The Financial Lives of Poetry Readings
Get Lit! made Spokane a “literary capital.” Next year, the festival runs into its biggest funding challenge.
Three actors, three short stories about Father's Day.
Get Lit offers more than 50 events. Here's the best of the rest.
Best known for: Kevin Sampsell is something of a small-press icon. He’s also the publisher of Portland’s Future Tense Books. In 2008, he put together Creamy Bullets, a tasty collection of bizarrely erotic, yet soberly minimalist fiction stories. In his latest book, A Common Pornography, Sampsell harnesses that same, unabashed frankness, spreading the wings of candor in a free-ball crossover from fiction to memoir.
Opening lines: “In August 2008, I had a panic attack that forced me out of my home naked.”
Biographical fact: A native of Kennewick, Sampsell regarded the Tri Cities as an ideal place to grow up. That was before he had seen anyplace else.
Odd fact: Sampsell didn’t read heavily until he was 23, and the main reason was because an ex-girlfriend made fun of him for never reading books.
Most likely to be heckled by: The Anti-Porn Activist Network
One reviewer said: “Sampsell shares loneliness with such intensity that his book almost defeats it — both his and yours.”— Time Out New York
Scariest thing his dad’s ghost ever did: “I felt possessed by a demon, both awful and sad. Maybe this, six months after the fact, was how I grieved for Dad. Maybe his ghost said, You haven’t grieved for me properly. He didn’t care that I didn’t want to grieve for him or that I felt like I didn’t have to. He was going to make me, even if it was against my will.”
Question to ask at Q&A so as to shut up the guy who’s making a speech and not really asking a question at all: Ask about his poetry performance troupe, Haiku Inferno. It’s badass.
Childhood memory: When Mount St. Helens erupted, Sampsell thought he was witnessing Doomsday.
Memorable passage: “This is how I learned about cunnilingus from a policeman’s wife and became a legendary fryer at the same time.”
Comparable to: Sampsell can sound like David Sedaris: dark, deadpan and detailed. His direct, matter-of-fact, colloquial tone is reminiscent of Raymond Carver.
What’s that Common Pornography title mean, anyway? The inevitable reality: Everybody’s got dirt in their background.
Kevin Sampsell appears as part of a panel discussion about different forms of nonfiction on Friday, April 16, from noon-1 pm at Gonzaga’s Jundt Art Museum. Free. Sampsell will also contribute to a panel discussion of memoirs about fathers on Saturday, April 17, from 11 am-noon at the Hotel Lusso. Free.