Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Small Press Holiday Recommendations: Day 14

Today’s small press recommendations come from two writers I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and the privilege of reading with at the Six Gallery Press Showcase readings at ModernFormations Gallery in Pittsburgh. I met Scott McClanahan probably in 2008, and his West Virginia storytelling promptly blew me away. Michael Begnal was someone I’d been introduced to on email and finally got to meet in person when he came to Pittsburgh in 2009. More than just readings, both writers give engaging performances—Scott reads almost directly to the audience, and the last time I saw him read, he had us singing "The Long Black Veil." Michael Begnal has a dynamic, high-energy stage presence, with echoes of the Beats and other 20th Century rock stars.

Six Gallery Press authors John Thomas Menesini & Scott McClanahan, Fall 2008, ModernFormations in Pittsburgh


1. Person, Sam Pink (Lazy Fascist Press)
2. Everything is Quiet, Kendra Grant Malone (The Scrambler)
3. The Insurgent, Noah Cicero (Blatt Books)

Recommended by
Scott McClanahan, author of Stories and Stories II (both on Six Gallery Press) and the in-progress novel called Hillbilly


1. Strasbourg, Alan Jude Moore (Salmon Poetry, 2010)
Alan Jude Moore is one of the best of the newer Irish poets, and he's set to read in Pittsburgh in the New Yinzer series in early February 2011.

2. Optic Verve, Catherine Walsh (Shearsman, 2009)
Her publisher, Shearsman, bills Walsh as "perhaps Ireland's most radical experimental woman poet" -- I would strike the word "perhaps"! This great book, a long poem (132 pp.), shows why.

3. Chain Gang/Blood Songs, Bill Hughes (Six Gallery Press, 2010)
Hughes is a young Pittsburgh-based poet who puts me in mind of the spirit of Rimbaud, a visionary!

Recommended by
Michael Begnal, author of Ancestor Worship (Salmon Poetry, 2007). Begnal's new collection is forthcoming from Salmon Poetry in 2011, titled Future Blues. His other titles are Mercury, the Dime (Six Gallery Press, 2005) and The Lakes of Coma (Six Gallery Press, 2003).

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