Thursday, April 23, 2015

editing "Turquoise Truck" for Mendicant Bookworks

I received detailed edits for "Turquoise Truck," a car-lot e-single set to arrive from Mendicant Bookworks this summer, and I hope to return them soon.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Auggie's Revenge at Beating Windward Press

Beating Windward Press to Publish Alex Kudera’s Tragicomic Novel Illustrating
Precarious Times for College Adjuncts and Contract-Wage America.

APRIL 6, 2015, ORLANDO, FL: As the issue of destitute adjunct professors breaks into the mainstream with articles appearing in The New York Times, Al Jazeera, Salon, and The New Republic, Beating Windward is excited to publish Alex Kudera’s second adjunct novel, AUGGIE’S REVENGE this fall.

AUGGIE’S REVENGE is a satiric crime novel packed with small cons, betrayals, vigilante justice, stolen vegetables, and clandestine romance. Michael Vittinger is an adjunct philosophy instructor on his last contract and searching for a life worth living. Disenchanted with academia, he finds himself drifting into late-night supermarket friendship with Auggie, a man on the make, and Jonny November, a one-legged grifter who is Auggie's protector-mentor, of sorts. As the economic recession drags on and the marks dry up, the three plot to murder Auggie's abusive stepfather and divide Auggie’s rightful inheritance between them.

At 75,000 words, AUGGIE’S REVENGE offers a fast-paced thriller while illustrating some of the critical labor issues of the day.

Alex Kudera is a Philadelphia native who teaches contemporary literature at Clemson University in South Carolina. His debut novel, FIGHT FOR YOUR LONG DAY (Atticus Press) won the 2011 Independent Publishers Gold Medal for Best Fiction from the Mid-Atlantic Region. Reviews and interviews can be found in The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Academe, and other locations.

Beating Windward Press is an independent publisher of novels, short story collections, and non-fiction. They are based in Orlando, Florida and produce 4 to 6 titles a year. Their books reflect the individual tastes of the small staff - mostly mainstream fiction with a literary edge. Print books are distributed internationally through Ingram; E-books are distributed in all e-reader formats through VitalSource and Smashwords. Matt Peters established Beating Windward Press in 2011. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of New Orleans.

Visit and/or for updates or find Alex Kudera at #AWP15 Atticus Books Table 1840 from 12 to 2 p.m. on Saturday where he'll be visiting with Atticus's Dan Cafaro and other talented publishers leading the Indy literary scene.

Monday, February 2, 2015

the son's room

Last night's collection of Super Bowl advertisements included one that featured the death of a child, and I can see why folks would find such crass commercialization of tragedy disturbing. Alas, it also reminded me of an Italian film I saw in the theaters many years ago, and always look to recommend. The Son's Room has excellent cinematography, parallels the Raymond Carver story, "A Small Good Thing," and also contains a Carver poem in the middle. There are some comic moments, but I would not have guessed the director was considered "Italy's Woody Allen" as the IMDb link notes.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Turquoise Truck for Mendicant Bookworks

I'm excited to announce that in addition to published paperbacks of Over Fifty Billion Kafkas Served and Auggie's Revenge, I'll also have "Turquoise Truck," a car-lot story, published as a stand-alone e-book at Mendicant Bookworks by summer of 2015. Mendicant is known for gritty realism and has published Gerald Locklin, Mark SaFranko, Ben Tanzer, and other small-press stars in the past. This will be my second foray into the world of e-book singles; my first was a short novella (or long story), The Betrayal of Times of Peace and Prosperity.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

books: 20 + 1

Lying on my couch at an uncommon angle, I looked up at a shelf with a small selection of paperback fiction and saw these ten titles in order: Lorrie Moore's Anagrams, Toni Morrison's Beloved and Sula, Murakami's Hard Boiled Wonderland at the End of the World, Arthur Nersesian's The Fuck Up and Chinese Takeout, Chris Offutt's Out of the Woods, Yuri Olesha's Envy, Pynchon's V, and Roth's The Human Stain.

I have so many books in storage and in piles on the floor or shelves in other rooms, yet, possibly, these ten represent in exacting proportion all the fiction I read. Having said that, I soon realize that 30% women might be high, sadly enough, and 20% in translation is low, I think, and it would be weighted more toward fiction from Europe and Russia, not 50/50 between Europe/Russia and Asia. Also, because I anticipated teaching contemporary literature, after 1945, when I drove down to South Carolina, I left most of my titles written before World War II in storage space in Philadelphia.

I do have the white whale and friends, Pierre, etc. on hand, at least a couple of the same Penguin paperback editions I read in college. Of the ten I just named, only Olesha's Envy is one I was assigned to read as an undergrad, but the copy on the shelf is one I procured years later. The British Picador paperback V is one of two editions I've owned, and I bought it in England when I was working as a busboy in Paris and then traveling in Europe the summer and autumn before the Berlin Wall fell. The Crying of Lot 49 rests on a different shelf where I keep the books I've been teaching most recently.

What's on the shelf above the first ten, you ask?

Ha Jin's Waiting, Denis Johnson's Angels and Jesus' Son, Edward P. Jones's Lost in the City, two different editions of James Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and then four Kafka Schocken Classics w/Dad's Kunderas leaning against them. Kerouac's On the Road rests horizontally on top the paperbacks just named.

When Over Fifty Billion Kafkas Served, my bilingual stack of stories, arrives from Romania, I'll let the copy I keep rest in its alphabetical place, between Kafka and Kundera, on the higher plane of shelf.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

tweeting about John Gardner like the wild and krazy guy i am

Sunday, January 11, 2015

jose kozer

Daniel Dragomirescu of Contemporary Literary Horizon sent me this poem:


My father, who is still alive,

I don’t see him, and I know he has shrunk,

he has a family of brothers burned to ashes
            in Poland,

he never saw them, he learned of the death of
           his mother by telegram,

he didn’t inherit even a single button from his father,

what do I know if he inherited his character.

My father, who was a tailor and a Communist,

my father who didn’t speak and sat on the

to not believe in God,

to not want anything more to do with men,

sullenly withdrawing into himself against Hitler, against Stalin,

my father who once a year would raise a glass
              of whisky,

my father sitting in a neighbour’s apple
              tree eating its

the day the Reds entered his village

and made my grandfather dance like a
           bear on the Sabbath,

and made him light a cigarette and smoke it
          on a Sabbath,

and my father left the village for ever,

went away for ever muttering his anger against
         the October revolution,

for ever hammering home that Trotsky was a
         dreamer and Beria a criminal,

abominating books he sat down on the
            terrace a tiny speck of a man,

and told me that the dreams of men are
           nothing more than a
           false literature,

that the history books lie because paper
         can take anything.

My father who was a tailor and a Communist.

*When I followed the Jose Kozer link above, I noticed that he is the age my father would be (b. 1940), and both had immigrant parents from Czechoslovakia.