Tag Archives: Tom Cheshire

Vouched ATL September wrap-up

13 Oct

Whoa September flew by! It feels like maybe October is following suit. Before time gets away from me I’d like to do a round up of VouchedATL’s September happenings. But since it’s October, I’ll sneak a trick in the treat: this whole post is backwards.

We had a reading on September 19th! It was full of wonder and glory! Our readers were stupendous! The venue was amazing! The audience was beautiful!

Here’s a picture of Molly Brodak and Matt DeBenedictus reading to us. They charmed everyone’s pants off. Molly made caramels and they were absolutely delicious. That tells you a lot about Molly, doesn’t it? I can only imagine that it takes great patience and precision to make chocolate dipped caramels. She’s just as careful with her words, and it shows.

Matt gave everyone choices. He would hold up his hands and summarize option 1 and option 2. It was kind of a Choose Your Own Adventure situation. Who doesn’t love choosing their own adventure? At the end of one of his stories, about different popes, he stood up on his chair like a boss. It was great.

Before them Cristina Martin read. Her poems are sweet and carbonated like champagne, brimming with description that bursts off the page. They’re beautiful to hear. Cristina read after Daniel Beauregard, whose poetry is full of undercurrents and introspection. This is what they looked like reading.

First of the evening was Sarah Beard, who was spritely and potent. Before her there was set-up times. Check out the amazing lighting that the goat-farm had for us!

The VouchedATL Chalkboard actually made its debut a week before at the Decatur Book Festival! Two days of book-loving bliss with the great people of Wink!   The pictures say quite a bit for me.

I’d like to take a second and thank all of the local writers who came by to visit throughout the two days: Gina Myers, Cristina Martin, Molly Brodak, Matt DeBenedictis, Tom Cheshire, Jamie Iredell (+ family!), Blake Butler, Ben Spivey, Melysa Martinez, Johnny Carroll, and John Steen. All of you really made my weekend. It was also wonderful to meet so many new writers and readers. I hope that everyone at the festival had as much fun as we did. (Trust me, we had a lot of fun.)

Also a thousand thank you’s to the good people of the Goat Farm who were so incredibly helpful . More thank you’s to our stupendous readers! Thank you to Wink for being the best bunch of booth buddies! Thank you to my awesome husband for being such a champion with a camera!

Our next Vouched Presents reading will be Wednesday, November 9th at the Goatfarm, with awesome readings by Robert Pfeiffer, Gina Myers, Tom Cheshire, and Amy Herschleb! More details, Awful Interviews, and an awesome poster to come!

Awful Interview: Tom Cheshire

18 Aug
Tom Cheshire has pockets lined with his own words. That’s pretty nice, isn’t it? If only all of our pockets could be so lucky. He finds dogs more inspirational than cats. You can find him in and around Atlanta, writing on pizza boxes and napkins. He is surrounded by words, smiles, and good beer. His first chapbook , Just A Little Piece of Heartburn, is coming out from Safety Third Enterprises this week. To celebrate PURGEATL and Safety Third Enterprises are hosting a reading at Youngblood Gallery this Sunday, August 21st at 6:30pm. While you are there you should buy him a Stella. Preferably of the canned persuasion. I’m going to.
So Tom, your last name is Cheshire, like the cat. Would you say that correlation has influenced your life or work in any way?

I was called The Cheshire Cat for a minute when I was a kid. I was always smiling and laughing and had I guess you could say, a Cheshire Grin. Then people started calling me Tom Cat. I’m just glad my middle name isn’t Alley.

It hasn’t influenced me in any way though. I think I’ve looked to dogs more for inspiration.

How have dogs inspired you? Do you have any dogs? If so, what kind?

I think I’ve always wanted the life of a dog. I like to lay around and I enjoy when people pet me. I had a poodle named “Muffin” when I was a boy but she had an annoying bark. I used to walk by all of the gas station dogs in my neighborhood in Queens and just feel bad for them because they weren’t getting  the proper love and attention that they deserved. They had grease and oil all over them and they always looked lost and hungry.

I don’t have a dog right now because I am never home and that just wouldn’t be fair. I see myself getting a dog when I am older. I will either get a BIG ONE or a small one, a Shepherd or a Pug.

Your chapbook will be printed in your handwriting, and features a couple pages with ‘water stains’ on them. Where do you write your poetry and on what kind of surface? I hope you keep a lot of bar napkins with poems in your pockets.

I do keep a lot of bar napkins and random pieces of paper in my pocket. The last poem in the book is called “PANTS POCKET” and it pretty much sums it all up. You see someone that you once shared a life with. They walk away. You want to laugh, you want to cry, so why not go write something pretty down. We go through all kinds of emotions through out the day so why not document them on whatever you have near you. Inspiration struck me once and I wrote a song on a pizza box.

I write sitting down in bars. I write laying down in bed late at night. I write sitting on a park bench. I write in the shower and I write when I am riding my bicycle.

So basically I write things down, poems, short stories and songs on pieces of tissue and cardboard and just stuff them in my pants.

I’m guessing you didn’t keep the pizza box in your pocket. That would make it difficult to walk around. How do you decide how to order all of these rag-tag poems? Also, have you ever lost a poem? I lose a lot of things that I keep in my pockets.

I folded the pizza box up and put it under my hat. I couldn’t let that one get away. I really don’t know how I decide to put these groups of words in order, I think they kind of just, fall in place. You write them, you read them, you put them away for a minute, then you read them again. Then they just appear in the order they should be.

I have been pretty fortunate with keeping paper in my pocket. I don’t think I have lost too many. When I moved last year, I realized I had 9 boxes of just random thoughts and writings on the strangest pieces of paper.

What’s your favorite kind of beer?

I drink Stella to put me in a good mood. It is like Manna from Heaven. That is my first choice always. When I am low on cash, a Tecate with salt and lime, will do.

Have you had Stella in a can yet? It’s amazing.

No, where can you get it? I can’t wait to try it.

I get them at Green’s, they are sold in ten-packs. It is somehow even more delicious in a can.
Are you excited for your reading? Have you been practicing? What is your reading persona like?

I will be going to Green’s later. Thank you much, for the tip.

I am very excited for the reading. I have practiced reading the poems aloud in front of the mirror twice and that is it. I am done. I will do a run through of the poems the morning of.  

I don’t know if I have a style or persona. I like the idea of the the poems coming across as songs that tell stories. There are some that I will speak and some that I will sing.  

It’s going to be a really great event. Is there anything you would like to say to anyone who is considering going but is too wimpy to commit to it?

For those of you who don’t like poetry readings there will be music and for those of you who don’t like music there will be reading. It will be a really special night in a room full of joy and celebration. There will be something there for everyone. I don’t take myself too seriously and want to have a good time with this. And I want everyone there to have a great night and be part of the event. I am very proud of this book and think it would look good on any coffee table in the world.

I would also like to sincerely thank Matt at Safety Third Enterprises and Tim with Purge ATL for believing in me and this project. It took a lot of hands to make this possible. It takes team work to make a dream work baby. I want to thank Brian Manley and Fun With Robots, Marlow Sanchez for recording  the audio, the lovely ladies at Young Blood for hosting and you kind folks at Vouched Books.

It’s going to be a great night. Bring it. Cheers.

SSR: Just A Little Piece of Heartburn

15 Aug

Just a Little Piece of Heartburn is Tom Cheshire’s first poetry collection, but it doesn’t read like so. It’s a release from Safety Third Enterprises and you can order it here. For all my ATLiens, PurgeATL and Safety Third are hosting a release reading for Tom this Sunday, August 21st at Young Blood Gallery starting at 6:30pm. It will be a thing of wonder and glory.

The hesitation at the bottom of the glass, the thought No, I’ve already had too much… or How did this disappear so quickly? and sometimes even I’ll need about three more of these… either heartbreak or pleasure, you feel something and order another because it burns…Just A Little Piece of Heartburn takes you to that moment and keeps you there in a choke-hold, makes you think why the burn?