Minutes after being defeated by the Chess Machine, I've decided to update my blog

Poet/singer/songwriter/tennis figure, Mike Young was featured alongside debut novelist Christy Crutchfield in the Hampshire Gazette!  Our doorbell has been ringing nonstop with local fans asking Mike to sign their bodies.

Atlanta mastermind Blake Butler called "Sprezzatura" Mike's best book in his Vice Review.  Both Young's and Crutchfield's new books are available by the always relevant, always progressive Publishing Genius Press.  Look to PGP in the upcoming weeks for Madeline ffitch's first book "Valpariso, Round the Horn." (!)

I'm flattered that Brooklyn MFA star Jacob Kaplan (guitarist in the band Perfect Teeth) mentioned the poems I wrote in Western Beefs of America as part of his monthly column in the culture goldmine Impose Magazine.

Eagerly awaiting Mark Leidner's Western Beefs post, but in the meantime, here is a newer version of my favorite poetry performance of last year, Leidner's dance poem.

Here is a Weezer song you've probably never heard.

Here is a Velvet Underground song you've heard.

This is sort of old news by now, but more than thrilled that Harper Perennial is going to publish my first novel "Paulina & Fran" in 2015, and that Granta Books will release it in the U.K. in 2016.  So Glad to have met my agent Claudia Ballard and editor Cal Morgan!

Really loved the new Ben Lerner novel "10:04".  I've mentioned this on almost every platform I can think of: word-of-mouth, email, fbook, goodreads, repeated word-of-mouth, reading publicly in two airports, reading theatrically on the plane.  Now that I'm finished, I can finally read all the reviews/interviews/etc.

And I really loved the old poetry collection "Thin Kimono" by Michael Earl Craig.  Here is an interview I haven't read yet.  And maybe if you click this link, Google Books will let you paw through it a little.

In NBA news, very excited for Pau to join the Bulls! And for Lebron to return to the Cavs:)  


Local News

The musical, lyrical, and comical C.S. Ward shot and edited a video in honor of the 50th Anniversary of Umass-Amherst's M.F.A. Program.  I'm glad to be included alongside Corwin Ericson, Dan Chelotti, Mira Bartok and others!

UMass MFA 50th from C.S. Ward on Vimeo.

John and I's wild story "Peer Confessions" is now available from New Herring Press, along with chapbooks by Marin Buschel, Bhanu Kapil and Laurie Weeks!  Here are the first two paragraphs:

Norene and I both want boyfriends. I am going to make mine spin like a statue on a music box. I’ll shine my flashlight all over him, and understand his penis and why it looks like that. Norene will have hers do her homework.

In my town there are two churches. Church Hello is new and white, an Olympic arena for lucky people. Their priest, Herb, drives a Cadillac to go muskie fishing. Our church is in an old Union cannon-ship used in the Civil War. Its enormous hull rises off the grass. There are portholes, and inside, canoe-shaped pews. The ceiling is canopied with thick white sails. It has an odd look, but Priest Paul says we are safe. He sounds far away. Priest Paul is the town’s only licensed orthodontist. He turns my metal with a key.

My very talented "Strange Page" Workshop is having a Reading on April 17th.  Here is the Facebook Event link.  Come by and be dazzled!  These writers are writing some of the best things I've read all year!  They are publishing in great places like Two Serious Ladies and Lit!

For the last few weeks, I've been lucky to participate in Flying Object's first Book Club-- a LAB reading of the epic Moby Dick, taught by the charismatic Melville scholar, Seth Landman.  It's been thought provoking to read this book for the first time and discuss it weekly with local readers, writers, performance artists, doctors, and teachers. The class is full (and at its midway point), but there are rumors Landman might teach this class again at a later date.

Lastly, if you live in the Western Mass area, consider taking my 
Serious Fiction Workshop :)



Have you ever read the book "Desperate Characters" by Paula Fox?  It was written in 1970 and is one of the best books I've ever read.  I just read it for the second time.  It is brutal, but stunning!

I just went to search for a picture of the cover and found out that they made a movie version of it in 1971 with Shirley MacClaine... let's never see it!

Thanks to Jonathan Frazen for rediscovering the book and helping it back into print, and Chris Bachelder for teaching it at Umass-Amherst.

Fun Fact: Fox is Courtney Love's biological grandmother.

Here is a great end-of-year 2013 fiction round-up, full of links and authors to look out for

Here is an interview I did with Kallie Falandays for Lit Bridge about MOODS

Here is a song by John Maus I've been having fun listening to

And another by Janet Jackson that is even better

Do you have a group of poems you want to put in a chapbook?  Consider submitting to Flying Object's Chapbook contest.  Act fast! Submissions close on January 17th.

I'm almost done with my first novel "Paulina & Fran"! It's 48,??? words right now. I'm excited about it!  Besides that I've been playing chess against the computer and getting ready for my workshop "The Strange Page" that starts on January 27th at Flying Object.