Tag Archives: Write Club Atlanta

Best Thing I’ve Heard This Week – Trains, Brains & Auto-Erotica: An Oral History of the Dingbats

23 Sep

The Dingbats may not be a real band, but Myke Johns really brings their history to full life – with  and with these readings from Nicholas Teckosy, Bobbin Wages, Adam Lowe, Myke Johns himself and Jeremy Maxwell they really come to life. The whole thing can be read in the latest issue of Deer Bear Wolf, but this performance is completely charming to the ear.

And if that tickles your fancy: in addition to his own written achievements and efforts with Write Club Atlanta, Myke Johns puts a lot of effort showcasing and championing the efforts of Atlanta’s literary scene through his podcast, LitCast, at WABE 90.1. There’s a bevy of goodness to be heard. (We Atlantans really owe Myke a lot – so much heartfelt effort goes into these recordings.)

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Awful Interview: Myke Johns

15 Jan

Myke Johns is a truly impressive and overall swell fellow. He’s one third of the brains behind Write Club Atlanta (the organization’s self-appointed Consigliere), a voice on WABE, and a new dad. That is a lot of things. To pile on one more thing, he’ll be reading at the next Vouched Presents here in Atlanta on Thursday, February 7th. We decided to talk about some things before the reading and this interview was the result. *SPOILER* Myke Johns may actually be a hologram.

Myke & friend

Myke & friend

So Myke. Why Y? Why not Mike?

I credit my parents with good taste if not originality when they named me Michael. It’s a good name, a strong name, which is why it was one of the most popular name for boys for several hundred thousand years running. Everyone is named Michael. Even you, though you’ve probably already changed your name to something else by now to avoid confusion.

So when I was an idiotic high schooler, I adopted the Y to be more of an Individual and Special and Crap Like That. “Myke” just looks better on the page than it does spelled with an i and now I feel embarrassed and self-conscious about every decision I’ve ever made.

At least you’re not one of those people who tries to give himself a nickname. You remember those people? They were most abundant in High School and College. Self-appointed nicknames never stick.

It depends on how you go about it. You can’t go around telling everyone you know to start calling you “Spuds” or “Krokus” or whatever (quick aside: I just pulled up Krokus’ “Screaming in the Night” video on YouTube just now. I recommend everyone to do the same, as long as we’re talking about high school. Man, what the hell is even going on in that video?). But I had a friend in college–one of the first people I met there, before you start getting to know your classmates or doing extracurricular stuff; when you’re just adrift and trying to find your people so you just see people who look interesting and you go up and talk to them. Like what crazy people do. He was this slight, quiet goth dude. I introduced myself and he told me to call him Jorge. It took me the better part of a year to figure out that wasn’t his real name at all.

So basically, if you want to give yourself a nickname, you have to move to a different town and assume a new identity. Live in secret. Tell no one of your past. Listen to lots of Bauhaus. This is all good advice, I think.

Recently I got into a really confusing conversation. It went like this:

Me: I’m not sure I would be a good spy.
Friend: You would be a great spy. Are you a spy?
Me: You would be a great spy. Are you a spy?
Friend: NoooOOoo. I’d be a terrible spy. If I were a spy and someone asked me if I were a spy I would be all like, “NoooOOoo. I’d be a terrible spy.”
Me: Wait…so are you spy?
Friend: Wait…are you?

So, Myke. Are you a spy?

Writers kind of are in general, aren’t they? Always paying attention to our friend’s stories and watching new acquaintances for quirks–mining every interaction for material. It’s kind of despicable, really. What was the last thing you stole from someone’s real life to inhabit a story of yours?

My friend saw John Goodman eating a donut. You?

Oh man, that is good. My friend has a celebrity food story that I tell a lot: she was at Hartsfield, waiting in the terminal, in line for frozen yogurt. She gets to the counter and the woman working there has that combination of bored and pissed off that working in food service will put you in. As she’s ringing her up, she sighs and grumbles “that Rod Stewart’s singin’ again.”

My friend perks her ears up and yeah, there’s music wafting from the bar next door. She peeks around the wall and sure enough, Rod Stewart is sitting there at the piano with the same hair do he’s had since 1972, singing to a group of people gathered there. “Huh!” my friend thinks, takes her frozen yogurt, and takes a seat.

A while later, she’s walking back to her gate with her cone and here comes Rod Stewart, walking straight at her, not watching where he’s going and just clocks into her, spinning her around and nearly making her drop her froyo. She watches him walk away and as he does he glances back over his shoulder with this look like “why weren’t you watching where I was going?”

My friend was stunned. She says she regrets to this day that she missed her one opportunity to shout at Rod Stewart to go fuck himself.

Why so smug, Rod?

Why so smug, Rod?

So many things to ask Rod Stewart! Like: why did he have to leave Faces? Why such tight pants for so many years?
If you could ask Rod Stewart one thing, what would it be? Would it be, “Have I told you lately that I love you, Rod?”

I would excitedly ask him what it was like working with Brian Adams on that song from the Three Musketeers soundtrack. Then I would ask him why he nearly made my friend drop her frozen yogurt at the Atlanta airport. Then I would ask what Sting was like. Understand that I would leave very little time for him to actually respond.

Well, naturally. Celebrities are real weirdos. If you became a celebrity, how would you go about being weird?

Oh man, if I had the money and resources to just follow my natural impulses and bring them to fruition, I think that would take care of it. WRITE CLUB bouts between senators and reality television stars? Done. That solo album of acoustic Anaal Nathrakh covers? Released on iTunes. That magazine where it’s basically just me insulting guitarists? Published and on the racks of every grocery store coast to coast. I’d basically just tumble down the rabbit hole of self-indulgence and see where it leads. Probably to collaborations with holograms.

All roads lead to collaborations with holograms. Of the readers you will be reading with on February 7th at the Goatfarm- who do you think is most likely a hologram: Jamie Allen, Rachael Maddux, or Jared Yates-Sexton? Why?

I’d go with Jamie Allen due to his involvement in the Inman Park Squirrel Census–one of the most genuinely bizarre things I’ve encountered in Atlanta. I’m kind of envious that it’s already been done or I would totally have done that when I went hypothetically celebrity cray cray. Anyway, I figure being a hologram would be helpful in doing that work. If it’s not Jamie, it really could be anyone, though you know the saying: if you look to your left and to your right and can’t figure out who is actually a hologram, it’s probably you.

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

10 Jan

FictionContest

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.

Vouched Contributors Win *All* the Awards

15 Mar

This has been a huge few weeks for the Vouched contributors. You cannot contest us. In every bout my contributors have entered, they’ve taken it home.

Winning.

First, Roxane Gay dropped knowledge at the AWP Literary Death Match where she took on Pulitzer Prize-winner Jane Smiley, National Book Critics Circle finalist Major Jackson, and National Book Award winner Darin Strauss. Roxane spelled Dostoyevsky in some classic way that was all like, “Oh shit!” and came out the winner of all. Roxane gives a full recap of the event at her blog.

Her intensity will break you.

Then, at a following Literary Death Match in DC, Amber Sparks brought it out against Huffington Posteur Arin Greenwood, PEN nominee Molly Gaudry, and the ultimate Scott McClanahan. She got the boys to the yard, beating McClanahan in a 19-18 finale.

Straub's gonna knock you out.

And most recently, Vouched ATL Vicereine Laura Straub rumbled at the Write Club Atlanta Chapter Ten brawl, where she represented the idea of LAST and squared off against Myke Johns who represented FIRST. In the end, there was only one, and that one was Laura, winning for her charity of choice: WINK.

There will be a podcast of Laura’s reading on Write Club Atlanta’s site and when it posts, I will update this post with a link to it, but suffice it to say, the WCA podcasts are amazing and you should be listening to them anyway.

Congrats to all my kick ass contributors out there kicking ass!