Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My Poem in Born Magazine

I've been waiting for the new issue of Born magazine for quite a while, not only because Born is one of my all time favorite online poetry magazines, and not only because I am fascinated with their consistent quality of collaborations between poets and artists, but because I have a poem in it. It is a poem from Scary, No Scary called "Look Through a Complex Eye and See 1000 of Everything." For this issue, it was animated into a short video by an extremely talented artist named Layne Braunstein. I hope you'll spend the next two minutes watching it here, and then the next two weeks exploring Born's archives.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Emily Kendal Frey and I are reading from our new chapbook, Ok, Goodnight (Futuretense 2010) at Ampersand Books (2916 NE Alberta, B) at 7:30pm this coming Friday. Reading with us will be local fictionist, Pauls Toutonghi, author of Red Weather (Random House 2007), and traveling New York fictionist, Justin Taylor, author of Everything Here is the Best Thing Ever (Harper Perennial 2010). Justin will also read at Powells downtown on the following Sunday (4/4).

I am always excited to read these collaborations with Emily. Reading them aloud is a lot like a collaboration too. She has been interviewed for The Collagist here, for the Studio One blog here, and has spoken a little about the collaborative process. And I thought you should know what to look out for in terms of her own future publications. She has two chapbooks forthcoming (non-collaborative) that I couldn't be more excited about owning (and reading again). The first, which should exist in a matter of weeks, is Frances (Poor Claudia). Please trust me: you want this. It is going to be beautiful in every way. If you don't know about her powers, go to the Airport.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

This is called Black #4. 
This is called Black #3.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Octopus Magazine #13

Octopus Magazine's 13th issue is alive! What are you doing for the next couple of days? Why don't you read the whole issue and then meet up with your friends later to discuss which poets were your favorites? 

There are 5 things we would like to announce: 

1. Octopus 13 is Now Online
2. April Reading Period for Full-Length Manuscripts
3. Heather Christle & Matvei Yankelevich will be reading at AWP
4. Octopus Books at the AWP Book Fair
5. New Octopus Books Site Coming Soon

1. Octopus 13 is now online

Featuring poetry by

Sawako Nakayasu
Daniel Lin
Julie Carr
José Díaz
Chanel Clarke
Cherise Bacalski
Tim Van Dyke
Ayane Kawata
translated by Sawako Nakayasu

Kristin Sanders
Jenny Zhang
Cathy Linh Che
Justin Marks
Jon Leon
Christopher DeWeese
Natalie Lyalin
Alejandra Pizarnik
translated by Jason Stumpf

Bin Ramke
Bhanu Kapil
Lesley Yalen
Jonah Winter
Geoffrey Nutter
Claire Donato
Caroline Knox
Takako Arai
translated by Jeffrey Angles

Recovery Projects

Patrick Dunagan on John Clarke’s From Feathers to Iron: A Concourse of World Poetic
Harry Thorne on Carl Rakosi’s Ex-Cranium, Night
Nate Pritts on Larry Eigner’s Air the Trees
Jesse Lichtenstein on William Dickey’s Rivers of the Pacific Northwest
Nicholas Benson on Aldo Palazzeschi’s Arsonist
Robert Miltner on Haniel Long’s Pittsburgh Memoranda
Carlos Soto Román on George Perec
Joel Bettridge on Robert Service


Seth Landman on Natalie Lyalin’s Pink and Hot Pink Habitat
Joshua Butts on Michael Rerick’s In Ways Impossible to Fold
Shane McCrae on Ish Klein’s Union!
Rebecca Farivar on Lisa Robertson’s Magenta Soul Whip


Teal Gardner on Rene Char’s The Brittle Age & Returning Upland
Daniela Gesundheit on Lisa Robertson’s Magenta Soul Whip
Anderson Reinkordt on Bhanu Kapil’s Humanimal

2. April Reading Period

Octopus Books will be reading full length manuscripts during the month of April. We will select two from this reading period to publish in 2011. For more information & guidelines please go here: 

3. Heather Christle & Matvei Yankelevich will be reading at AWP

With Wave Books, Canarium Books & Ugly Duckling Presse, Octopus Books will be hosting a reading during the AWP festivities on Thursday April 8th, 8-10pm at Benders Tavern, 314 East 13th Ave.

Octopus Books authors Heather Christle & Matvei Yankelevich will be reading, along with Dorothea Lasky, Geoffrey Nutter, John Beer, Paul Killebrew, Alex Stein & Dan Machlin.

You should attend.

4. Octopus Books will be part of the Table X Publishing Commune in the AWP Book Fair

We will be joining the following presses in the Table X Publishing Commune: Belladonna, Canarium Books, The Cupboard, H_NGM_N, Futurepoem, Leon Works, Les Figues Press, Litmus Press / Aufgabe, Lumberyard, Forklift Ohio, Poor Claudia, Sidebrow, Ugly Duckling Presse. You should stop by & say hello.

5. New Octopus Books site coming soon

Soon. The original site is still up at

Thanks for listening to all of those announcements.

Mathias Svalina & Zachary Schomburg, co-editors
Denny Schmickle, design

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


This morning I learned from Janaka at Black Ocean that a freshman at SUNY-Albany, Kimberly DeGrosky, has tattooed the black and white telephones from The Man Suit on her biceps. I'm pretty sure this makes me happy, though I'm still trying to wrap my head around the implications. I mean, look at her, the power in those poetic arms. I hope they give her superhuman strength. May they ring constantly into infinity, keeping her wide awake to fight the poetry infidels. She is my new ambassador of poetry, and maybe Black Ocean's too. She and I and Janaka are now committed to that book for life. Now, I hope she gets those trees in Scary, No Scary on her knuckles.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Octopus Books' own, Heather Christle, is hosting a video challenge to win a free special edition blue version of The Difficult Farm. Also, she has some new poems in the new film issue of The Believer. Can you believe that?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The second chapbook of a collaborative poetry trilogy between myself and Emily Kendal Frey, Ok, Goodnight, is now available for consumption from Futuretense Books. $5. 32 pages. That's like 15 cents a page. Support small presses.

Monday, March 15, 2010

This is called Black #2.

Black Ocean is hott. There ain't no denying. Get the new books by Julie Doxsee and Joe Hall.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I am beginning my Black stage. This is called Black #1. 

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Happy 60th Birthday, Dad.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I'm the kid in the very middle with the fashion-forward sweater-collar combo surrounded by my present-day facebook stranger-friends who loved their horizontal stripes. My hair is shiny from over-chlorination and Pert +. I've clearly been crying and am now trying to concentrate on the camera, on its eye, on the photographer's count-down. It's 1984 and I'm peering right through you.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

From the Portland Series. Portland #4.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

I just learned that Scary, No Scary has been on the Contemporary Best Sellers List in Poetry for 9 weeks now over at the Poetry Foundation. It's 16th this week, stuck right between Charles Bukowski, Mary Oliver, Louise Gluck, Nikki Giovanni, and Sylvia Plath. It told me that it feels a little strange at that party, but I think it is a good book. "You're a good book," I say. I'm happy for it.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

There is a lot of news to tell you about Octopus Books, but the news is so new, it's not even ready to share yet. I'm talking about the 13th issue of Octopus Magazine (with 8 Recovery Projects! along with amazing poems, etc) which will be up this month. I'm talking about the redesign of our Octopus Books website, which is on the horizon. I'm talking about our new chapbooks from Emily Pettit and Patrick Culliton which we'll reveal and release at the AWP bookfair. I'm talking about the off-site Thursday night reading between Octopus Books, Ugly Duckling Presse, Canarium Books and Wave Books. But I'm not ready to really tell you about that stuff yet.

Right now, I can remind you that Octopus Books will be reading full-length poetry manuscripts again in April. We'll select a title or two to release in 2011. And like last year, our submissions process allows for you to submit your manuscript as an email attachment, and with complete anonymity to the editors and readers.

Also, check out our new idea for submitting (it's on the submit page too): You can bring your manuscript to our table at the AWP Bookfair in Denver. If you do that, we'll put it in a pile without looking at the title, and we'll give you some kind of discount on book purchases. So, get your mannies ready.

I'm also ready to tell you that our 2009 full-length authors, Matvei Yankelevich and Heather Christle, are reading together at SpaceSpace in Queens on March 13 at 8pm. Octopus has put in for some wine. It's on us, so go drink it.

There's that. I'll tell you more about the other stuff soon.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Small Press Fest

March is Small Press Month. So, not only should you make one purchase per week from PressPressPress, you should also move to Seattle for the month where you can attend Pilot Books ' Small Press Fest. Every day in March, Summer Robinson, the owner of little small press bookstore, is hosting a small press reading (and sometimes a workshop) in-store. If you click on this image, you should be able to read the line-up. My reading and workshop is on Saturday, March 27. March is cool.