Art Essay at Fanzine + Some Fun Camp Love @ Sundog Lit and SPD

 

I wrote about Joshua Dildine’s excellent PHOTO SERIES over at the Fanzine.

Tyler Crumrine’s review of FUN CAMP went up at Sundog Lit this week: “FUN CAMP is a novel about growing up through the eyes of those who think they’ve grown up already, and perfect for anyone who’s ever jumped off of something tall in hopes that everyone else was watching.”

Meanwhile, the book made the 2013 Small Press Distribution “Staff Picks” list thanks to Holly McDede, who notices the camp’s “sexual tension,” “stupid horrors,” and “sexually experimental girls”!

At Hazlitt, I got to take part in Tobias Carroll’s article about a classic DOS text adventure called Amnesia.

Before long, Boss Fight Books will actually be putting out books.

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Fun Camp Reviewed in The Collagist and Ploughshares

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“Many of these shorts are silly until they turn suddenly grave, poignant, and heartbreaking, as if a hilarious stand-up comedian has started to weep. As a voice says in the chapter titled, “Listen to Me”: “Because I know just when to kill a joke.” And that’s also why we should listen to Durham; he knows when to drop the ironic mask. With stylistic sleights-of-hand, his best jokes get beyond irony to an odd pathos and sincerity.” – Brian Trapp in The Collagist

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“The way this book comes together, with the monologues, lists, letters, and sermons, keeps us engaged and surprises us with what appears next, tonally, linguistically, and grammatically. … [W]ell worth a read, for both the boisterous diction and for those bunk-bed memories it might ruck up.” – Maria Anderson in Ploughshares

Two New Essays in Juked and The Weeklings + Everything I’ve Been Up To Lately

Two new essays from my MEANWHILE manuscript are out now in…

Juked: “Don’t Be Evil, Don’t Be Inconvenient”

Information was now available so quickly that many people had taken up the habit of delaying one another’s gratification mid-sentence, and we were told today that you could now have your brew and eat it too, thanks to . . . wait for it . . . beer ice cream, that the most popular method of business communication was “by far and away” . . . wait for it . . . email, that a local government had cracked down on . . . wait for it . . . a Bible study, that Swiss tennis pro Roger Federer was the second-most respected figure in . . . wait for it  . . . the entire world, that the future of credit cards could be . . . wait for it . . . no credit cards, and then we were offered a joke: What’s the difference between Bono and God? Wait for it . God doesn’t think he is Bono. We demanded patience of one another when, in another age, we’d simply have paused for effect. We’d found words to fill even the holy silence between set-up and punch line.

The Weeklings: “Why You Don’t Like My Mom”

Our optimism intact, we Millennials were also the least likely to say that the government is inefficient and wasteful. We along with Gen X were most likely to say that America’s best days are ahead of us. We were most sure that the internet was a good thing, most satisfied with Obama, most likely to believe that the US would achieve its goals in the war in Afghanistan, and most optimistic that Afghanistan would remain stable after US troops left.

We were most likely to say the US should “take allies’ interests into account even if it means making compromises,” that peace is ensured through good diplomacy instead of military strength, that “relying too much on military force creates hatred that leads to more terrorism,” that it would not be necessary for Americans to give up civil liberties to fight terrorism, that Muslims were singled out for surveillance and monitoring by US policies (and most likely to be bothered by it), and that “it is OK to refuse to fight in a war you believe is morally wrong.”

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The Terminex man came to my place last week and I signed & initialed forms saying I knew they’d kill our termites by taking all the air out of the air. “Will this kill the roaches?” I asked him.

“Everything but the spiders,” he said.

“Maybe that’s good,” I said.

“I don’t like spiders,” the exerminator said. “They’re killers.”

His own handwriting looked just like my dad’s and I told him so.

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Colin Marshall Interviewed Me for the LA Review of Books + Gamespot Article on Boss Fight

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We talk about my Meanwhile manuscript, Boss Fight, and especially FUN CAMP. Colin’s a radio pro destined for NPR greatness. (Listen to how he segues to a new topic. Like BUTTER.) I’m lucky to have been on his show.

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Boss Fight was featured on Gamespot last week. Definitely the coolest and most intensive essay about the new press yet. Features interviews with me and the authors. Thank you Maxwell McGee for making it happen.

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Fun Camp Videoplex

Peter Tieryas turned his Fun Camp review into a sweet video for HTMLGIANT where dogs run backwards and children blur indistinctly into each other. That seems about right. As head counselor Dave says, “I want so much for you as a gaggle of campers, but as individuals i can barely keep your faces in focus.”

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Meanwhile in YouTubeland, Michael Filippone reads the shit out of some Fun Camp pieces:

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Let me know if you get up to performing some FUN CAMP bits online. I want teens to read from this book to audition for the school play and then accidentally fwd the audition video to the whole school and then become–not necessarily King of the School–but at the very least a wild card, one to keep an eye on.

I leave you with Demon Ben Kopel:

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New Essay: Muffingate @ The Weeklings and The Good Men Project

Thanks to The Weeklings for publishing my essay, Muffingate, and to The Good Men Project for reposting it here.

It’s another one from the Meanwhile manuscript. Others appear here and here.

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Here’s the part where I liberally quote from Dear Abby:

Abby of Dear Abby presented some readers’ write-ins about graveyard etiquette. Was it okay for people to walk dogs in a graveyard? For kids to play there while nearby people mourned?

“I find it disgusting and disturbing that these folks are using our sacred place for their personal pleasures,” said Jean of Massachusetts, making it sound as if her mourning was frequently disturbed by people having public sex atop nearby graves.

“Dear Abby,” said Jan of Sartell, MN. “Several years ago in a nearby church cemetery, a young couple and their 4-year-old were putting flowers on a relative’s grave. The child got a bit antsy and climbed on a headstone. The stone was loose and tipped over onto the child and killed him. No one should let children play in a cemetery.”

“Dear Abby,” said Alanson of New Jersey. “I want children to play on my grave.”

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Here’s the part I made into a video:

New Collagist Interview: “Dunking Myself in the Soup of Information”

William Hoffacker kindly interviewed me for The Collagist blog, asking me about Boss Fight, music taste, the role of research, book recommendations, and especially about my essay, All Our Pretty Songs.

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FUN CAMP the eBook

Get it from Amazon for $4.

Get it directly from Publishing Genius for $3.

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And check out this POSSIBLE SPELLING ERRORS compilation over at Publishing Genius.

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“I’ll be maid of honor in your wedding and you’ll be co-maid with my sister but only cause she’d disown me if I didn’t let her.” – Big Lucks

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New FUN CAMP Review by Peter Tieryas up at HTMLGIANT

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“Fun Camp acts as a strange microscope for the cabin of our lives … The miracle is how much gets packed into that short period of time; falling in and out of love, friendships born and betrayed, philosophical schisms formed and patched” – Peter Tieryas-Angela Xu at HTMLGIANT

Thank you, Peter!

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Matthew Simmons Interviewed Me for Hobart

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“The rule is: When someone gives you a multiple choice question and one of the answers is ‘multiverse,’ always ALWAYS choose multiverse.”

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This Thursday night I am reading downtown at the Last Bookstore with Ken Baumann, Amelia Gray, Ashley Farmer, and Jereme Radin. Come for the fog machine, stay for the laser tag.

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Consider picking out little something for your self over at the Publishing Genius Kickstarter.

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Darius Kazemi’s new bot pulls GIFs from The Wire every hour.

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Some new reviews are up over at the FUN CAMP Goodreads page.

100 Words on Love + Two New FUN CAMP Reviews in NANO Fiction and Necessary Fiction

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The very persuasive Joanna Schroeder got me to write 100 words on love AND convinced me to cute it up with a photo of me & Leeez being real sweet. “The new “both of us working from home” skill set includes ignoring each other: headphones & stonefaces. It feels bad to get too good at it, so we each sometimes run the risk of pestering the other with nonessentials.”

You can read more in the 100 Words series here.

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“In revisiting the novel, early stories that work the first time around as parodies of camp rules and order become early stories that foreshadow the dire interactions between campers and the ideological fallout that follows in the second reading … These juxtapositions and deepening layers are difficult to divine on a first read when there are so many irreverent jokes and absurd passion plays to enjoy on the surface.” – Peter Fontaine in NANO Fiction

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Fun Camp is a wonderfully nuanced exploration of youth taken away from the familiar, and given the adult task of knowing which rules to keep, break, and change. More importantly it illustrates the desire to be accepted by being unconventional in a new convention, and explores the adolescent desire to be a better person no matter the cost. Much like the campers want a perfect Midnight Hike, we all hope for a perfect something even if the something keeps changing and is ultimately only a romantic idea.” – Michael Wayne Hampton in Necessary Fiction

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Just Google “Gabe Durham” and “Dicks for Days” and Click on the First Thing That Pops Up

One of my favorite things I got to do while on tour was hang out in Julie Klausner’s kitchen and record an episode of her podcast, How Was Your Week. Now it’s up!

How Was Your Week: Episode 124“Dicks for Days”: Brent Weinbach, Gabe Durham

Or stream it at The A.V. Club.

Julie asks about the book, gets me reading FUN CAMP favorites, and weighs in on whether I’m handsome.

Also recommended: The one with David Sedaris, the one with Gillian Jacobs, and straight-up subscribing on iTunes.

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