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Author: Mark Cugini

Sad Ass Songs: Lucy K Shaw

Sad Ass Songs is a column where I ask some of my favorite writers to tell me about their favorite sad songs. They send me songs and then I send them questions and then I post their answers here and then we all cry a little bit. This week I talked with Lucy K Shaw, author of The Motion (421 Atlanta, 2015). The Song: “See Me Now” by Kanye West (featuring Beyonce, Big Sean, & Charlie Wilson) Mark Cugini: When I read your prose, I often find myself sighing deeply and touching my heart. Why? Lucy K Shaw: I...

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Sad Ass Songs: Ben Fama

Sad Ass Songs is a column where I ask some of my favorite writers to tell me about their favorite sad songs. They send me songs and then I send them questions and then I post their answers here and then we all cry a little bit. This week I talked with Ben Fama, author of Fantasy (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2014). The Song: “Summer’s Over” by Dennis Harte Mark Cugini: Publisher’s Weekly said that you could be “the voice of a generation.” Why? Ben Fama: Clickbait. MC: Why is this sad ass song resonating with you at the moment? BF:...

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The Making of Wildlives by Sarah Jean Alexander

Today is Sarah Jean Alexander’s pub day. It’s the happiest day of my entire life, so I decided to tell you the story of how this day happened. I also decided to put Wildlives on sale for $9 for the next two days. If you don’t have it yet, now would be a cool time to buy it. Anyway, here goes: ACQUIRING IT 1. I’ve told the Big Lucks Books origin story too many times, but what’s probably worth noting is that there is no such thing as a “Chevy Corolla.” 2. When I got home from Buffalo, I immediately emailed four authors and...

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Sad Ass Songs: Sooze Lanier

Sad Ass Songs is a weekly column where I ask some of my favorite writers to tell me about their favorite sad songs. They send me songs and then I send them questions and then I post their answers here and then we all cry a little bit. This week I talked with Sooze Lanier, author of The Game We Play (Curbside Splendor, 2014). The Song: “Goodbye Lucille #1” by Prefab Sprout Mark Cugini: Your characters have the best names I’ve ever read in a work of fiction. Why? Sooze Lanier: Either they are just that good and you have...

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Sad Ass Songs: Sarah Rose Etter

Sad Ass Songs is a weekly column where I ask some of my favorite writers to tell me about their favorite sad songs. They send me songs and then I send them questions and then I post their answers here and then we all cry a little bit. This week I talked with Sarah Rose Etter, who wrote Tongue Party but also refused to answer my question about why she is one of the best sentence-level writers on the planet. The Song: “The Waves Have Come” by Chelsea Wolfe MC: Why is this sad ass song resonating with you at the...

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Sad Ass Songs: Emily Skillings

Sad Ass Songs is a weekly column where I ask some of my favorite writers to tell me about their favorite sad songs. They send me songs and then I send them questions and then I post their answers here and then we all cry a little bit. This week I talked with Emily Skillings, the author of many good chapbooks, such as Backchannel (Poor Claudia) and Linnaeus: The 26 Sexual Practices of Plants (No, Dear). The Song: “In The Evening (It’s So Hard to Tell Who’s Going to Love You the Best” by Karen Dalton MC: I’m so happy you picked Karen...

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Sad Ass Songs: Sarah Jean Alexander

Sad Ass Songs is a weekly column where I ask some of my favorite writers to tell me about their favorite sad songs. They send me songs and then I send them questions and then I post their answers here and then we all cry a little bit. This week I talked with Sarah Jean Alexander, the author of Wildlives, which will be published by the prestigious and powerful Big Lucks Books. The Song: “In The Morning, Before Work” by Owen Mark Cugini: Why is this sad song resonating with you at the moment? SJA: This song is resonating with...

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I Want Answers! (from Danez Smith)

Back in the 90s, every network television show had to do a PSA episode. I’m definitely no Jonathan Taylor Thomas or anything, but sometimes things happen and l just have to get really real. So right to the point–two weeks ago, I was absolutely floored by the Po’Fo’s Poem Of The Day, which appears in 7,321,250* inboxes every morning (*this number is a rough estimate). It was by Danez Smith, and it’s called “Dinosaurs in the Hood,” and this is how is starts: Let’s make a movie called Dinosaurs in the Hood. Jurassic Park meets Friday meets The Pursuit of Happyness....

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Sad Ass Songs – Brandon Brown

Sad Ass Songs is a weekly column where I ask some of my favorite writers to tell me about their favorite sad songs. They send me songs and then I send them questions and then I post their answers here and then we all cry a little bit. This week I talked with Brandon Brown, the author of Top 40 (Roof Books, 2014), because when a person writes a really good book about pop music, you probably have to interview them for this thing. The Song: “Tuesday” by ILOVEMAKONNEN (featuring Drake) Mark Cugini: This might be one of the worst hip-hop songs...

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Sad Ass Songs: Justin Marks

Sad Ass Songs is a weekly column where I ask some of my favorite writers to tell me about their favorite sad songs. They send me songs and then I send them questions and then I post their answers here and then we all cry a little bit. This week I talked with Justin Marks, the author of You’re Going To Miss Me When You’re Bored (Barrelhouse, 2014), because Justin wrote one of the most fun & depressing books of poetry that you’ll ever read. The Song: “Epilogue” by The Antlers Mark Cugini: Not gonna lie: this is the last song I would...

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I Want Answers! (from Haley Rene Thompson)

One thing I’m really into is dolphins. Dolphins are great because they’re smart and they’re friendly and they can sense the friggin’ natural magnetic field of the earth and use that shit as a GPS. Seriously. Look it up. It’s called “Magnetoreception.” See. Look at that. And you thought your host here was an idiot. Congratulations, genius. Listen, you may not be able to put a dolphin on a game show, but you are absolutely able to put a couple of dolphins on the cover of an online literary journal and that’s exactly what Smoking Glue Gun did for...

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Sad Ass Songs: Alexis Pope

Sad Ass Songs is a weekly column where I ask some of my favorite writers to tell me about their favorite sad songs. They send me songs and then I send them questions and post their answers here and then we all cry a little bit. This week’s interview is with Alexis Pope, the author of Soft Threat (Coconut, 2014). I asked Alexis these questions because she’s the most exciting poet alive right now, and also because she’s always crying. The Song: “Teach Me” by Keaton Henson Mark Cugini: Why this sad ass song? Alexis Pope: I guess because I only...

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I Want Answers! (from Anna Meister)

So last week’s episode was a smashing success: I got through the entire show without dropping my note cards and Dara made it to the final round without using even one lifeline. Which is about as good as an episode of this show can go without a round of Plinko. Today I’m diving toe-first into the Atlantic and hoping that a “boaht” can find me. The newest issue of BOAAT is a friggin’ 90 ton sperm whale: it’s got great pieces from Paul Cunninghm and Keegan Lester and Paul Arrand Rodgers and GOOD GOD JOANNA NOVAK. But the poet I want answers from is...

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Sad Ass Songs: Seth Landman

Sad Ass Songs is a weekly column where I ask some of my favorite writers to tell me about their favorite sad songs. They send me songs, and then I send them questions, and then I post their answers here, and then we all cry a little bit. Our first interview is with Seth Landman, the author of Sign You Were Mistaken (Factory Hollow, 2013). Seth had to be the first person I interviewed for this series, because Seth is the person who taught me that it’s OK to be sad. The Song: “Idiot Wind” by Bob Dylan Mark Cugini: Why...

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I Want Answers! (from Dara Cerv)

When Adam asked me to head up this Real Pants feature, he reminded me that I’d basically be recreating a “regular” “column” he created on HTMLGiant. Since that was half a decade ago (jesus) and I have never watched one game show in my life, I ask that you keep your hands at your keyboard and just kinda kick it around the comment section with us, wait, what am I even saying– Wells, ANYWAYS, I’m really into people and I’m really into learning things about them, so I’m most likely going to use this column as an excuse to 1) get...

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2014 Po’ in Review–99 (or So) Lines & Quotes That Effed Me Up, in Chronological(-ish) Order of When I Reddit

  Today’s a great day because we all have hangovers. Not from Strawberritas or Coronoritas or whitewinespritzeritas but from a really obnoxious year that did everything it possibly could to test our collective patience. But now it’s 2015 and we’re on this brand new website together, so I figured I’d pop about 9,000 Advil and go through my pockets to pull out the best lines and quotes I came across in 2014—because despite our most obvious failings, 2014 was a pretty OK year for people who read poetry. So hi, new everything. Let’s try not to trip all over our patriarchy this year. ****Note:...

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