Tag Archives: Mel Bosworth

Laura Straub’s END O’ THE YEAR list

21 Dec

My futon’s favorite people:
Matt Bell & Brian Oliu, Amber Sparks, and Tyler Gobble.

Cool Presses that started working with Vouched the past six months: Lazy Fascist, Sarabande Books, Queen’s Ferry Press, Curbside Splendor, Spooky Girlfriend, and Black Ocean.

COVER ART: May We Shed These Human Bodies and The Collected Works of Scott McClanahan, Vol. 1

People I’m still confused to have not met IRL yet: Mel Bosworth and Christy Crutchfield

My Husband’s Budding Bromances: Ben Kopel, Tyler Gobble, and Kory Calico

Top 5 Stage Presences in no specific order: xTx, Devan Goldstein (when reading and also when he sings the shit out of some Bon Jovi), Amy McDaniel, Zach Schomburg, Peter Davis.

Favorite Dance Party: Lit Party @ AWP- duh! 

Thing that makes me feel like !!! every time I read it: Ravi Mangla’s Visiting Writers from Uncanny Valley Press

Favorite special thing: Electric lit’s recommendations in my inbox. SO RAD. Also Matthew Salesses’ Writer in Residence series at Necessary Fiction.

These book tours came and BLEW ME AWAY: Bloof books tour, The Southern Comfort Reading Tour, & the Over the Top tour.

Awful Interviews that still make me laugh big and large:  Joshua Ware, Michael Nye, Matt Bell, & Nicholas Tecosky (who still owes me an arm wrestle…)

Mel Bosworth Every Laundromat in the World Release Contest Winner: Brandon Barr

27 Jun

After shuffling through the great stack of submissions, Safety Third Enterprises lead guy Matt DeBenedictis, Laundromat extraordinaire Mel Bosworth, Vouched ATL lady Laura Straub, and myself have chosen the following entry by Brandon Barr as the winner of the Every Laundromat in the World Release Contest.

Brandon has won the following items:

  • A personalized, signed copy of the chapbook, dedicated personally to the winner and containing two extra poems.
  • A copy of every chapbook in stock from Safety Third Enterprises, including: He Is Talking To The Fat Lady (xTx), I Don’t Respect Female Expression (Frank Hinton), Just A Little Piece Of Heartburn (Tom Cheshire), and Congratulations! There’s No Last Place If Everyone Is Dead (Matt DeBenedictis).

Don’t forget to order your copy of the limited-edition print version of Every Laundromat in the World from Safety Third Enterprises today! Thanks to everyone who participated in the contest, and for making our duty to choose a winner such a challenge!

We Will Carry Each Other: a Review of Mel Bosworth’s Freight

14 Jun

by Mel Bosworth
Fiction, 209pgs
Folded Word Press

I have a small stack of books on my desk, books that I’ve read with the best of intentions to review, and as of yet, have not actually put my fingers to work on them. Freight is one of those books, by no fault of its own. It’s just, at the time I was reading it, I was carrying a lot, it was hard for me to carry, and I put down as much as I could as often as I could, and unfortunately, it was often this book, I swallowed down its pages because I was hungry like someone who hates food is so hungry. This book, in the end, gave me back my appetite.

It is a soft, beautiful book. Even the texture of the cover hints at the clouds you’ll find inside. The book itself read more to me like a memoir perhaps, than a novel. There was no overarching narrative arc to the book beyond the arcs present in the individual chapters. What there is throughout is a constant, maintained feeling of earnestness, of searching. The story moves like memories move: blurring, doubling back, building upon one another. And Bosworth masterfully plays this up with quite possibly one my favorite formal plays I’ve seen in a book.

Throughout the book, you come across a sort of marginalia directing you to another page, where you’ll find a passage in some way related to the current passage. It’s akin to choose your own adventure, but not. For one, at no point will you turn the page and die. But also, because you’re not required to turn to the referenced passage. And it’s in this way that I find it truly genius.

See, normally I tend to be annoyed at plays like this. There’s a cheekiness to them that grates me more than excites me. But this is so unobtrusive, so elegantly done that I love it. And what’s more, I recommend following the references. It highlights the nature of the stories, and in turn, the nature of how we all reconstruct our lives from bits and pieces of memories.

But I don’t want to spend anymore words on that and leave you feeling like it’s the only take-away from Freight, because Bosworth’s writing itself demands its own attention. I love Bosworth’s style; it is vulnerable and simple and good.

Lucas was sitting in a black hole that no one could see. But I could see what it was doing to him. And it did it to him for a long time. He was almost eaten up by it. His black hole was different than mine because his black hole could be battled with medicine. My black hole could be battled with sunshine. It’s just a matter of understanding our own black hole and accepting the treatment.

They make sunshine in a bottle. It’s called Vitamin D. They also make sunshine in other forms. Like friends and the outdoors and good work and good sleep and love.

It’s a voice that carries you through the book, that despite some of the awful things the protagonist admits, makes you want the best for him, for everyone. In short, Freight is one of those books that makes you want to be a better person, to live a softer life.

* * *

You can also win Bosworth’s latest book Every Laundromat in the World along with a stash of other books by Safety Third Enterprises by entering our poetry-bomb contest.

What Would You Carry On Your Vouched Table?

31 May

I shouted this into Facebook and Twitter World and got some cool lists from Ravi Mangla, Mel Bosworth, Rob MacDonald, KMA Sullivan, and Diana Salier. I added my own list and babblethoughts and BOOM a new column in the Vouched Satellite/Smalldoggies Magazine series is up. CHECK IT PLZ.

Also, what would be on your own Vouched Table? Seriously, tell us, tell us!

Donate to a great cause and get some words in a sweet place? Great.

25 Jul
The great people over at Metazen are hosting a contest to benefit the Somalian Drought Relief Effort. This is a great chance to help a sweet journal help a great organization. Metazen is one of my favorite journals, consistently publishing hard-hitting stories and poems. Here are some of my favorite pieces from recent updates.
Wild Wolves by Mel Bosworth: being unapologetic carried into perfection.
More Shorts from Mimosas and Waxed Lips by Lauren Tamraz: This is what I mean when I say I crave tension.
Closets by Drew Kalbach: “I emasculate myself nightly for the fireflies and it feels/like coming home.”
Below are the guidelines, so find out how to support something worthwhile and possibly join these wonderful pieces. Also, find more here.
Competition.We are having a writing contest. (win stuff)We are raising money for a cause. (get karma)

Last Christmas metazen raised money by publishing an ebook featuring various authors from around the web. Profits were donated and distributed to the micro-financing organization kiva.org.

This summer we are holding a contest with the hopes of raising some money for the Somalian Drought Relief Effort (via East Africa Drought Relief Fund).

We will accept submissions with an accompanying fee throughout the month of August. All submissions will be considered and a winner and 3 runners up will be selected by our judges. Winners and runners up will get prizes. Yes.

So… you get to write, you get to win stuff and you also get to help support a cause. There is really no downside. Even if you lose, your karma will increase.

And even if you aren’t interested, it would be awesome if you copied the link for this page and spread the word.

What kind of writing?

Please submit either one piece of fiction (limit 2500 words) or poetry (limit 2 poems).

There is no theme, we’re looking for something you’re proud of. Nothing filthy, nothing milfy, nothing too pithy. A little pith is okay. Not too much. Pith-ish.


All submissions sent between July 24th and August 31st with corresponding paypal entry fee will be considered.


All entries must be submitted in the body of an email or in .doc form to contests.metazen@gmail.com

Only entries with an accompanying paypal donation will be considered.
The purpose of this contest is to raise money for the Somalian Drought Relief Effort.

Entry fee amounts are optional, with a minimum of $5

90% of entry fees will go to the Canadian East African Drought Relief Fund
10% of fees will be awarded to the first place winner.

First Place:Publication on metazen.cawith accompanying commentary on your piece10% of entry fees from contest
1 Copy of Frank Hinton’s “I Don’t Respect Female Expression” print and digital
1 DVD “MDMA” by MDMA Films

Runner Up (3 winners):

Publication on metazen.ca
(1) of the following:

– Fog Gorgeous Stag by Sean Lovelace
– Grease Stains, Kistmet, And Maternal Wisdom by Mel Bosworth
– Download Helvetica For Free . Com by Steve Roggenbuck

submit your entries to contests.metazen@gmail.com


8 Jul

One of the beautiful things about journals like Metazen that provide daily content is the startle they can produce. Like today, here I am just browsing through my Google Reader and Mel Bosworth’s story “Wild Wolves” pops up and I read the first paragraph then the second, as all good reading goes, and BOOM it slips a slapping detail then another then the end about knocks me out of this stuffy room. I’ll call that an eye-opening surprise.

Check out this rad writing from the middle of the piece:

“SHOES!” and a third finger unfurled to complete the hat trick. I was reminded of my father’s hockey days, when the lake would freeze and our faces would wither, his always more than mine, and how when it was time to go home for dinner he’d chew on the puck, weeping.