Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Live Nude Girl in the Devil's Territory, coming to a city near you!


If you're in Bellingham, or have the means and the will to get here the evening of Saturday, February 7, please join me in celebrating the recent release of Kathleen Rooney's memoir Live Nude Girl: My Life as an Object and Kyle Minor's short story collection In the Devil's Territory, both excellent reads. Kyle and Kathleen have graciously asked me to appear on the ticket for their Bellingham reading at Village Books. Prior to being asked to read with them, I knew nothing about Kyle's work and tout de suite took advantage of the holiday sale over at Dzanc Books to grab myself a copy of his collection (as well as the latest Yannick Murphy book, In a Bear's Eye). Dzanc Books is a new press and if Kyle's book is any indication of the quality of the rest of their output, I think we're in for a long and excellent ride with them. As I do with any book of great merit, I have been taking my time getting through In the Devil's Territory (though I plan to have it finished before they roll into town). The (long) short story "A Day Meant to Do Less" is a complicated masterpiece that beautifully navigates multiple time shifts and perspective, including what has proven for me the best written illustration of dementia I have ever read in which the character exists on several planes of time and experience at once. I really can't emphasize enough how worth your time this book is.

Kathleen Rooney, thus far better known to me as a poet (mostly for her moving and at times appropriately jarring and disconcerting look at the art and oddness of wedding in 2007's winner of Switchback Books's Gatewood Prize, Oneiromance), has outdone herself with Live Nude Girl. Kathleen's memoir primarily addresses her experience as a nude art model and the strange perspectives that go along with that. At times she's balancing on several different levels, deftly melding art history, theory, and popular culture with sometimes wonderfully almost clinical narrative of the mechanics of modeling, as well as excerpts from childhood memory when supposing what may have allowed her this direction. As someone comfortable with my body, yet not willing to disrobe for strangers and having never examined this for myself, I read this book with almost voyeuristic pleasure. Check out this and other books by K. Rooney here: Oh! And she's also one of the founding editors of one of the best small presses in recent years to rocket onto the scene, Rose Metal Press (

Anyway, my lunch menu is tuna salad and Lost, and it's really calling me. Check Kathleen Rooney, Kyle Minor and I out Saturday, February 7 at Village Books, 7PM. To round out a triple-genre threat, I'll likely read a few poems to start things off. For other dates and locations, check the poster above or see the tour blog here.

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