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text 2017-07-01 18:25
You Need this Weekend Read
Mr. Either/Or - Aaron Poochigian

Independence Day weekend is here in the U.S., and Canada Day weekend celebrations are happening 100 miles north of my location. There are still a lot of summer weekends to fill with reading at the lake, on the beach, or just on your deck or balcony. And have I got a title for you . . . 


My friend, Aaron Poochigian recently published "Mr. Either/Or," a novel in verse (Etruscan Press). Get it online from Powell's http://www.powells.com/book/mr-either-or-9780997745528/62-0 or have your favorite locally-owned, independent bookstore order it through Consortium. 


Now, I know what you're thinking: "A novel in verse? How can that possibly be a summer weekend read, Carissa?" Okay, imagine this: A classic film noir (Act I), combined with a super-episode of "The X Files" (Act II), with characters that will make you miss "Alias," and a climax worth of a Marvel movie. 


Mr. Either/Or is either an ivy-league college student soaking slacking his way through higher education, or he's a government spook, running business as a secret operative for some shady characters. Well, he's both. And this novel is a pretty rollicking adventure that makes full use of the classic landscapes of Manhattan. 


You've never read a novel in verse? Don't worry, I had only read one before this myself (more about that in a future post). You don't read much poetry at all? Well, I won't chastise you for that here. Just let me say: Don't let it stop you. 


If you're just getting started with poetry, read the novel sentence by sentence. Don't worry about things your Intro to Poetry teacher insisted you pay attention to - line endings, rhyme, rhythmic feet, caesuras (what the heck were those again?). Poochigian's sentences are not opaque, and you'll feel them fine. 


What the verse does here is provide a be-bop jazzy soundtrack to the story. It highlights fun word play and pop-culture references. And most importantly, it keeps the pages turning. 


Try "Mr. Either/Or" - you'll like it, and you'll be passing it around your campfire to other readers in your crowd before Labor Day.



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text 2017-04-25 13:09
Launch Part-Tay
Rooting for Rafael Rosales - Kurtis Scaletta

My friend, Kurtis Scaletta's new book, "Rooting for Rafael Rosales" is released today. 


The launch party celebration for his newest middle-grade novel is today (Tuesday, April 25, 2017) at Red Balloon Bookstore, Minneapolis, so if you're in the Twin Cities, get on out. Bring your younger friends. Buy a copy or two. Donate one to your local school library. You know, support my friend AND literature.




While you're at it, look up Kurtis Scaletta's backlist. His books are great reads for the younger set, and I've enjoyed them, too. 



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text 2016-08-02 02:20
Best of 2016
She Walks in Shadows - Silvia Moreno-Garcia,Paula R. Stiles,Gemma Files,Jilly Dreadful,Arinn Dembo,Eugenie Mora,Ann K. Schwader,Rodopi Sisamis,Angela Slatter,Priya Sridhar,Benjanun Sriduangkaew,Molly Tanzer,Laura Blackwell,E. Catherine Tobler,Mary Turzillo,Valerie Valdes,Wendy

Prominent editor Ellen Datlow has chosen my friend Laura Blackwell's story, "Bitter Perfume," from the woman-authored, Lovecraft-inspired "She Walks In Shadows" anthology as one of her best of 2016 long-listed stories. 


The anthology is getting super reviews, Laura's an awesome writer, and this is a great, well-deserved honor. 


If you like Lovecraft, horror-fantasy, or just plain old good stories, please check it out.



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text 2015-03-05 14:00
Editor's Notebook: International Relations as Negotiation
International Relations as Negotiation (International Studies Intensives) - Brian R. Urlacher

(This is a re-post from my LinkedIn page.)


Last fall, I had the opportunity to work with my friend and colleague, Brian R. Urlacher, as he prepared the manuscript for his first book, "International Relations as Negotiation" (Paradigm Publishers, 2015). Dr. Urlacher gave me a kind thank you in his acknowledgments. It was a great pleasure to not only do what I love -- help writers to put their work in the best shape possible -- but to read this particular manuscript. It's a lively and accessible overview of the basics of international relations as understood through the lens of negotiation, filled with broad ideas explained with historic and contemporary references. The primary audience is students new to the field, but anyone with a general interest in IR would appreciate the book. "International Relations as Negotiation" is available in hardcover from Powell's and directly from the publisher. Dr. Urlacher presented me with a fine (and presumably less expensive) trade paperback, but I haven't yet been able to find a link to that edition online. The paperback ISBN is 978-1-61205-416-2. Thank you, Dr. Urlacher, for allowing me to work with you on this project, and congratulations. (Note: This project was freelance, directly with the author. I am not employed or affiliated with Paradigm Publishers.)



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