7/7 Inflammatosis! by Mark Spitzer & Spell to Spell by Lea Graham launch party @ Nine Stories Books + Alien Buddha Invades Erie @ Ember+Forge

7PM Saturday, July 7 at Nine Stories Books, three scribblers from Arkansas join three from the 412 to celebrate the launch of Mark Spitzer’s latest book Inflammatosis, “a big, punk-ass Fuck You to all the petty, pretentious haters out there dicking around with 1) his life, 2) your life, 3) all our lives, and 4) fish.”

Mark Spitzer, novelist, poet, essayist and literary translator, grew up in Minneapolis where he earned his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Minnesota in 1990. He then moved to the Rockies, where he earned his Master’s in Creative Writing from the University of Colorado. After living on the road for some time, he found himself in Paris, as Writer in Residence for three years at the bohemian bookstore Shakespeare and Company, where he translated French criminals and misanthropes. In 1997 he moved to Louisiana, became Assistant Editor of the legendary lit journal Exquisite Corpse, and earned an MFA from Louisiana State University. He taught creative writing and lit for five years at Truman State University and is now an associate professor of creative writing at the University of Central Arkansas.

Traveling with Mark from the home state of Johnny Cash & C. D. Wright will be Lea Graham & Scotty Lewis. We’ll also be celebrating the launch of Lea’s new chapbook.

Spell to Spell
by Lea Graham
$5

Gristle, (n.) cartilage; tough cartilaginous, tendinous, or fibrous matter

For Georganna Ulary

Grit’s spell. / A bone of sound / between hustle, just whistle. / Grist to the mill of welter, / close to grisly but more wattle / less huddle. / Tattooed thistle, / apple of my ire, / a subtle gris-gris / around the wrist of tussle. / The gist of it: / A muscle that fasts is lost. / We must wrestle that lustful, fustling angel of self, / bedazzle that recluse; / bust and move the offal, / dis refusal. / Wrest our names, / our castling  furies, / cast and fuss to surge, / gird and guzzle that shit; / grease the wheels against hair-shirts of hurt, / storm the bastille of cry, the cradle of grow; / jazz and cussle this tigress, /  this mottled grindle of rage, / muddle the sonic barb.  /  Steal away   steal away   steal away home

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
July 2018
celebrating twenty-five years of above/ground press
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Lea Graham is the author of the forthcoming book, From the Hotel Vernon (Salmon Press, 2019), the chapbook, This End of the World: Notes to Robert Kroetsch (Apt. 9 Press, 2016) and the poetry book, Hough & Helix & Where & Here & You, You, You (No Tell Books, 2011). She is an associate professor at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY and a native of Northwest Arkansas.

This is Graham’s third above/ground press chapbook, after Calendar Girls (2006) and metric : a collaboration (with rob mclennan, 2011).

Here’s another poem from Spell to Spell at Crab Creek Review.

Scotty Lewis is a 2015 graduate of the Arkansas Writers MFA Program. His first book of poetry, Arkansas Ghoulash, came out last December on Six Gallery. Here’s an interview with Scotty talking about the book, & here’s another one.

The Pittsburgh lineup is pretty outstanding too:

Karen Lillis is a writer and bookseller. She is the author of four poetic novels, including The Second Elizabeth (Six Gallery Press, 2009), and runs Karen’s Book Row, a pop up and online bookshop. Her writing has appeared in The Austin Chronicle, The Brooklyn Rail, Evergreen Review, LA Cultural Weekly, and the Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology, among others. An Acker Award winner for Avant Garde Excellence in Fiction, her recent publications include Submerging Zine, From Somewhere to Nowhere: The End of the American Dream, and forthcoming prose in Local Knowledge (Fall 2018).

Ben Gwin is the Fiction Editor at Burrow Press Review. His fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in The Normal School, Bridge Eight, Word Riot, Mary: A Journal of New Writing, and others. His novel manuscript, Clean Time: The True Story of Ronald Reagan Middleton, was shortlisted for the 2014 Pressgang Prize, and named a semifinalist for the 2015 Horatio Nelson Fiction Prize. He lives in Pittsburgh with his daughter.

I’d add that Clean Time is out now & by all accounts hilarious. You can read a bit of it at Literary Hub.

Barbara Edelman is the author of the poetry collection Dream of the Gone-From City from Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2017. Her poems have appeared in journals nationally, including Prairie Schooner, Cimarron Review, and Poet Lore; in translation in the Italian journal Nuovi Argomenti, and in several anthologies. Her short prose has appeared in Rattle and Arts & Letters. She’s the author of two poetry chapbooks: Exposure, Finishing Line Press, 2014 and A Girl in Water, Parallel Press, 2002. Her work has been recognized with a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts individual artist’s grant in poetry and the Turow-Kinder Prize in short fiction.

Edelman teaches in the writing, composition, and literature programs at Pitt and coordinates the Writers’ Café. She won the 2012 CGS Student Choice Award for teaching. She holds a B.A. in English from Colgate University, an M.A. in English from California State University Northridge, and an M.F.A. in Poetry from the University of Pittsburgh.

***

Meanwhile, in Erie, it’s

Open mic and featured writers series

feat. Jason Baldinger, Heath Brougher, Scott Thomas Outlar, Jay Miner, Jeremy Stolz, Luke Kuzmish, Matt Borczon, Thasia Anne, & Veronica Hopkins at Ember+Forge.

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