A Quiet Week

It was a quiet week here at Winkelman Abbey, what with the latest polar vortex turning Grand Rapids into a wasteland of ice and snow. Not a lot of time or energy for complex tasks (or thought), so it is just as well that the new stack was small.

From left we have the latest issue of The Paris Review and the new Two Lines journal. Next is 77, the most recent shipment from my subscription to Open Letter Books. The last two are If This Goes On and Hope in This Timeline, books from a couple of Kickstarter campaigns which I backed some time ago. They will go nicely with the other resistance-themed anthologies which I have picked up over the last few months.

Speaking of such anthologies, I am still reading through A People’s Future of the United States, which remains amazing. Such consistently powerful writing from an exceptionally diverse group of writers! I expect to have it finished by the end of this week.

This issue of The Paris Review includes an interview with Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who will turn 100 in a couple of weeks! The interview was conducted over several weeks in 2018, when he was 99. That he is still alive is remarkable, and that he is still active in the literary world is nothing short of astonishing! In the interview he offhandedly mentions regular occurrences from his early life in France, like occasionally seeing Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoer in a cafe in Paris. You know – trivial things.

Ferlinghetti’s book A Coney Island of the Mind was published in 1958, which means it has been out for over 60 years. I have the 50th anniversary edition, which I picked up at City Lights Bookstore this past June. Ferlinghetti has been doing great things in and for the literary world for a decade longer than I have been alive, and he is still going at it, with a new book, Little Boy, coming out on March 19. I was going to hold off on buying more books for a while, but I can see this is a lost cause.

For more on Sartre and de Beauvoir, I highly recommend At the Existentialist Cafe.

Books, and What Could Have Been

A small but distinguished selection of reading material appeared at Winkelman Abbey this past week. From left, we have Cursed and Skull & Pestle, two anthologies from World Weaver Press. Third is the inaugural issue (!!!) of DreamForge Magazine. And finally, and most eagerly awaited, Terminal Uprising by Jim C. Hines.

A year ago this month I spent most of my free time putting together a story for Skull & Pestle. I completed about 90% of a first draft but realized that I would need to either burn a week of vacation days or break up with my girlfriend in order to complete and edit the story in time for the deadline. Therefore I shelved it. The story is good, I think, involving a colony of Old Believers, teen angst and bullying, the Midwest, and of course Baba Yaga. I may complete it at some point and see if there is still need for such stories.

But hey! Even if I didn’t submit my story to this anthology I still get to read the anthology, and that is a very good thing. And World Weaver Press consistently produces some top-quality anthologies.

In reading news, I finished The Blood-Tainted Winter by TL Greylock, and moved on to Death March by Phil Tucker. This was a much faster read and I had more time available for reading, so I completed it Friday night. Last night I started The Black God’s Drums by P. Djeli Clark. 25 pages in, and I am completely hooked! Of course it is a short novella so I will probably finish tonight or tomorrow. Then likely on to Terminal Uprising, though The Nine by Tracy Townsend is suddenly looming large in my attention, due it being discussed in the most recent episode (14.7, “How Weird is Too Weird?”) of the Writing Excuses podcast.

Currently goals: Structuring life so I have time to both read well and write well.

A Long-Awaited Treasure

This week brought in a couple of books which I have been looking forward to for months. Sunspot Jungle, the two-volume exclusive-to-Kickstarter hardcover set by Rosarium Publishing, arrived by mail yesterday, and they are stunning! I’ll get into the set in a moment, but first, here is the rundown of this week’s acquisitions.

On the left is the Winter 2018 issue of Rain Taxi, which I became aware of when their article about Lawrence Ferlinghetti appeared on LitHub last week. On the right is the latest book from Deep Vellum, Mephisto’s Waltz by Sergio Pitol.

So: Sunspot Jungle.

I first heard of this project when Bill Campbell, owner of Rosarium Publishing, announced the Kickstarter campaign back in the early part of 2018. I supported the pledge on the first day and the rest has been a year of eager anticipation.

I first heard of Rosarium when John Scalzi posted a photo of one of his weekly stacks of new books, and in that stack was a small collection of short stories called The Assimilated Cuban’s Guide to Quantum Santeria.

That, of course, is one hell of a title.

And Rosarium is one hell of a publishing company.

In reading news, the past week was hectic, what with the polar vortex and associated schedule disruptions. I did make significant progress through Reckoning #1, and am a couple of chapters into T L Greylock’s The Blood-Tainted Winter.

In other literary news, I am back in the saddle at Caffeinated Press after a year-long hiatus/sabbatical, and am hard at work assembling the next issue of The 3288 Review.

Amazing how a schedule disruption, even one which ostensibly frees up a chunk of free time, seldom actually results in more usable free time.

2019 Books and Reading List

And here we are all of a sudden in calendar year 2019. This is the fifth iteration of my reading material acquisition list, and I plan to keep doing it much the same way as I have in previous years. For my complete catalog of books which I own, please visit LibraryThing. For the list of books I have read, with the occasional rating and review (I know, I know. I need to be better about reviewing things I read), please visit GoodReads.

One change from previous years – instead of linking to their pages on GoodReads, I will from now on be linking book titles directly to the appropriate pages on the websites of their publishers or, where publishers do not sell directly to customers, I will link to resources such as IndieBound and the like. Keep the money in the hands of the writers and publishers.

And now, The List.

January (49)

  1. Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet #38
  2. Châteaureynaud, Georges-OlivierA Life on Paper (Small Beer Press)
  3. Steinmetz, FerretFix (Angry Robot Books)
  4. Steinmetz, FerretThe Uploaded (Angry Robot Books)
  5. Shalamov, VarlamKolyma Stories (New York Review Books)
  6. Apex Magazine, #115, December 2018
  7. Palmer, AdaSeven Surrenders
  8. Hartmann, Ivor W. (ed.) – AfroSF: Science Fiction by African Writers (StoryTime)
  9. Smith, Tracy K.Life on Mars (Graywolf Press)
  10. Long Soldier, LayliWhereas (Graywolf Press)
  11. Groskop, VivThe Anna Karenina Fix
  12. Eveland, ErinDarkness (Selladore Press)
  13. Andrade, R.A.The Field Trip (Selladore Press)
  14. Greylock, T LThe Blood-Tainted Winter (Grass Crown Press)
  15. Tucker, PhilDeath March
  16. Reckoning #1
  17. Tomlinson, Patrick S.Gate Crashers
  18. Flohr, MackenzieThe Rite of Wands (BHC Press – Indigo)
  19. Eichenlaub, Anthony W.Justice in an Age of Metal and Men
  20. Eichenlaub, Anthony W.Peace in an Age of Metal and Men
  21. Filak, StaceyThe Queen Underneath (Page Street Publishing Company)
  22. Hughes, KeithTimehunt: Borrowed Time
  23. Kuppers, PetraIce Bar (Spuyten Duyvil)
  24. Künsken, DerekThe Quantum Magician
  25. Matulich, JosefCamp Arcanum (Post Mortem Press)
  26. Matulich, JosefPower Tools in the Sacred Grove (Post Mortem Press)
  27. Snyder, Lucy A.Garden of Eldritch Delights (Raw Dog Screaming Press)
  28. Snyder, Lucy A.While the Black Stars Burn (Raw Dog Screaming Press)
  29. Bán, ZsófiaNight School: A Reader for Grownups (Open Letter Books)
  30. Poetry #213.5 (February 2019)
  31. Palmer, D. ThoursonOurs is the Storm
  32. Broaddus, MauriceBuffalo Soldier
  33. Durham, David AnthonyAcacia
  34. Lowell, NathanQuarter Share (Durandus)
  35. Tucker, PhilNightmare Keep
  36. Tucker, PhilThe Path of Flames
  37. Greylock, T LThe Hills of Home (Grass Crown Press)
  38. Greylock, T LAlready Comes the Darkness (Grass Crown Press)
  39. Sullivan, Michael J.Age of Myth
  40. Sullivan, Michael J.Theft of Swords
  41. Shel, MikeAching God
  42. Adjei-Brenyah, Nana KwameFriday Black
  43. Sartori, GiacomoI Am God (Restless Books)
  44. Arden, KatherineThe Bear and the Nightingale
  45. Clark, P DjèlíThe Black God’s Drums
  46. Chakraborty, S.A.The Kingdom of Copper
  47. Poniatowska, ElenaMephisto’s Waltz (Deep Vellum)
  48. Campbell, Bill (ed.) – Sunspot Jungle, Kickstarter-exclusive 2-volume hardcover set (Rosarium Publishing)
  49. Rain Taxi 23.4 (Winter 2018)

February (27)

  1. Duffy, Damian and Jennings, JohnThe Hole: Consumer Culture (Front Forty Press)
  2. James, MarlonBlack Leopard, Red Wolf
  3. LaValle, Victor, and Adams, John Joseph (eds.) – A People’s Future of the United States
  4. Noll, João GilbertoLord (Two Lines Press)
  5. Hines, Jim C.Terminal Uprising
  6. Sullivan, Susan Abel (ed.) – Cursed: Wickedly Fun Stories (World Weaver Press)
  7. Wolford, Kate (ed.) – Skull & Pestle: New Tales of Baba Yaga (World Weaver Press)
  8. DreamForge #1
  9. Rosenthal, OliviaTo Leave with the Reindeer (And Other Stories)
  10. Jacobin #32
  11. Deleuze, Gilles and Guattari, FelixA Thousand Plateaus (University of Minnesota Press)
  12. Willow Springs #83 (Spring 2019)
  13. Poetry #213.6 (March 2019)
  14. Emergency Index #7 (Ugly Duckling Presse)
  15. Berenguer, AmandaMateria Prima (Ugly Duckling Presse)
  16. González, WingstonNo Budu Please (Ugly Duckling Presse)
  17. Ponce, Liliana – Diary (Ugly Duckling Presse)
  18. Montalbetti, MarioLanguage Is a Revolver for Two (Ugly Duckling Presse)
  19. Feinstein, RochellePls. Reply (Ugly Duckling Presse)
  20. Cope, David (ed.) – Song of the Owashtanong: Grand Rapids Poetry of the 21st Century (Ridgeway Press)
  21. Harris, BillBirth of a Notion, or The Half Ain’t Never Been Told (Wayne State University Press)
  22. Evans, CJA Penance (New Issues Press)
  23. Upton, LeeUndid in the Land of Undone (New Issues Press)
  24. Kocher, Ruth EllenWhen the Moon Knows You’re Wandering (New Issues Press)
  25. Daniels, JimNight with Drive-By Shooting Stars (New Issues Press)
  26. Platt, DonaldDirt Angels (New Issues Press)
  27. Huey, AmorakHa Ha Ha Thump (Sundress Publications)

March (13)

  1. Senkus, MarkScreaming Like War (Single-Minded Cocktail Press)
  2. Rahmani, Zahia“Muslim”: A Novel (Deep Vellum Publishing)
  3. Two Lines Journal #30
  4. Rambo, Cat (ed.) – If This Goes On (Parvus Press)
  5. Frank, Meg (ed.) – Hope in This Timeline (Fireside Fiction)
  6. Saccomanno, Guillermo77 (Open Letter Books)
  7. Paris Review #228
  8. James, D.R.Surreal Expulsion (The Poetry Box)
  9. Ridl, JackSaint Peter and the Goldfinch (Wayne State University Press)
  10. Malte, MarcusThe Boy (Restless Books)
  11. Poetry #214.1 (April 2019)
  12. New Ohio Review #25
  13. Wolff, LinaThe Polyglot Lovers (And Other Stories)

April (16)

  1. Reckoning #2
  2. Browne, Mahogany L, Simmonds, Idrissa, Woods, Jamila (eds.) – The Breakbeat Poets Vol. II: Black Girl Magic (Haymarket Books)
  3. DeMott, Robert (ed.) – Conversations with Jim Harrison (Revised and Updated) (University Press of Mississippi)
  4. Morey, Chris (ed.) – I Am the Abyss (Dark Regions Press, LLC)
  5. Oomen, Anne-Marie (ed.) – Elemental (Wayne State University Press)
  6. Davis, JeanTrust (Caffeinated Press)
  7. Pimwana, DuanwadBright (Two Lines Press)
  8. Buckell, Tobias S.It’s All Just a Draft (Xenowealth LLC, Kickstarter exclusive)
  9. Poetry #214.2 (May 2019)
  10. Wellman, MacAwe (Ugly Duckling Presse)
  11. Farrell, NathanielLost Horizon (Ugly Duckling Presse)
  12. Osman, JenaMotion Studies (Ugly Duckling Presse)
  13. Rodríguez, Reina MariaThe Winter Garden Photograph (Ugly Duckling Presse)
  14. Steck, EdAn Interface for a Fractal Landscape (Ugly Duckling Presse)
  15. Fitterman, RobertRob’s Word Shop (Ugly Duckling Presse)
  16. Peninsula Poets #76.1, Spring 2019

May (16)

  1. Levrero, MarioEmpty Words (And Other Stories)
  2. Scego, IgiabaBeyond Babylon (Two Lines Press)
  3. Van Gelder, Gordon (ed.) – Welcome to the Greenhouse (OR Books)
  4. Duncombe, StephenDream or Nightmare (OR Books)
  5. Boyd, AndrewBeautiful Trouble (OR Books)
  6. Coleman, Elizabeth J. (ed.) – Here: Poems for the Planet (Copper Canyon Press)
  7. Pulphouse #5, Winter 2019
  8. Poetry #214.3, June 2019
  9. Rasmussen, BjørnThe Skin Is the Elastic Covering That Encases the Entire Body (Two Lines Press)
  10. Rucker, RudyMillion Mile Road Trip (Night Shade Books)
  11. Rucker, RudyThe Big Aha (Night Shade Books)
  12. Scholes, Robert, Comley, Nancy R., Ulmer, Gregory L.Text Book
  13. Kazin, AlfredThe Open Form
  14. Waugh, PatriciaMetafiction (Methuen & Co.)
  15. Fernández, BelénExile: Rejecting America and Finding the World (OR Books)
  16. Jacobin #33, Spring 2019

June (39)

  1. Talusan, GraceThe Body Papers (Restless Books)
  2. Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet #39
  3. Dreamforge #2
  4. Ellison, HarlanDimensions of Harlan Ellison (Edgeworks Abbey)
  5. Ellison, HarlanThe Book Needs No Introduction (Edgeworks Abbey)
  6. Ellison, HarlanThe Ephemeral Ellison (Edgeworks Abbey)
  7. Ellison, HarlanThe Ellison Treatment (Edgeworks Abbey)
  8. The 3288 Review 5.1 (Caffeinated Press)
  9. Riekki, Ron and Scarpino, Andrea (eds.) – Undocumented: Great Lakes Poets Laureate on Social Justice (Michigan State University Press)
  10. Klatt, L.S.The Wilderness After Which (Otis Books)
  11. Rain Taxi #24.2 (Summer 2019)
  12. Swanwick, MichaelDragonskin (Dragon Stairs Press) (signed, #21/50)
  13. McGookey, KathleenNineteen Letters (BatCat Press), (#11/100)
  14. Broaddus, MauricePimp My Airship (Apex Book Company)
  15. Sizemore, Jason and Conner, Lesley (eds.) – Do Not Go Quietly (Apex Book Company)
  16. Townsend, TracyThe Fall
  17. Roanhorse, RebeccaStorm of Locusts
  18. Harrison, JimThe Essential Poems (Copper Canyon Press)
  19. Asghar, Fatimah and Elhillo, Safia (eds.) – The Breakbeat Poets vol. 3: Halal If You Can Hear Me (Haymarket Books)
  20. Shiner, LewisOutside the Gates of Eden (Subterranean Press)
  21. The Paris Review #229
  22. Brace, KristinEach Darkness Inside (Finishing Line Press)
  23. Split Lip Magazine #2
  24. Burn Collector #14 (Microcosm Publishing)
  25. Gnade, Adam (ed.) – The CIA Makes Science Fiction Unexciting #6: The Life of Lee Harvey Oswald (Microcosm Publishing)
  26. Ensminger, David A. – Out of the Basement (Microcosm Publishing)
  27. Moore, Anne ElizabethCambodian Grrrl: Self-Publishing in Phnom Penh (Microcosm Publishing)
  28. Suren, BobCrate Digger: An Obsession With Punk Records (Microcosm Publishing)
  29. Herbert, AlexanderWhat About Tomorrow? An Oral History of Russian Punk, From the Soviet Era to Pussy Riot (Microcosm Publishing)
  30. Campbell, John W., Jr.Frozen Hell (Wildside Press)
  31. Doyle, AidanThe Writer’s Book of Doubt (Ate Bit Bear)
  32. Poetry #214.4
  33. Reckoning #3
  34. Yong, JinA Hero Born (ARC)
  35. Silver, Steven H. and Palmatier, Joshua (eds.) – Alternate Peace (Zombies Need Brains LLC)
  36. Coe, David B. and Palmatier, Joshua (eds.) – Temporally Deactivated (Zombies Need Brains LLC)
  37. Bray, Patricia and Butler, S.C. (eds.) – Portals (Zombies Need Brains LLC)
  38. Yideum, KimBlood Sisters (Deep Vellum Publishing)
  39. von Goethe, Johann WolfgangThe Golden Goblet (Deep Vellum Publishing)

July (12)

  1. Amazing Stories 76.4
  2. Brace, KristinToward the Wild Abundance (Michigan State University Press)
  3. Jallal, Karim and Zbiciak, Teresa – Mustapha Panda
  4. Willow Springs #84
  5. Daáood, KamauThe Language of Saxophones (City Lights Books)
  6. Long, Michael G. (ed.) – We the Resistance (City Lights Books)
  7. Breedlove, LynnForty-Five Thought Crimes (Manic D Press)
  8. Ivánova, AdelaideThe Hammer (Commune Editions)
  9. Schatz, Kate and Stahl, Miriam KleinRad American Women A-Z (City Lights Books)
  10. Neidich, Warren (ed.) – The Psychopathologies of Cognitive Capitalism: Part Three (Archive Books)
  11. Zisson, Steve (ed.) – A Punk Rock Future (Zsenon Publishing)
  12. Torres, FernandaGlory and Its Litany of Horrors (Restless Books)

August (3)

  1. Serna, Rudolfo A. – Snow Over Utopia (Apex Publications)
  2. Poetry #214.5, September 2019
  3. Fellous, ColetteThis Tilting World (Two Lines Press)

September (11)

  1. Two Lines #31
  2. Paris Review #230
  3. Yang, JyThe Ascent to Godhood
  4. Chiang, TedExhalation
  5. Hossain, Saad ZThe Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday
  6. Luff, Cody T.Ration (Apex Publications)
  7. Harjo, JoyShe Had Some Horses
  8. Kendi, Ibram X.How to Be an Antiracist
  9. Rain Taxi 14.3, Fall 2019
  10. Dreamforge #3, September 2019
  11. Poetry #215.1 (October 2019)

October (20)

  1. Perlman, Jim, Cooper, Deborah, Hart, Mara and Mittelfehldt, Pamela (eds.) – Amethyst and Agate: Poems of Lake Superior (Holy Cow! Press)
  2. Lauchlan, MichaelTrumbull Ave. (Wayne State University Press)
  3. Lynch, ThomasStill Life in Milford
  4. Gerber, DanA Last Bridge Home (Clark City Press)
  5. Liebler, M.L. (ed.) – Brooding the Heartlands: Poets of the Midwest (Bottom Dog Press)
  6. Hilberry, ConradAfter-Music (Wayne State University Press)
  7. Hinrichsen, DennisKurosawa’s Dog (Oberlin College Press)
  8. Clark, Patricia and Jenkins, Jinny (eds.) – Great Lakes: Image & Word (Grand Valley State University)
  9. Mréjen, ValérieBlack Forest (Deep Vellum Publishing)
  10. Masłowska, DorotaHoney, I Killed the Cats (Deep Vellum Publishing)
  11. Pulphouse Fiction Magazine #6, Spring 2019
  12. Straczynski, J. MichaelBecoming Superman
  13. Defoe, DanielRobinson Crusoe (300th Anniversary Edition) – Restless Books
  14. Etchells, TimEndland (And Other Stories)
  15. Zafón, Carlos RuizThe Labyrinth of the Spirits (Subterranean Press)
  16. Poetry #215.2 (November 2019)
  17. Erin, AlexandraFirst Dates, Last Calls
  18. Ono, MasatsuguLion Cross Point (Two Lines Press)
  19. Anyuru, JohannesThey Will Drown in Their Mothers’ Tears (Two Lines Press)
  20. Peninsula Poets, Fall 2019

November (13)

  1. Tidhar, LavieHebrew Punk (Apex Publications)
  2. New Ohio Review #26
  3. Patel, ShenazSilence of the Chagos (Restless Books)
  4. Conner, LesleyThe Weight of Chains (Sinister Grin Press)
  5. Burmeister-Brown, Susan and Swanson-Davies, Linda B. (eds) The Glimmer Train Guide to Writing Fiction, Vol. I: Building Blocks
  6. Poetry #215.3 (December 2019)
  7. Pulphouse Fiction Magazine #7 (Summer 2019)
  8. Steffen, David (ed.) – The Long List Anthology, vol. 5 (Diabolical Plots LLC)
  9. Meadors, Melanie R. (ed.) – Scoundrels (Outland Entertainment)
  10. Meadors, Melanie and Abbott, Alana Joli (eds.) – Brigands (Outland Entertainment)
  11. Meadors, Melanie and Abbott, Alana Joli (eds.) – Knaves (Outland Entertainment)
  12. Wang, JackieCarceral Capitalism (Semiotext(e))
  13. Valencia, SayakGore Capitalism (Semiotext(e))

December (12)

  1. The Paris Review #231, Winter 2019
  2. Fisher, MarkCapitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? (Zero Books)
  3. Choi, FrannySoft Science (Alice James Books)
  4. Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet #40
  5. Rain Taxi #24.4 (Winter 2019)
  6. Dreamforge #4 (December 2019)
  7. A Creative Sojourn, vol. 2
  8. Burstein, MichaelI Remember the Future (Apex Book Company)
  9. Jung Young MoonSeven Samurai Swept Away in a River (Deep Vellum Publishing)
  10. Sentsov, OlegLife Went On Anyway: Stories (Deep Vellum Publishing)
  11. Salvage #7 (Autumn/Winter 2019)
  12. Brown, LukeTheft (And Other Stories)

Books and Broadsides

Reading material acquired week of 2018.10.07

Another week, another collection of new reading material. This post is exceptional for reasons I will get to in a moment, but first: the books. Starting at the upper left, is issue 7.1 of Storm Cellar Quarterly, which I picked up for research as a possible venue for submitting poetry. Next is Passing by Nella Larsen, published by Restless Books but not part of my subscription. Restless is doing some seriously good work in bringing forgotten and underrepresented voices into public awareness. Next is the easiness and the loneliness, poetry by Asta Olivia Nordenhof, from my subscription to Open Letter Books.

The bottom row is my reward for backing a Kickstarter campaign from Copper Canyon Press to publish Ursula Le Guin’s last collection of poetry, So Far So Good. Next to that is a broadside of her poem “July”, and on the right side is a special-edition reprint of one of Le Guin’s early collections, Wild Angels.

Le Guin didn’t come into my awareness as a poet until many years after I began reading her fiction, so when this Kickstarter appeared shortly after she passed away I jumped at the opportunity. Copper Canyon continually turns out superlative work and in this they have done justice to the final collection of a magnificent writer.