Tag Archives: Rachael Maddux

A Very Vouched Thank You For a Very Vouched Birthday.

26 Jul

Man oh man, it’s hard to believe it’s been a week since the 2nd Very Vouched Birthday party at the Goatfarm. I’d really like to take a moment to say thank you to all of those involved. (There were a lot of people involved!)

First-off, a tremendous thank you to the hardworking team at the Wren’s Nest and their high school editorial team for volunteering throughout the evening’s festivities! Without their help the event would have disintegrated into chaos! Most notably I would like to thank my partner-in-planning, Jessie Matheson, the organization’s Education Director. Her visionary work with the Wren’s Nest  brought  great focus and energy to the festivities, and her assistance in matching our readers with their reading selections was absolutely indispensable.

Speaking of indispensable…


Answer: Probably sad, somewhere crying!

They drove all the way down from Indiana [and up from Tallahassee] to help out with the event and party hardy! That is dedication! That is friendship! They ran the table without a hitch! I am eternally in their debt!

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Notable things that pertain to this event that start with the letter “G”:



Here’s a fact: Vouched Atlanta would be a shadow of what it is if it weren’t for the  unending support and assistance that we’ve received from the good folks at the Goatfarm over the course of the past few years. Their crew is a total dream to work with — taking care of all of the production that goes into the venue for our readings (staging! press! chairs! lights! sound! booze!). Even better – they really, really believe in Vouched. It’s a total honor to be affiliated with them. I’m excited to continue working with them in the years to come.

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HUGE thank you’s to champions of literature Matt Bell and Blake Butler for highlighting the evening with their work and words, and for supporting independent literature with more passion and fervor than any other authors I know. This was mentioned at the party, but… my first two book orders for Vouched Books Atlanta were for How They Were Found and Scorch Atlas. It’s been really amazing to watch Blake and Matt’s writing gain momentum over the past two years. Hosting them both was a humbling honor.

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THANK YOU to Myke Johns and Jayne O’Connor for co-hosting throughout the evening. You charmed everyone’s pants off!

Many many thank yous to the local authors and tutors who read the work of the KIPP Scribes: Sue Gilman, Patrick Shaffner, Jessie Matheson, Rachael Maddux, Johnny Drago, Julian Modugno, John Carroll, Terra McVoy, Thomas Wheatley, Jason Mallory, Jamie Allen, Myke Johns, Brooke Hatfield, Lain Shakespeare, Bruce Covey, Amy Herschleb, Molly Dickinson, Jayne O’Connor, Amelia Lerner, and Amy McDaniel. You really brought the stories to life and it meant so much to the scribes in attendance to hear that!

Maybe one of my favorite parts of the evening was revealing the GORGEOUS 2nd Vouched Birthday poster designed by Lacey Valentini and screen-printed by Brett Andrew Miotti of the Peregrine Consortium. Lacey has designed the bulk of our promotional collateral over the past two years and is solely responsible for the visual identity and brand that Vouched Atlanta has. The poster stands as a tribute to that. If you weren’t able to order or purchase one at the event – don’t worry! A limited number are still available for purchase. You can do that here.


Thank you also to the evening’s sponsors, whose contributions and donations really brought the community together: Scoutmob, Creative Loafing, BURNAWAY, Marmalade Bakeshop, BANG! Arts and Promotions, Atlanta Movie Tours, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Dad’s Garage, The High Museum, The Inman Park Squirrel Census, Wonderroot, and MOCA GA.

A heartfelt thanks to the artists who so generously donated their artwork to our silent art auction and to BURNAWAY for their assistance in organizing it: Brooke Hatfield, Lydia Walls, John Carroll, Bethany Collins, Nathan Sharratt, and Jessica Caldas.

Thank you to the local organizations who helped spread the word! BANG! Arts and Promotion, Scoutmob, AM 1690, Creative Loafing, Common Creative, ArtsATL, BURNAWAY, Criminal Records, Write Club Atlanta, Scene Missing Magazine and John Carroll for our third awful interview.

Last but not least, thank you to the Atlanta creative community at large for your unbridled enthusiasm for words. You make everything worth it.

TONIGHT! Vouched Presents at the Goatfarm!

7 Feb

I know everyone is as feverishly thrilled for this evening’s reading as I am. Look how feverish this book is- it’s burning! *



More details about the reading on facebook.

*No books were harmed in the making of this reading. Who do you think I am, Guy Montag?


Awful Interview: Rachael Maddux

22 Jan

Rachael Maddux

Are you a fan of tacos? Sandwiches? Nachos? Foods that are dependent on other foods for you to be able to eat them? You and Rachael Maddux have that in common. You probably have more than just that in common, but that’s a start. Rachael and I first met floating down the Chattahoochee River. (True story!) You can read her work in places like the Paris Review’s daily blog, the Oxford American, the Believer, and many other places. She also curates the annual pop-up blog The Unbest. You can hear her read at the Goatfarm on Thursday, February 7th.

So Rachael, why do you like tacos so much?

I should say that in general I’m a really big fan of food that you get into your mouth via other food. Not that I have anything against utensils. Some of my best friends are utensils. But tacos I guess are the most perfect realization of that concept of thin-carby-thing-as-delivery-system. I’m partial to soft-shell flour tortillas, although of course I’ll go for corn and I’ve even been known to wolf down some Old El Paso tacos-from-a-box. It’s more about what’s inside, though. And what’s inside is limitless! The only regular email I get from a place of business that I haven’t re-routed to a sub-folder in my Gmail account is the Weekly Specials update from Taqueria Del Sol, which I always read with great excitement because their special tacos are boss. The Waco is my favorite—barbecued brisket and slaw and some kind of mustardy sauce. Taqueria has kind of ruined me on fish tacos because theirs are so perfect (I recently stopped picking off my pickled jalapenos and that was a big moment). But what’s really great about tacos is that they’re pretty low-commitment—if you have a bad one, you probably still have room for a good one to cancel it out. And like I never say, you’re only as good as your last taco.

Tell me more about the pickled jalapenos moment. The public deserves to know about your revelation.

It was actually part of a much bigger thing that happened last year, which is that I am now into eating spicy foods after a lifetime not being able to handle, like, mild salsa. But my husband, Joe, is a total spicehound and has been all his life (he used to carry around a bottle of Tabasco sauce in a little holster when he was in elementary school) and he also happens to be the primary cook in our relationship. I wouldn’t say that he forced me into this—it’s more like an acquired taste that happened gradually but also seems kind of inevitable. See also: My recent interest in horror movies, Black Sabbath and whiskey. So, yes, for years I would pick all my pickled jalapenos off of my Taqueria Del Sol tacos and push them onto Joe’s plate, but then one day I got real brave and kept them on, and he was sad that he didn’t get bonus peppers, but also proud of me, I think. That plus the first time I was like, “Hey babe, can you hand me the sriracha?” were really special moments in our relationship.

Sometimes I struggle to remember what life was like before rooster sauce, and it all seems so dreary- like life in Pleasantville before Reese Witherspoon came along and sexed up the place. Hey- remember that movie?

I do! Although I’ve only ever seen it on TV so, ironically, all the sexed-up bits were way way less sexed-up. Another “Reese Witherspoon sexes it up” movie (kinda?) is Cruel Intentions, which I saw for the first time recently, and found unexpectedly soul-crushing! I was on a Netflix binge and watched it as a chaser to Young Adult, which was also soul-crushing, though expectedly so. I thought Cruel Intentions would be a goofy proto-Gossip Girl romp through the late-90s, but for some reason it just made me feel awful. The whole night made me hate washed-up ghostwriters and horny teenagers and everyone.

Have you been avoiding up escalators ever since? I still hope for Ryan Phillipe at the top of every escalator, and he’s never there… *SPOILER*

…because he died.

Ryan PhillippeMan, you know, I half expected to have some kind of unseemly sexual attraction to wee Phillipe in that movie, but it just wasn’t happening. I can’t tell if it was him or his character but there was some weird high-strung dorkiness edging right beneath the surface of his cool-guy persona and it really creeped me out. Also he kinda had the NSYNC-era Justin Timberlake ramen-noodle-hair thing going on. In the 90’s I preferred my boys with long, flowing, un-gelled locks, Hanson-style.

Which Hanson brother was your favorite?

Despite my adolescent self’s love of the underdog, which presumably would’ve led me to favor the gangly, brace-faced Isaac, it was beautiful, beautiful Taylor.

If Taylor Hanson was minorly interested (you know, playing it cool) in attending your reading on February 7th, what would adolescent Rachael say to persuade him into attending? What would Rachael now say to persuade him?

12-year-old Rachael would come up with something super charming and brilliant and would probably rehearse the whole conversation a few times in front of her bedroom mirror, then chicken out at the last second. Now-Rachael would be like, “Uh, dude, shouldn’t you be home with your fifteen children and/or trying to write a song half as good as ‘MMMBop’? Yeah, get out of here.”