11.23.2010

NOÖ [12]!

If I haven't already told you about this somewhere else, check out the new NOÖ. Lots of awesome stuff.

11.17.2010

keeping busy like a gift i can't give back

Hey y'all, three weird and never before seen little pieces are online at Used Furniture Review, a new online lit mag. Thanks to David Cotrone for asking me to send him stuff. Subjects include tennis, cigars, cake bully God figures, and fair rides. In other words, par for the course. Other pretty cool stuff up at UFR right now includes an interview with Tom Perrota and some poems from Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz.

11.09.2010

Vitamin D for darkness, Publishers Weekly for self-esteem

Here's Publishers Weekly's review of Look! Look! Feathers:

'Young hits the mark in this smart, quirky debut collection, where base humanity—like the macho behavior of a high school gym teacher who is revealed to have only one testicle in "The World Doesn't Smell Like You"—is juxtaposed against a crushing swell of technology and pop culture. Social media, brain-Internet browsers, and reality television all feature in Young's stories, and institutions like the 24-hour grocery, the "old hotel on Mason Street," and Facebook are venues for Young's twisted tales. In "Mosquito Fog," two online companions arrive at an awkward moment when widower Russell discovers his online confidante, contrary to her online profile, is not his contemporary but a teenage girl. The couple at the center of "Snow You Know and Snow You Don't" slowly reveal in a letter to their unborn child the strange way they cope with a domestic tragedy. Meanwhile, in "No Such Thing as a Wild Horse," the transformation of a local fun park "from something rinky-dink into something grand" is held up, albeit wryly, as a beacon of inspiration. This is a slick collection—relevant, wise, and immensely enjoyable. (Dec.)'

11.06.2010

reformed turnpike bully

Hey, the cool and enthusiastic Tyler Gobble interviewed me for Small Doggies and included a review of We Are All Good. I talk about Christmas bags and know-what-I-mean versus no-I-don't, and also I nonsensically talk shit on Tony Hoagland. Check it out. Thanks, Tyler!

11.05.2010

Let's recap: gypsy Halloween singalong, Pet Semetery, cheap gyros, matching b/f, g/f taco costumes, blue jumpsuit, motherboards dangling from neckties, parties of social coincidences, a perilous van ride singalong.

Then the Barry Hannah tribute on Wednesday, hosted by Gene Kwak. Really well-lit time at Newtonville Books, lamps and early release copies of Barry's posthumous selected-and-new collection, Long Last Happy. Joy-stuffed reflections and remembrances, guns with popcorn in them, lots of gut shots and gut laughs of prose. Folks from all over to celebrate a fine man of Oxford, the Southern one. I was humbled to have an opportunity to yak a little about my relationship to the work of Barry Hannah, who was a heart wrangler, a soothsayer, a white hot pilot of knowing why stories are worth it. And humbled especially to read in such company: Askold Melnyczuk, Amy Hempel, Sven Birkerts, Jennifer Haigh, and James Parker. I read "Coming Close to Donna." I wore my best shoes. Later I ate some Eggs Benedict Pizza, and I was a little drunk when I ate it, so I didn't realize until now that such a dish is like something invented as a Christmas present by my kindest dreams.

Next day, I guest-lectured about theft and verbal storytelling in Gene's UMass Boston class. Sharp folks, all ages, creased by experience. Gene was sick and I convinced him to eat some ginger chicken soup. Rain fell on the lake and the UMass Boston campus looked like a prison movie before the redemptive part. Later we got fried chicken, black-eyed peas, and wonderful clove-tasting sweet potatoes delivered to Gene's abode, which was very brave of the delivery people, because I guess Gene likes to shoot them. Or wait, maybe that's his neighbor. That night I read at Lorem Ipsum books (thanks to the kind Pete and Kate for setting things up), which had recently moved into an old refrigerator store. I read with Mark Leidner and Elisa Gabbert. Leidner was hilarious and Gabbert was genius, though each borrowed liberally from both afflictions. I ate some salt and vinegar chips. Gene alas was too sick to read, but he was missed. People made eye contact in wonderful ways. Mark and I stopped at a convenience store on the way back to Western Mass, and then we wondered what would happen if America were one big corporation, and all the billboards just had ads for specific products like: APPLES! CHAIRS! BRACELETS!

Now I am home and working on getting shit together. Some linkage news includes two new reviews of L!L!F, an enthusiastic one in the Brooklyn Rail and a lukewarm one on the blog Glorified Love Letters. Over on the NOÖ Journal blog, Gabe Durham talks about James Robison's 1988 novel The Illustrator, which I want to call a punt-return-for-a-touchdown book because that's the kind of damn good I think it is. And, you can win a free copy of Dennis Cooper's new essay collection Smothered In Hugs by just posting a comment about your dreams or making up a dream and posting a comment. Super easy. Win a free book. Stay tuned for more NOÖ blog content, including long overdue RAD Poetry videos, as I try slaphazardly to hype the run-up to NOÖ 12. The trick is getting past the kicker, who's always a better tackler than he should be.