Sarah Wrote That

Apples Horses Brides

route9litmag:

[first appeared in Parcel]

by Sarah Malone

By August I could only sleep at steep angles, midday, when the town dozed off for blocks. The window fan helicoptered me to a grass hut, and reporters in flak jackets filed the evening news from the high school lab where Dennis and I had met. Our teacher bent over me, horn-rimmed, tortoise-shelled, and I didn’t know what I had done.

In the morning when Dennis woke beside me I had been knotted awake for hours. Buses creaked toward Schenectady and the triplicate perfume of invoices he’d said I never had to fingernail apart again. None of the names we liked—Lisa, Peter, Jennifer, Michael, Paul, Christine—belonged to anyone.

“How about Chet?” Dennis called from the kitchen. I heard him: verse, refrain, bridge, proud Mary keep on boiling—boiling. He peered around the doorframe, his moustache a drooped grin.

“You goose,” I said.

“I’m singing you the perfect egg.”

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I’m so pleased to have this story in Route 9's Alumni Omnibus issue alongside Christy, Brian, Hilary, Anne, and so many others.

[a bit of this story’s evolution]

"It would be nice if you were a little softer here and there, world."

carrieabigstick:

Mud Luscious Press shuttered its doors very suddenly and sadly just as the forty millionth fucktonsnowstorm started fucksnowing outside my window. I am grading papers and listening to a Fleetwood Mac record. I am thinking of the 3rd years in my cohort who turned in all their great thesis work today. I am fixing tiny errors and moving little stuff very quietly inside my cows before I send off my final, final edits to Magic Helicopter tonight. It’s bruising to hear Russ has lost his book on the night I feel like my chapbook is one step closer to being actually real. All I did at AWP was take drinks of whiskey and then cry happiness. I also kept saying, “I am so afraid it’s going to be taken away from me somehow.” To know that that has actually happened to another writer, much less one who I have been collaborating poems with for over a year, who has been hugely important to my poetry being any kind of smidgen of visible in this dumb, shitty world, is rib breaking. 

It’s sad because MLP is one of the first presses I ever really understood as being this small press that was DOING IT, that was publishing the exciting writers they really believed could show us something about Livinglanguage with that capital L.

[…]

Go buy out the rest of MLP’s stock here. Go show them your love everywhere. 

Gabe Durham’s Fun Camp was due from Mud Luscious next month. Gabe was the first writer I met at UMass. Fun Camp has been in the works as long as I’ve known him. I read an early draft of it for workshop on a spring night as clear as tonight and could feel its plot and rhythms homing true on their good, funny, tragic work. Somebody needs to pick it up. I’ve never read anything like it and I have yet to read it whole.

Using Tumblr as a Lit Journal CMS

This week, after two years and three issues, I handed off UMass’s Route 9 to to new editors. We started in 2009 on WordPress, but after two issues I decided we were best not just having a Tumblr but being a Tumblr. The potential for pieces to be reblogged or featured was appealing, of course, but my main reasons were practical: run entirely by MFA candidates, the journal, if it continues to thrive, will be handed off every several years. Tumblr frees future editors from also having to be server admins, while allowing customization that would otherwise require managing (and paying for hosting) our own CMS.

Read on →
Woo hoo, I’m feeling all proud and silly—two stories I published last year in Route 9 made it into Wigleaf’s 2012 “(Very) Short Fictions”: in the Top 50, "The Chemical Mist" by Rachel B. Glaser, and in the Long List, "Echo and His Brother" by Brian Mihok.
Congrats also to Danny Goodman and fwriction: review for Jen Knox’s "Types of Circus" in the Top 50 and Anthony Leubbert’s "The Education of the President’s Dog Quincy" in the Long List.
I love the Wigleaf Top 50 for its expansiveness as well as its reliably good eye. It casts a wide, good net, and it’s done a lot to build recognition of shorter fiction, and online fiction, as artistically serious mediums. I believe this is the first year Tumblr-based journals have been included, and I’m so tickled that one of them is Route 9.

Woo hoo, I’m feeling all proud and silly—two stories I published last year in Route 9 made it into Wigleaf’s 2012 “(Very) Short Fictions”: in the Top 50, "The Chemical Mist" by Rachel B. Glaser, and in the Long List, "Echo and His Brother" by Brian Mihok.

Congrats also to Danny Goodman and fwriction: review for Jen Knox’s "Types of Circus" in the Top 50 and Anthony Leubbert’s "The Education of the President’s Dog Quincy" in the Long List.

I love the Wigleaf Top 50 for its expansiveness as well as its reliably good eye. It casts a wide, good net, and it’s done a lot to build recognition of shorter fiction, and online fiction, as artistically serious mediums. I believe this is the first year Tumblr-based journals have been included, and I’m so tickled that one of them is Route 9.

The Juniper Literary Festival begins tomorrow evening and continues all day Saturday at the UMass Amherst Fine Arts Center. Twelve poets and writers including Blake Butler, Amelia Gray, Julia Holmes, Chris DeWeese, and Paul Legault, with James Tate giving the keynote.
There’s an opening reception with full bar, and it’s FREE (except for all the books and magazines you might find yourself picking up). I’ve heard it called a “mini AWP” but there’s a decided lack of strive-y-ness here—it’s more the wonderful energy of people excited to share what they’ve made. This is my second and final year helping run it, and I’m thrilled at and proud of what we’ve put together, and grateful to everyone traveling long distances to take part. If you go, stop by and say hi!

The Juniper Literary Festival begins tomorrow evening and continues all day Saturday at the UMass Amherst Fine Arts Center. Twelve poets and writers including Blake Butler, Amelia Gray, Julia Holmes, Chris DeWeese, and Paul Legault, with James Tate giving the keynote.

There’s an opening reception with full bar, and it’s FREE (except for all the books and magazines you might find yourself picking up). I’ve heard it called a “mini AWP” but there’s a decided lack of strive-y-ness here—it’s more the wonderful energy of people excited to share what they’ve made. This is my second and final year helping run it, and I’m thrilled at and proud of what we’ve put together, and grateful to everyone traveling long distances to take part. If you go, stop by and say hi!

thecommonmag:

“Studies” by Amelia Gray
Not enough snow to stick, Mother says. A pissing thin layer of the saddest slick. Even the road made visible underneath. Used to be you could die in a winter, wander right off the road and dead in a field before you had your second thought, but these days everyone gets to their destination. Have you ever arrived in a springtime with your entire family intact? A real shame to see, Mother says.
Read on →
Amelia Gray is a featured writer at the 2012 Juniper Literary Festival: New Writers | New Writing.
Photo by Emily Hunt | First published in “Studies,” Route 9 Issue 2.

The Juniper Festival is this weekend at UMass! I’m assistant directing it again this year, so I’m biased, but it really is one of my favorite things we do here. Amelia is reading Friday night, and I’m thrilled that she, The Common, and Emily were up for this collaboration.

thecommonmag:

“Studies” by Amelia Gray

Not enough snow to stick, Mother says. A pissing thin layer of the saddest slick. Even the road made visible underneath. Used to be you could die in a winter, wander right off the road and dead in a field before you had your second thought, but these days everyone gets to their destination. Have you ever arrived in a springtime with your entire family intact? A real shame to see, Mother says.

Read on →

Amelia Gray is a featured writer at the 2012 Juniper Literary Festival: New Writers | New Writing.

Photo by Emily Hunt | First published in “Studies,” Route 9 Issue 2.

The Juniper Festival is this weekend at UMass! I’m assistant directing it again this year, so I’m biased, but it really is one of my favorite things we do here. Amelia is reading Friday night, and I’m thrilled that she, The Common, and Emily were up for this collaboration.

Mira Bartók—writer, artist, alum of my program at UMass, generous friend and above-and-beyond citizen of the lit and arts community—has won this year’s National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography for The Memory Palace:

a book that rose to the formal challenge of blending her mother’s journals, reflections on her mother’s mental illness and subsequent homelessness, and thoughts on her own recovery from a head injury to create a heartfelt yet respectful work of art.

I published an excerpt in Issue 2 of Route 9:

A homeless woman, let’s call her my mother for now, or yours, sits on a window ledge in late afternoon in a working class neighborhood in Cleveland, or it could be Baltimore or Detroit. She is five stories up and below the ambulance is waiting, red lights flashing in the rain.
Read On →

[painting: Mira Bartók]

Mira Bartók—writer, artist, alum of my program at UMass, generous friend and above-and-beyond citizen of the lit and arts community—has won this year’s National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography for The Memory Palace:

a book that rose to the formal challenge of blending her mother’s journals, reflections on her mother’s mental illness and subsequent homelessness, and thoughts on her own recovery from a head injury to create a heartfelt yet respectful work of art.

I published an excerpt in Issue 2 of Route 9:

A homeless woman, let’s call her my mother for now, or yours, sits on a window ledge in late afternoon in a working class neighborhood in Cleveland, or it could be Baltimore or Detroit. She is five stories up and below the ambulance is waiting, red lights flashing in the rain.

Read On →

[painting: Mira Bartók]

Revisiting W. S. Merwin's The Vixen

Poets.org has posted a wonderful essay by Matthew Zapruder, on Merwin, being an MFA student, and the development of his poetic philosophy:

without clarity, it is not possible to have true mystery. By clarity, I mean a sense in the reader that what is being said on the surface of the poem is not a scrim or a veil deliberately hiding some other hidden, inaccessible certainty. Clarity for me in poetry is a kind of generosity, a willingness to be together with the reader in the same place of uncertainty, striving for understanding.

When I began writing poetry again last year, for the first time since the ’90s, I found Zapruder’s embrace of narrative inspiring and reassuring:

narrative grounding situates the poem firmly, which then allows the poet to step out at will and make associations and observations and digressions that are often quite strange but always believable.

He wrote us a poem for the first issue of Route 9, concerning some of the times referred to in the essay.

SW to NE, from the DuBois Library 23rd floor this morning. The gap in the middle is due west, where someone—the nerve!—was using a study carrel.

SW to NE, from the DuBois Library 23rd floor this morning. The gap in the middle is due west, where someone—the nerve!—was using a study carrel.