Kummerbücher

It’s been a stressful couple of weeks here at Winkelman Abbey, so I buried myself under a new pile of books. Between family, class, Caffeinated Press duties and work, I haven’t have any time to decompress, other than spare moments with my girlfriend at the beginning and end of the day. So my brain has unravelled a bit and lost some data.

If you are looking at this post through an Esper you will see that there are two copies of the Jim Harrison book. I was so distracted by events I ordered a copy from the publisher, then went out and bought a copy at Books and Mortar. When the publisher copy showed up in the mail I was both confused and elated, because multiple copies of a collection of Jim Harrison’s poems is inarguable a Good Thing.

(Plus, to crib a joke from My Blue Heaven, I might want to read it more than once.)

Starting from the left side, going clockwise around the circle, first is Outside the Gates of Eden by Lewis Shiner. I have always been fascinated by events which seem to be the nexus or apotheosis (or both) of cultural movements, and Woodstock is one of the most important of the post-WWII era. This will be a good autumn read, I think.

(I like my beer like I like my books – too thick to see through.)

Next is the most recent issue of Rain Taxi, which I hesitate to read until I get a couple more paychecks, as the reviews therein are just that good.

Third, at the twelve o’clock position, is Nineteen Letters by West Michigan poet Kathleen McGookey. This book is gorgeous! Hardbound and composed of a variety of types if paper, seemingly random. And the poetry therein is, of course beautiful.

Next is volume 3 of the Breakbeat Poets series, Halal If You Can Hear Me, full of poetry written by Muslim women and queer, non-binary, and trans writers. If it it anything like the previous two volumes in the anthology series, this will be a helluva read.

On the far right is the newest issue of The Paris Review. Next to it, in the four o’clock position is The Fall, the sequel to Tracy Townsend’s The Nine, which was a wild ride. Probably dig into it later this summer, and will CERTAINLY bring it to ConFusion 2020 for a signature.

At the bottom right is my current day read, Jim Harrison’s The Essential Poems, newly released by Copper Canyon Press. I have probably read every one of these poems at some point over the past quarter century, but they are good to revisit.

At the bottom left is an impulse purchase, the chapbook Dragonskin from the superb Michael Swanwick.

On middle-left is Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhorse, which is the sequel to Trail of Lightning.

In the middle are two new books from Apex Publications – the kickstarter-funded anthology Do Not Go Quietly, and Maurice Broaddus‘s new book Pimp My Airship.

Yeah, that’s a good haul. Just reciting them makes me feel a little more…stable.

In reading news, life has been chaotic and I haven’t read much other than a few dozen more pages in my role as a beta reader. I did finish Here: Poems for the Planet, and I offer my whole-hearted recommendation that everyone in the world buy a copy and read it cover to cover, twice. I originally planned to open some nonfiction next, but with the Harrison book it will be poetry for at least a couple more weeks.

(The title of this post is a play on the German word Kummerspeck – “sorrow bacon” – the weight gained through stress-induced overeating. Hopefully stress-induced book buying is less damaging, other than financially.)

A Collection of Links Concerning Jim Harrison

This post is a central point where I can collect articles about, and interviews with, the American author Jim Harrison. I’m trying to keep them in roughly chronological order. One interesting effect of this is listening to his voice change through the years, and being able to hear him in my head while reading the print articles.

The Art of Fiction No. 104 – Paris Review interview, Summer 1988

Between Dog and Wolf (French documentary on JH), 1993

Writers and Company interview with JH from 1994. (audio)

“Will Write for Food”; NYT interview with JH, April 1994.

Excerpt from a documentary c. 1997. (video)

Wild Duck Review interview with JH from 1997.

Joseph Bednarik interviews Jim Harrison, October 2000.

JH reading at the Lensic Theater in Santa Fe, New Mexico – February 2002. (video)

JH conversation with Peter Lewis, February 2002 (video)

Robert Birnbaum interviews JH for The Morning News, June 2004.

Pleasures of the Hard-Worn Life – New York Times article 2007.

All Things Considered review of Returning to Earth, February 2007. (audio)

Interview for PlumTV, c. 2008. (video)

Article about Harrison’s Montana farm house; Wall Street Journal c. 2009.

PBS Newshour interview with JH, 2009. (video and transcript)

Daily Beast interview c. 2010.

Outside Magazine article about JH – “The Last Lion” c. 2011.

Interview with JH in Patagonia Arizona, February 2012. (video)

“Courage and Survival” essay by JH in Brick Magazine c. 2012.

Mario Batali interview Jim Harrison for Food & Wine Magazine, April 2013

“Four Meals with Jim Harrison” – HuffPost Books, May 2013

Q&A with Jim Harrison – Oregon Live, December 2013

“It Has to Come to You” – Jim Harrison discusses Theodor Roethke in The Atlantic, January 2014

“What I’ve Learned” – article in Esquire Magazine, August 2014

“A Prairie Prologue in Nebraska” – essay by JH in the New York Times, January 2015

“The Rodney Dangerfield of Literature” – essay in The Daily Beast, February 2015

“An Afternoon with Jim” – article in The Big Timber Pioneer, October 2015

The Gospel According to Jim – article in Angler’s Journal, February 2016

This page will be updated as I find more links.