Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Another early and fabulous Grand Slam blurb (from Daniel Nester)

Albany's Metroland featured Daniel's book, How to Be Inappropriate
This week I had some great early blurbs from Nadine Darling and Jessica Keener

Today another generous endorsement by Daniel Nester

Daniel Nester:

"In The Grand Slam, Timothy Gager shares the touching stories of characters who so often set are aside as window dressing in other novels. Here, Gager gives them the full spotlight: waitress, line order cook, knockaround guy, each patron comes alive as fully rounded, damaged, loving people. Like Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio, Gager's book offers us both myth and realism, hand in hand."

Check out the link to his entertaining website.
Daniel Nester is the author most recently of Shader: 99 Notes on Car Washes, Making Out in Church, Grief, and Other Unlearnable Subjects (99: The Press 2015). Previous books include How to Be Inappropriate (Soft Skull, 2010), God Save My Queen I and II (Soft Skull, 2003 and 2004), and The Incredible Sestina Anthology (Write Bloody, 2014), which he edited. His work has appeared in the New York Times, The Morning News, and The Daily Beast, and anthologized in The Best American Poetry, The Best Creative Nonfiction, Third Rail: The Poetry of Rock and Roll, and Now Write! Nonfiction. He is an associate professor of English at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY, and lives in Upstate New York with his wife and their two daughters. Find more at

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Great early blurbs for Grand Slams and hey, wait, an Amazon review for "this old thing?" Thursday Appts. of Bill Sloan

Chains like Grand Slams usually get burned by customer reviews:


StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -

FAIRBANKS, ALASKA -- I've gone to D***y's about, if I estimate right, like 5 times. And EVERY TIME, there is ALWAYS hair in my food. Yeah, this is my last time. Thank you very much. Please invest in some hairnets.

Worst D***y's in America

StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO -- It was my 1st time at the D***y's location (San Mateo/-I-40). The food was way below par for a D***y's but the bathroom was the WORST I have ever seen: filthy, sticky, totally out of soap, no paper towels (wimpy tiny hand dryer blowing cool air, NO HOT WATER - it was ice cold).
The server (**) was nice and very good. I was not greeted upon entering (waited several minutes looking for someone to seat me). No manager on site to complain to.  STAY AWAY from that location because it's a DUMP, No Manager, & no one seems to care (except the server doing her job). I recently went to the Denny's on Gibson and it was the BEST Denny's I have ever ate in. Fabulous Manager & crew.

Bugs Flying Everywhere, Chips of the Ceiling Falling Onto Our Table and Poorly Cooked Food

StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -

OAKLAND, FLORIDA -- Our service person was excellent. The building was dirty, multiple flying bugs that landed on our forks and food, parts of the ceiling falling onto our table and the food was not so great! Spoke to the general manager who acted like he was doing me a favor and gave us a 15.00 credit of our 42.00 bill! Left the server a ten dollar tip and will never return! The GM told me there were several health code violations and he "was trying" to get it together! Try harder buddy! DO NOT go to this restaurant, my husband threw up and my son and I didn't even eat the food. Worst experience ever.
Books titled Grand Slams get early blurbs such as this:
Timothy Gager brings his uniquely comic and inventive intelligence to this endearing story about a handful of ne-er do wells, misfits, and wounded souls with names like Dye-haired Bob and Kayak Kenny, all of whom are trapped in an unrelenting eddy of work, overdue bills, and misconstrued love at The Grand Slam restaurant in Massachusetts. At the center is Sugar, a beautiful, smart young woman who has tried, unsuccessfully, to dull the pain of living with sexual escapism and excessive cocaine use. Even as you are laughing out loud, there’s a deeper wisdom that infuses even the most unsavory characters in this tale told in brisk vignettes. Gager’s memorable novel blends sardonic humor with compassion.

Jessica Keener, author of the national bestselling novel, Night Swim (see HER blurbs)


Fast paced and lots of fun. With Grand Slam, Timothy Gager has served up enough pathos, wit and humanity to satisfy the healthiest of appetites.

Nadine Darling, author of She Came From Beyond! (Her NPR interview is awesome)


Then today, Caitlin Avery (The Last Cruz, of which I said, "A difficult to put down novel rides with three motorcycling women is  a  good read---one that proves that The best-laid plans of mice and women often go awry) had thoughts about "The Thursday Appointments of Bill Sloan" 
I thought this novel was hilarious, which may be a sign of my twisted mind as much as the author's. The lead character is so wrong with his approach to offering people therapy, that it reminded me of all the wasted hours I spent in a therapist's chair (that was just my experience, what can I say). I was partial to the lead character Bill and his young patient, Ethan, and the second part of the book where the annoying "free love" Kate gets her way, rubbed me the wrong way, but only because she reminds me of the California fruit cakes I met when I lived there. All in all I thought this book delivered, and would definitely recommend it for anyone who has gone through therapy, and wondered if there might be a better way.
What I liked about the characters in "TTAoBS" is that different readers prefer different characters. Nearly everyone liked Kate and hated Bill. I'm glad to hear that Bill bested Kate this time. Couldn't resist the picture....



Monday, July 11, 2016

Everybody (or book) deserves a second chance.

Even in movies

Then there's Second Chance Books, a website for books that deserve a second go-round because they are that good . The books featured have been published by various small presses and this week they're featuring  2013's "The Shutting Door"  from Ibbetson Street Press.

The site is run by the successful and prolific Susan Tepper---who I owe a ton a gratitude toward, who said during the book's first time around,  "The Shutting Door" is a book of poems that talks to the reader about what is going on. And because the 'stories' within these poems are similar in tone and emotional content to the stories we all face, here and there, in our lives, this book feels intensely personal. The writing is spare without being empty. I felt the poet in every poem, yet I felt myself able to jump in and share the experience. This is a beautiful book and would make a terrific gift."

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

63 Channels returns! "Who's the Boss?" published in Summer Issue

Years ago there was a website "Art Conspiracy", run by Glen Feulner  and John DeSpirito, where artists could post pictures of their art and writers/poets could post their work. It was one of the early internet writing pages I joined. Plenty of talent, (Dave Wilson, Mike Maguire, Eric Harrison, Jessica "Badass" Dawson, Brian Dawson, Jen Dubin, Amy Kocur  to name a few) Hell, the bulletin board was a lot of fun too. Anyway, the webpage no longer exists anywhere in the universe, but out of there many art and literary magazines were formed. One of them, Feulner's  "63 Channels", has been around since 2006, with several breaks of several years since that year.

"63 Channels Magazine" is back again with my piece "Who's the Boss?" Let me tell you that the boss is a slimy, sexual harassing,  ego-driven disgusting pig. We all know people like this, and they can only function as big fish in small ponds. Thank God society has something to say about this. Another thing about the title of the story, is that it's also the name of a TV show which drove me nuts. Perhaps it was the Tony Danza fake smile that drove me to strangling the sofa pillow, whether it was on that show on various others he starred in. Maybe it was the premise of "Who's the Boss" (TV Show) and the fake (catching a theme?) tension between Tony and Angela which as a kid seemed to confuse me regarding the why of it all.

Bonus: The Urban Dictionary has a slimy, disgusting definition of "The Tony Danza", but no need to give that link, the definition appears within "Who's the Boss?" (the story)

So, please read and enjoy. There is some great stuff in this issue by everyone below

This issue of 63 Channels features poetry by:
Irsa Ruci
Joan McNerney
Wayne Burke
Gary Beck

Bruce Robinson

Brian Kovich

Justin Karcher

*Plus a collaboration piece by Glen Feulner & Brian Kovich*

With Short Fiction By:

Timothy Gager

James Agombar

Allow me to share, more of the stupid

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Poem, "When I Think Of My Childhood" published in Ibbetson 39

 This is what the poem is about, me at about the age of 16, 140 pounds. When I posted it on Facebook, some of the comments were,"Got ribs? Eat a cheeseburger!!! hahahahaha"

Thanks to Doug Holder, Harris Gardner, Lawrence Kessenich my poem is published along with these other great poets, found below, in Ibbetson 39. Upon acceptance, Harris wrote, ""When I Think Of My Childhood" is a poignant collection of childhood bruises, physical and psychological that create a lot of "scar tissue" for the man-child. When life hands you lemons... We can't always slake our thirst with lemonade. Nor can we always satisfy the hunger of emotional needs and self-esteem. "When I Think Of My Childhood" is a very vivid narrative; although very personal, almost painfully so, it has a certain universality in its appeal. Well-written, not a wasted word!"

You can purchase it here for the inexpensive $10

The issue features:
Kathleen Spivak
Jennifer Barber
Kathleen Lentz
Judy Katz-Levine DREAM
Beatriz Alba Del Rio
Triona McMorrow
Philip E. Burnham, Jr.
Triona McMorrow
Rene Schwiesow
Lyn Lifshin
Danielle Legros-George
Marge Piercy
Tim Kinsella
Ted Kooser
David Blair
Fred Marchant
Molly Mattfield Bennett
William Harney
Timothy Gager
Bridget Seley-Galway
Richard Hoffman
X. J. Kennedy
Richard J. Fein
Paul Hostovsky
Tomas O’Leary
Teisha Dawn Twomey
Lawrence Kessenich
Michael Brosnan
Gary Rainford
Alfred Nicol
Simrin Tamhane
Ed Meek
Lucy Holstedt
Brendan Galvin
Llyn Clague
Lainie Senechal
Daniel A. Harris
Susan Nisenbaum Becker
Richard J. Fein
Interviewed by Nicole Cadro
George Kalogeris
Tom Laughlin
Ruth Chad
Sandra Thaxter
Babara Claire Kasselmann
Harris Gardner
Zvi Sesling
Kirk Etherton
David Miller
Denise Provost
Ruth Smullin
Nina Rubenstein Alonso
Peter Fulton
Wendell Smith
Mary Buchinger
T. Michael Sullivan
Robert K. Johnson
Lisa D. Kaufman
Susan LaFortune
Joyce Wilson

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

My poem, "The Filth and The Fury", published today on Oddball

This poem features a dead relationship and accountability. Sometimes we have one, zero or both of these. "The Filth and The Fury" (as always, follow that link) If viewing on your phone, use the wide view as the lines are long and the normal view messes up the breaks

It's sort of like this, as described by William Faulkner in his wonderful book, which is where this poem's title comes from (alas sometimes we are too close to have a clue, not able to see the bigger picture):

Mr. Compson has a vague notion of family honor—something he passes on to Quentin—but is mired in his alcoholism and maintains a fatalistic belief that he cannot control the events that befall his family. Mrs. Compson is just as self-absorbed, wallowing in hypochondria and self-pity and remaining emotionally distant from her children. 

Thanks to Chad Parenteau and Jason Wright for accepting my poem into Oddball and the talented Glenn Bowie for his photograph. 

Saturday, April 30, 2016

The road started, accelerated at age 17----Newark, Rt. 896

My latest published piece is the first story in a long while. Let's call it a pre-recovery story. The University of Delaware overbooked the dorms my freshman year. I was placed in what was called "extended housing", which was 8 one bedroom apartments with two bunk beds in each bedroom. There were thirty-two of us and I became what I would become---and battle. We were located across from Delaware Stadium, Route 896 (South College Avenue) and we could hitchhike or take a shuttle bus to campus.  In the picture we are located behind the white truck and the two cars. I'm not sure if that is actually the place or South Gate Apartments, but if you read my memoir-esque piece today in Fried Chicken and Coffee, you'll see why my memory is not too good.

Pink Footballs

Black Beauties


Mikey, Life Cereal Kid and Pop Rocks (snopes reference)

That's my drug-a-log, oh and by the way, I recovered.

A Therapist for a buck. Well an e-therapist.

The free e-book pirating controversy is raging. Authors are not getting a penny. Virginia Young notified us: Writers, be aware that your electronic books can be stolen. This just happened to Susan Tepper through Bookmate - they sold her books and gave her zero. How to fight back? Big Table has set the Kindle version of my novel to $1 for two weeks (May 1- May 14) After that it will be two dollars cheaper than the originally marked price. Find the link to Amazon below. You will not find it at Dollar Tree, though you may save a tree...perhaps, a branch.

So to battle this, click this: The Thursday Appointments of Bill Sloan will be ONE dollar through May 14, 2016 in Kindle form for $1.

Even if you don't have a Kindle, Amazon allows it to be downloaded to your device, phone or laptop. So click the link to pay a buck. You'll be on the back page before you know it.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Boston National Poetry Month Festival 2016

The 2016 Boston National Poetry Month Festival is now a Thursday to Sunday Event, with Music, Poetry, national, local and emerging poets. Check the link to view their website. It all takes place at the Boston Public Library and/or near Copley!

On Saturday I'll read with five established poets, but will be there for hours---say hi:
 Chris Warner, Timothy Gager,Carol Weston, Carolyn Gregory,
    and  CD Collins (including music)

Here's the full Saturday Line-up

10:00  Harris Gardner, Co-Founding Director
           Announce the Festival’s 2nd Annual High School Slam winners
           Sign-up begins for 10:45 “Open Mic”

10:05 Sam Cornish, former Poet Laureate of Boston
10:15 Jan Schreiber, current Poet Laureate of Brookline
10:25 Denise Provost, Representative
10:35 Dean Shaban (Emerson College student) and
          Alyssa Rubin (Northeastern University student)

10:45 OPEN MIC (12 poets) Hosted by Chad Parenteau, Stone Soup Poetry Series

11:15 Lucy Holstedt & Kirk Etherton (poetry and music)

11:30 10 established POETS
            Mary Buchinger Bodwell, Wendy Drexler, Sheila Twyman,
            J.D. Scrimgeour, Robert Johnson, Ryk McIntyre, Tom Laughlin,
            Molly Bennet, Martha Boss, Susan LaFortune

10:00  Welcome to Saturday events: Harris Gardner, Co-Founding Director
           Announce the Festival’s 2nd Annual High School Slam winners
           Sign-up begins for 10:45 “Open Mic”

10:05 Sam Cornish, former Poet Laureate of Boston
10:15 Jan Schreiber, current Poet Laureate of Brookline
10:25 Denise Provost, Representative
10:35 Dean Shaban (Emerson College student) and
          Alyssa Rubin (Northeastern University student)

10:45 OPEN MIC (12 poets) Hosted by Chad Parenteau, Stone Soup Poetry Series

11:15 Lucy Holstedt & Kirk Etherton (poetry and music)

11:30 10 established POETS
            Mary Buchinger Bodwell, Wendy Drexler, Sheila Twyman,
            J.D. Scrimgeour, Robert Johnson, Ryk McIntyre, Tom Laughlin,
            Molly Bennet, Martha Boss, Susan LaFortune

12:50 Kate Finnegan, Executive Director, Kaji Aso Studio

1:00 Dan and Molly Lynn Watt: "Songs & Letters of the Spanish Civil War"     
1:15 8 established POETS
             Kathy Aguero, Rene Schwiesow, Richard Wollman. Philip E. Burnham Jr.
            Tomas O’Leary, Richard Fein, Dennis Daly   

2:15 “Craft & Publishing” panel, hosted by Kirk Etherton:
            Gloria Mindock, Cervena Barva Press;
            Ralph Pennel, The Midway Journal;
            Zvi A. Sesling, Muddy River Poetry Review

2:55 Break, with live music

3:00 Richard Hoffman, Senior Writer in Residence, Emerson College

3:15 Valerie Lawson & Michael Brown (poetry and music)

3:30 5 established POETS
           Chris Warner, Timothy Gager,Carol Weston, Carolyn Gregory,
           CD Collins (including music)

4:15 Lloyd Schwartz, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Critic
4:30 Closing words
5:00 Library Closes (all participants and audience exit by 4:45)

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Wilderness House Literary Review--I'm Baaack

Steve Glines, Editor in Chief, WHLR

I'm back reading fiction for Wilderness House Liteary Review, run by Steve Glines .  The chain went, Irene Koronas, who was there as Poetry Editor resigned after six years. Teisha Dawn Twomey moved from Fiction Editor to Poetry Editor, and I was asked to replace her.

I was the fiction editor there from 2008-2010.  There is some great works of fiction which I loved and was proud to publish.

Want to know what I like?  Here's the full list of fiction I accepted during that time period.


Winter 2010 
Brian Tillewein - The Parade 
Bruce J. Berger - Pilgrim State 
Darcy Alvey - Death Penalty 
DeMisty D. Bellinger - Buoyancy 
Dennis Vanvick 
James R. Silvestri - A Bridge and a Rope
 Katherine Meehan - Thin Women and the Dead
 Marc Taurisano - ATTACHED 
Milla van der Have - Gurdjieffs beard 
Murray Dunlap - Across The Paddock 
Paul Kelberg - Flying Aztecs 
Robert Wexelblatt - The Story of My Social Life 
  Robin Rozanski - You Are My Beacon

Fall 2010 
Amber Beaman  Jimmy Gorski 
Christopher Wood-Robbins Boys And Women 
David Krancher  Night Waitress 
The Rev. Dr. David Q. Hall  When the Leaves Didn’t Fall 
Gail Taylor  Tornado 
Jasmine Odessa Rizer  Kiss the Bride 
Lisa Whealy Tasting Hope 
Mathias B. Freese  Homage to Kafka 
Michael Shannon  Digging 
Natalie F. Johnson  Anybody Can Celebrate 
Susan V. Meyers  Bathing Maxine 
Trudy Carpenter Running Through Tangiers 
Will Tinkham Roses

Summer 2010 
Jacob Spears No Traffic at This Hour 
Lindsey Harding  Beyond the Field of Vision 
Sabrina Stoessinger  Bored of Education 
Shannon O’Connor  In Between Days 
Steve Frederick Searchlight, Nevada

Spring 2010

Winter 2010
 Adam Moorad - Terrestrial
Ethel Rohan - Parched
Frank Haberle - The Biggest Slide In The World
Gavin Broom - Getting Past The Receptionist
Jessica Stilling - Failing to Find Seurat
Josh Howatt - Fault of Frangipani
Karen Kasaba - The Smokehouse
Laurette Folk - Carpe Diem
Marina Antropow Cramer - In Case of Fire
Sally Bunch - Free Writing 

Fall 2009
Jennifer Barton - Home Health
Joanna Beth Tweedy - The Rambler
Jon Boilard - Wrong Things
Laurel Jenkins-Crowe - Spooks
Mandy Mikulencak - Independence Day
Melanie Haney - On Third Street
Natasha Cabot - Ragdoll
Rachel Yoder - Fun In Recovery
Rita Buckley - The Reconciliation
Robin Billings - Playing Pretend
Tanya Perkins - The Nature of Breakage

Summer 2009
 Anne Ipsen - Plowing Rocks
Barbara Bialick - Regarding Green
Don MacLaren - From the Lone Star State to the Golden Gate
Elizabeth Kirschner - THE RED LINE
Eric D. Lehman - Heart of the Giant
Jane Karakula - Not Yet
Joe Lombo - Facing Off
Mary Rice - A Wonderful Window
Shawnee Shahroody Spitler - Ansel’s Wilderness

 Spring 2009
Alexandra Isacson - Paris Porn
Christine Stark has two stories
- Click click
- Catherine
David Morris Parson - Foley
Dinh Vong - Threads
Irene Koronas - Emily and Sue
Rebecca Brooks Carroll - My Life As A Nose
Sara Oliver Gordus - Why Have the Jellyfish Lived So Long?
Stephanie Manuzak - The Wake
Susan Solomon - Facts About Frogs

Winter 2009
That Dog - Rebekah L. Cowell
Street Performer - Vinoad Senguttuvan
The Hours Happened - Jéanpaul Ferro
HELP - Susan Tepper 

Fall 2008
The Mural by Denis Emorine (Translated from the French by Phillip John Usher)

Solo by Jessica Keener
Jitterbug, September 9, 1956 by Jim Parks
Lithium by Shannon O'Connor

Summer 2008
 Bandal House - Anish Majumdar
Last Time I Saw Her- Jamie Lin
The Worm - Nathan Leslie
The washerboy -Rohith Sundaraman

Spring 2008
 What If? - DeWitt Henry
Razor Wire - F. John Sharp
Classic Adulterous Love - Ricardo Castellanos
Thunder Boating - Tomi Shaw
Girl With Birds - Susan Tepper

Winter 2008
Irina - To Sao Iovleff  Denis Emorine
Food: A Fantasy  Murray Elias Denofsky
Al Dente Thomas Wauhob
False Dawn Werner A. Low