Friday, March 17, 2017

College English Association in Hilton Head, South Carolina

COFFEE ON THE COMMONS Contingent Faculty Caucus │ Bayleaf │Saturday, April 1, 9:15-10:45 a.m.   

On Writing The Original Adjunct Novel:

A Discussion of Contingent Faculty Issues with Alex Kudera 
Alex Kudera's Fight For Your Long Day (Atticus Books) was drafted in a walk-in closet during a summer in Seoul, South Korea and subsequently won the 2011 IPPY Gold Medal for Best Fiction from the Mid-Atlantic Region. It is an academic tragicomedy told from the perspective of an adjunct instructor, and reviews and interviews can be found online at The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Psychology Today, Inside Higher Ed, Academe, The Southeast Review, and other locations. His second novel, Auggie's Revenge (Beating Windward Press), and a Classroom Edition of Fight for Your Long Day (Hard Ball Press) were published in 2016. Kudera's other publications include the e-singles Frade Killed Ellen (Dutch Kills Press), The Betrayal of Times of Peace and Prosperity (Gone Dog Press), and Turquoise Truck (Mendicant Bookworks). Alex has taught college writing and literature classes since 1996, and he currently teaches at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College.         

“Because, yes, if he can reach Frank before he disappears, if he can hang on and finish up the shift the right way, if he can wake up tomorrow, not hit the snooze button, make the coffee, hop in the shower, remember to shave, get off his ass in a timely fashion, he’ll have the chance again, yes, on a shorter day even, to teach his classes all over again. Yes, all over town in an encore performance, Adjunct Duffleman rises to the occasion in the age of terror, a lone soldier of the subway, bus, and elevated line and a failure of many in God knows how many ways. And yet from the bottom of his heart, he wants to believe that the outcome remains possible that for some student from his past, or perhaps one on the way, Cyrus Duffleman, educator, could make the difference. Yes, if he could reach Frank now.”   
~~ from Fight for Your Long Day

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Buk's favorite books

I'm reading Bukowski's On Writing and am loving learning or being reminded that his favorite books were amazingly great books--Knut Hamsun's Hunger, Celine's Journey to the End of the Night, John Fante's Ask the Dust, Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio, and D.'s Crime and Punishment.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Bukowski on the little press life. . .

. . . yes, the "littles" are an irresponsible bunch (most of them) guided by young men, eager with the college flush, actually hoping to cut a buck from the thing, starting with fiery ideals and large ideas, long explanatory rejection slips, and dwindling down, finally, to letting the manuscripts stack behind the sofa or in the closet, some of them lost forever and never answered, and finally putting out a tacked-together, hacked-together poor selection of typographically botched poems before getting married and disappearing from the scene with some comment like "lack of support." Lack of support? Who in the hell are they to get it? What have they done but camouflage themselves behind the facade of Art, think up the name of a magazine, get it listed and wait for submissions from the same 2 or 3 hundred tired names that seem to think they are the poets of America because some 22 year-old jackass with a bongo drum and a loose 50 dollar bill accepts their worst poetry.

~~ from On Writing by Charles Bukowski

(written originally as part of a letter to James Boyer May, January 2, 1960)

Monday, February 27, 2017

The novel of social satire is alive and well, and funny. . .

This review written by "Jack Of Most Trades" disappeared from America's Amazon site, but is still visible at the one in France.

"Way beneath the top one percent lurk the fast food workers, the home attendants, the custodial staff, and this underclass (the working poor) has been the subject of a plethora of sociological studies and case studies. But how about so-called "educated" members of that class. That's where Alex Kudera’s novel Auggie’s Revenge fills the void. It is a witty, satiric story about one hapless adjunct who joins forces with three other members of mainstream society’s fringe in an attempt to exact revenge on their downtrodden status. Vittinger joins up with Auggie, who waxes ineloquent about pick-up techniques, a small-time hood named Johnny November, and a young, but savvy student of Vittinger’s, Melody.

"But among the four, it is Vittinger who is doubly screwed by society: not simply financially but in terms of values. Vittinger, a philosophy adjunct, reflects on the value of knowing about Heidegger and Kant in a corporate-run universe, and his conclusion is that there pretty much is no value. If you think a well-executed mix of Kafka’s Amerika, Vonnegut, Joseph Heller, and Robert Reich could result in a socially relevant, comic, and propitious novel, you’re right. Kudera’s language as channeled by Vittinger expertly slides between the discourse of academia and the slang of the street like the glissandos of a master violinist. This is refreshing satire. . ."

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

where and when did i write Auggie, and what does it cost right now?

I wrote Auggie's Revenge over twelve years, from winter 2004-2005 to spring 2016, and completed writing for it variously in Philadelphia, PA; Clemson, SC; Xi'an, China; and Oakwood, Ohio. It wasn't easy for me to write this novel, and writing it in four places probably makes my life seem exciting or at least vaguely interesting in ways it may not be. I will say that in the off-the-tourist-track neighborhood I live in when I visit Xi'an, China, I'm the only one of European ancestry I've ever seen, but on this last visit a McDonald's that had stood partially complete for more than a year finally sprouted. I was still the only one of the European diaspora, but the new McDonald's had a few lines of poetry by Mary Oliver on the interior walls. I know buying from Amazon isn't best for publishing, bookstores, or writers, but the book is only $8.79 direct from Bezos, so if you'd like to purchase an affordable copy, you have my appreciation for doing so. Of course, anywhere books are sold is always fine by me. It won't disappoint unless it does.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Friday, February 3, 2017

#AWP17, #CEA48

I won't be attending the AWP conference beginning February 8 in Washington, D.C., but I will be a guest speaker at the College English Association's 48th conference in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina from March 30 to April 1, 2017.

For the Coffee on the Commons "breakfast event for contingent faculty and all those with an interest in this vital component of the academy," I'll be speaking about adjunct teaching and writing fiction about adjuncts. I look forward to seeing you there!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

No two countries. . .

Sorry, Ronald.
"No two countries that both had [Trump Towers] had fought a war against each other since each got [Trump Towers]."

--a correction for Thomas Friedman's The Lexus and the Olive Leaf