5 Questions for Morgan Parker

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Thursday, August 13th, 2015 | 1,140 views

Free Water and Morgan Parker's Other People's Comforts Keeps Me Up At Night

Morgan Parker will be reading at Free Water 8 on Friday, August 14th, at KGB, at 7 p.m. along with Tommy Pico, Lynn Melnick, and Angel Nafis.

What is the best poetry advice you’ve received?

Morgan Parker: Write drunk, edit sober.

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5 Questions for Tommy Pico

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Wednesday, August 12th, 2015 | 1,305 views

Free Water 8 with Tommy Pico

Tommy Pico will be reading at Free Water #8 on Friday, August 14th, at KGB, at 7 p.m. along with Morgan Parker, Lynn Melnick, and Angel Nafis.

What is the best poetry advice you’ve received?

Tommy Pico: Milk, milk, lemonade: around the corner, verse is made! Juuuust kidding. I think it was probably something like, “don’t be so vain” both with regard to my nerves while reading in front of people, and being too precious with the “I” of the poem. Like the speaker or whoever shouldn’t be the hero, the smartest, the best, the most witty or the most complex.

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5 Questions for Lynn Melnick

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Tuesday, August 11th, 2015 | 1,357 views

Free Water 8!

Lynn Melnick will be reading at Free Water #8 on Friday, August 14th, at KGB, at 7 p.m. along with Morgan Parker, Tommy Pico, and Angel Nafis.

What is the best poetry advice you’ve received?

Lynn Melnick: Alice Walker said “If art doesn’t make us better, then what on earth is it for?” That’s the best poetry advice I’ve received. But do you mean advice that I’ve personally received? One time a man told me he couldn’t take me seriously as a writer because I wear a lot of dresses so I’ve continued to wear a lot of dresses.

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An Interview with Lexi Beach, Owner of Astoria Bookshop

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Monday, August 10th, 2015 | 3,165 views

Astoria Bookshop in Queens

With wife Connie Rourke, Lexi Beach established The Astoria Bookshop in August 2013. The 1,200 square foot storefront under the elevated N/Q train line has become a community hotspot, patronized by several Queens-based writing collectives and reading series, including Boundless Tales, the LIC Reading Series and Oh! Bernice. The store hosts a book club, a storytime for children’s books, the occasional celebrity author, and maintains an active calendar.

Elizabeth Frank: You recently (7/14/15) tweeted: “Anyone worried about the future of independent bookstores should take a look in my front windows today. Mobbed.” Can you describe what was going on that day?

Lexi Beach: That was the day that Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman came out. The store was packed from open to close. We offered some happy hour drinks and snacks to customers, to celebrate the publication, and then our regular monthly open mic storytelling show was that evening, as well, so there was quite a crowd by 6pm.

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Sawdust and Raw Meat: An Interview with Scott Alexander Hess, author of The Butcher’s Sons

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Tuesday, August 4th, 2015 | 1,489 views

Photo of Scott Alexander Hess courtesy of the author

The Butcher’s Sons is the latest novel by author Scott Alexander Hess. He launched The Butcher’s Sons in May. The family saga is set in 1930 New York City and follows three Irish brothers as they attempt to find their place in Hell’s Kitchen.

Roberto Santiago: Congratulations on the release of book No. three, The Butcher’s Sons! Since we are Press brothers, I must ask: How did TBS find its way to Lethe?

Scott Alexander Hess: My first two novels were with a different press, which did not deal with literary fiction. Those first books were a bit more subversive, while The Butcher’s Sons represents my current direction as a writer toward literary historical fiction. I hunted around for a good match and saw that Lethe authors had won awards and I read some good press. So I submitted and began a wonderful relationship with publisher Steve Berman.

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An Interview with Poet Claudia Cortese, Author of Blood Medals

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Tuesday, July 7th, 2015 | 2,120 views

Claudia Cortes’s poems and lyric essays have found homes at Black Warrior Review, Blackbird, Crazyhorse, Kenyon Review Online, and Sixth Finch, among others. Cortese lives in New Jersey and is a poetry editor for Swarm. She has two chapbooks: Blood Medals (Thrush Poetry Press, 2015) and The Red Essay and Other Histories (forthcoming from Horse Less Press, 2015). Her chapbook, Blood Medals, was described by Winter Tangerine as “vicious and vibrant – [Cortese] writes girlhood as gorgeously fucked up, dolls-with-no-eyes hideous. Blood Medals follows Lucy, a shitty little princess that we can’t help but adore.” Poems from Blood Medals were also featured on Sundress Blog’s Wardrobe’s Best Dressed for June.

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An Interview with Poet Amy Pickworth, Author of Bigfoot for Women

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Monday, June 15th, 2015 | 1,930 views

Amy Pickworth’s debut poetry collection Bigfoot For Women was the winner of Orange Monkey’s book prize in 2013 and was released in November 2014. The book explores the mythology of Bigfoot by applying his stories to relationships with the self, men, and family. In her author’s note, Pickworth writes that “a number of internet addresses are included in this manuscript, but the internet, like any healthy forest, is constantly changing. New things spring up as others die off. The links included here are breadcrumbs on the path.”

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An Interview with Novelist Frank Cassese, Author of Ocean Beach

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Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015 | 1,858 views

Frank Cassese, photo courtesy of the author

Frank Cassese’s debut novel is a harrowing account of a young man’s relationship with his adored sister. Ocean Beach (No Record Press, 2014) explores the porous boundary between love and obsession from the point of view of Peter, a disaffected son of distant Italian-American literati, whose unchecked idealism threatens to poison his reality. When does love become destructive? Cassese’s introspective book occupies itself with this question and other, more troublesome questions about guilt and existentialism. In an interview with English Kills Review, Cassese discusses the writing process that resulted in his first novel.

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