Writers' News 2009

Alimentum contributors share their recent experiences at the literary table.

Michael P. Aleman | Gary Allen | Jason Anthony | Michele Battiste | Todd Boss
Janet Burroway | Yu-Han Chao | Scott Cheshire | James Crews
Meredith Escudier | Robert Long Foreman | Barry Foy | David Frauenfelder
Naomi Fujimoto | Stephen Gibson | Lauren Grodstein | Michael Hettich
Tim Horvath | Reamy Jansen | Colette Jonopulos | A. M. Juster | Toshiya Kamei
Robert Kostock | Kelly Luce | Keith Lyles | Leslie McGrath | Sandy McIntosh
Janna McMahan | Mary Meriam | Kyle Minor | Michelle Panik | M. E. Parker
Ellen Morris Prewitt | Peter Selgin | Steven Sher | Paul Silverman | Alisa Slaughter
Elizabeth Swados | Wally Swist | Fiona Sze-Lorrain | Will Walker | Gary Whitehead
Evan Morgan Williams | Angela Veronica Wong | Angus Woodward

In memoriam: Paul Silverman
Paul Silverman

In Alimentum's Issue Nine we'll publish Paul Silverman's story "Sacrifice in Fukuoka." This is the third story we've published of Paul's. Sadly, it will be the last. Paul passed on in August of 2009. Of the many gifted writers it has been our privilege to publish, Paul was among the very finest. It was always a pleasure to encounter his witty, charming, and entirely unique voice. The son of a delicatessen owner, Paul had a successful career in advertising before turning full-time to his fiction writing. Though we believe that his works will live on, he will be very missed.

Michael P. Aleman
In January, Hardboiled published my short story, “Show Me A Hobo.” In addition to my poem, “Contest of Wills,” to appear in the upcoming edition of Alimentum, I will have a poem appearing in The Penwood Review.

Gary Allen
In the magazine, Roll: Creative Living in the Hudson Valley, I published the following articles: “Carbonara,” “Shad,” “Sausage,” “Why Wait for Wedding Cake?” “High School Chemistry Pays Off… in Ice Cream,” “Cream (not 'Chester') Cheese.” The Greenwood encyclopedia, Entertaining from Ancient Rome to the Super Bowl: An Encyclopedia, includes two of my articles: “Coasters and Doilies” and “Funeral Food.” At LeitesCulinaria.com, I published the following articles: “Polenta Polemic: The Popular Dish Takes its Lumps and is All the Better for It” and “Worth a Hill of Beans: Cape Verde’s Nation Dish is a Savory Mix.” This year, my own website has been completely redesigned, has its own domain, and now features a blog, Just Served. My newsletter of online resources for food writers passed the hundred issue mark in January, and as of May it has become part of Just Served. All of that can be found at onthetable.us. I am currently at work on a new book, part of Reaktion Press' Edible Series, on herbs. Its tentative title is Herbs: The Savory Weeds. It is due to be completed by May 2010, with photos to follow shortly thereafter.

The Business of Food coverHuman Cuisine cover

Jason Anthony
I published a piece, “The Heartless Immensity,” in Virginia Quarterly Review this last spring, and around the same time had an essay, “Antarctic Aesthetics” in The Diagram (online). I have another essay called “Antarctic Genuflection” tentatively due out in Orion this winter.

Michele Battiste
My first full-length collection of poems, Ink for an Odd Cartography, was released by Black Lawrence Press in April 2009. A finalist for the St. Lawrence Book Prize, Ink for an Odd Cartography travels from San Francisco to Wichita to New York City, surveying the places and spaces where children talk to gravel, stalkers give pointers, bridges are naughty, and fallen angels kill time in night clubs. Additionally, Slow the Appetite Down, my third chapbook, was released in August 2009 by Spire Press as part of their InSpired Series. Kelly Cherry says the collection "is like riding with the top down! The view expands to take in what was never expected...these poems remind us that our lives are far more exciting than we sometimes think."

Ink for an Odd Cartography coverSlow the Appetite Down cover

Todd Boss
My debut poetry collection, Yellowrocket, was published by W. W. Norton in 2008 and was this year's Midwest Bookseller's Honor selection. The book is a poetry best-seller and has been widely acclaimed critically.

Janet Burroway
In March, my novel Bridge of Sand was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. My first mini-musical, Netbling, was produced in June at Theatre Building Chicago, and I am at work on my first full length musical with Matthew Kiedrowski as composer, an adaptation of Barry Unsworth's Morality Play, which I reviewed for the NY Times Book Review in 1996. My children's books The Giant Jam Sandwich and The Perfect Pig, both set to music (for string orchestra and for three pianos and voice respectively) by Philip Wharton, were performed in Iowa City, Waterloo, Cedar Falls and Topeka.  

Passport Baby coverYu-Han Chao
Yu-Han (Eugenia) Chao's poetry book, We Grow Old, was published by the Backwaters Press in 2008. A short story collection, Passport Baby, is forthcoming with Rockway Press.






Scott Cheshire
AGNI recently accepted my story "Watchers" for publication, and it's also available online here.

One Hundred Small Yellow envelopes coverJames Crews
My poems appear most recently in Court Green, Columbia and basalt, among other journals. I was also the recent winner of the Bernice Slote Emerging Writers Award from Prairie Schooner for poems that appear in my chapbook, One Hundred Small Yellow Envelopes, based upon the life and work of artist, Felix Gonzalez-Torres.




Meredith Escudier
An article called "The Fig Lover" appeared on culinate.com in August 2009. A poem called "He Works While I Watch" appeared on a political poetry website newversenews.com in March 2009. Ongoing: a light-hearted language column in a monthly bilingual magazine based in southern France, blablablah.org. Forthcoming: a personal essay for an anthology on crêpes, Let Them Eat Crepes (see eatingcrepes.blogspot.com for details) and a short story, A Man's Castle is his Home, due to appear in issue 5 of the online magazine imitationfruit.com.

Robert Long ForemanRobert Long Foreman
A nonfiction piece of mine, “Glass Fibers,” appears in the most recent issue of Under the Sun, and an essay that originally appeared in The Massachusetts Review, “Speak, Walking Stick,” was listed in Notable Essays of Best American Essays 2008. Other essays are forthcoming in the North Dakota Quarterly as well as Michigan Quarterly Review. I've also a completed a narrative nonfiction book, Ocracoke Island: A Memoir of Cruelty and Degeneration. I was recently granted a residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts for November and December 2009.

Barry Foy
Frogchart Press published my book The Devil's Food Dictionary: A Pioneering Culinary Reference Work Consisting Entirely of Lies last September. (I contributed "Appendix VI: Useful Kitchen Knots" to Alimentum Issue 7.) Some excerpts of reviews:
"Hilariously skewers food writers, cuisines and sacred culinary traditions."—Jane Black, Washington Post
"Some of the funniest, most wickedly witty writing--food related or otherwise--on the shelves today."—Laurel Gladden, SantaFeNewMexican.com
"One of my favorite food-related books released this year. A wry take on food that is equal parts pure nonsense, good clean fun, and sharp send-up of foodie pretension."—Adam Kuban, SeriousEats.com
"A romp of a book. If laughter's the best medicine, this food-fanatic's farce provides a generous overdose."—Nancy Leson, The Seattle Times online

David Frauenfelder
This year the Independent Learning arm of the Duke University Talent Identification Program published my Growing up Heroic: Adventures in Greek Mythology, a complete (250,000 word) online course for gifted 5th to 7th graders.

Cool Jewels coverNaomi Fujimoto
"Language Losses," an essay about getting lost at Narita Airport, was published by East West magazine online. An article about how Asian Americans say "I love you" in romantic relationships also appears in the October/November issue of East West. Her book Cool Jewels was published by Kalmbach Publishing.



MasaccioExpulsion coverStephen Gibson
My second poetry collection, Masaccio's Expulsion, won the Robert E. Lee and Ruth I. Wilson Poetry Book Award and came out with MARGIE/IntuiT House in 2008. My third collection, Frescoes, has just won the Idaho Prize for Poetry and will be published in February 2010 by Lost Horse Press.

A Friend of the Family coverLauren Grodstein
My new novel, A Friend of the Family, will be published by Algonquin in November. Pulitzer-prize winning author Elizabeth Strout said, "This book is full of insights and honesty...These people will stay in your head and keep their hands on your heart. Grodstein's skills at storytelling are unwavering." A starred review in Publisher's Weekly said, "A wonderful second novel . . . An astute dissector of male aspiration, Grodstein brings great insight into a father’s protective urge for his son in this gripping portrait of an American family in crisis."


Michael Hettich
This past year I have published poems in Orion, The Sun, Poetry East, The Southern Poetry Review, The Portland Review, The Santa Fe Review and The Midwest Quarterly’s “Best Poems from Fifty Years" issue. My new book, Like Happiness, was accepted by Anhinga Press. The book will appear in 2010.

Tim HorvathTim Horvath
My novella Circulation was published by Sunnyoutside Press, and received positive reviews in NewPages, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, and elsewhere. Here's a link. This November I'll have two stories and one essay coming out. One story, "The Discipline of Shadows," will appear in Conjunctions and describes the life of the chairperson of the Department of Umbrology (the study of shadows) at an unnamed university. Another story, "The Quality of Air," will appear in the Montana-based magazine Drumlummon Views, which can be found here. Finally, my essay, "First Do Not Bore" will come out in a new magazine called The Evolutionary Review to be released by SUNY Press; more info is available here.

Circulation coverConjunctions cover

Reamy Jansen
“Pears,” my essay published in Issue 2 of Alimentum has been translated into Slovenian for its premiere literary review; “Pears” and other pieces were also read on Slovenian state radio. I’ve become Creative Nonfiction Editor for the Hamilton Stone Review, and my collection of linked essays, Available Light, Recollections and Reflections of a Son is being published by Hamilton Stone Editions and will be coming out in late 2009 or early 2010.

Colette Jonopulos
I've just recently had a chapbook, Enough of Daylight, published by Uttered Chaos Press. It is as far from food as you can get, as the poems are vampire-inspired. It can be ordered at:

The Satires of Horace coverA. M. Juster
My translation of Horace's Satires (one section of which appeared in Alimentum) was published last fall by the University of Pennsylvania Press. I have new poetry coming out in Barrow Street and First Things. My translation of Tibullus' Delia and Nemesis (sadly, he wasn't big on food) should be out in the spring of 2011, and I have now moved my translation work to the eighth century, where it looks like I will have again some fun stuff I can share with Alimentum.


The Fox's Window and Other Stories coverToshiya Kamei
University of New Orleans Press will publish my translation of a story collection by Naoko Awa, The Fox’s Window and Other Stories.




Robert Kostock
A non-fiction piece titled "A Brief Guide to the Flowers of the Southwest Deserts" appeared in Flyway: A Journal of Writing and Environment, Volumes 11/2, 11/3, 12/1. A fiction piece titled "Yes, Yes" appears in the most recent issue of the Canadian journal Event, volume 38/2. A non-fiction piece titled "Saffron" is forthcoming in The Massachusetts Review, Autumn/Winter 2009-10. I also now officially work at Green Quizine, an Organic Cafe.

Ms. Yamada's Toaster coverKelly Luce
“Wisher,” from my collection of short stories set in Japan, will be out in the autumn issue of The Southern Review. Another story, "Jackpot," will be in the fall/winter 2009 issue of The Massachusetts Review. My (mini) book, Ms. Yamada's Toaster, won Tampa Review's 2008 Danahy Fiction Prize and was published by Tampa Press. This spring I'll be the writer-in-residence at the Kerouac House in Orlando, Florida.

Keith Lyles
Plain View Press published my first collection of poetry, Spring Hunger, last November. Here's a link to the Press's web page for the book if you'd like any more information:
Spring Hunger.

Leslie McGrath
A long interview with poet Marilyn Nelson appears in Writers Chronicle and was featured in Gloom Cupboard, an e-zine out of London. My first collection of poetry won the Main Street Rag Poetry Prize and will be published in October. Four of the poems were first published in Alimentum. Praise from Jane Hirshfield: “Leslie McGrath’s Opulent Hunger, Opulent Rage is a book in ebullient engagement with the whole range of human experience—the sensuous, the erotic, the full faculties of both mind and heart are each given precise voice in this splendid, vivifying, and richly illuminating collection.”

Ernesta, in the Style of the Flamenco coverSandy McIntosh
I’m co-author with Denise Duhamel of 237 More Reasons To Have Sex (Otoliths), inspired by a University of Texas study that determined there are 237 reasons humans have sex. In a note attached, the primary author acknowledged that since the study concluded several more reasons have appeared. Denise and I helped out with 237 reasons of our own. A new book of poems, including one printed in Alimentum, will be out in January 2010: Ernesta, in the Style of the Flamenco (Marsh Hawk Press). The title poem is a narrative about a fictional 19th century Spanish pianist who does whatever she needs to do to succeed.

Janna McMahan
The Ocean Inside, my second novel, is set along the South Carolina coast. The story received high praise for vivid descriptions of the Lowcountry and quickly became a best-seller for a number of Southern independent booksellers. Janna's website

Mary Meriam
Mary Meriam's book of poems, The Poet's Zodiac, was a finalist in the 2009 Robin Becker chapbook contest at Seven Kitchens Press. Visit
Mary's website.

Kyle Minor
My debut short fiction collection In the Devil's Territory was published by Dzanc Books. My novella A Day Meant to Do Less appeared in Best American Mystery Stories 2008, edited by George Pelecanos.

Michelle Panik in the stacksMichelle Panik
A short story is forthcoming in Concho River Review. This summer, I visited all thirty-six San Diego Public libraries in thirty-six days, and chronicled the experience here.






Camera Obscura Journal of Literature and Photography logoM.E. Parker
I have recently launched a literary journal called Camera Obscura Journal of Literature and Photography. We'll feature literary fiction with an emphasis on photography in an annual print journal. Link to it
here. We open for submissions on October 15.

Ellen Morris Prewitt
My first book, Making Crosses: A Creative Connection to God, was published this spring by Paraclete Press; you can learn more about the book at
makingcrosses.com. Also, one of my essays, "Tetanus, You Understand?" is in Sue Silverman's new nonfiction instructional book, Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir.

150 Ways to Save a Novel coverPeter Selgin
My new writing book 180 Ways to Save a Novel: Matters of Vital Concern for Fiction Writers is due out in April 2010 from Writers Digest Books. (Note that the cover says "150," but that will change).





Steven Sher's story "Hostage Stew" appeared in Alimentum Issue 7. Since then, he’s had a new book of stories published, Where the Shouting Began (Montemayor Press, 2009). For more info, visit montemayorpress.com and Steven's website.

Alisa Slaughter
My short story, “Coyote in Winter,” appears in the spring 2009 issue of Santa Monica Review.

Elizabeth Swados
I published my first collection of poetry, The One and Only Human Galaxy, through Hanging Loose Press. The collection is based on the life and craft of Harry Houdini and explores the themes of escapism in our daily lives.

Wally SwistWally Swist
I had two books published in 2009: one a volume of poetry, Mount Toby Poems (Fulton, MO: Timberline Press), in a letterpress limited edition; and a scholarly monograph, The Friendship of Two New England Poets, Robert Frost and Robert Francis: A Lecture Presented at the Robert Frost Farm in Derry, New Hampshire (Lewiston, NY: The Edwin Mellen Press). New poems of mine also appeared in issues of Appalachia, Puckerbrush Review, and Lalitamba.  Screenings of a film regarding my work as a writer, In Praise of the Earth: The Poetry of Wally Swist (Hadley, MA: WildArts, 2008), were shown at various venues, including the Pleasant Street Theater in Northampton, MA. Also, I gave a number of readings of my recent work, including as a featured reader at the William Cullen Bryant Homestead in Cummington, MA, an event sponsored by The Trustees of Reservations (TTOR). I’ve been invited to participate in the 20th Anniversary of Western Massachusetts Recycling, sponsored by Massachusetts DEP, to open the event with my poem: "Taking It Back with Me."

Water the Moon coverFiona Sze-Lorrain's collection of poetry, Water the Moon, is forthcoming from Marick Press on 29th November. Traveling across cross-cultural boundaries of Asia, France and America, the speaker in Sze-Lorrain's work draws her inspiration from accidental encounters, food, cultural memories, music and art, evoking exile and a polygot experience. Fiona's website




Wednesday After Lunch coverWill Walker
I have a new book of poetry out called Wednesday after Lunch. It's available on Amazon, or, for the adventurous, inscribed by me for $20 sent to: Will Walker, 724 Shrader St., SF, CA 94117. Marie Howe says, "Here is a miraculous book—awake to what the Buddhists call the 'full catastrophe' of living now." Gail Mazur writes, "These are poems to warm yourself by." The manuscript was the winner of Blue Light Press's 2008 Blue Light Book Award.

Gary WhiteheadGary Whitehead
My second book of poems, Measuring Cubits while the Thunder Claps, was released last fall from David Robert Books. I also recently launched a web site to showcase my oil paintings.



Measuring Cubits While the Thunder Claps cover

oil on canvas, Woman with Blue Umbrella by Gary Whitehead



Evan Morgan Williams
My story, "Pipestone," appeared in Isotope: a Journal of Literary Nature and Science Writing, fall/winter 2008 (6.2). Also, my story, "Ivory," is forthcoming in the spring 2010 issue of The Kenyon Review
Evan's blog

Angela Veronica Wong
My two chapbooks, All the Little Red Girls on Flying Guillotine Press and to know this on Cy Gist Press will be out in the fall of 2009. To keep updated on my very exciting life, please visit my website.

Angus Woodward
My principal news is the 2008 publication of my short story collection, Down at the End of the River (Margaret Media, 2008).