Sycamore Review

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My story, “Ghost Jeep,” is in the latest issue of Sycamore Review.

Thanks so much to Kelly Link for selecting it as winner of the Wabash Prize!

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Story 366

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 11.00.29 PMMichael Czyzniejewski is reading one story a day for all of 2016 and blogging about it over at Story 366.

He had some really kind things to say about my story, “The Hairdresser, the Giant, and the King of Roses”:

This is what Hicks seems to do. He takes stories, maybe even tropes, the ones we’re familiar with, and he updates them, puts his own grotesque, even macabre spin on them. Or maybe his stories are a distant cousin of one you’ve read, a minor detail in common like the slope of a neck or the shape of they eyes, but otherwise evolved, their own person. These stories are fun to read, to see what else Hicks would do, how he’d handle his premises. “The Hairdresser, the Giant, and the King of Roses” just keeps layering new characters and new twists until all three of its protagonists come together for their inevitable crash. Like with most fairy tales, there’s not necessarily a happy ending, and certainly not a predictable one. Electricity & Other Dreams is an eclectic book, filled with magical, gritty, and clever tales just like this.

It’s become habit for me, in this project, to read a few stories from a collection before picking one to write about, and Hicks’ book, more than any other, got me reading and reading before stopping to write. Each of the twenty-six stories (or, the five I’ve read) seemingly gives me something completely new, but not in the same way. This seems like a pretty generic blurb for a book, but skipping around to find a story to write about, I didn’t know what I was going to come across next. The only consistency in the book is its ability to challenge a convention, to make it into something else it wasn’t before. It reminds me a lot of Amber Sparks’ new book, The Unfinished World, too, which I highlighted yesterday, a taste of magic, of dry humor, and of biting reality in every story. What a find this is. Here’s to more from this author, and soon.

Having been to a few of Czyzniejewski’s readings, he’s a really funny and talented writer. Check out his story collection, I Will Love You For the Rest of My Life: Breakup Stories.

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Battle of the Books: Round 2

Jackie over at Fantastic Reviews Blog was kind enough to referee a book battle between my story collection, Electricity and Other Dreams, and the novel, Fiend, by Peter Stenson.

Check out kind works about both books and find out who won this round of the book battle below:

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“Flight of the Crow Boys” in Salt Hill Journal

I just received my contributor’s copies of the new Salt Hill Journal. Thanks to the editors and staff for putting together such a great issue. I’m thrilled to be included.

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Battle of the Books

Jackie over at Fantastic Reviews Blog was kind enough to referee a book battle between my story collection, Electricity and Other Dreams, and the novel The Returned by Jason Mott.

Check out kind works about both books and find out who won this round of the book battle below:

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The 1,001 Nights Podcast

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I have a strange, surreal retelling of “The Lame Young Man and the Barber of Baghdad” over at The 1,001 Nights Podcast.

Thanks to Nathan Kane, Morgan Dubin, and Arielle Siegel for producing such an amazing podcast!

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“Arkansas Chicken Apocalypse”

I have a new short essay in the latest issue of Brevity Magazine. It’s about chickens, fire, good boots, and the land of the dead.

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Curtis Brown, Ltd.

logoI recently signed on with Kerry D’Agostino of Curtis Brown, Ltd.  She also represents Anne Valente,  a friend and great writer. I’m thrilled to be working with Kerry. Hopefully, more news in the coming months.

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Teaching at Arkansas Tech University

ATU_Academic_FC_A-webI think everything is signed and all official-like, so now I can say that I’m excited to be joining the English and World Languages department at Arkansas Tech University as an assistant professor, teaching creative writing in their BFA program (among other courses). The faculty and students I’ve met so far have already been amazing. Can’t wait to get started in a few weeks.

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Review of The From-Aways

My review of CJ Hauser’s moving debut novel, The From-Aways, is in the current issue of Pleiades.

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I first came across Hauser’s work when I read her short story, “A Bad Year for Apples,” in TriQuarterly.

You can find more about Hauser and her work at CJHauser.com

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