Over at PANK today, there is a thoughtful review of "Bring the Noise," the anthology I was featured in earlier this year. You can read it here. Reviewer J. Capó Crucet had some thoughtful things to say about the merits of the collection, balanced against a lack of diversity among the contributors. Over on Twitter, the anthology's editor, Tom McAllister (@t_mcallister), gave some interesting context about how the anthology was put together, and his recent efforts to improve the diversity of non-fiction in Barrelhouse. I was really pleased with the anthology, so I hope the imbalance won't dissuade too many from picking up a copy. As Tom showed in his tweets, he's conscientious about the problem and doing his best to address it. That's more than most editors can say, if the most recent VIDA numbers are any indication.
Anyway, my essay is one of 18, and I'm just lucky to be included--it was humbling to be inside a cover with some really great writers who could write me under the table any time. I enjoyed Crucet's one reference to my essay, which tells me that at least for one reviewer, I managed to capture the tone of Return to Oz:
"...that creepy Wizard of Oz sequel (which I’d blocked from my memory almost entirely until this essay brought it back in vivid, nightmare-friendly detail)..."
Exactly. That movie still gives me nightmares.
There are moments that feel like real triumphs, and my essay on "Return to Oz" being included in this book is among them. Who would have thought as I watched this movie from some German guy's VHS rip on YouTube, in seven parts, with the sound often not matching up, scrawling notes on a series of Post-Its, that someone would say, "Hey, we want to publish this in a book." Now that it is in a book, I sort of regret not fitting in there that the director of the movie is the sound designer for Apocalypse Now! I have been published on several websites, and in (fewer) print literary magazines, but this is the first thing I've had published in a book. So, I'm going to drop the air of detached professionalism and just admit that when I get my copy, I will probably lie in bed next to it, and while it rests on my pillow I will touch it with my fingers and attempt to use astral projection to share the moment with my 15-year-old self while he cries about something stupid and writes a bad poem. You can read about the volume, or buy it, here.
Matt Sailor puts words here.