Fiction Collective 2 is a non-profit author-run publisher of innovative fiction, a literary alternative since 1974. Each week we bring you a short story from the FC2 archive and a conversation between the author and a guest.
"Dissolving Newspaper, Fermenting Leaves," by Kiik Araki-Kawaguchi, from The Book of Kane and Margaret, published by FC2 in 2020. Read by Madeleine Lambert. In the second part of the program, Kiik is joined by writer and FC2 Editorial Board Chair Joanna Ruocco.
Kiik Araki-Kawaguchi writes dreampop speculative fictions and darkwave minimalist poetry that can be enjoyed on a bus ride or in line for coffee. All his best stories have something to do with talking insects. His best poems are X-Men fan fiction. In addition to The Book of Kane and Margaret, he is the author of Disintegration Made Plain and Easy, forthcoming from 1913 Press.
Joanna Ruocco lives among the fig trees in North Carolina, where she teaches in the English department at Wake Forest University. She is the author of numerous novels and stories, including Another Governess / The Least Blacksmith: A Diptych, winner of FC2's Catherine Doctorow Innovative Fiction Prize. She writes commercial romance as Joanna Lowell. Since 2018 she has served as Chair of FC2's Editorial Board.
"The Secret of Chloe the Dog," by Angela Buck, from her collection Horses Dream of Money, published by FC2 in 2021. Read by Madeleine Lambert. In the second part of the program, Angela is joined by writer, social critic, and FC2 co-founder Curtis White.
Angela Buck has worked in hotels, hospitals, libraries, grocery stores, restaurants, bookstores, schools, amusement parks, museums, and universities. Her first book, Horses Dream of Money, was a finalist for the AWP Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction and was published in 2021 by FC2. She holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of Massachusetts—Amherst and a PhD in English from the University of Denver. She is Assistant Professor of English at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio.
Curtis White was born in San Lorenzo, California, a little pre-fab paradise for veterans of World War II. He published his first book of fiction, Heretical Songs, with the Fiction Collective in 1980. In the winter of 1989, with Ronald Sukenick and others, he reorganized the Fiction Collective as FC2, a non-profit, author-run press under a governing Board of Directors, with Sukenick as Board Chair and White as Managing Director. He stepped down from his position as Managing Director in 1999. He is the author of fifteen books, including both fiction and social criticism, most recently Living in a World that Can't Be Fixed: Reimagining Counterculture Today.
"My Horse," by Stacey Levine, from the anthology An Illuminated History of the Future, edited by Curtis White and published by FC2 in 1989 — reprinted in My Horse and Other Stories, from Sun and Moon Press. Read by Barry Press. In the second part of the program, Stacey is joined by writer Evelyn Hampton.
Stacey Levine is the author of four books of fiction. Her story collection The Girl with Brown Fur, which was longlisted for The Story Prize, was also shortlisted for the Washington State Book Award in 2012. Her novel Frances Johnson was shortlisted for the Washington State Book Award in 2005, and her collection My Horse and Other Stories won a PEN/West Fiction Award. My Horse and Levine’s novel Dra— were published by the much-lauded Los Angeles-based Sun & Moon Press. A Pushcart Prize nominee, Levine received a Stranger Genius Award for Literature in 2009, and her fiction has been translated for Japanese and Danish publications.
Evelyn Hampton is the author of Discomfort, The Aleatory Abyss, and the chapbooks MADAM, Seven Touches of Music, and We Were Eternal and Gigantic. Her collection Famous Children and Famished Adults won FC2's Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize. An excerpt from her novella Billy Material can be found at Blazing Stadium. She lives in Denver.
"Bad Breath," by Gerald Vizenor, from the anthology An Illuminated History of the Future, edited by Curtis White and published by FC2 in 1989. Read by Mia Ellis. In the second part of the program, Gerald is joined by poet and activist Kimberly Blaeser.
Gerald Vizenor is the author of over forty books of fiction, poetry, and criticism. He has received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Western Literature Association, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writer's Circle of the Americas, the New York Fiction Collective Prize, two American Book Awards, and numerous other awards and prizes. An enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, White Earth Reservation, his teaching career includes professorships at Lake Forest College, Bemidji State University, University of Minnesota, University of Oklahoma, University of California, Berkeley, and University of California, Santa Cruz.
Kimberly Blaeser, former Wisconsin Poet Laureate, is the author of five poetry collections including Copper Yearning, Apprenticed to Justice, and Résister en dansant/Ikwe-niimi: Dancing Resistance. A UW–Milwaukee professor and MFA faculty for Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, Blaeser is founding director of In-Na-Po—Indigenous Nations Poets.
"Doing the Nasty," by Ricardo Cortez Cruz, from Straight Outta Compton, published by FC2 in 1991. Read by Mia Ellis. In the second part of the program, Ricardo is joined by poet Douglas Manuel.
Ricardo Cortez Cruz is the author of two novels from FC2, Straight Outta Compton and Five Days of Bleeding, as well as more than fifty pieces of fiction in journals and anthologies. He was the keynote speaker at the 2018 PEN/Hemingway Award Ceremony. He is a Professor of English at Illinois State University.
Douglas Manuel has served as the Poetry Editor for Gold Line Press as well as one of the Managing Editors of Ricochet Editions. His first full-length collection of poems, Testify, won an IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award for poetry. In 2018, he traveled to Egypt and Eritrea with The University of Iowa's International Writing Program to teach poetry. In 2020, he received the Dana Gioia Poetry Award and a fellowship from the Borchard Foundation Center on Literary Arts to travel to San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico to write.
"Story," by Mary Hope Whitehead Lee, from the anthology Chick Lit: Postfeminist Fiction, published by FC2 in 1995. Read by Mia Ellis. In the second part of the program, Mary Hope is joined by Marream Krollos. In addition to "Story," they discuss Mary Hope's poetry and collage volume Nuclear Waste, published by F*%K IF I KNOW//BOOKS in 2019.
"Au Milieu Intérieur," by Richard Grayson, from the anthology Statements 2, published by FC2 in 1977. Read by Madeleine Lambert. In the second part of the program, Richard is joined by Sarah Blackman.
Richard Grayson is a writer, political activist and performance artist, most noted for his books of short stories and his satiric runs for public office. He worked as an editorial assistant for The Fiction Collective in the 1970s under Jonathan Baumbach, his mentor in the Brooklyn College MFA program in fiction. His books include With Hitler in New York, Lincoln's Doctor's Dog and Other Stories, I Brake for Delmore Schwartz, I Survived Caracas Traffic, and The Silicon Valley Diet and Other Stories.
Sarah Blackman is the director of creative writing at The Fine Arts Center, an arts-dedicated public high school. She is the co–fiction editor of DIAGRAM and the founding editor of Crashtest, an online magazine for high school–age writers. Her short story collection Mother Box was the winner of the FC2 Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize in 2013; her novel, Hex, came out with FC2 in 2016. She is a member of the FC2 Editorial Board. She lives in Greenville, South Carolina.
"Lifers," by Grant Maierhofer, from his collection Drain Songs, published by FC2 in 2019. Read by Mia Ellis. In the second part of the program, Grant is joined by Lucy Corin.
Grant Maierhofer is the author of Works (11:11 Press), Peripatet (Inside the Castle), Drain Songs (FC2), and others. His next book, Shame, is forthcoming from FC2 in 2022, alongside an experiment whose title is far too long to print here, on Inside the Castle. His shorter work is available via New Sinews, Terraform, and elsewhere. He teaches at Washington State University and lives in Moscow, Idaho, with his family.
Lucy Corin is the author of the short story collections One Hundred Apocalypses and Other Apocalypses (McSweeney’s) and The Entire Predicament (Tin House) as well as a novel, Everyday Psychokillers: A History for Girls (FC2). The Swank Hotel, her second novel, is forthcoming from Graywolf. She was an American Academy of Arts and Letters Rome Prize winner and an NEA fellow in literature. She lives in Berkeley, California, and teaches at UC Davis.
"Vultures," by Amelia Gray, from her collection Museum of the Weird, published by FC2 in 2010. Read by Madeleine Lambert. In the second part of the program, Amelia is joined by Sarah Rose Etter, author of The Book of X and winner of the 2019 Shirley Jackson Award.
Amelia Gray is the author of five books, most recently Isadora (FSG). Her fiction and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Tin House, and VICE. She is a winner of the NYPL Young Lion and of FC2's Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize, and a finalist for a WGA Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. As a screenwriter, she has written for the shows Maniac and Mr. Robot. She lives in Los Angeles.
Sarah Rose Etter is the author of Tongue Party and The Book of X, her first novel, which is the winner of the 2019 Shirley Jackson Award for novel. Her work has appeared in Guernica, BOMB, Gulf Coast, The Cut, VICE, and more. She has been awarded residences at the Jack Kerouac House, the Disquiet International program in Portugal, and the Gullkistan Writing Residency in Iceland.
"The Watermelon Body," by Vi Khi Nao, from her collection A Brief Alphabet of Torture, published by FC2 in 2017. Read by Madeleine Lambert. In the second part of the program, Vi is joined by writer Brian Evenson.
Vi Khi Nao is the author of four poetry collections: Human Tetris (11:11 Press, 2019), Sheep Machine (Black Sun Lit, 2018), Umbilical Hospital (Press 1913, 2017), and The Old Philosopher (winner of the Nightboat Prize for 2014), and of the short stories collection A Brief Alphabet of Torture (winner of the 2016 FC2's Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize) and the novel Fish in Exile (Coffee House Press, 2016). Her work includes poetry, fiction, film and cross-genre collaboration. She was the Fall 2019 fellow at the Black Mountain Institute
Brian Evenson is the author of a dozen books of fiction, most recently the story collections Song for the Unraveling of the World and A Collapse of Horses and the novella The Warren. He has also recently published Windeye and Immobility, both of which were finalists for a Shirley Jackson Award. His novel Last Days won the American Library Association's award for Best Horror Novel of 2009. His novel The Open Curtain was a finalist for an Edgar Award and an International Horror Guild Award. Other books include The Wavering Knife (which won the IHG Award for best story collection), Dark Property, and Altmann's Tongue. He has translated work by Christian Gailly, Jean Frémon, Claro, Jacques Jouet, Eric Chevillard, Antoine Volodine, Manuela Draeger, and David B. He is the recipient of three O. Henry Prizes as well as an NEA fellowship. His work has been translated into Czech, French, Italian, Greek, Hungarian, Japanese, Persian, Russia, Spanish, Slovenian, and Turkish. He lives in Los Angeles and teaches in the Critical Studies Program at CalArts.