Heavy Feather Review: Hillary Leftwich Reviews Madam Velvet’s Cabaret of Oddities

Reviews mean so much to writers, especially to Indie writers, so I’m so grateful to Hillary Leftwich and Heavy Feather Review for this gorgeous review of Madam Velvet’s Cabaret of Oddities–THANK YOU!

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Madam Velvet’s Cabaret of Oddities, by Nancy Stohlman. Boston, Massachusetts: Big Table Publishing, October 2018. 104 pages. $15.00, paper.

Excerpt: “If you’ve ever stood and stared at yourself in a funhouse mirror and saw yourself as someone you don’t recognize, distorted or with two faces, then you have a pretty good idea of how Stohlman’s latest collection of oddities takes you through the gambit of freakshow possibilities in each of her stories. Stohlman, a performer herself, speaks of a childhood growing up with a circus clown for a mother and a father who seems to be obsessed with placing in the Guinness Book of World Records for various silly attempts.

Although the obvious thread connecting these stories together seems to be Stohlman’s quirky, clown-angst teenage years followed by confusing adulthood scenes, there’s another side to this thread that runs parallel to this theme. Much like the two-faced lady or the conjoined twins, Stohlman seems to be running alongside of her twin from another dimension, a more popular, put together version. But with anything that reflects bigger, better, and brighter, Stohlman summons emotions in each piece that can’t be blurred or escaped from. That’s what makes this mixed bag of oddities about as real as it can get.

Keep reading on Heavy Feather Review here

Monday, July 23: Featured Reader at Spoken Word Paris (Theme: Carnical/Circus!)

Nancy Stohlman to Guest at SpokenWord Paris July 23–Monday’s Theme: Carnival/Circus

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Join Facebook Event here

SpokenWord Paris is one pole of a nomadic tribe of people who love poetry, writing and song. A home for creatives and lost anglophones. We do an open mic night called SpokenWord every Monday au Chat Noir and an allied writers’ workshop at Shakespeare & Company (every Sunday.) We do a literary journal called The Bastille and Tightrope Books published many of us in the book “Strangers in Paris.” Click on the blue stamp on the right to sign up to the mailing list.

Open mic/scène ouverte: Performance poetry. Lire vivant. Poésie sonore. Stand up. Monologue. Stories. Beat poetry. Spoken word. English. Français. Your own original texts. Old texts from Rimbaud to Dr Seuss, Beowulf to Gil Scott-Heron. Chacun a son mot à dire. Make the words come alive…………………….. Acoustic songs also welcome.

SpokenWord Sounds
Some podcasts from Monday nights au Chat Noir, by Victor. Listen or download here.

Starts again 4th Sept. Then every Monday Au Chat Noir, 76 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud 75011. Métro Parmentier/Couronnes. Sign up 8pm to 9.30pm in the bar. Poetics start from 8.30pm underground. Check out thePractical info page for more info. Paris’ biggest and longest-running English open mic night, started in 2006. All langues welcome. Entry one euro.

Check next week’s theme here

AWOL Writers’ Group – free!
6.30pm-8.30pm every Sunday at Shakespeare & Company, 37 rue de la Bûcherie, 75005. Free. Bring your writing or just come and listen join the discussion. Hosted by Bruce Sherfield and Simon Millward. Description Join us afterwards for a drink.

Chat Noir sketch drawn by Allison Iwata.

Thursday, July 5: Featured Reader at Paris LitUp!

Paris Lit Up featuring Nancy Stohlman

PLU Open Mic featuring Nancy Stohlman
Get your sunglasses at the ready, because July 5’s featured performer is queen of flash, the author Nancy Stohlman! Sign-up from 8, shades on at 8.45pm…
Nancy Stohlman is the author of the flash fiction collection The Vixen Scream and Other Bible Stories, the flash novels The Monster Opera and Searching for Suzi, and three anthologies including Fast Forward: The Mix Tape, which was a finalist for a 2011 Colorado Book Award. She is the creator and curator of The Fbomb Flash Fiction Reading Series, the creator of FlashNano in November. She lives in Denver and teaches at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her newest book, Madam Velvet’s Cabaret of Oddities, is forthcoming in the fall of 2018. 
Paris Lit Up Open Mic

Paris LitUp happens every Thursday in English (other languages too – when in Rome, speak French) at the historic home of French Slam poetry, Culture Rapide (103 Rue Julien Lacroix, 75020).  If you would like to read, dance, sing or otherwise express yourself, sign up is open and free to all starting at 8pm-ish. We go until we drop – which means all night long! In any language. Or no language at all. No limits. From extreme poetry and explosive prose to exhilarating music and even excellent theatre.

Plus, each week Featured Performers from around the world are invited to strut their stuff before our rowdy but respectful audience.

Rotating hosts include Ed Bell, Matt Jones, Jason Francis Mc Gimsey, Emily Ruck Keene and special guest hosts.

Summer Reading: A List of My Favorite Re-Reads

It’s Summer Reading Time! On the Beauty of Rereading

Yes, that’s right, it’s summer, and if it all goes as planned you will get a lot more reading done, right? But several times a year (usually in the summer) I find myself saturated with words, burned out on sentences. It’s like my reading engine gets flooded and I just can’t take in anything else. And just like with an actual engine, the only thing you can do when you’ve flooded your reading engine is wait.

So what do you read while you are waiting? This is when I start rereading. The beauty of rereading is there is no risk–you aren’t trying to figure out the plot, you aren’t even trying to decide if you like the book or not. With all that out of the way rereading becomes a comfortable reunion with an old friend, words and stories that have moved you (at least once) already. You don’t have to pay such close attention–you can just enjoy the scenery a little more and watch how the whole mechanism gets put together.

So for your summer (re) reading pleasure, I’ve put together a list of 40 of my favorite recent rereads, books I’ve read at least twice including some old friends I’ve read dozens of times and never get tired of:

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40 Books to Reread this Summer (or discover for the first time!)

The Virgin Suicides: Jeffrey Eugenides
1984: George Orwell
Lolita: Vladimir Nabokov
For Whom the Bell Tolls: Ernest Hemingway
100 Years of Solitude: Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Road: Cormac McCarthy
The Handmaid’s Tale: Margaret Atwood
The Old Man and the Sea: Ernest Hemingway
The Woman in the Dunes: Kobo Abe
The Lover: Marguerite Duras
On Writing: Stephen King
Flash Fiction Forward: James Thomas and Robert Shapard
Blindness: Jose Saramago
Never Let Me Go: Kazuo Ishiguro
The Alchemist: Paulo Coelho
The Pink Institution: Selah Saterstrom
Europeana: Patrik Ourednik
Tropic of Cancer: Henry Miller
The Aftermath, etc. Rob Geisen
The Thirteenth Woman: Lydia Davis
Rift: Kathy Fish and Robert Vaughan
On the Road: Jack Kerouac
Romeo and Juliet: William Shakespeare
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test: Tom Wolfe
Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail: Hunter S. Thompson
Frankenstein: Mary Shelley
Beloved: Toni Morrison
A Wrinkle in Time: Madeleine L’Engle
Juice: Renee Gladman
On Writing: Annie Dillard
Evening Would Find Me: Katie Estill
Henry and June: Anais Nin
Potted Meat: Stephen Dunn
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Philip K. Dick
Bird by Bird: Anne Lamott
Pizzas and Mermaid: Jonathan Montgomery
The Trial: Franz Kafka
Writing Down the Bones: Natalie Goldberg
Breakfast at Tiffany’s: Truman Capote
The House on Mango Street: Sandra Cisneros