Annie Leibovitz in 1999) and this book has a really interesting angle. Nunez was Sontag’s son’s girlfriend and saw the author of Against Interpretation as a mentor.

Sugar Skull by Charles Burns

Graphic novels are wonderful things and the ones by Mr. Burns are quick and weird and deliciously fucked up. I’m going to cross this baby off my list very soon.

Okay, so here’s to 2015! Now give me more reading time and wish me luck!

A Few Steps Closer

Friends! An update on the novel. It’s coming out in November! I finished the copy edits recently (about 14 hours of work–made me realize I still have a few things to learn) and my editor (Hi, Masie!) and I have been receiving some ultra-sweet blurbs from beautiful folks like Jillian Lauren, Patrick deWitt, Davy Rothbart, Lidia Yuknavitch, Amelia Gray, and Jess Walter.

You can see info about it on Goodreads already.

Go add it to your “to-read” list.

Next up, Tin House will print up some review copies and give them to some folks at Book Expo (May 29th-June 2nd) in New York. I will also be there! In fact, I’ll be doing a reading on June 1st while I’m there. More details to come on that. My friend Polly Bresnick is setting up something killer.

Here’s what the review copies will look like…


What have I been reading lately?

The amazing new Nick Flynn memoir, The Reenactments, the strange short stories of I Want to Show You More by Jamie Quatro, the new Future Tense Scout Book series 😉 and The Stud Book by Monica Drake.

What I can’t wait to read next:

TAMPA by Alissa Nutting and Big Ray by Michael Kimball.

And what I’m watching:

I thought The Place Beyond the Pines was ambitious and awesome.

The addictive and delicious TV show, Nashville.

I will be at the retrospective of my friend Vanessa Renwick’s films. (I talked about her recently on this blog for Oregon Movies, A to Z).

And I missed it the first time around, but I hope to see Brian Lindstrom’s powerful documentary, Alien Boy, asap!

Scarlett and Gunnar = <3

Nashville’s Scarlett and Gunnar = ❤