Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ninth Letter and VOICE Art Event

Ninth Letter is teaming up with the VOICE reading series to bring you an event focusing on artistic collaborations with a multimedia event featuring live music, video and graphic design projects, and a reading by John Gallaher (vol. 7, no. 1). Here are additional important details:

When: Thursday, March 31 at 7:30pm
Where: Krannert Art Museum, East Gallery in Champaign

It will be a blast. Hope to see you there!

John will also be giving readings throughout the spring and summer to promote his new book, Your Father on the Train of Ghosts, which was co-authored with another 9L contributor, G.C. Waldrep (most recently in vol. 7, no. 1). Check John's blog for dates.

UPDATE: Be sure to check out Smile Politely's great interview with John.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

9L Exclusive: Brian Oliu's Siren(1).exe

Brian Oliu has been creating fantastic videos for his lyric essays about 8-bit Nintendo games. We're thrilled he has made an outstanding one for his essay from Ninth Letter "Siren(1).exe," which appears in vol. 6, no. 1. The video reminds me, in the best ways possible, of those great 80's computer movies (e.g. War Games, Tron, etc.). The essay is tragic and beautiful. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Contributor Round-Up

T. Zachary Cotler (vol. 6, no. 2), Olivia Clare (vol. 6, no. 1), and Michael Rutherglen (vol. 7, no. 1) have co-edited The Winter Anthology, an anthology of 21st century American and international literature featuring, among others, Yves Bonnefoy, Lucie Brock-Broido, Jamie Luis Huenun, and Jean Valentine. Also be sure to check out details on their contest.

April 9, 2011 is National Dzanc Workshop Day. A few 9L contributors will be leading workshops around the country as part of the event. Jedediah Berry (current issue, vol. 7, no. 2) in Stonington, CT, Mary Biddinger (vol. 5, no. 1) in Akron, OH, John Domini (vol. 2, no. 1) in Des Moines, IA, Brian Oliu (vol. 6, no. 1) and B.J. Hollars (forthcoming in vol. 8, no. 1) in Tuscaloosa, AL.

The Rumpus has a new edition of The Lonely Voice column from Peter Orner (current issue, vol. 7, no. 2).

If you haven't been reading Cathy Day's (vol. 6, no. 2) blog, The Big Thing, now is a great time to check in!

Curious about vol. 4, no. 2 contributor Dan Chaon's writing habits/space? Now you know.

The Collagist, edited by Matt Bell (current issue, vol. 7, no. 2), has an excerpt from Blake Butler's (vol. 5, no. 1) upcoming new novel, There is No Year.

One Story has chosen Seth Fried (vol. 6, no. 1 and vol. 3, no. 2) as one of their 2011 Literary Debutantes.

And finally, if you'll excuse a little bragging, New Pages has posted a very nice review of the current fall/winter 10-11 (vol. 7, no. 2) issue. Not only does the review compliment the design, but reviewer Sima Rabinowitz writes, "....plan to stay awake all night reading!"

Thank you Sima! And thank you to all of our readers!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Scenes from ESLF

Here are some pictures from Early Spring Literary Festival (more can be found here). It was a great time! Thanks to everyone who was able to make it out to the events. Thanks to all the 9L contributors, William Gillespie, Adam Levin, T.A. Noonan, and Peter Orner, for terrific readings.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

ESLF: Ninth Letter Reading

Don't forget today is the Ninth Letter reading with featured writers T.A. Noonan and Adam Levin. The event is at 2pm in the Author's Corner on the 2nd floor of the Illini Union Bookstore. Below you can check out my interview with T.A. and be sure to tune into WILL-AM's Focus 580 at 11am (central time) for an interview with Adam. You can stream the broadcast live, so you don't need to be in Urbana-Champaign to hear it.

Check out the Early Spring Literary Festival schedule for a complete list of the final day events. All of the events, including the Ninth Letter reading, are free and open to the public. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

5 (or so) Questions with T.A. Noonan

The last day of the Early Spring Literary Festival is tomorrow, Wednesday, March 15, and one of the events on the schedule is the Ninth Letter reading featuring T.A. Noonan and Adam Levin. As I mentioned in an earlier post, T.A.'s essay on witchcraft and body image is in our summer/spring 10 (vol. 7, no. 1) issue. Recently, I had the pleasure of talking with her via email about witchcraft, the underrepresentation of body size diversity in the media, and pushing the boundaries of genre. I'm very pleased to bring you 5 (or so) questions with T.A. Noonan.

9L: I'm very curious about the process involved in writing this essay, how it came to be, how it changed as you developed it because it balances the witchcraft and body image issues very well. They're connected as part of your journey in the essay, but are also given their own space. Was it difficult to find the right balance?

T.A. Noonan: Yes, balance was a huge challenge. I must have gone through at least a dozen major revisions of this essay trying to find it. Earlier versions featured a conversation with a transsexual witch in the transitioning process, an anecdote of my accidental christening as "Stephanie," a discussion of a poem by Rodger Kamenetz, a brief history of the word "witch," and a terrible ponderous mediation on the connections between naming, grammar, and magick. I'm glad I wrote those bits, even though they didn't make it into the final version, because the writing forced me to confront and work through all the experiences that -- no pun intended -- shaped me.

I had to get to a point in life where I wasn't afraid to tackle the subject. What's funny is that I wasn't at that point when I started writing; it was the process that got me there. I cried a lot. I'd never felt so exposed. Then I started to think, "Hey, this isn't anything I haven't talked about before in one form or another. I'm just adding my experience to the conversation." That's when the essay became less of a confession and more of an acknowledgment that there are lots of people who struggle to understand their bodies, who find it difficult to reconcile faith with experience, who question their dedication to the paths they've chosen. I was just one of them.

9L: Something that struck me, especially as someone who has dealt/is dealing with body image, is when you say, "...I don't believe being overweight means I can't be strong." I remember the first time I read that, writing in the margin, YES! Given how conditioned society is to associate fat with weakness that felt so bold and honest. In fact one of the things I love about the essay is how raw it is in its honesty. Did you have any hesitations about being so open? Also, what do you think would need to happen for this view of fat equaling weak or not good, I'm thinking of the characterization of the plump, fraudulent fortune teller from To A Ride a Silver Broomstick you mention in the essay, to change?

TAN: The honesty was something I knew that the essay needed, but it was very, very hard. I had recently finished The Bone Folders -- the "book about what I'd learned and was learning about witchcraft" that I mention in the essay -- but wasn't completely satisfied with it. Later, I realized that what was bothering me was the fact that I'd had to fictionalize a lot of the details. Sometimes, it was to protect those who'd spoken to me in confidence, but most of the time, it was to avoid getting too personal. It was like I had made a documentary where I was an integral part of the narrative but decided to edit myself out and reshoot all my scenes using actors. The story was still "true," but it felt like a lie. Petticoat Government, the collection that includes "The Trouble with Correspondence," features several personas, but unlike The Bone Folders, these personas are not meant to be stand-ins. They're more like slippery masks that occasionally fall off -- or get pulled off -- so I can say, "Yeah, it's me. Here I am." I had hesitations, of course, but deep down, I knew the narrative deserved it.

As for the association between fatness and weakness, it is largely socio-economical and cultural. Science has already demonstrated that fatness isn't always an indicator of poor health, just as thinness isn't always an indicator of good health. There are innumerable genetic and environmental factors that govern size. Really unhealthy people, though, lack access to the things that would allow them to be healthy: quality food, safe living spaces and neighborhoods, medical care, psychological support, positive social networks, etc. Poverty is, of course, a major and obvious cause of this lack of access, but there are other, more complex, social and cultural issues that contribute. I can't even begin to cover them all. Still, we need to see more diversity in the media -- people of all shapes, sizes, sexes, and colors represented, people whose bodies celebrate human diversity and are not objects to be scorned, ridiculed, or critiqued. I think if we did that, we would see ourselves represented and think, "It's okay to be who I am because I'm a lot like that person, and that person is great."

9L: Absolutely. There's also a lot of fear in society about being fat, which comes from the medical community just as much as from the media. The other interesting thing about the juxtaposition of the body issues with your witchcraft journey is the fear witchcraft still inspires -- the kids in school call you a devil worshiper, your moms asks you to "stop stealing her spices and mixing 'potions' in her food processor." You also mention that a lot of people think witchcraft is hokey when you talk about it. But for you it's just a system of faith. In fact when you were younger, you didn't see it as much different from Catholicism or other religions. And you struggle with what witchcraft and being a witch means to you in much the same way that a lot of people struggle with faith in their religions. We leave you in the essay with you still being unsure where you stand. Is that still the case? The question I really want to ask is, do you still practice witchcraft. If so, did writing the pieces for The Bone Folders and Petticoat Government give you any unexpected insights into your practice or change how you approach it?

TAN: Yes and no. That must sound like a cop-out answer, but it's true. Most days, I love my body and don't experience any major crises of faith. It happens, though. And when it does, I have to ask myself difficult questions that don't always have answers. Still, I think that, as long as I am able to ask those questions, it's okay not to have immediate answers. The minute I can't challenge myself or my beliefs is the minute I don't care and stop growing.

I still practice witchcraft, though my specific practices are a little different than they used to be. Part of that is because I'm no longer around my coven. Our members are scattered all over the US and Canada now, so we tend to communicate online. Obviously, that makes it near impossible for us to worship together. For all practical purposes, I'm a solitary witch. I'm affiliated with and hold rank in a coven, but because my covenmates are so far away, my magickal workings tend to happen alone.

I didn't see a huge shift in my thinking or practice while writing The Bone Folders or Petticoat Government, but I did notice that my religious beliefs and practices were inseparable from my writing. I mean, I tackle other subjects, but I can never completely divorce practice from process. For example, my obsession with correspondence in magick stems partly from spending so much time memorizing all those charts. Later, correspondence became a control mechanism, a way to ensure that every aspect of my magickal work resonated with my Will. That carried over to my writing too. I think about every space, every punctuation mark, every line, stanza, or section break. I'm constantly thinking things like, "Is a colon and its association with equivalency what I want here, or do I want the dash and the suggestion of continuance?" And if I'm not happy with the overall effect -- if it's not completely in tune with my Will, so to speak -- I can't be satisfied. The (spell)work isn't done.

9L: The idea of transformation and how to achieve it is key to the essay, whether it be bodily or mental change, and as you said writing the essay was just as important to the process as living it. In this case, the exploration took the form of an essay and others you dealt with it in poems. Was there an advantage to dealing with the issues in "The Trouble with Correspondence" as an essay instead of as a poem. Since you work in multiple genres, is it always clear to you right away when you're writing that a particular piece will be an essay or a poem? Have there been times when you thought it would be one and it ended up turning into something else?

TAN: Yes, there was a definite advantage to writing "The Trouble with Correspondence" as an essay. There's this expectation of undistilled truth in nonfiction, one that readers don't usually have when they read poetry, fiction, or drama. Of course this "undistilled truth" thing is a huge generalization, but it's one that persists in spite of the many nonfiction writers who are pushing the genre's boundaries. I knew I wanted to play off that expectation, to force myself to believe I couldn't lie to the reader. This helped me a lot in the writing process.

Sometimes, an idea will hit me, and I'm certain of its form in that very moment; this is especially true with poetry. I find that I rarely question my judgment when it comes to the choice to write something as a poem. But my writing can and does change form in the thinking/writing/revising process. The Bone Folders is a perfect example -- it was originally supposed to be nonfiction. Then it became a mix of poems and essays. Then it was a novel. Then, poems. That's a big reason why the book is all over the place in terms of its genre.

There's something else, though. I don't think any writing is ever clear-cut in terms of its genre. Sure, I categorize text like everyone else, but ultimately, I see it as inherently hybrid. Labels are satisfying, yes, but reductionist. I'm more interested in how those labels get mixed, or even fall off, when picked at.

9L: What are you working on now? Also, what is the last thing you read that you really loved?

TAN: Let's see. Right now, I'm working on a new poetry collection and revising a young-adult novel manuscript that I drafted a few years back. Plus, I have several more projects in my queue. It'll probably be a while before I get to them, though.

When it comes to books, my philosophy is to fall in love quickly and often. I just finished Dan Boehl's Kings of the F**king Sea, and it's fantastic. Lately, I've been revisiting David Foster Wallace's Consider the Lobster. Jeremy Clarkson's work has been on my list, thanks to my recent obsession with Top Gear. But Anne Carson's Nox was the latest -- or, more accurately, the most recent -- book to inspire deep, instant, and unabashed love.

Many, many thanks to T.A. Noonan for taking the time to answer my questions! To read "The Trouble of Correspondence" pick up a copy of the summer/spring issue 10 (vol. 7, no. 1) in our webstore.

If you're in or around the Urbana-Champaign area, be sure not to miss the Ninth Letter reading with T.A. and Adam Levin at 2pm on Wednesday, March 15 in the Author's Corner on the 2nd floor of the Illini Union Bookstore.

ESLF - Day 3

Here's a reminder that the Early Spring Literary Festival continues today with two event featuring 9L contributor Peter Orner (vol. 7, no. 2). The details:

Panel Discussion: Bearing Witness with Philip Graham, Cary Nelson, Peter Orner, and Sue Silverman at 10:00am.

Peter Orner and Sue Silverman reading at 4:30pm.

Both events will be in the Author's Corner on the 2nd floor of the Illini Union Bookstore.

Check out the ESLF schedule for a complete list of today's events. The events are free and open to the public. Hope to see you there!

Monday, March 14, 2011

ESLF: Adam Levin

It's time for the next installment in our series of posts about 9L contributors participating in the Early Spring Literary Festival and this time we turn our attention to Adam Levin.

If you haven't heard, Adam Levin has made quite the stir, and rightfully so, in the literary world with his first novel, The Instructions. While the book is over a 1,000 pages that doesn't mean Adam Levin can't write one hell of a short story. His story "A Qualitative Study of Our Father," a collaboration with Christian TeBordo, appeared in the very first issue of Ninth Letter (vol. 1, no. 1). It tells the story of siblings Jimmy and June studying how and, more importantly, why their father kills flies. And it's written in the form of a scientific study complete with hypothesis, methods, and discussion sections. The potential risk of this type of piece is having the form overwhelm the content or for it all to seem a bit gimmicky. If it was nothing but a gimmick, the reading experience would be unsatisfying. A clever idea will only get you so far. However, this is not a problem for "A Qualitative Study of Our Father." What the story does so brilliantly is to marry form and content, so that how the story is told reveals something about the characters, particularly Jimmy and June. They are the kind of smart, practical kids that would examine their father's behavior in such a methodical way. We also learn that this detached approach might be a coping mechanism. Through the design of the form, including the occasional footnote with the title of their previous studies, we are given a complete picture of this family. Danger is in these children's lives. In fact, the conclusions section contains a warning to their baby sister, if she were to ever embark on her own study of their father, "Take caution against the whole business, Jessica. You are not a fly. You are the prettiest little girl." Ultimately, the story offers no easy solutions. A lot of elements are being juggled in the piece, but, as it always does in a great story, it seems effortless. "A Qualitative Study of Our Father" is a rich, compelling read.

Adam Levin is a part of the Ninth Letter reading, along with T.A. Noonan, on Wednesday, March 16 at 2pm in the Author's Corner on the 2nd floor of the Illini Union Bookstore.

Here is an interview with Adam about The Instructions and an essay he wrote about the novel.

And The Instructions book trailer:

ESLF/Kick-Off Reading

The Early Spring Literary Festival is in full swing now. Here are some pictures from yesterday's kick-off reading at the Figure One gallery with Amy Hassinger and William Gillespie.

ESLF continues today. Be sure to check the schedule for a full list of events. Today's highlights include Kevin Stein reading at 4:30pm in the Author's Corner on the 2nd floor of the Illini Union Bookstore.

Tonight at 7:30 is "Prayers for the People: Carl Sandburg's Poetry and Songs," which will be held in Smith Hall on the U of I campus. A full description can be found on the library's Rare Book and Manuscript site.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

ESLF Kick-off

Tomorrow is the official kick-off of the Early Spring Literary Festival! The first event is a reading with Urbana-Champaign writers Amy Hassinger and William Gillespie (vol. 1, no. 2 & vol. 7, no. 2) at the new Figure One gallery in Champaign. Here are the details:

Date: Sunday, March 13
Time: 4pm
Location: Figure One, 116 N. Walnut St., Champaign

Following this reading will be the next installment of Stories and Beer. Illinois almunus and O'Henry Prize winner Ted Sanders and Illinois MFA candidate Lara Adamczyk will be reading with visiting writers and ESLF panelists Dave Housley, Chad Simpson, and Jim Ruland. The details:

Date: Sunday, March 13
Time: 6pm
Location: Indi Go Gallery, 9 E. University Ave., Champaign

Both events are free and open to the public. It will be a great time. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

ESLF: T.A. Noonan

Next up in our series looking at 9L contributors participating in the Early Spring Literary Festival is T.A. Noonan. Her essay, "The Trouble with Correspondence" is featured in the spring/summer 10 issue (vol. 7, no. 1). Currently, I'm in the midst of interviewing T.A. for the next edition of 5 (or so) questions, which I'll post during the festival next week.

Right now, here's a little bit about the essay. A simple description for this essay would be that "The Trouble with Correspondence" is about T.A. delving into the practice of witchcraft, while also wrestling with her body image. Of course, the essay if far more complex than that, asking big, tough questions. How can you reconcile being a witch and your catholic upbringing? How can you accept your body the way it is when society says you shouldn't? However, what makes the essay so compelling is how personal it is. We see her struggling with these questions. We understand how witchcraft and body image, alone and together, impact her life. What she has to say about body image is not often heard in the media: being fat does not mean you are weak. The essay is bold, thought provoking, and honest. Without further delay here is an excerpt of "The Trouble with Correspondence."

Ask a man off the street to describe a witch, and he might conjure a barefoot, gypsy-skirted girl. Another might imagine black-robed figures sacrificing kittens and drinking babies' blood from a cauldron. Still another might think of his landlady.

The problem of witchcraft boils down to a problem of language. Take, for example, some of the current synonyms for witch -- Wiccan, pagan, neopagan, heathen. Despite what The Oxford English Dictionary and various thesauruses say, the terms aren't equivalent. Even witches don't know what to call themselves half the time.

But here's what I know: Wiccans follow a system of tenets and beliefs reconstructed by Gerald Gardner, an amateur anthropologist, in the 1950s. A pagan is anyone who doesn't practice Islam, Judaism, or Christianity. Neopaganism is a subset of paganism that includes various recontructionist, Goddess-centeric, and/or polytheistic belief systems. Heathen -- originally used to refer to an ignorant, non-Christian peasant -- is now the reclaimed title of a Nordic-themed neopagan sect. It's like this: squares are rectangles, but a rectangle isn't always a square. Wiccans are witches, but a witch isn't always Wiccan. Witches are pagan, but a pagan might not be a witch. Or sometimes a witch is a pagan -- witchcraft isn't tied to religion. A person can be Christian and practice witchcraft.
To read "The Trouble with Correspondence" pick up a copy of vol. 7, no. 1 in our webstore!

T.A. Noonan will be reading along with Adam Levin as part of the Ninth Letter reading on Wednesday, March 16 at 2pm in the Author's Corner on the 2nd floor of the Illini Union Bookstore.

Monday, March 07, 2011

ESLF: Peter Orner

For the next post in our series on 9L contributors participating in the Early Spring Literary Festival, we turn our attention to Peter Orner. His essay, "Horace and Josephine" is in the current issue (vol. 7, no.2).

Orner's nonfiction work shares a lot of the same great qualities he brings to his fiction. They are rich, fulfilling experiences on the initial read, but what makes them truly spectacular is that more and more depth is revealed on subsequent reads. Making this feat even more impressive is the economy of his prose. Orner can express an entire lifetime in only several pages. This is certainly the case with "Horace and Josephine." At first glance, the essay could be read as simply a tale of eccentric relatives dealing with the change in their social and economic status after Horace gets caught embezzling money. However, it also very much a love story. Horace's and Josephine's love story. One that sneaks up on you because the beginning is very much about Horace's scams and how that ripples throughout the entire family. The end of the story firmly focuses on the ultimately heartbreaking relationship between Horace and Josephine. The emotion of the last scene is overwhelming. Confession: I've read the essay dozens of times by now and I still can't read the end without tearing up. A wonderful thing about the essay is that when you go back to the beginning, you see how it was a love story the whole time, even though it doesn't first appear that way. The end works, it is earned emotion, because Orner, as he does in his fiction, has done such a suburb job of building the characters, in this case his relatives, on the page. We see what makes them flawed, tragic, and importantly we see their capacity for love.

"Horace and Josephine" is available in the current issue (vol. 7. no, 2), so head on over to our webstore to pick up a copy.

To read a great example of Peter Orner's fiction check out "On a Bridge Over the Homochito" which appears in his short story collection, Esther Stories.

Here are the details for Peter Orner's appearances at the Early Spring Literary Festival:

Panel Discussion: Bearing Witness with Philip Graham, Cary Nelson, Peter Orner, and Sue Silverman on Tuesday, March 15 at 10:00am.

Peter Orner and Sue Silverman reading on Tuesday, March 15 at 4:30pm.

Both events will be in the Author's Corner on the 2nd floor of the Illini Union Bookstore. The events are free and open to the public. Hope to see you there!

Friday, March 04, 2011

ESLF: 5 (or so) Questions with William Gillespie

Today is the first in a series of posts taking a closer look at the Ninth Letter contributors who will be participating in the Early Spring Literary Festival here at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. For this installment, 9L staffer Laura Adamczyk interviewed William Gillespie by email about his poem, "Newspoem" in the current issue (vol. 7, no. 2). Enjoy!

9L: In "Newspoem" you write: "The only restriction the academy puts on my writing is that after two years I have to check a box to indicate whether it's poetry, prose, tech, drama, or theory. This, of course, is not that. This is a letter." Would you indeed call this a letter? Why do you think people are so obsessed with putting the "right" genre labels on work?

William Gillespie: A work of writing, properly labeled, is a bomb defused and buried in a sealed canister. WARNING: CONCEPTUAL POEM: DO NOT ATTEMPT TO READ.

9L: This piece directly considers its reader. The "friend" that the speaker is writing to feels like a specific person at times and a general reader at others, the speaker expressing his compulsion for seemingly anyone to read his work. My question is: Who do you imagine as the ideal reader for this piece?

WG: In 1996 I attempted to write a poem a day about the news. These newspoems were posted on wall and given to friends. In 1999, I set up a newspoetry website, which continued for four years. I continue writing newspoetry for walls and the web.

In this newspoem -- dated Novemeber 1996 -- I attempted to write a personal letter a day to various friends, and then combined them into a month-long personal letter to an amalgamation. So the poem is literally epistolary.

9L: "Newspoem" has an elusive, slippery quality to it. Just when I thought I had a handle on it, it shifted. Mixed metaphors and wordplay abound. I wonder if you could respond to a question your speaker asks his reader: "Why memorize a song if it destroys the pleasure of reading it on the page?"

WG: Music and dance notation fascinate me. Except for player piano rolls, decoding encoded music must lead to different results each time. Interpretation is necessary. Same with recipes. I find this act of translation beautiful. I don't know why. Text can describe, but also encrypt, sound, movement, flavor.

9L: The motif of music runs throughout the piece (e.g. repetition of "The obvious analogy is with music). For me, it had a manic energy of a really long punk song (a bit of an oxymoron, yes) or something by James Chance. What kind of song would this be if it were a song? What band or artist would perform it?

WG: I wish I could say a long composition by King Crimson circa 1973 like "Lark's Tongues in Aspic," with different movements and strident rock violin. But it's probably more a cut-up like John Zorn's "Tre Nel 5000." Or "Revolution 9," only better. There's a punk defiance in its rigorous discontinuity. I considered it unpublishable until you guys published it.

9L: Lastly, an old professor of mine once said that all writers really just want to be rock stars. Are we just a bunch of rock wannabes without the stage presence?

WG: Yes. And without the money.

Thanks to William Gillespie and Laura Adamczyk for a wonderful conversation. To read "Newspoem" and all the other fantastic poems, stories, and essays, pick up a copy of the current issue (vol. 7, no. 2) in our webstore.

Be sure to make it out to the kick-off reading for the Early Spring Literary Festival on Sunday, March 13 at 4pm at Figure One in downtown Champaign to hear William Gillespie and Amy Hassinger read from their work.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

new content @ ninthletter.com

Click on over to the Ninth Letter main page and check out the fantastic new content! We have a new Where We're At featuring the Stories and Beer reading series, which takes place here in Urbana. You can watch videos of 9L contributor, Joe Meno (vol. 3, no. 2) and 9L staffer, Matt Minicucci reading. We also have an excerpt from Robert Vivan's new novel, Another Burning Kingdom, in the Featured Writer section.

As mentioned in the Where We're At section, the next Stories and Beer will be on Sunday March 13 after the official kick-off reading for the University of Illinois Early Spring Literary Festival (ESLF). ESLF will feature quite a few 9L contributors. Starting on Friday and in the next week or so until the event, I'll be featuring their contributions to Ninth Letter here on the blog.