Monday, December 10, 2007

Randomly Selected Grinch Clips

Sean didn't show, the bum. He ruined Christmas for everyone.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Edgar Allen Poe Reading

But Wait, you're saying,  I want to know more about the English Theory Club's Edgar Allen Poe Reading which will take place at 9PM in the Music Room of the Pittinger Student Center!

Well, buddy, I can't help you, because you already seem to know as much as I do.  I did hear talk about costumes, which sounds pretty cool.

And I'm just making this next part up because I want it to be true, but there will be prizes for best costume, and there will be cider and candy corn; many apples shall also be bobbed, in a room decorated with Indian corn and spooky pumpkins.  

You should totally show up.  Even if the stuff I'm hoping they'll provide doesn't pan out, it'll be a mash.  A monster mash.  Probably even--dare I say it?--a graveyard smash.

The (Passive-Aggressive) Minutes

Monday night, some people decided they were just too good to show up.  The rest of us soldiered on with Writer's Community, so dedicated are we to our craft.

And though this is not exactly the order in which things happened, while Laura Relyea was supposed to be soundchecking for a show that hadn't started when I left Doc's at 10 (sorry, Laura--If I had planned my evening around the show, I would have stayed), and while Andrew Clark-Kennedy was asleep, face-down in a plate of rice pilaf, they happened:

Peter Cavanaugh read David Berman's poem, "Self Portrait at 28."

Garrett Cox read three original poems, which, after the lively discussion about the purpose and importance of titles, he seems to have titled, "Windows Chairs and Stares," "Rockafellar," and "Narrate Old Lives as Mine."  (Garrett, we weren't saying you had to title them, but thanks for sparking the discussion.)

JoyAnn Hirschy read a story by Elizabeth Baines, called "Compass and Torch."

Kim Bortnem read "The Odd Woman" by Gail McLivin, which writing it now, doesn't seem like the way Kim wrote the name down.  Maybe you could help me?  Anyway, she read the story by the woman with the mystery last name, and followed up with a poem she wrote about and titled "Tetris," which she wrote when she really should have been working.

Joe Betts read two poems from David Baker's book Midwest Ecologue.

Shaun Gannon would like for us to find and listen to a few songs from Tomato and Underworld, which he kindly provided a link to.  He'll read the lyrics for us next week.  Just so you know, when you click the link, it's for a .zip file, so it will likely download automatically.  If it's a virus, Shaun, we may have to eat you alive.  And it's the week of Halloween, so don't rule out the possibility.  (By the way, what's the "P" stand for?)

I, (meaning Matthew Trisler) read, to close the evening, a letter of complaint about a halloween party that took place in a Tokyo subway this weekend. 

But this leaves out two readings, which I have left until the end for a reason.  Because there's a theme.  It's Poe.  Who is the reason for the season, as well we all know.

Sean Orlosky read Edgar Allen Poe's "The Cask of Amantillado," and he did so in a festive accent which sounded more Romanian to me than Italian or French, as I thought the characters were supposed to be.  But no matter.  It was appropriately spooky.  Vlad Dracul would be proud.  He'd still impale you, but that was sort of his schtick.

Lastly, Thiana Rarick, a proud member of the English Theory Club, read Poe's "The Conqueror Worm," by way of advertising the club's Edgar Allen Poe reading.  More info in its own post.

After all of that, I sadly packed up and left.  I turned the lights off and shut the door, making sure it was locked, without being reminded to--unlike some people.

Maybe next week, Andrew and Laura will deign to grace us with their presences.  Pssh.

(No hard feelings.  The sound guy didn't show up for Laura's show 'til late, and Andrew really did fall asleep eating dinner.  Which is pretty funny.)

Monday, October 22, 2007


So you guys are into submission, huh? Well, I've got just the links for you.

The first is the Broken Plate. Deadline is tonight, like I said in the meeting, but if you need the email address, and are desperately searching, here it is:

Remember, up to five submissions, or 3000 words. I am unclear on whether or not that is per submission, but I would try to keep it on the safe side. They print all genres. Get stuff in there.

Next up, the North Central Review. Following is the link for submission information. You've got plenty of time, but remember, the sooner the better!

Finally, the Susqehanna Review. They do not accept electronic submissions, but here is the info:

Not to exceed 25 double-spaced pages. No more than two pieces of fiction. Short stories and novel excerpts.

Up to six poems.

Not to exceed 25 double-spaced pages. Any subject. No more than two essays.

B&W is preferred. Label and caption each image with a brief description, place, date.

The Susquehanna Review
1858 Weber Way, Box 51
Susquehanna University
Selinsgrove, PA 17870

Submit by Feb. 16, 2008. Include a SASE for reply. Include cover letter with name, title of submission, genre, home address, school name and address, email address, and previous publications. Undergraduates only.

So, there you go. Write, and write some more, then submit. :-)


Monday, October 8, 2007

Reading Reading Reading Reading


7 PM / Bracken Library

Todd McKinney

Laura Relyea

Matthew Trisler

Richard YaƱez

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I asked you a favor!

But only eight of you were even there. Seven when I asked the favor. No hard feelings. I can give you more information today, anyway.

The setup:
Remember being taught poetry in high school? Remember how you learned the same poems as your parents learned, which were the same ones their parents were taught? Remember how being told how you were supposed to read them sucked all the life and vitality out of the poems?

The problem:
My aunt Debbie is a high school English teacher in Bowling Green, Kentucky. She's recently fallen in love with poetry, and perhaps as a result, is terribly frustrated with the stultifying way it's taught in high school. So she's asked me to send her some poems I like and tell her why I like them. I'm all too happy to do this myself, but seriously, think what she could do if tons of people helped out. 

The solution:
As of today, I've started Heartable Poetry, a blog for extremely short commentary on poems we love and why we love them. The name is the link.  I'm probably going to come up with a less completely stupid name, but hey, the URL I wanted wasn't available, so for now I'm using the URL.  The blog is pretty much empty right now, except for some rough submission guidelines; I'm gonna hafta read up on Fair Use before I start posting in earnest. In the meantime, have a go at submitting.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Hey guys--

Where are you??

It's so cold and lonely without you.

a dispatch from the meeting in progress.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

My Overwhelming Crush on Miranda July

Thanks to Todd McKinney for inviting me to contribute to the blog.

Last week, some of you may remember, I read from Miranda July's first collection of stories, No One Belongs Here More Than You. The story I read was called "Swim Team," and I had mentioned that I was thinking about reading another story, called "This Person."

The reason I avoided "This Person" is that July had given a completely beautiful reading on the PRI program, Studio 360, and I would rather you listen to her read it than me. Her reading is at the bottom of that episode's page.

She also had an interesting conversation a couple weeks ago on KCRW's bookworm (a podcast I subscribe to, and find worth listening to, but usually delete immediately upon downloading).

It's also worth noting that what brought July to my attention was the stunning website for her book.

Since I feel that I shouldn't post on the Writer's Community blog for the first time without offering some advice or a prompt, hey, here's Miranda July's website, Learning to Love You More, that does just that! Oh, and look! It has a book coming out later this year! Books are pretty neat!

(Also, books by Tao Lin keep showing up as related to Miranda July's on Amazon, and the book jackets are stunning, the titles awesome [who wouldn't want to read a book called Eeeee Eee Eee]--anyone know if their contents are any good?)

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Writer's Community Kickoff Extravaganza

*First and foremost, I need to apologize for the delay on posting this entry. It's been written forever, but getting it online has proved a pain in my hind. Many sorries.


What a killer first meeting! We practically doubled the biggest turnout we've ever had, and there were plenty of new faces. That's encouraging stuff. I want to thank everyone that showed up, and I really hope that you'll make it a pattern. We promise we'll do our best to make it worth your while.

So I opened things up with a Lorrie Moore piece called "How to Become a Writer OR, Have You Earned This Cliche?" It was longer than I expected, and made my mouth dry. Let that be a lesson to you, my friends: practice your piece before you present it to the group.

Miss Laura Relyea followed with an excerpt from Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury. Quite different from his more well-known Fahrenheit 451, this passage made me very curious about the rules of the game "statues".

Matthew Trisler read an essay by Miranda July called "Swimteam", which was very funny, and left me with visions of elderly people rolling around on the floor with their faces in bowls of water. I later had a dream about this but, instead of being funny, it was terrifying.

Rebecca Patrick read a Dave Sedaris essay called "The Birds" which served a number of purposes. First, it made the idea of going with the group to see Sedaris read at IU all the more lucrative. Please remember to let us know if you'd like to attend. Secondly, it provided practical advice on how to get rid of household pests, like evoking the image of Janis Joplin, for instance.

Joe Betz read next, but not before slyly plugging The Broken Plate, BSU's literary magazine. Submissions are due Oct. 22. Visit for more information
. Joe read two excellent Billy Collins poems, "Old Man Eating Alone in a Chinese Restaurant" and "Evasive Manuvers".

Drew Alexander was the first truly brave one, reading a poem of his own entitled "A Conversation". Garrett Cox and Jet Zike followed suit, with an untitled poem and "Stare", respectively.

Finally, Sean Orlosky closed out the evening with the classic "Ozymandias", complete with 500-year-old-man voice.

Please join us next week for more poetry and prose, discussion and banter, and for the answer to the question "what four-letter-word lost Sean the national spelling bee?" You didn't think I'd forget, did you Sean?

I look forward to seeing you all next Monday. This is Andrew Clark-Kennedy, heading down to the kitchen for a snack.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

It's Been Long, Hot, Quiet Summer

For those of you who could not make it to the last meeting, I am pleased to say that you really missed out. The meeting was a marathon of readings and conversations and even some music. No blog could do it justice, so I won't try. But, I have to say that it was one of the best things I have ever been a part of in my career in various university communities. Perhaps you'll join us this year.

And now to that news: we will meet again this coming Monday, September 10, from 7-8:30 PM in Robert Bell 291, otherwise known as The Writing Center. Like last year, we will celebrate the written word, which means we will do a lot of celebrating. You are invited to join us to read from your own work, or your favorite author's, or just listen. It's a free and fun way to meet new writers and discover new writers.

We hope to see you there!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Penultimate Meeting

Andrew Clark-Kennedy initiated the evening with a reading of Tony Hoagland's "Fortune." In lieu of the poem, he provided fortune cookies for everyone. It turns out that this certain brand of fortune cookie doesn't write the most interesting fortunes, or vary it all that much. But the several we heard offer a certain optimism that must have belonged to another, long-forgotten generation.
Rebecca Patrick read some of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's journalistic prose, "Lost Tales." You should also read his News of a Kidnapping.
Nate Logan read some prose poems by Margaret Atwood ("In Love with Raymond Chandler"), Joe Bernard ("Freud" and "History" as in "With history piling up so fast, everyday becomes another anniversary for something terrible," or something like that), one by James Tate ("Rapture"), and one by Sarah Vargayo (did I spell that right, Nate?) ("What We Miss").
Todd McKinney read a story by Richard Yanez, entitled "I&M Plumbing." Originally published in his short story book, El Paso del Norte, the story also appears in a new anthology of Texas Mexican writers entitled Hecho in Tejas, eidted by Dagoberto Gilb.
Tony Settineri read a piece by John Steinbeck, "Critics from a Writer's Viewpoint," himself becoming a critic.
Laura Relyea
read a short segment from the tremendous Joan Didion's last book, The Year of Magical Thinking.
Matthew Trisler took it to another level by reading his own work, poems entitled "What the Pony Expressed," and three from his typeface project, "Helvetica Neue," Gill Sans," and "Colophon."
Finally, Andrew Clark-Kennedy wrapped it up for us, as if he were stuffing the fortune back inside the cookie, with his own poems, "My Father, the Bachelor," and "Possibilities."

And then there was one night left, but already so many words had floated into the air, like smoke exhaled, like moisture evaporating into the skies above the rain forests, like dragonflies hovering, and despite what the spiters smoted, and despite what the spitters spat, the world was better for it. The world was better for it.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Poetry Reading at the MT Cup

Our very own Nate Logan will be reading with our very own Peter Davis at the MT Cup. "But when?" asked the old man. And even Wolf Blitzer didn't know. Nor did Anderson Cooper. SportsCenter didn't have a clue. The Weather Channel's radar couldn't stop thinking of the storm in America's navel. The four big channels just continued their silly card game. PBS held its annual telethon. The phones were as silent as the sky above the little Midwestern city while TVs blinked and blinked and blinked. Someone help the old man.

And the Writer's Community Kept Reading

We are still going strong. Here's last Monday's set list.

Christopher: three by James Tate: "Manna" and "The Book of Lies" and "Epithelium for Tyler" and a short piece of his own, "Trifle."
Emily followed with "Billy Sim" by Chuck Klausterman. It's from his book Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs. It was a request.
Tony suggested visiting McSweeney's to view some dispatches from Iraq. Click here to check it out.
Nate read two by Ai, from her selected poems, entitled Vice. The poems were "I Have Got to Stop Loving You, So I Killed My Goat" and "The Kid."
Then I read two of my own, "Several Places at Once" and "Praise for Your Mother's Passing."
Rebecca read Borges's "The Circular Ruins."
And Derek finished with an untitled poem of his own and "March 26" and another untitled piece.

We will meet again tomorrow evening, same place, same time. We only have two meetings left this semester. Come, read, astonish. Don't be late.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

A Late Update

The most recent meeting of the Writer's Community was April 2nd, and a good time was had by all. Here's how it all went down:

Emily- read an essay from Anne Lamott's new book, "Grace (Eventually)", called "Near the Lagoon, 2004"

Christopher- read 3 poems, Wendell Berry's "How to be a Poet, To Remind Myself"; Charles Bukowski's "40,000 Flies"; and W.B. Yeats' "Adam's Curse"

Andrew- read two short shorts from "How We Are Hungry" by Dave Eggers, first "She Waits, Seething, Blooming", and then "Naveed". He also read an original poem that he wanted feed back on, called "Counterplay".

Nate- read from an interesting book by Daniel Nester, called "God Save My Queen". All of the poems were titled after Queen songs. He read: "Don't Stop Me Now", "Fat Bottom Girls", "Killer Queen", "39", "Under pressure", and "Bohemian Rhapsody".

Matthew- read a few poems from "Donkey Gospel" by Tony Hoagland. He read "Game" and "Self-Improvement".

Derek- read one original poem "Look Before You Leap" and an excerpt from his Cultural Critique for Eng 286.

Megan- read the "20th Main Address" from Colonel Lawrence Chamberlain.

Overall, it was a great night. Please come out to our next meeting, happening on April 9th, at 7 pm in the Writing Center as usual! Look forward to seeing you all there!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Beauty is Like a Giant Squid and Words are Beautiful

We had another great night of reading and a promise to hear some Civil War stories next time. Possible theme? Civility? War? Death? Love? Ghosts? The usual stuff.

All I can say for those of you who haven't made it is: too bad for you. Not only is it nice to hear people's voices reading but it's great to hear for the first, second, third, etc. time a piece written by another person.

Here's what you missed on Monday:
Drew Davis: "And Anorgasmia," a very funny piece written specifically for The WC--thanks Drew--if you listen carefully, you can still hear us laughing.
John King: "Journal from a Cobra Recruit," an essay by Kieth Pille first published on (see sidebar for link); here in America, we still haven't escaped the 80s which means we are still entrenched in the 50s; good grief and hallelujah!
Emily Boshkoff: three poems by Sharmila Voorakkara from her book Fire Wheel, including "Ditch Music," "For the Tattooed Man," and "Poem to My Father, Once a Vacuum Cleaner Salesman, Now an Ascetic." Great image: antwork unravelling the lattice of possum."
Christopher Newgent: Rainer Maria Rilke's first elegy from Duino Elegies, an essential book of poetry, no matter your asthetic, demographic, or political affilation.
Laura Relyea: "Giant Squid," from her blog, and a very interesting rough draft as of that reading untitled. She said she did a lot of tangenting in the piece, and she did, but it seemed appropriate and I think we enjoyed the journey.
Emily Boshkoff: a poem of her own entitled "Spill."
Derek Clawson: read from A Glass Half Full, by Felix Dennis, who seems to be a very rich version of Bukowski. Great to hear a rich man believing in the process of poetry. Anyway, the titles of the poems: "Sex with Your Ex," "Mighty the Ant to the Aphid," "Green-eyed Monsters," and "Johnson," a poem in tribute to the the King of the Delta Blues.

Antler reads on April 4 at 7 p.m. in Bracken 225. Go Antler, rock the house!

Here's hoping you will join us this Monday, and the Monday after that, and the Monday after that, and you should be there because you've got to be somewhere. And somehow.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Tony Hoagland & Dean Young, Like Whoa!!

Good members of the writers' community,

In case you haven't heard, Dean Young and Tony Hoagland are coming to Chicago to do a reading together. It is Wednesday, April 4th, at 6:00 p.m., and it is free.

If you're interested, I sprongly encourage you to go!! I'm personally really excited, and hopefully will get to go. However, the other exciting thing is that the poet Antler is coming to read at Ball State the same night. (I'm not sure where or when off the top of my head.) So either way, there should be fun poetry events that night!

Emily Ann (

p.s. inPrint tonight was pretty great. If you didn't come tonight, there's still a chance to come tomorrow to the panel discussion in the art museum at 7 p.m. All the writers are wonderful and interesting people and I'm sure will have great things to say about the writing process.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


It was a long time ago, but still it happened, and we need to acknowledge that.

Here's how it all shook down:
Christopher Newgent, like Jeter or Johnny Damon, like Ricky Henderson or Joe Morgan, read "Annex" from Amy Hempel's Tumble Home.
Luara Relyea followed with an excerpt from David Griffith's "Symphony #1" which comes from his provocative A Good War Is Hard to Find. Mr. Griffith will be in town this week, as he is one of the featured guests of the 3rd Annual In-Print Festival. You should go.
Nate Logan, picking up on the themes of war that were introduced in both the Hempel and the Griffith, read from Denise Duhamel's Queen for a Day. He read her poems, "How to Help Children Through Wartime" and "What Happened This Week." Then he read two of her poems from one of his favorite books (of hers), Kinky, which feature poems from, about, of, for Barbie and her friends. He read "Barbie is a Religious Fanatic" and "Literary Barbie."
Matt Netzley then read three of his own poems: "God is a City Bus," "The Postmodern Joke," and "The Day You Lost Faith in Humanity." Later, after changing chairs and being inspired by his new perspective on the world and by a recent edition of Bazaar, Matt read "Found Poem." It helped, for a moment, and that's what matters.
Emily Boshkoff read "Ten Years After Your Deliberate Drowning" from Robin Behn's book The Red Hour and two of her own poems, "Apologize" and "To Date You, Being Deaf."
Drew Davis then read a very short piece that he had written during the meeting, tentatively titled "Hero." It was about his brother who serves for one of the armed forces branches. It wasn't about what NBC would want it to be about. We all wanted to hear more. Again, the theme of war surfaced, and none of this was premeditated.
I read three poems by the tremendous Apollinaire, who is like a cardinal living in Antarctica. You may not think it could happen, but it can. I read "The Pretty Redhead," "The Little Car," and "A Phantom of Clouds."

And that was it. We went our separate ways and the night fizzled and popped like a can of soda just opened. And someone drank it. Because what's worse than finding a full can of warm soda.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

I would call it The WC, but that seems wrong, so, The Writers' Community is up and going, and very well I might add. If you haven't been yet, too bad for you. But you are always welcome to stop by, even if on occasion. We are meeting every Monday night at 7pm, in the Writing Center, which is in RB291. I know, I know, you know.


Here's who read and what (in case you are interested):
Christopher Newgent: two poems by Tom Hundley ("How to Make Orange Juice" and "Elegy for Robert Creeley and Pope John Paul I, Dead Three Days Apart," both of which appeared in the recent issue of POETRY EAST.) Christopher followed this up with a story of his own, "There's a Man on the Island."
Laura Relyea was going to read something by David Eggers; maybe she will read it next time.
Todd McKinney: a poem by Kenneth Koch, "One Train May Hide Another."
Matthew Trisler read four poems, including "Times New Roman," "Five Universal Truths," Tony Hoagland's "When Dean Young Talks About Wine" (from memory), and "Grapheme."
Derek Clawson read "Star Red," "The Kids Called You America," "Haiku," "Andy and I," and a prose poem entitled "Under My Skin."
And Emily Boshkoff read some killer poems from Julia Copus's book In Defense of Adultery: "In Defense of Adultery," "Essence," and "Kim's Clothes," which is in a wicked inverted or mirror-like form.

Don't forget to tell your friends, if you really want to share the joy with them.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The First Night

Our project is under way and off to a good start.

Who read what:
Emily: "Letter to a Writer's Workshop" from Meditations from a Movable Chair by Andre Dubus
Laura: a passage from the chapter "Looking Around" by Anne Lamott from Bird by Bird
Todd: Two poems by Dean Young: "Instructions for Living" from Strike Anywhere and "Sneeze Ode" from Embryoyo
Nate: "Making Best of the Holidays" from James Tate's The Lost River and four of his own poems: "Cliff Huxtible, OBGYN," "Theo Huxtible Meets Eddie Winslow at NYU," "Hell Yes," and "At First I Thought It Was Ted Stevens from Cursive"
Angela: Three of her own poems: "Abandonment," "Glass," and "Seek And..."
Derek: Two of his own poems: "The Way Snow Falls" and "A Blue Memory of Photographs and Weather in the Closet Breakdown"

So far next week readers include Nate, Angela, Lindsay, Laura, Matthew, and Derek
McSweeneys was mentioned last night and today I heard about this one: Drowning Man, a resource for locating magazines to which you can submit
Gnarls Barkley is having a Haiku contest; submit here

Our next meeting is on Monday, February 26, at 7PM. Again, we will meet in the Writing Center, RB291. Bring your friends and acquaintances. Come to read, or just to listen.

Friday, February 9, 2007

The Writers Community of Ball State University is on the Launching Pad!

On Monday, February 19, 2007,
we will hold our first ever meeting.
Festivities begin at 7 p.m.
and will last until 8:30 p.m..
We will meet in the Writing Center,
located in Robert Bell 291. Help us
launch this project by joining us
to read, listen, chat, and otherwise
celebrate the written word.