Tag Archives: Engine Books

Jared Yates Sexton, Andrew Scott, Victoria Barrett Reading at the New Indy Reads Bookstore – July 14th

13 Jul


For those living under rocks, the new Indy Reads Bookstore just opened in downtown Indy today, and there are all sorts of rad things happening there in the next few weeks.

John Green is reading tonight, and I feel like I keep seeing that dude everywhere. Figuratively. Like, online. I mean, he has a Tumblr devoted to things he says. I mean, what?

And tomorrow, Vouched pals Jared Yates Sexton, Andrew Scott, and Victoria Barrett are reading, and of course my dumb ass already made plans to be out of town visiting some friends from out-of-state.

Seriously, if you’re in Indy, get to Indy Reads tomorrow to see them read. Yates is heading south soon for his new job, so this is the last time to see him in Indy for a good while.

Plus, the Mass Ave. Crit bike race is tomorrow just a few blocks south of the bookstore, so you can drop by and check out people riding bikes faster than you could (unless you’re like, really fast on a bike).

Awful Interview: Patricia Henley

28 Sep

I feel I’m connected to Patricia Henley in so many ways: friends who’ve studied or worked with her at Purdue University, an editor friend who is publishing her collection of stories OTHER HEARTBREAKS which we’re celebrating the release of at next week’s Vouched Presents reading, even our work appearing in the same issue of Freight Stories. All that is to say I’ve yet to meet the illustrious Henley, and I can’t be more excited to have her as part of Vouched Presents: A Night of Book Releases next Tuesday!

I feel like I’ve heard your name so often in my circle of Indiana writer friends, especially those from Purdue who’ve studied under or work alongside you. They’re always super enthusiastic about you and your writing, so I’m really looking forward to meeting you and having you read at Vouched Presents, but something I’ve always wondered: what exactly is a “boilermaker”?

Do you want the smartaleck answer or the truth?

Smartaleck: A candymaker. You know — divinity and other boiled sweets like your grandmother used to make.

The Truth: Boilermaker refers to the townie football players who were recruited to play alongside the student palyers in olden times. They were working-class — guys who literally make boilers.

I’ll take them both! What kind of candy did your grandma make? I don’t remember mine making much candy, but she always had a bowl of those strawberry candies with wrappers that looked like strawberries.

My grandmother and my aunts from the old country (Eastern Europe) made divinity and fudge.

I’ve never heard of divinity. Or, I mean, not in candy form. What is that?

Divinity is a white, sugary, boiled candy. You boil up sugar and water to a certain temp. Vanilla goes in, to0, I think. Somehow it becomes thick and you drop the mix into little circles with peaks on them on waxed paper. Does that make sense?

Check it out.

Those are so strange/interesting looking. What’s the texture like? It looks really soft, but if it’s just boiled simple syrup, it seems like it’d be a hard candy? I have all these questions. I should probably just find a candy shop here in town that sells them.

Sort of a thin, hard crust on the outside and soft with a texture onnthe inside. Why not just make some?!

I suppose I could do that. It doesn’t seem too hard, though I don’t have a candy thermometer.

Before we run out of word count, I do want to say hey, you have a new book coming out on Engine Books. Tell us about that.

OTHER HEARTBREAKS is a collection of stories I’ve written over the last seven years or so. I wrote them while writing a play, traveling, moving, teaching, and having the flu. Under duress, I would say. Writing them helped me stay centered. Three of the stories are linked and set in Pilsen, a Latino neighborhood in Chicago. One hundred years ago it was the port of entry for immigrants from Eastern Europe and I like to think that some of my Czech relatives probably lived there.

Oh, I love Pilsen. My buddy Tadd (whom I believe studied under you at Purdue) lived there for a spell, and we spent an evening at a local Pilsen dive. I appreciate stories written under duress, and the cover looks beautiful.

Would you like to say anything else to people thinking about coming out to see you read at Vouched Presents next week?

I am thrilled to be sharing the stage with Martone — longtime pal from here and Alabama and my son’s thesis advisor when he was a student at UA — and Jill who once gave a party for me when I read at Alabama and Mark. I used to visit my great-uncle and his wife when they lived in Fountain Square in the 1960’s so all of these elements combined make it seem like old home week. I predict good fun for all. Or as I said on my FB page — you’d have to be dead or in jail to miss it.

Vouched Presents: a Night of Book Releases – October 4th!

7 Sep

This is going to be an incredible night of readers, and I know I say that every time, but I hope that makes it no less valuable here: Martone’s quirkiness, Henley’s reality, Neely’s quiet reflections, Christman’s energy and charisma (you remember her from a few readings ago, don’t you?).

This is a special reading for a few reasons:

  1. This reading marks almost a year to the date that I launched the Vouched Presents reading series last October with the Artifice Magazine Reading Tour.
  2. Martone, Henley, and Christman are all releasing new books! Engine Books will be on hand with copies of Henley’s latest! And each author will be on hand to sign that shiny new copy! And, while Neely’s chapbook Four of a Kind has been out a few months, I plan to celebrate the recent announcement of his forthcoming publication of Beasts of the Hill due out next spring!
  3. Sadly, this is going to be the last Vouched Presents for awhile, as I’m going to take a few months hiatus to work on some personal projects that have been getting neglected, so I hope to see all of you there, or else you’ll have to wait until Spring to hear wonderful words from the Vouched pulpit!

Vouched Presents Indy is a free fundraiser for Second Story Indy, an organization that connects local youth with literature and encourages expression and learning through creative writing.