Hammond Guthrie’s AsEverWas: Memoirs of a Beat Survivor

As Ever Was: Memoirs of a Beat Survivor by Hammond Guthrie

AsEverWas: Memoirs of a Beat Survivor by Hammond Guthrie / 2nd edition / Jorvik Press / 978-0988412231 / paperback, 296 pagesWhen the counterculture was busy being born in Los Angeles and San Francisco in the mid-1960s, Hammond Guthrie found himself in the midst of hipster heaven, somewhere between late Beat and early Hippie. A budding painter and writer, he quickly made … [Read more...]

Review – T.C. Boyle Stories II

TC Boyle - Stories II

Stories II by T.C. Boyle / Viking / Penguin Group / 2013 / 978-0670026258 / 944 pagesIn some form or another the short story has probably been around as long as man has had the desire and the ability to communicate. Oral tales told around the fire at night aren't going to be long drawn out affairs. Neither are they going to deal with more than one subject. While they might … [Read more...]

Review – Erik Verhaar’s Andalusian Dogging

Andalusian Dogging by Erik Verhaar

Andalusian Dogging by Erik Verhaar, translated by Jonathan Ellis / The Reception Game / 2013 / 17 pages In Erik Verhaar's short story, inspired by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dali's 1929 film An Andalusian Dog (Un Chien Andalou), the film itself becomes a character.An Andalusian Dog bumps into this story's narrator on the street:"I felt his fingers tap my shoulder. I … [Read more...]

Review – How Hip Was My Alley by Kenton Crowther

How Hip Was My Alley by Kenton Crowther

[Editor's note: 5/21/2014: How Hip Was My Alley has been re-titled Dad, the Times We Had: Baby Boomers in Paradise.]Kenton Crowther's previous volume, Alleycats and Beatsters, collected the author's writings built on the Beat Generation and the essence of "hip." This time out, he casts a wider net; How Hip Was My Alley gathers over three dozen pieces on a wide variety of … [Read more...]

Cry, Exploration, Ceremony

Howl by Allen Ginsberg / Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko / Diving into the Wreck by Adrienne Rich. Collage copyright Empty Mirror.

Oppositional postmodernist literature is associated with the Beat movement and came about after the terrible, unforeseen destruction of World War II. While the modernists were positive about the human spirit and mankind’s ability to progress to an ever better future, postmodernists posited that there is creative power in negativity and opposition as well as destructive … [Read more...]

Love in the no-land space between two cultures: an interview with Zlatko Anguelov

Zlatko Anguelov

Jasmina Tacheva talks with Bulgarian-American author Zlatko Anguelov about his newest book, Erotic Memories (2012), and the ideas of love, devotion, harmony and memory on the border between two cultures.Zlatko Anguelov, born 1946 in Varna, Bulgaria, is a Bulgarian-American writer, a Canadian and American citizen who lived for 21 years in North America, and recently moved … [Read more...]

My Father

FATHER - Vintage family photo via Tobyotter/Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/78428166@N00/5334024309/

Franz Kafka wrote a long letter to his father. It said a lot of what I wanted to say to my father but did not have the words or self-composure or courage to say. So I left it on his desk and sometime later I found it on the stairs going up to my room indicating he had read it and had nothing to say.To be humiliated by your father in any way and not be able to respond or … [Read more...]

splake’s Magic Box

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splake fishing in america. Rockford: Presa Press, 2013 only in my dreams. Springfield: Gage, 2012. Beyond Campfire Ashes. Battle Creeek: Gage, 2012. Backwater Bard Loft Musings. Fort Wayne: The Moon, 2009. Le Metrop 2012. Ed Gray dir. (dvd).Poet Bryn Fortey said it best: “When splake sends, he really sends.”Once, both of us received woolly hats from the … [Read more...]

Jenny Lynn

Jenny Lynn

Cold wind is building and ready. It is not understood the pent feelings that have suddenly surfaced after long and even further back and then along the slow moving world and probably before the long awaited return of a Gypsy night. She said her name was Jenny Lynn. WAIT. Let me think.It was in the south section grid just beyond the usual spot where did we usually wait … [Read more...]

Straight Pool

Straight Pool by Ricker Winsor / image copyright http://www.sxc.hu/profile/rockpuppet

It was nineteen-sixty-two, Saturday, a hot afternoon. “Whadaya want to do?”“I don’t know. Whadaya want to do, Kenny?” I answered. “Maybe we could go up to New Rochelle and play pool.” I was addicted to pool at that time.“Ok” he said, “I’ll stop by the cleaners and see if my father will give me some money.”“It’s ok with me,” I said, knowing that his father … [Read more...]

Review – Tripping with Allah by Michael Muhammad Knight

Tripping with Allah by Michael Muhammad Knight

Tripping with Allah: Islam, Drugs, and Writing by Michael Muhammad Knight Soft Skull Press / 978-1593764432 / 256 pagesThe idea of using drugs in order to achieve some sort of spiritual enlightenment has been around for probably as long as humanity. Whether looking for answers to great mystical questions or just on a personal quest for enlightenment the use of external … [Read more...]

Poetry Book Review: SPRUNG by Laura Madeline Wiseman

Sprung by Laura Madeline Wiseman

SPRUNG by Laura Madeline Wiseman / San Francisco Bay Press, 259 Granby St. Suite 200, Norfolk, VA 23517 / 2012 / 100 pages / 978-0982829578There's fun in these irreverent poems, but also a serious look at gender and sexuality. What has sprung in this debut full-length collection (though Wiseman has published many chapbooks) is an imaginary penis that follows the voiced … [Read more...]

Typewriter Experiment #1: Getting to Know You

Original image: Olivetti Lettera 32, c. 1975 by mpclemens / Foter.com / CC BY. Photoshopped greatly by Empty Mirror.

A few months ago I bought an Olivetti typewriter with the goal of experimenting with the way the creative process changes when writing on a typewriter versus writing on a computer. This image is a scan of my first attempt, a stream of consciousness concerning the experiment itself, complete with errors. I enjoy not only the writing about writing but the aesthetic beauty of the … [Read more...]

Review – Beatitude: A Novel by Larry Closs

Beatitude by Larry Closs

Beatitude by Larry Closs / Rebel Satori Press / 2011 / 978-1608640294 / 272 pagesLarry Closs' debut novel focuses on Harry Charity, who is gay, and his relationship with straight poet & Marine Jay Bishop. The Beat Generation fills the pages: there's the pair's shared affinity for the Beat Generation writers, the books, bookshops, the jazz, the New York setting, and even an … [Read more...]

Wankers, Burds, and Skag: Heteroglossia in Trainspotting

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Mikhail Bakhtin, a twentieth century Russian philosopher and semiotician, was a theorist who worked heavily in literary theory, as well as the philosophy of language. One of his major concepts regarding the philosophy of language addresses the variations and dialects that occur in one single language. Heteroglossia revolves around the concept that multiple languages exist … [Read more...]

Review – The Beauty of being Hated by Jack Leaf Willetts

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Many of the poems in Jack Willetts' debut poetry collection, The Beauty of being Hated, explore the way we label and think about feelings. Here are the pain and hope that spring, intertwined, from the aftermath of failed relationships and beginnings of new ones, and what lies between. Not all emotions are pure: lines blur, converge, and tangle in relationships with loved ones, … [Read more...]

An Interview with Poet Jack Leaf Willetts

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Jack, your new poetry collection, The Beauty of being Hated, has just been published. What can you tell us about it?It was hard to live and hard to write. It was written out of a series of negative situations and I was bent on documenting them. I was in a position where I was able to explore the concepts of love and hate and the close connection between these emotions. In … [Read more...]

7 Examples of Constrained Writing

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Constrained writing has drawn both glowing support and vehement opposition. Some claim it to be an evocative demonstration of the notion that less is more. Others see it as a cheap parlor trick that limits expression and creates a screen for hack writers to hide behind. In any case, it became a recognized literary movement (‘The Oulipo Movement’) in 1960s France, and has … [Read more...]

‘Seven Years in Tibet’ by Heinrich Harrer – Book Review

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‘Seven Years in Tibet’; or ‘Siben Jahre in Tibet. Mein Leben am Hofe des Dalai Lama’ in its original German edition, is the autobiographical adventures of Austrian explorer Heinrich Harrer, between 1944 and 1950. The story is probably best known for the 1997 film adaptation starring Brad Pitt as Harrer, although this is certainly a romanticisation of … [Read more...]

Poetry Review: Waterloo, by J.T. Welsch

Digital collage by D.Enck

Waterloo by J.T. Welsch / Like This Press / Saddle-Stitch, 36 pagesThe twenty-four numbered but untitled poems, and almost as many monochrome images, of J.T. Welsch’s Waterloo begin with a wake. The first poem quickly makes clear that though a death may have served as the impetus for this series, the poems will not really be about grief: “Between the storm and jetlag, the … [Read more...]

Uncle Fred

Uncle Fred - Natalie Wright

[Editor's note: F.N. Wright was a novelist, artist, and poet, whose work was published widely in the small press.]Uncle Fred and I once thought up a name for our dream bookstore. It would be called Tangents. I’ve always thought that would be a perfect name. We would model our bookstore after the one in Hermosa Beach that is no longer there...where he bought all his … [Read more...]

Jack Kerouac’s Books

Jack Kerouac - On the Road

This is a listing of Jack Kerouac's books, arranged by their date of publication. We've also noted the date(s) when the book was written. If the book covers a particular period of time, we've noted the approximate dates.Book Published Written Time CoveredThe Town and the City 1950 … [Read more...]

Lawrence McGaugh

Lawrence McGaugh - A Fifth Sunday

Bay Area poet Lawrence McGaugh was the author of "A Fifth Sunday" and other volumes.Lawrence McGaugh Selected Bibliography A Fifth Sunday Berkeley: Oyez, 1965. Beautifully Designed and printed by Graham Mackintosh in an edition of 500 copies. Stapled in wrappers featuring a photo of the poet. Unpaginated, 32 pp. full-size image of cover image of title page image of … [Read more...]

Review – Time Adjusters & Other Stories
by Bill Ectric

The modern fables that make up Bill Ectric's new collection of stories, Time Adjusters, are difficult to classify, in the best way possible. They seem a comic-book mishmash of science fiction and magical realism, one turn of the screw toward another world. At first, the author paints a suburban landscape where pet baboons chase children through the streets, and we are not … [Read more...]