Category Archives: Microtones

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:


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.


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.


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:

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

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 –

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

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

Happy Weekend everyone!


Happy July 4th everyone!

It’s been quite a week…Hard to decide whether to watch Wimbledon or the World Cup. Oddly, the lack of Americans in the entire second week of Wimbledon, and the elimination of the USA team to the hardy Belgium team in the knockout round of the World Cup brought up an interesting point: does it make a sport that I enjoy more or less intriguing to watch if an American player is not on the court or field?

Then this brought me to the actual holiday today: the fourth of July. Independence Day. And any American knows what this, and the American flag both symbolize. But, it lead me back to holidays. The sentiments (or lack of), and like sports, the expectations, let downs; the outcomes or results.

In early 2012, I went to Boston to read in Timothy Gager’s Dire Literary Series, and Gloria Mindock, editor of Cervena Barva Press offered me publication of my first chapbook (eventually to become Microtones) it all took place over Easter holiday weekend. That Easter Sunday, I sat at the closest Starbucks to my hotel, and wrote the first draft of one of the 24 poems that comprise Microtones:

Microtones book cover


Holidays are hard:

I’m going to take

a walk, escape the

silence of this house


I was never home,

home on the range

hospital corners are still

“beats me?”


Invisible, unlike driftwood

tossed ashore, under pewter

skies, elephantine clouds

where seldom is hear

an encouraging word


no slow cookpot solutions

while you’re no longer talking

and I’m no longer hearing

there’s nothing cooking here


There’s something I forgot


I hope you all have a lovely 4th of July. Fireworks, barbecues, or silence. Whatever your choice(s) might be, revel in them!

Microtones is at Cervena Barva Press: The Lost Bookshelf-Poetry chapbooks

Microtones review at Necessary Fiction

Hi friends!

Sometimes, we get so busy that it feels like the world passes by at warp speed. And so, it makes sense that some of the most exciting news slips by without any warning signs! Without the slightest whimper.

But in this case, I am so thrilled to notice that my dear friend and wonderful writer, Nancy Freund, reviewed Microtones for Necessary Fiction.

Nancy and I crossed paths at The University of Iowa in 2010-  we were there to attend two different workshops. We walked up to the coffee table that first morning like we had an agenda. And our conversation, easy and intriguing, lead us to side-by-side seats for the main presentation that morning. And that was it! She vanished into her workshop, as did I. But through social media, and the advance of technology, we have maintained contact. I am so grateful for her friendship and support.

One of the poems that she mentions in the review, a quieter one that didn’t warrant much attention is “Summer of ’66,” first published in RiverBabble: Robert Vaughan: Summer of ’66.

Thanks Leila Rae, editor of River Babble Journal; and Nancy Freund, for your unwavering support and illuminating words.


Year End Books Lists

Hi friends,

It’s that time of year again, when places like the New York Times publish their “100 Notable Books of 2013”:  100 Notable Books of 2013 –

I’m always interested to see what makes the list. But then I sigh. And frown.

No little presses. No indie guys or gals. (Or so obviously few).

So, you can imagine how thrilled I am when I see Microtones added to any year end book list! Just to know your work has been read, or appreciated, is of significant value. And also to be included with the likes of Hosseini, Sartre, and George Saunders makes me, well, a little giddy.

Thanks, Alex Pruteanu. I enjoyed reading “Gears,” your exceptional collection of short stories ( Gears: A Collectionas well as Short Lean Cuts: A Novella. Both were fascinating reads! And here is Alex’s list of his year end selections:

2013: Yearly Book Round Up | (S)wine: Fiction…Sometimes

As Alex mentioned, the ratings (stars) mentioned on Goodreads do help to get attention for one’s book. So, if you have read Microtones, please feel free to give stars, or a review. That would be a wonderful holiday gift from my friends. On behalf of Cervena Barva Press, and Microtones, thanks for making 2013 a stellar year!


Microtones Review at PANK Blog

Hi everyone!

Yesterday was our first snow fall of this November 2013 autumn, and today brings the fortuitous date: 11/12/13 if you are into that progressive sort of thing. Each day arrives with some new opportunity, which is why I was so thrilled to see that the Microtones review by my pal Meg Tuite is finally up at PANK, on their blog. So hugs and thanks to Meg for the support and her visionary writing (and, if you have not yet done so, check out her inspiring stories gathered in Bound By Blue at Sententia Books, or Her Skin is a Costume by Redbird Chaps):

[REVIEW] Microtones, by Robert Vaughan | [PANK]

Also, thanks Sheila Squillante, who edits the PANK blog.

And finally, but most certainly not least, big thanks to Gloria Mindock, editor/ publisher of Microtones and so many other great Cervena Barva Press chaps/ books.

Recap: My recent trip to New York City


Hi friends!

I was recently in my “home,” New York City, where I had the great fortune of participating in two readings, and seeing, meeting many old and new friends.

On Thursday evening, I read at Rabbit Hole in DUMBO, Brooklyn. The event was hosted by Kate Hill Cantrill and the theme was “Keep it, Curt!” This event was super cool, with two readers (myself and Elizabeth Crane Brandt), a short film by Siobhan Landry, an art installation by Travis Ioturo and music by the multi-talented Kurt Blake (Kaybee). Can you say HOLY COW? It was great to see my pal, Tina Barry, there. I was so inspired, and what a way to kick off my visit!

RABBITHOLE | 33 Washington Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201

The next day, Friday, I met Michael Dickes and Cherise Wolas, two friends I originally met through Fictionaut. Michael edits this amazing journal, which as you can tell from the name, combines multiple methods of conveying artistic expression:Awkword Paper Cut – Poetry Videos – Writing – Podcasts – Music

Michael and I taped some of my poems, including “What Some Boys Do,” which is included in his November Podcast: Awkword Paper Cut – Podcasts – Poetry, Music, Short Stories, Comedy. My track, #7 is at approximately 15:30 minutes, but listen to the entire show- it’s fantastic! Thanks, Michael, for this poem’s debut.

On Friday evening, I got together with none other than Jamez Chang, and we rapped about everything under the sun, including music, poetry, writing, travel, and more. His latest tune, 15 years, is here: ▶ 15 Years – Jamez Chang – YouTube.

Go, Jamez, go! More tracks forthcoming!!!

On Saturday, I met my pal David, and we ate some shizzle dizzle Indian at our favorite Mitali East. He was off to see Mildred Fierce starring the inimitable Varla Jean Merman. Unfortunately I was too spent to attend:

Mildred Fierce

On Sunday (did I mention the weather? Nuts it was sooo warm!) I had a chance to see my pal Joseph Quintela, mad cad about town and we met in the very busy Washington Square Park, and wandered over to Bar 6 on 6th Avenue where we shared some wine and beer. (No, that is not us in the photograph). I told Joseph I used to live around the corner on 14th Street, at the Courtney House:

</p><br /><br />

I went back to my hotel, changed, put my reading list together for the event that evening: The Sunday Salon! When I arrived outside of Jimmy’s I noticed the sign on the outside with our names!

photo 1.JPGphoto 2.JPGJimmy's No. 43

I was really excited. I saw Sara Lippmann, such a sweetheart, and met Nita Noveno and Emily who were also hosts. My pals David Carter and Michael Thompson showed up for support, and I was so grateful they did. Here are the bios of the writers’ who were reading. (Unfortunately, Meg Tuite was not able to make it):

NYC | October 20, 2013 | Prose Reading Series & Magazine

Photo: Thank you to these four wonderfully talented writers for a beautiful, bountiful evening of readings at Sunday Salon. Hats off to fantastic host Sara! Pics & vids to follow soon.


Here are videos of all of us reading from that evening: Video | Prose Reading Series & Magazine

It was an amazing event, life-altering and dream fulfilling. Afterwards, Michael, David and I went to Bennie’s Burritos on Avenue A. I felt like it was 1987, and after our meal, we could cross directly through Thompson Square Park, and hit Life Cafe for desserts.

Oh how I miss New York City, but as trite and true as it sounds: there really is no place like home!

Thanks Kate, Elizabeth, Tina, Michael, Cherise, Jamez, Joseph, David, Michael, Sara, Nita, Emily, Jenny, Celine, Nina (and whoever I forgot to thank) for a memorable trip! I will return!

P.S. Mellow Page Library in Brooklyn is now carrying Microtones! Go visit these guys at 56 Bogart Street, 1S in Brooklyn!!! Contact them at



Conversation with Gessy Alvarez at Digging Through the Fat

Hi friends!

Last week, before I travelled to New York (more on that in the next post!), I was carrying on an interview with the talented and illustrious Gessy Alvarez. There are many writers with whom we maintain “cyber” relationships. I had the great fortune of meeting Gessy, among many other friends, at the AWP Writer’s Conference in Boston, MA in March, 2013. If you are interested in checking out her fabulous writing, Gessy and I also connected and support one another’s work through Fictionaut, an online writer’s community: Gessy Alvarez — Fictionaut.

Last week, Gessy published our Communcation #8, in a series she hosts at Digging Through the Fat, her blog in which she gives so much of her valuable time back to the writer’s in our community. I am deeply grateful to her for this, for our friendship, her amazing prose, and so much more. Here is our chat:

Robert Vaughan – Conversation No. 8 | Digging Through the Fat

Thanks a ton, Gessy! You’re simply the best.



Microtones Review at Heavy Feather Review

Hi friends!

Today, Jeremy Hauck’s astute review of MICROTONES is up at Heavy Feather Review!

Once again, I am blown away by the depth of what this writer reveals in his review, “Think of your Kid,” one of the lines from my poem, “Buried,” in the collection.

You can read the review here:

Think of Your Kid: Microtones, by Robert Vaughan | Heavy Feather Review

Thanks, editors Jason Teal and Nathan Floom.

And writer Jeremy Houck!

Microtones review at Sabotage by Ian Chung

Hi friends,

I got home late last night from a week long poetry workshop at Esalen: Truth and Knowing. Here’s the truth: it rocked! Our facilitators were amazing: Ellen Bass, Dorianne Laux and Joe Millar. We had daily motivational craft sessions, and prompts. We also were in captivating surroundings at this sensational dwelling, Esalen, which made it all the more sensory heightened. And as far as what I know- there is so much more to learn! I got a great start on three new poems, tentatively called “The Patio,” “Hummingbirds,” and “Passages.”

While I was away, a new review of Microtones appeared, magically, by the gracious Ian Chung, who also edits Eunoia Review: Microtones’ by Robert Vaughan | Sabotage

I am ever so grateful to Ian for these kind and insightful words. Also to Meg Tuite, my partner in crime, who loves poetry as much as I and wrote some fierce work this week. Great to see you Jeffrey and Pam (also some incredible poems!) and our wonderful neighbor, Dana! And to Joe, Dorianne and Ellen: eternal reverence and love to you all!