my novel could be your life

I got the (not un-expected) word that Iron Diesel Press is calling it a day. So it goes. Three years is a pretty good lifespan for a DIY venture. This means that Harvitz is going out of print, as of April. If you wanted to buy a copy, but never did, this is your chance. After it is out of print, I will still be selling back stock at readings for a while, but once those are gone, it's done.

It's a weird feeling, because I've spent the past fifteen months hawking my books (products, let's be honest), but now that the chapbook is sold out (a good thing! sold out the run!), and the novel is becoming unavailable, I have nothing left to hustle right now.  I feel good about what I put out, and I had a really fun year doing readings and meeting people.  And as a wise man named Joe Riippi told me when Harvitz came out, "Focus on what's still to come--be a writer writing, not a writer who wrote something, and you'll feel better about it all."

That being said, my girlfriend and I both lost our computers in a break-in last week, so I haven't been getting a whole lot of writing done.  It ain't my first time being robbed in my life, and I doubt it will be the last, but this means I've spent all week trying to salvage files and notes, rather than writing new stuff.

As a nice coda to the Harvitz Publication run, I have a new essay about the reading and writing of punk literature up on the Philadelphia Review of Books.

That essay discusses my youth in Philly a bit, in what I think is a more or less accurate manner. For a completely fabricated look at my life in Philly, check out PeterBD's story, "ben in philly."  I think my experience with PeterBD is a bit atypical, because I actually encountered him in person before I encountered him in email. Really nice guy.

I had a fun time reading at the first Bushwick Sweethearts event last weekend, and I had a fun time reading at the Keep This Bag Away From Children chapbook  event the other night. I probably should have have posted about those events before they happened...

OK. Keep the faith.

non phixion

I have been working with the kids at Keep This Bag Away From Children to start incorporating some more nonfiction into their site.  We kicked this off last week with my essay on sweet Sasha Berkman, and we are following it up this weekend with Tom Heymann's essay on football fans' perception of sexual abuse. If anyone is interested in writing an essay, get at me with a query. Basically, I am looking for short essays (1,000 to 2,000 words) that are engaged with the greater social realm in some way.


TMWWUTG at Human Relations

Last week's event at Human Relations was something special, if I do say so myself.  If you missed it, you can check out Paul McLean's animation, and Amelia Winger-Bearksin's sound piece  in the clip below.  In addition to their work, we had sound work from Blake Seidenshaw and Chris Moffett, visual art from Will Crofoot, and music from Catherine Tung (of Hilly Eye fame).  I read live, in the middle of all that action. [youtube]


ms. berg and i (also, zines)

One of the projects I am working on these days is a story book, with words by myself and images by the Seattle artist Alyssa Berg.  A rough draft of one of the images from the book can be found on her tumblr. I am mad excited about this project.  It won't be together for a while, but it will be worth the wait. We will most likely be self-publishing it as a zine, though I don't know exactly how that will look yet.

I always enjoy collaborating with visual artists, and man, Alyssa is one of the hardest working visual artists I know.

In the meantime, if anyone is going to the NY Art Book Fair at PS1 in Long Island City this weekend, both Alyssa and I will have older work available on the Visual Field Press table in the zine tent.

I can't tell you all what zines have meant to me, in my life. One of these days I will write a long essay about how the '90s zine movement influenced me as a kid, and how much magic can be instilled in these flimsy objects.  I'll talk about Repo Records, and Wooden Shoe Books. Fact Sheet Five, and sneaking into the teachers' copy room At Friends Central Middle School. I will try not to talk to much about how they relate to paper Russian Orthodox icons, and how  they don't relate to blogs. In any case, for the moment, I just want to say how excited I am that I get to spend Saturday in a tent full of zines.

By the way, the first issue of Pravic, a science fiction journal co-edited by old school zinester Nathaniel K. Miller, just dropped yesterday.  I can't wait to read it.

new chapbook out on KTBAFC Press

We launched the debut chapbook series of Keep This Bag Away From Children Press last night, at a super fun reading in Williamsburg.  I'm so honored to be included. The books in the series are:


Shadows by Austin Givens

Stare by Andrew Duncan Worthington

and my book: The Men Who Work Under The Ground  (which features a cover by Will Crofoot)