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.
An Interview with Author Helen Phillips and Editor Sarah Bowlin, by Celia Johnson
With the publication of her debut novel, The Beautiful Bureaucrat, Helen Phillips has been compared to a host of literary masters: Kafka, Davis, Calvino, Atwood, Saramago, Borges, and more. Take note of the breadth of that list. Clearly, by evoking so many great writers and not just one, Phillips has created a work very much her own. The Beautiful Bureaucrat is at once surreal and familiar. It is the story of Josephine, a young woman who moves to a city with her husband. Josephine finds work at The Database, which seems, at first, as mundane as it sounds. But she soon discovers that she has become part of something more sinister than she could ever imagine. I spoke with Phillips and her editor, Sarah Bowlin, about memorable characters, the creative process, unsung heroes in the publishing industry, and more. For more from Phillips and Bowlin, check out our upcoming writers’ conference. They are both lined up to take part in panels.