So You Wrote a Book? Robert Scotellaro

Robert Scotellaro has been a treasure of the flash fiction community for many years. Back in 2015 I said of his work, “Scotellaro demonstrates that the more we understand our stories, the less we have to explain them. Often the journey of an artist is a journey of learning what to leave out: Rothko’s complex surrealism eventually matures into single or double colored canvases; Picasso’s realistic drawings mature into simple thick lines and shapes—and writers such as Scotellaro say even more with even less… His work takes the leap into mastery, zooming in on the subtle moment at hand and letting that one drop of water tell the story of the entire world.” Now, with the release of his new collection, What Are the Chances? we get the opportunity to take another step on this journey with him.

Author Robert Scotellaro

Nancy Stohlman: Welcome, Scotty! First, and in the spirit of flash fiction, describe this book in 6 words:

Robert Scotellaro: Flash exploring the vagaries of “chance.”

NS: You are widely considered a master of flash fiction, and deservedly so. Talk a bit about how you found the form—or did it find you?

RS: Thank you, Nancy.  I think the form found me.  I was always innately drawn to brevity in literature: poetry, the short story, flash and micro fiction.  Reading the work of Emily Dickenson as a teenager opened me to a level of compaction that (ironically) seemed borderless in its ability to express the intimate doings of  inner and outer worlds with such clarity, emotion, philosophical sensibility, and power.  That was an early eye-opener.

So I started out as a poet.  In the seventies I also wrote fiction (including a short novel in 1971) that incorporated what I called “segments”—what now might be considered microfiction.  It was surreal and reflected the times.  (A joint prior to reading was required.)  Most of the full-length stories I wrote subsequently were comprised of those “segments.”  It was natural for me to write that way.  I guess I was always a sprinter rather than a marathon runner in terms of lit.

After a time I was writing short-short stories regularly.  When I discovered the anthology Sudden Fiction by James Thomas and Robert Shapard I was elated.  The very short form was being showcased (taken out of the shadows of “filler” status in magazines).  Then came the iconic anthology: Flash Fiction (72 Very Short Stories)by James and Denise Thomas and Tom Hazuka, and many such books by W. W. Norton were to follow. 

In 2018 I went full circle and Norton published New Micro: Exceptionally Short Fiction, an anthology co-edited by James Thomas and myself.  I remain as excited as ever about exploring the limitless potential of the genre.

NS: What are the Chances? is very cinematic—in fact I read all your stories almost as if they are mini movies. Does that description resonate with you?

RS: It does.  I think many of the stories I write are not so much language pieces, but rather characters interacting in various settings and situations which lend themselves to those visual possibilities.  Scanning What Are the Chances? one finds characters in a hot tub, an Uber car, a commune, a cave, on a fire escape, a carousel, in a subway car, behind a rectory…  I view the stories in that cinematic way as I’m writing them.

Plus I like creating different characters (delineating them) and letting them interact on their own, as opposed to an “author-recounting.”  Perhaps this adds to that cinematic element in my work.

NS: In the title story, “What Are the Chances?” there are two techniques that I love: the deliberate use of repetition and the way you strategically manipulate your title. Can you let us in on some of your other “masterclass” writing techniques, particularly around flash fiction?

RS: I’d like to do more stories using various refrains in that manner.  They create a kind of rhythm, a word-tumble of sorts, to the finish line.

Far as titles (I almost always) don’t think of them until a story is completed.  In the case of the title story: “What Are the Chances? I was taken with how timing, chance, and random happenstance can alter a life/lives, and that all of these elements were contained within that piece.  I felt this title served the collection, highlighting that occasional theme which runs through it as connective tissue.

Not sure about the “masterclass” part, but what I feel is essential to writing flash, is the “telling detail” (replete with implication).  Perhaps several that create an allusion to something bigger— more at stake upon reflection—after the last word is read, providing a kind of lingering resonance.

NS: Yes, “refrains” is the right word, I think. For example, in Nothing Is Ever One Thing published earlier this year from Blue Light Press, you have a series of “Micro-Fables” that thread through the other stories. Love this idea—can you talk about the inspiration?

RS: With Nothing Is Ever One Thing I wanted to “mix things up” a bit, bend/blend genres.  There are also four “P.S.” stories throughout.  I sought to incorporate lots of tempo/tone shifts.  The micro-fables are prose poems—microfiction’s kissing cousin.  I am, at this point in my career, fascinated with the notion of investigating  form.  Forms within the very short form.  I have a chapbook’s-worth of such stories recently completed and a full-length manuscript I’m finishing up devoted to “like” forms.  And I’m finding infinite possibilities for variety within them.  I’m pretty excited about this new direction.

NS:  As soon as I read “Mr. Nasty” (in What Are the Chances) I had a flashback: I chose (and loved!) this story for a Fast Forward anthology over a decade ago! My, how time flies. Which goes to say you’ve been writing flash fiction for a long time. Tell me: How has it changed in the last decade or more?

RS:  I liken it to a music concert where a performer plays new tunes, but adds a dash of “oldies” that have stood the test of time.  That mix well.    

Fast Forward was a terrific venue for flash.  I think I published four or five pieces in various volumes.  If I’m not mistaken your co-editor, Kona Morris, read “Mr. Nasty” on a Colorado radio station.  You all contributed so much to short form lit with those anthologies.

Far as changes—good lord!—so much has evolved with the genre since then in terms of popularity, expansion, and status.  Flash fictionis no long consigned that “sub-genre” category.  It is its own genre now.  Officially.  Standing on strong legs.  Now you can hardly find a magazine (including the major ones with The New Yorker on the list) that don’t publish flash.  And there are a plethora of personal collections by outstanding authors continually finding their way to print.  There are important anthologies by W. W. Norton and many others in America as well as internationally.  And now there is even a significant Flash Fiction Collection housed at the Ransom Center at the University of Texas, Austin.  Flash is thriving.

NS: Which leads to the exclamation of wonder that you published not one but TWO books in 2020, a year in which publishing has been challenged like everything else. Can you talk about how these two books are different/complementary to your oeuvre?

RS: Actually Nothing Is Ever One Thing was published in 2019.  What Are the Chances? was accepted in 2019 as well, but Kevin Morgan Watson at Press 53 didn’t want them bumping heads (promotion wise) in the same year, so we waited for a 2020 pub date.

I think both collections tread that territory between misplaced intentions and a quest for connection, solace, and redemption, with humor/irony close enough at hand to grab onto.  Uncertainty, of one sort or another, is perhaps the biggest thing that trips us up.  I like exploring that, and how we stumble or correct to find peace with it. 

Nothing Is Ever One Thing is more experimental because of the genre shifts (prose/prose poetry).  However, with What Are the Chances? I’ve welcomed examining challenging subjects (still at a slant) and in a variety of ways.

I think Kevin was right about waiting.  It’s allowed each collection to breathe a bit.

NS: I agree. What’s it been like to publish a book in the Year of Our Lord 2020?

It’s been a sweet counterbalance to these dark times.  I so miss the hugs of friends at readings, other gatherings, my daughter many states away, dinners out…  But it was so great working with Kevin at Press 53 and his editor, Claire Foxx, on this book and with Diane Frank at Blue Light Press before that, with my previous collection in more stable times.  I’m so grateful.

NS: Advice for writers working on a book?

RS: When you have enough stories for a collection to assemble, see which of them rub together in interesting ways.  Sometimes similar themes side by side with fresh approaches work well.  Sometimes it’s tempo shifts that are more interesting.  Read the stories out loud.  Sometimes that clanking sound in the machinery is what makes the movement more compelling.  Sometimes it’s the smooth purr of words you’re after.  Don’t look over your shoulder.  It’s important to make the process as organic as possible, maybe even fun.  Finding a publisher is something else entirely.  Too bad there isn’t something like a dating service for publishers and writers.  You’d probably learn all you needed to after the first drink. 

NS: That is perfect advice. And I love the publishing dating service! Anything else you want to add?

RS: In terms of writing that book/those stories: show up!  Be bold!  Writing is all about mystery and discovery.  Never let the blank page or screen intimidate you.  You cannot have the reward of discovery without the mystery. 

NS: And this is why you are a master. It’s been such a pleasure getting to pick your brain! Can you share the links to the book/books and other promo links.

Robert’s work can be found at: www.robertscotellaro.com

Press 53: https://www.press53.com/robert-scotellaro

What Are the Chances now available from Press 53!

Robert Scotellaro has published widely in national and international books, journals and anthologies, including W.W. Norton’s Flash Fiction International, NANO Fiction, Gargoyle, New Flash Fiction Review, Matter Press, The Laurel Review, and many others.  His stories were included in Best Small Fictions (2016 and 2017) and Best Microfiction 2020. He is the author of seven literary chapbooks, several books for children, and five full-length story collections: Measuring the Distance, What We Know So Far (winner of The 2015 Blue Light Book Award), Bad Motel, Nothing Is Ever One Thing, and What Are the Chances?  He was the recipient of Zone 3’s Rainmaker Award in Poetry. He has edited, along with James Thomas, New Micro: Exceptionally Short Fiction published by W.W. Norton & Company. He is one of the founding donors to The Ransom Flash Fiction Collection at the University of Texas, Austin.  Robert lives with his wife in San Francisco. Find him online at: www.robertscotellaro.com

Books By Friends 2020 Edition (just in time for the Winter Book Flood)

Once a year I wish I was Icelandic, because Jolabokaflod, the Annual Winter “Book Flood”, is perhaps the best holiday ever.

I first visited Iceland in 2015, and I fell in love with a lot of things: colorful homes, black lava landscapes, their quirky sense of humor and the fact that most Icelanders have a warm place in their hearts for elves, but the most stunning unicorn of them all was an adorable cozy bookstore, the kind you dream of, on every corner. Every. Corner.

Yes, long winter nights have created some of the world’s most avid readers and created the Winter tradition known as the Book Flood. Publishers will release a “flood” of books from September to December, and all the people giving and receiving books during the winter holidays (traditionally on Christmas Eve) ensures plenty of long nights cozied up by literary fires across the country.

Yeah. Kinda perfect, huh?

So every year at this time, I like to share the new and old books by friends that grace my nightstand and might give you some reading and gifting ideas as we head into the Winter Book Flood season. Because if you’re going to gift books, why not gift books by friends? Whether we are Icelandic or not, or celebrate Christmas or not, we can still embrace the spirit of Jolabokaflod by sharing and indulging our creative imaginations during the darkest nights of the year. And so I present:

Books By Friends 2020 Edition:

The books that I will personally be cozying up with as 2020 comes to a close:

(I’ve provided the publisher or author’s direct link if available)

(in no particular order)

Diane Simmons: Finding a Way  “In Finding a Way, Diane Simmons chronicles a family navigating loss. Told from various perspectives, this series of connected flashes finds words where so many cannot. The often indescribable is distilled in a way that is fresh and full of deep emotional understanding. This debut collection is both delicate and impactful, and the stories within are among the rare that will move any reader.”

gregory SETH harris: The Perfect Stranger  “Liberally sprinkled with incredible, unique images, Harris’s unconventional  Perfect Stranger evokes the impression of Richard Brautigan cartwheeling down an Escherian Stairwell: Very creative, certainly strange, and possibly dangerous.”

Karen Jones: When It’s Not Called Making Love
“When It’s Not Called Making Love is a breathless, breathtaking, unflinching coming-of-age debut you will not want to miss. … I just loved When it’s Not Called Making Love. With an authentic voice, Karen Jones tells the story of the troubled Bernadette as she grows from displaced child to young adult.”

Jeanette Sheppard: Seventy Percent Water
“This collection of thirty-one stories explores familial, social and romantic relationships through a sense of who or what is absent. Several of the stories evoke the theme through magical realism — the title story about a woman who tracks down her ex-lover in a hospital corridor takes a fantastical turn of events impossible to see coming”

John Wheway: A Bluebottle in Late October
“John Wheway’s first full collection places its trust exactly where it should be: in the poetic present tense where every gnomic detail is magnified, every commonplace brought to its own species of transfiguration. At a time when the lyric is so much in need, he rejuvenates it in its most pellucid and most effortless form; the couplet is reshaped and crystallised, and comes to life. A Bluebottle in Late October is a memorable sequence of poems.”

Nod Ghosh: Filthy Sucre
“In Filthy SucreNod Ghosh paints fresh and stinging portraits of human vulnerability and fallibility. The three novellas will pull you fully into the worlds of her characters, mixing lush details with harsh surroundings, tragedy with amusement, and surreal happenings with all-too-familiar human experiences.”

Jennifer Louden:Why Bother?
“In Why BotherJennifer Louden shows with great honesty that feeling what is ours to feel is how we endure our way into a more authentic dream where who we are is more than enough. Without being prescriptive, this book is a strong and sensitive companion on the path of becoming fully human. … This book is a revelation.”

Pamela Painter: Fabrications: New and Selected Stories
“A crowning collection from the award-winning short story writer Pamela Painter. Pamela Painter’s short stories have been praised by Margot Livesey for their “wicked intelligence and ruthless humor.” In Fabrications, which brings together 7 new and 24 selected stories, characters struggle to avoid the chaos in their lives, but—driven by addictions and appetites—often bring on disaster. Nobody is ordinary in Painter’s stories.”

Robert Scotellaro: What Are the Chances?
“Robert Scotellaro has given us a gift with this collection of taut, stunning prose. Each piece is a marvel. The characters, and the situations they find themselves in, are thrilling, unique and immensely entertaining. In seconds he can get your pulse throbbing, or put your anxiety at ease. Scotellaro displays a mastery of the short form.” 

Meg Pokrass: The Loss Detector: a novella-in-flash
“Set in coastal California, The Loss Detector is a funny/sad portrait of teenage blues and of a small, transplanted family of non-conformists. The flawed but lovable characters in Pokrass’ novella remind us of how the world’s most beautiful places are not always the easiest in which to thrive. Moments of giddy, perceived freedom set against resignation dot the narrative in such a way that will leave you changed.”

Tino Prinzi: This Alone Could Save Us
“With This Alone Could Save Us, Santino Prinzi has fashioned a collection of small, smart fictions that read large. Here is work undergirded by innovation, incisive wit, and a keen ability to navigate terrain that is personal, and at once universal to us all.”

Peter Churches: Whistler’s Mother’s Son
“How do you begin to describe a collection of over 100 short prose pieces of varying length and styles when the only thing they all have in common is weirdness? Maybe you say it features parodies, standardized tests, nursery-rhyme anxieties, fables, riddles, collaborations, conundrums, rescued clichés, abominations-in-training, dark Americana, existential misdemeanors, misbegotten mysteries, identity crises, optimistic nihilism, formal experimentation, and polyrhythmic prose, with a side of word salad.”

Tina Barry: Beautiful Raft
“Tina Barry’s Beautiful Raft provides a gorgeously rendered glimpse into the enigmatic lives of UK artist Jean McNeil and her mother, Virginia Haggard. These poems and interludes examine not only the deep complexities of a family but also the interplay between art and society. Beyond Barry’s probing portrayal is an examination of the concept of artistic mastery and what it takes to both create and be seen in the world.”    

Jon Sindell: The Pugilist Poets of Venice
“This is a rollicking, big-hearted tale, full of laughter, bravery and unflinching humanity. The touch is light, but the questions are big: family, loyalty, art, and love are the rightful subjects of Sindell’s troupe of misfits and raconteurs, each of them a poet and each of them a pugilist too in this deeply funny and deeply felt novel.” 

Francine Witte: Dressed All Wrong for This
“Winner of the 2019 Blue Light Book Award Dressed All Wrong For This, (Blue Light Press, 2019) is Francine Witte’s debut collection of fifty-seven flash fictions. The book quickly establishes itself as an absurdist joy with stories that roam anywhere and everywhere. I felt drawn to the possibilities, the humor, and the fact that I had no idea where Witte’s stories might take me.”

KB Jensen: A Storm of Stories
“Sometimes telling a story is just another way to stay alive. Swerving to avoid a hitchhiker out in a whiteout storm, Julie’s car ends up wedged in a snow bank. With the inches piling higher on the dark road, she can’t escape a man who makes little sense. Stranded in the freezing cold, the two tell stories to pass the time. From the Midwest to India, Denmark and Canada, they offer visions of lives and loves from young to old, far and wide. But as the hours blur together, and the snow and ice set in, it becomes less clear how their own story will end. A tale of love, craziness and impossibility.”

Cath Barton: In the Sweep of the Bay
“This warm-hearted tale explores marriage, love, and longing, set against the majestic backdrop of Morecambe Bay, the Lakeland Fells, and the faded splendour of the Midland Hotel.”

PLUS: Check out the So You Wrote a Book series for more great titles by friends from earlier in the year. And yes, SYWAB will be returning soon and I’ll hopefully be talking to many of the authors on this list! Stay tuned!

Happy Book Gifting and Happy Holidays!

Love, Nancy

P.S. And, in the spirit of the season, check out my special book gifting offer from my own book collection of new and previous titles—2 of which are out of print and you can only get them from me!

P.S.S. (And if a little birdie told you about a Flash Fiction Retreat tentatively planned for Iceland in winter 2022 (fingers crossed)….shhh…..!)

25 Books by Friends (just in time for Jólabókaflóð)

icelandI’m not Icelandic, but if there is one reason why I wish I was it would be to celebrate Jólabókaflóð, the Icelandic Christmas Book Flood where books–yes, books!–are exchanged on Christmas Eve. Then everyone goes home and reads. Doesn’t that sound amazing? And did you know that Iceland publishes more books per capita than any other country in the world?

Regardless of whether you are Icelandic or not, giving books–especially signed books–during the holidays is a super thoughtful gift. It says “I care about your intellectual and creative health” so much more than that bottle of wine–and lasts longer too! Plus you’re supporting artists and that’s always a good thing.

So what books will you give and receive this Winter’s Eve (and beyond)? I have some suggestions! For several years I have done an end of the year “Top 10 Books By Friends List”, and since I was a slacker last year you get double the pleasure, double the fun!

25 Books by Friends 2018

(in no particular order: most published in 2017/2018)

books

The Realty Traveler by Jonathan Montgomery
Read my interview with Jonathan here:
“Jonathan “Bluebird” Montgomery has just released his new book, The Reality Traveler, a pop culture allegorical/philosophical tale with Jonny “Bluebird” as its picaresque narrator and Reality Traveling tour guide! Think Don Quixote meets the Alchemist meets the Guardians of the Galaxy.” Read more

Water and Power by Steven Dunn
Read my interview with Steven here
“Steven Dunn has just released his new book, Water and Power! This book is a literary mosaic, collaging the two contradictory faces of the military: the official face of the recruiting posters and the real faces of the people, including Steven’s.” Read more

Meet My Haze by Meg Tuite
Interview coming!

Kiss, Kiss by Paul Beckman
Read Kathy Fish’s review on the Flash Fiction Retreats website here

New Micro: Exceptionally Short Stories edited by James Thomas and Robert Scotellaro
My stories “Death Row Hugger” and “I Found Your Voodoo Doll on the Dance Floor After Last Call” appear in this amazing anthology
Read a review from the Los Angeles Review of Books here

Alligators at Night by Meg Pokrass
Interview coming!

Gather the Night: Poems by Katherine DiBella Seluja
Read my interview with Katherine here
“Katherine DiBella Seluja has just released her new book, Gather the Night, which is largely an investigation into the complex emotions around mental illness and addiction, particularly as it affects the narrator’s brother, Lou. While much literature has been devoted to the stories of people suffering with these and other illnesses, there are fewer stories that speak to the experience of the bystander, those caught in the orbit of the illnesses and getting the midnight ER phone calls. Read more

Funhouse by Robert Vaughan
Interview coming!

Other Household Toxins by Christopher Allen
Interview coming!

Flash Fiction Festival Two edited by Bath Flash Fiction Award
My story “Loch Ness” appears in this great compilation of writers who gathered in the UK in 2018.

On the Bitch by Matt Potter
Interview coming!

One of These Days by Trent Hudley
From my book blurb:
“Trent Hudley is unafraid to look at the underbelly of despair, taking us on an existential unraveling through the landscapes of loneliness, deftly weaving the crisis of humanity between the real and the surreal like a strange premonition. “This is a story without hope” says one of his characters, but One of These Days is a book striving for redemption.”

Roses are Red, Violets are Stealing Loose Change from My Pockets While I Sleep by David S. Atkinson
From my book blurb:
“David S. Atkinson’s imagination is a beast unleashed! The stories in Roses are Red, Violets are Stealing Loose Change from My Pockets While I Sleep are bizarre and hilarious, taking us into a highly peculiar landscape with scenarios that leave me wondering: Where does he come up with this stuff? Narrated with his signature intellectual deadpan (think “straight man”) and featuring labyrinthian titles that unroll all the way to near slapstick, Atkinson leads us from one outlandish situation to the next without flinching, apologizing, or justifying.”

Ripening: 2018 National Flash Fiction Day Anthology edited by Santino Prinzi and Allison Powell
My story “The Pilgrimage” appears in this tasty anthology!

Ideal Suggestions: Essays in Divinatory Poetics by Selah Saterstrom
Selah is awesome!

Nothing Short Of: Selected Tales from One Hundred Word Story edited by Grant Faulkner, Lynn Mundell and Beret Olsen
My story “Naked” appears in this great collection of tiny stories!

I’m Not Supposed to Be Here and Neither are You by Len Kuntz
Interview coming!

Glimmerglass Girl by Holly Lyn Walrath
“Bold yet delicate, sharp, intricate, and woven with fragile strength, there are many things to like in Glimmerglass Girl. The first a reader might notice is the interplay of words and images, something many writers attempt but not always with such success. Glimmerglass Girl uses classic and vintage fairy tale images to give the book an aura of innocence and nostalgia…”
Read more here

Rattle of Want by Gay Degani
Read Kathy Fish’s interview with Gay Degani here

The Plankton Collector: A Novella by Cath Barton
Read Kathy Fish’s blurb about Cath’s book here

Bad Motel: 100 Word Stories by Robert Scotellaro
From my book blurb:
“Like perfectly crafted dioramas, Robert Scotellaro’s micro stores are tiny keyholes, tableau glimpses into fully formed worlds, entire lives implied with the barest swipe of words said, and more importantly, not said.”

How to Make a Window Snake: Three Novellas in Flash by Charmaine Wilkerson, Joanna Campbell and Ingrid Jendrzejewski 
Three great writers for the price of one!

Musalaheen: A War Memoir by Jason Arment
Veteran Jason Arment’s debut book!

The Crazed Wind by Nod Ghosh
This collection began in my Flash Books class in February–Nod is awesome!

The Boneyard, The Birth Manual, A Burial: Investigations into the Heartland by Julia Madsen
Julia is also a great multi-media artist!

Funny Bone: Flashing for Comic Relief edited by Peter Blair and Ash Chantler
My story “Clown Car” from Madam Velvet’s Cabaret of Oddities was first published in this collection of humorous flashes
Profits go to Comic Relief, a major charity based in the UK, with a vision of a just world, free from poverty.

Nothing to Worry About by Vanessa Gebbie
This is a weird little book that speaks to my weird heart!

PS: Okay, I know that was more than 25. I can’t stop!
PSS: My goal is to interview all the authors listed here in my So You Wrote a Book Series in 2019, so stay tuned!

Regardless of what you celebrate, and whether you celebrate anything at all, I celebrate the many ways that we support one another on this crazy creative life journey.
Wishing you love, rest, and inspiration this winter season.
See you in 2019!
xoxo

mad V performance.jpg

Top 15 Books by Friends 2015

icey booksJust in time to celebrate Jólabókaflóð, the Icelandic Christmas Book Flood, I was forced to expand my annual Top 10 Books by Friends to the Top 15 Books by Friends List! This is a good problem to have.

Did you know: In Iceland new books are exchanged and read on Christmas Eve with a cup of hot chocolate? Did you know that Iceland publishes more books per capita than any other country?

My Top 15 List is in no particular order and the books were only read by me in 2015, not necessarily published in 2015 (though this year most of them were).

TOP 15 BOOKS BY FRIENDS 2015

Slab by Selah Saterstromslab

From my Amazon review: “Selah Saterstrom is a visionary and her latest book, Slab, takes us to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina where our narrator, Tiger, waits to be rescued from the concrete slab where a house might have once stood.”

Buy it now!

*

511bryadi5l-_sx331_bo1204203200_Peek by Paul Beckman

From my Amazon review: “It’s as if Woody Allen and Charles Bukowski got your favorite uncle hammered all weekend and made him spill the family dirt in perfect, flash fiction sized bites.”

Buy it now!

*

*

kuntzcoverweb-500jpg_388x600_60b1f7acda693ca74e1b6bd8076c8a96-194x300Dark Sunshine by Len Kuntz

From my Goodreads review: “Dark Sunshine is the perfect name for Len Kuntz’ haunting collection of flash fiction. Equal parts despair and hope, this combination creates a cocktail that will leave you heartsick and Kuntz is the kind of writer who knows how to break your heart gently.”

Buy it now!

*

Flash Fiction International pbk mech.inddFlash Fiction International by eds James Thomas, Robert Shapard and Christopher Merrill

From my Boston Literary Magazine review: “The writers and stories included come from diverse corners of the globe, and the Table of Contents reads like a meeting of the United Nations”

*I will be joining James Thomas, Robert Shapard, Tom Hazuka and Lynn Mundell on an AWP Panel in 2016 entitled: Where We’ve Been, Where We’re going: Five Editors Talk about the History and Future of Flash Fiction Anthologies. Friday April 1 at 3 pm. Join us!   Buy it now

*

51phaopzygl-_sx326_bo1204203200_Addicts and Basements by Robert Vaughan

The front yard screams at you.
And the car.
And the buttons on your shirt.
Leaving: Yes, I am leaving.
Still, you might have the chance to get there before me.
–from “Leaving” 

Buy it now

*

51cy5hoqoel-_sx331_bo1204203200_What We Know So Far by Robert Scotellaro

From my Amazon review:  “…writers such as Robert Scotellero learn to say more with less, no longer needing the extra foliage. His work takes the leap into true maturity, mastering the silences, zooming in on the subtle moment at hand and letting that one drop of water tell the story of the entire world.”

Buy it now

*

51l8jlwgxsl-_sx331_bo1204203200_Grace Notes by Meg Tuite and David Tomaloff

From Unknown Press: “A stunning collaboration from Meg Tuite (prose), David Tomaloff (poetry), and Keith Higginbotham (collages), who’ve blended their work together in a powerful display that is all of these things:  crushing, mind altering, odd in the ways that shine.”

Buy it now 

*

26796177Hamburgers and Berliners by Matt Potter

From my Amazon review: “Generously peppered with dry wit and historical tidbits, Hamburgers and Berliners is less a guidebook and more a window into both the loneliness and celebrations of following one’s heart.”

Buy it now

*


together-we-can-bury-it
Together We Can Bury It by Kathy Fish

From my Goodreads review: “Her stories are elegant, atmospheric, nostalgic, but never trite or sentimental. She shows the irony of childhood as deftly as the confusion and difficult beauty of adulthood: loving, losing, longing, and breathing the daily poetry that is the ordinary, but always extraordinary, life.”

Buy it now

*

dicksonAll Points Radiant by Brian Dickson

From my Amazon review: “A thumbprint, a pulse, a sunflower, a missing sock, Dickson is able to imply large meaning in small details; these moments acknowledge grief, certainly, but more importantly create a mosaic of a life. A beautiful eulogy in poetry, a poignant but radiant celebration of relationships passed but never forgotten.”

Buy it now

*

51jpc6-pdil-_sx331_bo1204203200_The Secret Games of Words by Karen Stefano

From my Amazon review: “The stories in Karen Stefano’s debut collection are vulnerable to the point of making me blush with recognition. Like reading someone’s emails, I, too, feel the madness and unraveling of her character(s) as I eavesdrop on her most raw and intimate thoughts. Like a voyeur, I can’t look away.”

Buy it now

*

51hvg0obxbl I Saw a Zulu Woman Once by Jeffrey Spahr-Summers

Until Their Bellies Bulge and Shine by Jeffrey Spahr-Summers

Companion books of poems on living in Apartheid South Africa

Buy it now

*

51mpnr9e17l-_sx344_bo1204203200_1Harrison by Nate Jordon

From Arcadia’s website: “Nestled in the heart of the Ozarks of north central Arkansas, Harrison is a small city that embodies an intriguing history within the state…Nate Jordon worked extensively with the genealogy department of the Boone County Library to bring Harrison’s early history to life.”

Buy it now

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img_3032Two Truths and a Lie by Leah Rogin-Roper

Leah Rogin-Roper’s chapbook Two Truths and a Lie was the winner of Horseless Press’s Poetry and a Pint chapbook series in 2015 and was released in September.

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A Very F**cked Up Christmas Tale by J.A. Kazimer

From my Amazon review: “Even while giving the heimlich to the Ghost of Villainous Presents, Kazimer does what she does best—swipes her finger through the too-perfect frosting of our childhood stories and redelivers them with just the right touch of raunch, humor and irony.”

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9781938633676-Perfect (1).inddGlassMusic by Rebecca Snow

From Conundrum Press’ website:Glassmusic explores the sometimes devastating realities of loyalty and jealousy, with philosophy, music, and love serving as guides.”

Shortlisted for the International Rubery Award!

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Were you counting?? I know that’s 16…sue me!

Happy  Jólabókaflóð Everyone!