My Writing

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Pretty Freakin Long Post with My Thoughts on All of the Contributors to Pop Serial #2

Pop Serial #2 will be online in its entirety this Thursday, June 16th via a new website by Steve Roggenbuck.

Below are the contributors in order of their appearance in the magazine with some information/thoughts about each person:

Eliza Weber
Eliza is a student at NYU, I believe. Andrew James Weatherhead and David Fishkind recommended her poetry to me. I picked my favorites of the poems I saw by her ("Flickering candelabra") and, having already finalized most of the order of the magazine, decided to put the poem before the table of contents, sort of in the manner of a frontispiece.

Aidan Koch
I don't remember how I found Aidan's site originally, but I immediately liked her drawing style and how she approached comics, in maybe a more impressionistic style, sometimes with very little text and an above-average emphasis on the visual. Morgan Myers, in his review of the print magazine, singled out her "Windswept" for praise and I'm glad, as I like it a lot.

Aidan lives in Washington and her book The Whale was published by Gaze Books, which is run by Blaise Larmee. I hope to have work by Blaise in Pop Serial #3.

Miles Ross
The first thing I read by Miles was "Rum and Coke," a long, understated short story concerning a relationship. Miles contributed a story I like called "Lake Placid" to Pop Serial #1, and in #2 there is his story "Cuba Light." I intentionally chose this story to open the magazine (Eliza's poem is like a prologue or something, to me).

Ana C.
Ana is one of my best friends, one of my favorite poets, and one of the main reasons I'm glad I ever got involved with the online literary scene. I love her and her work. She is the first person to ever publish me, at New Wave Vomit. 3 poems and 3 drawings by her appear in Pop Serial #2. If you haven't checked out make-believe love-making, This is Controversial, or her ebook with Richard Chiem, oh no everything is wet now, I recommend all 3.

Frank Hinton
I don't remember how I first came across Frank. I remember I read an interview with her and noted the mystery of her identity, her interest in Zen, and the striking photograph of her. My interest in her work has grown and grown as time goes on. She has been very supportive of me and others, and I like her combination of ambition and sense of humor. She has published me twice at Metazen, which I appreciate. She seems to be a leader in our little online lit community. I'm excited about some Frank-related things on the horizon. My very positive review of her chapbook, I Don't Respect Female Expression, can be read at HTMLGIANT.

Erik Stinson
I think I came across Erik's poetry via Brandon Scott Gorrell, but I don't remember the specifics. I asked him if he wanted to contribute to the "Ohio Special" insert in Ohio editions of Pop Serial #1 and he said yes. Poems by him are in Pop Serial #2. He seems very funny to me.

Ryan Manning
Ryan is an enigma. He is known for creating and quickly deleting many blogs and for a period before I was in the scene when he would regularly comment "the Asian [celebrity or author's name]" on people's blogs. I somehow came across his photography and liked it a lot. I'm happy a photograph by him is in this issue. I think the photo is no longer on his Flickr account. I have also enjoyed some poems by Ryan at Let People Poems and elsewhere.

Steve Roggenbuck
I think I came across Steve's blog via him posting something related to Tao Lin. My reaction to his blog and poems was something like "this guy could be another person for the magazine." I emailed him about that, and he told me he was moving to Chicago. We met up by Wrigley Field and went for a walk and talked and talked, went to Myopic Books I believe, and got food at Pick Me Up Cafe. I love and admire and respect Steve, and now count him among my very best friends. I feel like we look at writing in similar ways and value and don't value a lot of the same things. I feel happier and calmer and more alive when I am around him. I don't know what my presence in his life does for him, but I know he inspires me in his actions and in his thinking and his way of being in the world. I am very proud of how hard he has been working and what he is trying to achieve. I hope I know him 'til one of us is dead.

I wrote an overview of Steve's work that was published by HTMLGIANT.

Tao Lin
Tao is my favorite living literary artist. I find him very inspiring, and he influences me a lot. I have obsessively followed his activities for over a year now. He has been kind and supportive toward me, for which I am grateful. I met him once last year, which I wrote about here. I think of Tao as like the "flagship artist" for Pop Serial. A piece by him called "we will drink our coffee and complete our novels and lay in sunlight and sit in darkness" appears in this issue.

Mrinalini Kannan
I found Mrinalini's art via Shivani Gakhar, an artist who contributed to the first issue. I like her use of color and I feel like her art makes me feel some kind of personality.

Heather Christle
Heather is very talented, in my opinion. I don't know her as a person, but her work makes me think "poetry," "smart," "emotional." She recently had a poem in The New Yorker.

Brandon Scott Gorrell
I came in contact with Brandon due to Shitstorm Alberto, which "launched" me into the online literary world and led to the creation of Pop Serial the magazine (I had previously named a music blog Pop Serial). I like Brandon's poetry book a lot, during my nervous breakdown i want to have a biographer present. Brandon has been nice to me and invited me to contribute to Thought Catalog, which I did for a few posts. An excerpt of his novel My Hair Will Defeat You appears in this issue.

Lyra Hill
I met Lyra at the first EAR EATER reading, I believe. She seemed nice and so I checked out her blog and liked her art. 2 notebook pages by her are in the issue, as is a drawing which I deliberately picked to accompany Sam Pink's pieces.

Cassandra Troyan
Cassandra is my friend and a talented poet and (performance) artist. She also runs the EAR EATER reading series. She has been very nice to me and she lives in Chicago, so we've hung out IRL. I think she submitted out of the blue a little after her brother Cody did and I was like, "they're both good, I'll just have 2 family members in the magazine, that's kind of funny" and then I put on "Family Affair."

Leif Haven
I've known Leif since freshman year of college at University of Wisconsin at Madison, when we were in the same dorm. I hung out with his group for a while and then we drifted apart, although I still was in contact and asked him to contribute to this music magazine I edited. So now we're both in Chicago and actually hang out sometimes again, which is great, and I included poems by him in both issues of Pop Serial. M. Kitchell recently published Leif's first book, Translator's Note, via Solar Luxuriance.

Michael Inscoe
Michael is a very friendly, talented dude. I think he contacted me unsolicited and I checked out his blog and thought he seemed like a good fit for the magazine. He has since met me in Chicago with Meggie Green and other friends and we've gotten friendlier and friendlier via online talking and stuff. He and his friend, Phillip Rex Huddleston, make good videos, in my opinion, and I want to see more of them in the future.

Brandi Wells
Brandi is a talented writer, in my opinion. I don't remember where I first read her, but I checked out a bunch of stories on her blog's sidebar and was impressed. She seems friendly and nice.

Elizabeth Arnold
Elizabeth contacted me, I think, and I was impressed by her art. She seems very energetic and passionate and devoted to her art. I think she will be productive and successful.

Matthew Savoca
I don't remember how I came across Matthew, but I think I solicited him. He contributed a story and poem to this issue. He said he hasn't published as much of his prose as his poetry, so I'm glad this story is in the issue. I told him it felt archetypal to me--it "definitively" captures a certain type of experience--in the way "The Depressed Person" by David Foster Wallace feels archetypal to me.

Megan Boyle
I think maybe Tao suggested I look at Megan's work. I solicited her, and she contributed a very fine story called "Little Rock," which has also been published by Muumuu House. Since then she's gotten married to Tao and published a lot of pieces at Thought Catalog that I like a lot, and she has a book coming out this fall through Muumuu House. She seems very smart and nice to me. I have never met her, but I think it would be wonderful to do so.

Ben Brooks
Ben is a very friendly, talented, and sexually attractive young man living in England. He is very young and has several books out already and I want to swap lives with him. He has been kind to me, and I enjoy gchatting with him on occasion. I am glad he wants to be involved with Pop Serial. I hope his latest, Grow Up, sells a bunch of copies and that he tours America and it's made into a film.

Brett Gallagher
I met Brett because he wrote a very kind blog post about issue 1. We started corresponding, and since he lived nearby in Wheaton, IL, he eventually came to visit me in Chicago. He has since become a good friend to me and to Steve, and now he is my roommate in Logan Square. He has been very supportive of me and very nice to me. I hope he continues to write and explore his aesthetic. I think his work is striking and very sensitive to language.

Noah Cicero
Noah is a passionate and productive author and has influenced a lot of people, including Ben. He contributed an epic poem to this issue and I put it in the middle of the magazine as like a centerpiece. The title is "It is Okay to Feel Catastrophic." Noah has been very supportive of some of my friends, like Ana and Steve, and I am grateful that he is aware of and generous towards the next wave of writers.

Brittany Wallace
Brittany is a talented poet and has been friendly to me, although we haven't communicated in quite a while. I like her personality, such as I sense it in her poems. I intentionally placed her poems after Noah's in the magazine, as some sort of I don't know, not as a response really, but...something.

Jordan Castro and Mallory Whitten
Jordan is a productive young bro and he seems determined to have a literary and music and maybe even film career. I don't doubt he'll have all 3. He is in both issues of the magazine. He came to Chicago for the first Pop Serial reading with Mallory Whitten and he was very nice to me. I think I saw his name in the comments section of Shitstorm Alberto and checked out his blog. My original idea for the cover of Pop Serial #2 was a Tiger Beat-style cover featuring Jordan, as like a joke given Jordan's at-that-time newly launched LOOKBOOK "modeling" gimmick. Mallory ended up taking a more moody, existential photo of Jordan that I like a lot, so I used it. Mallory seems very nice and has gotten very productive since the first issue, getting into writing and producing lots of visual art. She seems talented. She has also kissed Lil B on the neck, which is impressive to me.

Audun Mortensen
Audun seems very funny to me, and is possibly the most ironic and/or post-ironic person in the scene, which would be an impressive distinction. His work seems to often feature recontextualization, the use of new and surprising contexts and combinations to create humor and defamiliarization. He contributed 3 poems and 2 jpgs for the print edition of #2, and he has sent me 3 new poems that he requested I put in the online edition.

Andrew James Weatherhead
Andrew is a nice, talented, and funny guy. He contributed a story called "Bret Easton Ellis' First Novel," which Muumuu House also published. I like his poetry and I like seeing him read live. I've met him a couple of times, and he will be reading this Thursday at the first-ever New Wave Vomit/Pop Serial reading.

Kendra Grant Malone
I don't remember how I came across Kendra's work, but she is one of my favorite poets. Her poems are very emotional and striking to me. I'm glad she has contributed to both issues, and I'm excited for her upcoming collaborative poetry book with Matthew Savoca, Morocco. I reviewed Kendra's poetry book, Everything is Quiet, here.

David Fishkind
David is a NYU student and author. I don't remember how I came across his writing. I think through Tao. He seems ambitious. I'll be interested to see what he does next.

Rebecca Olson
Rebecca, or Becky as I know her, went to school with me at Wisconsin. She is a talented poet and a cool, fun person. We had some nice talks when we were both in a Virginia Woolf seminar.

Prathna Lor
I first encountered Lor's work via his bearcreekfeed ebook. His writing seems elusive in a way that kind of tickles my brain or something. I used to think he was intentionally mysterious via there didn't seem to be any photos of him or any information, but I have since seen a photo of him on Facebook, I believe. I reviewed his book, Ventriloquism.

Carrie Lorig
Carrie is a very nice person and a talented poet. I vaguely knew her in college through mutual friends and have properly met her more recently at the Pop Serial reading in December. She has been very supportive and friendly and I hope she stays productive and inspired.

Feng Sun Chen
Feng, or Mary as she's known by friends, is a very talented poet and nice person. She submitted to me unsolicited, I believe, and I think I included some superlatives when I wrote her back. Her works seems forceful to me and has more memorable lines than a lot of other poetry I read. I am very happy that she has multiple books coming out. As an added bonus, she's great to hang with IRL.

Philip Tseng
I think I encountered Philip's work through my friend--and Pop Serial #1 cover artist--Julia Sonmi Heglund. I think he is talented and I thought his "AlphaDeath" series was funny, so I included it in this issue.

Tracy Brannstrom
I found Tracy's funny, striking MS Paint drawings through Tao. I think her "MS Paint Shower Sex" drawing is very memorable and sweet, so I included it in this issue.

Richard Chiem
Richard, or Ricky as I call him, is my friend and a very talented writer. He has been super supportive and nice to me. I think he has a distinctive, memorable prose style. I hope he gets very famous and popular or at least continues to write beautiful things.

Cody Troyan
Cody is Cassandra's younger brother and a very talented and smart writer, in my opinion. He submitted to me unsolicited and I was impressed. I have been consistently impressed with his writing and intelligence.

Shannon Peil
Shannon is a talented poet and seems like a nice guy. I fucked up and forgot to include his poem "hoarders" in the print edition of this issue. I have sent it to Steve, the designer of the web edition, and I hope it appears this time or I will be embarrassed again.

Ben Rosamond
Ben is a bro who lives in New Zealand. He submitted a number of things to me, and I chose a poem that I found touching and a story I found intriguing in part for its honesty about the anxiety of influence. Ben contributes to the group blog antipobros.

Sam Pink
I heard of Sam through HTMLGIANT. I read his stuff, and initially I thought it was sort of consistently negative in a way I wasn't sure if I liked. I read more of his stuff and I realized I hadn't been "getting" it, that there were many different moods and emotions in Sam's work. Now I consider him one of my favorite living writers. I have hung out with him a few times IRL and he is hilarious and very nice. His spirit, as I interpret it through his writing, his way of being in the world, is very moving to me.

I reviewed his novel, Person, at HTMLGIANT.

Daniel Bailey
I found out about Daniel through HTMLGIANT. I was impressed with some of the poems from his book, The Drunk Sonnets. I solicited him and he eventually sent me a poem, "tonight, i mean." I found it very impressive and moving and placed it at the end of the magazine because I didn't know what could follow it.

Sara Drake
Sara is a visual artist and a friend through Cassandra Troyan. She also hosts the EAR EATER reading series. I checked out her blog after meeting her and was impressed. I thought a piece by her fit with Daniel's poem, so I put it on the same page in the print edition.

Van Jazmin
Van is another visual artist I found through Julia Sonmi Heglund. Van's work is sometimes psychedelic and often striking. I picked the piece "sleep" to close the magazine visually. The images and the text in the piece felt right.

Pop Serial #2 is coming to the internet this Thursday, June 16th, via a new website by Steve Roggenbuck. I hope you like it.


  1. =D
    So many cool people.
    Can't wait to read their work!

  2. yessss it's coming out so soon bb! can't wait, stephen :)

  3. sweet, i like blog posts like this

    glad ps/std exist

  4. awesome Stephen. killin' it dude.

  5. Sweet, looking forward to the online version to see some of the visual stuff in color.

  6. I am so excited for PS#2. Banango is going to review everything in it and it is going to all be positive because I am 100% sure I will love everything in it. #excited #soexcited

  7. Hi Jackson, sweet =)

    Hi Carolyn, i'm glad you're into it =)

    Hi Tao, i'm glad, thank you

    Hi Brett, <3 bb i'm glad you're having a good day

    Hi DJ, thanks man, you are kind

    Hi Morgan, cool. Thank you for reviewing the issue. I appreciated your thoughts on Steve and Tao's work as well

    Hi Justin, i'm glad, sweet. Banango sounds like a good idea.

  8. nice. seems nostalgic for some reason idk.

  9. hey bb, miss you! i love the PS family.

    and p.s. Megan Boyle is awesome in person.
    she is very good at giving hugs.

  10. this is a nice list

    you did solicit me

    i think because the video of me eating pretzels and drinking beer

    the pop serial crew is good

  11. hi giles. i agree. nice

    hi cassandra! hope you're well. i don't doubt megan is awesome

    hi michael, looking forward to seeing you man. you're right. i saw a video of you first. great job on your most recent video if you're reading this =]