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Thursday, February 28, 2008
Storyglossia Issue 27
I'm delighted to announce Storyglossia's Issue 27, guest-edited by me, is now live with stories by Claudia Smith, Eugene Cross, Myfanwy Collins, Brandon Keat, Liz Prato, Rob Ehle, Miriam Cohen, Laura van den Berg, Terri Brown-Davidson, Kathy Fish, Gavin S. Lambert, Elaine Chiew, Amy Purcell, Matt Baker, Alicia Gifford.

Some of these writers you'll recognize from SmokeLong's archives. A group of amazing stories by talented writers all. I hope you enjoy.
posted by katrina at 6:27 AM  2 comments

Oh Baby, by Kim Chinquee

Be prepared: Oh Baby, Kim Chinquee's debut collection, will knock you on your ass.

It's a book about love: mother for child; child for mother, for father; man for woman; woman for man and man and man. Love for running. Love for vodka.

It's a book about women: a runner, an artist, a nurse, a mother, a girlfriend, a wife, a daughter, a friend. A drawer of blood.

A woman who lives in England, in the midwest, in some nameless place.

A woman.

But mostly, it's a book about identity in which the author constantly scrutinizes these women to find out which one is the one. In "Purple" she asks: "Me, who was I?" and then never answers the question. And then in "Wig" she talks of buying a wig and says: "When I got back to the hotel, I put it on and thought I looked like Kim Chinquee."

And this is what we're all looking for: that time and place where we most feel like ourselves. When we are no longer pretending and donning our wigs. Do we ever find it?

Taken seperately, these stories will hurt you; taken together as one in this collection, they will clobber you and rob you of your breath.

Read it.


posted by Myfanwy Collins at 6:14 AM  0 comments

Wednesday, February 27, 2008
In Profile: Vanessa Gebbie, Writer, Editor, Teacher, and More!
I recently interviewed the multi-talented Vanessa Gebbie for the Writer Profile Project. Read her interview here. Vanessa is a past SmokeLong contributor (read her story "Bones") and the author of the short story collection Words from a Glass Bubble, forthcoming from Salt Publishing on March 1st.

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posted by Kelly Spitzer at 8:58 AM  0 comments

Sunday, February 24, 2008
Darlin Neal in Wigleaf
Darlin Neal has a gorgeous piece up at Wigleaf.
posted by katrina at 10:17 AM  0 comments

Sunday, February 17, 2008
A Peculiar Feeling of Restlessness
Oh, man, I've been waiting for this one. I cannot wait to sink my teeth into this book. How much better does it get?

From the Rose Metal Press blurb:

"The four brilliant chapbooks that make up A Peculiar Feeling of Restlessness are disarmingly, unabashedly intimate collections by women who know how to tell a story and aren’t afraid to drag the unspoken out into the light of day." –Pia Z. Ehrhardt

The four chapbooks collected in A Peculiar Feeling of Restlessness, three of them finalists and one of them the winner of the Rose Metal Press first annual short short chapbook contest, all revel in the succinctness of their form, the underlying tension anchored beneath each story of 1,000 words or less. These stories are peculiar; they resonate with restlessness. They are deft, they are gritty, and they are lyrical. Laughter, Applause, Laughter, Music, Applause by Kathy Fish, Wanting by Amy L. Clark, Sixteen Miles Outside of Phoenix by Elizabeth Ellen, and The Sky Is a Well by Claudia Smith combine four multi-layered portrayals of beautiful uneasiness into a collection rich with wit, grace, and originality.

From me:

Buy it, buy it, buy it. If you buy no other book this year, buy this one. I cannot wait to have it in my hands.

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posted by Dave Clapper at 9:30 PM  4 comments

Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Pecha Kucha recap
I'd hoped to have a picture or two to go with this post, but haven't received any yet. If and when I get some, I'll add them in. So... I couldn't stay for the entire event last night, so I missed about half the presenters. To be fair to all the presenters, then, I won't be giving an account of the other presentations. Rather, I'll be focusing more on what I presented. The them of the night was "Love," and while I kept that in mind while selecting stories to read, our authors aren't typically writing the kind of stuff you'd see in Valentine's Day cards. So my first criterion in selecting pieces was how strongly they opened. Since the format provides for only 20 seconds of reading of each piece, I wanted to ensure that every piece I read had some sort of hook to pull the reader (or in this case, the listener) in pretty quickly. I selected one piece from each of our first 18 issues. I also made the list without repeating any authors. Because we haven't done artwork to wallpaper size (or even for every single piece in the early issues), I enlisted Ellen Parker's help in creating artwork for each of these. For writers interested in studying strong openers or for attendees of last night's event who'd like to read the pieces in their entirety, here's the list (in the order they were read, from issue 1 through 18):

1: Neighborhood Watch, Nance Knauer
2: Must Sign for Delivery, Jade Walker
3: Metallic, Ellen Parker
4: Remembering Elizabeth, Bob Arter
5: Gilda, Patricia Parkinson
6: 201 Feet, Andrew Tibbetts
7: All Over Again, Tom Jackson
8: He Wrote Sixteen Pencils Empty, Daphne Buter
9: Irvin Hammers a Cat House, Mike Young
10: Five Fat Men in a Hot Tub, Jeff Landon
11: A Blind Dog Named Killer and a Colony of Bees, Mary Miller
12: Ally's First Step, Paul Silverman
13: Daffodil, Kathy Fish
14: Vandals, Jennifer A. Howard
15: Copenhagen, Fred Spears
16: Heaven by the Highwayside, Mike Amato
17: My First Two-Headed Boy, Veronica Thorn
18: Display, Davin Malasarn

I had a great time once again, this time presenting first, rather than last. This meant that the audience was much larger, but also considerably more sober. For more information on Pecha Kucha, check out the official website. Special thanks to Ellen especially for her artwork, Ana Pinto da Silva for organizing the whole shebang, and Jamie Drzayich for picking up the flying pages. Can't wait to do it all again some time.

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posted by Dave Clapper at 3:30 PM  1 comments

wigleaf interviews Quick Fiction's Jennifer Pieroni
Wigleaf, an excellent new site for short fiction, has just posted an intriguing interview with Quick Fiction's Jennifer Pieroni. This interview is sure to please with such funny, honest, and human moments as this one:
We were at a bookfair once and this woman rounded the corner and started fluttering her arms and making these excited noises. I thought maybe she was about to tell me that we'd published her work or something. Instead she said "Quick Fiction! I have issue nine in my bathroom!" It was a really odd realization for me—that Quick Fiction nine was in that woman's bathroom and probably others' too.

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posted by Myfanwy Collins at 5:54 AM  0 comments

Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Art, Microfiction, and Music in Baltimore
For those of you in the Baltimore area...

Christine Sajecki and Joseph Young, Antreasian Gallery, 1111 W 36th Ave, Baltimore, MD, 21211
posted by Joseph Young at 11:32 AM  1 comments

Monday, February 11, 2008
In Profile: Barbara Jacksha of Cezanne's Carrot

Barbara Jacksha, SmokeLong author and Cezanne's Carrot co-publisher, is featured in the Writer Profile Project. If you're interested in reading about the vision behind Cezanne's Carrot, the spirituality of place, magical realism novels in progress, and much more, check it out. Here.


posted by Kelly Spitzer at 9:34 AM  0 comments

Friday, February 08, 2008
New Book Reviews at NewPages

The Book Reviews section at NewPages relaunched last week with eight new reviews, including my own reviews of two excellent books, Steven Gillis's Temporary People and Dave Housley's Ryan Seacrest is Famous. Josh Maday also reviews SmokeLong contributor Roy Kesey's All Over, making him the latest person to heap praise on that fine collection.

posted by Matt Bell at 10:56 PM  23 comments

Junot Diaz On How New Voices Get Heard

Junot Diaz was interviewed recently by the Wall Street Journal, and it's an interesting read. Here's an excerpt (and a link):

I was just raising an element I think in general most of us would rather leave uninterrogated: this idea that every voice silences another voice. It can't help it. Even if we're coming out of an enormous silence, the very presence of our narrative displaces another. It's like if I'm talking right now, it's very hard for you to get a word in edgewise. I think that's part of the form, it's something we have to wrestle with. It's part of the costs.

What's really awesome though is that as readers, we don't just exist in one book. As readers we can read the works of 70 or 80 control-freak writers. While each of them may be control freak and try to be the tyrant in the book, when you put them all together, they all work against each other. It becomes in some ways a democracy of tyrants.

[via Isak]

posted by Matt Bell at 10:53 PM  1 comments

Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Pecha Kucha Seattle v.05
Pecha Kucha Seattle v.05I need to get caught up on posting about a LOT of publications that have new issues out, and will try to do that in the next few days. Right now, though, my focus is on getting ready for the next Pecha Kucha, coming up on February 12. I'll be reading 20 seconds each of one story per issue from our first 18 issues (since last time, I did all of issue 19). Because of the format, I've looked much harder at how quickly a story catches my eye. The amount of text that can be read aloud in 20 seconds isn't much, so it really requires that the author grab attention as quickly as possible. It's making me appreciate that much more those authors who have great strength in openings. Once I've decided which stories I'll be reading from, I'll post links to them all here, both because I think it's valuable for writers to look at strong openers, and so that folks who hear the pieces read at Pecha Kucha can quickly find links to read the rest of the stories that may have piqued their interest.

There will be ten presenters this time, and it looks like an incredible lineup. If you happen to be in Seattle next week, it's a great event to add to your calendar. The image here is a link to the poster (which is gorgeous—kudos to Ana Pinto da Silva).

Here're the details:

Tuesday, February 12th
6:00 PM
See Sound Lounge
115 Blanchard St, Seattle, WA
Theme: LOVE

Linda Carlin, Senior Design Analyst, Frog Design
David Harrell, Fellow, Royal Institute of Public Health
John Grade, Artist, Seeps of Winter/Suyama Space
Allan Packer, Artist, Davidson Contemporary
Jon Taylor, Architect/Artist, Callison
Alex Maxim, Knowledge Manager, NBBJ
Dave Clapper, Editor, Smokelong Quarterly
David Ho, Architect, Gensler
Ryan Matthew Smith, Photographer
Shannon Wells & Jed Dunkerley, Slideluck Potshow

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posted by Dave Clapper at 10:17 AM  1 comments

Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Six Word Memoir!

I'm pleased to announce that I am a published memoirist! That's right my very own six word memoir is included in the excellent new book: Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure. Within, you'll also find memoirs by: Ellen Meister, Susan Henderson, and Mark Budman.

Want to learn more? Here's the official video:

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posted by Myfanwy Collins at 6:24 AM  3 comments

Friday, February 01, 2008
Top Ten Page Views for January 2008
And Elizabeth Ellen takes the top spot back from John Leary, in what otherwise is a list dominated by recent stories.

1. (2) 8x10 by Elizabeth Ellen (12/15/06)
2. (4) The Off-Season by Jami Attenberg (12/15/07)
3. (1) Ten Very Short Stories by John Leary (3/15/07)
4. (7) How 9) Strange by Laird Hunt (12/15/07)
5. (9) Taco Foot by Jack Pendarvis (12/15/07)
6. (NR) Truth (ii) by Ben Ehrenreich (12/15/07)
7. (6) Holiday Inn by Kim Chinquee (12/15/07)
8. (10) A Company Function by Grant Bailie (12/15/07)
9. (NR) Killer Pair by Trinie Dalton (12/15/07)
10. (NR) What Happened to My Purple Flip-Flops by Arwen Dewey (12/15/07)

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posted by Dave Clapper at 12:14 PM  0 comments

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