Sunday, October 7, 2018

The Final Dire Lineup. I hate long goodbyes and also long blogs, but I love these people

On Friday October 12, at 7 PM, I will host my final Dire Literary Series. It's at the cafe within The Center for the Arts at the Armory in Somerville. It's also at the Cervena Barva studio in the basement at the Armory if there is an overflow crowd. I'm not sure if I should count these as two events.

So the readers will read twice, once upstairs once downstairs switching at the break. You, the wonderful audience DOES NOT GET TO SEE YOUR FAVORITE AUTHOR TWICE, because that will fuck up the room capacity and someone else will be displaced.

So come early. No open mic and don't be a fucker

Originally at the series I didn't read bios. I gave impressions. Good idea but I did many of these drunk. Bad idea. In the spirit of that (impressions, not being drunk) here are the bios for my final edition of the Dire Literary Series.

UPSTAIRS at 7 PM and downstairs after the break are

 Amy Dresner, author of the memoir, My Fair Junkie,  which chronicles her addictions and recovery from various substances. It was named one of the best memoirs about addiction of all time. Also soon it will be a television series. I did a reading with her in Los Angeles. She is the real deal, and a superstar in the recovery world. This is her debut Dire reading.

 Doug Holder. My partner in the Somerville News Writers Festival, and the boss of everything Ibbetson. Doug published two of my poetry books, but first and foremost he is a wonderful poet. I wouldn't do this event without him!  This is his third Dire reading.

 Elizabeth Graver read from The Honey Thief at one of the early Dire series events, at least fifteen years ago . Her work has been anthologized in Best American Short Stories (1991, 2001); Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards (1994, 1996, 2001); The Pushcart Prize Anthology (2001), and Best American Essays (1998). Her story "The Mourning Door" was awarded the Cohen Prize from Ploughshares Magazine.

Hannah Larrabee is a self-admitted science geek, so being one of 22 artists selected by NASA to see the James Webb Space Telescope, and having her JWST poems were displayed at Goddard Space Center is right up her alley. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of New Hampshire. Hannah is a two time Dire reader. 

DOWNSTAIRS at 7 PM and upstairs after the break are

 Nadine Darling and I wrote in an on-line group about as long as the Dire Series has existed. She featured twice at the Dire Series, the last time was for the release of her book, She Came From Beyond! We are both pop culture freaks and fans of The Match Game and The Gong Show. The night of her book party we played The Match Game live at the Out of the Blue. You can watch that right HERE It's sort of hilarious.

 Renuka Raghaven is a poet who shares a publisher with me. She is part of Big Table and is the fiction review editor for Cervena Barva Press. He young daughter will steal the show if you allow her to read. This is her first Dire feature.

Rusty Barnes is such a great guy and good friend. Our publishing careers have followed similar paths, but he seems that he always got there before I did. He has had his hand in Night Train, Fried Chicken and Coffee, Live Nude Poems, and Tough. He has written seven books and he has featured at Dire four times. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Grateful to the Northern New England Review from Franklin Pierce University for publishing a poem of mine.

The Northern New England Review edited by Margot Douaihy, with assistants Joseph Lehmann and John Schwaikert, under the advisement of Donna Decker, Sarah Dangelantonio and Alan Shulte accepted Concerto for their 38th Volume.  Thanks to all!

Fun fact: In a shout out to that school,  Hawkeye Pierce from M*A*S*H*'s  birth name was taken from a member of writer Richard Hooker's own family named Franklin Pierce, who was named after the same person the college named itself after. Hawkeye fictionally attended Androscoggin College.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Happy to be the guest on the Additionary Podcast: Episode 61, with Maegan , Bobby

I'm pretty non-anonymous regarding my own Twelve Step Program. My feeling is that it puts me in a position to help others. Today The Addictionary Podcast released their interview with me. It features Maegan and Bobby, a father and daughter, who also remain non-anomymous. They are Massachusetts folks but they have featured writers, musicians, Ph D psychologists on addiction studies etc.. There are some great episodes all available Google Play and the Apple App Store. Listen to them all!

Here's their description: Boston’s own father-daughter recovery team bring it to you straight, no chaser! Maegan and Bobby give an uncensored, open-minded and personal take on all things addiction, recovery and beyond. They share their opinions and embrace differing perspectives because there is room for everyone. The show demonstrates the vitality of different pathways to recovery!

Click this link and listen for free. I'm on at about the 39 minute mark. It was surprising how easy it was talking to Maegan as well. She and Bobby are awesome. Recorded during dinner, at the 56 minute mark you can hear me chewing 

Here's some of the other greatest hits of the podcast:

"Twenty - Six Pack was a cluster fuck of short stories..."

"She was like 'oh no.' when she figured out I was not a social drinker." 

"I lost my friends figuratively, metaphorically and they were gone physically."

"I'm really attracted to the"fun" drama"
"In the back of my head I'm thinking, "What's up, fuckface?"
"Take your Joan Baez and blow it in the wind." 


Friday, September 7, 2018

Leah Brundige parks a new review of "Everyday There is Something About Elephants"

Leah Brundige has reviewed Every Day There is Something About Elephants in the Boston Small Press and Poetry Review. (follow the link or read below)

Leah also does reviews at the Review Review, which ironically doesn't have a Department of Redundancy Department. It's all very mysterious, but it's an outstanding review which I am grateful for. Of course my addict mind feels the phrase "The gritty realism of that terrible last sentence" might confuse people that the sentence is terrible rather than the subject of it being terrible. Here's the sentence:

You burned your lips on a crack pipe, without the warning: The glass on this pipe reaches extreme temperatures. Handle with care. You didn’t care. The blisters popped and fused your lips together.

Factually I did spend a Fourth of July in New York City at age twenty-five--the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty---and I was so high, and I couldn't get enough in my system. My lips blistered, broke, and  stuck together. Yes, it was terrible, but I was writing that based on the experience 25 years later.

These two pictures show what else was going on in 1986

Anyway, some of the stories in Elephants were written before sobriety, others draw off the feelings that I was going through at those times, and still, others were current situations different people were going through. Enough about that, this post was about the wonderful review that Leah wrote.When other writers take time to write a review, it certainly is a gift.

Every Day There Is Something About Elephants   (Big Table Publishing)

Review by   Leah Brundige 

Timothy Gager’s engaging new collection of flash fiction, Every Day There Is Something about Elephants, shows a novelist’s interest in human interactions and vivid details coupled with a poet’s gifts for compression and figurative language. The book’s 107 stories vary in tone, scope, and length, but none is longer than four pages. Some—such as “The Lottery Winner,” a tour de force at just a page in a half—deploy and develop an extraordinary number of characters relative to their size, while others navigate the constraints on their length by more poetic means, turning on a single pun (“Chiller”) or extended metaphor (“How penguins break”). The reader is carried along by their expert pacing and, in many cases, by their sheer shock value—Gager is a master of the twist ending.

The subject matter of these short-shorts is often harrowing, and the author is unafraid to write with sympathy, if not approval, of the seedier sides of human nature and society. Abused or addicted, homicidal or lecherous, his characters command our attention as they grope through their flawed livestoward connection or transcendence. Gager is frugal with his imagery, but he knows how to illuminate a character’s plight with a painful, well-chosen detail when the story calls for it:

You burned your lips on a crack pipe, without the warning: The glass on this pipe reaches extreme temperatures. Handle with care. You didn’t care. The blisters popped and fused your lips together.

            The gritty realism of that terrible last sentence might seem at first glance to be at odds with another strain that runs through Gager’s work: a domestic surrealism that at times borders on whimsy. The elephant-haunted narrator of the collection’s title story recounts details that at first seem merely absurd (“How did I know an elephant had been in the refrigerator? He left his footprint in the cheesecake”) but become more disquieting as the narrative progresses, until we realize that the “elephants” are manifestations of the character’s mental disturbance. The conclusion brings the elephant metaphor to chilling culmination and unsettles the reader with all that it leaves unsaid. The story recalls Ernest Hemingway’s famous “Hills like White Elephants,” another piece of short fiction animated by its pachydermal symbolism, though the judicious silences in Gager’s narrative threaten to make Hemingway’s measured withholding of information look like a parlor trick.

            If the familiar concerns of Gager’s fiction—domestic violence, firearms, and drinking among them—recur frequently in these stories, they never feel repetitive; Gager’s imaginative resources are considerable, and imbue each piece with its own freshness of character or circumstance. They are stories that, however grim on the surface, rejoice in their own brevity and technique. This immensely readable book affirms the prolific Gager’s literary gifts, and showcases a kind of short story that seems, by the collection’s end, entirely his own.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Two poems published by Anti-Heroin Chic (file under "why don't you write happy stuff?")

James Diaz is the Founding Editor of this up and coming journal, Anti-Heroin Chic. I'm thrilled to have two poems I Remember, Autumn 1967 which is a reflection upon childhood sexual abuse and God, Bless My Soul, where relapse is personified as a woman, a light wispy woman, as sharp as glass spears. The entire issue is heavy in subject matter, and boy does the work make you "feel."

So if, Heroin Chic is (according to Urban Dictionary)

The look that was popular in the 90s and is coming back now. Being waif skinny, pale, tired and sickly looking, using cigarette smoke as perfume, lanky, and wearing clothes that hang off your emaciated body will give you the 'heroin chic' look. You are supposed to look like you have been up for the past week partying and you are worn out (but in a cool way). There was a lot of public outcry about this look saying it encouraged children to try drugs and saying drugs were cool.

Then Anti- Heroin Chic is  (according to their site)

Not really about cool, it's about the margin-of-error of cool.  As Janis Ian says "If we were inside there, where the light is warm and everybody is laughing and dancing, we wouldn't be able to see it. We have to be outside in order to see it. That's what being an artist is." And that is what Anti-Heroin Chic is about. What we observe through the window. Perfection is boring. Don't try to be perfect.  Be the person that you are when no one else is looking.

Here is the full list found in September's Anti-Heroin Chic

Thursday, August 16, 2018

"What Kids Are Scared Of" Anthologized in Crack the Spine 17

Crack the Spine Literary Magazine proudly prevents their latest anthology featuring the stand-out poetry, stories, and essays from their digital publications! If you've read my story, there is a plethora of other fine work.

Authors: Robert Fillman, Jay Vera Summer, Jamie Elliot Keith, Amanda Barusch, Moss Ingram, Alle C. Hall, Christina Dalcher, Karen Zey, Eli T. Mond, Jim Breslin, Linda Boroff, Blake Kilgore, Domenic Scopa, Timothy Gager, Perle Besserman, Lynne Marie Houston, Jules Gates, Michelle Dotter, Wendy J. Fox, Madeline Anthes, Stephen C. Middleton, Joe Ponepinto, Jessica B. Weisenfels, Jessamine Price, Cathy Porter, T.E. Wilderson, Christina Wiseman, Mariah Perkins, Devon Balwit, Christina Kapp, Sarah Broussard Weaver.

What Kids Are Scared Of  originally appeared in Crack the Spine last January 17th, in their 229th on-line issue. Today I'm pleased to announce that it was selected to appear in their print anthology, roman numeral XVII. It can be purchased HERE

It's a fine looking issue too.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Monday, July 23, 2018

2018 Boston Poetry Marathon is a gigantic event Aug. 10-12

I'm honored to be reading 8/11 at 12:16 PM, but this event is  all weekend Aug. 10, 6 PM-Aug. 12, 630 PM. Check out all the blocks of really wonderful and talented poets.

Kudos to the organizers

Bridget Eileen

Suzanne Mercury

Gillian Devereux
Darren Black

The Boston Poetry Marathon is a poetry reading festival in which 100+ poets read their work, each for 8 minutes apiece. The festival has occurred for over 20 years (with a few breaks here and there). Readers come from far away or just down the street. The festival is open to the public. The event is free but donations are welcome and appreciated.

VFW Outpost 186,

186.5 Hampshire Street
Cambridge, Ma

all weekend Aug. 10, 6 PM-Aug. 12, 630 PM

FRIDAY NIGHT, AUG 10 6pm-10:30pm


What better way to celebrate the summer than with 21 hours of poetry? Join us! Boston Poetry Marathon will take place over three days at Outpost 186:

Friday, August 10th
In Memory of Lucie Brock-Broido, 6:00-6:50
Eileen Cleary, Beatriz Del Rio, Jenny Grassl, Amanda Hope, Tanya Liu, Pam Matz, Pamela Bailey Powers
Laura Green 7:00
Kythe Heller 7:08
Jean Dany Joachim 7:16
Kacy Cunningham 7:24
Jordan Davis 7:32
Jack Miller 7:40
Kevin Gallagher 8:00
Audrey Mardavich 8:08
Jackie Wang 8:16
Jess Mynes 8:24
Steph Burt 8:32
Julia Story 8:40
Tim Suermondt 9:00
Kevin McLellan 9:08
Amy Lawless 9:16
Pui Ying Wong 9:24
Shirley Jones-Luke 9:32
David Blair 9:40
Kayla Cash 10:00
Zachary Bos 10:08
Mary Bonina 10:16
Michael Todd Steffen 10:24
Judson Evans 10:32
-End of Friday Night-
Saturday, August 11th
Gale Batchelder 12:00
Anthony Febo 12:08
Timothy Gager 12:16
Mickey Coburn 12:24
Valerie Loveland 12:32
Michael Gottlieb 12:40
KH van berkum 1:00
Alifair Skebe 1:08
Olivia Thomes 1:16
Christina Liu 1:24
Chad Parenteau 1:32
Danielle Legros Georges 1:40
Zoe Tuck 2:00
Brittany Billmeyer-Finn 2:08
Mark Pawlak 2:16
Shari Caplan 2:24
Aaron Kiely 2:32
Clay Ventre 2:40
In Memory Of Marthe Reed
Mark Lamoureux 3:00
Kenning JP Garcia 3:10
Trace Peterson 3:20
Maria Damon 3:30
Adeena Karasick 3:50
Heather Hughes 3:58
Jeffrey Pethybridge 4:06
Steven Riel 4:14
Lori Lubeski 4:22
Jade Rei Sylvan 4:30
Mairead Byrne 4:52
Sam Cha 5:00
Nausheen Eusuf 5:08
Anthony Cueller 5:16
Fanny Howe 5:24
-dinner break-
Michael Peters 7:00
Joe Elliot 7:08
Simeon Berry 7:16
Uche Nduka 7:24
Heather Treseler 7:32
Ruth Towne 7:40
Jennifer Marie Bartlett 8:00
Jim Stewart 8:08
Karen Locascio 8:16
Mitch Highfill 8:24
Martha McCollough 8:32
Gilmore Tamny 8:40
Darren Black 9:00
Brenda Ijima 9:08
Christina Strong 9:16
Douglas Rothschild 9:24
John Mulrooney 9:32
Suzanne Mercury 9:40
Brendan Lorber 10:00
Jessica Bozek 10:08
Ben Mazer 10:16
Claudia Amador 10:24
-End of Saturday Night-
Sunday, August 12th
Russell Bennetts 11:00
Lisa Maria Martin 11:08
Eliza Jerrett 11:16
Keith Jones 11:24
Jennifer Martelli 11:32
J.D. Scrimgeour 11:40
Hannah Larrabee 12:00
Alyssa Mazzarella 12:08
Colleen Michaels 12:16
Danielle Jones-Pruett 12:24
Catherine LeBeau 12:32
Tracy Marks 12:40
January O’Neil 1:00
Lloyd Schwartz 1:08
MP Carver 1:16
Lisa DeSiro 1:24
James Stotts 1:32
In Memory of Gerrit Lansing
Ruth Lepson 1:50
Abigail & Samuel Cook 2:00
Jim Dunn 2:10
Amanda Cook 2:20
Sean Cole 2:30
James Cook 2:40
Carol Weston 3:00
Dara Wier 3:08
Christine Tierney 3:16
Janaka Stucky 3:24
Dennis Nurkse 3:32
Sawako Nakayasu 3:40
Bridget Eileen 4:00
Kathleen Lake 4:08
Carol Berg 4:16
Darcie Dennigan 4:24
Richard Hoffman 4:32
William Orem 4:40
Tom Daley 5:00
Serina Gousby 5:08
Frannie Lindsay 5:16
Robert Carr 5:24
Rebecca Roach 5:32
Gillian Devereux 5:40
Rob Chalfen 6:00
Oni Buchanan 6:08
Meia Geddes 6:16
Dan Wuenschel 6:24
~*~Finish Line~*~

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