Tag Archives: So Say We All

Call for submissions: Incoming, “Sex Drugs and Copenhagen.”

So Say We All’s Veteran Writers Division is accepting submissions for its next Incoming anthology, tentatively titled: “Sex, Drugs, and Copenhagen.” We were originally going to call it “Sex Drugs, and Coping Mechanisms” but couldn’t help paying homage to the great and horrible chaw that has kept so many service members awake on watch through the night.

We’re looking for non-fiction stories related to coping mechanisms, affairs, violating protocol in the name of escapism, mental health vacations, shore leave / R&R adventures, emergency sex, adopting a base cat, or other extreme actions taken to alleviate boredom and preserve sanity during one’s service or the period that followed during reintegration to the civilian world. We’re interested in any interpretation you might take on the theme, so feel free to surprise us.

We hope in choosing this topic that we’re able to offer veteran writers a chance to consider their service through humor, absurdism, and surrealism if they find it appropriate (though all takes on the theme are welcome), and provide our readers insights into the lesser-talked about  inglorious aspects of service: the tricks and tales of what people have to do to endure boredom, loneliness, heartbreak, trauma, and other human traits that undermine the all-consuming need to remain “effective”. Active duty writers concerned about negatively affecting their careers are welcome to submit under a pen name. We get it.

Veterans of all branches and generations, active duty service members, military family members, and interpreters are welcome to submit non-fiction works up to 7,000 words in length or less. Previously published work is welcome as long as you indicate in your cover letter where the work received its first publication. Simultaneous submissions are encouraged. Contributors will receive a contributor copy by mail.

You can learn more about our previous volume, Returning Home, read reviews, and hear stories from previous contributors at www.incomingradio.org“.

We look forward to reading your work!

– So Say We All

 

Call for submissions: Southeast Stories

Image credit: Southeast SD Map by Isauro Amigable Inocencio Jr.

– Submit here!

So Say We All is collaborating with the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation’s Placemakers program to tell the story of Southeast San Diego through the written and spoken perspectives of the people who live and work there! Whether poetry, essays, or non-fiction prose, we want stories that take place in the neighborhood or strive to define an aspect of it, however you choose to interpret that.

Here’s a handy map detailing the neighborhoods and communities that define Southeastern SD if you’re wondering about the geographic boundaries.

Works would ideally be under 5,000 words, however we will still happily consider them if they run longer. Want to see an example of what we’re received in the past? Here’s a performed story written by Michael Billingsly that debuted at our City College Showcase a few years back! Any subject matter or approach is welcome, as long as it features the neighborhood.

All accepted writers will receive edits and one-on-one coaching from our teaching artists, have their work published through the project, and be invited to perform their piece at an upcoming performance series in the fall of 2017 in addition to receiving fellowships to attend Masterclasses by visiting writers for free.

Thank you for helping us tell the story of one of San Diego’s most significant neighborhoods, and we look forward to reading your works!

PS: Photos and artworks that interpret or document the neighborhood are welcome as well, so send us your goods!

– Submit here!

Karolina Waclawiak reads at The Foundry on March 18th!

The Foundry is our literary reading series, bringing you the finest, the weirdest, and the best writers from across the country and across the street. The next event is Saturday, March 18th at 7 PM at Tiger Eye Hair, and features readings by Jami Attenberg, Alex Zaragoza, Kiik A.K., Wendy C. Ortiz, and today’s feature, Karolina Waclawiak.

Karolina Waclawiak’s critically acclaimed first novel, How To Get Into The Twin Palms, was published by Two Dollar Radio in 2012. Her second novel, THE INVADERS, which was published in July 2015, was recently optioned by ABC Television. AWOL, a feature she co-wrote with Deb Shoval, will premiere at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival. Formerly an editor at the Believer, she is now the Deputy Culture Editor at BuzzFeed. Waclawiak received her BFA in Screenwriting from USC School of Cinematic Arts and her MFA in Fiction from Columbia University. Her last name is pronounced Vahts-Slav-iak.

Karolina’s latest novel, The Invaders, is a dark look at suburban elitism. From a review in The Guardian:

David Lynch’s cinema of suburban horror would pair well with Waclawiak’s work both [in The Invaders] and in her first, LA-based novel, How to Get Into the Twin Palms. Both writer and film-maker blend traditional social criticism and with a sort of rhapsodising of the quotidian and grotesque within suburbia. Along with DJ Waldie, Bret Easton Ellis, Jeffrey Eugenides and AM Homes, Waclawiak’s The Invaders belongs to this expanding genre of “new suburban” literature.

[…]

Despite its patent cynicism, The Invaders contains hints of the same fantastical realism found in Ellis’s Lunar Park or Eugenides’ The Virgin Suicides. All these books romanticise the lonely topographies, both emotional and natural, that its characters inhabit. Waclawiak’s unadorned prose puts in stark relief dark houses, vacant gardens, even the ominous churning of the sea without resorting to belaboured Freudian cant.

Here’s a brief excerpt from The Invaders, up at Lit Hub.

When our father left, our old rotary phone would ring and my sisters and I would fight like rabid dogs over who would answer it, hoping it was him, but it never was. My sisters spent less and less time at home, wanting to be away from all the sadness, the outline of missing people too grim. Boys would take them away, my mother would yell, warning them they’d end up like her, alone with a brood of ungrateful girls of their own, but they didn’t listen. Neither did I.

[read the full excerpt here]

Waclawiak’s first book, How To Get Into The Twin Palms, published by our friends at Two Dollar Radio, is a dreary, fiery (literal fire) portrayal of outsiderness and otherness in Los Angeles, devastatingly crafted. Her writing is rich, sometimes dismal, and unsettling.

And Waclawiak was announced yesterday as a National Book Awards fiction judge, alongside Dave Eggers and Alexander Chee, among others.

We are looking forward to bringing Karolina to town to read to you. Join us at The Foundry #4 on March 18th at Tiger Eye Hair in Golden Hill! Karolina Waclawiak reads with Jami Attenberg, Kiik A.K., Alex Zaragoza, and Wendy C. Ortiz. Stay tuned as we introduce you to all of the readers!

RSVP and invite your friends: https://www.facebook.com/events/274611539626150/


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Wendy C. Ortiz reads at The Foundry on March 18th!

The Foundry is our literary reading series! We want to introduce you to your next favorite writer. Each reading features established authors and emerging writers, both from San Diego and across the country. We’re going to do a little web series so you can get to know each of the readers for The Foundry #4, coming up on Saturday, March 18th at 7 PM  at Tiger Eye Hair in Golden Hill.

The Foundry #4 will feature readings from Jami Attenberg, Karolina Waclawiak, Kiik A.K., Alex Zaragoza, and today’s feature: Wendy C. Ortiz.

Wendy C. Ortiz is the author of Excavation: A Memoir, Hollywood Notebook, and the dreamoir Bruja. Her work has been profiled or featured in the Los Angeles Times, The Rumpus, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and the National Book Critics Circle Small Press Spotlight blog. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Hazlitt, The Lifted Brow, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, StoryQuarterly, and a year-long series appeared at McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. Wendy lives in Los Angeles. Visit her public notebook: wendycortiz.tumblr.com.

Wendy’s writing is powerful, thick with imagery, and beautifully sparse. The things left out from her work carry nearly as much weight as the words included. From a recent interview at The Rumpus, here’s Wendy on how perfecting the art of omission works with her self-coined genre “dreamoir” used in her new book, Bruja, published in 2016 by Civil Coping Mechanisms.

Rumpus: You’ve said in the past about your writing, “What can I omit to make it a sharper piece?”

I’m fascinated by the way Bruja forces the reader to piece together the story through symbols and narrative threads as opposed to a linear story arc. As a reader the dream format compelled me to think more deeply about the journey of the narrator—to engage in the process of discovery in a much more visceral way than I might with a traditional memoir. In a way, the omission, made the narrative more engaging. Was this something you had to think through?

Ortiz: In the original writing of it online, I never thought this through—the website was a receptacle for dreams. In editing it, I had to think through which dreams had the most to “tell,” which forced me into omitting dreams that didn’t have much of a thread (or threads that might be too obscure to follow). I also omitted dreams that felt like they told too much. It felt like a very careful removal of organs from a body, to see if the body might still function without one dream thread or another.

And her work, both in Bruja and in her earlier memoir texts, Hollywood Notebook and Excavation, is intensely personal, revelatory, and groundbreaking. She plays with genre in the same way that she plays with language and structure, pushing the boundaries of what is non-fiction, what is memoir, what is truth, and the boundaries of what a page or a story might look like: prose, poetry, truth, dream, magic.

Here’s Wendy on magical realism and magic in writing:

Rumpus: […]I felt keenly that Bruja, had an intentional spell-like—almost a magical realism—quality. Certainly, the gorgeous cover art by the artist Wendy Ortiz, and the title itself is evocative of a female archetype—a woman with magical powers. Were you thinking about this when you composed Bruja?

Ortiz: I was thinking of it the same way I think of brujería everyday without calling it that, necessarily. To me, magic is everywhere. Synchronicities fall under the “magic” heading to me. I pay attention as much as I can. I try to surround myself with other women with magical powers and a lot falls under the heading “magical powers.” To me, a bruja is able to live on and in different planes at different times and sometimes simultaneously—this is what I thought of most as I edited the text of the book—that this was my life on another plane while living on the one most people call “reality.”

Read the rest of the interview here.

I love this stunning, boundary-squashing and structure-squashing piece of her writing you can read online at the literary magazine Poor Claudia, “Celestial Body Language.” Here’s a brief clip:

Pluto Conjunct Midheaven

“personal power is mobilized”

Pluto at the top of the chart, Mars at the bottom.
“You’re here to destroy,” she said.
I stepped out of the salon clutching the cassette tape. In the attic I reset its spools.
She gave no definition for “destroy.”
Months wandered by like clouds. I counted. After five had passed I forgot I was counting.
The sixth cloud hung heavy.
Midway I sprung out of the cloud, soaking wet, then engorged with flames. Destroying came naturally, as it turned out.
I hit the ground. When the ground opened, kept running.

We are honored to have Wendy come read to you at the Foundry, and teach her (SOLD OUT!) masterclass, “Public Notebook to Book,” earlier that afternoon. Come join Wendy, Jami Attenberg, Karolina Waclawiak, Kiik A.K., and Alex Zaragoza on Saturday, March 18th at Tiger Eye Hair!


If you appreciate what we do at So Say We All, please consider becoming a sustaining member. Details here: http://www.sosayweallonline.com/membership/

 

SSWA Collaborates with New Village Arts: An Illiad

So Say We All is honored to have been invited to collaborate with our friends at New Village Arts on their newest offering, “An Illiad”, which spins the familiar tale of gods and goddesses, undying love and endless battles told through the eyes of a single narrator, whose enigmatic experience of the war reverberates with today’s headlines. A solo actor creates a tour de force performance of this sweeping account of humanity’s unshakeable attraction to violence, destruction and chaos.

This coming Sunday’s show features an encore performance by So Say We All’s Veteran Writer’s Program, and if you buy tickets using the promo code SSWA at checkout, a portion of your ticket cost will go towards supporting our program.

Open call for submissions: Collaboration with the Hausmann Quartet

So Say We All is honored to be collaborating with The Hausmann Quartet to produce a showcase of original stories and classical music at the The White Chapel at Liberty Station on Sunday, March 26th in the early afternoon. The Hausmann Quartet runs a concert series (Haydn Voyages) in which they explore all of the string quartets of Joseph Haydn, presented alongside works of many of his contemporaries, early influences, musical ancestors, as well as some of the most exciting composers writing today.

Haydn wrote an epic work for string quartet for a Good Friday/Easter commission, “The 7 Last Words of Christ”, made up of seven movements, one for each of the last words, and ends with a musical depiction of the earthquake as its finale. It is a beautiful work that is often performed with narration.

Towards that end, So Say We All is accepting submissions of original prose and poetry that respond, interpret, evoke, or otherwise touch on one or more of the 7 passages–no religious connection required or expected, any interpretation is welcome–to be performed as an introduction to each section of music. Each submission should be 500 words in-length or less. Multiple submissions are welcome, but please submit each separately. Deadline for submission is Midnight, Friday March 3rd. Please indicate in your submission bio which passage you are responding to.

Any direction your inspiration takes you is welcome, personal narrative or more open reflection on the times we live in; surprise us and sparkle.

The 7 Last Words that Haydn composed to are:

  • 1.1 1. Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.
  • 1.2 2. Today you will be with me in paradise.
  • 1.3 3. Behold your son: behold your mother.
  • 1.4 4. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
  • 1.5 5. I thirst.
  • 1.6 6. It is finished.
  • 1.7 7. Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.

We look forward to reading your works!

– So Say We All

The SSWA Literary Prize in Fiction judged by Leesa Cross-Smith

Announcing the brand new, first ever So Say We All Literary Prize in Fiction! One first place winner will receive a $250 prize and publication online and in print. We are excited to explore this realm. And! We are extra excited (and feeling a bit fannish) because our inaugural contest will be judged by the amazing Leesa Cross-Smith.

Leesa Cross-Smith is the author of Every Kiss a War and the editor of WhiskeyPaper. Her work has appeared in Best Small Fictions. She loves baseball and musicals. Find more @ LeesaCrossSmith.com and WhiskeyPaper.com.

Contest Guidelines:

  • We are looking for fiction short stories
  • Surprise us. We want your beautiful, your weird, your uncouth, your unexpected, your experiments, your sadness, your joy, your fear. Story is our currency here: give us characters we can’t forget doing things we can’t forget.
  • Length: under 3,000 words please.
  • Please make sure your submission does not have your name or any identifying information in the attachment
  • One story per $10 entry fee. Multiple submissions are fine, as long as each is its own entry with its own $10 entry fee.
  • Simultaneous submissions are also just fine. However, if your work gets picked up elsewhere, please withdraw immediately. Entry fees are, regretfully, not refundable.

Contest Details:

  • Submission window: 1/15/17 – 4/30/17
  • Deadline: April 30th, 2017 at 11:59 PM pacific time
  • $10 entry fee
  • $250 prize for one first place winner
  • Blind submission process! No names in your files!
  • The winner’s story will be illustrated, published in The Radvocate Issue Fifteen, and published online on our website.
  • The top five finalists will also be published in The Radvocate Issue Fifteen.
  • All contest entries will be considered for publication in The Radvocate Issue Fifteen.
  • We love you and cannot wait to read your work and share it with Leesa.

Ready? SUBMIT HERE.

Here’s a little bit more about our judge:

Leesa Cross-Smith is a homemaker and writer from Kentucky. She is the author of Every Kiss a War (Mojave River Press, 2014). Every Kiss a War was a finalist for both the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction (2012) and the Iowa Short Fiction Award (2012). Her short story “Whiskey & Ribbons” won Editor’s Choice in the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest (2011) and was listed as a notable story for storySouth‘s Million Writers Award. She is a consulting editor for Best Small Fictions 2017. Her work has appeared in Best Small Fictions 2015, SmokeLong QuarterlyLittle FictionWigleaf Top 50Longform FictionCarve Magazine, Hobart, NANO FictionMonkeybicyclePithead ChapelGigantic SequinsFolioAmerican Short Fiction (online)Midwestern GothicJukedWord Riot, Sundog LitThe Rumpus, and many others. She and her husband Loran run a literary magazine called WhiskeyPaper.

Send Leesa your brightest stars. You got this.


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Veteran’s Day story: “The Mountain” by Andrew Szala

15045778_10210223317995021_1552594302_nIn honor of Veteran’s Day, So Say We All would like to present you with a story we had the privledge of publishing in Incoming: Veteran Writers on Returning Home, “The Mountain,” by Andrew Szala.

Andrew Szala witnessed the horrors of the war in Afghanistan while serving as a U.S. Army Combat Medic, upon returning home, he witnessed its lasting effects. Currently, he lives with his wife, son and bulldog outside Providence, R.I. where he is working on his latest stage play, The Pressure Cooker.

We hope you enjoy it as much as we did, that you take some time during the holiday to reflect on those few who have served for us all, and if you’d like to read more, pickup a copy of Incoming to read all the veteran voices we’ve had the privilege of publishing.

THE MOUNTAIN – by Andrew Szala

The mountain is tall. Late summer leaves. Initially, he pulls his car up. He does not notice anyone at the trailhead. He ventures deeper. He encounters cars, one, two at most. He’s unfazed and knows what he is doing. No moment of hesitation, no last glance at his car, the door closes and there is only forward now. He’s used to this. The mountain hides the exertion required to proceed.

On his exit from active duty there had been parties. Friends came out of the woodwork at his homecoming, patting him on the back and telling him how they would have joined also but… there was always a but, and a reason why they couldn’t put their lives on hold.

As the days passed and turned to weeks the friends came by less. While he’d been away they’d gotten on with their lives, and in his mind he had become like a scar, present but not thought of until looked directly at. He and his wife began to fight more. His temper would rage and quickly reach a crescendo before falling abruptly off with his exhaustion. Always exhaustion. Sleep came in sprints and his mind took him back to the desert while he dreamed.

The mountain at its base is wide and the path hot. The trees hold the mountain’s breath beneath their leaves. As he passes the descending hikers, only a quick nod is exchanged. His presence barely registered. How different they seem. His climb is not for sport, nor fitness. He drinks no water.

He’d felt trapped in his body. Isolated in his mind. His new sobriety added to his seclusion as he watched those around him in merriment while he sipped diet coke. Confirming what he already knew; he was different. It was not his presence, but lack thereof which burned her the most. He was a zombie.

“What’s wrong?’ became a daily question which he yearned to answer.

The last hikers pass on the way down. He’s alone. The mountain is indifferent. Each step draws him to the peak. He hears no birds or song.

The necessity of the military, in some capacity, was not up for debate. He knew this, and while we had made great strides towards peace, our kind will never exist without the presence of evil draped in the robes of good. He struggled for a long time. Unable to place into words why it was ok to do the things he had. What took him the longest to overcome was the fact there was evil on both sides of any war and like all things, the sum lived in the grey. His actions held him in high esteem among his peers, but knowledge muddied this fact.

He would try. He would resolve to be better, to immerse himself in the world and live. But, to fall. He would see around him the emptiness of a world without the hierarchy of the military. The outside world had no form and rules were seen as disposable. It made no sense; who won and lost. He began to build resentment to his own helplessness. He struggled to maintain the bearing the military had built into him. His footholds disappeared.

He entered college in an attempt to better this. He joined the military for the same reason. Here, he saw it: a tattered yellow ribbon informing all how much the troops would be supported. After a while all those ribbons began to feel like a lie, a placebo, made to make their owners feel better about their own helplessness in a burning world. In the end, no one had to actually support the troops as long as they said they did. Finding employment reinforced this conclusion. A veteran preference, as a concept, was not readily applied during the hiring process; his skills did not translate.

His time was passing. Sitting in the VA. No one from his war, his guilt at feeling this mattered somehow. Each one seemed somehow different and the same. Was he one of these? So many broken. He was like a child in a physician’s office waiting for his grandmother. Some tried, most did not. Their battle was apathy.

When she left he couldn’t blame her. When she took his children, what could he say? His mind was absent, his body a shade. He sat, sometimes for days in his world, scrolling through social media, angered by the nature of others’ daily problems. They would never know real stress; they would never know real.

When he saw pictures of his wife and her new…that…holding his child it confirmed what he already knew: he did not exist. He had been erased and his story retold without him. Their happiness was a new pain.

He is in the violet world: making his way through the trees, as the path grows hard to see and the journey more beat. His mouth dry, clothes drowned. It was here he saw it, his way out, a small break ahead to take in open air. The mountain’s last light.

He felt the forgotten. Used and tossed aside. Disposable for a purpose, a bargaining chip, an advertisement, a discount at a diner where no one wants to eat. One day a year for him and weekend in the spring for his friends past. His anger and guilt at these thoughts came in equal spades. His mind often turned to his brothers who’d passed. He thought of each individual soldier and how they lived. They were not sports stars. They were not beautiful creatures. They were men and women, their blood red. He remembered Abdul, “Aziz,” his interpreter, medevac’d after walking over an old mine. He never knew if he survived. Often with combat no closure could be found.

He emerges from the tree line into the sun. Up here he can see the basket of the earth in the valley below. He can see it is larger than him and knows it will exist without him. There before him is a warm expanse of grass and dirt, the soldiers’ throne. It only takes a finger.

 

 

Brian Evenson on Black Candies: Gross and Unlikeable

We sent a copy of our forthcoming Black Candies: Gross and Unlikeable book to Brian Evenson, acclaimed literary horror author, and he had some very, very nice things to say. We can’t even begin to tell you how starstruck (and breathless) (and bleeding) we feel right now about this. Thank you, Brian!

evensonn-blurb-square

“I’ve long thought that the most interesting work being done in a genre is being done on its fringes, by the people who those at the center fail to acknowledge:  those marginalized writers haven’t drunk the Kool Aid yet.

Black Candies: Gross and Unlikeable is about what happens when women take over Horror, invert its tropes, turn them on their head, and make Horror do things that you didn’t know it could.

An important and razor-sharp anthology that will leave you breathless and bleeding.”

—Brian Evenson

Black Candies: Gross and Unlikeable is our women-only edition of our annual print anthology of literary horror and dark fiction. This book features 28 stories and accompanying art. All women contributors: writers, artists, editors, designers.

Available for pre-sale Monday, November 14th, 2016.

Publication date: BLACK FRIDAY, November 25th, 2016.

Add Gross and Unlikeable as “WANT TO READ” on Goodreads here.

Women. Horror. Breathless. Breathing.

evensonn-blurb

BRIAN EVENSON is the author of more than a dozen books of fiction, most recently the story collection A Collapse of Horses (Coffee House Press, 2015) and the critical book Ed Vs. Yummy Fur: Or What Happens When a Serial Comic Becomes a Graphic Novel (Uncivilized, 2014).  His collection Windeye (2012) and the novel Immobility (2012) were both finalists for the Shirley Jackson Award. His novel Last Days won the 2009 ALA-RUSA Award). His novel The Open Curtain (2004) was a finalist for an Edgar Award and an International Horror Guild Award.


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Scott McClanahan reads at The Foundry #2

The Foundry is our new literary reading series, just launched this spring. Our second installment is this month, July 30th, at the delightful Tiger Eye Hair in Golden Hill. Our readers for Number 2 are Jim Ruland, Uzodinma Okehi, Juliet Escoria, Jean Guerrero, Aaron Burch, and today’s feature: Scott McClanahan.

scottScott McClanahan in a three piece suit

In a recent feature at The A/V Club, here’s how they introduced Scott:

Scott McClanahan might be today’s best-known indie press writer. He also makes short films and his readings are some of the most engaging pieces of performance art to ever hit your local bookstore. Perhaps best known for Crapalachia: A Biography Of Place (Two Dollar Radio) and the more recent Hill William (New York Tyrant), McClanahan’s short-story collections function as pseudo-memoirs with a crackling electricity rarely found in literary fiction.

The first time I met Scott, a few years ago, he was visiting San Diego with his wife (fellow Foundry reader Juliet Escoria), and he performed a reading organized by the great Matt E. Lewis. I had never read any of his work, but his writing’s legacy is significant and I knew enough about it to have some level of anticipation. However, during the reading, there was a football game on the bar’s TV screens, and let’s just assume it was a Chargers game, just to properly set the scene. Irritated yet?

I felt somewhat unsettled and without purpose at the event: I wasn’t working or reading, I came alone, and everyone else had already sat down with the people they arrived with. I just kind of stood nervously off to the side in the back, barely able to hear the readings over the low-grade noise at the bar.

When Scott took the stage, maybe a ref made a poor call and the Chargers fans at the bar booed. Maybe they were booing at us, trying to appreciate literature instead of their sports. But their noise was no longer low-grade.

And then Scott sang.

Partway through, he climbed down from the stage, mid-reading, still reading, and passed out homemade fudge (which connected to the story he’d been reading), and even took his offering back amongst the football fans. He chanted a refrain, no mic, in the back, by the bar, by the Chargers fans, and the entire place fell silent. We’d all stood up by now, passing the container of fudge around. Nobody sat with their pre-packaged friends. That no-purpose, adrift feeling vanished and I felt part of something: Not just inspired but responsible somehow. To this day, I wonder if I imagined this experience, or if memory has colored it in a more profound light than it was in the moment, but that day is Scott McClanahan to me.

Unfortunately for our tastebuds, there’s no tie-in with fudge in his latest book, a graphic novel freshly published this month by our darlings, Two Dollar Radio, one of the finest and gutsiest small presses of our day.

I read The Incantations of Daniel Johnston in a single day, carrying it around with me and reading it whenever I could sneak a minute. McClanahan’s writing is so propulsive that I flew through it faster than I probably should have, given how intricate and compelling each Ricardo Cavolo illustration is. It might be the kind of book we all read twice. At least.

 

Incantations is sometimes troubling, sometimes comforting. It seems to both tackle and encourage our collective curiosity, myth-like, of Daniel Johnston’s life. The illustrations are grotesque at times, but the story reminds us something both forgiving and unsettling: This could’ve easily been you.

Shortly before the book came out, Buzzfeed ran a sample of the first few pages. Take a look here.

scott excerpt

As for Scott’s non-illustrated fiction, here’s a short story we love, published online at Guernica: Psychiatrists and Mountain Dew. This story kicks off his brilliant short story collection Hill William.

We can’t promise fudge at this Saturday’s Foundry reading, but we can promise no football game on any TVs (sorry?). Come join us 7/30 at 7:00 PM at Tiger Eye Hair in Golden Hill to hear Scott read, along with Aaron Burch, Jean Guerrero, Uzodinma Okehi, Jim Ruland, and Juliet Escoria.

foundry2


Scott McClanahan wrote The Incantations of Daniel Johnston and The Sarah Book. He lives in West Virginia. You can buy his books here: The Incantations of Daniel JohnstonCrapalachia, and Hill William.


If you like what we do at So Say We All, please consider supporting us and becoming a member. Details on our membership page here.


by Julia Dixon Evans
cover image by Juliet Escoria