Contributor Books This November

I’ve seen quite a few lists of books to read this November, including at Flavorwire, Book Riot, and Amazon. One thing I noticed is that most of these lists have Monkeybicycle contributors on them, which is wonderful. And a few that didn’t make any of these lists (but probably should have) also have books coming out this month. Here’s a rundown. Please, buy these up, fast. I haven’t read all of them yet, but knowing the authors, I think it’s a safe bet that they’re all fantastic.

This is Between Us (Tin House Books)
Kevin Sampsell

“well written . . . . consisting of telling moments and epiphanies rendered in precise, poetic prose.”
—Publishers Weekly

The Laughter of Strangers (Lazy Fascist Press)
Michael J. Seidlinger

“This elastic, hurtling narrative pivots (and pivots again) on a recurring image of almost unimaginable dread—that of being laughed at in your hour of need by an audience of strangers.”
—Grace Krilanovich, author of The Orange Eats Creeps

The Isle of Youth (FSG Originals)
Laura van den Berg

“. . . absolutely captivating.”
—Vanity Fair


The Desert Places (Curbside Splendor)
Amber Sparks, Robert Kloss, and Matt Kish

It’s really exciting to see our contributors doing such great things. Help support their efforts and pick of copies of them all!


Contributor News

Hey everyone, Monkeybicycle7 contributor Aaron Gilbreath has a new digital essay out through the fine folks at Thought Catalog. It’s called The Stoned Age, and here’s the lowdown:

A story about being young and compulsive, “The Stoned Age” follows a twenty-something narrator’s attempt to quit smoking pot and clear his head. Living in funky Tucson, Arizona, his multiple attempts at sobriety fail, so he enrolls in a drug treatment group and discovers his other problem: cultural perceptions. As a fellow rehab patient tells Dave Chappelle’s character in the movie Half Baked: “You in here ’cuz of marijuana? …Man, this is some bullshit!” Which is exactly the author’s dilemma: if cannabis sativa is so harmless, why can’t he quit smoking it?

Sounds great, right? It is. And it’s only $2.99, so grab a copy now. You can get it here. And check out more of Aaron’s work on his website.


That’s it for now. If you’re a Monkeybicycle contributor and have a new project you’d like us to mention, drop us a line.


Contributor News

Several Monkeybicycle contributors have new books and projects going on right now. Please take a look at the links below and help support great writers!

First, we’d like to congratulate issue six contributor, Martha Clarkson, who just won the 2012 RRofihe Trophy for her short story, “Her Voices, Her Room,” from Anderbo. We’re not surprised at all. You can read the award-winning story here. Congratulations Martha!

Next, another round of congratulations is in order for issue eight contributor, Scott Geiger. He was recently named the Architectural Editor at one of our favorite journals, The Common. We wrote about that here. You can read his first column, titled Buckminster: Profiles of Available Buildings, Governors Island here. Congrats Scott!

Also, a while back Scott edited an excellent supplement for one of our other favorites, Ninth Letter, called Man-Made Lands. It, too, was based in architecture and included some incredible writing and art. You can read what we wrote about that here.

And lastly, issue eight contributor Annam Manthiram, has a new short story collection titled Dysfunction: Stories available from Aqueous Books. Publishers Weekly writes of the book, “The stories are most successful when they are at their darkest, displaying allegorical brilliance on the scale of a Sanskrit epic.” And Foreword Reviews calls it “unusual, disturbing, unapologetically in-your-face.” You can read more about (and purchase!) Dysfunction: Stories here.


That’s it for now. If you’re a Monkeybicycle contributor and have a new project you’d like us to mention, drop us a line.


Contributor News

Several Monkeybicycle contributors have new books and projects going on right now. Please take a look at the links below and help support great writers!

First up, our website editor, J. Bradley has a new novella out from Housefire Books called Bodies Made of Smoke. Jason Teal, editor of Heavy Feather Review says of the book: “Bodies Made of Smoke is at once a story of true detection, a critical analysis of the cult film Highlander, a New York Times best-selling guide to more frequent one-night-stands; all my new favorite things. Step back, this novella swings. There is only one. J. Bradley stuns with this sexy new work.” You can read more about and order it here. But before you click, check out the trailer below.


Next, website contributor Peter DeMarco has a new intertwined short story collection called Background Noise available from Pangea Books. It’s available in print or as an e-book. A description:

Troubled young suburbanite Henry Walker has learned the secret of guilt-free violence. Now he intends to use it—with a vengeance. Background Noise is the tale of a man’s inexorable descent into violence, told through a series of interconnected stories. Hip and tough, Background Noise introduces a voice of unique narrative power and evocative prose.


Monkeybicycle intern emeritus, Peter Kispert, has a new literary project launching soon. Swarm is a unique quarterly online journal which publishes four pieces per issue (two poems and two stories). We encourage you to submit something. Read their guidelines here. Issue one launches in February.


That’s it for now. If you’re a Monkeybicycle contributor and have a new project you’d like us to mention, drop us a line.


Contributor News

Several Monkeybicycle contributors have new books and projects going on right now. Please take a look at the links below and help support great writers!

Website and print issue six contibutor, Jay Wexler, has a new book called The Adventures of Ed Tuttle, Associate Justice, and Other Stories out now from QP Books. You can read more about and order it here.

Print issue five contributor Katie Schwartz has a new mockumentary out called The Penis Files. The synopsis:

Until “The Olson Penis” was created by Dr. Olson 10-years ago, historically men’s penises grew for procreation when a woman ovulated and retracted immediately. 200 years ago, men who were devoutly religious and monogamous experienced penile growth for procreation only. Conversely, women have always been born with vaginas and sexual freedom not governed by religion or politics. In February, a committee of women met to discuss “The Olson Penis” being covered by Obamacare.

Watch The Penis Files below.

The Penis Files from Katie Schwartz on Vimeo.

Website contributor Alison Barker has an interesting website up now called NOLA Studiola, where each month’s content is curated by a different artist. This month’s curator is one-sentence story contributor, John David Harding. You’ll want to check it out.

That’s it for now. If you’re a Monkeybicycle contributor and have a new project you’d like us to mention, drop us a line.

New Books from Our Contributors

Four of our past contributors have new books out recently, and we think you should buy them both. First up is:

Cataclysm Baby

by issue six contributor, Matt Bell.
Paperback · 118 pages
5″ x 7″ · $12.00
ISBN 978-0-9830263-7-2
Mud Luscious Press

Beset with environmental disaster, animal-like children, and the failure of traditional roles, the twenty-six fathers of Cataclysm Baby raise their desperate voices to reveal the strange stations of frustrated parenthood, to proclaim familial thrashings against the fading light of our exhausted planet, its glory grown wild again. As the known world disappears, these beleaguered and all-too-breakable men cling ever tighter to the duties of an unrecoverable past, even as their children rush ahead, evolve away. Unflinching in the face of apocalypse and unblinking before the complicated gaze of parental love, Matt Bell’s Cataclysm Baby is a powerful chronicle of our last days, and of the tentative graces that might fill the hours of our dusk.

You can order it here. And note that anyone who buys a copy of the print edition also receives a free ebook copy—so you get the choice of paper or plastic.


And also:

Surrounded by Water

by contributor, Stefanie Freele.
Paperback · 175 pages
5.5″ x 8.5″ · $14.00
ISBN 978-1-935-70857-5
Press 53

Awards for stories in Surrounded by Water include First Place in the Glimmer Train Fiction Open for “While Surrounded by Water”; Second Place in the Glimmer Train Family Matters Contest for “Us Hungarians”; a 2010 Million Writers Notable Story award for “Buccaneers”; an Editor’s Pick in the Mid-American Review Fineline Competition for “Removal of Oneself From Corporate Identity”; and a Pushcart Prize nomination for “Pozniejszy.”

Order Surrounded by Water here.



The Widow Teasdale and the Ineffable Warmth of Personal Services

by issue six contributor, Drew Jackson, which is comprised of the story we originally published here on the Monkeybicycle site.

Limited Edition Book
5″ x 21″ (open) $25
Rust Belt Bindery

This book features a story by Drew Jackson and photography by Dorothy Hoover. The accordion can be completely removed from the case to be displayed on its own, or left in the case to be read as a more conventional book. This edition has a hardcover case, bound in book cloth with inset labels. The standard edition has a paper case.

This is an edition of 40. Each book is numbered.

Order it here.


If you’ve been a Monkeybicycle contributor at any point and have a new book out, drop us a line and let us know!


Dustin Luke Nelson + “1.” = MB8

Dustin Luke Nelson + “1.” = MB8:

‘1.’ is built on three short moments: the first feels very adult in nature, speaking of ‘positions’, and the second, with its mention of ‘Crayola & construction paper’ reads childlike, so where does the third section fall, with its ‘sky miles’ reference?

That’s interesting. That divide wasn’t intentional. I think, at large, this series is both imposing sense of being very “adult” and reading a little “childlike.” So, I don’t think I see those small divides as much as I see instances of each to a greater and lesser degree mixing together in the actions of the narrator and the others s/he is with.

The series that this comes from is a part of a manuscript I’m working through, and this particular series I’ve called, at least to myself, Group Activity poems. I think it’s stemming from an interest in how the notion of doing group activities to me is very childlike, very innocent. As you get older it seems more and more absurd to walk over to a friend’s and see if they want to play catch in the street or watch TV on a whim, for obvious reasons. Yet, we do engage in group activities all the time. This game of accumulating sky miles or points from companies is one. They are these large manipulative games, and I think that childlike activity and excitement over interaction is still very much alive and a part of these “adult” interactions. It’s all really silly when seen from a distance. But, on the other hand, we can’t live at that distance, so you do silly things. I do. I own an iPad, for instance. Totally unnecessary object.

Where are the other numbers of this larger manuscript published? And can you give us a little preview of where they head?

Some of them were in the most recent issue of Minnetonka Review. These characters don’t necessarily get more daring, but they get a little more brazen. They want to dominate the world, in a way, but there is a certain amount of childishness to how they see the world. That makes doing the “adult” things a little harder. (Also, I just referred to world domination as an “adult thing.”) I’m not sure what their overall movement is though. Deathward, maybe?

There are just over 30 words in this poem, but several of these repeat – how important is repetition in your poetry?

It’s really important to me. I think in music, visual art, and writing, repetition can be a very powerful tool. I love the aesthetic of it musically in something like “Glassworks” or Basinski’s “Disintegration Loops” or the visual patterns in Ander Monson’s writing. But I think it’s wonderful as a tool for directing an audience’s attention and giving the creator greater control over audience perception, beyond the aesthetic. This series definitely does this a lot; it’s somewhat central.

And here is the question I have for all of the MB8 poets: Why poetry as opposed to prose?

I don’t know. I write both. I don’t know why some things need to be one or the other. Something about the texture of the thought determines that, I think. But I don’t know that I can explain what the “texture of the thought” means. If I did it would probably sound terribly idiotic.  Some ideas are poems, some are stories. I don’t have a good answer. I enjoy both.

In your bio you mention that you live in and like Astoria. I’ve not been there – what do you like about it?

I identify with places in strange ways. Maybe it’s not that weird. I’ve lived a lot of places and I get really attached to neighborhoods and cities I live in. I think I’m defensive of Astoria, maybe. It’s got a stigma in New York I think. Not Astoria in particular, but Queens at large. I don’t know if that’s true. Maybe I just have lazy friends who don’t want to go to Queens. Or maybe I just associated Queens with Kevin James so I assume everyone thinks it’s dumb. Anyhow, I like it.

Read “1.” and 21 other great pieces in Monkeybicycle8, available here.

Blake Kimzey Reads Donald Mason’s City Inspection and the Stakeout Standoff

Our pal Blake Kimzey recently read his Monkeybicycle8 contribution, “Donald Mason’s City Inspection and the Stakeout Standoff,” at the Times Club in Iowa City’s Prairie Lights Book Store. Please enjoy the video evidence of this below.



BL Pawelek on Lake Effect

Fantastic flash writer and Ten Everywhere columnist here at the Monkeybicycle blog, BL Pawelek, reads “Everything is Beautiful” on WUWM’s Lake Effect show. Take a listen here.

Elizabeth Alexander Interviewed at Uncanny Valley

Monkeybicycle7 contributor, Elizabeth Alexander, has a great interview up at Uncanny Valley right now. You should check it out. If you’re interested in reading “On Anzio Beach,” pick up a copy of Monkeybicycle7 in our Store. Better yet, order Monkeybicycle8 before March 15 and you can get issue 7 for free.