Tag Archives: issue 6

Issue 6’s Last Interview and Issue 7’s Last Day

Today’s the last day to submit your poem or story and have it be considered for Issue 7, so keep adding to the deluge that’s hit my inbox in the past 48 hours. Also, to tide you over until Issue 7’s been released, here’s our interview with Jennifer Jackson Berry.

THIS ONE

Describe your work in 25 words or less:

My work is my truth. And to paraphrase Muriel Rukeyser, I want to split the world open with it.

Tell me about your poem “Another Poem About Infertility:”

The first stanza was in my head for a long time. Once I finally got it out of my head, the rest came quickly. I liked the “this, until not this” construction as a way to try to make sense of the perplexing issue of infertility, as well as the word “another” in the title pointing to the idea that dealing with infertility is often a long, drawn out process. I gave the poem to a writer-friend for his critique, and he said this doesn’t have to be an infertility poem. It’s just a great sex poem. But at the time I wrote it, the two were intertwined too deeply for me to not direct the reader with the title.

What authors have influenced you as a writer?

There were three collections that were very important to me in my early college years, when I first started writing poetry seriously: Mad River by Jan Beatty, Girl Soldier by Denise Duhamel, and Satan Says by Sharon Olds. All three women continued on in their own careers to write many more stunning collections, each one inspiring in its own way.

Do you have a blog/website?

I try to maintain a tumblr: http://www.jaxnberry.tumblr.com, but don’t always do that much with it. I’m always on facebook though: https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.j.berry.

Where can we read you next?

My e-chapbook When I Was a Girl was just published with Sundress Publications (http://sundresspublications.com/echaps.htm). I have poems appearing in upcoming issues of Cider Press Review, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Nerve Cowboy, Lilliput Review, and Iodine Poetry Journal, as well as the online feature Chapter & Verse of the Pittsburgh City Paper.

What are you working on right now?

I’m revising my full length manuscript, tentatively titled To the Pith; I hope to send it out to contests and open readings periods in the next few months.

Any advice for other writers?

Find a community! The act of writing is often a solitary, lonely experience, but I rely on my fellow writers to find sanity.

Anything else you’d like to say?

Thank you to Bop Dead City and Kevin Rodriguez for giving a home to my poem.

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Interview with Dan Sicoli

Dan gave Bop Dead City his excellent poem “In,” and, if the interview is tl; dr for you, then please just visit his wonderful Slipstream Press at http://www.slipstreampress.org/. They’re painfully legit.

 

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Describe your work in 25 words or less.

I hope it’s cinematic–that is, imagistic free verse–grounded in place whether it be physical, emotional or psychological. And a little mysterious, at times.

Tell me about your poem “In.”

I see the piece as somewhat of an exploration of a lover deluded by his infatuation with a woman he believes he is “in” love with. She remains aloof and distant and uses him when it’s convenient for her to fill in her own emptiness and needs. He misinterprets this as real love and thinks he’s “in” with her. She may be longing for another’s unrequited love and thus is depressed, unsatisfied, and unfulfilled.

Of course, other interpretations are welcome and probably more interesting.

What or who inspires you to write?

Well, inspiration can come from everywhere–real life events, family situations, arguing neighbors, a hound howling in middle of the night, a dented car, a painting, a news item, an injustice, another poem…

What authors have influenced you as a writer?

Oddly, it’s more than just authors. The work of the following individuals (in no particular order) have sparked something in me to write: Shakespeare, Bukowski, Joni Mitchell, Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, John Fante, Salvatore Dali, John Steinbeck, Martin Scorsese, George Carlin, Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, e.e. cummings, John Coltrane, Robert Service, John Lennon, Picasso, Homer, Frank Lloyd Wright, Walt Whitman, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Francis Ford Coppola, David Lynch, Johnny Cash, Lucinda Williams, Richard Braudigan, Neil Young, Miles Davis, Muddy Waters, Paul Kelly… 

Do you have a blog/website?

No, but you can find the small press magazine I co-edit at: www.slipstreampress.org.

Where can we read you next?

I have some stuff upcoming with Snail Mail Review, Architrave, and Santa Fe Literary Review.

What are you working on right now?

Besides my kitchen, more pieces and re-writes.

Any advice for other writers?

For every word you write, read a thousand more.

Anything else you’d like to say?

Give your $upport to the small/micro presses–like Bop Dead City and others.

 

Interview with M. Robert Fisher

Today’s interview is with the winner of Bop Dead City’s Issue 6 Contest Winner for fiction, M. Robert Fisher. I forgot to ask him what he thought about winning the contest, so let’s assume it was the greatest moment of his life or at least top three. Handsome devil, too.
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Describe your work in 25 words or less.
Gritty to light literary fiction with humor and heart, grounded in realism.
Tell me about your story “Small Town Girl.”
“Small Town Girl” is a story that follows Ray Beaudry, a hard drinking, sardonic writer with a firm, potentially twisted world perspective that tends to get him in more trouble than anything else.  This follows him on an almost petulantly inspired road trip out of the city after feeling placated and unappreciated for his literary mastery.  In most of my “Ray stories” he gets drunk and does something stupid or reckless but usually with good intentions; in this story I wanted to feed the romantic in me.  I’ve often described this story as my version of a Gothic romantic comedy, a fractured fairy tale so to speak.  It was an opportunity to show Ray’s softer side, which I don’t often give in to.  And what’s more romantic than going on an adventure and meeting a beautiful stranger in a strange new place?
What or who inspires you to write?
Words.  Sounds basic or simplistic but I can be inspired be a single phrase, even a word.  This story was inspired by a conversation I had with an editor I was working with at the time and she simply said “you’re growing.”.  I once wrote a 4,000 word short story completely inspired by the word “unfurnished” which I’d come upon while reading a Henry Miller novel.  If I am reading, chances are I am writing.
What authors have influenced you as a writer?
Because I started out in screenwriting a lot of my influences came from film and television.  I would say my greatest literary influences have been Charles Bukowski and Nick Hornby, who couldn’t be more different but speak to me in ways other authors like Vonnegut and Henry Miller failed.   Reading fiction to me is such a deeply personal thing that I am inspired by people who I feel bled on the page, whether it is light or stark in tone.
Do you have a blog/website?
Just Facebook:
Where can we read you next?
Other than Bop Dead City?  I have a short stories published in “Bleeding Heart Cadaver” and “Notes Magazine” which are both available on Amazon.  A lot of my previously published fiction was published on now defunct web magazines.  I am in the process of resubmitting a lot of that work as well as placing some older stories I’ve been polishing up.
What are you working on right now?
My novel.  The novel that is killing me.  It’s a dual narrative about a 20-something drug addicted poet and a woman estranged from her children that form a suicide pact after meeting on craigslist.
Any advice for other writers?
Find your voice and don’t let anyone try to dissuade you from being who you are.  And keep writing, no matter how rough the criticism can get.
Anything else you’d like to say?
Keep reading!  Anything, I don’t care.  Just read!

Interview wih M.E. Riley

Ahh, I’m back to my lackadasical updates. I was good for like… almost two weeks? Regardless, I do have a very thoughtful and informative interview with M.E. Riley, who waxes poetic below sea level in New Orleans.

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Describe your work in 25 words or less.

Memories, the hurt of them. Carrying and sharing narratives that define who I am. A survey on what’s lost and what I can regain.

Tell me about your poem “De Valls Bluff Voodoo.”

It’s a retelling of a memory made years ago, when I was a teenager. The memory itself is hazy in particular places, so I used it to my advantage, language-wise, and tried to encapsulate images + dialogue in dense snippets. It’s dirty weird South.

What or who inspires you to write?

Hearing folks telling stories, trying their accents on my tongue. Music – I listen to so much music. Talking family history with my mother and aunt. Visual art that challenges how I define my views on the world. Traveling through the south.

What authors have influenced you as a writer?

Frank Stanford, C.D. Wright, Jericho Brown, Zora Neale Hurston, Philip Levine, Anne Sexton, Dorothy Parker, Langston Hughes, and Sharon Olds, to name a few.

Do you have a blog/website?

I’m currently both Blog Editor and Associate Poetry Editor for Bayou Magazine. Check out our series + highlights @ bayoumagazine.org. Haven’t had the time yet to cultivate a personal website, but folks can read my musings on Twitter (@RiotGirlRiley).

Where can we read you next?

Find my most recent work in The Rain, Party, and Disaster Society as well as in the debut issue of Quaint Magazine. A poem is forthcoming from Deep South Magazine.

What are you working on right now?

My MFA thesis. It’s in its final stages, but somehow, the ending has been much more difficult than the beginning. Understanding what a body of work is, what it does/could represent, may be the toughest lesson I’ve had to learn as an artist. If I ever figure it out, you’re the first I’ll call.

Any advice for other writers?

They say write what you know. I agree, but with an addendum: Write what you know, even if you don’t know what it means. No one has lived your life and therefore, no one can make your art. DO YOU.

Can you explain the appeal of New Orleans?

It constantly engages all my senses — I wear my gold locust earrings and pin-striped jacket to the corner store without a stranger’s glance. From my bedroom window, I see horses running the race track each morning. I hear poetry + music nearly any day of the week. I eat pounds of freshly- boiled crawfish out of a neighbor’s truck bed.

Anything else you’d like to say?

WRITE ON


Interview with Rachel Nix, Issue 6’s Poetry Contest Winner

Our first interview for this go-around is with Rachel Nix, who was so kind as to give us two poems: “Kathryn,” which won the contest, and “Acreage.” It’s always nice to get submissions from fellow Southerners (even though I’m really just a carpetbagger), especially gracious Alabamians like Rachel.
Rachel Nix
Describe your work in 25 words or less.
I aim to convey the human condition; be it through my own stories or opinions of other things, and hopefully with a little Southern flavor.
Congratulations on winning such a prestigious contest! Is this your first time? How’s it feel?
 
Thank you! It is my first time and it shocked me, to be honest. It really gave me the nod of approval in wondering if my narrative approach was getting me anywhere. And to win with “Kathryn” is the best part of it all, as that poem is so personal and nostalgic for me.
Tell me about your poems “Kathryn” and “Acreage.”
 
“Kathryn” was written for a mentor of mine, Kathryn King, who so kindly let me visit her home in the summer of 2012. She’s become a very close friend of mine and I wanted to pay respect to the grace she’s shown me. “Acreage” is my way of paying homage to the wonderful childhood I had. I was surrounded with so much love and happiness growing up that being ‘poor’ was not something I even registered into thought until I was older.
What or who inspires you to write?
As a child I always followed after my grandmother who constantly told me stories and shared the most entertaining perspectives. I think in some way, poetry is my way of emulating her effect on me.
What authors have influenced you as a writer?
Andrew Glaze, Mary Oliver, Amber Tamblyn, and as of lately, I’ve been catching up on Pamela Gemin’s work. I love writers with sure voices, and reading so much of these writers’ poetry has helped me to find my own.
Do you have a blog/website?
I do; it can be found here: http://chasingthegrey.com/
It’s fairly bare right now but I’m working on posting more there soon.
Where can we read you next?
I have two poems slated for publication at Stone Path Review; I believe that’s to happen in the spring.
What are you working on right now?
Currently I’m just going through scraps from a project I took on with a few friends where we agreed to write every day for the entire year of 2013. I slacked a little, but I have quite a bit that I’m hoping to form new work from.
Any advice for other writers?
 
Don’t lose your nerve. It’s easy to get battered down with declines and whatnot, but the process of writing and getting your work out there is extremely rewarding. Also, develop a circle of people to help with editing and overall opinions. My work has grown so much in the past year and I attribute that to having eyes other than my own to help me ready my poems. I’d also highly recommend reading the poem “A Letter To David Matzke” from ‘Damned Ugly Children’ by Andrew Glaze; it’s full of bold advice for anyone wanting to say anything.
Do you find there’s any stigma being a writer from the South?
 
I do; to be honest, the stigma on the South goes far beyond literature, and it’s very unfair. We’re often viewed as ignorant folk who can only be trusted for a proper cornbread recipe. But I welcome the stigma, and am proud to be a writer from North Alabama. I feel like my work shows the charm and warmth we’re afforded down here, and I’d like for everyone to realize they ought to be envious, if anything.
Anything else you’d like to say?
I’d just like to thank you, Kevin, for giving my poems a home in Bop Dead City.

Issue 6 Contest Announcement: Home

It’s become a tradition to have a contest for every issue, and every time I have to rack my brain to figure out what it’ll be. I can’t just stop giving away FORTY DOLLARS, you know? So I settled on home as the theme for this issue. Makes sense, with people coming home for the holidays, good or bad. My wife and I also gave twenty bucks to a couple of train hoppers with adorable mutts, which got me thinking about what exactly home is, since I didn’t truly consider three people with two dogs to be homeless for some reason.
Anything that you feel is about home or your hometown or what home is or isn’t whatever (we’re pretty broad here), send it on in with a note saying you’d like it to be considered for the contest (all entries will also be considered for regular ol’ publication too).
All the other submission guidelines are the same as those listed here. The contest deadline, like the general deadline, is January 1. $20 goes to the winner for fiction, and $20 to the poetry winner. 
Good luck to you all, and I’m excited to read your work!