Category Archives: Bookstores

New York, New York: Big City of Dreams

Last weekend I had the great fortune of visiting my old haunts. Staying downtown in New York City, and reading at the venerable KGB, in their relatively new third floor “Red Room.” Friday night was hosted by Bud Smith, for the roving F-BOMB flash fiction event. Readers included Bud, Meg Tuite, Len Kuntz, Karen Stefano, Michael Gillan Maxwell, Gay Degani and me. I read an assortment of stories: “Mother/Father/Clown” from Diptychs + Triptychs; “Recruitment” from Addicts & Basements; and “Sweet Surrender is all I Have Left To Give” included in the newly published States of Terror, Volume 3 (at Amazon).

states-of-terror

On Saturday night, Paul Beckman hosted the Best Small Fictions 2016 reading! Same spot, KGB. This reading included mostly authors selected for the recently published anthology, expertly edited by Stuart Dybek and Tara Masih. Including, but not limited to: Britt Haraway, Anne Weisgerber, Dawn Raffel, Nancy Ludmerer, Courtney Sender, Ilana Masad, Dianca London Potts, Tina Barry, Eliel Lucero, Michael G. Maxwell, Karen Stefano, Paul Beckman, Len Kuntz, Meg Tuite, Bud Smith and me. I read my piece, “A Box,” which was chosen for the Best Small Fictions, 2016 (originally in RIFT, my co-authored book with Kathy Fish).

kgb-riftbrooosbsf-group-shot

And then, there was the general pizazz of being in in a city I love more than any other, with writer pals/ friends I adore, admire, revere, love:

yesr-l-s-kwestvillemeg-mgm-me

Overall, I would do this again, and again. Soulful, inspiring. Deeply satisfying. Please, sir, may I have some more?

 

AWP Recap & More

Hi friends,

Last week was the annual AWP#16 writer’s conference, hosted in downtown Los Angeles. Here are some photos and a recap:

AWP UP TableUNKNOWN PRESS AWP

My publisher, Unknown Press, shared booth #1442 with Digging Through the Fat’s Gessy Alvarez, and sister, Cynthia (pictured above). Also, Len Kuntz (above) premiered his new book, I’m Not Supposed to be Here and Neither Are You. We sold a lot of books!

Book Show peeps20160331_190929

The States of Terror “Creature Feature” held their reading at BOOK SHOW bookstore on Thursday. Hosted by Matt Lewis and Keith McCleary, my friends Len and Bob attended. Also saw Jim Ruland, Meredith Alling, Gabino Iglesias, and met many more. I read “Sweet Surrender is All I Have Left To Give,” which will appear in States of Terror Anthology #3 this fall.

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Also, Thursday afternoon, Kathy Fish and I taped Otherppl podcast with Brad Listi (no, not in his Searcher camper!) in his garage on W. 4th in L.A. We had such a blast! Walking away from this experience, Kathy and I agreed it felt as if we’ve known Brad all our lives.

four freaksLen and Bob

Of course, AWP is all about our writer friends, allies, and support networking. Where would we be without that? Above left, is Len Kuntz, Kathryn Grant, me, and Karen Stefano. Photo shot by Robert P. Kaye. Dinner was the local Mexican restaurant, closest to our JW Marriott. We recommend the table side guacamole. Above right is Robert and Len in our Marriott lounge.

IMG_1351Joani host

My other reading was Hot Pillow, Joani Reese Above, right) hosted. This came with an assortment of lovely instructions, which my posse quickly turned over to Bob. It is held in a hotel (sort-of) room, and by personal invite. The reading is always the highlight of the entire AWP for me. Exquisite work shared. I read “A Box” from RIFT.

The Best Small Fictions 2017 Announcement Final-3

Just before we left for AWP, Kathy and I heard from Tara Masih, series editor of Best Small Presses that three of our stories from RIFT had been selected for the Best Small Fictions, 2016 (edited by Stuart Dybek). Needless to say, we are both over the moon thrilled about this! Our two pieces that will be included are “A Box” (mine) and “A Room With Many Small Beds” (Kathy).

Also, John Madera compiled this amazing list of “Most Anticipated Books of 2016” at Big Other, and included RIFT as a book to not miss (published in December 2015): https://bigother.com/2016/04/07/most-anticipated-small-press-books-of-2016/

Back to AWP and Los Angeles:

rapturels

Shalom Sherman, accordionist at Palermo Restaurant on Vermont Avenue. I’ve been a loyal fan of this place since the mid 1980s. We had a sublime dinner, terrific food, fantastic time.

All, in all, Los Angeles AWP was probably my favorite conference experience thus far. They just get more fun, less stressful, and it’s always great to see friends, meet new people, try new experiences. So until next year, see you all in D.C. in 2017!

Press for RIFT

Hi friends!

Happy Solstice! It’s been a busy time of year, as the end of 2015 draws closer. Our last roundtable at Red Oak was on Friday, and we had a festive lunch at Saint Francis Brewery to honor another venerable year of writing, and honest feedback, and support.

Cover with blurbs

And then these lovely first mentions, news and reviews about RIFT, and made Kathy Fish smile. And me giggle. So grateful:

First, my brother Sheldon Compton at Revolution John: https://revolutionjohn.wordpress.com/2015/12/13/the-world-set-shaking-kathy-fish-and-robert-vaughans-rift/

Joseph Spuckler at Evil Cyclist: https://evilcyclist.wordpress.com/2015/12/13/book-review-rift/

David Abrams at The Quivering Pen: http://www.davidabramsbooks.blogspot.com/2015/12/a-year-of-reading-best-book-cover.html

Dennis Mahagin (“Ancient Bassist”) at Amazon (among all the other amazing reviews!): http://www.amazon.com/Rift-Robert-Vaughan/dp/0996352600/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1449355153&sr=8-1&keywords=RIFT+RObert

Sheldon “Lil Joe” Compton, part 2: http://bentcountry.blogspot.com/2015/12/my-top-ten-books-of-2015.html

My dear sister, Cheryl, at CurTales: https://curtalefarm.wordpress.com/2015/12/17/rift-a-book-review/

Loren Kleinman at THE HUFFINGTON POST: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/loren-kleinman/a-rift-in-the-clouds-an-i_b_8824102.html

Steph Post with two part RIFT interview, here’s Kathy Fish: http://stephpostauthor.blogspot.com/2015/12/rift-part-one-interview-with-kathy-fish.html

Steph Post with two part RIFT interview, with me: http://stephpostauthor.blogspot.com/2015/12/rift-part-two-interview-with-robert.html

Steph also included RIFT here: http://stephpostauthor.blogspot.com/2015/12/stephs-super-awesome-2015-end-of-year.html

I have to say, it’s been a wild ride so far! I want to give thanks to everyone who has purchased, reviewed, and said gracious or kind comments to Kathy and me. RIFT took the same gestation time as making a child: nine or so months! It would never have been possible without Satchi, Bud Smith, my siblings, Kathy (of course) and so many more contributors. Please help us spread the word. Get a copy of RIFT for a friend. Read more! Happy holidays.

 

 

Robert G. Vaughan Recognized by Strathmore’s Who’s Who Worldwide Publication – PR.com

What a terrific surprise to wake up to this news yesterday:

Source: Robert G. Vaughan Recognized by Strathmore’s Who’s Who Worldwide Publication – PR.com

Happy Weekend everyone!

HUMP Day Hues

It’s another HUMP Day! Bluer than the tip of an iceberg. Whiter than a march hare. Here are some interesting sites to visit this December:

At Entropy, the best new site of 2014, the Best of Non-Fiction Books: http://entropymag.org/best-of-2014-non-fiction-books/. And while at Entropy, check out the list of our 2014 Literary Advocates: http://entropymag.org/2014-entropy-thanks-the-literary-advocates/

Literary Orphans issue 16: Houdini has arrived: http://www.literaryorphans.org/playdb/issue16-houdini-2/

Sam Snoek-Brown has selected his 2014 book shopping list! Thanks for including Addicts & Basements, buddy: http://snoekbrown.com/2014/12/02/book-shopping-for-the-holidays-the-2014-edition/

Len Kuntz has three new poems at HOUSEFIRE: http://housefirebooks.com/three-poems-by-len-kuntz/

At Book Riot, Margaret Aldrich also compiles a Best Books List: http://bookriot.com/2014/12/02/riot-round-best-books-2014/

Melissa Broder’s “Salt” at Poetry Magazine podcast: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poem/249126

Janice Lee at The Volta’s “In Review”: http://www.thevolta.org/inreview-bestbooks2014-jlee.html

Amber Sparks slays it with her essay, “Melville Never Wrote Me a Choose Your Own Adventure Book” at Electric Literature: http://electricliterature.com/melville-never-wrote-me-a-choose-your-own-adventure-book-writers-on-their-lowbrow-influences2/

At Camroc Press Review, Jim Breslin’s flash fiction, “The Graduate”: http://www.camrocpressreview.com/2014/12/jim-breslin.html

Bree Barton at PANK with “&%@# Me” (warning: graphic content!): http://pankmagazine.com/piece/

And that, my friends, is a HUMP Day wrap. Choose a book (or two) as a great holiday gift.

 

 

Recap: My Week in New York City

I was recently in New York City for readings, inspiration, great food and more.

On Monday, September 29th, the day I arrived, I met friends Bud and Rae for dinner at John’s in the East Village. Although under new ownership, this is an East Village landmark that operated as a speakeasy during Prohibition. After an amazing dinner, and a quick after-dinner drink at Booker and Dax, Bud and I scrambled up to Kipsey’s for Sue Polo’s Saturn Series Poetry Readings: Saturn Series Poetry Reading Every Monday Nite. There was an open mike at the beginning, then three featured poets: Adeena Karasick, Larissa Shmailo, and Jonathan Penton (all of Mad Hat). Then Bud and I both read in the latter open mike. I read “Three for Carol” (which was my poems devoted to Carol Novack, original editor of Mad Hat), and “Hummingbirds.” Bud slayed three entirely new poems from his forthcoming collection: “In Their Pool,” “point taken,” and “Cherry World.”

Tuesday, writing at Cafe Pick Me Up, then lunch with Andrea at Cafe Mogodor in East Village. My New York family. LOVE HER! We’d attempted Yaffa Cafe, but it was closed, so adjacent was Mogodor, and it was fantastic. I also met Andrea’s acupuncturist, Dr. Richard Hazel.

My pal, Cyrus arrived in the afternoon. We walked over to SoHo, had a quick bite on a patio at Prince and Lafayette, then I found my local watering hole: Westville! One block from the Sheraton Four Points. Dinner at Spice Market, food fantastic, company even better:

spice

Wednesday, October 1, we went to McNally Jackson, where poets Kevin Simmonds and Ellen Bass read. A fantastic literary event, sponsored by The Poetry Society. Then, Bud and I went to Westville for IPA’s (Meg, we toasted to you!) at the bar. I highly recommend Ellen’s new book, Like a Beggar:

Ellen Bass – Like a Beggar

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Thursday, October 2, was the reading at Mellow Pages in Brooklyn! This amazing lending library hosts events regularly http://mellowpageslibrary.com/:

Jacob Perkins at Mellow PagesHost Jacob Perkins (and Matt Nelson)

Mellow Pages Library readingReading “Temporary” from new book

10403236_653303894766909_5535559670162446680_nStill “Temping!!!”

Bud Smith really rocked this reading, too. He did this cool thing where he turned off the lights and read from his phone. Killer! Thanks to friends Rae, Valentin, Cyrus and John Madera among others who turned out in support of Bud and me.

Friday night party at The Smith- Buleri household (Haven Ave…appropriate name!) Prior I met my publicist, John, at my new favorite vegetarian restaurant, Blossom on Carmine Street. We had a great time!

At the party, I saw so many friends, including the hosts, also Michael Maxwell was in the house, Julie Allen, Chuck Howe, Erin McParland, Gessy Alvarez, and many more. Because it was our dear friend Meg’s birthday, we took silly photos and posted them on her Facebook page. Silly, goofy fun:

10624972_871036116247522_7792553798582006191_nGlasses courtesy of Unknown Press

Saturday started with watching videos of Sylvia Plath on YouTube, recorded at the BBC in 1962, only months before her premature death. “Did I escape I wonder?” So many great lines in her Ariel poems.

Dear friend David met me at Cafe Pick Me Up, and we strolled around the East Village in search of a bag for his new bear poem books, a gift from Cyrus. Andrea and Ian met us for an early bite at Caravan of Dreams on E. 6th Street. That evening, we had our group reading for Too Much: Tales of Excess Anthology, edited by Chuck Howe, published by Unknown Press:

Unknown

Amazon.com: Too Much: Tales of Excess (9781500216771): Chuck Howe, Elynne Chaplik-Aleskow, Michael Gillan Maxwell, Melanie Page, Puma Perl, Ron Kolm, Robert Vaughn, James H Duncan, Misti Rainwater-Lites, Gus Sanchez, Ryder Collins, Ashley Perez, Sophia Sturges, Ted Jackins, John Saunders, Irene Stone, Bekah Steimel, Dave Roskos, Tracey Lander-Garrett, Meg Tuite, Heather Dorn: Books.

Such a blast, Bud was a great host, and Chuck plied us all with his banjo strumming to wrap, while host of Jimmy’s 43 supplied us with free Stillwater Existent black IPA’s. Oh what a night!

Outside Jimmy's 43Arriving at Jimmy’s 43 with Bud and MGM

Bud SmithBud Smith, host and vivant reader

David and MGMDavid Carter and Michael Maxwell

Audience at Excess ReadingA great audience at Jimmy’s 43

And that, my friends, is a New York wrap!

Also, I have a new poem at Fictionaut. “Solaris,” my first piece there in months:

“Solaris” by Robert Vaughan — Fictionaut.

Just as I was preparing to leave NYC, I saw this image on a boarded up excavation site adjacent to my hotel, and I knew I was ready to get back home:

unnamed

Thanks everyone for a great New York City week, big city of dreams!

I’ll be back.

 

Two for Tuesday

As the saying goes, “when it rains, it pours,” and the summer storms have been no let-down this summer thus far. I’m stocked with candles (our power has already gone out twice) and plenty of pantry items! Who knows… perhaps the basement might be a refuge after all?

Some great news regarding my new book, Addicts & Basements:

Many of you already know about AWP (Association of Writers & Writing Programs), the annual conference attended by more than 10,000 writers. In February 2014, it was held in Seattle. Mike Joyce, writer and editor-in-chief at Literary Orphans| Analog dream in a digital world, and I sat down in the Seattle Westin lobby and chatted about writing, my new book (it launched in Seattle), my publisher, Civil Coping Mechanisms, and Michael Seidlinger, the man behind the logo. You can listen here: Impromptu Interview with Robert Vaughan, at A.W.P 2014 | The Tavern LanternThe Tavern Lantern. Thanks Mike, for the great times, and also co-editor at LO, Scott Waldyn, who masterfully edited the final product.

Also, Addicts & Basements is the Book Club pick at Dr. T.J. Eckleberg Review and this from the editors:

Miscommunication and misunderstanding can be an addiction, an albatross dictating the invisible creeds we often cling to. Age, time, desire, lust, and a cacophony of suppressed urges are intimated at in, “The Lost and Erasable Parts of Us: “My identity tied up in a bottle. I craved my smell back, my decency, my shameless will. I grew gills, slithered up the stairs, fettered away, toward some desert city, in undulating waves.” When identity is so intertwined with a bottle, an addiction, or a basement, it’s easy to get lost. In Vaughan’s symphony, those weaknesses are a path back to self-discovery, a melody, however distorted, to guide listeners up into revelation. This isn’t a AAA meeting though as addictions lead to other addictions and there’s no permanent egress, only leaps into oblivion. I’m a Robert Vaughan junkie now. You can find me drowning in his basement.

Here is the remainder of the information: The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review | DC, Baltimore, NY » ECKLEBURG BOOK CLUB | Addicts & Basements By Robert Vaughan

And, yesterday I heard from bookstore manager at OMEGA INSTITUTE, Jean LaPlante, that Addicts & Basements is now available in the bookstore! Another dream come true!

bookstore-interior

Are you living your dreams? Do you know what they are?