Damn this submission period has flown by! We’ve gotten so many great submissions, but if you can sneak yours in soon, I guess we can probably squeeze you into the next issue. Just hurry up already.

Issue 10 is ready for purchase (finally)!

Here is she is, in all her glory:

issue 10 cover

You can click on the cover to buy, or go to the Buy tab above. As always, $3 gets you a copy, plus $1 for shipping. Ladies love poetry, guys, so buy whichever woman pities you the most a copy today!

Submissions and Issue 10’s Art!

As of yesterday, we’re open to submissions yet again. They’re already rolling in, but please keep them coming.

In the meantime, here’s the cover art for Issue 10, by the artist Ashley Tibbetts:


A little bit about Ashley:

“I’m a 26 year old single mom and art student living in Chicago, IL. I am a freelance artist and writer. This photo is a representation of me at my very lowest. When my daughter would leave to be with her father for a few days, it was always the hardest when the door shut, and when I watched them walk down the sidewalk, from the window. I developed, and edited it myself through the traditional processes.”

Pretty soon she’ll have a website where you can purchase her work, but in the meantime, check out her deviantart page to see more of her work:

Big thanks to Ashley for coming through in the clutch when our previous artist didn’t come through. Tomorrow you’ll be able to buy a copy of Issue 10, so come back then and get four or five copies.

Interview with Cory Weimken + news

First, news. Tomorrow’s the new submission period! We’ll have cover art tomorrow as well, and you’ll be able to buy Issue 10 then as well. 3 dollars, fools!

Anyway, here’s Cory, writer of Issue 9’s “Tricks on Eleven.”

How would you describe your work in 25 words or less?

White trash goes Hollywood, finds it “homey”.

Tell me more about your story “Tricks on Eleven.”

I was asked to write a sonnet in the first Creative Writing course I ever took. Just hearing the word sonnet makes me want to bang my head against something, so I decided to have some fun with it—make it at least somewhat interesting. The result was something I’d titled “It’s a Long, Straight, and Dusty Road Out There”. It was crap, and probably not even technically a true sonnet, but I liked it. It was about a boy who’d decided to prostitute himself out in his small prairie town, choosing the gravel main drag as his working grounds. He took to drinking yellow Listerine and throwing Yo-Yo to pass the time—because that’s what prostitutes do? He never ended up making a sale because no one in town actually knew why he was standing on the side of the highway.

I remember having one of my buddies read it and tell me that I’d have to lose the ridiculousness/ humor if I wanted to go anywhere with writing, and I believed him. Over time, however, I’ve come to realize that taking myself too seriously, or, at least removing satire from my work, results in contrived garbage that in no way do I feel connected to, or feel represents me. So I decided to take the premise of the “sonnet” and play with it in a short story. I had a lot of fun with it, and “having fun with it” is my new criterion for any story I choose to wrestle with.

Who or what inspires you to write?

People. We’re such a fascinating batch of losers, and I really enjoy any rare moment in which we catch a glimpse of decency trying to escape from within us.

What do you consider to be your greatest influences?

Is it okay for me to say, “Writers who write for readers, and not simply for other writers”?

Do you have a website or a blog for your writing?


Any advice for fellow writers?

If you want to be cool and do what everyone else is doing, write something dark; if you want to be original, write something else.

What are you currently working on?

I’m playing around with the rough draft of a novel, but am focusing most of my time and energy on my wife and two little boys, and the intense training involved in becoming a high-school English teacher in British Columbia.

Where can we read your work next?

Not that anyone would want to, but if they did: nowhere. Writing’s on somewhat of a hiatus at the moment.

Anything else you’d like to add?

New Bop Dead City’s looking sharp.

Interview with Zach VandeZande

Almost there with the interviews! Almost there with the issue! Here’s Zach, winner of Issue 9’s fiction contest for his story “Flood Myth” and therefore the reigning champion of Bop Dead City fiction.

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How would you describe your work in 25 words or less?

I write about the ship sinking, that we’ve only got cupped hands to save us.  I look for the little moment of hope in that. (that’s 25 exactly)

Is this your first contest win? 

It is not!  But this is definitely the coolest contest win, seeing as there wasn’t an academic institution involved.

Tell me more about your story “Flood Myth.”

It’s actually part of a novella I’ve recently finished about two people trying in a bunch of different ways to escape from language.  It’s a weird little book that I hope connects with a few people who have my kind of nervous heart.  “Flood Myth” itself was written on my back porch in summertime.  I don’t remember where the idea came from, but, like a lot of my stories, that first sentence popped into my head, and the whole story was right there in front of me.

Who or what inspires you to write?

I write because I’m alone in here (I am pointing at my own head right now), and so is everyone else, and wouldn’t it be nice if we weren’t?  Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a way to get clear of our own boundaries?  Writing is as close as we get to that, at least with clothes on.

I am very much an anxiety-driven person, so that’s part of it, too, the realization that my existence is finite and that if I’m not using that time saying something that matters to me then the fear is that I don’t actually matter to me.  I know that’s silly, or maybe over-thinking being alive, but there it is.

What do you consider to be your greatest influences?

I get a lot out of reading David Foster Wallace, Carole Maso, David Markson, George Saunders, Susan Steinberg, Milorad Pavic, and probably a bunch of others I’m forgetting.  I have some friends who I pay close attention to.  I watch a lot of trash movies and tv.  Plus of course the ever-pressing thumb of the zeitgeist.

Do you have a website or a blog for your writing?

Right now, will take you to my (very poorly kept) tumblr.  I pretty much only use it when I’m up late and bumming myself out, but I do post every time a story of mine is published, so at least it would be good for that.

Any advice for fellow writers?

Make writing every day feel like breathing.  Turn the business side of it into a process instead of goals (for example: instead of saying, “I’m going to get X stories published this year,” say, “I’m going to submit my work X number of times a week,” and then go do that).  Build yourself a throne on top of your mountain of rejection letters.  Die trying.

What are you currently working on?

I just wrapped up a short story collection (it’s my PhD dissertation, too!) and started in on a new novel.  I don’t know what the novel will become, but the short story collection is called Lesser American Boys and has a bunch of stories about people who don’t really see each other clearly, even though they think they do.  Some of them are weird and some are more traditional.

Where can we read your work next?

I was just in the latest issue of The Boiler and in the latest issue of The Adroit Journal.  I was also recently in Atlas Review and Passages North.  Later this year I’ll have a story in Gettysburg Review.  I’m sure I’m forgetting something.  Oh well!

Anything else you’d like to add?

Just that I’m moving to Chapel Hill tomorrow and I don’t know anyone, so if you live in Chapel Hill and like beer and petting dogs and writing and reading MAYBE WE COULD BE FRIENDS.

Issue 10 Contest Winner… : /

The winner of Issue 10’s Identity Contest for poetry is…

“Master of Tears” by James Garrett!

And the winner of Issue 10’s Identity Contest for fiction is…

… no one.

Let me explain.

So for a while now, we’ve done a themed contest for both poetry and fiction in each issue, awarding a prestigious title to both along with $20 to each of the authors.

Unfortunately, out of the hundred or so stories we received this past submission period, only one was deemed great enough for Bop Dead City, and Nathan’s story didn’t match the theme. (But it’s really, really good. Worth the three bucks on its own.)

I tossed around a few ideas about what to do: go pick through the rejection pile and sheepishly beg for a story back? Give two poetry prizes away? Give it to the only story in the issue? Instead, I decided to chalk it up as a sign of our high standard for publishing the best stories and poems we can find (unlike me, BDC is both fast and good), and just award all of the prize money to the poetry winner, James. I hope there’s no hurt feelings (I don’t imagine there will be, but you never know).
So Jim, you lucky bastard, you’re getting 40 bucks. Tomorrow we’ll have one of our last Issue 9 interviews with Zach VandeZande, who actually won that issue’s fiction contest.

Issue 10 Updates

First, here’s the contributors for Issue 10:


Jackson Sabbagh – “Hampton Beach, August 2006″

Leah Mueller – “Seven Ways of Looking at Virginity” and “Long Distance”

James Garrett – “Master of Tears”

E.H. Brogan – “My Loneliness Keeps Me Company” and “teetering around a migraine”

S. Babin – “Cycling Through Days”

Michael Gould – “Observations at the Public Library” and “My friend John just told me that human beings are the offspring of gorillas and aliens from outer space”


Nathan Dixon – “Genesis”

Congrats to the aforementioned, and thank you to everyone who submitted their work. I’m still looking for Issue 10’s cover art, by the way, so if you’ve got something you think might work, please send it along.

Tomorrow, we’ll be announcing the winner (or winners, not sure yet, I’ll explain then) of our contests.


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