Monthly Archives: August 2013

Interview with Sally Burnette

Describe your work in 25 words or less.
What the broom leaves behind.
Tell me about your poem “[tension]”.
I wrote it as part of a series for a class I took in London: Fictions of Empire.
What or who inspires you to write?
The South. The City.  The post-colonial, post-Marxist, post-Auschwitz, post-modern post-intellectual.
What authors have influenced you as a writer?
Flannery O’Connor made me want to write.  But I like to think everything important I’ve read from her on has had an influence.
What are you working on right now?
Improving my German.
Any advice for other writers?
Please, please, please, please learn proper grammar.  You cannot manipulate a language you have no control over.

Interview with Mitchell Grabois

Describe your work in 25 words or less.

My poetry, columns, short stories, and novels are all ways to tell stories.


Tell me about your poem “Escaped Slave.”

Emily Dickinson remains a subject of fascination for writers. This poem followed the experience of seeing a photo of her.


What or who inspires you to write?

I don’t really think in terms of “inspiration.” I write because it’s what I do.


What authors have influenced you as a writer?

I’m never able to answer this question. I cannot trace my influences. And I’ve deeply enjoyed so many writers, from my early years on, that there’s way too many to list.


Do you have a blog/website?

I have a Facebook page for my novel, Two-Headed Dog.


What are you working on right now?

Answering these interview questions.


Any advice for other writers?

If you enjoy writing, write.


Anything else you’d like to say?

I really appreciate being published in Bop Dead City. I’m appreciative of all editors who do the hard work of keeping literature a living organism.

Interview with Kevin Ridgeway

Well, while the submission pour in for Issue 5, let’s hear from one of the contributors to Issue 4. Kevin Ridgeway, who gave us the poem “My Biggest Crush.”


Describe your work in 25 words or less.

Fly-on-the-wall stories of everyday debauchery, guilt and redemption.  Self-deprecating and humorous when necessary and rather strange at times.  My little daydreams…

Tell me about your poem “My Biggest Crush.”

I wrote that poem from the memory of a photograph of my ex-wife in high school.  I imagined what her world must have been like in those days based on what she had told me and what was evident in the photograph itself.  It’s my little tribute to her, even though our romance is long over.

What or who inspires you to write?

I’ve been writing ever since I could pick up a pencil or even a crayon, when I was very young.  I must write.  I don’t have to attempt to publish, but I must write to express the writing on the walls of my mind.  I choose to publish, which I have found very rewarding.  Even if I stop publishing, I will never stop writing.

What authors have influenced you as a writer?

Early on:  Kurt Vonnegut, Carson McCullers, Allen Ginsberg, Walt Whitman, John Fante, Bukowski and Dorothy Parker.  Contemporary authors who inspire me include Gerald Locklin, Bill Gainer and Clint Margrave, among many others.

Do you have a blog/website?

I did have a blog, which is sort of lying dormant right now.  I intend to build a website with my credits, archives and literary loves in the near future, if I can stop procrastinating.

What are you working on right now?

I will soon be promoting a couple of chapbooks of my poems:  All the Rage from Electric Windmill Press and Contents Under Pressure from Crisis Chronicles Press.  I’ve begun assembling poems for a full-length collection, which I am sure will take some time.  Other than that, I am always writing, especially my little poems.

Any advice for other writers?

Read a lot, work on the craft of writing a lot.  Don’t give up because of rejections.  There’s a lot of that, but there is also a lot of acceptance to be had, too.

Anything else you’d like to say?

I’m basically a creative clown who throws words together with the hope that they stick in the mind of the reader.  If I even manage to entertain, I think I’ve done my job.  Oh, and:  Life is short.  Do what you love.

Issue 5’s Contest Theme: Innocence

So, I originally started doing a contest each issue because 

1. being one of the fastest markets in Duotrope’s database seemed like an accomplishment worth celebrating.

2. more submissions are always a good thing.

and 3. it seemed like something a literary magazine does. 

So, this’ll be our third contest, and I struggled for a theme. Working and going about my business, the question knocked around in the background noise of my mind.

After a few days, I realized that there was a reoccurring theme over the past few days. I remarked to someone that one of the ways I know I’m getting older is that when I see innocence in someone, I don’t want to corrupt them anymore, but instead admire anyone that still has it, especially at our age. Also, now that I’m older and married, I’ve got a raging case of baby fever, and infants are about as innocent as they come, what with their stupid faces and useless legs. Finally, I remembered that the first story I ever got published was about the futility of trying to maintain someone’s innocence in a place that’s anything but. 

So, the theme of the issue is innocence in any of its forms: judicial, moral, and even the euphemistic way of referring to virginity. 

$20 will be given to the best story for the theme, and $20 for the best poem. The submission guidelines are the same as the ones listed here:, except that you must indicate that you would like your poems or story (or both, I guess) to be considered for the contest. The deadline is the same as the one for all submissions; October 1.

Finally, since I’m posting this a little late, anyone who has already submitted to us is more than welcome to submit something different that fits these guidelines. I’m not about to screw anyone out of twenty whole dollars.

Issue 5 is now open to submissions!

Well, that was a short month. Thanks to everyone who bought a copy of Issue 4. We’ve still got a few copies left, so get them while you still can; it’s a fine way to see what Bop Dead City is in the business of publishing. 

There will be a contest for this submission period, only I haven’t thought of the theme yet. Any suggestions would be most welcome. Anyway, I look forward to reading everyone’s submissions, so send them along. Good luck!