A literary eruption, is that a thing, if that’s a thing, it just happened over here, out comes a saddened–>tortured love cry, a near-epic struggle twisted forward and within and out of over a bitty 34 pages, the story of Poisonhorse shrieks, as the horse and the poison the narrator gives it and the bears and the rats and the lady in the cistern and etc. burrow their way into you, as you begin to see yourself as one of the severed heads in the bear’s belly, as what you thought to call love expands and then immediately bursts in your hands.
Some of our favorite women (and dude) here at Vouched are piling into a van this summer and trekking from Austin, TX over to Atlanta, GA in what is sure to be some insanity that leaves all your wife beaters and panty hose running with sweat and mud and tears. Here are some details from their Kickstarter:
The Southern Summer Comfort Tour is an exciting literary event consisting of authors Chloe Caldwell, Elizabeth Ellen, Mary Miller, Brandi Wells and Donora Hillard, all crammed into a rental van touring the hot southern states like a good old fashioned rock band. Our new books have been released on indie presses such as Future Tense Books, Short Flight/Long Drive Books, and Tiny Hardcore Press.
We are: Five women authors hailing from New York, Michigan, Mississippi, and Alabama and we’ll be meeting up in Austin, Texas to start our travels. From there, we will be reading from ours books at bookstores and bars in Austin, Houston, New Orleans, Oxford, Tuscaloosa and Atlanta. There will be special guest appearances along the way by people like Kevin Sampsell, Jess Stoner, and others.
We need your help for car and gas money, not to mention breakfast tacos and lots of liquids.
I wish I could embed the video because it’s absolutely hilarious and amazing, but Kickstarter is kind of dumb and architected their video embeds so that a vast majority of bloggers can’t actually embed their videos into their posts.
So, I hope you’ll hop over to their Kickstarter, watch the video, laugh, and considering contributing to the cause. And, if you’ll be in and/or around the following cities on the following dates, you should pop in and listen to these bitchin’ ladies share their bitchin’ words.
Here are our dates:
July 11th – Austin, TX – Domy Books, 7pm
July 12th – Houston, TX – Domy Books, 7pm
July 13th – New Orleans, LA
July 14th – Oxford, MS – Square Books, 6pm
July 16th – Tuscaloosa, AL
July 17th – Atlanta, GA – Beep Beep, 8pm
Brandi’s stories at their best are the tube through which the story comes, sincere storytelling at its boldest, the strange beckoning the strange, the startling startling itself, oh yeah and stirring up everyone in its path.
Ben brings home a shotgun.
“No,” I say.
He takes the gun into his room. His room.
“The whole rest of the house is yours,” he once told me. “With your stuff in it. Can’t I have my room?”
“Why a secret room?” I asked. “Why drawers I can’t go through and cabinets with locks on them? Why boxes taped shut, piled in the closet?”
“My room,” he said.
I’m sitting here working on my list of books that I’d like to buy, be given, and/or give this holiday season. I’m becoming overwhelmed as I realize (again) that tricky situation: so many books, limited money. I thought I’d share a few books that I haven’t read but really really want (or want to give) that seem like great choices for holiday shopping this December.
1. The Oregon Trail Is The Oregon Trail by Gregory Sherl (MudLuscious Press): Every book MLP puts out is that beautiful blur of story and sound. In his past work, Sherl is a fearless traveler of emotions, searching inside himself and carrying whatever he finds to his readers. Add in that obvious connection to the video game of my (our?) youth and this could be a good gift for any literary lover of our generation, despite it being a pre-order (better a little late than never!). Check out this excerpt from the book’s page:
In my dreams we always ford the river.
In the wagon I cover you with blankets
when you sleep. You often dream of ghosts
while I hunt bison wherever bison live.
The ghosts are vegetarian, your heart
is April wind, raindrops the size of half dollars.
We never hire the Indian guide. Instead,
we keep the five dollars, roll it up, hide
it in my wool sock. You look better in 3D.
I touch your breasts with my fingertips.
Then I touch your breasts with my whole
hand. I swallow the idea of independence,
finding the West before the dirt was soiled
by factories that build heat-seeking missiles,
amusement parks, & chain restaurants.
Chimney Rock is underwhelming. I spit
in the cracks of the rock, tiny crevices
that hide who the fuck knows. You are hot
shit & the other carpenters from Ohio
are jealous. They think about your hair
while they’re inside their wives, think about
your dimple while they try to repair the axle
on their wagon. True love is finding wild
fruit. We eat without bibs. By rivers I sleep
easy, knowing you’re cleaning the clothes nearby.
2. Issue 4 of Artifice Magazine: The next installment from our favorite super self-aware journal promises to be beautiful, both inside and out. It also will fit in a stocking. Most importantly, it features new work by wonderful writers like Ryan Ridge, Richard Chiem, and Caroline Crew that are sure to be mind-thumping.
3. So many things from Dzanc Books’ Holiday Sale: With sales like Buy One, Get One Free or free eBooks with every print book or sweet bundles, Dzanc continues to offer some of the best literary booyeah for your buck. Maybe you have a friend/relative that needs some good lit exposure; try some the 30 Under 30 Anthology edited by Lily Hoang and Blake Butler, featuring innovative fiction from the likes of Matt Bell, Evelyn Hampton, and Brian Oliu. Or maybe–like me (silly I know)— you still haven’t read Kyle Minor’s book, so ask for that. Or maybe one of those wild new releases has caught your eye, like Animal Sanctuary by Sarah Falkner:
Winner of the 7th Starcherone Prize for Innovative Fiction
A wild and mysterious novel of multiple characters and episodes structured around the life and career of a fictional actress and animal rights activist, is the winner of the 7th Starcherone Fiction Prize. The manuscript was selected by novelist and short story writer Stacey Levine.
Animal Sanctuary is a challenging, readable, powerful, and mysterious novel. The story—not a single plot, but multiple, peripherally connected episodes and discourses – concerns an American actress, Kitty Dawson, who stars in two movies by a famous (and famously obscure) British director, Albert Wickwood, both having animal disaster themes. Kitty then goes on to make a great many other pictures with animal themes, and to found in the 1970s a sanctuary for big cats that rich people decide first to have as pets, then abandon. Later, Kitty’s only son, Rory, raised in the animal sanctuary and as a young teen the lover of a renowned Austrian big cat trainer, becomes an installation and performance artist whose work incorporates animals & animal themes, as well as attempts to critique and get outside of institutions.
4. Please Don’t Be Upset by Brandi Wells: Missed out on Tiny Hardcore Press’s sweet sales awhile back? That’s okay, you’re not alone. But, you can still snag Well’s sure-to-be-sweet book for a stellar $8.99. I’m always impressed by how Wells’ writing, and THP books in general, can be in-your-face without being obnoxious, intimate without being awkward, and 100% hard-hitting.