Archive for the New Releases Category

6/8 Off Days by Taylor Grieshober launch party @ The Printing Press

Posted in Events, New Releases with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 23, 2019 by 6GPress

7:30 PM SATURDAY, JUNE 8, Taylor sez,

You’re invited to the PARTY OF THE YEAR (or at least the party of the summer)!

https://www.facebook.com/events/412806979563721/

I’m launching my debut fiction collection, OFF DAYS (Low Ghost Press), out into the world, in the company of my favorite writers and people in Pittsburgh, and I couldn’t be more excited! Please join me in a night of celebration and revelry! If you know me and my friends, you know we throw one hell of a house party. You do not want to miss this.

Readings by:

Kelly Lorraine ANDREWS
Scott SILSBE
Ben GWIN
Sam MITCHELL
and yours truly.

Delicious eats by MADALYN HOCHENDONER and CAITLIN CRAWFORD!
Specialty craft cocktails by CELINE MARIE until they’re gone, so be sure to BYOB.

DJ after party with DJ ERIN OH of YASS Queen!

Presented by Belleville Arts Collective, hosted by Ashley Wellman of The Printing Press.

*Free and open to the public.*

5/22 Lea Graham, Mark Spitzer, & friends @ White Whale Bookstore

Posted in Events, New Releases with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2019 by 6GPress

7 PM Wednesday, May 22…

Lea Graham & Mark Spitzer return to White Whale Bookstore w/ new books, joined by locals Anna Eidolon, Shawn Maddey, John Thomas Menesini, Daniel Parme, Jess Simms, & Robert Walicki.

FREE & BYOB, per White Whale policy. Possible vegan or pescetarian snacks, crackers guaranteed.

Here’s a bit about Lea’s book, From the Hotel Vernon, from Salmon Poetry.

The poems in this book grow out and around the Hotel Vernon, built at the turn of the 20th century in Worcester, Massachusetts. Once an elegant place for local politicians to make their backdoor deals at the edge of the city, it slowly fell into decline each decade following Prohibition. Despite this, it has always been a space where artists, newspapermen and neighbors gathered at the bar or, after the late 1940s, in its Ship Room, a room purportedly modeled after the second berth of the Mayflower. In its barroom is a 1940s mural of “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” painted by the owner’s son-in-law bartender and his friends, including the cartoonist, Al Capp.
In these poems, oral histories are poised between and among flagrant sexuality, humor and abject poverty.  Patsy Cline, Babe Ruth, WWI’s “Sacrifice Division” and Roy Orbison inhabit this space alongside the local residents: the Baker, Maurie, Charlie and Stosh.  Names of neighborhood places—Rizutti’s Goodnight Café, The Nines, The Greyhound—are recited as both proof and pride in a neighborhood that was diminished through the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act, cutting off foot traffic to local businesses by 1970.

& here’s a bit about Mark’s book, In Search of Monster Fish: Angling for a More Sustainable Planet, from University of Nebraska Press.

In Search of Monster Fish is an action-packed, knee-slapping ride into and out of the belly of the beast. Join extreme angler Mark Spitzer as he encounters man-eating catfish, ruthless barracuda, lacerating conger eels, berserk tarpon, and blood-curdling sharks in locales as exotic as the Amazon, Catalonia, the Dominican Republic, Senegal, and even in our own backyards.

But this eco-odyssey isn’t just about meeting and releasing some of the most grotesque lunkers in the world. It’s about implementing solutions for problems as behemoth as global warming and issues as common as choosing what to eat for dinner. And as the ice caps melt at the rate of 1 percent annually, Spitzer battles his most epic goliath: a leviathan that dwells in the depths of us all, making us ask who the real monsters are, what our responsibilities truly are, and what we can possibly do to sustain our planet and ourselves when faced with such demonic disenlightenment. Spitzer then beats this whopper into submission by reframing his call to action and finding his own way. A new portal to the underworld has been opened in the cutting-edge literature of monster fish, and this is your entry ticket.

BIOLOGICAL DATA

Originally from Brooklyn, Anna Eidolon moved to Pittsburgh in 2015. Her poetry and prose have appeared in The Village Voice, In Our Own Words, Resister, Spinning, and Edges. Most recently, she was the recipient of the Into the Light writing prize at Chatham University. She may ask you for a cigarette.

Lea Graham is a writer, translator and professor who lives in Rosendale, New York and Mayflower, Arkansas. She was born in Memphis, Tennessee and grew up in Northwest Arkansas. She has lived in Joplin, Missouri; Perth Amboy, New Jersey; Chicago, Illinois; Worcester, Massachusetts; Santiago, Dominican Republic; San Jose, Costa Rica; Florence, Italy and Quito, Ecuador. She earned her B.A. in English from Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri and her M.A. and Ph.D. in English/Creative Writing from the University of Illinois-Chicago. She is Associate Professor of English at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York where she has been on faculty since 2007.
Graham is the author of the poetry collection, Hough & Helix & Where & Here & You, You, You (No Tell Books, 2011), along with three chapbooks, Spell to Spell (above/ground Press, 2018), This End of the World: Notes to Robert Kroetsch (Apt. 9 Press, 2016) and Calendar Girls (above/ground Press, 2006).
Her poems, reviews, essays and translations have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies that include 3Elements Review, Politics/Letters, Crab Creek Review, Bateau, Poor Yorick, Milk, The Southern Humanities Review, Reflecting Pool: Poets and the Creative Process (Codhill Press, 2018) and The Southern Poetry Anthology VI: Tennessee, Vol. 6 (Texas Review Press, 2013).
In 2018 she won the Literal Latte’ Poetry Contest.

Shawn Maddey doesn’t have a bio anymore. No one needs to know anything about him.

John Thomas Menesini is fluffing his bio or cranking out new poems, hopefully. He is the author of The Last Great Glass Meat Million, e pit ap h, endo: Poems & Sketches 2007-2011, & Gloom Hearts & Opioids. You know Johnny.

Daniel Parme is the author of Hungry, a novel about cannibals in Pittsburgh, and Confluence, a novel about noncannibals in Pittsburgh. Post, a novella about noncannibals not in Pittsburgh, is forthcoming from Running Wild Press. For years, he slung the suds at various local sudseries; currently, he oversees the suds-slinging at a proper drinking and dining establishment.

Jess Simms is a freelance ghostwriter and fiction writer. She’s an editor with the After Happy Hour Review and has had a handful of stories published in literary journals, with recent publications including the Oakland Review, Bardic Tales and Sage Advice, and Rind Literary Magazine.

Mark Spitzer is an associate professor of writing at the University of Central Arkansas. He is the author of more than twenty-five books, including Season of the Gar: Adventures in Pursuit of America’s Most Misunderstood Fish and Beautifully Grotesque Fish of the American West (Nebraska, 2017). Spitzer has consulted for Nat Geo’s Monster Fish and appeared on Animal Planet’s River Monsters.

Robert Walicki’s work has appeared in over 50 journals, including Pittsburgh City Paper, Fourth River, Stone Highway Review, and Red River Review. A Pushcart and a Best of The Net nominee, Robert has published two chapbooks: A Room Full of Trees (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2014) and The Almost Sound of Snow Falling (Night Ballet Press), which was nominated to the 2016 List of Books for New York City’s Poets House. His first full-length collection, Black Angels, is now available from Pittsburgh’s Six Gallery Press.

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

Posted in Events, Interviews, New Releases with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 20, 2018 by 6GPress

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.

5/31 Hot Jewels by Chuck Kinder launch @ City of Asylum

Posted in Events, New Releases with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 3, 2018 by 6GPress

8PM THURSDAY, MAY 31…

Join us for the book launch of Hot Jewels, Chuck Kinder’s second collection of poetry on Six Gallery Press, and a celebration of the author’s life and work. Chuck will be here via Skype, with other poets taking the Alphabet City stage for a series of live poetry readings.

Other Featured Writers:
Scott Silsbe
Michael Simms
Lori Jakiela
Sharon Fagan McDermott
Dave Newman
Micki Myers
Toi Derricotte

Chuck Kinder is the author of four novels—Snakehunter, The Silver Ghost, Honeymooners, and Last Mountain Dancer—and three collections of poetry—Imagination Motel, All That Yellow, and Hot Jewels.

Kinder was born and raised in West Virginia. He received a BA and MA in English from West Virginia University, where he wrote the first creative writing thesis in school history, which evolved into his first novel, Snakehunter. He later caught a Greyhound and headed west to join friends living in San Francisco.

In 1971 Kinder was awarded the Edith Mirrielees Writing Fellowship to Stanford University, followed by the Jones Lectureship in Fiction Writing. He has been a writer-in-residence at the University of California, Davis, and at the University of Alabama, and he is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant and Yaddo’s Dorothy and Granville Hicks Fellowship.

At Stanford, Kinder became close friends with fellow students Raymond Carver, Scott Turow, and Larry McMurtry. His relationship with Carver inspired Honeymooners. His struggle to complete this book inspired the character Grady Tripp in Michael Chabon’s Wonder Boys.

As a professor of creative writing at the University of Pittsburgh for more than three decades, Kinder served as the director of the creative writing program and helped foster the careers of Michael Chabon, Earl H. McDaniel, Chuck Rosenthal, Gretchen Moran Laskas, and Keely Bowers.

He now lives in Key Largo, Florida, with Diane Cecily, his wife of over forty years.

Sharon Fagan McDermott is a poet, musician, and a teacher of literature at a private high school in Pittsburgh. She has published three chapbook collections, most recently, Bitter Acoustic, winner of the 2011 Jacar Press Chapbook competition. McDermott has been a recipient of both a Pittsburgh Foundation Award and a PA Council on the Arts grant. Her poems have been published in a wide range of journals and anthologies, including Prairie Schooner, Poet Lore, Seneca Review, and the anthology Common Wealth: Poets on Pennsylvania. Her book Life Without Furniture (Jacar Press NC) is forthcoming in May 2018.

Lori Jakiela is the author of five books, most recently the memoir BELIEF IS ITS OWN KIND OF TRUTH, MAYBE (Atticus Books), which received the William Saroyan Prize for International Writing from Stanford University, and PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A BINGO WORKER (Bottom Dog Press), a collection of essays about work and the writing life. Her work has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Rumpus, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, and more. She received the City of Asylum/Pittsburgh Prize, a Golden Quill Award from the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania, fellowships to the Breadloaf and Bennington writers conferences, and more. She directs the undergraduate Creative and Professional Writing Program at Pitt-Greensburg, where she is a professor of English. She teaches community workshops at The Yoga Deck in her hometown, Trafford, PA, and founded and co-directs Veterans Write, a program that offers free writing workshops to veterans and those who love them. Her sixth book — HOW DO YOU LIKE IT NOW, GENTLEMEN? — is a poetry collection forthcoming from Low Ghost Press in 2019. She lives in Trafford, PA with her husband/author Dave Newman and their children. Her author website is http://lorijakiela.net. Chuck Kinder taught her to box and be kind, not necessarily in that order. She is forever grateful to him.

Scott Silsbe was born in Detroit and now lives in Pittsburgh. His poems and prose have appeared in a number of fine periodicals including Kitchen Sink, Third Coast, The Chariton Review, Nerve Cowboy, Words Dance, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Six Gallery Press published his first full-length collection of poems Unattended Fire in 2012 and Low Ghost Press published The River Underneath the City in 2013.

 

Michael Simms has been active in politics and poetry for over 40 years as a writer, teacher, editor, and community activist. He’s the founder and editor of Vox Populi, an online “gazette of the left” and he’s the founder of Autumn House Press, a nonprofit publisher of books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. He’s also the author of four collections of poetry and a college textbook about poetry — and the lead editor of over 100 published books. Simms has an MFA from the University of Iowa and a Certificate in Plant-based Nutrition from Cornell University. He lives with his wife, Eva in the historic Mount Washington neighborhood overlooking Pittsburgh.

Dave Newman is the author of six books, including Please Don’t Shoot Anyone Tonight (Broken River Books, forthcoming 2018), the novella Sammy Drinks Canned Beer (White Gorilla Press, forthcoming 2018), The Poem Factory (White Gorilla Press, 2015), the novels Raymond Carver Will Not Raise Our Children (Writers Tribe Books, 2012) and Two Small Birds (Writers Tribe Books, 2014), and the collection The Slaughterhouse Poems (White Gorilla Press, 2013), named one of the best books of the year by L Magazine. He lives in Trafford, PA, the last town in the Electric Valley, with his wife, the writer Lori Jakiela, and their two children. He works in medical research, serving elders.

Micki Myers is the author of two books of poetry, Trigger Finger, and It’s Probably Nothing…, and her work has appeared widely in print and online. She is the author of the blog Yuckylicious and is currently co-writing and editing a series of children’s books that incorporate virtual reality. Micki teaches English and lives in Squirrel Hill.

 

Toi Derricotte has published five books of poetry, the most recent of which is The Undertaker’s Daughter.  Her literary memoir, The Black Notebooks, received the Anisfield-Wolf Award and was one of The New York Times Notable Books of the Year.  She is a recipient of the Paterson Poetry Prize for Sustained Literary Achievement and the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry and two Pushcart Prizes, as well as fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Guggenheim Foundation. With Cornelius Eady, she co-founded Cave Canem in 1996.  She has served on the Academy of American Poets’ Board of Chancellors.

FREE but you gotta RSVP!

Cover painting by Paulette Poullet coming soon. For now, here’s this.

3/10 Scott Pyle’s Seeking Fire Book Launch & Poetry Reading Party @ Irma Freeman Center

Posted in Events, New Releases with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2018 by 6GPress

Don Wentworth says…

Saturday, March 10th, there will be a Book Launch/Reading Party for the release of Scott Pyle’s second book of haiku, Seeking Fire. The reading will take place at the Irma Freeman Center for Imagination on Penn Avenue in Garfield and will run from 7 to 9 pm. Seven Pittsburgh poets, including myself, will be helping Scott celebrate.
Many of you know Scott – he is an ex-librarian, formerly of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, who is now a full-time Pittsburgh firefighter. His new career has greatly influenced his second full-length collection of work, both in theme and subject, and I’m excited to say it builds on the approach and success of his first book.
Books will be available for purchase and signing from Scott, as well as the other poets participating at the reading. Refreshments will be supplied – beer, wine, bottled water and a mix of covered dishes and finger foods. Admission is $5 at the door or a covered dish (which broadly includes bags of chips, sweets etc.)
If you are free that evening and interested, we hope to see you there.

2/15 Low Ghost Press Love-In @ Brillobox

Posted in Events, New Releases with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 1, 2018 by 6GPress

8PM THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 15…

In these dark times we could all use a little more love.

Join Low Ghost Press as we celebrate the publication of ‘Unconditional Surrender: An Anthology of Love Poems’ featuring readings by Angele Ellis, Robert Walicki, Jen Ashburn, Don Wentworth, Stephanie Brea, Sheila Carter-Jones, Richard Gegick, Dave Newman, Lori Jakiela, Bob Pajich, Jason Baldinger, Meghan Tutolo, Bart Solarczyk, and Nancy Krygowski.

Poets will also be deejaying their favorite tunes.

Come dance to the poems & groove to the poetry of pop!!

This event is FREE.

We’ll be taking up a collection for Planned Parenthood of Western PA during the event.

Books of 2017

Posted in New Releases, Recent Publications with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 31, 2017 by 6GPress

Here they all are, albeit blurrier than IRL. Available wherever they are sold (the authors, your local bookmonger or library, an evil, horrifying corporate leviathan, etc.). The ones I edited & laid out all have “man” in the title & the ones Mark Spitzer did all have “ar” & “la”.

Here they are again, in order of release, w/ better pics:

Thanks for reading & see ya next year!

12/16 Holiday Book Sale Redux @ Irma Freeman Center for Imagination

Posted in Events, New Releases with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 10, 2017 by 6GPress

12-5PM SATURDAY…

Join us for a SECOND CHANCE to browse great books from Pittsburgh authors, publishers, and booksellers.

SATURDAY, December 16th
12-5pm
Irma Freeman Center for the Imagination
5006 Penn Avenue
Penn Avenue Arts District
Free admission
Street parking

Confirmed vendors so far:

Air & Nothingness Press
Hyacinth Girl Press
Lilliput Review
Karen’s Book Row–with many books from Pittsburgh publishers!
Six Gallery Press
Very Important Books–fiction & zines
Authors signing books!

I’ll be sharing a table w/ Don Wentworth at this, so visit us for all your Six Gallery Press & Lilliput Review needs. Pictured are Manual for Wayward Angels by Jessica Fenlon, the Low Ghost love poem anthology Unconditional Surrender, & Muskrat Friday Dinner by Scott Silsbe, three great books from 2017 (I’ve at least skimmed the other ones & strongly suspect they’re also pretty good). The latest Six Gallery titles Viva Arletty! by Mark Spitzer & Arkansas Ghoulash by Scotty Lewis, Manchild by Alan Olifson, & Under the Kaufmann’s Clock by Angele Ellis w/ photos by Rebecca Clever, will be available too, along w/ selections from the back catalog by Ally Malinenko, Chuck Kinder, Elwin Cotman, Jason Baldinger, John Grochalski, Victor Navarro, book sale organizer Karen Lillis, & more.

12/17 Viva Arletty! & Arkansas Ghoulash launch @ White Whale + Bah Humbug 4 @ Brillobox

Posted in Events, Interviews, New Releases with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 7, 2017 by 6GPress

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 17…

Two new books & two readings! The Ghost of Literature Present will pay a terrifying visit today!

6PM at White Whale in Bloomfield, welcome two writers from Arkansas to Pittsburgh (& welcome their books to your noodle by buying & reading them, too). Free readings & refreshments, possibly including actual goulash.

Scotty Lewis, a 2015 graduate of the Arkansas Writers MFA Program, is debuting his first book of poetry, Arkansas Ghoulash.

Here’s an interview w/ Scotty talking about the book, & here’s another one.

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.

Alan Olifson is an award-winning humor columnist, public radio commentator, comedian and regular host of Pittsburgh’s monthly Moth StorySLAMs. He created the acclaimed storytelling series WordPlay in his hometown of Los Angeles which he now produces in Pittsburgh along with Bricolage Production Company as part of their regular season. He’s hosted storytelling events for conferences, schools and, believe it or not, bridal showers. His book, Manchild: My Life Without Adult Supervision, is now out on Six Gallery Press. Alan relocated to Pittsburgh with his wife and two children years ago but never tires of hearing people complain about “traffic.”

Angele Ellis is the author of Arab on Radar (Six Gallery), Spared (A Main Street Rag Editors’ Choice Chapbook), Under the Kaufmann’s Clock: Fiction, Poems, and Photographs of Pittsburgh with photos by Rebecca Clever (Six Gallery), and co-author of the diversity workbook Dealing With Differences (Corwin). A 2008 recipient of an Individual Creative Artist fellowship in poetry from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, she was a prizewinner in the 2007 RAWI Competition for Creative Prose and first runner-up in the 2012 Grey Sparrow Flash Fiction Contest. Angele’s reviews, poetry, and fiction have appeared in nearly sixty publications and fourteen anthologies. She is a contributing editor to Al Jadid Magazine.

John Thomas Menesini is the author of The Last Great Glass Meat Million (Six Gallery Press, 2003), e pit ap h (Convergence, 2007), endo: Poems & Sketches 2007 – 2011 (Six Gallery Press, 2011), and Gloom Hearts & Opioids (Six Gallery Press, 2015). His poems have appeared in numerous publications in Ireland, Scotland, England, and the US, thus garnering dozens of fans across the globe.

Rick Claypool grew up in a small town in western Pennsylvania called Leechburg, but he currently lives in Pittsburgh. By day he works for Public Citizen, a nonprofit organization that fights corporate power. Leech Girl Lives (Spaceboy Books, 2017) is his first novel.

At 8PM, head over to Brillobox for Bah Humbug 4: Writers (Still) Wrestle the Holiday Spirit…

Tastier than a fruitcake, easier to assemble than a Fisher Price playhouse, for the FOURTH year in a row, we are bringing some of Pittsburgh’s finest writers together to entertain you with tales of their holiday work experiences.

$5 suggested donation, proceeds benefit the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.

The readers will channel their inner-Sedaris, and offer up tales from their time as food service employees, retail workers, and other assorted time-card punchers during the bleak months of November and December. They will attempt to locate their hoilday spirit. Or THE holiday spirits (aka, Jim, Jack and maybe even Johnny).

Just like signing the group birthday card or buying overpriced crap from your co-worker’s kid’s school fundraiser, UGLY HOLIDAY SWEATERS STRONGLY ENCOURAGED.

Hosted by Jason Baldinger (who was once run over by a Black Friday crowd on a rampage for office supplies), and Stephanie Brea (who probably stole that art book she gave you for Christmas in 2001).

The Lineup:

Becky Corrigan
Angele Ellis
Rich Gegick
Lori Jakiela
Andrea Laurion
Deesha Philyaw
Meghan Tutolo
Matt Ussia
Bob Walicki

When The Wizard of Oz Breaks Out into a Gun Battle: An Interview with Scotty Lewis, Author of Arkansas Ghoulash

Posted in Events, Interviews, New Releases with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2017 by 6GPress

Mark Spitzer says,

Hey, my grad students in poetry just did a kick-ass interview with Scotty on his book.

& here it is. Mark & Scotty will read from their new books Sunday, December 17th at White Whale Bookstore in Bloomfield, along with locals Alan Olifson, Angele Ellis, John Menesini, & Rick Claypool.

When The Wizard of Oz Breaks Out into a Gun Battle:

An Interview with Scotty Lewis, Author of Arkansas Ghoulash

By Drew Cook, Énbarr Coleman, Callie Smith, Briget Laskowski, JJ McNiece, and Mikayla Davis

 

Scotty Lewis, a lecturer in Writing at the University of Central Arkansas, was recently featured at the Faulkner County Library in Conway for a “Debut-Break-Out-Book-Readin-Book-Signin Bonanza.” Hot off the press from Six Gallery Press in Pittsburgh, Arkansas Ghoulash is his first book, and it wasn’t an easy story to tell. On one hand, the narrative revolves around a tragic act of domestic violence; but on the other, it is a daring and complex epic poem in the postmodern tradition that relies on lyrical flashes from a highly unnatural “natural state.” After a dramatic reading that blew his audience away, Lewis responded to questions—an opportunity that graduate students in Creative Writing from the Arkansas Writers MFA Workshop conveniently exploited:

Drew Cook: One of things you do in Arkansas Ghoulash is you take established forms and then you kind of collage them together so they’re not visually recognizable and all that’s left is the music. It’s really a high Modernist approach. I’m interested in how you arrived at that strategy, and if there were any difficulties and advantages in doing so.

Scotty Lewis: There are a lot of things that make poetry good or bad but one of the key things is music. Do I like improvisation? Of course. We like jazz but we also like form. The best improvisation realizes that there’s form, and it breaks it. The best improvisation realizes form. In a way this caused major difficulties because I might have preferred a straight narrative, but I don’t know if it would have worked that way. Emotionally, it was hard for me to do even as abstract as it is. If I turned this into a very straightforward story, I don’t know that I could have done it. Playing with the music of it, playing with the feeling of it, being able to be lyrical in different ways… it helped me capture the feel of it.

Énbarr Coleman: What stuck out most to me was the mention of the Berlin Wall because I noticed that you had a lot of these violent images, a lot of nature, and also soft and gentle stuff. Then suddenly you’ve got the Berlin Wall and things of that nature thrown in. In my opinion, it went from this very local poem to much grander, much more international. I was curious to hear your thoughts on that.

Lewis: There were several markers. The Berlin Wall is in there. Tiananmen Square is in there. There are a few big events of the time that were in there. If you go through the book, there are about seven or eight of those in there. Part of those are to mark time. This is the era that we’re talking about. This is the time we’re talking about. This poem jumps around a lot. Even tonight—and I didn’t want to stop and indicate necessarily because it would have broken up the rhythm of it—but there are places in the part I read tonight that weren’t necessarily sticking to one timeline. Those markers were put in there to anchor the reader in a certain time. They were also in there not only to give a sense of the violence that was taking place and erupting in my household, but also that was erupting around the world. The two things may not be related really, but they seem related. I mean, I grew up in the 1980s, so I certainly didn’t grow up with a cell phone, but I did grow up with a television. I did grow up with a Commodore 64. I grew up with enough technology to always be in touch with what was going on in the world. So I don’t think there is such a thing as living a completely local life anymore.

Callie Smith: The epic form of Arkansas Ghoulash is unusual in contemporary poetry—you don’t see that much. How did you decide on writing in this epic form? What were the challenges and what did it buy you?

Lewis: That’s such an interesting question. While it is the length of an epic, I think I really fell short on a lot of the other elements, but I did sort of want to include some aspects of the epic while writing it. I do think, in a sense, there is a journey to the underworld and an attempt, at least, to come back. So what inspired me to do that? I don’t know, but my favorite epic poem is The Odyssey, which I refer to in the poem. And I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do it in short form. I didn’t want to do it as necessarily sixty poems about the same event. I thought it needed space to grow . . . But I was also keeping a lot of different forms in mind. Within the text, there are places where sonnets, blank verse, where American haiku is hidden—where a lot of smaller forms are actually talking back and forth to each other.

JJ McNiece: I felt a hyperpolarization with your imagery as you read. On one end: brutal, severe violence. On the other: soft, sweet calm. It seemed that the beginning displayed more of the brutal imagery, while the images during the violent event itself were often softer, though interspersed with the brutal. At the end, I felt the imagery gravitated almost exclusively toward that sweet, softer side. I’m curious what your conscious decisions are with imagery and language as you’re going through this? What are you trying to accomplish?

Lewis: I was trying to accomplish a balance. If this is going to be genuine, I don’t think I can gloss over the violence. This was a very violent incident. So, even the things surrounding it, even the consciousness of the narrator while he looks into other things—simple things—notices violence more, even in the landscape. I hope, too, that there are softer parts. I don’t know that I made a conscious decision to polarize those things, but both exist. Do I decide to make softer images? I do, but I don’t know that I think about it that much. I try to make a pretty image now and then. I like to make images. I think it’s a stronger suit of my poetry.

Briget Laskowski: My question deals with images, particularly the images you have on page 63 and 64 where you use the Tin Man image. In fact you even take his words, “Just because I’m presumin’ / That I could be a human / If I only had a heart,” and then on page 64 you have Mickey Mouse, Goofy, and Donald Duck. What were you attempting to communicate using these images?

Lewis: Those were domestic images. I wanted to make sure people understood what those images were about. It was very close, very in the home. It was The Wizard of Oz breaking out into a gunfight. It was Loony Tunes in a certain sense. I was fifteen years old. I was really just crawling into adolescence . . . I felt like a child. So I wanted to make sure that things we associated with children like Mickey Mouse and The Wizard of Oz were there. Another reason for The Wizard of Oz specifically, was the year this happened my brother was extremely talented, very handsome, and he was beginning his acting career, and his acting career launched off partially from his acting in plays at our school. Probably his biggest role was as the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz. Actually, in the yearbook for the next year there was a full page spread of my brother as the Tin Man.

Mikayla Davis: Many of your poems use natural imagery juxtaposed with very human, sometimes even mechanical imagery, so I was wondering what purpose you see that relationship playing in your poems? And what is humanity’s position in relationship with nature, for you?

Lewis: I think we’re way past being romantics about it. I think that would be disingenuous. I think that would be a lie. I love nature. I love going out. I love to fish, I love to hike. Those of you who know me know I love to be outside, but I always see it diminishing. I don’t really see our efforts to fight it as being very good or even very genuine. I mean, we’re part of nature, right? And so anything we see, if there are mechanical images mixed in with the natural—what we make is as much a part of nature as an ant making an anthill or beaver making a beaver dam. It might be more complicated in the way we do it, but we’re part of nature. We’re just one of those things in nature that really knows how to screw things up. We’re like termites. We’re going to keep eating at the tree until we kill it.

9/27 Arkansas Ghoulash Launch @ Faulkner County Library + Bridge Series @ Brillobox

Posted in Events, New Releases with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2017 by 6GPress

7PM WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27…

CONWAY, AR— UCA Visiting Lecturer, Scotty Lewis, the first graduate of the MFA program in creative writing to defend his thesis at UCA, will read from his debut book at 7:00 p.m. on September 27th at the Conway Public Library. Arkansas Ghoulash, recently published by Six Gallery Press in Pittsburgh, evolved from his thesis, a highly complex and lyrical epic poem written in the form of investigative verse.

Described by Drew Cook as “at once oppressively intimate and as wide as the American South,” Arkansas Ghoulash examines the poet’s violent domestic past. Marck Beggs, author of Blind Verse, says that Lewis “displays a dazzling ability to shove poetic style and grace to the outer edges,” in a book that Lea Graham, author of Hough & Helix & Where & Here & You, You, You,” describes as “a stew of ghosts” in a “mercurial slipstream.”

The event is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase with a signing to follow. The Faulkner County Library is located at 1900 Tyler St. in Conway. For more information please contact Nancy Allen at nancy@fcl.org or call (501) 327-7482.

8PM WEDNESDAY…

The Bridge Series unites the Pittsburgh literary and activist communities to raise awareness and funds for local organizations fighting the good fight in these troubling times.

The series convenes the last Wednesday of each month at The Brillobox. Each installment will feature Pittsburgh’s finest writers and a special guest organization (with proceeds from the evening going directly to that organization).

$5 cover.

Tonight will feature readings from:

Lisa Alexander’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in various journals including Tupelo Quarterly, 2 Bridges Review, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, The Burnside Review, BLOOM, and 5 AM among others. She holds an MFA in poetry from Drew University, and is a member of the Madwomen in the Attic writing workshops. Alexander has led poetry workshops at the University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg, California University of Pennsylvania, Drew University in Madison, NJ and the Isles YouthBuild Community Program in Trenton, NJ. She has been a sound engineer for Prosody, NPR-affiliate WESA’s weekly show featuring the work of national writers for eight years and counting.

A lifelong writer, Justin Vicari is a widely published poet, critic and translator. His first collection, The Professional Weepers (Pavement Saw, 2011), won the Transcontinental Award. His work has appeared in Barrow Street, Spoon River Poetry Review, 32 Poems, Hotel Amerika, The Ledge, Oranges & Sardines, American Poetry Review, Southern Poetry Review, Third Coast, and other journals. He is also the author of six books of film and literary theory, including Male Bisexuality in Current Cinema: Images of Growth, Rebellion and Survival (McFarland, 2011) and Mad Muses and the Early Surrealists (McFarland, 2001). He lives in the South Hills of Pittsburgh.

Jeff Oaks is the author of four poetry chapbooks, including Mistakes with Strangers (Seven Kitchens Press, 2014), Shift (Seven Kitchens Press, 2010), The Moon of Books (Ultima Obscura Press, 2000), and The Unknown Country (State Street Press, 1992). The recipient of three Pennsylvania Council of the Arts fellowships, he has published poems most recently in Field, Nimrod, Mid-American Review, Superstition Review, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and Tupelo Quarterly. His essays have appeared in At Length, Creative Nonfiction, Kenyon Review Online, and in the anthologies My Diva: 65 Gay Men on the Women Who Inspire Them, and Brief Encounters: A Collection of Contemporary Nonfiction. He teaches writing at the University of Pittsburgh.

Our guest organization for the evening is Persad Center.

PERSAD CENTER is a human service organization whose mission is to improve the well-being of the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning) communities, and the HIV/AIDS communities. We serve our target populations and their loved ones, cradle to grave, across western Pennsylvania, with service centers in Pittsburgh and Washington, PA.

PERSAD fulfills its missions through outreach, prevention counseling, training and advocacy services.

OUTREACH. In collaboration with allies and friends, PERSAD works to build stronger, safer, healthier communities and steer the public dialogue about LGBTQ people and issues. Our target populations have experienced stigma and discrimination and because of that they do not enjoy the same access to quality care. PERSAD reaches out to our target populations and welcomes them to receive services they need.

PREVENTION. Recognizing that LGBTQ people are at higher risk for suicide, depression, substance abuse, HIV and other STDs, homelessness, and for being the victims of violence, PERSAD has special programs to help the community be aware of their risks and to develop protective behaviors to reduce their risks.

ADVOCACY. PERSAD offers an array of Training & Advocacy consultation services that are designed to help organizations work successfully with LGBTQ consumers and employees. We are dedicated to ending discrimination and creating welcoming environments for LGBTQ people. Our Training & Advocacy services are available to health and human service professionals, schools, corporations, HR professionals, law enforcement and public safety officials.

COUNSELING. Founded in 1972, PERSAD is the nation’s second oldest licensed counseling center serving the LGBTQ community and people living with HIV. PERSAD was created as an affirming counseling center to help LGBTQ people cope with the social discrimination they experienced and to receive professional counseling services without prejudice about their identity.

In the early 1980’s PERSAD added serving the HIV/AIDS communities to our mission because of the devastating impact that HIV had on the gay population of that time. PERSAD continues to serve the HIV+ individual regardless of their sexual or gender orientation.

For more on PERSAD, go to: www.persadcenter.org

Here’s a Littsburgh interview w/ Joan Bauer, who put this one together.