An Interview with Andrew Malan Milward, by Liz Mathews
In considering Midwestern states, there are lots of things that the general population doesn’t know—that even the residents of those particular states don’t know. Consider Kansas. Were you aware that the largest-circulating Socialist newspaper, Appeal to Reason, was published in Kansas City? Or that women were granted the right to vote in Kansas eight years before the federal government made it an amendment? Or that male impotence can be cured by the implantation of a goat testicle? Actually, that one is not true, but a man named John R. Brinkley was pretty good at selling the claim, and he had several unsuccessful bids for governor of Kansas.
An Interview with Bruce Bauman, by Neni Demetriou
Bruce Bauman’s second novel, Broken Sleep (Other Press, 2015), is one where rock music, politics, art, religion, and love all come crashing together in epic proportions. But more than that, it’s a book about family. Broken Sleep is what happens when a writer bridges the magic between their pen and their mind. It’s innovative, it’s heartbreaking, it’s beautiful, it’s emotional—it opens with a bang, and it’s one of the best books I’ve read this year.
Which is why I was thrilled to talk to Bruce about it, where I was able to find out about his writing process, what he loved most about this book, and the relationships writers have with their characters. I also got some pretty cool pieces of advice.
An Interview with Anders Carlson-Wee, by Christopher Locke
A friend of a friend told me I needed to read this poet named Anders Carlson-Wee, a young man living off the grid and hopping trains. “He just won an NEA in Poetry,” my buddy said. Okay, I thought, that has my attention. But then I read his poem “Dynamite,” from his award winning chapbook of the same name, and was absolutely knocked for a loop. Carlson-Wee crafts images that are raw, precise, and immediate, his language both spare and visceral. In his poems, he effortlessly pairs violence and pain with plain-spoken beauty in such a way as to make the reading experience almost transformative; you can only be fully alive when reading his work. But most importantly, he proves a trustworthy narrator and these poems bear scars, literal at times, that feel lived in and fully earned—nothing phony about Carlson-Wee.
Exquisite Corpse: Lit Crawl Austin 2015
Slice took part in Lit Crawl Austin last weekend. There was mischief. There were antics. And there were smackdowns. All with a literary spin. Plus, a generous amount of alcohol was thrown into the mix. In short, it was a blast.
Cowboys and Poets, by C.K. Williams
In 2007 Maria Gagliano and I reached out to C.K. Williams for an interview. It was for our second issue of Slice. When he heard that the theme of the issue would be “heroes,” he suggested we publish a little piece he’d written that had been waiting for a home for some time. In honor of C. K. Williams, we wanted to share that piece with you this week.
-Celia Johnson, Creative Director, Slice
An Interview with Katherine Fawcett, by Liz Mathews
In the opening of his NPR book review of Katherine Fawcett’s The Little Washer of Sorrows, Jason Heller writes that the book “is not what it seems.” Halfway through the third page of the first story of the collection the reader gets a heavy sense of this, and even though the tale clearly breaks from any reality you or I might recognize, you just have to know what’s going to happen next. This is true of pretty much every piece in the collection, including a short one called “Cannonball,” from the perspective of a kid whose mom is giving him some bad news. Have you ever bothered to consider bad news from an eleven-year-old’s point of view, since you were eleven? Afraid to go down that path? Indulge yourself.