Sunday, May 24, 2015

The New York Stories is awesome blurb from the endlessly awesome Michael Czyzniejewski.

"Ben Tanzer's New York is not the New York of Ellis Island or of Times Square. It's not the New York of Warhol or Scorsese or Giuliani. It's not the New York you know or have ever known. It's the New York you should know, the Tanzeriian New York of twisted invention, hilarious compassion, and intricate irony. Ben Tanzer has impossibly written yet another version of the great city, one that's a welcome addition to the proud canon of this salty berg." --Michael Czyzniejewski, author of I Will Love You For the Rest of My Life: Breakup Stories

And more to come. Not to mention more information at CCLaP for those who want it.

Friday, May 22, 2015

"Not a single moment that wanes or bores." The Lavinia Ludlow and TNBBC show The New York Stories some much appreciated review love.

For real. All of it. Excerpt? Word.

"The thing about Tanzer is that his writing is never irresponsibly fast-paced and disorienting. Instead, he uses the space as if it’s the last he will ever have—no piece is ever more than a couple thousand words, and there’s not a single moment that wanes or bores. Each story packs a straightforward and honest anecdote with situations most can identify with—growing pains, lessons learned through trauma, family issues, falling in and out of love."

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The new edition of This Zine Will Change Your is live. All Clogged. And full of Rowan.

The new edition of This Zine Will Change Your Life is live, and we are thrilled to have new story, Clogged Sink, by old friend Matt Rowan, and (almost) as always, photo action from Adam Lawrence, music curation from Jason Behrends and Patriot Act filibuster prose love from Pete Anderson. We hope you enjoy this edition and we appreciate all shout-outs and links. Finally, please note, we are hoping more of you will submit comix, and music, novel excerpts, and art, and video, yes, video, and combinations there of. And most finally, Mad Max: Fury Road, yo.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Monday, May 18, 2015

The New York Stories release party is so happening Friday, June 19th from 6:30-800 PM at City Lit Books in Chicago and we quite look forward to seeing you there.

There will be strobe lights, maybe, and words, lovely, and glorious. There will also be killer line-up, see below. And you may learn more and RSVP here thank you very much.

Featured readers include:

Matt Rowan, author of Big Venerable

Joseph G. Peterson, author of Twilight of the Idiots

Cyn Vargas, author of On The Way

Rachel Slotnik, author of In Lieu of Flowers

Friday, May 15, 2015

These Books (of Poetry) Will Change Your Life - How We Bury Our Dead by the Jonathan Travelstead, Addicts & Basements by the Robert Vaughan and A Taxonomy of the Space Between Us by the Caleb Curtiss.

There is a passage from Cup & Saucer, a poem in A Taxonomy of the Space Between Us, Caleb Curtiss' terribly affecting map of grief and memory, where he writes:

     "and so we're left with what we're always left with:
     the line that separates then and now,
     the line that threads together our moments,
     passing through us as it goes."

Curtiss is writing of the loss of his sister to a car accident and how we try to make sense of such a thing. We make peace with it, somewhat, and grudgingly. We build new and different connections with those we love. Our memories shift, and warp, based on who we're talking to and the passage time. Sometimes what we feel is real and true, and other times as Curtiss reflects so effectively in the poem Still, it's all scatter shot and crazy. But there is always a line, a before something happened, and an after, and it is  in that before and after that Curtiss' work comes to life.
 

There are lines as well in How We Bury Our Dead by the Jonathan Travelstead and Addicts & Basements by the Robert Vaughan, but for Travelstead it is more than one line, parallel lines even, though not unlike Curtiss they are fraught with loss, grief and memory. There is the war in Iraq and what we lose when we are exposed to death and fear, our sense of stability, and of normalcy. But that isn't the only line Travelstead is bumping into and against. There is also the death of his mother, and the contorted feelings that come with a death of a relationship where the feelings were already contorted. From Paper Lantern:

     "Mother, forgive me.
     It took so long lancing the infection
     I allowed grow inside me, 
     and now a sweet pain rises there
     like the flickering eyes of paper lanterns
     lit and carried away by the night.
     Please forgive me for taking so long to know,
     I loved you even then."



Vaughan is looking back as well in a mix of poetry and flash fiction, both the truth and something else. But it is the past in so many ways that seeps out. Vaughan's line is about a life lived, and lost to history, and what youth looks like when we run from place to place, and person to person, but also find homes, temporary and otherwise, that form who we were, and where we are now. Less than Travelstead or Curtiss though, we don't have as much of a sense of where Vaughan is now, but we also have the sense that there has been so much life lived that we are being introduced to the start of something. The addicts and basements that haunted his youth, are just that, the ghosts of his past, and the now is this, writing and beauty, and more is to come if we can just be patient and wait for the words. From Shades of Gray:

     "The next day, I lie on the living room rug as they       
     carry all the furniture off. It seems random, rather  
     unpredictable. Did I live here?
     The last thing they remove is the first thing I hung.
     It's my empty birdcage.
     I walk around the blank shell like a visitor."

There is loss and there is life. There is also change, and all three of these collections are sure to change your life as they have ours, if only for a moment at that.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Brad Listi is People.

According to LA Weekly anyway. And yes, the Brad Listi was our 100th guest on This Podcast Will Change Your Life. He also has this to say: "You don't start doing a podcast because things are going really well for you," he says. You don't? Fuck. Anyway, do check it out, it just might change your life.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

135 Things You Should Never, Ever Say to a Naked Woman is all Men's Health.

It is also an article we may, or may not, have contributed to. Please feel free to speculate on what our contributions may, or may not, have been.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Lippmann​ Ortiz​ Bustle Wonderbar.

Yup. Excerpt? Totally. And word. Of course.

The voices, too, feel disparate, while both uniquely yours. The voice of Excavation is driving, immediate, while the narrative voice of Hollywood Notebook is more sensual, wistful, even, layered in a different poetry, sometimes more distant, as if not geared for public consumption, and yet not the least closed off, but rather with an awareness of and welcoming the reader. Here, too, it seems that the content is the driver, with the abuse detailed in Excavation demanding a certain directness, clarity in tone, while HN, which is very much a memoir about writing, could be a bit more playful.

Interesting! I’ve not thought of HN as a memoir about writing. I see it as a slice of a period of time when I struggled with relationships, who I thought I’d become and who I thought I still wanted to become, and yes, writing was part of that. Trying to imagine a process I could rely on was part of that. I agree that content is the driver. Even as I write this, though, I think, what if there had been more playfulness in Excavation? I believe there’s some there — in the smallest of doses. Trying to maintain a certain tone, though, felt more crucial for that book. HN is to me like an amalgamation of voices, trying on ways of being, with a through-line underneath of a woman returning “home” and trying to understand where and how she fits even while she’s transforming.