Things I read (or failed to read) this summer

I tried and failed to read Knausgaard. His struggle ultimately became My Failure as I gave up the book two-thirds the way through (sorry book group!). I’m happy for the  gazillion other people who think it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread, but I’ll take Bolaño any day in the genre of enormous lit

Giving up My Struggle freed up room to pick up these awesome NW spec-lit books – the authors of which (Sharma Shields, Shya Scanlon, and J. Robert Lennon/ literambivalence) I’ll be on a panel with at the Montana Book Festival.  I finished  See You in Paradise highly recommended. Can’t wait to read Shields & Scanlon. Also, and next up for book group: I’m loving Austerlitz.

I was asked to write my first blurb. For Microcosm press I read The Velocipede Races – awesome, fun feminist bicycle fiction.

Research for the next book continues – I’ll be visiting dig sites in SE Oregon this September, while at Playa

Lastly: I’ll be picking up Emmi Itäranta’s Memory of Water shortly, for a really awesome event we’ll be doing together but which I cannot yet announce…


Sherwood Nation Reader’s Guide and Companion

Sherwood Nation Reader’s Guide and Companion

Who & Where


Announcing the Hosts and Venues for LitHop PDX #3…

See the schedule of readers and details HERE.

The Soft Show @ Floating World Comics
Future Tense Books & The Rumpus @ Ash Street Saloon
Burnside Review @ Valentine’s
Street Roots & Street Books @ The Mercy Corps Building
University of Hell Press @ Dante’s
Magic Helicopter/Noo Journal & Perfect Day Publishing @ Shanghai Tunnel

With a 10:00 after-party at Dante’s!

Late notice here, but I’m reading with the Street Books contingent tonight.



‘News of the Week’ – new fiction

I have a new story called ‘News of the Week’ in West Branch Literary Journal.

I had particular fun writing this one because I operated under a number of constraints.

1) Laura and I spent a week giving each other required items in the story. And so each section contains one such required item.

2) The story is chronologically backward and written in second person.

Were the story part of a tag cloud, a few tags might be:

#taxidermy, #talking animals, #burning garages, #carnivals, #mongols, #death

There’s a war going on between the self-interested, self-serving body that is the corporation, and humans. At this point in our democracy, that’s the primary struggle we’re facing: whether corporate or constituent interests will win out. Weirdly, corporations are staffed by people, presumably, and so you’d expect they’d have some sway. But a corporation has a mind of its own, and corporate goals do not line up at all with potential longer-term goals of our species (these goals might be difficult to agree on, but surely opportunities for cataclysm might be among them). I do wish every CEO (most of whom are among the one percent) would sit down and re-evaluate his or her corporation’s goals based on long-term interests for living here on this planet.

The Rumpus Interview With Benjamin Parzybok (via therumpus)

This is a nice-enough quote… except for my typo. I would think that our species would be looking for opportunities for *avoiding* cataclysm, not looking for opportunities for cataclysm. But what do I know?