Over the next three days (April 24th-26th), I’ll be appearing at the first Ithaca New Voices Festival at Ithaca College, along with a bunch of fine writers: Rebecca Makkai, Jane Roper, Eleanor Henderson, Nathaniel Rich, Sheba Karim, Marie-Helene Bertino, and Robin Ekiss. We’ll kick things off with “micro-readings” at Buffalo Street Books in downtown Ithaca at 5 p.m. on Wed. the 24th, and from there it’s a whirlwind of on-campus talks, visits to classes, and literary discussions, culminating in another reading Friday, April 26th at the Handwerker on campus. It’s free and open to the public, and the whole full-to-bursting schedule is here: http://ithacanewvoices.wordpress.com/schedule-of-events/. Lastly, here’s an article about the festival where co-founder Chris Holmes cites his inspiration as the film “Wonder Boys”–thanks to Chris, Michael Chabon and Toby Maguire.
Robert Lopez, author of Asunder and Kamby Bolongo Mean River, has for several years been running a fascinating series in which he invites writers to contribute work whose only common denominator is its leaping off point, the title phrase “No News Today.” I was delighted to be asked to contribute, and you can see the results here, presumably without interfering one bit with your day’s news intake. http://kambybolongomeanriver.blogspot.com/2013/03/no-news-today-guest-post-tim-horvath.html
Brad Listi is one of those people you might describe as irrepressible; I’ve long admired his Other People Podcast for his candor and the show’s freewheeling nature, its road-trip-like willingness to go anywhere, take entertaining detours, and pull up short at roadside attractions. He also happens to be thoughtful and an excellent interlocutor. I was excited for the chance to appear on the show and talk to him about the role of landscape in my work, as well as bibliomania, my obsession with cities, estuaries, Howard Stern, bridge climbers, my stint in a psychiatric hospital, and other topics too sundry to list. You can see how these all got strung together into a single conversation here: http://otherpeoplepod.com/archives/1827.
First things first–Peter Tieryas (a writer whose own work I admire, author of the collection Watering Heaven) wrote perhaps the most unorthodox review of Understories to date for Punchnel’s Journal, in which he seized upon the almost-title story, “The Understory,” as a leaping-off point for re-examining his own relationship to Heidegger’s philosophy, and his attempts many years ago at Berkeley to grapple with Heidegger’s Nazi affiliations. http://www.punchnels.com/first-person/heidegger-and-the-understory/.
Peter and his wife Angela are also brilliant filmmakers, and he’s taken the further step of transforming his review/memoir/essay into a video which he connects his experience to the stories and steeps us in additional layers of incredible imagery. I can only marvel, express my gratitude, and hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Also, you haven’t truly lived till you’ve seen Heidegger walking toward himself.
On February 11th, I read with Margarita Korol, Dylan Nice, Karolina Waclawiak, and Lars Iyer at the Franklin Park Reading Series, hosted by the fabulous Penina Roth. I decided to go with a work-in-progress, a story about a couple of composers with a lifelong rivalry that involves a subway accident and some flirtation over borscht; more, I cannot reveal.
I’ve got a new story, “Bridge Poses,” coming out in the latest New South, which is fresh from the printers and will be available at AWP. It was a pleasure working with Matt Sailor and the other editors on the story, and I’m looking forward to diving into the whole issue. Zachary Cox did the snazzy cover. Meet the troublemakers behind New South and pick up a copy at Booth 1005 at the Book Fair. http://newsouthjournal.com/
The folks at the Short Form, a new but robust site that celebrates the short story, threw me some great questions and turned Clay Enos’s author photo of me into a cartoon. What more could I ask for? http://www.theshortform.com/interview/tim-horvath
- Michele Filgate listed it on her Top Ten of the year at Salon.com http://www.salon.com/2012/12/23/what_…, and also wrote a bit about it at Vol. 1 Brooklyn: http://www.vol1brooklyn.com/2012/12/1….
- David Gutowski listed it as one of his Favorite Short Story Collections of the year at Largehearted Boy: http://www.largeheartedboy.com/blog/a….
- Matt Bell collared it, along with Diane Williams’s Vicky Swanky is a Beauty, as one of his two favorite collections of the year at http://www.mdbell.com/post/3925923266….
- Jason Jordan cited it as his Best Short Story Collection of the year at http://www.poweringthedevilscircus.bl….
- Okla Elliot put it at on his year-end list of short story collections he enjoyed at http://heavyfeatherreview.com/2012/12….
- Amber Sparks listed it as a top collection at http://bigother.com/2012/12/14/take-t….
- Terry Weyna, at her Reading the Leaves blog, put it on her Best of the Year list: http://readingtheleaves.com/bestbooks….
- Jennifer Spiegel gave it a special accolade at her end of the year blog in the delightful category of “Book Most Outside My Usual Fare That I Think You Should Read Because It’s Wildly Imaginative, Acutely Intelligent, The Prose Is Striking, and It’s Intellectually Stimulating.” http://jenniferspiegel.com/www.jennif…
- Joshua Nomen-Mutatio was kind enough to give it a write-in vote in the comments on The Millions at http://www.themillions.com/2012/11/th….
Happy New Year, everyone…onward to 2013!
I was asked by Michele Filgate to contribute to an omnibus round-up of favorite books of the year at Salon.com, which I treated as another rooftop from which to shout about Claire Vaye Watkins’s Battleborn. So, hear ye:
“Battleborn,” by Claire Vaye Watkins (Riverhead)
I felt like I was hiking up the side of a mountain while reading “Battleborn,” seduced by its moment-by-moment gifts and vistas such that the breath-shortening effects of altitude stole up on me. Her sentences can be mesmerizing in the way of mineral patterns, but in her characters the lava is very much alive, palpable in their longings for companionship, self-understanding, dignity. And just when we’ve acclimated ourselves to her craggy contemporary West, she gives us the novella “The Diggings,” akin to Denis Johnson’s “Train Dreams” in the ease and visionary verve with which it transports us utterly to another era.
I could’ve gone on and on about this book, but suffice it to say that it is a book I’ll be rereading for years to come. More excitement: she’s coming to read at the New Hampshire Institute of Art, where I teach, in April.
I participated in a three-way discussion with Gabriel Blackwell, Jensen Beach, and Andrew Ervin at The Philadelphia Review of Books, entitled “Inventing the Tools of Our own Evolution.” The three parts of the interview are here: part 1, part 2 and part 3.