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A Collection of Links Concerning Umberto Eco

on Mon, 02/22/2016 - 12:24

A collection of links to interviews, reviews, conversations, etc. with aon concerning Italian author Umberto Eco.

Paris Review interview: The Art of Fiction No. 197 - Summer 2008

Umberto Eco in conversation with Paul Holdengräber - November 2011

On This, the Day of My Journal's Editing.

on Sun, 01/31/2016 - 10:28

So here I am, sitting in the Lyon Street Cafe for the first time in several weeks, having just finished listing my tasks for my first completely open Sunday in months. To put it gently, Sunday isn't open any more. The duties and needs of Caffeinated Press in general, and The 3288 Review in particular, have eaten up all of that nebulous part of my life I used to call "free time". Am I exhausted? Yes. Is it worth it? ABSOLUTELY!

The first and most important consideration is that never have I had so much good writing at my disposal.

At ConFusion 2015, in one of the panels ("Staying Sane While Sluicing Through Slush") a panelist pointed out that submission quality falls along a bell curve, with the majority being "competent" - meaning well written, professional, etc., but not exceptional. In my time at Caffeinated Press I have vetted something over four hundred written works- long, short, fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Few of them were terrible. They didn't get published. Few were extraordinary. They DID get published. I don't know how submissions fall out in the rest of the industry, but the bell curve of the work we receive leans toward the high end which, given the amount of work we receive, help to keep us from succumbing to feelings of tedium, ennui, etc.

My active involvement at CafPress is just about exactly a year old. In that time I have picked up a surprising number of skillsets, both primary and ancillary. Editing, obviously. An eye toward story structure. A renewed appreciation of poetry. A powerful ability to metabolize coffee. All important skills for an editor.

I also, for the first time since my days at Schuler Books and Music, have a big-picture view of what's going on in the publishing world. Most is not at all surprising. The big guys are getting bigger, the little guys are struggling. So it goes. Small presses are run by several people working part-time, or one person doing the work of three and several people working part time. This is the way of the world now.

But this is not necessarily a bad thing.

Small presses are more nimble, more able to take chances with the innovative and the avant-garde. Small presses are not held captive by shareholders whims. But being small enough to fit a niche often means being small enough to fall through the cracks. Thus small presses learn to innovate.

One of my favorite (and more personally expensive) discoveries of the past few months is that several small presses offer subscriptions to their catalogs. For a nominal price, you will receive roughly a book a month for a year. This is not the old book club model of the pre-Amazon days; this is more an investment in the voice and taste of a small group of people who turn out excellent product. My first subscription was to Open Letter Books, quickly followed by Restless Books, Deep Vellum, and several others. All excellent publishers, and all beautiful books. I will explore this idea further in an upcoming blog post.

Suffice to say, I will not soon run out of excellent reading material.

Subscribing to Book Publishers

on Fri, 01/15/2016 - 23:12

A list of 50 book publishers who offer subscriptions to their catalogs. This list may or may not be updated regularly. I have subscriptions to Open Letter Books, Restless Books, And Other Stories, Deep Vellum, and Horse Less Press, and I love every one of them!

 

 

 

2016 Reading List

on Fri, 01/01/2016 - 12:37

The 2015 reading list was so much fun that I have decided to do it again! I am making a couple of minor changes to the criteria here. First, this list will include book I have read; books I have purchased but not read; and literary journals which I purchase and/or read in the 2016 calendar year. With any luck I will have an even dozen from Caffeinated Press a year from today. Since 2016 is a leap year this may give me just enough time to reach that goal. Why not only list books I actually read? Because feck is over-rated.

Helping to fill this list are the subscriptions I have to the catalogs of independent publishers Open Letter Books, Restless Books, And Other Stories, Deep Vellum and Horse Less Press, as well as subscriptions to The Paris Review, Granta and Zyzzyva. These should get me, at minimum, 35 things to read this year. Just shy of three a month. So without further ado, here is the list.

January

  1. Zyzzyva, issue 31.3
  2. The Paris Review, issue 215
  3. Rodoreda, Mercè - War, So Much War (Open Letter Books)
  4. Anderson, Benedict - Imagined Communities
  5. Rattle, issue 50
  6. Piketty, Thomas - Capital in the Twenty-First Century
  7. Clark, Patricia - Sunday Rising
  8. Harrison, Jim - Dead Man's Float
  9. Mecklenburg, Virginia - Modern Masters: American Abstraction at Midcentury
  10. n+1, issue 24
  11. Labbé, Carlos - Loquela (Open Letter Books)
  12. Comola, Jessica - Everything We Met Changed Form & Followed the Rest (Horse Less Press)
  13. Bettis, Christine - Burnout Paradise (Horse Less Press)
  14. Burns, Megan - Sleepwalk With Me (Horse Less Press)
  15. Midwestern Gothic, issue 20
  16. Dunes Review, issue 19.2
  17. Mieveille, China - Three Moments of an Explosion (Subterranean Press, signed, number 268/400)
  18. Michigan's Voices, issue 3.2, Spring 1963
  19. The Noble Savage, issue 1, February 1960
  20. Gulf Coast, issue 20.2, Fall 2008
  21. Bamber, Linda - Metropolitan Tang
  22. Wakoski, Diane - Argonaut Rose (Black Sparrow Press)
  23. Meltzer, David - No Eyes: Lester Young (Black Sparrow Press)
  24. Kashin, Oleg - Fardwor, Russia! (Restless Books)
  25. Velázquez, Carlos - The Cowboy Bible and Other Stories (Restless Books)
  26. Clark, Anna (ed) - A Detroit Anthology (Rust Belt Chic Press)
  27. The Tishman Review, issue 1.4
  28. Michigan Quarterly Review, issue 54.4
  29. Taylor, Jonathan Jay and Neill, Foster - The Michigan Poet
  30. O'Brien, Colleen - Spool in the Maze (New Michigan Press)
  31. Krieg, Brandon - Invasives (New Rivers Press)
  32. El-Mohtar, Amal - The Honey Month (Papaveria Press, signed)
  33. Klaver, Christian - The Adventure of the Lustrous Pearl (signed)
  34. Klaver, Christian - The Adventure of the Innsmouth Whaler (signed)
  35. Kalver, Christian - The Adventure of the Solitary Grave (signed)
  36. Klaver, Christian - Shadows Over London (signed)
  37. McClellan, Brian - Servant of the Crown (signed)
  38. McClellan, Brian - Forsworn (signed)
  39. McClellan, Brian - Murder a the Kinnen Hotel (signed)
  40. McClellan, Brian - In the Field Marshal's Shadow (signed)
  41. Steinmetz, Ferret - Flex (signed)
  42. Steinmets, Ferret - The Flux (signed)
  43. O'Keefe, Megan - Steal the Sky (signed)
  44. Underwood, Michael R. - Genrenauts: The Shootout Solution (signed)
  45. Underwood, Michael R. - Genrenauts: The Absconded Ambassador (signed)
  46. Collins, Brigid - The Southern Dragon (signed)
  47. Bennett, Robert Jackson - City of Blades (signed)
  48. Olson, Melissa - Boundary Crossed (signed)
  49. Toyama, Kentaro - Geek Heresy (signed)
  50. Duncan, Andy and Klages, Ellen - Wakulla Springs
  51. Wilson, Kai Ashante - The Devil in America
  52. Smale, Alan - Clash of Eagles
  53. Swanson, Jay - Into the Nanten (signed)
  54. Kloos, Marko - Terms of Enlistment (signed)
  55. Brown, Pierce - Red Rising
  56. Hurley, Kameron - Mirror Empire (signed)
  57. Hurley, Kameron - God's War (signed)
  58. Gnarr, Jon - The Pirate (Deep Vellum Publishing)
  59. The Gateway Review Issue 2.1
  60. Eastern Iowa Review, Spring/Summer 2015
  61. Tenev, Georgi - Party Headquarters (Open Letters Books)
  62. Rajaniemi, Hannu - Collected Fiction
  63. Dickinson, Seth - The Traitor Baru Cormorant
  64. Wojtaszek, Kristina - Opal (World Weaver Press, signed)
  65. Parrish, Rhonda (ed) - Scarecrow (World Weaver Press, signed)

February

  1. River Styx issue 95
  2. Granta issue 132
  3. Farooqi, Musharraf Ali - Between Clay and Dust (Restless Books)
  4. Harrison, Jim - The Ancient Minstrel (signed)
  5. How Do I Begin? A Hmong-American Literary Anthology (Heyday Books)
  6. Barr, Terry - Don't Date Baptists: and Other Warnings from My Alabama Mother (Red Dirt Press)
  7. Sternin, Grigori and Kirillina, Jelena - Ilya Repin
  8. Rucker, Rudy and Sterling, Bruce - Transreal Cyberpunk (Transreal Books)
  9. Bell, Cristalyne (ed.) Rebel Reporting: John Ross Speaks to Independent Journalists
  10. Meruane, Lina - Seeing Red (Deep Vellum)
  11. Eco, Umberto - Six Walks in the Fictional Woods
  12. Granta issue 134
  13. Estes, Phil - High Life (Horse Less Press)
  14. Olszewska, Daniela - Answering Machine (Horse Less Press)
  15. Eco, Umberto - How to Travel with a Salmon
  16. Eco, Umberto - Travels in Hyperreality
  17. Eco, Umberto - Kant and the Platypus
  18. Eco, Umberto - Misreadings
  19. Eco, Umberto - Serendipities
  20. Eco, Umberto - The Search for the Perfect Language
  21. Leckie, Ann - Ancillary Justice
  22. Tomaszewski, Z.G. - All Things Dusk
  23. Dillard, Annie - The Annie Dillard Reader
  24. Hawthorne, Nathaniel - Short Stories
  25. Melville, Herman - Great Short Works of Herman Melville
  26. Tolstoy, Leo - The Death of Ivan Illych & Other Stories
  27. Campbell, James - The Ghost Mountain Boys
  28. Least Heat-Moon, William - PrairyErth
  29. Eco, Umberto - The Prague Cemetery
  30. Eco, Umberto - Art and Beauty in the Middle Ages

March

  1. Abani, Chris - The Face: Cartography of the Void (Restless Books)
  2. Aw, Tash - The Face: Strangers ona a Pier (Restless Books)
  3. Ozeki, Ruth - The Face: A Time Code (Restless Books)
  4. Lynch, Sean - The City of Your Mind (Whirlwind Press)
  5. Whirlwind, issue 5
  6. Whirlwind, issue 6
  7. Whirlwind, issue 7
  8. Sinister, Bucky - Black Hole: A Novel (Soft Skull Press)
  9. Ali, Taha Muhammad - So What (Copper Canyon Press)
  10. Hô Xuân Huong - Spring Essence: The Poetry of Hô Xuân Huong (Copper Canyon Press)
  11. The Paris Review #216
  12. Pfeijffer, Ilja Leonard - La Superba (Deep Vellum)
  13. VanderMeer, Ann (ed.) The Bestiary (Centipede Press)
  14. Chambers, James - The Engines of Sacrifice (Dark Regions Press)
  15. Meikle, William - The Plasm (Dark Regions Press)
  16. Pugmire, W.H. & Thomas, Jeffrey - Encounters with Enoch Coffin (Dark Regions Press)
  17. Sammons, Brian M & Barrass, Glynn Owen (eds.) - World War Cthulhu (Dark Regions Press)
  18. Jamneck, Lynne (ed.) - Dreams from the Witch House (Dark Regions Press)
  19. Accola, Rosie - So That Tonight I Might See (chapbook)
  20. Lake, Brandon - Something Lacking, vol. 1 (Split Filter Press, chapbook)
  21. Brace, Kristen - The Farthest Dreaming Hill (chapbook)
  22. Austin, Melissa B. - Keys (chapbook)
  23. The Bandit Zine - Issue 3, Alt Fashion and D.I.Y.
  24. The Bandit Zine - Love + Heart Break issue
  25. de Alba, Cassanda - Habitats (Horse Less Press)
  26. Schapira, Kate - Handbook for Hands That Alter as We Hold Them Out (Horse Less Press)
  27. Porter, Bill (Red Pine) - Finding Them Gone (Copper Canyon Press)

April

  1. Fanning, Robert - Sheet Music (Three Bee Press, chapbook)
  2. Fanning, Robert - American Prophet (Marick Press)
  3. Zyzzyva 32.1
  4. Volodine, Antoine - Bardo or Not Bardo (Open Letter Books)
  5. Hirsch, Edward - A Poet's Glossary
  6. Rich, Adrienne - Later Poems
  7. Pederson, Miriam - This Brief Light (Finishing Line Press, chapbook)
  8. Ferlinghetti, Lawrence - Writing Across the Landscape
  9. Custer, Nic (La©luster) - Nothing Works, Everyone Labors
  10. Secret Bully, issue 1 (chapbook)
  11. Stairs in the Middle of the Street - Creative Youth Center of Grand Rapids
  12. Under the Sun - Creative Youth Center of Grand Rapids
  13. Green a Table, Green an Elephant - Grand Rapids Creative Youth Center
  14. Pratchett, Terry and Baxter, Stephen - The Long Utopia
  15. Bat-Ami, Miriam - Two Suns in the Sky
  16. Pushcart Prize VIII (1983-1984)
  17. Stoppard, Tom - The Invention of Love
  18. Startling Sci-Fi (New Lit Salon Press)
  19. Haight, Ian - Magnolia and Lotus (White Pine Press)
  20. Best of Vine Leaves Literary Journal (Vine Leaves Press)
  21. Topology Magazine (Spring 2016 issue)
  22. Hariharan, Githa - Almost Home (Restless Books)
  23. Tin House issue 61
  24. Rastalli, Janeen, et al - Heart Radicals (ELJ Publications)
  25. Magoon, Mark - The Upper Peninsula Misses You (ELJ Publications)
  26. Hamilton, Carol - Umberto Eco Lost His Gun (Pudding House Publications)
  27. Winn, Howard - Four-Picture Sequence of Desire and Love (Front Street Publishers)
  28. Bridges: Poets of Dutchess and Ulster Counties (Springtown Press)
  29. Hamilton, Carol - Such Deaths (Purple Flag)
  30. Cope, David - Turn the Wheel (The Humana Press)
  31. Big Scream, issue 51
  32. Big Scream, issue 54
  33. Hinrichsen, Dennis - Skin Music (Southern Indiana Review Press)
  34. Rappleye, Greg - Figured Dark (University of Arkansas Press)
  35. Arkins, Priscilla - The Cafe of Our Departure (Sibling Rivalry Press)
  36. Granta issue 135

 

They Grow Up So Quickly

on Sun, 09/06/2015 - 16:30

The 3288 Review, vol. 1 issue 1

It's here. It has landed. The first issue of The 3288 Review is out and available for purchase. How do I feel about this? Hmm...let me think...

BOOYAH!!!

...or words to that effect.

I took a personal day on Friday so I would have a a full four-day weekend. Rolled into the Caffeinated Press offices around 11:00am, and right at the stroke of noon UPS arrived with five boxes full of magazines. 100 copies of the inaugural issue. They are beautiful! Three full months of hard work, long days, late nights, and learning the Ten Great Skills (page layout, InDesign, etc) and the Thousand Minor Skills (talking to people, avoiding Papyrus and Comic Sans, etc).

It has all paid off! Responses from the viewing public are enthusiastic and orders are starting to roll in. Close to half of the initial print run are already spoken for. With any luck we will need to place another order by the end of the week.

In the other parts of my life, the martial arts class has recently been ascendant. On August 11 I and my friend and classmate Rick loaded bags into a rented van and drove Master Lee and his wife and his visitors from Vietnam to see the Niagara Falls (Canadian side). It was a great trip! We heard several stories of what class was like back in The Day in Saigon. Rick reminisced about his trips to New York and back, when he would pull up to the falls and sleep for a couple of hours before continuing the drive.

I have never been to the Falls. They are amazing! Huge and powerful and the rumble starts in the feet and rises up through the viscera and makes everything seem just the slightest bit out of focus. At one point the walkway overlooks the edge of the falls and you can look straight down the cataract to the lower river. Here I felt a strong pull, like the falling water was calling to the 60% of me which is also water. After five minutes staring at falling water, everything else I looked at seemed to rise slightly.

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