One Thousand Owls in flight.


Performing from the book with Nat Baldwin. Photo by Alexis Iammarino.

Ebullient isn’t an emotion that I often feel, let alone admit to. Yet here I am, bubbly and fluid in the wake of last night’s event. Our performance could not have gone any better, and I couldn’t have done it without the support of some of the best people I know. Nat Baldwin, Genevieve Johnson, Patrick Kiley of Pilot Editions, Sam Gould of Beyond Repair and Red76, Scott Sell, and everyone making the machinery move at Space Gallery and the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance: I owe you folks the world.

One Thousand Owls Behind Your Chest can now be purchased directly from Beyond Repair, made by human hands specifically for you.img_0051

(3/3) OTOBYC trailer

A second trailer for OTOBYC.

A well-meaning Apocalypse.

While the final details of One Thousand Owls Behind Your Chest click together in advance of the book’s December 15th release, a few other no-less-important events from these past couple weeks deserve a moment’s highlighting.

  • pushcart-xliThough not yet officially released (at least not according to their website), the 2017 edition of the Pushcart Prize anthology has begun to appear in libraries, bookstores, and—in the instance of one particular copy—my own mailbox. This year’s anthology includes some breathtaking work by Lydia Davis, Deb Olin Unferth, and Steve Almond, among others. It’s truly an honor to see my own story, “Blue of the World,” included among such amazing company. If you cannot find a copy of The Pushcart Prize Anthology XLI at your local bookseller, it is currently available online through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
  • Matchbook, an online journal of flash fiction, this week published “Mandarini,” an experiment in pronouns involving love and fruit. The story is also accompanied by a brief essay, explaining the motivation behind, not just this story, but much of my creative narrative work.
  •  Exhibits: A 67 Press Anthology, has just come out in digital formats (the print edition of the anthology is slated for release this coming December).

    Exhibits houses an eclectic group of characters featuring drug addicts, Gods, and fallen rock stars inhabiting the same space. There’s bedbugs, S&M, and a shape shifting dinosaur. There’s excess and poverty, love and hate, and a well-meaning apocalypse for good measure.

    Exhibits also features my short story “Dummy,” an excerpt of which can be read here.

  • the-chart-anthologyAnd in one more bit of anthology news, The Chart, an independent journal for art and art criticism with a focus on Maine and New England in general, has recently published its first anthology. Produced by Wing Club Press, The Chart 2015-2016 Anthology includes two of my essays as well as a review of one of the more gonzo performances I helped curate surrounding the release of last year’s Cream River. The anthology is gorgeous, and all proceeds will be used to continue paying contributors to The Chart for their work.

And finally, maybe now is as good a time as any to release the first book trailer for One Thousand Owls Behind Your Chest. Try not to get too creeped-out.

One Thousand Owls Behind Your Chest, due out December 15th, 2016.

One Thousand Owls Behind Your Chest

otobyc-digital-cover-stand-inA trans youth seeking mythic answers from a corpse. An autistic boy combing a collective farm for his sister. A homeless man yearning for anyone to protect. From a normalized dystopian future to the ever-impossible now, Pushcart Prize-winning author Douglas W. Milliken’s One Thousand Owls Behind Your Chest searches the borderland where the terror of human confusion confronts the babbling chaos of the Nature Without, where alienation fingers the braille surface of connection, where violence digs its nails into compassion.

Due out December 15th, 2016 through Beyond Repair / Wooden Leg Print & Press.

A charade and a romance and a score

img_0039The New Haven Review, who previously published my story “James Taylor v. the King” (a 2015 Maine Literary Award finalist), included my story “Possum & Glue” in its freshly-minted 18th issue. The story, created as part of Space Gallery’s Goods + Services show, was written for MWPA member Elizabeth De Wolfe. The new issue of the NHR can be ordered here or downloaded as a free PDF here.

Perpetual discomfort & the stigma of disease


Original watercolor by Madeline Fishburn

Early in September, I had the pleasure of recording a reading and interview with the folks at The Other Stories for their monthly podcast. That episode—featuring my recitation of the story “The Happiest Place on Earth” (originally published in the Word Portland anthology BE WILDER) and our consequent discussion on the story’s genesis and surreal imagery, as well as my constant sense of discomfort in the world—can now be streamed for free from The Other Stories‘ archive. Thank you for listening, and be on the lookout for a resurgence in publishing activity, including new stories in a handful of journals and a brand new chapbook of stories out this coming December (more on that soon).