Friday, December 29, 2006

Burnside Review

The new issue of the great Portland poetry magazine is out and available now. Sid Miller, Burnside's editor and publisher, has worked tirelessly to bolster the local poetry scene and support emerging poets. $8 gets you a piece of that. This issue includes Grzegorz Wroblewski, Richard Jones, Ray Gonzalez and Laton Carter.

Saturday, December 23, 2006


Yesterday's word of the day.

\FLIB-ur-tee-jib-it\, noun:
A silly, flighty, or scatterbrained person, especially a pert young woman with such qualities.

We discover here not the flibbertigibbet Connolly describes but a serious reader (Goethe, Tolstoy, Proust) who found her cultural ideal in 18th-century France.
-- Martin Stannard, "Enter Shrieking", New York Times, November 28, 1993

He argues persuasively that Millay's reputation has been harmed not only by academics who dread and fear her heartfelt "simplicity," but by the very admirers who wished to promote her as a kind of whimsical flibbertigibbet, a poetical Anne of Green Gables.
-- Liz Rosenberg, "So Young, So Good, So Popular", New York Times, March 15, 1992

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Last minute gift ideas

Elizabeth Ellen's first book, "Before You She Was a Pitbull" , is getting some really great reviews.

Also, Kevin Keck's "Oedipus Wrecked", (Kevin Sampsell, indie book buyer for Powell's, favorite book of the year) seems like a good choice. The first story in the collection, the author cutely reminisces about sticking bananas and broom handles up his ass. Can't go wrong there.

Elizabeth Ellen
Before You She Was a Pitbull
Future Tense Press

Kevin Keck
Oedipus Wrecked
Cleis Press

Monday, December 18, 2006

Oriana Fallaci

An excellent eulogy for the head strong and controversial Italian journalist and shit stirrer, Oriana Fallaci, in the current issue of the Atlantic. Includes plenty of "go fuck yourself's" and moving antidotes of male urinary prowess.

Bye bye, love...

So that's that for Judith Regan at HarperCollins; though, I doubt it will be the last we hear from her. She's like the Terrell Owens of publishing--and where's T.O. now, even after messily cutting ties with the Eagles--he's at the top of the NFC East, that's where. James Pinkerton of the Huffington Post makes merry of an ugly situation. And Ron Hogan at GalleyCat, who it has been suggested helped prompt Regan's dismissal (which I find hard to believe, considering she commissioned a murderer to write about murder), compiles everything you would ever want to know about the whole debacle.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

just in from dr. sketchy...

Last week's launch party for Dr. Sketchy's was nothing short of a smash success. Missed out on all the fun? Don't fret. Check out Molly Crabapple's next big book signing at Jim Hanley's Universe in NYC, where she'll be giving an illustration demo with the lovely Lady J.

Details: Friday, December 15th from 6-8pm (4. W 33rd Street @ 5th
Ave). Books are on-sale at Jim Hanley's now.

**photo courtesy of Brian Van.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Hey, Hot Shot!

Tomorrow and Saturday, Jen Bekman (6 Spring St., NY, NY) hosts the Fall 2006 Hey, Hot Shot Winners' Showcase. Visit their blog to read the big announcement. Learn more.


Click here for a totally gnarly pic of me crushing some mountain. That rock had no idea what hit it. "It was me! Rock. You Dummy." Just kidding, I revere the rock.

5:20 rants aside, last Friday I visited John Currin's exhibit at the Gagosian Gallery on 76th and Madison. A few well-placed recommendations and some provocative imagery had convinced me that I would have a blast. Upon entering the gallery, beautifully rendered pornography and explicit penetration interspliced by tea sets, children, and oddly pregnant women elicited something less than "a blast." I'm no art scholar, so I won't try to convey the "essence" of anything, but I do recommend you take a peak. The show closes Dec. 22nd.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Sobol Part Tres

Felicia brought up a good link from Miss Snark you should check out as we all pile on the Sobol "Awards".

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Sobol Awards

Remember this post? It seems I wasn't the only one who felt the Sobol Awards were a rip and a front. Publishers Weekly reported today that they are extending their deadline for manuscript submissions due to a "sluggish response", even though Simon and Schuster imprint, Fireside, has signed on to publish the top three manuscripts.

While Sobol initially said it would accept up to 50,000 submissions on its Web site ( from September 14 to December 31, the response has been sluggish, so contest organizers have extended the deadline to March 31, 2007. Pollock would not say how many manuscripts Sobol has received so far, but told the AP it was more than 1,000. "It's been very hard to get the word out," she said. "We're all still learning on the job in terms of publicity. The Internet has been more difficult to penetrate than we had hoped."

(rest of the article)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

One Story writing conference in Italy

Join writer Dani Shapiro (One Story issue #69) and One Story magazine March 18th-23rd, 2007 for the first annual Sirenland Writers Conference. Experience an intensive, advanced fiction and memoir workshop in an intimate, supportive environment at one of the most beautiful five star luxury hotels in the worldLe Sirenuse in Positano, Italy. Click here for more info...

Sepulculture presents: Dr. Sketchy

Publicity rock star and friend Scott Diperna recently launched his indie publishing house, Sepulculture Books. Sepulculture Books is an independent book publisher in Brooklyn, focusing on humor and art, while specifically employing a DIY aesthetic in its publishing, marketing, and selling strategies.

His first title Dr. Sketchy's Official Rainy Day Colouring Book, which according to their website is "is one part DIY handbook, one part activity book on acid, and one part history of the Sketch Revolution. To sweeten the broth, Molly Crabapple [the author] and John Leavitt have added dozens of photos, paper dolls, colouring book pages and puppets of Amber Ray, Lolita Haze, Little Brooklyn, Audra Gwarskitty,and all your other favorite Dr. Sketchy's models."

Click here for more info & upcoming events.

GOOD Magazine

You may have come across this recent start-up, GOOD Magazine. The second issue, Jan/Feb, just came out and for the most part it looks like an auspicious start. They've set a clear mandate for the publication, mainly to offer what is "good" for a socially conscious and politically active demographic, and to spur those who are not already members of the choir to voice in. They appeal to this set with popular contributors (Gary Shteyngat, George Saunders, James Surowiecki, John Hodgman, to name a few), hip design, and truth-stirring content. This latest issue features "The GOOD Guide to Culture Jamming"--which includes intructions on how to subvert "the authority of the dominant culture." Somehow potency is lost, however, in the glow of an adjacent advertisement for Beleza Pura Super Premium Brazilian Rum; still, their hearts seem to be in the right place: a sentiment that can be applied to much of the magazine's content.

I suggest you visit the mag's site, linked to above, to get a clearer idea of what they're about. Once you do, you can weigh this statement: they purport to be a mechanism of social change, one that supports a "merger of capitalism and idealism," but whose capitalism is subverting their idealism.

I'm not decided on what side I fall yet. I'll wait to see how things evolve. But it is either commendable or foolish to so blatantly advertise your message, especially when it involves two inherently incompatible ideas.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Pleasure Center

I got my Friday night off to a heartily irresponsible start at the Legion of Lit Mags party, which is perhaps why I didn't feel well enough to attend the actual event on Saturday. I know I missed an opportunity to share something special with you. I'm sorry. You're still important to me. Maybe Felicia will step in. But all is not lost: there were goodie bags. Attendees scored items from BOMB, Ugly Duckling Presse (which I say more about here), Harcourt, Poets & Writers, Ballyhoo Stories, Harper Perennial, SSN, Pindeldyboz, Post Road and maybe some others that I unfortunately could not get my hands on.

Hem the Master

Scribner is re-releasing "The Sun Also Rises" in paperback with a seven CD set of the great Hemingway book read by William Hurt. I've been listening to the CD's and reading along a little bit as I'll be reviewing the book/CD's for SSN. It's been quite awhile since I read this book and I'm amazed how well it holds up (both in the writing and under my own jaded skepticism). There have been many points in the novel where one still gets the sense of the mighty Hemingway throwing words down onto paper like Zeus threw lightening bolts down from Mount Olympus and you just have to give props to the master of American fiction.

From Chapter Three:
I was very angry. Somehow they always made me angry. I know they are supposed to be amusing, and you should be tolerant, but I wanted to swing on one, any one, anything to shatter that superior, simpering composure, Instead, I walked down the street and had a beer at the bar at the next Bal.

From Chapter Four:
Then I thought of her walking up the street and stepping into the car, as I had last seen her, and of course in a little while I felt like hell again. It is awfully easy to be hard-boiled about everything in the daytime, but at night it is another thing.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Don Asmussen Reveals All

Don Asmussen, cartoonist for the SF Chronicle and author of my favorite satirical comic strip, "The Bad Reporter", will be promoting his new book "Dog vs. Cat: A Nation Divided:Dirty Tricks and Other Shocking Secrets From a Nasty Pet Election" at Books Inc on Van Ness, San Francisco this Tuesday, the 5th.

What? You're on the East Coast and have never read the "Bad Reporter"? Check the archive and you'll be hooked. Not the most user friendly page, though. Click the dated links to the left.

You can buy his book here.

Zeitgeist Press New Titles

Zeitgeist Press unveils its fabulous new titles this Sunday (3rd) at Moes Books on Telegraph in Berkeley. Talk about some good poetry- "Cannibal Casserole" by Julia Vinograd, a reprint of David Lerner's "I Want a New Gun", Susan Birkeland's "Bruised Angels Almanac" plus many more.

Joie Cook, QR Hand and others will read during the event.