Tag Archives: Zachary Schomburg

Best Thing I’ve Seen: Big Big Mess Reading Series Posters (and contest!)

23 Jun

The Big Big Mess Reading Series, now in the hands of Mike Krutel and Kati Mertz, has been a major wow spot in Akron, OH for awhile now. I’ve been stoked both times I’ve been up there for events; they’re a little rowdy, a lot good, and with plenty of spunk (see: giveaways of books and weird stuff the hosts find at thrift shops). They’ve hosted such rad folks as Zachary Schomburg, Heather Christle, Matt Bell, Amelia Gray, and many more.


They’ve also got this pattern of having some sweeeet posters for the events. Here are a few:




See the whole collection here.

And now, what you’ve all been waiting for! THE CONTEST. The Big Big Mess Reading Series is gettin’ fresher! They want you (yeah, you!) to submit some poster design for their next round of readings. All the details are here. But like most submission type things, it goes 1) come up with something rad and 2) send it to them. You have until July 15th. Okay, GO, okay.

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…)

SSR #6 of 15: Fjords Vol. 1

8 Jul

Fjords Vol. 1
by Zachary Schomburg
Black Ocean Press
72pgs. $14.95

Amber already did a fantastic review of this shortly after AWP, but I can’t contain myself. It needs to be reiterated that this is a book worth having and owning . So:

Schomburg constructs his hundred little deaths as word games; as the reader you are his toy, and he will haunt you.


8 Mar

Everyday Genius has been doing its cool usual thing, everyday content of hmmmm….goodness. Lately, it has been excerpts from forthcoming titles. Rad rad rad forthcoming titles.

Like J. A. Tyler’s When We Hold Our Hands (Dark Sky Books)–

When our house becomes a boat there will be all the canned goods lining the shelves and in the pitch of our movements the food will roll our hallways and clunk down the stairs and make its way out the front door. We will have left it open to go and see if this morning, unlike other mornings, the sky will not be red.

Like Zachary Schomburg’s Fjords vol.1 (Black Ocean)–

On the other side is a mountain town. The air is clean and cold. I can hear the ice breaking in the distance. There is a woman in a long black dress and a black scarf over her face. Welcome to Spitzbergen she says. Then she lifts up her dress. Nothing happens next.

Like the pieces from today from Laurie Saurborn Young’s Carnavoria (H_NGM_N)–

Translated from the Russian

One notices without fidelity
how moss covets stone

and ice crystals build
themselves into cold dirt.

Existence repays the favor
and it becomes easier to love

parenthetically, without ever
mentioning the breasts.

My AWP Haul: FJORDS Vol. 1

6 Mar

Like many of you, I spent an exciting and exhausting weekendish at AWP in Chicago. I read stuff, took in readings, slung books for the first time with the Vouched crew(!!) saw old friends and new friends, ate way too much food and drank way too much beer, talked until the wee hours of the morning about literature and books and movies and music, and cleaned up at the book fair. It was magical.

I took a couple of extra days off work after I got back on Sunday to just chill, detox, be inspired, write, and read. And I’ve been thinking–what better way to drag out the magic that is AWP than to talk about all the books I bought there, little by little by little? Yes, bittersweet. But also rewarding, in a way that I think you will like, too.

  • So, first up: Zachary Schomburg’s FJORDS vol. I. I have to admit, the Black Ocean table was the first one I hit up at the book fair. I was laser-focused, looking for this book like a questing knight. When I got it home, I immediately devoured it, and found it so painfully sad, so beautifully made, so original and funny and insightful and so even better than anything else he’s ever written, that I kind of wanted to just give up writing and buy a hundred copies of this book and hand it out instead, everywhere I go. The book focuses on a bunch of “little deaths” that live on the fjords of the title, coming for Schomburg slowly but surely, and concentrates on disappointment, loss, death, love, and the beauty in all of the sadness. The joy in all of the blackness. Schomburg keeps writing these things that just break your fucking heart, over and over and over, into little tiny shards of glass that glimmer and gleam in the light like his poetry. Things like this:

I don’t know how best to tell you about the angel, about what death really is. It seems so implausible until it happens. You start to sweat and you get swallowed into the dark. then you’re swinging on a rope over a beautiful cliff, only there’s no such thing as beauty.

Or this:

The truth is there is no such thing as spells. The world is always as it is, and always as it seems. And love is just our own kind voice that we whisper into our own blood.

The only thing to do with poems like this is absorb them into your body. Or the only thing to do with poems like this is to sit back, apart, and watch as they try to make you feel something. And be amazed and breathless and struck dumb when they succeed, utterly, completely. Ouch. And wow.


24 Nov

That lady on the PDF cover is all like, these words are all beautiful and goodness like me. I don’t think she’s lying. I don’t think the big foot is disagreeing either.

My favorite piece from this issue is A Kiss on the Purplish Light by Ben Mirov. I’M STOKED BY THE WAY THIS POEM TAKES SOME FEELING AND TWIRLS IT AROUND SOME INSIGHT. So often, life is like MAN I’M SAD THESE FLOWERS ARE ALL DEAD or I JUST LOVE THIS PERSON LIKE WOAH. But I forget to think, why did they die?, how does this person fit into “the scheme” of things? This poem reminds me of the good life, where my emotions have shapes like coffee spilt on the table.

Other great things poppin’ out:

Some cool reviews about add-to-the-list-books like Crash Dome by Alex Phillips, OK, Goodnight by Emily Kendal Frey & Zachary Schomburg, and Ghost Machine by Ben Mirov.

Running the Drain by Brian Allen Carr: part with the innkeeper’s daughter didn’t work for me, but man this piece weighs a ton.

Todd Colby has three poems in this issue: “Electric Light Pony” is my favorite, with sweet lines like “There will never be more of me/than you can handle ever, I swear.”

We Are Hearing The Loudest Animal Be The Loudest by Emily Pettit: I love reading fun poems and finding out that I learned something that might help me win Who Wants To Be A Millionaire one day.