My Books

FUNHOUSE published on December 29, 2016 by Unknown Press, Bud Smith, Editor-in-Chief. There are four sections in this collection:

Section 1: Balloon Darts (flash fiction)

Section 2: Hall of Mirrors: “Another Brick in the Wall, pt. 4” (Kids in the Classroom, including sketches by Bob Schofield)

Section 3: Tunnel of Love: DIVAS “”And the Winters Cannot Fade Her” (prose poems, including graphics/layout/design by Eryk Wenziak)

Section 4: Ferris Wheel: short stories

Testimonials and Reviews:

Bud Smith: “Brilliantly slippery pieces of flash fiction and longer form prose from the author of Addicts & Basements, and RIFT (with Kathy Fish), among others. Robert Vaughan is unrivaled in his ability to suprise, stimulate and explore. A magician with a typewriter. He returns here with stories to hypnotize in the tunnel of love, beguile in the hall of wonders, spin you around on the tilt o’ whirl.”

Robert Scotallero: ‘In Robert Vaughan’s FUNHOUSE, the many mirrors there do not undulate, do not distort, but rather reflect our deeper, fully recognizable selves.  With a keen, wise, and stunningly original amalgam of poetry and prose, Vaughan shows us, not only life’s fractures, but its mendings.’ —Robert Scotellaro, author of Measuring the Distance and Bad Motel

Megan Giddings: ‘Robert Vaughan is a writer we need more now than ever: one filled with overwhelming generosity. His characters are allowed to be ugly, funny, kind. He recognizes the joys of collaboration and boundary pushing, putting art above ego. His stories aren’t static artifacts, they’re fluid: jumping into poems into lyrics and back into stories in the span of mere paragraphs. One of the biggest delights of this collection is that with the turn of the page, we’re always somewhere new.’ –Megan Giddings, author of Arcade Seventeen

Len Kuntz: ‘Arresting and sometimes haunting, this book will make your knees quake.  With lush and precise prose, Vaughan invites us into lives that are familiar yet not, and never are we disappointed. It’s rare to be so seduced by such rich language, to be both transported and immersed. FUNHOUSE is simply riveting prose and, in a word, Vaughan is a master.’ –Len Kuntz, author of I’m Not Supposed To Be Here and Neither Are You, and The Dark Sunshine

Cover art by Ron Kibble (www.ronkibbleart.com)

FUNHOUSE is available at your fine indie bookstores. Also available at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Funhouse-Robert-Vaughan/dp/099830901X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1486226415&sr=8-1&keywords=FUNHOUSE+Robert

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RIFT published on December 1, 2015 by Unknown Press, Bud Smith, Editor-in-Chief. Here is what is being said about the book, in reviews and testimonials:

Bud Smith: “A stunning collaboration from Robert Vaughan and Kathy Fish, two masters of flash fiction, who’ve blended their work together in a vibrant explosion that is all of these things: evocative, heart wrenching, rare in the wild. The stories in RIFT explore the gamut of human connection and conflict, where emotions run deep beneath the surface. Divided into four sections: Fault, Breach, Tremor, and Cataclysm, writers Fish and Vaughan thread together their tales of strange encounters, mishaps, accidents, and disrepair. The world of RIFT is riven, tumultuous, and haunting. In here, danger lurks and the fallible human heart lay exposed and vulnerable. Fish and Vaughan leave their readers spellbound, mystified, and eager for the next story.”

Daniel Handler (Lemony Snickett): “The stories in RIFT are peculiar, and exciting and riveting and mournful and veer into places I hadn’t noticed in my peripheral vision. You know, like life.”

Lidia Yuknavitch: “RIFT made me laugh my face off, cry my guts out, and remember why writing matters: stories save us from our idiotic but lovable selves.”

Ron Carlson: “Urgent elegance, the very best short short fiction.”

Michael Martone: “This is close-up magic, jazz hands, mixed with twin talented samurai slashing through the translucent shoji of a too-close-for-comfort closet. This duet does it. The performance leaves you less than breathless. Hypnotized. Hypoxic. Hyphenated. Hysteric.”

Megan Mayhew Bergman: “These stories by Kathy Fish and Robert Vaughan are such, textured and physical- they smart with tension and possibility. RIFT is peppered with appealing, complex characters and atmospheric details.”

Robert Lopez: “You can shave with the razor-like fictions in this collection from Kathy Fish and Robert Vaughan. These stories are as sharp as they cut deep, very like the people featured here, who come up and square off against each other in these dangerous, domestic arenas.”

Michael J. Seidlinger: “When Robert Vaughan and Kathy Fish, both masters of the form, combine forces, the end result is nothing short of breathtaking.”

Ryan Ridge: “Reading Fish’s and Vaughan’s electric collection is like listening to two seasoned singers trading songs in a tunnel: their voices echo, resonate, and harmonize in impossible octaves. RIFT is a book of sublime melodies that sustain and remain.”

Jensen Beach: “I have been a devoted reader of Kathy Fish’s stories for years. Countless times, I have turned to her work for instruction and comfort. And if possible, this collaboration with Robert Vaughan, RIFT, has strengthened my devotion. The stories here are full of precision and heartbreak. This book is an accomplishment, elegant and sparse, and richly imagined, and I loved it.”

xTx: “These stories made me not sit still. They turned me around and turned me around.”

Luke Goebel: “Vaughan and Fish are twin aficionados of flash. Side by side, in RIFT, they captain language catching great tunas (of memory), so this books sails as fleet. Vaughan as name means “little” (he’s BIG) and Fish can be “tuna” (prize fish!) The Little Tuna are a specie that rush and dart, reaching speeds of 47 miles an hour (fact)! These flashes are far faster, sleeker, and sharper than that- physical enough to hold gasping in hand.”

Cover with blurbs

RIFT is available at your fine indie booksellers. It is also available online here:                www.kathy-fish.com.

And also at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Rift-Robert-Vaughan/dp/0996352600/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1449355153&sr=8-1&keywords=RIFT+RObert

 

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Addicts & Basements was published on February 1, 2014 by Civil Coping Mechanisms, Michael J. Seidlinger, Editor-In-Chief. Here is what he and others say about the new book:

“Robert Vaughan explores addictions and the dark crannies of basements in his collection,
Addicts & Basements, which assembles a variety of his works from flash fiction to poetry.
There’s a disturbing symmetry in the obsessive nature of the characters, each piece a syringe of
distorted desire injected directly into the nerves of the brain to disrupt synaptic cohesion.
Vaughan’s words act as amphetamines and depressants, a lyrical brand of verbal inhalants that
capture moments, sometimes brief, sometimes interminably addictive.”
– Peter Tieryas, author of Bald New World (Perfect Edge Books)

“We are vulnerable, seeking a far off space where we can find comfort in the tiny little creatures feasting on our psyches. The world we live in has, maybe, a handful of these spaces but that’s why we have books. In books, we find places to hide on every single page.”

– Michael Seidlinger, author of THE LAUGHTER OF STRANGERS (Lazy Fascist Press)

“Drawing its energy from society’s underbelly–the dim corner booths of bars, the stalls of public bathrooms, the thickets of unkempt parks–Vaughan’s book is part prose poem, part fractured sonnet, part Whitmanian love-cry.  “What were your last thoughts, Ophelia?  Were / you loved enough?  Will I ever know when I am?”  When this poet speaks, we are compelled by the plaintive urgency of eros in his voice.  On the edge of a low-lit Interstate highway somewhere between Los Angeles and New York City, Addicts & Basements yawps and pivots and veers, praising its own wreckage.”

– Dorianne Laux, author of THE BOOK OF MEN (Norton Poetry)

Robert Vaughan’s poems are peopled with painfully human characters, depicted with an unnerving authenticity and irreverent compassion. In “Turkey Town”, a young man working a wedding banquet sneaks out back when the father-of-the-bride dance begins because he misses his own father: “The cold hurt my lungs, made it hard to breathe.” In “The Patio”, patrons are “sucking down margaritas” and “gnawing chips” at an outdoor restaurant when there’s a car crash and they become witnesses to the scene. In “Bonus Question”, a woman calls into a late-night radio quiz, but instead of giving an answer, she asks, “Will you love me?” The deejay is unmoved, but the poet says: “somewhere, lying in the darkness…someone who has never seen her face whispers yes.” These are poems to break your heart, but Robert Vaughan isalways whispering “yes.”

– Ellen Bass, author of THE HUMAN LINE (Copper Canyon Press)

Best cover shot

Addicts & Basements is available here: Addicts & Basements: Robert Vaughan: 9781937865238: Amazon.com: Books:

Product Details

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Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits is published by Deadly Chaps Press, Joseph Quintela, editor, and cover design. This collection of stories, some prose, some poetry, 30 total, really highlight a preference to play with form, mix things up, with ABC pieces or numbered tomes. Blurbs and testimonials about this book:

“Vaughan compresses human love and behavior with great precision, evoking people and places with language and images full of wonderment and heartbreak. This book is a marvel, with lines so sharp you will find yourself wanting to return to them often.”
-Brandon Hobson, author of DEEP ELLUM (Calamari, 2014)

“With singular vision and the perfect, skewed geometry of his prose, Robert Vaughan gifts his readers with fiction that reads like the best possible mash-up of David Lynch and Wes Anderson. A smart, profound, risk-taker of a collection not to be missed.”
-Kathy Fish, author of WILD LIFE (Matter Press, 2011) and TOGETHER WE CAN BURY IT (Lit Pub Books)

“Echoes all over the place, resounding in on itself. An addictive, meditative read, often jarring and way huge thought provoking. Often, I felt like the ‘narrators’ were characters from Blue Velvet. Dennis Hopper and his tank of gas. A piece of ear found in a field. Loved the tone, pace and sharpness of this book. I’ll be reading this yearly alongside Jesus’ Son, does it’s own thing, but reminded me of what my favorite pieces of literature made me feel the first time I discovered them. Small press perfection.”

-Bud Smith, author of TOLLBOOTH (Piscataway House Publications, 2013) and EVERYTHING NEON (Marginalia Publishing, 2014)

“I’m not the most familiar with micros, but Vaughan seems to pioneer his own version of the form, if not his own form in this book. I’ve heard describe this as a mix of micro fiction and poetry, but I don’t think it is that clear. The word “Stories” on the cover is really the best description, as each definitely conveys a full story via what seems like traces suggesting one. To me, it almost seems like Vaughan applies poetic techniques to micro fiction writing, resulting in something that is challenging to define but gratifying to read. It may not take a long time to sit down and read this book, but that one sitting is by no means the end of a reader’s engagement.”

– David S. Atkinson, author of BONES BURIED IN THE DIRT (River Otter Press, 2013)

The latest reviews:

Ilana Masad at The Lit Pub: The Lit Pub • A delectably linguistic read, for poetry and prose readers alike. Ilana’s impressive bio is also at The Lit Pub- check her out!

Mark Kerstetter at The Mockingbird Sings: A Review of Robert Vaughan’s Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits | The Mockingbird Sings. More About Mark Kerstetter

David Atkinson at HTMLGIANT: Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits by Robert Vaughan | HTMLGIANT. David is the author of Bones Buried in the Dirt (EAB Publishing)

Peter Tieryas Reviews Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipstick + Dipshits by Robert Vaughan | The Whimsy of Creation: The Blog of Tieryas. Peter is the author of Watering Heaven (Signal 8 Press, 2012)

Melanie Page’s review is at Goodreads, scroll down to read the full review: Goodreads | Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits by Robert Vaughan — Reviews. Melanie begins with this lovely wordplay:

“I slit the sheet, the sheet I slit, and on the slitted sheet I sit.”

I feel similarly about the title of Robert Vaughan’s newest chapbook. Once upon a time my husband and I giggled because he couldn’t read the title properly. Don’t be fooled, though: the title isn’t rhyming for “cute” sake, it really is selling content.

Cover of Diptychs + Triptychs

You can order the book here: Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits

Or at the Deadly Chaps website, you can check it out at on Issuu:  Deadly Chaps

It is also available at Amazon: Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits: Robert Vaughan

Thanks in advance for your interest, thanks Joseph, for your artistry and integrity. And if any of you are members of Amazon or Goodreads please feel free to star this, or review it, or whatever you feel moved to do! Share the love. I am so grateful.

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Microtones features 24 short poems and prose pieces, published in March 2013 by Cervena Barva Press. Thanks to Publisher Gloria Mindock (and Bill) for your belief in my work:

Microtones book cover

Listen to an interview about Microtones with me hereLake Effect Microtones interview

A review by Christopher Allen, author of Conversations with S. Teri O’ Type:
http://www.fictionaut.com/wordpress/2013/03/28/books-at-fictionaut-microtones-by-robert-vaughan/

Or please sample a poem from Microtones, “Legacy,” and find ordering information here:
The Lost Bookshelf-Červená Barva Press books

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In addition, I have several anthologized pieces. Among them, these:

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BEST SMALL FICTIONS 2016

Edited by guest editor Start Dybek, and series editor Tara Masih. My short fiction, “A Box,” which originally published at Connotation Press, was included in RIFT, my flash collection with Kathy Fish (who also has a piece included in this anthology!)

States of Terror, Volume 3, edited by Matt Lewis and Keith McCleary, Ayahuaska Publishing, 2016. My piece, “Sweet Surrender is All I Have Left To Give” is included among seventeen authors and as many artists. These are strange, weird folklore driven tales of horror and the surreal featuring Monsters of The United States. I was assigned Montana. Get a copy at Amazon to find out the rest!

https://www.amazon.com/States-Terror-Vol-3-Matt-Lewis/dp/0692757813/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1487112978&sr=8-1&keywords=states+of+terror+volume+3

 

Flash Fiction Funny

Flash Fiction Funny, edited by Tom Hazuka, Blue Light Press, 2013. Includes my piece, “The Three Stooges Explain Relativity.” Available at Amazon:

Flash Fiction Funny: Tom Hazuka: 9781595408822: Amazon.com: Books