I got sent two excellent collections of writing in the mail last week.
The above is Fragmentation + Other Stories, put together by my Orlando homies Jana Waring and Ryan Rivas under their new imprint Burrow Press. I haven’t read the whole thing yet, just blasted through a few that caught my eye, most notably the flash piece at the book takes its name from by Peg Alford Pursell. She knows the key to a good flash piece is to illustrate those emotions we have that spark up real quick and fade just as fast. Tom Debauchamp’s story about a kid that compulsively says the word “skullfucker” before everything had me thinking it was going to be shocking for the sake of being shocking, but then turned out to pull off a real heart warmer. Full disclosure: I have a piece in here. While I would be psyched if you read it (it’s pretty good), that’s not why I’m pumping this collection up. Jana and Ryan are taking the initiative to start a small press for Orlando and the surrounding area, the place where I’m from and a place that doesn’t have that sort of thing. They’re taking a step towards creating an outlet for writers in that area, something that I didn’t have when I was there, and all that makes me feel good. Buy this one, it’s good writing from good people.
Issue Five contributor William Walsh was good enough to send me a copy of this collection he put together with Ampersand Books called RE: Telling – An Anthology of Borrowed Premises, Stolen Settings, Purloined Plots and Appropriated Characters. Issue Six contributor Matt Bell lends his magic to the immortal Mario Bros. in Mario’s Three Lives. Another contributor from the same issue, Jim Ruland, takes the Jack and Jill nursery rhyme to the seedy underbelly of Amsterdam and the morally ambiguous terrain of adulthood. This collection is all about fun, a chance to watch some of your favorite writers (Blake Butler, Roxane Gay, Tim Jones-Yelvington, Shya Scanlon, Molly Gaudry, Michael Kimball, Lily Hoang and more) take some pop culture figures and tropes and have a good time flipping them on their head or pushing them to limits you’d never imagined they could approach. Pick this one up if you enjoy reading.