Category Archives: Diptychs + Triptychs

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?

 

Readings Etc.

Hi Friends,

I do a lot of readings. They’re fun, and typically, if in a group, by listening closely, I learn a thing or two from others. I always bring a notebook, and fill a page or more with notes.

Recently, I realized that I have photos from each of my four book launches. Here they are:

Microtones

This was a reading for Red Oak Writers, hosted by our fearless director, Kim Suhr, soon after Microtones was published by Cervena Barva Press in 2012.

Diptychs

This was a reading in Chicago in early 2014 with Meg Tuite and David Tomaloff, hosted by Bill Yarrow. I’m reading from the newly published Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits (Deadly Chaps). My pal Meg’s entire family came (or nearly). It was a blast!

A & B

I think this was shot at the Seattle AWP#14. Addicts & Basements (Civil Coping Mechanisms) had just been released. Jane Carmen’s “Festival of Language” typically kicks off the AWP Conference with an ambitious line-up on Wednesday (opening day), 5-10 p.m.

RIFT

And last, but certainly not least, a RIFT (Unknown Press) photo! This was taken by uber-talented Nancy Stohlman at her F-BOMB Flash Fiction Showcase last July in Denver. I was able to read with Kathy Fish, co-author and celebrated writer.

I recently returned from this year’s AWP Conference in Los Angeles. I had the opportunity to read in two different readings. The first, States of Terror’s “Creature Features” included many writers whose work I admire. One of them, Gabino Iglesias, wrote a stunning review of RIFT, and upon his return, published this great article about readings at Dead End Follies:

http://www.deadendfollies.com/2016/04/essay-why-most-readings-suck-and-how-to.html

I sure hope that Gabino was not referring to me! In any case, I took note, Gabino, and thanks for the succinct list.

We have a few spots left for our August fiction workshop in Taos at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House, August 20-26. Please contact Kathy Fish or me. More info at www.kathy-fish.com.

Also, please join us at the Marion Center tomorrow (Thursday, April 14th) night for our Red Oak reading, a mix of writers from several of our roundtables, to honor our years spent at this venerable institution. I will be reading, too! Pot luck starts at 5:30- 5:45 and reading begins at 6:30 p.m.

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!

Reviews and Year End List Mentions

There are so few rare gems that I’ve had the treat to meet during week long workshops. Among them is Michael Gillan Maxwell. We met in 2011, at Omega Institute in upstate New York, during a week long poetry retreat. (I blogged about it here: Oh Omega, What a Week.)

Many events transpired that week, among them, as Michael recently reminded me, my apparent declaration in the Omega cafe during a rare moment of self- assuredness, that I was on the verge of publishing a first collection, with many more to follow. In retrospect, Michael called those observations “prescient” (believe me, they weren’t!) Still, in the years since, I’ve had three books published, all by different independent publishers. And my very kind, astute, multi-talented and dear associate, Michael, wrote a wonderful review, which published here: MadHat Drive-By Book Reviews | Three Works by Robert Vaughan. Also, thanks for friends like Meg Tuite, Bill Yarrow, Joani Reese, and Bud Smith for helping spread the word about MGM’s review.

Then, today, the uber-talented Kathy Fish (read her!) published her “My Favorite Reads of 2014” and both Diptychs + Triptychs (which Kathy blurbed) and Addicts & Basements are mentioned: My Favorite Reads of 2014 | Kathy Fish. Thanks, Kathy! I am thrilled to read with you in the Santa Fe TWISTED READING on January 24th. More information forthcoming on that!

I’m finally reading Luke B. Goebel’s Fourteen Stories, None of Them Are Yours. LOVE THIS! What a man, what a man, what a man, what a mighty good man!

Tomorrow, the last day of 2014, I’ll publish my entire 2014 reading list. It’s staggering how many great books I read this year. Very few snoozers!

What are your favorite reads? Least favorite reads?

 

Diptychs + Triptychs is reviewed at Lit Pub

My second book, Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipsticks is reviewed today at the Lit Pub. I want to thank Ilana Masad, who bravely fought for the right to review this book, and wrote a lovely, insightful review. She also pushed to have this see the light of day, so I am really grateful for her brave, honest, and wonderful words.

Also to Molly Gaudry, who runs the Lit Pub, and is a sweet friend, and a great writer also!

Here is the beginning of Ilana’s words about D + T:

“In his famous essay “The Sentence is a Lonely Place,”Gary Lutz writes that the books he fell in love with were the ones “in which virtually every sentence had the force and feel of a climax, in which almost every sentence was a vivid extremity of language, an abruption, a definitive inquietude.”

Robert Vaughn’s newest book, Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits, which manages to pack thirty pieces in fifty-five pages, is a beautiful example of the kind of attention to detail that Gary Lutz admires.”

Read the rest here:  The Lit Pub • Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits

Again, thanks Ilana and Molly, and everyone else at the Lit Pub!

Rumjhum Biswas reviews Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits at Flash Fiction Chronicles

Today at Flash Fiction Chronicles, Rumjhum reviews my second chapbook, Diptychs + Triptychs. This is quite an extensive and thorough review, and I must thank both Jim Harrington, editor at FFC, as well as Rumjhum for her interpretive gesture:

Book Review: Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits by Robert Vaughan « Flash Fiction Chronicles

One of the things I appreciate most about this review is how Biswas does not shy away from citing two or three pieces in Diptychs + Triptychs which did not move her, or was not “one of the better pieces.” I feel this information is equally useful to any writer as are compliments, or ‘what works’ in a collection.

In addition, two other talented authors have given reviews at Goodreads, and I’d like to share them here for those of you who are not Goodreads members:

‘The stories Robert Vaughan wrote in this chapbook are delightful, funny and heartbreaking, “life affirming, desirous, and melodic.” I recommend this beautifully written and surprising collection. As soon as you open the cover, “the never heard song begins to play.”’

– Helen Cardona

‘It is the people that were once in our lives that make us who we are. We carry them with us when they aren’t here anymore. And that’s the secret: they never really leave. I wasn’t prepared to ache so much when I read this collection. To be perfectly honest, I haven’t been able to read more than a couple of pieces in one sitting. It took me a few weeks, this slim, slim book. Seven Shades of James and Elements of K. My God, the words cut like paper. So surgically precise that I didn’t feel the blood until I was wiping tears from my eyes in silence, at once seeing and missing everyone I have every lost.’

– Erin Parker

Thanks so much, Helena and Erin, for your lovely words! I really appreciate them, and you both!

Mark Kerstetter reviews Diptychs + Triptychs at The Mockingbird Sings

Hi friends,

I’ve had the great fortune of traveling to India three times thus far in my lovely life. During one of those trips, in a family member’s kitchen, I heard a very sweet bird song, and asked, which bird is this we are hearing?

The answer: A Mockingbird.

We do have them in the U.S.A., and they have them there, also.

And, of course, there is the infamous To Kill A Mockingbird.

This bird, you see, is known for mimicking the songs of other birds, often loudly and in rapid succession. They symbolize both gay abandon and innate mirth.

And today, due to several reasons, I felt this very way.

Also, when reading Mark Kerstetter’s blog, I remembered how the thrill of hearing a new birdsong makes my heart sing. You might see why:

A Review of Robert Vaughan’s Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits | The Mockingbird Sings

Thanks Mark, for adding your harmonious thrill to my day!

Michael Gillan Maxwell reviews Diptychs + Triptychs at Your Own Back Yard

A lovely review of Diptychs + Triptychs by Michael Gillan Maxwell is up at his writer’s blog at Your Own Back Yard:

Book Review: Diptychs +Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits by Robert Vaughan 2013 | Your Own Back Yard ~ Writing and Art ~ Michael Gillan Maxwell

Michael is not only a super talented writer, but also an artist, a teacher, and an all around great guy! He and I crossed paths at a writing conference in 2010 at the Omega Institute and have been friends since. We share work often, and offer solid critique. He is also a writer who enjoys mixing up genre, and his writing has won awards. Check him out! And deep thanks, Michael, for your words and support.

 

Diptychs + Triptychs review at HTMLGIANT

Hi friends!

Today I am thrilled to let you know about my excellent review, by David S. Atkinson (author of Bones Buried in the Dirt and forthcoming The Garden of Good and Evil Pancakes). This is so wonderful, and I am deeply grateful to both David, and Janice Lee who is the Reviews Editor at HTMLGIANT: Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits by Robert Vaughan | HTMLGIANT.

Also, I’ve been on such a high since my editor and publisher, Michael Seidlinger at Civil Coping Mechanisms posted the new photo of the first copy of Addicts & Basements, my new book, available February 1:

First copy of finished book

Life is good, despite the the wind chill dipping us below zero. Who cares? Party time!!!

 

Two Reviews on one Thursday

Hi friends!

It’s a remarkable day when one favorable, and insightful review arrives about your book. But today, two reviews came, and both writers wrote such lovely things about Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits.

Melanie Page reviews many a book, and so I am intensely grateful for her latest, which begins with this quote:

“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.

And here is the rest: Goodreads | Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits

Then, I noticed that writer extra-ordinaire, Peter Tieryas, also wrote about Diptychs + Triptychs at his blog The Whimsey of Creation: Tieryas Reviews Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipstick + Dipshits by Robert Vaughan. And he is equally busy and so, this is delightful. Tieryas writes:

If mathematics and numerology try to bring quantified order to the madness of existence, Robert Vaughan’s  Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipstick  + Dipshits (Deadly Chaps, 2013), takes huge steps in deciphering the equation of human emotion. Numbers play a key role in these pieces that blend the boundaries between poetry, flash fiction, and numbers.

I am so grateful to my writer friends, Melanie and Peter, for their support and selfless commitment to others. Also to anyone who has read Diptychs + Triptychs or is planning to, and might want to say a word or two about it. You make me so happy, and Deadly Chaps, my publisher, too! Cheers!