Just in time for Halloween, Bulb Culture Collective has done a gathering of spooky reprints, including my story "Raney's Imaginary Friend," complete with yellow wallpaper and a ghostly double. After "Bartleby" a week or two ago, you probably think all of my stories feature academics in the throes of literary criticism of famous short stories, but really those are the only two. (I think.)
Steve and I spent an afternoon at Lake Chabot taking author photos with the Portrait feature on my iPhone and I think he's settled on one. He's actually smiling.
And the University of Tampa Press just posted an Acquisition Announcement for his novella, the first in their new series Pomme. I love that Poe features in the description.
CAPTAIN CHICANO DRAWS A LINE IN THE AMERICAN SAND By Stephen D. Gutierrez
We are thrilled to announce that we’ll be publishing Stephen D. Gutierrez’s Captain Chicano Draws a Line in the American Sand as the inaugural work of our novella series, Pomme.
Captain Chicano is out to save the country! White supremacy is on the rise and he is the only one capable of beating it with a secret weapon. Love. But will it work? His own life isn’t so great, beset by superhero insecurities and Chicano doubts. What is a Chicano superhero supposed to do? How is he supposed to act? Luckily, he and the narrator, engaged on his own quest to write a gothic account of America, of its present crisis of democracy and demographics, can team up, and create a bigger mess, and a better time together. Luckily for them both, Edgar Allan Poe is interested in the project, and makes a series of haunting appearances, sad and comical and serious, to help the tale along. But will the nation really be saved from its own demons and survive the extremism in the air? The answer is surprising and poignant.
Captain Chicano Draws a Line in the American Sand will be released in Summer 2024. Cover reveals and more to follow soon!
Stephen D. Gutierrez is the author of three collections of short stories and essays, and winner of an American Book Award. His work has appeared in North American Review, Catamaran Literary Reader, Chicago Quarterly Review, Hunger Mountain Review, Fourth Genre, River Teeth, Cimarron Review (forthcoming), and numerous anthologies. Two of his essays have earned Notable Essay citations, most recently in Best American Essays 2022. Originally from City of Commerce, a small working-class city in Southeast Los Angeles County, he taught for many years at California State University East Bay in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he still makes his home.
Almost as exciting as my own Notable is the fact that CRAFT has a Notable Essay listing in BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS this year as well: Beth Kephart's stunning essay "Thieves."
CRAFT started publishing CNF in July 2020 and I'm the first CNF editor. This is our fourth Notable, which is pretty unusual for an online journal. I'm very proud of that!
Our four Notables:
Beth Kephart, "Thieves"
BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS 2023
Andrea Avery, "Father Figure"
BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS 2022
Shaina Phenix, "some things I knew by age seven"
BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS 2022
A.D. Carr, "Losing Composure"
BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS 2021
I'm visiting two classes via Zoom in the coming week or so: Kathryn Kulpa's class "Bringing It All Back Home: The Flash Collection and Flash Novella" at CLEAVER to talk about THE MISSING GIRL and THE LUNATICS' BALL, and Will Woolfitt's undergraduate class "On Being a Writer" at Lee University in Tennessee.
Kathryn asked her students to read THE MISSING GIRL and "The Lunatics' Ball" and "Cutting Edge." I'm already getting some interesting questions from them, and a gratifying comment from one of her students:, who called THE MISSING GIRL "an incredibly visceral, impactful read! So well-done: it fueled a righteous, vindictive rage in the best way. Wow! A powerful work." I've wondered how the collection wears, since it came out just before #MeToo publicized so many heartbreaking, true stories, perhaps too many for us to take in.
Ben's home from Aberdeen and was able to help me figure out how to make the font size the same on successive pages of my ridiculously rudimentary powerpoint for Kathryn's class.
I've known for a while, since someone with an essay in BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS 2023 posted photocopies of the Notable Essay pages in a private Facebook group. (The first time I learned that way; every year is a different adventure, since BAE doesn't post a list.) I'm really excited to have "Cutting Edge" in PERMAFROST honored this way, because it's a hybrid essay, and part of THE LUNATICS' BALL. Pub day is tomorrow and I have the book on order at our local indie bookstore, so I should have it any day. Looking forward to reading the essays that Vivian Gornick has chosen.
Loved the CRAFT Salon last week, with Kathy Fish as our keynote reader, and three others, including Sudha Balagopal, whom I introduced. I love that we're doing these salons quarterly. This was our most well-attended yet.
Last night, Steve was one of the readers in an in-person reading for CATAMARAN LITERARY READER at the Mechanics' Institute in San Francisco. Beautiful place, great reading, and it was great to have Ben with us. He returned from his year in Aberdeen last Saturday and will be with us, on and off, for a few months before moving to Borneo. Weird that the picture of Ben has empty chairs, because the place was packed. It must have been before everyone was seated.
Can't seem to come up with a flash for FICTIVE DREAM's Flash February. I'd like to submit one in the next month if I can. Looking over abandoned, unfinished drafts in my files that I don't even remember starting.
SWEET just wrote today with a pub date for "Ode to My Cat, Ten Years Gone": April 30, 2024. I like having a date far off. Something to look forward to. Also, proofs today for the Halloween issue of BULB CULTURE COLLECTIVE (I should look up the name of the magazine; I have no idea what it means). They're reprinting my story "Raney's Imaginary Friend."
I keep wishing we had room for more publications at CRAFT. On the other hand it's a lot of work just the way it is. Interesting that SWEET is booking all way into next spring. I'm trying to hold back on acceptances so I don't do that. They have issues with plenty of room, though. We don't. We publish one longform and one flash a month, with about five months off for contests in CNF (June) and other genres. We have to reject so much good work! I have difficulty with that.
My short story "The Beautiful Girl on the Flying Trapeze" was supposed to come out in issue 6 of FIVE SOUTH on April 1. A website redesign has delayed the issue for over six months, and the former EIC Dave Gregory has just posted the story on their old website instead. I'm thrilled to see it, and the accompanying art work he chose (related to Wim Wenders' "Wings of Desire," important in the story). After teaching lit classes for thirty years, I often depend heavily on literary texts not just for allusions but as part of the plot and structure of what I write. Most recently: "The Tell-Tale Heart,""The Yellow Wallpaper." The character in this story, ABD with an unfinished dissertation on "Bartleby," is my Bartleby. Absorbed in The Lunatics' Ball, I haven't written longform fiction for a while. The story was fun to write!