This Week in Words – Apr. 21
by Treehouse Editors
compiled by Rachel Bondurant
On Sunday, Lookout Books held a release party for John Rybicki’s When All The World is Old. This collection of poems is Rybicki’s third, and it is inspired by his wife and her sixteen-year battle with cancer. Terrance Hayes, author of Lighthead, calls Rybicki a “true poet of ecstasy” whose poems “will make you vibrate.” For more information, including excerpts and where to buy, visit Lookout’s website.
In what may be the coolest mash-up ever, the grandsons of J.R.R. Tolkien and Charles Dickens are collaborating on two children’s books due out later this year through the Thames River Press. Michael Tolkien, a poet and The Hobbit author’s eldest grandson, based the two fantasy novels on stories his grandfather told him as a child. Gerald Dickens will narrate the audiobooks in what had better be a very Dickens voice.
Poet Zach Houston is taking it to the streets. Armed with a sign that simply reads, “POEMS – Your Topic, Your Price,” an old typewriter (he calls it his “purse full of language” which is awesome), and not much else, Houston composes poems for strangers about anything from spring break to Legos. Five years ago, he quit his job to sit on the sidewalk in San Francisco’s Ferry Plaza Farmers Market most Saturdays and write for the people. Though he admits it isn’t always a reliable income, you have to hand it to this guy for just going out there and doing it.
Michael Martone, writer and professor for University of Alabama’s creative writing program, talks to The Review Review about lit mags and why readership might not be booming. He says fame seems to be what’s important to some people in what he calls “the construction of this thing called an author.” When asked about his favorite literary magazines, he claims that they’re all good for different reasons, but he does love publishing in new magazines to help them “make a name for themselves.” That sounds good to me – where do we sign up?
Another excellent interview to check out: Miranda July in The Rumpus. July is a filmmaker, writer, and performer whose new book, It Chooses You, is composed of interviews between July and people she met through “for sale” ads in Los Angeles’ Pennysaver. The book, though not necessarily meant to be a companion piece, shares a similar thread with July’s new film entitled The Future. Some topics from the interview: strangers as inspiration, July’s awkwardness in one-on-one conversations, and the impact of modern technology on the quality of people’s interactions with one another. If you’ve ever read July’s work, you know what a unique voice she has and that definitely comes through here.
Want a free lit mag subscription? The Review Review is having a contest to see who knows the most about A cappella Zoo, “an independent magazine of magic realism and slipstream.” The winner will be chosen at the end of April and gets a free subscription to the mag in question: A cappella Zoo. Give it a shot. While you’re there, check out the other contests going on at The Review Review.