Thursday, December 17, 2009

I'm Not Thinking About This Anymore: 2009 Stuff

For a while I thought things were getting out of hand with all the best of lists, but then I realized I have an hour left to work and absolutely no interest in working, so here goes:

Top things I thought about:
1. Sadness/regret/guilt/love/when will it be next year
2. People I love
3. Why do people read what they read and how can I get them to give me money

Top things I talked about:
1. What is Publishing Genius doing
2. See #1

Top things I read from 2009:
1. Scorch Atlas by Blake Butler -- still on page 1 but I'm getting through it
2. Alaska by James Michener -- there are 30 pages in this book that stole Dostoevsky's lunch
3. With Deer by Aase Berg -- What? Poetry doesn't have to be funny to be good?
4. A Jello Horse by Matthew Simmons -- made me cry the first time I read it
5. Easter Rabbit by Joseph Young -- made me realize more about writing than anything else I read
6. The Collectors by Matt Bell -- I love the way it's structured
7. SFAA by Tao Lin -- he's just good
8. How Some People Like Their Eggs by Sean Lovelace -- how to make a sentence noticeable and also fun like a drawer of jelly
9. The Complete Collection of People, Places and Things by John Dermot Woods -- most underrated indie book of the year, needs to be read from the rooftops
10. Big World by Mary Miller -- careful writing, big thoughts in small scale
11. AM/PM by Amelia Gray -- different big thoughts in smaller scale
12. Pee on Water (the manuscript) by Rachel B Glaser -- a book that makes me want to talk about literature
13. DRUNK SONNETS by Daniel Bailey -- behind the case-insensitivity there is real sensitivity
14. The Difficult Farm by Heather Christle -- making the best of a random universe
15. Zizek and Theology by Adam Kotsko -- understanding Zizek through a discipline that is not his own gives an interesting, conversational perspective
16. Inside Madeleine (the manuscript) by Paula Bomer -- unbelievably throat swelling and unbelievable caring, still trying to decide if I can publish this
17. One of These Things Is Not Like the Other by Stephanie Johnson -- delicate relationship stories told in a way that made me care
18. Everything Was Fine Until Whatever by Chelsea Martin -- clever and savvy with an emotional core
19. Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner -- the young part is inspiring, the old part is like Michael Kimball's book, How Much of Us There Was
20. Prose Poems a Novel by Jamie Iredell -- excellent writing makes it seem kind of arty and kind of meatheady (or something) at the same time
21. Ever by Blake Butler -- read it twice, still on page 1
22. MLKNG SCKLS by Justin Sirois -- I like the short ones the best, such a great idea, kind of sad that he doesn't like poetry anymore
23. A Cake Appeared by Shane Jones (the manuscript) -- poetry is colorful, accessible and fun like watching a good show on TV, wish I was publishing this
24. The Best of (What's Left of) Heaven (the manuscript) by Mairead Byrne -- out soon from PG, this collection of poetry is as profound in its emotionality as it is in its humor
25. I Am in the Air Right Now by Kathryn Regina -- with the trailer, maybe the most sublime one-two punch in poetry of 2009

Top fun I had:
1. January 1 breakfast with Stephanie Barber and Seth Goodman
2. Friends Thanksgiving in Madison, WI after almost everyone left
3. Quiet lunch/dinner with Shane Jones at AWP
4. Several rowdy occasions with Blake Butler
5. Charlottesville pool party on Sweatpants tour
6. Talking with Joe Young and the Worm, a retired priest, at a coffeeshop in Detroit
7. Pretty much every time Justin Sirois gets out of a car going to a bar he says something funny.
8. Watching Josh Maday and Matt Bell be bouncers at the Genius Party
9. Hearing Sesallee Hensley tell me I did a lovely job on the cover of Light Boxes, then finding out who she is
10. Selling 60 copies of Light Boxes in one day through SPD

Top art things:
1. Stephanie Barber's Lawn Poem
2. Stephanie Barber's "In The Jungle"
3. Animal Charm at Transmodern Festival
4. Stephanie Barber's house
5. Shauna Molton at Transmodern Festival
6. Kate Porter on cello and ? on violin at Cyclops books
7. Jonathan Burks's rawkin', rollin' CD, Brown Paper Bag
8. Josh Loomis's rock 'n roll CDs
9. Amelia Gray doing that "I'm walking down a staircase" gag behind an Ellsworth Kelly sculpture at the BMA
10. All of Ric Royer's performances

Top people who impressed me a lot:
1. John Dermot Woods -- met him in Baltimore and feel like we clicked
2. John Madera -- how much can one person do?
3. J. A. Tyler -- biggest believer
4. Jamie Gaughran-Perez -- stalwart like a bass player is meant to be
5. Justin Sirois -- I mean, did you read this City Paper article? Also, he is someone who appreciates inappropriate conversation.
6. Peter Cole -- he's really funny and packs a wallop
7. Michael Kimball -- knows a lot about contracts and I don't think I beat him in one bet, though I might have eked out a pool win
8. Carl Annumaro -- Greying Ghost books are still the most beautiful functional chapbooks in the world
9. David NeSmith -- if drumsticks were volatile substances we'd all be dead
10. Kevin Sampsell -- best book buyer

5 comments:

Andrew Borgstrom said...

A Jello Horse made me cry also. Not when I read it but the next day when I was trying to tell someone about it.

Tim Jones-Yelvington said...

That's a perfect description of Jamie Iredell's book.

I would like you to publish the Paula because I'd like to read it.

John Madera said...

Wow, thanks for including me on your list. And I can easily say the same about you.

Jamie Iredell said...

Me like nice words about book, and him hug you in future times!

wickerkat said...

Fantastic list, thanks.

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