Thursday, December 31, 2009

Lolita Lark likes Live Nude Girl...

...and says so over at the Review of Arts, Literature, and the Philosophy of the Humanities. "Live Nude Girl is intriguing, as much for the insights into clothed vs. unclothed as for the occasional throw-aways. For instance, she tells us that Paul Weston, with his stunning photographs of nudes 'made some of his subjects look like vegetables'," she says. You can check out the whole review here. Thanks, Lolita.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Bookslut!

Interviews Live Nude Girl! Or rather Elizabeth Hildreth interviews me over at Bookslut. Major thanks to Liz for giving me the opportunity to answer such questions as "I want to talk about your anti-ending ending. I thought I could smell the obligatory “here’s what I learned during summer camp” coming down the road to greet me, when you suddenly jerked on the brakes and were like, here’s what I learned: Nothing. Bye! Well, not nothing, but that the process of modeling for you was a continual search for connections with people, or with ideas, however flawed or incorrect they may be -- thus, ending with Bill Knott’s brilliant “Misunderstood,” poem. Pretend you’re writing, oh, anything, for The New Yorker. Now that some time has passed, can you tack on a nice, epiphanic paragraph to LNG for us? We love them so. Surely one Life-Changing Experience has come to surface?."

Friday, November 13, 2009

Mairead Case reviews Live Nude Girl...

...in the latest issue of Make/shift. "Take the book's epigraph, from Darian Leader: 'Most people can tolerate being looked at only when they are wearing a mask.' Rooney wears none, whether modeling or writing, and so nimbly that she's impossible to put on any one shelf. That's fucking awesome, so who cares if I wasn't sitting on the edge of my seat the whole time?" she says.

She also reviews Barf Manifesto by Dodie Bellamy, Animal Shelter: Art, Sex, Literature (Issue 1) edited by Hedi El Kholti and Paul Gellman, and That Tiny Insane Voluptuousness by Elisa Gabbert and me. Pick up a copy of Make/shift at one of these fine locations and see for yourself. Thanks, Mairead!

Monday, September 28, 2009

The American Book Review...

...reviews Live Nude Girl. See? More specifically, Jocelyn Bartkevicius does. The whole review is thought-provoking, but the part that seems the most provocative is when the reviewer quotes Virginia Woolf's "A Sketch of the Past":

Here I come to one of the memoir writer's greatest difficulties--one of the reasons why, though I read so many, so many are failures. They leave out the person to whom things happened. The reason is that it is so difficult to describe any human being. So they say: 'This is what happened'; but they do not say what the person was like to whom it happened. And the events mean very little unless we know first to whom they happened.

I'm a fan of Woolf, and I'm grateful to Bartkevicius for taking the time to consider my book so carefully, but I can't help but disagree a bit with Woolf's assertion. Maybe when Woolf was writing this in 1939 it was more accurate, but now that memoir in particular and creative nonfiction in general have had 70 more years to establish themselves and to go through so many transformations and iterations, it seems unnecessarily restrictive to hold a whole genre to a single task. To say that memoir is and should do only one thing (and that it can be dismissed if it does not) disregards all the things memoir can be and do. But as someone who favors writing that does more than one thing at once--memoir mixed with cultural history, poetry mixed with prose, novels mixed with verse, and so on--it's interesting to think about the opinions of those who suggest that genres should stay within certain boundaries and attempt only certain pre-established goals.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Art Libraries Society of North America...

...likes and recommends Live Nude Girl even though I do not "embark upon a Cixousian endeavor to write [my]self," nor do they think I use the book to "represent a project to reclaim [my] life from that of objectification through the act of inscription."

You can read the whole review here, but the bottom line is that "This would be a good purchase for any art library that includes a section for recreational nonfiction reading." Thanks to Rachel Chatalbash for the thoughtful review.

Monday, July 20, 2009

I prefer the term "bedfellow."

The lovely latest issue of Provincetown Arts arrived in the mail today, and page 31 contained a nice write-up of Live Nude Girl, as well as a picture of the cover, which you can see here......occupying the third spot from the bottom of the page, just below Lawrence Shainberg's most recent novel Crust, and just above Liz Rozenberg's novel Home Repair.

Since you can't really read it in the above image, here's the write-up:

Kathleen Rooney, a former Fine Arts Work Center writing fellow, visited briefly on a stop on her national tour publicizing Live Nude Girl: My Life as an Object, an account of her career posing in life drawing classes. She modeled for two years in sessions at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum. The allurin cover is a drawing by Jim Peters of a nude, naked but for a scrap of underwear. The woman's face is turned and her arms are raised as she fixes her hair, unaware of the viewer's gaze. If bird-watchers are platonic voyeurs, then Paul Valery was right when he said, "The nude is for the artist what love is for the poet."

Monday, June 22, 2009

British people are smart.

It can be difficult to know what to make of reviews, and maybe even more difficult not to fall into the habit of deciding that critics who like your books are incredibly intelligent and perceptive, and that people who dislike them just don't understand you, or your project, or possibly anything at all. At the risk of walking straight into that trap: Roz Kaveney totally gets me. Or at least she's written an astute review of Live Nude Girl in the Times Literary Supplement of June 19. I can't seem to find it online, but here's a picture of the copy that my friend Ernie faxed to me this afternoon: Not pictured? The triple exclamation point to the left of the arrow. Thanks, Ernie! (Incidentally, all you readers at home can pick up a copy of Ernie's poetry collection here.)

"One of the likable things about Rooney is that she is aware of the physical limitations of actual bodies as well as of the ways in which they can be idealized," Kaveney writes in a portion of the review that you can't really see in the snapshot. Thanks, Roz.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Think. Art! Think. Art!

The weather in Chicago last night was what meteorologists like to call severe, but the greenish sky followed by humid darkness and heavy rain only added to the spookiness of the Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble's interpretation of one of the photo shoot scenes in Live Nude Girl: See? Even though we were in a well-lit art gallery... ..they made it feel just like a campfire ghost story: Thanks again to Laurie Glenn for hosting and for fostering the Spirit of Surrealism, pictured here... ...and the spirit of community and collaboration. Thanks again to the Chicago Danztheatre, and to S. L. Wisenberg for inviting me!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

When I say Think, you say Art!

Check it out, it's "me" posing for an art class! Or at least it's me as portrayed by Denise Parkhurst of the Chicago Danztheatre ensemble... ...at the Th!nkArt Salon series, hosted by the inimitable Laurie Glenn, pictured below, all the way to the right: Chicago Danztheatre also interpreted scenes from Sandi "Cancer Bitch" Wisenberg's book, and as you can see, they were not shy about sitting on the couch right next to unsuspecting salon-goers... ...because letting yourself be held back by the fourth wall is like, so lame. Sandi and I each read a tiny bit from our respective books, The Adventures of Cancer Bitch and Live Nude Girl, but to call it a reading would be inaccurate. Neither Sandi nor I had ever had an actual theatre troupe read our whole books, pick out selections, and then act them out in a gallery full of people before, and for that, we are super-grateful and impressed. Because I have this picture from an event earlier today during which I helped chaperone a field trip of interns to the Federal Reserve Bank... ...I'll go ahead and say it: thanks to Laurie and Chicago Danztheatre for making us feel like a million bucks. If you missed it tonight, there's one more chance to catch the show: tomorrow, 1530 N. Paulina, Chicago, IL from 5:30-9:30. Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

LNG makes today's Daily Pick List...

...on Jim Agnew's Literary World. You can check it out alongside other picks (including, but not limited to, Glenn Beck's Common Sense and The Joy of Pickling) here.

Thanks, Jim! And thanks to University of Arkansas Press's eagle-eyed marketing director Tom Lavoie for pointing it out.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

78 square miles surrounded by reality

As the nickname above might lead one to believe, Madison, Wisconsin is almost unreal in its physical beauty and wholesome-yet-progressive atmosphere. How do I know? I was just there today to read with Sandi Wisenberg aka Cancer Bitch at A Room of One's Own feminist bookstore: Like Sandi, I read behind a lectern, but since I've posted plenty of podia pics here in the past, I offer you instead this photograph of me posing in the style of the statue "FORWARD" on the grounds of the Wisconsin State Capitol building overlooking State Street. And here is 50% of our beautiful audience, lit from the side:
And here is some of the weird reality that surrounds Madison's 78-square miles, the ad for the Roast Beast sandwich at the Beefaroo restaurant attached to the Road Ranger station where we stopped for gas: Thanks to Sandi for hatching the plan for this reading, to A Room of One's Own for hosting us, and to Beefaroo for offering a sandwich so beefy you have to tie it down. Sandi and I will also be reading at the Th!nkArt Salon on Thursday, June 18 and Friday, June 19. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Mr. Obama's Neighborhood

As part of their 70th Anniversary celebration, the Hyde Park Art Center is hosting "70 Days for 70 Years". They started on April 5 and are continuing through July 4 with "70 days of exciting and creative events," one of which was the "Live Nude Girl Reading and Discussion with Kathleen Rooney and Krystal Meisel" which took place tonight. In addition to being an artist's model and a kickass event partner, Krystal is a brilliant photographer whose work you can see and learn more about here. Thanks to Crystal Pernell for hosting us at the Art Center, and to Chicago Public Radio for recording us!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Llalan Fowler reviews LNG on Vernacular

If you follow this link, you’ll see that this review was posted back in April, which sounds even farther away now that it’s the first day of June, but still. I’m sorry I missed it when it first appeared, and—because I am a completist and want this record to reflect that—am psyched to have the chance to post it now.

Thanks, Llalan, for reviewing it in general, and in particular for saying things like: “Rooney’s own writing is reflective but not to the point of egotism, and scholarly but never dry or overwhelming. The quick switches among the essayistic passages, the more personal reflections, and the quote-heavy, research-driven sections catch hold of the reader and dispel any doubts that there is nothing to say on the subject. However, few if any besides Kathy Rooney could have written this book. It is a smooth, fast-moving, engaging read that is constantly surprising the reader. One might argue whether the book itself is naked or nude.”

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Signing off



A week after the final reading of the book tour, and a couple of months removed, now, from the days when we were on the road for weeks at a time, it seems profitable to reflect upon the experience. I didn't know Kathleen Rooney very well when I called to ask if she might be interested in joining forces. I asked her because (1) I enjoyed and admired her writing, (2) our books were coming out around the same time, and (3) she seemed like she would be a hard-working tour partner, and that if we worked together, we could introduce more readers to each other's work.

What I hadn't anticipated was how extraordinary a tour partner Kathy would be. She was quite frankly better than I was at almost every aspect of putting the tour together. Her organizational skills are unmatched by anyone I've ever met, and she proved to be very good at implementation, too. Most of all, I was impressed by her skill with people. Her network is vast, and it's not a superficial vastness. In city after city, we were greeted by her many friends, and I felt lucky that some of that goodwill and enthusiasm could extend to my book, as well.

My greatest admiration for Kathy would probably extend to her reserves of energy and strength. I couldn't match her drive, her stamina, nor her will for optimism. I admire all three, and wish I could match them.

In addition to the things I thought the tour would offer -- the opportunity to connect with more readers, the opportunity to interact with booksellers and critics, the opportunity to get to know other writers -- the tour also provided me with an opportunity to reexamine and reevaluate what kind of writer I want to be, and what role I hoped writing would play in my professional life. On grounds of my personal life, the tour proved to be ill-timed. Right around the beginning of the tour, I learned that I had been laid off from my teaching position at the university where I had been working, and I felt the heaviness of the loss throughout the tour. My wife had given up her teaching post so I could take the one I had now lost, and I spent the weeks on the road in daily worry about whether one of us could find something that would provide money enough for us to live, and, perhaps more importantly, health insurance, since our youngest child was born quite premature and therefore has a suspect immune system.

I had long treated my writing as a purely artistic prerogative, believing that teaching would provide income and time enough to let me write whatever I wanted, even if what I wanted was only to write unremunerative short stories and poems, and even if it meant only publishing books on small presses. But going on tour, and interacting with writers who have found ways to make a living largely on the strength of their writing, made me think that it might be possible to do the same, especially since my aesthetic interests had recently turned more sharply toward the novel and toward reportage.

The other example of a writerly life I saw on tour and admired was that of the writer who chooses a concurrent career path that is completely outside any traditional writerly career path -- writer/physicians, writer/attorneys, writer/civil servants, writer/special effects technicians -- career paths that enable writers to become what Dana Gioia called "Spies in the House of Commerce."

My own post-In the Devil's Territory work has been driven by frequent investigative trips to Haiti, where I have been working on a narrative nonfiction book and a novel. In the Devil's Territory was a book largely concerned with the world of my childhood, but now I feel like I want to create pieces of writing that engage more fully with the world outside myself. In Haiti, where there is a breakdown in the rule of law, and where what is at stake daily is literal life and death, I have seen how closely intertwined public policy can be with human misery. And I have also seen how people with basic, ground-level skills -- nurses, dentists, physicians, agriculturalists, structural engineers -- can ease human misery in specific places, and vastly change the quality of the lives of people. I want my writing to begin to more broadly engage both of these matters, micro- and macro-, and also to achieve a broad enough audience that what is discovered might have some traction beyond the pleasures of literature.

I also want to begin to cultivate at least one of these extra-writerly disciplines on my own, as a means of liberation from dependence on the academy, as a means of deepening the knowledge base that informs the authority of my writing, and, most importantly, as a means of making possible a front-line human response that I can offer independent of my work as a writer. Toward that end, I'm going to spend some time in the next year exploring some of those disciplines in preparation for choosing one as a parallel career path.

It is no exaggeration to credit the people I met on tour, and most of all Kathy, as catalysts for varieties of active reflection that will no doubt shape the kind of writer I will become, going forward. Traveling to 25 cities, meeting hundreds of people of diverse inclinations, eating and drinking at many tables, enjoying conviviality, engaging in occasional arguments about things that matter, and pushing past physical and psychological exhaustion to achieve a marathon of interaction with other people (an area that, I'll admit, is far from my strength), all of it I'll count among the most valuable, extraordinary, and life-shaping experiences of my life.

I am extraordinarily grateful to everyone who opened their home to us, to everyone who came to a reading, to everyone who bought a book, to everyone who followed the blog, to my family for being gracious about my long absences, and most of all to Kathy for being my better in so many ways on a 25-city tour the likes of which very few people are ever able to experience. I feel very lucky.

With warm wishes,

Kyle Minor
May 27, 2009

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Live Nude Girl in the Devil's Territory Tour...

...is over. And can I just say that if I have to sign one more naked torso with a Sharpie, I'll poke myself in the eye? Kidding! We love our fans. Some of them are here……and here: But as all good things must, the 25-city traveling literary circus that was our tour has come to an end, and it's hard to think of a better way for it to have done so than at the Book Cellar (thanks, Suzy!) in the company of Zach "Featherproof" Plague …and Gina "Other Voices" Frangello: I was so excited, I wore a dress that matched my book cover:

It's kind of pleasing that something so fun and awesome ended at the (relative) beginning of something else so fun and awesome: the Pilcrow Lit Festival—be sure to check it out all week long, including tonight at Innertown Pub for the Quickies Reading Series, where I’ll be reading a story from Rose Metal Press’s A Peculiar Feeling of Restlessness alongside tons of other fantastic writers including RMP’s Geoffrey Forsyth whose short short chapbook In the Land of the Free is not to be missed.

Also, even though the tour proper has reached its conclusion, stay tuned to the blog, which will continue to meet your one-stop-shopping needs for all future Live Nude Girl and In the Devil’s Territory news.

Before I bid you 'bye for now, here is a picture of Clark "Vince is Back" Harding who flew in all the way from L.A. in time to attend this reading in a turn of events that thrilled my love of things coming unexpectedly full circle: Kyle and I crashed at his place on the very first night of the LNGitDT tour, and last night, he crashed with Martin and me. Such symmetry. He also bought a copy of Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City at the Book Cellar last night so he could re-read it, and he highly recommends you do the same. Thanks, Clark, and thanks everyone, everywhere, for everything.

Monday, May 11, 2009

LNG in the June 2009 issue of Esquire!

A gentleman wrote to Esquire's Stacey Grenrock Woods that "I finally convinced my girlfriend to let me take pictures of her naked, but in every one she looks awkward. Is there some kind of pose or trick to make them look sexier?" In order to provide him with the necessary answers, SGW quoted yours truly. The column's not available online, but you can see it pictured to the left here, and pick up the whole issue in a bookstore near you. While you're already there picking up a copy of Live Nude Girl, of course, and In the Devil's Territory while you're at it. Further reasons to get this issue of the mag include, but are not limited to: 1) Megan Fox on the cover, 2) a 10-page feature on how to be a more skillful drinker, and 3) a What I've Learned questionnaire answered by Christopher Walken. Thanks, Esquire!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Erotica Readers and Writers Association…

…just posted a great review of Live Nude Girl. Reviewer Rob Hardy says “It is, as you’d expect, poetic on many pages, but it is also funny, the work of an amused and alert writer who has a point of observation on the model’s stand that is unique and is seldom so deeply considered…” You can check out the whole review here.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Open Correspondence from the Senator

Last week, Jeremy Schmall sent me a copy of his high-concept (it comes in a file folder!) chapbook Open Correspondence from the Senator in the mail because he said he would when we met him in Brooklyn. I read most of it on the train today and really enjoyed it and its high production values, courtesy of x-ing books. And, because I said I would, I took it to work and read a tiny bit of it there—see? It blends right in. Thanks, Jeremy!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

All Travelers Are Lost: Recommendations from Across the Land

In his essay “On Lullabies,” Federico GarcĂ­a Lorca talks about the difficulty of attempting to describe his travels, and about “trying to avoid the sort of ugly erudite data that tire out audiences; it is emotional data I shall try to emphasize.”

On the tour, I got to see a lot of people I love, and to meet a lot of new ones: These people in turn told me about a lot of things that they liked that they thought that I would also like—to read, to watch, to hear, to drink, to eat, to use, to do, etc. Here, because lists and geographic regions are two of my fave ways to organize information, is a list of some of that data, a haphazard and organic look at what came up when we were where:

In LA:

To Read:
Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century, nonfiction by P.W. Singer
Feed, a YA novel by MT Anderson
We Have Always Lived in the Castle, a novel by Shirley Jackson (read it; loved it)
The Haunting of Hill House, a novel by Shirley Jackson (read it; loved it)
Double Takes: Pairs of Contemporary Short Stories, an anthology edited by T.C. Boyle
Pride of Baghdad, a graphic novel by Brian K. Vaughan and Niko Henrichon
Pretty much anything by T.C. Boyle

To Ride:
The Metro (rode it; loved it)

To Visit:
The Museum of Death
In San Francisco:

To Read:
Effi Briest by Theodore Fontane
A Miracle, a Universe: Settling Accounts with Torturers by Lawrence Weschler
Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees: A Life of Contemporary Artist Robert Irwin by Lawrence Weschler
Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder: Pronged Ants, Horned Humans, Mice on Toast, and Other Marvels of Jurassic Technology by Lawrence Weschler
The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo by Peter Orner
Esther Stories by Peter Orner:
In Portland: To Read:
“Detroit Arcadia: Exploring the Post-American Landscape,” an article by Rebecca Solnit in Harper’s (read it; loved it)

In Seattle:

To Read:
Ouisconsin: the Dead in Our Clouds, poetry by Bryan Tomasovich
All About Lulu, a novel by Jonathan Evison:
In Bellingham:
To Read:
Valley of the Dolls, a novel by Jacqueline Susann

To Watch:
The Naked Kiss by Samuel Fuller
Shock Corridor by Samuel Fuller

In Tacoma:
To Read:
“Writer, Reader, Words,” an essay by Jeanette Winterson (read it; loved it): "The serious writer cannot be in competition for sales and attention from the ever expanding leisure industry. She can only offer what she has ever offered; an exceptional sensibility combined with an exceptional control over words." Yes.

To Listen To:
Centro-matic (listened to it; loved it)

In Minneapolis:

To Read:
Exposure, a novel by Kathryn Harrison

To Watch:
The Danish Poet, a short film
Belly

To Listen to:
Laura Nyro
Wendy Waldman

To Drink at:
Kochanski’s Concertina Bar on the south side of Milwaukee (formerly Art’s Concertina Bar)
Grumpy's, near the Loft, which featured prominently in the short story Rebecca Kanner read (drank there; loved it):
In Milwaukee:

To Read:
Ada, Or Ardor by Vladimir Nabokov
Pnin by Vladimir Nabokov
The Dark Half by Stephen King

To Watch:
Along Came Polly

In Chicago:

To Read:
Dark Horses: Poets on Overlooked Poems, an anthology edited by Joy Katz and Kevin Prufer
The Bodyfeel Lexicon, poems by Jessica Bozek
Lady Chatterley’s Lover, a novel by D. H. Lawrence
Specs, a literary magazine
You Must Be This Happy to Enter, short stories by Elizabeth Crane (read it; loved it)

To Watch:
Metropolitan
Gossip Girl

In Boston:
To Read:
Slice, a literary magazine
The Normal School, a literary magazine
How Sassy Changed My Life: a Love Letter to the Greatest Teen Magazine of All Time by Kara Jesella and Marisa Meltzer

In Provincetown:

To Read:
The Man Who Loved Flowers, a short story by Stephen King from the collection Night Shift

To Drink at:
The Governor Bradford (drank there; loved it):

In Providence:

To Read:
Last Days, a novel by Brian Evenson:

On the Winding Stair, short stories by Joanna Howard

To Look at:
The art of Ben Watkins

To Listen To:
Keith and the Girl

In New York:
To Read:
Sometimes My Heart Pushes My Ribs by Ellen Kennedy (read it; loved it)
The Art Instinct: Beauty, Pleasure and Human Evolution, nonfiction by Denis Dutton
Chilly Scenes of Winter, a novel by Anne Beattie
Gigantic Sequins, a literary magazine
The Agriculture Reader, a literary magazine
Official Correspondence from the Senator, a chapbook by Jeremy Schmall
Recessionwire.com
Jeremy Hoffeld in New York, a blog by Jeremy Hoffeld in New York (read it; love it):

To Watch:
The Cross and the Switchblade
WALL-E
Ratatouille

To Look at:
The art of Judy Pfaff

To Listen To:
GG Allin

To Drink:
Negroni: 1 part gin, 1 part sweet vermouth, and 1 part bitter (normally Campari), recommended by Brendan:
Kombucha recommended by Tao Lin:
To Attend:
The In the Flesh Reading Series
Lit Crawl NY

To Wear:
Other people’s stylish glasses, like Jeremy here, wearing Jeremy's glasses:

In Baltimore:
To Read:
Megillat Esther, by JT Waldman

To Learn How to Cook:
Almond-crusted tomato sandwiches

To Visit in Memphis:
The Crystal Grotto
The Peabody Hotel, containing the ducks

In DC:

To Read:
How Soccer Explains the World: an Unlikely Theory of Globalization by Franklin Foer
Books from the small press Beothuk

Rod Blagojevich Writes 25 Things About Himself on Facebook” on McSweeneys by Sean Carman (read it; loved it)

“Maybe You Can Go Home Again” by Sean Carman at the Inside Higher Ed blog (read it; loved it)

To Learn How to Cook:
Shweji, a Burmese dessert:
To Visit in NYC:
The Grolier Club, America's oldest and largest society for bibliophiles and enthusiasts in the graphic arts

In Chicago (again):
To Attend:
Theatre productions (especially Sketchbook) by Collaboraction

In Fayetteville:
To Read:
Night of the Gun, a memoir by David Carr
The Last Fine Time, a memoir by Verlyn Klinkenbourg
Linebreak, a literary magazine

To Watch:
Meet Me in St. Louis
Ordinary People

To Wear:
Your scarf over your head when a winter storm blows in suddenly and you’ve forgotten your umbrella:

In Memphis:
To Read:
The Book Thief, a YA novel by Markus Zusak
The Territory of Men: a Memoir by Joelle Fraser
The Man Who Turned Into Himself: a Novel by David Ambrose

To Watch:
The Visitor

To Listen To:
Cry Softly, Lonely One by Roy Orbison

To Visit:
Stax Museum of American Soul Music

In Edwardsville:

To read:
Cradle Song, poetry by Stacey Lynn Brown

To Wash With:
Milk Milk soap from Fresh

In Champaign-Urbana:
To Read:
Anything by Richard Powers, but especially The Gold Bug Variations and The Echo Maker

In Bellingham again:
To Read:
Blessing of the Animals, a collection of essays by Brenda Miller
Cool for You, poems by Eileen Myles
American Husband, poems by Kary Wayson
No Sweeter Fat, poems by Nancy Pagh
Body Language, short stories by Kelly Magee
“On Difficulty in Poetry,” an essay by Reginald Shepherd (read it; loved it)
“Captivity,” an essay by Sherman Alexie
Sayonara Mrs. Kackleman, a kids’ book by Maira Kalman

To Eat:
Ritter Sport Dark Chocolate with Marzipan

To Know About and Maybe Try to Go to Sometime:
Hedgebrook: a rural retreat on Whidbey Island for Women Writers

In Chicago again:

To Read:
Inside a Red Corvette: a 90s Mix Tape, a poetry chapbook by Becca Klaver of Switchback Books from Greying Ghost Press (read it; loved it)
a / long / division a poetry chapbook by Hanna Andrews of Switchback Books from Tilt Press (read it; loved it):
The Man without Qualities, a novel by Robert Musil

In Ann Arbor:
To Read:
Big World, short stories by Mary Miller, from Short Flight/Long Drive Books
The Sicily Papers, a travel memoir by Michelle Orange, from Short Flight/Long Drive Books
Walking Dead, a zombie comic created by Robert Kirkman
Murder (a violet), poems by Ray McDaniel
Saltwater Empire, poems by Ray McDaniel
Anything by Mike Alber

To Watch:
Quarantine
Let the Right One In

To Eat:
Grilled peanut butter sandwiches with garlic salt

To Visit:
Big Jar Books in Philadelphia (which I can’t totally tell if it exists)
Detroit

In Chicago again:

To Read:
Cinema Muto, poems by Jesse Lee Kercheval
This Must Be the Place, poems by Alice George
Bestiary, poems by Elise Paschen
Strange Trades, poems by Kristy Odelius
Ender’s Game, a novel by Orson Scott Card
Wisecrack: Feminism & Comedy, a literary magazine
The Fifth Child, a novel by Doris Lessing (read it; loved it)

To Watch:
Silent films from Wisconsin Bioscope

In Carlsbad, California:
To Read:
Hardboiled novels by Ross Macdonald
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, a novel by Agatha Christie
Why Did I Ever?, a novel by Mary Robison
Reader’s Block, a novel by David Markson
Wittgenstein’s Mistress, a novel by David Markson
Cloud Atlas, a novel by David Mitchell
Deer Head Nation, poems by K. Silem Mohammad
My Life, poems by Lyn Hejinian
Candy in Action, a novel by Matthue Roth
A Harper’s article about the NYC sewage/wastewater system (something about the Big
Flush)
Hit Wave, a chapbook by Jon Leon (from Kitchen Press)
Telling It Slant: Avant Garde Poetics of the1990s edited by Mark Wallace and Steven
Marks
Haze, poems by Mark Wallace
The Temporary Worker Rides a Subway, poems by Mark Wallace (read it; loved it)
speculations descending therefrom a poetry chapbook by K. Lorraine Graham (read it; loved it)
Telling the Future Off by Stephanie Young
Books from Tougher Disguises Press
Books by James Meetze
Accidental Hedonist, a food blog
The Traveler’s Lunchbox, a food blog by Melissa Kronenthal

To Watch:
“Kittens Inspired by Kittens” on Youtube (watched it; cracked up)
The Haunting (the 1963 version)
Gidget

To Listen To:
“It Never Rains in Southern California” by Albert Hammond (listened to it; cracked up)
Something Cool by June Christy
Wanda Jackson (listened to it; cracked up/squirmed with discomfort)
Keith Jarrett
The Pernice Brothers

To Eat:
Persian Cucumbers (especially in drinks) (ate/drank them; loved them)
Bee Pollen (ate it; felt healthy)

To Floss With:
Crest Mint Glide

To Write With:
Stablio Point 88 Fineliner pens

To Consider as a Potential Future Pet:
Parrotlets

To Someday Name a Cat:
Pianoface (but Lorraine gets first dibs)

In Carbondale, IL:

To Read:
The Only World, poems by Lynda Hull (read it; loved it)
Transparent Gestures, poems by Rodney Jones
The Unborn, poems by Rodney Jones
Things That Happen Once, poems by Rodney Jones
Carolina Ghost Woods, poems by Judy Jordan
My Psychic, poems by James Kimbrell
Isabella Moon, a novel by Laura Benedict:
Calling Mr. Lonelyhearts, a novel by Laura Benedict
Town Smokes, short stories by Pinckney Benedict:
Dogs of God, a novel by Pinckney Benedict
The Wrecking Yard, short stories by Pinckney Benedict
Reveries of the Solitary Walker by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Anything by the poet Jack Gilbert
I Am Legend, a novella by Richard Matheson
Hell House, a novel by Richard Matheson
Grimalkin and Other Poems by Thomas Lynch
The Night the Ghost Got In, a short story by James Thurber
Men, Women, and Chain Saws: Gender in Modern Horror Film by Carol J. Clover
Leaving Iowa, by Michael Meyerhoffer

To Watch:
Feasting on Asphalt on the Food Network by Alton Brown
L’il Pimp (a Laffs from the Hood Production)
Count Yorga
Planet of the Vampires
Pick-Up
Killer Shrews
The Giant Gila Monster
It’s Alive
Phantom of the Paradise

To Attend:
Duff’s Reading Series in St. Louis

In Indianapolis, IN:
To Read:
Modern Love, a fiction chapbook by Andrew Scott, from Sunny Outside Press
Freight Stories, a literary magazine for contemporary fiction

To Join:
Andrew’s Book Club, a book club for short story collections, run by Andrew Scott