Jon spends a fine spring morning with Garielle Lutz, author of Stories in the Worst Way, I Looked Alive, Partial List of People to Bleach, Divorcer, Assisted Living, The Complete Gary Lutz, and her latest book, Worsted, from SF/LD Books.
Garielle's work has also appeared in Conjunctions, Sleepingfish, NOON, The Quarterly, The Believer, and many other prominent literary journals. She received a literature grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1996, and in 1999 she was awarded a grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award.
Topics include: Writing great sentences, Gordon Lish, Tyrant Books, Hobart, Ottessa Moshfegh, Big Bruiser Dope Boy, what they teach you/don't teach you in grad school, working/writing with Elizabeth Ellen, the wonderfulness of Giancarlo DiTrapano, Greg Gerke, Jon thanking Garielle 3,000 times for coming on the podcast, and much, much more.
10% off select titles from Tyrant Books with the code SelectedProse21
Ellen Birkett Morris is the author of Lost Girls, a collection of short stories called "a varied set of tales from a skilled practitioner of the short form" by Kirkus Reviews. Her fiction has appeared in Shenandoah, Antioch Review, Notre Dame Review, South Carolina Review, and Santa Fe Literary Review, among other journals. She is a winner of the Bevel Summers Prize for short fiction. Morris is a recipient of a 2013 Al Smith Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council.
On April 18, 2021, Ellen will be teaching a course through Hidden Timber Books called "Finding an Effective Story Ending." Sign up here!
Topics include me getting a mini Goldendoodle, Sherwood Anderson, how to end a short story, how to begin a short story, portraying womanhood in fiction, biases against women writers, Flannery O'Connor, Kentucky, Louisville, Breonna Taylor, whether Kentucky is the midwest or the south, what often times lies beneath southern/midwestern charm, and much more.
Jon sits down with author and publisher Brian Alan Ellis to discuss his beloved press, House of Vlad, his books, and much more.
Brian is the author of Sad Laughter (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2018) and Something to Do with Self-Hate (House of Vlad/Talking Book, 2017). His writing has appeared at Juked, Hobart, Monkeybicycle, Fanzine, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Funhouse, Heavy Feather Review, and Yes Poetry, among other places. He lives in Florida.
Thanks for tuning into the episode. Follow Brian on Twitter at @brianalanellis and follow House of Vlad at @HouseofVlad.
This week, I sit down with novelist, musician, and counter-terrorism expert Andy Oppenheimer. His novels include Fields of Orion: An Odyssey, and Fields of Orion II: The Mission. In early April, Andy will publish The Hunter’s Story, part three of the trilogy, which we discuss at length.
Andy’s musical projects include Oppenheimer Analysis, Touching the Void, and Oppenheimer MkII, among other collaborations.
Find him on twitter @AOppenheimer235 and learn more about him and his life's work at www.andyoppenheimer.com.
Primo Updoo by Justin Brooks is a hilarious and alarming journey through an imminent future of Instagram faces, made-to-order cosmetic surgeries, and meme-based social status.
Justin Brooks is a writer and artist from Brooklyn, NY. Find this story at Waxing and Waning, and his artwork @justinbrooks_art on Instagram.
*Episode artwork by Yaroslav Danylchenko
Timi Sanni is an award-winning writer, poet, literary prodigy, and biochemistry student from Lagos, Nigeria. His work has appeared in X-R-A-Y, Palette, Fitrah Review, and elsewhere.
Enjoy the episode. And if you enjoy our podcast, please leave a review on Apple Podcasts and tell us all your thoughts and dirty secrets.
Timi Sanni reads a work of flash fiction titled Like Foreign Things That Take The Name Of Love. This piece was originally published by Art Most Terrific. The story is posted below:
Mama tucks me between her skinny legs as she plaits my hair. She pulls the cutting comb through my hair and parts it with both hands. Then she begins to weave. Her hands are so adept at weaving beautiful, intricate patterns that the villagers wonder why she hasn’t yet woven a rainbow of our lives.
Mama doesn’t read the bible but as her thin fingers move through my hair working their magic, she says by the way of a soliloquy, “A kiss doesn’t always translate to love, Judas taught this lesson so well.”
I scrunch my nose in disagreement, because this is what a kiss reminds me of: the bell, closing hours in the village primary school, the tree behind our classroom, a boy that had magic for dimples and glory for lips, stolen moments under the watch of a distant sky, the lub-dub of two hearts like bass drums, the music that plays in the silence as two bodies meet and fill the void between, joy, bliss, unrefined ecstasy.
But here is mama saying a kiss doesn’t always translate to love. I douse the fire raging within me, the urge to scream, to tell her of Joshua, to tell her what she doesn’t know of love and sit still as her hands weave through my hair.
But then, there’s a nagging feeling that mother might be right.
I mean, like papa who suddenly disappeared from the village one night, eight years ago, Joshua too gave his body to Lagos and hasn’t been home in eight months. Like papa who before his disappearance, found courage within a gin bottle one night and unleashed his fury on all his troubles (mistaking them for me and mama), Joshua too betrayed his softness one night and struck me across the face when I laughed and refused to walk him to the river, because mama was waiting for me at home and because I knew what the boys did with the girls at the river at night.
Maybe in some ways, Joshua is like papa but unlike papa there are things he knows of love. Like the time I fell and hurt my leg at school and he carried on his back all the way home. Like the night before he left when we hugged under the moonlight and he gave me a beautiful, blue seashell promising to be back before long.
In the day, I wear this shell as a pendant and at night, my dreams find the shell beneath my pillow as I rumple the bedsheet, calling to Joshua.
Mama yanks a tassel of my hair and I yelp. She tucks me tighter between her legs. “A kiss doesn’t always translate to love,” I think. “But Joshua is not Judas, is he?”
It’s February 16, 2021, we’re still inside, still listening to podcasts to help pass the time.
We're thrilled about this episode. Jon and Liz interview author Avner Landes. His upcoming book, Meiselman: The Lean Years, is really something special. Hilarious, heartwarming, beautifully written. It’s something any of us writers dream of creating.
Meiselman is due in March, and it’s from Tortoise Books.
As for Avner, he earned his M.F.A. from Columbia University and works as a ghostwriter. He lives near Tel Aviv with his wife and kids. Meiselman is his debut novel.
Enjoy the episode. And if you enjoy our podcast, please leave a review on Apple Podcasts and tell us all your thoughts (+ dirty secrets).
(***Music by Doctor Dreamchip***)
David Leo Rice reads his short story Sanity House, originally published in Ligeia Magazine. David's upcoming story collection, Drifter Stories, will be published by 11:11 Press in June 2021. David's latest novel, A Room In Dodge City: Vol 2, was recently published by Alternating Current Press. Brian Evenson calls it: "The Künstlerroman on acid, a heady investigation of creation, originality, and collapse.”
Listen to our interview with David here.
In this episode, I chat with Delicious Tacos (delicioustacos.com / twitter: @delicious_tacos). He's the author of the outstanding novel Finally, Some Good News, as well as story collections The Pussy, Savage Spear of the Unicorn, and Hot Naked Kittens. He's also working on his second novel, titled True Love, which we discuss in the episode. Other topics include: translating from Greek and Latin the gospels, Sappho, and some Catullus, Bumble and Hinge during COVID and otherwise, writing/existing in quarantine, Yukio Mishima, Sam Pink, self-publishing, alt-birdwatching, writers from New York who write about New York, attempting to enter ISIS-held territory, God, clearing Gavin Newsom's name, Michel Houllebecq, Bukowski, Joan Didion, Kurt Vonnegut, and a hell of a lot more. If you enjoy the episode, please buy some Delicious Tacos books from his Amazon store (Holiday Sale! 60% off!) and leave us a review on iTunes. Happy holidays everyone.
Jon and Liz sit down with Sam Pink to discuss his new book Ice Cream Man and Other Stories, and his other books, which are all awesome.
We also discuss how everyone needs some rat in them, character development and finding the singular quality in others, the pros and cons of self publishing, working in restaurants, Mary Robison's Why Did I Ever, comedy and how to write funny, writers who complain about writing, Sam's approach to revision, why calling books nihilistic is dumb, and a hell of a lot more.
This week, Selected Prose welcomes a new co-host, Liz Ayre. Liz is a talented fiction writer from LA and an MFA student in the Creative Writing Program at NYU. Thrilled to have her on board!
Jon and Liz talk at length with author Elle Nash. Elle is the author of the novel Animals Eat Each Other (Dzanc Books), which was featured in the The Oprah Magazine and received wide acclaim. In 2021, Elle will release a short story collection titled Nudes. Her stories and essays have appeared in Guernica, The Nervous Breakdown, Literary Hub, The Fanzine, Volume 1 Brooklyn, New York Tyrant and elsewhere. She is a founding editor of Witch Craft Magazine and a fiction editor at Hobart Pulp.
Elle zoomed in from Colorado Springs to discuss her novel, her experiences teaching writing workshops, transgressive fiction, Dennis Cooper, including the internet in your fiction, Satanism, the internet before social media, Salad Fingers, excising laziness from your work, writing what you feel, and a hell of a lot more.
***Elle will be teaching a writing/editing workshop from December 1 - December 12. It's called Knife Party. Go to www.ellenash.net or click the hyperlink and ENROLL NOW!***
Elle Nash reads her short story, Summer Thighs, originally published in Tarpaulin Sky.
Elle Nash is the author of the novel Animals Eat Each Other (Dzanc Books). Her collection of stories, Nudes, is forthcoming from SF/LD Books in 2021. Her stories and essays have appeared in publications like Guernica, New York Tyrant, Literary Hub, The Fanzine, The Nervous Breakdown, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, and more. She's the founding editor of Witch Craft Magazine and a fiction editor at Hobart Pulp.
Stay tuned for our interview with Elle, coming this week.
I interviewed B.R. Yeager, author of the new novel Negative Space (Apocalypse Party). B.R. is also the author of Amygdalatropolis (Schism Press) and Pearl Death (Inside the Castle) You can find him on twitter @BRYeager. He lives in western Massachusetts.
In this episode, we discuss Negative Space, how to write fiction involving the internet, New England's special variety of horror, growing up in Emily Dickinson's hometown, Dark Souls, gas station drugs, the bizarre nightmare world we're all living through, whether books can be more entertaining than Netflix (they can), and why they should strive to be (Negative Space pulls it off).
Derick Dupre reads his short story, The Death of James Polk. This story was originally published in Spork Press.
Derick is a writer based in Arizona. His work has appeared in Hobart, New York Tyrant, The Collagist, Eyeshot, and elsewhere. He's been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and was a finalist for the Lamar York Prize for Fiction. Check out his work on Neutral Spaces and his website.
I sit down with Alisson Wood at the Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House in Greenwich Village to discuss her new memoir, Being Lolita. We talk about her story, the craft of memoir writing, Nabokov, fairy tales, growing up, memory, vulnerability in art and life, and a whole lot more. Check out her essays in the New York Times, Catapult, and Epiphany. She's also the founder and editor-in-chief of Pigeon Pages, a literary magazine.
Alisson Wood reads the opening of her new memoir, Being Lolita.
Alisson is a highly acclaimed writer whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Catapult, and Epiphany. She's also the the founder and editor in chief of Pigeon Pages, and a graduate of the NYU Creative Writing program.
Stay tuned for my upcoming interview with Alisson, where we discuss her memoir, the art of memoir, and much more. In the meantime, get yourself a copy of Being Lolita here.
In this episode, I speak with Bud Smith and discuss his life and work. Bud is the author of the books Double Bird, WORK, Dust Bunny City, and many more. His short story Violets was recently published by the Paris Review. He Zoomed in from the Catskill mountains, where he's currently quarantining and undoubtedly writing yet another great book.
Bud walks us through the creation of Violets, from inception to publication, and the evolution each draft in between. We talk about the craft of story writing, pub-infiltrating poets, thriving as an artist with a day job, typewriters vs computers, working construction, extracting the humor from life, and so much more.
Bud Smith reads his short story, Tiger Blood, originally published in Hobart. After the reading, we have a brief discussion about the story, Vonnegut, and humor in fiction writing.
Bud is the author of Double Bird (Maudlin House, 2018), WORK (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2017), Dust Bunny City (Disorder Press, 2017), Calm Face (House of Vlad, 2016), and more. Find some of his work here.
I interview David Leo Rice. We discuss his upcoming book, A Room In Dodge City Volume 2: The Blut Branson Era, as well as David Cronenberg, William Faulkner, fascism, whether the novel is dead (it isn't), whether death is the end (it's not), the craft of fiction writing, and more.
David is the author of A Room and Dodge City (Alternating Current Press), Angel House (KERNPUNKT Press), the PornME Trinity (The Opiate Press), and numerous short stories.
Check out his website: http://www.raviddice.com/ and buy his books.
David Leo Rice, author of Angel House, A Room in Dodge City, The PornME Trinity, and more, reads his short story The Painless Euthanasia Roller Coaster.
The story will appear in his upcoming collection, Drifter Stories, to be published by 11:11 Press in June of 2021.
The story made its first appearance in Catapult in 2018.