“Each of Us Has Our Own Personal Mythology” An Interview With Juliet Escoria

Juliet the Maniac, the third book and first novel from Juliet Escoria, has been earning rave reviews since its release earlier this month. In his review of the book for NPR, Gabino Iglesias noted, “Juliet The Maniac is a heartfelt, raw, powerfully told story about surviving mental illness and learning to cope with inner demons. Escoria is a talented writer who’s not afraid to write her truth, even when it will scrape viciously at the souls of readers.” Robert Lopez spoke with Escoria about the lines between autofiction and memoir, how she developed her prose style, and personal mythologies.

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Six Ridiculous Questions With Michael T. Fournier

The guiding principle of Six Ridiculous Questions is that life is filled with ridiculousness. And questions. That only by giving in to these truths may we hope to slip the surly bonds of reality and attain the higher consciousness we all crave. (Eh, not really, but it sounded good there for a minute.) It’s just. Who knows? The ridiculousness and question bits, I guess. Why six? Assonance, baby, assonance.

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Occult Influences and Trance States: Janaka Stucky’s Singular Poetry

Janaka Stucky‘s haunting, intense readings are some of the most gripping examples of the form you’re likely to witness. His latest book, Ascend Ascend, is a powerful meditation on death, decay, and rebirth — the result of a composition process that involved trance states. In advance of his New York event with Atlas Obscura on May 11, we chatted with him about the new collection, the ritualistic elements of poetry, and his unique approach to readings.

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Six Ridiculous Questions: Matthew Norman

The guiding principle of Six Ridiculous Questions is that life is filled with ridiculousness. And questions. That only by giving in to these truths may we hope to slip the surly bonds of reality and attain the higher consciousness we all crave. (Eh, not really, but it sounded good there for a minute.) It’s just. Who knows? The ridiculousness and question bits, I guess. Why six? Assonance, baby, assonance.

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The Discipline of Running, the Discipline of Writing: An Interview With Jaclyn Gilbert

A bit about working in a bookstore, let me explain . . . People take it to mean, oh, you must be well-read, or that you read a ton, when in my case I only read about 6 to 7 books a year. Some of those are comics. But also, keeping to the idea of a kind of diet. Because, they say, you need fats, cholesterol, in addition to vegetables. And not just comfort foods! The idea that some free-range variety can in fact change the way you view your own world, your own life and relationships. In ways that feel explosive. Unexpected. From a guy like me who gets breakfast at the nearby 7-11. No, seriously. That much, to explain my end-of-last-year toe-dip into full-bodied, non-GMO, mainstream, literary fiction.

Late Air is the story of a marriage. Murray is an elite-level women’s running coach, pushing his athletes at Yale to the absolute brink. A freak training accident involving his star runner, Becky Sanders, sends Murray spiraling back to his long-ago marriage to Nancy, a situation also abruptly marred by tragedy. Told from dueling perspectives, both Murray and Nancy painfully relive the dissolution of their relationship. Unexpectedly, more than a decade later, Nancy begins running to find herself. While what begins as a mystery, may in fact be gnawing psychological decline, as Murray continues to question the circumstances of the accident, looking for answers. A couple of horrific twists in this one that really turn your stomach. Also, I should mention, this is a love story! By the way, I first met Jaclyn Gilbert at a reading series in Brooklyn. (More on that.*) I made enough fevered notes to myself reading her book, I figured I might as well hit up Jaclyn via email, exchange pleasantries, do a quick interview…

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Six Ridiculous Questions: Timmy Reed

The guiding principle of Six Ridiculous Questions is that life is filled with ridiculousness. And questions. That only by giving in to these truths may we hope to slip the surly bonds of reality and attain the higher consciousness we all crave. (Eh, not really, but it sounded good there for a minute.) It’s just. Who knows? The ridiculousness and question bits, I guess. Why six? Assonance, baby, assonance.<

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“It’s Like Getting to Pittsburgh”: An Interview With Bud Smith

About two years ago I left grad school and got a big boy job. And it was as if someone flipped a switch behind the scenes of my life: all of a sudden, I felt free. And for the first time in a long while, I was able to read books. I could read for fun. I could read without having to worry about wasting time, without having to feel guilty about reading for no other reason than to enjoy it. So I bought books, I bought them from all kinds of stores, from websites, from yard sales. It was great, and I was constantly looking for new stuff to read but didn’t know what to look for. Then I realized that back when I did read books – back before grad school – I had briefly touched upon this world of independent literature that felt so wild and free. So I went back to see what was up, to see what I should be reading, and by convoluted paths over recommendations and tracing out who’s friends with who and mapping out which presses put out which books and etc. and so on, I remember at some point just staring at the evocative and bold cover of Double Bird on the Maudlin House website and thinking “I bet this is good.” Then I looked up some of Bud’s writing and decided “ok, yeah, this is good,” and ordered the dang thing.

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