Tag Archives: Aaron Burch

Everyday Genius Goes Print in June

30 May

Everyday Genius, one of my favorite online journals perhaps of all time, is releasing a special print issue for June 2012. It looks like this, which is a cover designed by Jimmy Chen, who’s a pr’ kewl guy.

I think it’s to celebrate or commemorate something or other, but all in all, it just looks awesome, and has an incredible line up of contributors (Aaron Burch, Stephanie Barber, Michael Kimball, Catherine Lacey, Joseph Young, et al), and this is all just to say you should go here and purchase the damn thing (it’s only $11 after shipping), and you should probably do that before June 1st, because then you could win a Publishing Genius prize pack, which includes a bunch of incredible books from PGP and a PGP tote to carry them in and a PGP coozy to keep your beer coozed, or if you’re a recovering alcoholic, to keep your soda pop coozed.

Garden Party Reading in Detroit Tonight

26 Apr

There are so many of our favorite people reading at this thing tonight, I’m even willing to forgive the use of Papyrus on the flyer. If you’re in or around Detroit, you’re not going to want to miss this.

From the facebook event:

Come enjoy readings of poetry and prose in the beautiful Lafayette Greens garden (142 W. Lafayette) in the heart of downtown Detroit on April 26th (a Thursday) at 5:30. The readings will be fun and “edgy,” and quite possibly followed by coney dogs from Lafeyette Coney Island next door (if that’s your thing).

Readers include Detroit authors Ivan Grass and Jeremy Schmall, as well as Aaron Burch (the author of HOW TO PREDICT THE WEATHER), and Nick Sturm (the author of WHAT A TIME WE’RE HAVING).

Come and have a good ‘ole time with us!

Note: The rain location for the event will be at 1064 Seyburn St., just off Lafayette near Indian Village.

Eulogy of a Bookstore by Aaron Burch

28 Mar

Quick vouch today because work is whoa damn kind of busy, but over lunch I read this essay by Aaron Burch about how working at a Barnes & Noble in college basically woke him up to how much he loved literature. In fact, he admits to not even really reading much before getting that job.

I know it’s cool to hate on big box bookstores, but this is a fantastic read about finding yourself someplace you never really expected because of something as simple as needing a summer job.

For the next couple of years, this job was how I paid for rent, for food, for all the cheap beer you drink almost exclusively only when in college. It saved me money on textbooks that we normally wouldn’t carry but that I ordered for myself through the distributor program and then bought with my employee discount. It supplied me with books to read for pleasure; I met my college girlfriend. Her being an English major confused me, both because, what was she going to do with such a degree but also because I was still all kinds of undecided. School was something I was doing so I could finish and be done with and then figure out what I wanted to do, while she had a senior seminar class entirely focused on the work of one contemporary author I’d never heard of, which seemed kind of cool but also not like a real thing.

Read the full essay at The Rumpus.

SSM: wigleaf Top 50 [Very] Short Stories

11 May

I’m going to take a break from vouching specific stories today to instead vouch 50. The wigleaf Top 50 [Very] Short Stories of 2011 list was just released a few days ago, and I wanted to point everyone to it.

And, okay. So 2011 isn’t even half way over yet, but wigleaf is aware of that, and the award is always somewhat retro in that 2010 sort of way.

But I want to take a quick moment and talk about how awesome this list is, not only for the readers, but for the authors who made it, because I’ll embarrass myself right now and say when Andrew from Freight Stories called me in ’09 to tell me I’d made it, I was all, “Oh, cool. That’s pretty rad. Thanks for calling.” I had never heard of wigleaf, and only knew a couple of the other authors on the list. And let’s face it, I was kind of an ass.

If you’re reading this now, and you’re on this list, and you’re thinking that: don’t do that.

Let me tell you now, there are 1000s of stories published every year that fit the requirements for this award, and I’m not just talking about Ol’ Shmoe publishing on his blog. I’m talking stories published in really incredible online journals like PANK, The Collagist, Used Furniture, Lamination Colony, Word Riot, storySouth, Abjective, &c. &c. &c. Some real competition. And from those 1000s, the editors of wigleaf cull a longlist of 200 stories, and from there, a guest editor chisels it to their favorite 50.

If the process isn’t enough to convince you where you are, look at some of the names around you: Blake Butler, Matt Bell, Tina May Hall, Tadd Adcox, Aaron Burch, Roxane Gay, Tim Jones-Yelvington, Matthew Salesses, Jim Ruland, Amber Sparks, Terese Svoboda, James Yeh, David Peak, Kyle Minor, &c. &c. &c.

If you don’t know these names yet, then get reading. I didn’t know most of them a couple years ago either, and now I feel like I’m just catching up to where I could be as a writer and a reader if I had.

To all the writers who made this year’s top 50, a huge congrats to you, and I hope you recognize the honor of it. To all the readers out there, spend some time with this list. You’ll find in it the tremblings of a new literature.

SSM: “Overcast” by Aaron Burch

4 May

I’ve spent a lot of the past few days in the dirt. A chill and a wet has set into the air here that is on its way to record setting. When the clouds broke Saturday morning, the first true spot of sun Indy has had in almost a week, my arms went to work. I took a couple friends up on their promise of leftover wood from some flowerbeds they’d torn out, and decided that wood would do well to become my own raised garden bed. I spent the better parts of Saturday and Sunday making trips to Lowes for topsoil, manure, and plants, and managed to get them all in the ground before the clouds moved in again Sunday afternoon.

All the clouds and gardening got this story, “Overcast,” by Aaron Burch lodged in my brain. I’m pretty sure I vouched it months ago when it first posted at Booth, but who cares. It deserves it again for SSM.

She had been gone only a week when she returned. It may have been longer.

I brought something, she said.

She walked in and through the house, and he followed. In the backyard, she held her hands out to him, together, palms up. Like holding them under running water, like cupping something delicate. The pose reminded him of a painting, though he couldn’t picture one specifically. He wondered if such an image existed and, if not, how one should. Inside her hands was a pile of plastic stars, the kind that stick to ceilings and glow at night.

What we’ll do, she said, is plant them. Water them. Let them grow, like in a garden. And when they’ve blossomed, we can release them into the sky on cloud-filled nights. So, any night we want, we will be able to see a sky full of stars.

Like it was all so simple.

Read the whole story at Booth.

This story also exists in Burch’s excellent collection of short stories, How To Predict the Weather.

Wear Sunscreen: Videos of Vouched Presents, January

16 Feb

Nate had these videos posted a couple weeks ago, but with AWP and general slackery, I’m just now getting around to getting them posted here. At first, he was trying to cut them up into individual pieces, but that was taking way too long to render and upload, so he just cut them by reader.

The whole night was such a wonderful blur and all the readers were so good and energetic and charming, I don’t even know what highlights to…highlight. Just watch all the videos. Pay attention. Drink beer while you do so. Laugh. Pretend you were there. If you were there, remember you were there. Smile.

Sean Lovelace (after my horrible intro of him [sorry, Sean]), “Fireworks Series #1”

Sean Lovelace, “Fireworks Series #2”

Sean Lovelace, “Fireworks Series #3”

Sean Lovelace, “University of W”

Sean Lovelace, “Memphis Apartment, Downtown Poplar & Vine”

Sean Lovelace, “Snakes”

Andy Devine, selection from Words

Matt Bell, “The Cartographer’s Girl”

Aaron Burch, “Christmas Would Be in December” and “The Pain of Humiliation”

Vouched Presents – January 15th, 2011

20 Nov

Get ready.

Smile Politely Chambana

12 Nov

Champaign-Urbana’s, Smile Politely, has a great interview with Andy Devine, Adam Robinson, and Michael Kimball re: Andy’s reading this Sunday at The Iron Post. I’m planning on going to this. Whose comin’ with me?

Stories & Beer Reading Series
ft. Andy Devine
4pm @ the Iron Post
120 South Race Street
Urbana, IL 61801

This is Aaron Burch reading last month at Stories & Beer, a couple stories from his recent book How to Predict the Weather:

That was a weekend to remember.

A Name Means Everything or Nothing

6 Nov

The latest Barrelhouse has names that go whoa like Joey Lawrence.

Name like Amber Sparks who tells you about heroes and anti-heroes and becoming heroes, and there’s always a wizard, but these heroes, they always start as a man or a woman very much like you or me and there’s usually a dark forest.

Name like Aaron Burch, that’s right, the Aaron Burch who predicts the weather, and his characters like to make out in backseats and drink wine from maybe boxes, because that’s what high school was supposed to feel like, don’t you remember? Proms and pins and promises.

Name like Roxane Gay who makes me feel tough and lonely and like maybe I’d have made a good woman, a strong woman, if I had been born into that lot.

Name like Brian Oliu who plays a lot of video games and who says video games rot your brains, because Brian’s brains look beautiful on paper like, “I am a beautiful fighter.  I have such a style.  I will picture my fist breaking through the back of your skull.  I will have hair on my arm.  I want to touch the space behind where you stand.  Tell me you understand what this means.  Tell me that there is something to this.  I have my weakness but I will not tell you.”

Name like Jyotsna Sreenivasan, which I’ve never actually heard before but wow how that name feels on the tongue, and how her story swirls and spirals, there are roads like spaghetti bowls, and how we forget where we are, where are we, bearings, coodinates, God help us all.