Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Mary Roberts Rinehart Award - Fiction
Winner: Allyson Armistead, Translation
Dan Rudy Fiction Award
Winner: Ryan Call, An Embarrassing Knot I Could Not Undo
Shelley A. Marshall Fiction Award
Winner: Ryan Call, Fermata
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
David Ohle, author of Motorman, after years of quiet, has begun publishing , first with The Age of Sinatra in 2004, and now a new book, called The Pisstown Chaos, forthcoming this June from Soft Skull Press. See his interview over at Bookslut for details.
I point this out because, if you have not read Motorman, you ought to check it out.
From the interview:
Tell me about your time with Burroughs in Kansas. Had working with him on his memoir influenced your fiction?
I met Burroughs when I moved to Lawrence in 1984 and hung out with him once or twice a week until his death. I cooked dinner for him on Thursday nights, took him to the methadone clinic in Kansas City on occasion (where he picked up a "six pack" for the week), took him fishing and target shooting (I fished, he shot). I also transcribed a few of his novels from manuscript to computer files (Western Lands, Queer, The Cat Inside). A rumor has persisted that I somehow transcribed his dreams, but it's not true. I'd like to say that his writing had no influence on mine, but that may not be true either. If any of his writing influenced me, it would have to be Queer and Junkie, the two works of his I most admire for their starkly simple, straightforward style. (I wrote a screenplay adaptation of Queer, which Steve Buscemi initially optioned, but it has never been made.) His fame as a writer aside (Bill never talked about that), he was a very smart guy, a razor-sharp wit, and funny as hell. We were friends. I wrote a more complete account of my times with Burroughs called Mutate or Die: With Burroughs in Kansas, published by The Beat Scene Press. I've also published (Soft Skull, 2006) a memoir of Burroughs' son, Billy, called Cursed from Birth.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
Some excerpts for you:
DL: It's my fanatical neatness that drives us to respond quickly. I can't bear the sight of piled-up manuscripts. And yes, I see all the fiction, and Sidney Wade sees all the poetry.
In fiction we operate on the principle that most readers, when browsing through a magazine, will throw the magazine aside if the story they're looking at doesn't captivate their attention pretty fast. Accordingly Mark Mitchell and I sit down a couple of times a week with the fiction manuscripts and start reading them aloud to each other. Sometimes the MFAs participate as well. The rule is that the listener can and should shout "stop!" at the point at which s/he, if browsing, would throw the story aside. If we're able to get past the first page without throwing the story aside, we figure that the story deserves to be read. That story is then put aside and read by one of us all the way through. If the reader likes it, it's shared with others. Usually this process allows us to winnow out about 90% of the submissions. (This is a variant on the approach that my teacher of long ago, Gordon Lish, took in the workshop.)
DL: In all honesty, even though I teach in an MFA program, I have mixed feeling about the MFA industry (and it is becoming something of an industry). Here at UF, for instance, the quantity of applications that we receive increases substantially each year. This year we only accepted 6% of our applicants in fiction. More and more people seem to be writing.
(emphasis not mine)
Go read more of the interview, if you'd like.
Monday, April 7, 2008
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Priyanka Champaneri: Cider or quiche or something
Rebecca McGill: bread, wine, and cheese
Sara Hov: brownies
Elizabeth Eshelman: chips and homemade dip
Stephen Loiaconi: dessert
Tim Rowe: cold pasta salad dish
Kristin Von Kundra
Alyson Foster: Some sort of salad
Ashley Ford: Couscous
David Sloane Rider: wine
Ryan Call: samwiches
Walt Seale: Beer