Tag Archives: Burrow Press

Functionally Literate

functionallyliterate

(Hope to see you there! Super-stoked about this, especially because it might very well be the last reading at Urban ReThink. So come. Be part of history.)

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15 Views: Volume II

Today is Wednesday, March 27.

Tomorrow night, we will celebrate the release of 15 Views Volume II: Corridor, a book which collects stories about the Metro Orlando region, and stories about the Tampa Bay region, all written by writers representing those areas. (“Corridor,” if you’re unfamiliar is the name given to the stretch of I-4 that runs between Orlando and Tampa…commuter hell.)

This is a book that I co-edited with the talented John Henry Fleming, whose Fearsome Creatures of Florida (a literary bestiary of all the legendary and mythological creatures said to inhabit our weird state) is a true undiscovered gem. Definitely a must-read for anyone who–like me–loves the strangeness of this state, and thinks that there’s something dark and ancient and maybe-evil lurking about.

We were lucky to get a fantastic roster of established/ award-winning writers, including Peter Meinke, Jocelyn Bartkevicius, Jeff Parker, David James Poissant, and Susan Hubbard. But there are also a number of emerging writers whose names you might not know today, but who will certainly become household names in no time: Jaroslav Kalfar, Leslie Salas, and Ed Bull. Seriously. Great. Writers. The collection also features a number of comics (one written by Robert Venditti, of The Surrogates fame), and a script from the bizarre and awesome Pat Rushin (whose film, The Zero Theorem, directed by Terry Gilliam, will be released sometime around awards season). And the interior of the book is decorated with paper-cut art from the super-talented Lesley Silvia. Some of it needs to be seen to be believed. My name is on the cover of this book as “editor,” but really, I’m just lucky to be mentioned in the same breath as some of these folks.

The pre-sale (in which you can order the book at a discount) runs until tomorrow at Burrow Press’s web site.

After that point, you can buy the book on Amazon and other major retailers.

The release party is tomorrow: Thursday, March 28, at 6 PM, in Urban Re-Think in Downtown Orlando. Here’s the link.

Buy a copy. Have a drink with the authors. Celebrate the literature of Florida’s I-4 Corridor.

Functionally Literate

Had the opportunity to do a super-fun reading while I was at AWP in Boston in early March. The reading series is called Functionally Literate, hosted by the very funny (but not very tall) Jared Silvia. #burn

Check out the following link to see video of all of the readers, including Jeff Parker (who read a “found poem” of Ron Artest quotes, which was hilarious), James Fleming (who read a story about Mr. T which I probably can’t explain in a way that make sense), Don Peteroy (who read from his book “Wally”), Juliana Gray (a poet, who also read a few pieces from Erica Swanson), and David James Poissant (who read a quiet piece from the Beloit Fiction Journal, I believe, and who has continually surprises me with the range of his work).

My story was called “How To Tell Whether Your Demon Baby Needs To Go To The Doctor.” I think that was the title? Let me know what you think.

FL

15 Views of Orlando Continues

I’m not sure if I’ve posted about it here before, but now’s as good a time as any.

Our second sequence of “15 Views of Orlando” stories began a few weeks ago, and it’s going full-steam ahead.

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of the “15 Views of Orlando” collection, it’s pretty simple: because Orlando, Florida, is so under-represented in film/ literature (and because the city is viewed through such a skewed Disney lens), we wanted to create a piece of literary fiction that would do the city justice. So we assembled 15 total writers and tasked them with writing a 15-part story (“loosely linked”), with each story focusing upon a different location within the metropolitan area of Orlando. (Hence, 15 “views.”) The first incarnation of this story sequence proved to be extremely successful, and you can order the book from Burrow Press (links are everywhere on this page). The book was released in January, and it’s doing very well so far.

So, in Spring 2012, we decided to find 15 new authors, who would focus on 15 new locations, and write a brand-new 15-part “loosely linked” story sequence. The expectation is that we’ll be able to create a new “15 Views of Orlando” book each year, with proceeds from sales benefiting local literacy groups. And man, have our new authors from the 2012 edition done a tremendous job so far.  It’s been absolutely exciting to read the first few stories.

The 2012 edition of “15 Views of Orlando” is currently unfolding at the Burrow Press Review, one story a week, and we’re now at Part 5, “Stay” by Ed Bull. So if you haven’t checked out “15 Views of Orlando” (the 2012 edition), now is the time to click the link and start reading. All five parts are available online, and it’s easy to catch up before part 6 is posted! (Other authors include Susan Hubbard, comic writer Robert Venditti, interviewer Jana Waring, and bartender-poet Teege Braune).

Ed Bull, by the way, is a great young writer, and you’ll be able to appreciate his stand-alone story even if you don’t have time to read through the other parts of the story. He’s also got a story called “Teeth” at Burrow Press Review, which you can check out at the provided link.

Reading Books While Burping My Baby

I know that it seems that the majority of my postings lately have been about my baby, or about fatherhood, but you know what? When you have kids, you start to view the world through the lens of parenthood. Impossible to get away from that. I can guarantee I’ll never be one of those people who drives past Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights billboards and writes editorials in the Orlando Sentinel about how the billboards should be taken down because they’re too scary. I also won’t ever complain about prime-time TV, and will never say “How am I supposed to tell my kids about this?” when I see a politician having an affair or a pro baseball player on steroids or a Janet Jackson nipple. Rather than seeing the world as something to shield my child from, I promise that I’ll attempt to see the world as a series of learning opportunities: “You see that, Jackson? That’s what we call a ‘poor decision.'”

So I won’t stop talking about fatherhood, but I can guarantee that I won’t be annoying about it. Hopefully that’s a good deal, right?

All of this as a lead-in, so that I can say: I’ve got a new blog over at the Burrow Press Review called Reading Books While Burping My Baby.”

You might have noticed that I don’t write many book reviews on my own site these days (though I do still update my “Reading List” page). Well, I’ve been searching for a way to reach a wider audience with my reviews, and to find a way to talk about how I read, rather than just the quality of what I read.

This month, I talk about Three Ways of the Saw by Matt Mullins, and a bunch of stories from One Story, including a great one from David James Poissant. My first few installments touched on Best American Non-Required Reading, Roxane Gay’s Ayiti, Ryan W. Bradley’s Prize Winners, Ben Tanzer’s Most Likely You Go Your Way And I’ll Go Mine, and Artifice Magazine. Check it out at the link above. Hopefully it’ll give you your book review fix, along with your baby fix.

A Round-Up of Updates

Got a lot of cool links to share:

First, a fantastic review of 15 Views of Orlando at Saw Palm, the literary journal of the University of South Florida. The editor of the journal, John Fleming, is fantastic, and he’s working hard to cultivate literary community in the Tampa Bay area (much like Burrow Press in Orlando). It’s an extremely well-written and thoughtful review, so I would have been stoked no matter if it was positive or negative, but I’m extra-stoked that it’s positive!

(As a side-note, remember to order your copy of 15 Views from the Burrow Press web site. All proceeds go to support writing workshops for public school kids in Orlando.)

Next up: check out my story “Angela’s Baby” at Hobart online. I had the pleasure of meeting editor Aaron Burch at AWP this past weekend (and actually, we served on a graphic narrative panel together), and–though I didn’t know him when I submitted to his journal–our encounter made me even more proud to appear in Hobart. It’s an amazing publication, highly creative, and I bought several of the books from their innovative Short Flight/Long Drive book imprint (one is structured as a composition journal, and another as a passport). I also learned that their recent issue just had two stories selected for this year’s Best American Short Stories anthology. Two stories from the same issue. Unbelievable. The hype is high, and I’m excited to start reading all the material I scooped up from their bookfair table. To be completely honest, if I’d have known all of this before I submitted a story to Hobart, I probably would’ve been too intimidated to submit.

And hey: while I haven’t been posting new blog entries every month for new installments of “Clutter,” I figured now was as good a time as any. “Clutter” (my graphic narrative structured as a home decor catalog) just hit episode #7, and things are about to get pretty rough between the happily married couple who just purchased their first home together. If you haven’t been reading, then…well, I guess you’d better start!

And finally: I have a “Reading List” here on my blog site, just to remind myself of what I’m reading, and when, and any thoughts I decided to record about the books, but now I’ve also got a recurring essay series on my reading life at Burrow Press. It’s called “Reading Books While Burping My Baby,” and I take a look at how my own reading habits and preferences have changed since the birht of my son in early January. In the first installment, I discuss (among other things) Roxane Gay’s Ayiti, Ryan W. Bradley’s Prize Winners, Ben Tanzer’s Most Likely You Go Your Way And I’ll Go Mine, Artifice Magazine, and The Best American Non-Required Reading 2011. It’s an adorable premise, isn’t it? I mean, seriously. A man and his baby? You’d have to be heartless not to follow that link.