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Author: Adam Robinson

Langston Hughes, “Let America Be America Again”

Excerpt from Langston Hughes O, let America be America again – The land that never has been yet – And yet must be – the land where every man is free. The land that’s mine – the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME – Who made America, Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain, Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain, Must bring back our mighty dream again. Sure, call me any ugly name you choose – The steel of freedom does not stain. From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives, We must...

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A Link Round Up for Ocean Vuong’s “Night Sky With Exit Wounds”

I’ve seen Ocean Vuong’s name around a lot (he’s a recipient of the Whiting Award) but never let it sink in. And then I received Night Sky With Exit Wounds as a Christmas gift. I’ve been dabbling in it, and relishing it, since then. I figure there might yet be a few other people out there in the world who, like me, need a little push in the right direction, the direction that leads to this poetry. I haven’t even read enough of his work, or read it well enough, to write a review, but how about a hearty recommendation? That I can...

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“San Francisco Mourning” by Julia Wendell

Barrett Warner sent us a video and I asked, what was the story behind it? Barrett: We’d been asked to San Francisco to read and so we were out over the election. Julia wrote the poem. The pics of flowers and city and Alcatraz were just off our phones. She wrote the poem and played piano and read the second part and I just read the first part. It was so weird blending a professional highlight with such a political low light … Trump winning, etc. Later he sent this introduction to the piece from Julia: Julia: I’m old enough...

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How to AWP

This is my tenth straight year at AWP (70th in dog years) so when I saw Dylan Kinnett’s tweet, I knew I couldn’t impart the breadth of my wisdom in 140 characters or less. I'm all set to attend #awp17 and it's my first AWP conference. Does anybody have any tips for how to go about it all? — Dylan Kinnett (@dylan_k) January 11, 2017 Here you go, Dylan. AWP is all about accelerated serendipity. In three days you’ll meet more people with your same weird tastes than you will in the rest of the year. Remember, they’re just as hungover as...

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I Made a Flamenco for Amy (And Here I Am Writing About Death & Co’s Cocktail Book)

This is called a Flamenco. Sherry, Genever, Orgeat, orange and lemon juice, angostura. I’m not a hero, I just did what anyone would do. Amy loved it. I found the recipe in my Death & Co book. That’s really the book that got everything started for me. I went to the B&N to find a good book about cocktails and saw it and the Dead Rabbit one, among dozens of others. I got overwhelmed and didn’t buy any. A couple days later I couldn’t stop thinking about the Death & Co book, so I went back and bought it....

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#InjusticeBoycott Update

I just rec’d this email from Shaun King, re the #InjusticeBoycott and I thought I’d just repost it here. Follow the links and get involved. GREAT work everybody! I mean that. We just completed Week 1 of Phase 1 of the Injustice Boycott and you all really nailed it. I wanna take a second to highlight many of our successes and thank each of you for participating. We launched on last Monday and grew our base to over 200,000 people in all 50 states and every major city in the country.  Fast Company & Sojourners & Colorlines wrote strong pieces on the launch of...

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A Message from Ferguson Public Library by Scott Bonner

Editor’s Note: A couple years ago Real Pants, like so many others, contributed funds to Ferguson Public Library as we saw them standing in a very important gap. Their director, Scott Bonner, recently sent this update, and I thought it worth sharing in full, not just hoping that readers will once again support the library (if not to Ferguson’s, perhaps your own; it does always seem best to think and act locally), but also because I think Bonner’s report is hopeful and of interest. You are amazing! Two years ago, we at the Ferguson Municipal Public Library were doing everything we could...

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Bookstore Article in NY Times

Jonah Engel Bromwich had a cool article called “What it Takes to Open a Bookstore” in the NY Times yesterday, about Greenlight Books in Brooklyn. The owners—Jessica Stockton Bagnulo and Rebecca Fitting—weren’t able to get a traditional loan when they opened their first location, so they hit up friends and family and raised about $75K. Now for their new shop, they went back to the well and brought in ~$225K from 95 backers. This is a model that has worked for a lot of other bookstores (an unfortunate necessity, apparently). Bromwich’s article lists some of them: The lessons from...

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Monstering Presents “Revolution Is an Act of Love”

Brianna Albers, the Editor-in-Chief of Monstering, a magazine for disabled women and nonbinary people, recently contacted us with this incredibly worthwhile call for submissions: Monstering has opened submissions for an anthology of essays, entitled Revolution Is an Act of Love, as a direct response—and, by necessity, in direct opposition—to the ableist rhetoric surrounding Donald Trump’s campaign. The -isms espoused by Trump and his supporters do not just endanger the wellbeing of disabled people; they endanger our very lives, and yet, narratives that center the effect of Trump’s election on us are rarely, if ever, prioritized. Revolution Is an Act...

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Clam Simmons in N x NW

It’s no secret that we at Real Pants think Clam Simmons is dope. Here’s a weird video featuring a story with Clam’s unique descriptive language. Very robust. Perhaps in retaliation for his celebration of famed dead anarchist poet Oscar Addlepatter-someone sent a drone to attack Clam Simmons. This is exclusive footage of a drone sent in lower McDonald County early in the president elect Trump...

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Mark Baumerica Is Insane (In a Good Way)

Did you know that Mark Baumer is crossing America barefoot? Check it out at his Medium website, Not Going to Make It. He’s one week in. Before he left he wrote, “Six years ago, I made a similar journey across America on foot, but for that journey I used shoes.” I remember that. I enjoyed reading his posts back then. There’s actually a ton of interesting stuff in this post and I keep wanting to quote it, but it’s one of those things where you should just read it yourself. For instance, he writes about why he went to a...

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Time for Poetry

In The Time That Remains Agamben writes: The poem is therefore an organism or a temporal machine that, from the very start, strains toward its end. A kind of eschatology occurs within the poem itself. But for the more or less brief time that the poem lasts, it has a specific and unmistakable temporality. It has its own time. Makes sense to me, I think. Lately I’ve been having a hard time keeping up with poetry, because I’m not finding my way into its timeframe. What are some poems that require no time? This Michael Earl Craig poem, “Nightnurse,”...

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“Apple Suckling Tree” by Bob Dylan

Old man sailin’ in a dinghy boat Down there Old man down is baitin’ a hook On there Gonna pull man down on a suckling hook Gonna pull man into the suckling brook Oh yeah! Now, he’s underneath that apple suckling tree Oh yeah! Under that apple suckling tree Oh yeah! That’s underneath that tree There’s gonna be just you and me Underneath that apple suckling tree Oh yeah! I push him back and I stand in line Oh yeah! Then I hush my Sadie and stand in line Oh yeah! Then I hush my Sadie and stand in...

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About “Beatrice” by Stephen Dixon (PGP Stories vol 6 of 7)

In the new issue of Rain Taxi, Caleb Bouchard presents a great reading of Beatrice, the gorgeous novella by Stephen Dixon that Publishing Genius released a few months ago. Caleb sums up Dixon’s writing handily: “If Dixon’s storytelling seems mundane, it is deceptively so. Under the surface, there lies a cerebral sensibility of the best kind, one that’s organic as opposed to esoteric. That said, there is plenty of complexity in the average Dixon passage to keep the reader on their toes. The man has a rare talent for turning the ordinary into something revelatory—and that’s something worth celebrating.”...

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Found: The Well Dressed Bear (Publishing Genius stories Vol. 5 of 7)

For my 5th out of 7 posts about where Publishing Genius books came from (which I’m writing to promote this half off sale that I’ve got going — use coupon code “backagain”) (I’m running the sale because for a couple months I was checked out, but now I’m back in business), I’ve had a hard time choosing which backstory to tell. There are so many great books that came from so many cool places, that maybe I’ll just keep going after I post these 7. So far I’ve talked about Cheryl Quimba’s poetry collection, Craig Griffin’s cookbook, Chris...

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How “these here separated” came to be—PGP stories vol 4 of 7

Here at Real Pants (and cross-posted at Facebook) I’ve been writing the history of some of the books I’ve put out with my small press, Publishing Genius. Today, having written about Cheryl Quimba’s poetry collection, Craig Griffin’s cookbook, and Chris Toll’s poetry collection, I’m halfway there and I’d like to write about PG’s first perfect bound book, which is also a DVD. It’s called “these here separated to see how they standing alone or the soundtracks of six films by stephanie barber,” which is a pretty great title. Right? Until Stephanie Barber let me publish this collection, I had only...

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“The Disinformation Phase” of Chris Toll and PGP (vol 3 of 7)

(These posts are cross posted from the PGP Facebook, FYI.) Today in where did this book come from part 3, I’d like to talk about Chris Toll’s poetry collection, “The Disinformation Phase.” I think that book is listed at $5 in our shop, meaning with the 50% off coupon code “backagain,” it’ll cost $2.50, which is less than the price of shipping. But I’m cool with that. I just want people to read his poems (an oft-said thing by poetry publishers, I think). First, though, did you know you can listen to Chris read his work on WYPR, thanks to radio producer extraordinaire, Aaron Henkin? Yep: — most of those poems made it into “The Disinformation Phase.” It’s a good listen, especially that first, introductory, track which begins “I’m Chris Toll, I’ve been writing for many, many years.” Chris was one of the first people I met in Baltimore’s lit scene, and right away he was into the idea of Publishing Genius. This was when PG was still an outdoor journal—2006—when the empire included just hanging up poems on trees and in bus stops and on the sides of the many, many abandoned row houses. And in shopping carts, underneath windshield wipers, tucked inside City Paper boxes. A lot of these places were spots that Chris invented. He made me feel a lot more comfortable doing that weird project,...

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About EAT, KNUCKLEHEAD! (PGP Sales & Stories Vol 2 of 7)

Today as part of my week-long series about books that I’ve put out with Publishing Genius (all of which [except two] are half off with the coupon code “backagain”), I thought I’d talk about Craig Griffin’s cookbook-slash-epistolary novel, EAT, KNUCKLEHEAD! People often ask me, “Adam, what’s a cookbook-slash-epistolary novel?” It’s a normal cookbook, with about 100 recipes for (mostly) vegetarian food—healthy snacks, entrees, desserts—and it’s broken down into sections, like food to make for a Superbowl party, or how to impress someone, how to make breakfast in bed. There’s even a chapter on cooking with weed, for you people...

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