by Win Bassett
In an effort to be a charitable citizen of the independent publishing community, we’d like to give a little love to our contributors, friends, and fellow members each week!
* Congrats to INCH contributor Roxane Gay for selling her next book, Hunger: A Weight Memoir, to Harper (likely forthcoming in 2016).
* PANK issue 9.2 (February 2014) is out!
* We’re looking forward to Lucy Ives’s essay series for Poetry Foundation:
It’s because of this lingering (and perhaps inappropriate) piety about diction that I have decided to compose a series of short essays. Each essay has a single-word title and says something about how I am thinking about writing, but more importantly about how I am thinking about three terms, “poem,” “poetry,” “poetics,” and the lack of good definitions for these. The six short essays are called: “History,” “Pleasure,” “Novelty,” “Misrecognition,” “Email,” and “Time.” They will be posted here throughout February.
* “Five guys walk into a bar. Sounds like a setup for a punch line, but it’s the creation story of Barrelhouse, a D.C. literary magazine celebrating the anniversary of its inception over post-writing-workshop beers a decade ago.”
* Listen to Luke Johnson on 2014 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships:
“All poets 31 & under should be applying for these. Don’t cost nothin’, and it’s a chance at $25,800 to support your work. Let’s all win one.”
* What Can We Steal From Leesa Cross-Smith’s “Making Cowboys”? Also see her essay in Bluestem Magazine:
In Kathy Fish’s book, Together We Can Bury It, she writes, “We say shit and stamp our feet on the pavement, shoot breath from our nostrils like morning horses.” And later, “Slide into each other like river otters.” In Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon he writes “Undressing her was an act of recklessness, a kind of vandalism, like releasing a zoo full of animals, or blowing up a dam.”
I wouldn’t have much to write about if I weren’t paying attention to current events, reading work by writers I admire, laughing with my husband on his way home from work, making dinner for my family. Writing is one tiny part of wholeness; life, tessellated—chunky pieces of bright blue and amber and green and black coming together bit by bit to (hopefully) make something ravishing.
* “It is time to stop giving credence to competition and to poets who make spectacles that simply firm up the dominant order. Let’s look to poets who throw us off our game and make us think in unsafe ways, violations that enlarge us instead of parlor tricks of privilege that keep the disenfranchised invisible.” – Amy King in Boston Review
* We loved Amy Woolard‘s interview with Best New Poets on Monday:
The first sip of coffee in the morning. Filling in the last word of the crossword puzzle. Taking the perfect nap. Watching people I like doing something that they love. That foxy feeling you get with someone, when you’re in a room full of people together, but feel like you both know the same luminous secret that no one else knows. Words. Words. Words. Bourbon. Guinness. Shoes that make me taller. Wisecracks. Tattoos. Nostalgia. Smooches. Smirks. Gardenias. Bands. Porches. Imperfection.
* New poems from John Ebersole in Tirage Monthly.
* How Independent Publishers Do More With Less:
It’s not a question of compromising, but of economizing and streamlining our concepts so that a small staff with big ideas can make a profound impact. By our very nature, we were believers in ephemeralization, and because of that, we’re not going anywhere.
* The Paris Review interviews Tarfia Faizullah.
* Jill Talbot has new nonfiction at Hobart that you don’t want to miss.
* We can’t get enough of Caleb Curtiss‘s poem “Swans as a Scourge” at The Literary Review.
Win Bassett‘s stories and essays has appeared in The Atlantic, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Paris Review, and Guernica. He’s a former assistant district attorney and serves on the PEN Prison Writing Program Fiction Committee. Follow him on Twitter: @winbassett