Tag Archives: Events

Awful Interview: Jayne O’Connor

17 Apr

Jayne Says

Behold, Jayne O’Connor! You may recognize her lovely face from HYDEATL, the organization VouchedATL co-organizes the Holiday Hangover with. She’s a real treat, this one.

Jayne is a mover and a shaker here in Atlanta. She’s constantly in motion – like a shark! She’s in charge of things! For instance: the Music Room’s monthly variety show The Show from Below. Jayne’s first collection of work, When You Meet the Devil Tip Your Hat, will be published by Safety Third Enterprises this year. TONIGHT she will be reading with John Carroll, Gina Myers, Cristen Conger, and Winston Blake Wheeler Ward at the Goatfarm.

So, Jayne… what’s it like to be famous?

People are constantly coming up to me and saying things like,“Hey!!!! You didn’t pay for that!!!”
“My name is Todd. Welcome to Applebee’s. I’ll be your waiter.”
Or, “Didn’t  you vomit in my car the other day?”

I always tell them,”Look, deep down,  I’m just a normal person like some of you. I just want to be treated like everyone else, only slightly better.”

I kid.

Depending on how you look at it I would either be the best famous person or the worst. I fall down all the time. I fell just sitting on the couch watching TV the other day and now I have a black eye. Do you know how much money pictures of celebrities falling go for? I would be a paparazzi goldmine. Plus, my driving makes Amanda Bynes look like Danica Patrick, and I definitely would have some Lindsay Lohan/shaved-head-Britney Spears/Mariah Carey-Total Request Live- type of  meltdown, if I haven’t already just  as a semi-par citizen.

My friend asked me once if I would rather be rich or famous. At the time I chose fame because I had ideas about being influential and making a mark on the world.  After seeing Behind the Music i am terrified of fame, and I figure that even if I was Trump-rich (he’s still rich right?), with my poor fashion sense and low standard of living I could always pass for someone with a normal or poor pay grade. I could avoid all the pitfalls of being incredibly wealthy while still reaping all of the benefits.

And I am also terrified of becoming a meme one day.

Oh! Double question. 1. Which meme already in existence best ‘gets’ you and 2. If you were Trump-rich when he was richest rich, what would you do with all of them fat stacks?

I am going to answer the second question first.
This question sent me into a labyrinth of fantasies. I wish I could say that I would be totally responsible, invest, or at least save it but that is a lie. I would spend some time throwing it in the air and dancing under it, but mostly I would just buy crap. I have a deep seeded love for spending money and a high propensity for decadence.  I wouldn’t buy a lavish house or car (remember- low standard of living) but I would spend weeks or months at a spa. I would pay people to do all of the menial activities I loath, invest heavily in my eccentricities, and probably get into some functional form of animal hoarding. Maybe for a day I would pay a band to follow me around and turn my life into a musical
And a pool. Summers in Atlanta are brutal.

That brings me to the answer to question number one…

Brilliant! What songs would be needed for the band’s repertoire as they follow you around? You know, your life soundtrack? Five songs at least with explanations, plz!

I think they probably would go:

“No No No (Pressin’ The Snooze Again)” To be played while I fight with my alarm in the morning.

“What Yo Got? (Gross Gross)” To be sung while my dog eats a sock, panites, pants, or any number of disgusting and unspeakable objects from the bathroom trash can.

“It Ain’t Fucking Romeo and Juliet” to be played whenever I am around my ambivalent boyfriend. (This is a Dance Number)

“This Again.” To be played at work.

“Ewwww. What Did I Just Touch?” Self explanatory.

“This Again. (Reprize)” To be played as I ride home in traffic.

Obviously “This Again” is the big hit- but “No No No” is the fan favorite.

 All great choices and all have especially confrontational titles. Do you consider yourself confrontational?

WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO SAY!!!! *pounds chest.

Yeah, I probably am. Unlike nineteen year old Jayne, I am not proud of it.

Why not?

Well, I think that a lot of the time it makes people look bad. Plus fighting feels bad and bad things can  happen. You never know who you are dealing with and how quickly things can go crazy.

At a bar in my younger years someone tried to put a cigarette out in my eye after I confronted him about his lewd hand/mouth gesture. True Story.

What did you do? Do you flash back to that moment every time you smoke a cigarette?

I repulsed him with my superhuman jumping and screaming skills and knocked his hand away. Then I told some sexest bouncer who did nothing.
I don’t really think about it that much. If anything flashes back to that moment it is probably when I see that lewd gesture.

What will you do if someone makes that lewd gesture at you during the reading on the 17th?

I know quite a few lewd gestures myself. If that doesn’t work I’m a big proponent of public shaming.

Animal Bodies by David Courtright

11 Mar

Animal Bodies

Animal Bodies
David Courtright
Two Steps Press
p.39 / $7
Those brave enough to follow David Courtright into his wilderness will get lost — in the fur, in a fury of bees, in the rings of a tree trunk, in the downy comfort of petalled flowers, in a mess of fallen leaves. His poetry is suspended in something mythic and strange to us now – tangled between the flora and fauna, in the ether.

Read the rest of the review at Fanzine.

An announcement!

27 Feb


Running a Vouched table has its restrictions- Christopher & Tyler can attest to this. It is a labor of love that would prove cumbersome otherwise- lugging a table and an oversized rubbermaid of books into different venues, setting up and tearing down. Often, when I side-shuffle with the rubbermaid back to my car after an event, I ponder the limitations of the guerrilla bookstore – how restricted we are by the size, portability, and durability of the books we carry.

Opening a bookstore would contradict the heart of Vouched. It is SO key that we’re nomadic. We have no overhead! No bills to worry about! No employees, really, aside from ourselves! We can keep our price points low and set up the table on a whim if we like. Often, in the Spring and Summer, I contemplate just setting up with some lemonade (+bourbon) on any ol’ sidewalk. We have the freedom to do that.

Still, it is a vexation that certain titles just don’t work with the nature of our guerrilla bookstores. It’s something I’ve struggled with since launching here. That is until Youngblood Boutique approached me a few weeks ago about carrying some of our wares permanently in their store.

Youngblood is a staple here. Located right along the main drag of the Poncey Highlands, they’ve been kicking ass since 2003 by offering a broad variety of fresh work from local and national artists and artisans. Really, their mission is  a broader version of our own. They’ve been fervent supporters of Vouched since we launched here in Atlanta- going so far as to donate their space for our launch reading in July 2011. Here’s a picture from that.


As of March 14th a special run of Vouched Books will be regularly available at the boutique. Being there opens up a whole new realm of possibilities for what can be sold- it’s a thrill to bring a whole new body of literature to the city through this partnership.

To celebrate- we’re throwing a party– a release party taboot! We’re also celebrating the release of David Courtright’s beautiful chapbook of poetry Animal Bodies– lovingly designed, hand-sewn & assembled collection of poetry from Two Steps Press in Athens, GA. It will stir your insides! Our readers for the evening? David Courtright, Molly Brodak, Bruce Covey, and Maggie Ginestra. Plus, there will be music from Christ, Lord! All of this goodness will take place on Thursday, March 14th. Readings will commence at 7:30 p.m.

Here’s a promotional video for the chapbook.

The next few weeks will be full of reviews, interviews, etc. to get you as pumped as I am!

Tonight! The Creative Loafing Fiction Contest reveals the meaning of Life!

10 Jan


I’m really excited to be setting up the Vouched table at Creative Loafing’s Fiction contest again tonight. Last year’s party was full of shenanigans, and there’s no doubt this year’s will have more of the same. You may wonder what makes me so confident. Well here’s a list.

  1. It’s freezies!
  2. Not only is it free to get in, but there’s FREE PIZZA
  3. Write Club Atlanta will have a mini-bout.
  4. The winners will be reading!
  5. Creative Loafing is donating their sales to the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper.
  6. Sans Abri is playing tunes.
  7. I’ll be there slinging books, duh.

See you tonight! 7pm at the Highland Ballroom.

Bell vs. Pane in Literary Decision 2012!

13 Nov

RSVP on Facebook!

That’s right. Versus.

Vouched knows how sad you all are that the elections are over, meaning no more debates as excuses for drinking games. So, in true Vouched fashion, we are giving you one more debate–a literary debate. (And probably a drinking game.)

It’ll go like this:

Matt Bell and Sal Pane will each give their opening statements (readings), and then Vouched founder Christopher Newgent will moderate a 15 minute debate over today’s most contentious literary controversies: the rise of the eBook as a new world superpower, the dwindling word economy, and what’s the difference between flash fiction and prose poetry anyway?

Afterwards, the crowd will vote, and 5 lucky audience members will win a copy of the victor’s book.

Meet Me in Philly: Conversations and Connections Conference

14 Sep

Everyone knows about that whole AWP thing, right? The huge conference where we all go and lose our voices and pulverize our livers and generally wish those few days could be our life-at-large?

Well, there are smaller versions of that throughout the year, and one of those is coming up next week in Philadelphia, and it is much more affordable than AWP, and there are awesome panels, and Stewart O’Nan is keynoting, and on top of a really kick ass time, your registration fee gets you a subscription to a literary journal, a book from one of the speakers, and a “speed dating with editors” session.

This year, Ol’ Dave Housely has asked me out in my Vouched capacity to manage book sales during the conference, and of course I’m going to say yes to that.

So, I’ll be there, and I hope to see you there, too. It’d be rad to see you there. I’ll be standing behind a red clothed table with a bunch of books on it. Say hello. Let’s be friends.

Vouched Books Atlanta [and friends!] at the Decatur Book Festival

29 Aug

This weekend, Saturday, September 1st and Sunday, September 2nd Vouched Books Atlanta will once again be set up at this year’s Decatur Book Festival! This year we’ll be sharing a booth with our good friends from The Wren’s Nestbooth 612. Here’s a list of the other great vendors and exhibitors you should visit.  Here’s a map:

As always though, there will be plenty of other things to do and see at the festival. I’ve compiled a list of events below that may help, but I heartily suggest you take a peak at the full schedule of events here. For updates on events throughout the weekend you can check out VouchedATL’s twitter page, and of course, the Decatur Book Festival’s twitter page!

SATURDAY, September 1st: 

10a-1p: The Wren’s Nest Publishing Co. has compiled its sixth annual literary journal, entitled Flyaways, which is comprised entirely of pieces by Atlanta-area high school students. Student editors, contributors, and their friends and family members will join to mingle, congratulate each other, and exult in their accomplishments with lemonade, popsicles, games, and coloring at Core Studio. Pull out your inner child and come share in the revelry!

11a–12p: James Nichols reads at the Experimental Writer’s Asylum.

11:15a-12:15p: Author Margot Livesey, author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy will be reading. Introduction from Laura Straub (hey, that’s me!) at the Decatur Library.

12p-1p: Boviniad author Nathan Jerpe reveals new stanzas of that ongoing and steampunk-inflected epic poem at the Experimental Writer’s Asylum.

1p-2p: John Harkey, a postdoctoral fellow at Georgia Tech, discusses and recites verse by Objectivist poet Lorine Niedecker (1903–1970) at the Experimental Writer’s Asylum.

2:30p-3:30p: Gina Myers will be reading at the Local Poetry Stage

1:45p- 2:30p: “A Different Kind of Love Story“:  Rachael Maddux will be moderates  a panel with Lydia Netzer and Lisa Zeidner discussing their new novels at the City Hall Stage.

2p-3p: Poet Laura Carter reads at the Experimental Writer’s Asylum

3p-4p: Members of the Atlanta Poets Group engage in their “disjunctive and disruptive linguistic practices at the Experimental Writer’s Asylum.

4p-5p: Rabbit Tales librettist and multidisciplinary artist Madeleine St. Romain performs some of her recent polyphonic material at the Experimental Writer’s Asylum.

5–6 pm: Yale graduate and self-taught conceptual artist Nikita Gale—dubbed a “Superstar of Southern Art” by The Oxford American—discusses her work, which often incorporates text at the Experimental Writer’s Asylum.

SUNDAY, September 2nd: 

12p–1 p: Comedian Brian Bannon (Rolling Stephen Hawking Up a Hill) and musician Bill Taft (Superlocalhellfreakride) re-create some of the music, historical anecdotes, and fabulations they have crafted in honor of the Krog Tunnel’s centenary at the Experimental Writer’s Asylum.

1p-2p: Historian and academic Hester L. Furey, whose first chapbook is titled Little Fish, shares her poetry at the Experimental Writer’s Asylum.

2p–3p: Atlanta native Amy McDaniel, who helps run the Solar Anus reading series, presents her poems in bringing XWA 3 to a close at the Experimental Writer’s Asylum.

2:30p-3:30p: The KIPP Scribes have crafted the stories with the help of their mentors and will release their book, Read After Burning, at CORE Studio (133 Sycamore Street  Decatur, GA 30030). The book launch will feature readings from the KIPP Scribes and their mentors.The KIPP Scribes is a collaborative writing and publishing program between The Wren’s Nest and KIPP STRIVE Academy, a West End charter school. 

3p-4p: Poets Bruce Covey, Gina Myers, Jericho Brown, and Molly Brodak will be reading at  Emory’s College Showcase at the Local Poetry Stage.

5p-6p: Myke Johns introduces Rob Reid, author of Year Zero at the Decatur Conference Center Auditorium.

Also, throughout the Saturday and Sunday daylight hours of XWA 3, passersby can again enjoy the free verse stylings (and, often, the free-verse stylings) of Jimmy Lo and company with Free Poems on Demand outside the gallery.

Hope to see you there!

Vouched Presents: a Literary Powerhouse

29 Aug

This reading really got out of hand fast. What started out as a simple “book release party for Amber Sparks”/”welcome to Indy for Sal Pane” escalated into an all out literary brawl with the addition of Lania Knight, and the REAL PAIN: FUTURE DEAD FRIENDS TOUR 2012 making a stop with Scott McClanahan, Sam Pink, Megan Boyle, Jordan Castro, and Mallory Whitten. This line-up could generate electricity for a small city.

Join us at the new Indy Reads Books store at the very north end of Mass Ave., and pack your brain full of words and moments you won’t want to forget. And, maybe some you’ll want to forget. Let’s be honest. Nights like these have a way of breeding regrets alongside remembrances.

RSVP at Facebook.

Friday, July 20th: What’s New In Poetry presents Amy Gerstler

19 Jul

So excited to announce that the What’s New in Poetry Reading Series, hosted by Emory’s Poetry Council, will be hosting poet Amy Gerstler this Friday, July 20th at 8pm in the Schwartz Center Black Box Theatre. RSVP on Facebook here!

Here’s the skinny on Amy Gerstler, from their own site:

Gerstler is the author of seven books: Dearest Creature (Penguin, 2009); Ghost Girl (2004); Medicine (2000), finalist for the Phi Beta Kappa Poetry Award; Crown of Weeds (1997); Nerve Storm (1995); Bitter Angel (1990), winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award; and The True Bride (1986).

Additionally, she is the author of art reviews, books reviews, fiction, and various journal articles. She also collaborates with visual artists, and her writing has been published in numerous exhibition catalogs.

Gerstler received her BA in psychology from Pitzer College in 1978 and her MFA in nonfiction from Bennington College in 2000. A resident of Los Angeles, Gerstler has taught at Antioch West and the University of California at Irvine’s graduate writing program. She teaches in the Bennington Writing Seminars program at Bennington College in Vermont, and at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.

A Very Vouched Birthday Party FAQ

10 Jul

After blitzing the internet with Single Sentence Reviews, Raffle Prize Announcements, and other promotional things for about a month,, I realize you may have some questions about the upcoming festivities. So here’s our first ever Vouched Presents FAQ.

When does this shin-dig start?  

7pm, approximately. I estimate readings to begin between 7:15 and 7:30.

Is there a cost for admission?

Nope, you can attend for free! That being said, there will be things for sale: food from the Good Food Truck, drinks, popsicles from the King of Pops, t-shirts, books, etc. so it would be very wise of you to bring money with you in case you may get hungry, parched, etc.

I heard there’s an art opening involved too, can you tell me more about that?

Happily! We’re lucky enough to have the very talented Atlantan sculptor, Duncan Shirah, host the opening evening of his exhibition ‘Tools’ in conjunction with our party. He’s even been kind enough to donate his sculpture “Wood Pecker Awl” as the grand prize of the evening. Here’s what that looks like:

You can learn more about Duncan Shirah at his website or in these interviews with Dashboard Co-op and Scoutmob.

How do I win those totally sweet raffle prizes?

Great question! Participants in our raffle will receive 1 raffle ticket for every $5 donated or spent on WINK, Wren’s Nest Publishing Co., or Vouched merchandise. So say, for instance, you buy a book from me that costs $10. For that you will receive not only your book, but 2 raffle tickets! Which could win you all sorts of amazing prizes!

Where do my donations go?

Donations will be split evenly between the Wren’s Nest Publishing Co.  and WINK. Vouched Books will not be keeping any of the money donated.

Where can I learn more about the Wren’s Nest Publishing Co. and WINK?  

Both organizations have really splendid websites, which give background information on both of their tutoring organizations, the work that they do, and other information about how to get involved.

You can learn more about the Wren’s Nest Publshing Co. here!

You can learn more about WINK here!

I only attend parties where there are photo-booths. Will there be a photo-booth?

YES! Our good friends at Smilebooth have been kind enough to donate us a photo-booth for the evening to better capture all of the debauchery.

Can I win multiple raffle prizes? 

No. Sorry, but that just doesn’t seem fair. Winners will be collecting their prizes at the Vouched Books table throughout the evening where we will be keeping track of who wins what.  One prize per attendee.

What’s the Goatfarm, are there goats?

In their own words: The Goat Farm Arts Center is a major visual & performing arts center in Atlanta. What was once an underutilized historic site went through a major expansion and was given new form in 2009. Part of the expansion opened up 20,000 square feet dedicated to five new performance and exhibition halls and spaces. The Center now hosts classical & contemporary music concerts, traditional and experimental theatrical performances, film screenings, contemporary dance performances and art exhibitions.

And yes, there are real-life goats!

The poster has a lot of balloons. Will there be balloons? 

Yes, there will be at least 1 dozen 3′ circular balloons. There will not be bears.