In my perennial laissez-faire approach to self-promotion and website maintenance, several noteworthy publications have come and gone this wretched year without my personal publicist and marketing team (i.e.: me) remarking much upon them. So to make up for said slacking, here is a pithy list of what stories, poems, essays, art, and music have been published where and how you can find them:
“A Fox in Tall Grass,” a brief personal essay about my mother’s death, appeared in the January issue of El Chapo Review, which can be read for free online.
“Saline,” a micro-fiction about domesticity and recovery, was long-listed for Reflex Fiction’s spring flash contest and can also be read free online.
“Thomas,” a rare instance of my poetic voice, was read on Maine Public Radio by our state poet laureate, Stuart Kestenbaum, as part of his ongoing Poems from Here series (the text can also be read on Maine Public’s website).
Still Point Art Gallery in Brunswick, Maine, featured three of my digital prints (“Mary,” “Strider,” and “Crickets”) in their summer (which, due to the pandemic, equals “online”) exhibition, Making a Mark, as well as one print (“Mary”) in their print journal, Still Point Arts Quarterly, available both online as a free PDF as well as a physical book purchased from the publisher.
“Waiting for Tampopo,” an ekphrastic poem inspired by the triptych “Kylum” by Murray Hantman, appeared in Megan Grumbling’s weekly column Deep Water in the Portland Press Herald/Sunday Telegram.
“Sulfur,” a flash fiction piece about living alone with a chicken, appeared in the summer issue of The London Reader, which can be downloaded for free or purchased directly from the publisher.
Scott Sell has released two digital cassingles—Endless Tall Boys and Midwest Mess (sales of the latter of which are also being donated to the Grassroots Law Project)—that feature various production and session-musician work by me, including my first ever recorded performances on the clarinet.
This all in addition to Bare Portland’s performances of [STORAGE], written collaboratively with Christina W. Richardson and Marissa Sophia Schneiderman, as well as eight episodes of Quarantine Story Time, the totality of which can be stream in reverse chronology here.
As always, thank you for reading, thank you for watching, thank you for listening, thank you for sharing with anyone you think might care, thank you for staying safe and staying aware in this terrifying time.
To conclude our first two-month run of shows, Episode Eight of Quarantine Story Time features an exploration of influence, both in how outside forces helped shape the stories, and how outside forces influence the lives of others. Also, music by Brandon Schmitt (of Delta Sierra) and perhaps one-too-many references to songs by Joan of Arc.
Starting this week, QST will be going on a short hiatus while Genevieve and I rest and reassess what we want from this program, how we can make it better, how it can most effectively do what it wants to do. This might mean continuing as a live-stream, as a podcast, or as some other as-yet unconsidered format.
As the third and final installment in our mandated Horse Month series, Episode Seven of Quarantine Story Time is “No Actual Horses,” which is an oblique reference to my first book, the novella-as-mosaic White Horses, originally published in 2010 by Nada Publishing and which, for many of these intervening years, has been out of print.
It is because of this book’s long-term unavailability—in addition to a handful of other, more personal reasons—that I have decided to release a tenth-anniversary edition of White Horses, complete with new artwork, a new layout, a new introductory essay (wherein I explain some of my convoluted personal history with the text), and also a handful of corrections that update and tighten the narrative’s language while also honoring the voice and intentions of the younger Douglas who original conceived and composed these coalescent fragments. It actually comes as something of a relief, that this book once again has a chance at a continued public life. I hope some of you feel the same way.
(Also, if you place your order before April 29th, you can receive a 30% discount by applying the coupon code GIVEBKS3RT at checkout.)
As the second installment in our mandated Horse Month series, Episode Six of Quarantine Story Time is “Ghost Horses,” featuring ghosts, horses, and horse named Ghost. Also: a resuscitating beetle, the birth of a foal, and a very dead bird.
Episode Five of Quarantine Story Time, as the first installment of Horse Month, is “Mythic Horses,” featuring fantastical equids and equids of fantastical landscapes. Also: a man screaming at a shower head, a story by Jacob Cholak, and music by Scott Sell.
Episode Four of Quarantine Story Time features work selected on the basis of viewer request and suggestion, investigating the concept of joy. Alongside the stories “Saline” and “Arena,” co-producer and domestic partner Genevieve Johnson shares passages from her personal journal. Also included in this episode: platonic prison romance, Angela Merkel, and (due to problems with our audio thwarting last week’s Pre-Show Music Time) a reprise sampling from Dean Thornton’s new album, We’re Glad You’re Here.
Also, because shelter-in-place orders have been extended in all parts of the US, Quarantine Story Time will continue for another (at least) four episodes all produced and performed under the banner of Horse Month, based on the unusual frequency of horses appearing throughout my fiction.
Episode Three of Quarantine Story Time features brand new, unpublished fiction, as well as an excerpt from Megan Grumbling‘s libretto Persephone in the Late Anthropocene, the full document of which will be published this fall by Acre Books. Also included in this episode: an alternate apocalypse, the most arresting blue eyes, and new music from Dean Thornton’s new album, We’re Glad You’re Here.
Episode Two of Quarantine Story Time features readings from Blue of the World, a collection of stories published by Tailwinds Press in April of last year, as well as a piece of flash fiction by Meghan Lamb from her new collection All of Your Most Private Places, out this month through Spork Press. Also included in this episode: 90s Brazilian metal, a sneezing dog, and songs by The Plaster Cramp.
[Unfortunately, due to high server traffic, the last two minutes of the program did not live-stream or record. We’re very sorry, for it was really just the best thing ever. Blame YouTube.]
Episode One of Quarantine Story Time features readings from Our Shadows’ Voice, a novel published by Fomite Press this past November, as well as an excerpt from [STORAGE], the play I co-authored with Christina W. Richardson and Marissa Sophia Schneiderman, which was produced this month by Bare Portland.
Dearest humans! As many of you might currently be able to relate, nearly all my current performance gigs have been cancelled due to the mounting concerns over COVID-19, including the final six shows of [STORAGE], a play I co-wrote with the Bare Portland theater collective over the course of the past year. Knowing the necessity of such measures does not at all mitigate the heartbreak of seeing so much work and love prematurely concluded. I’m bummed and itchy to do something about it.
So it’s with that loss in mind—combined with the fact that many of us are suddenly unemployed and house-bound with a wealth of time freed up from cancelled social events—that I’ve decided to launch the Quarantine Story Time, a YouTube live-stream reading series that (barring any other nation-wide disaster) will take place during the next four Mondays at 7:30 pm EDT, starting March 16th. Each episode will be roughly half-an-hour and include original fiction performed in various nooks of my home, followed by (fingers crossed we nail the tech on this) an interactive Q&A and discussion.
Episode Four: Viewers’ Choice, featuring a selection or selections of work based on viewers’ requests, comments, or questions during the previous three episodes.
Please feel free to share with anyone you think might be interested in watching a lone man in a room reading stories of his own creation. All episodes are free and open to the public, though of course, if you feel like sending a tip via paypal or ordering an author-signed copy of any one of my books, I surely won’t turn you away.
As always, thank you for your interest in and support of my work over the years. It’s a real weird time out there right now. One way or another, we’ll get through it together.