1. The Best American Essays 2014

    Reblogged from: lareviewofbooks
  2. nedhepburn:

    Reblogged from: nedhepburn
  3. Her whole life is a performance art piece where she plays a noxious brat with great skill, and poses herself, either eerily like one of her mother’s dolls, or sexually, like her father’s nudes. And as the carapace of fame around her has expanded, she has shrunk within it…Reading this book, you realize that Lena Dunham has been playing “Lena Dunham” for a long time. She is not real.

    Lena Dunham’s New Memoir ‘Not That Kind of Girl’ Cements Her Schtick. (via nedhepburn)

    This review contains all the excerpts you need to read from Lena Dunham’s memoir. Consequently, the quoted paragraph is all you need to read of this review, which makes it even easier. 

    Reblogged from: nedhepburn
  4. Outstanding submissions: 9
    Acceptances: 1, form. Burningword Literary Journal

    The first week of fall in Indiana is always hot. Always. It’s consistently been 80 degrees or more for the last week or so and it’s really getting to me. You can’t go to sleep with a fan or AC on because you’ll freeze but by the time you wake up in the morning it’s already boiling in your room and you wake up sweaty and shaky. Autumn is my shit and it needs to get here completely. 

    Burningword really liked my story “Bounty, Ground” and they are publishing it in their fall issue that goes live on October 1st. I’m excited to be a part of this journal. The editor is Erik Deerly and he’s involved with Burrdowning Press, which is based in Kokomo. It’s a really neat project you should all check out. Also, not that it really matters, but this is my first publication in a journal that is listed on both PW.org and Duotrope and, according to the former, has between 2,500 to 5,000 readers per issue and an 8% acceptance rate for all categories. After nothing but rejections for a week and a half this is exactly how I wanted to start my day. I am pleased. I am breaking into new markets. I am slightly more confident in my work. 

    Journals that take longer than six months to notify you on the status of your submission need to seriously reconsider how they operate. They need more readers. Or better editors. Or something. I get it, though. We all have lives and things come up, but, REALLY? Over six months and still nothing? This is especially inexcusable when the two journals I am referring (no names) are not top ten markets. They aren’t even top fifty. Come on, y’all. Get your shit together. You’re not PANK. You’re not Tin House. You’re not Cream City Review or Salt Hill. You’re most definitely not Mid-American or North American or Best American or anything American or anything with the word “Iowa” in its title. 

    I’ve been considering starting my own journal. Maybe I should. Maybe. 

  5. Outstanding submissions: 9
    Acceptances: 0
    Rejections: 2, form

    Last weekend I spent a day and a half in Bloomington with my professor as he did some research at the Lily Library and the Herman B. Wells library. It’s about a two hour drive from where we are so we had a nice chat about the project and a number of other things: waste as it appears in American literature (I plugged the novella-length introduction to Delillo’s Underworld titled “Pafko at the Wall” and Franzen’s Freedom) ecocriticism, companies that appear capital-g Green but in fact are not, graduate school (don’t even ask me about that), how horrendous and seemingly never-ending road construction in the state of Indiana is, and many other things. 

    I had a lot of free-time that I spent among the stacks in the Herman B. Wells Library, researching and gawking over the magnitude of the selections. The tenth floor is where all the literature and literary criticism is and was pretty much dead, as you might imagine for a Friday afternoon. It was a good trip. I managed to snag some killer resources for a longform essay I’ve been working on for months regarding the institution of literary criticism so I’m happy.  

    I’m part of the committee at my university that organizes creative writing events. This includes the task of inviting writers to campus to give a reading, a workshop, or a combination of those things. I’m hoping to post more about who I’m working on getting to come to our little campus in the very near future, but I will refrain from using her name for fear of jinxing myself. If I can manage to get the person I want, it will be huge for us. 

    I received two rejections this week: one from The Rumpus and another from Blunderbuss Magazine, two publications I have a great deal of respect for and, given their high profiles and relatively-low acceptance rate, this does not come as much as a surprise. It’s difficult to get published. It’s especially difficult to get published in The Rumpus. I ask myself if it’s me or my writing. My outstanding submission total is less than ten now and that’s always a sign to get back to it. 

    Today my university celebrated Banned Books Week and I read a selection from Slaughterhouse-Five, a book I’ve spent a great deal of time with and a great deal of time away from, largely for the same reasons. We read excerpts from previously-banned books and each of us were recorded for the school’s website and social media accounts. It was great to go back. There’s something about coming back to a book after a (relatively) long time that somehow heightens the experience, the feeling of a first encounter being replaced by a seasoned perspective, the feeling of meeting a long-lost friend. I’ll post a link when it goes live. I hate the way I look on video. I hate the sound of my own voice. But it’s not about me, it’s about the books.

    I regularly walk over to the fire station near my house and buy 50 cent cans of soda from their vending machine and on my way back yesterday I was stopped by two young kids who were looking for their dog that got loose. One of them carried the dog’s leash and the other kept pointing his finger at the other as he called out the dog’s name. Neither of them were more than ten years old. They asked if I’d seen a fully-grown male boxer with white on his chest and I said I hadn’t but would call the number they gave me if I did. Fast forward to today at work, I heard about how a dog had gotten into someone’s house in town and nearly mangled a toddler’s face before it was stopped and I couldn’t help but think of those two kids I saw in the alley. I wanted to blame them, somehow connect them to the crime. I wanted to ask where their parents were but I didn’t. Perhaps I should’ve. 

    Also, Surge Soda was rereleased by Coke after a twelve year hiatus and my roommates were part of the original saveSurge.org team and they ordered, like, a ton of it and it came in yesterday. They gave me two cans of it and I don’t have the heart to tell them that it tastes absolutely god awful. I always knew taste-buds change over time but, eeek. For those who have never had it, it basically tastes like a half-flat Sprite. The carbonation is low compared to other citrus sodas and it just does not work. 

    This week, I will be reading the new issue of Smokelong Quarterly. Because few journals dedicated to the art of flash fiction consistently publish work that is consistently good. 

    This week, I will finish two new stories and polish them up. 

    This week, I will be working full-time hours again on my combined jobs and extracurricular responsibilities. 

    This week, I will be celebrating my nephew’s first birthday with my family because it’s good to get away from it all for a little while. 

    This week, I will continue to write my ass off without writing myself off. 

  6. The Electric Typewriter: 10 Excellent Essays



    As Chosen by Roxane Gay


    Roxane Gayauthoressayist, editor (at PankThe Rumpus and Bluestem), and professor, has picked 10 of her favourite essays for us. As she rightly says, “their excellence speaks for itself”:

    The Love of My Life by Cheryl Strayed
    Notes From a Unicorn by Seth Fischer 
    Time and Distance Overcome by Eula Biss
    No Man’s Land by Eula Biss
    Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin
    My Foreign Mom by Mary HK Choi
    Imagining Myself in Palestine by Randa Jarrar
    Peyton’s Place by John Jeremiah Sullivan
    Symbolism and Cynicism by Tayari Jones
    Being Poor by John Scalzi
    Occasional Dispatches From the Republic of Anhedonia
    by Colson Whitehead

    An archive of her online fiction, reviews, essays, and interviews is here, along with links to her numerous print publications. She also runs an amazing Tumblr… so get involved.

    A reading list from Roxane? Who could ask for a better present.

    This list makes me happy. 

    Reblogged from: therumpus
  7. My grandfather will die alone in a land no longer familiar to him, weak and unhearing. If he is lucky enough to survive the fatal energies of youth and the sadness of maturity, in the end a man is only a leathered, brown-spotted hand that reaches trembling for a glass of water and wavers helplessly when it finds nothing there.
    lya Leybovich, "Final Days of the Third Directorate", decomP 
  8. What kind of hotel in the year 2014 keeps a physical book containing handwritten names, addresses, AND credit card numbers on the front desk where anyone can steal it and open a line of credit for themselves in the hundreds of thousands of dollars range? The Curtis House Inn, apparently.

  9. Gordon told one of the “sous chefs” he looked like a clueless extra the hotel hired just for his visit.

    Shots fired.

  10. Again with these white girls telling Gordon no when he asks them to try the food.

    Oh and calamari is not supposed to be mush.


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