Congratulations to Swarm contributor Sasha Fletcher for having his poem “ask me no questions i’ll tell you no lies“—published in our Spring 2014 issue—long-listed in the Sundress Press Best of the Net 2014 as a finalist!
Please join us in congratulating and wishing luck to Swarm’s Pushcart Prize nominees for 2014!
“Tinnitus” by Claudia Cortese
“ask me no questions i’ll tell you no lies” by Sasha Fletcher
“Afterglow” by Sarah Jean Grimm
“Then, Quickly” by Mary-Kim Arnold
“I’m Totally Not Down with Rob’s Alien” by Justin Brouckaert
“Lucky Duck” by Erin Lyndal Martin
Swarm is thrilled to have Brandi Wells on staff as our newest editor! Brandi is the author of Please Don’t Be upset (Tiny Hardcore Press) and the forthcoming This Boring Apocalypse (Civil Coping Mechanisms). She is one of our two fiction editors, and her first selection was K. Jane Child’s “Cake,” included in our Summer 2014 issue. Poetry editor Brandon Amico sat down with Brandi to ask her a few questions about her writing life and literature tastes, so enjoy this glimpse at our newest member of the staff, and help us welcome her!
Brandon: What writer do you wish you had found much earlier in your life? What writer do you wish you had avoided altogether?
Brandi: I’ve just started reading Angela Carter. What the fuck was wrong with me? Why didn’t I get to this sooner? I think I looked at Carter when I was younger and the sentences felt “hard” so I moved on. But maybe it’s nice that it’s all so new and fresh to me now.
I don’t think the Chuck Palahniuk books I read when I was younger did me any great service.
What’s the story that has most impacted your writing?
That’s almost impossible to answer, but I can name the story that has impacted the stuff I’m working on lately and that’s the title story from George Saunders’s Pastoralia. The tone/voice of the whole thing really gets me going.
Tell me about the first submission you’ve ever sent to a journal. We all had to have a first submission, and there’s almost always something regrettable about it, so spill.
I have no idea what my first submission was. I was doing a lot of stuff wrong. I think some professor told me to submit in new courier font, so I was doing that. I was also writing really awkward cover letters where I lied and referenced work from their publication that I hadn’t actually read. I was such an embarrassment. Maybe in five years I’ll think what I’m doing now is embarrassing. It’s all fine.
What grabs your attention when you’re reading a story—what do you look for, what do you run screaming at the sight of?
I guess I like something that’s interesting right off. A story that begins in medias res.
I pretty much never want to read a story about a guy trying to pick up a girl at a bar. But I see those here (and in other slush piles). Dudes, please quit writing boring stories about the girls you did or didn’t sleep with. I don’t want to read writing about your girlfriend or your ex-girlfriend’s body.
Enough of those softballs, here’s the question everyone wants to know: What are your five (5) favorite fruits?
I think my favorite fruits, beginning with my most favorite, are: Watermelon, Pluot, Plum, Blackcherry, and Grapefruit. Close behind are Blackberries, Honeydew Melon, Peach, Nectarine, and Banana.
I take issue with anyone who says their favorite fruit is strawberry.
What the crap is a pluot?
It’s a hybrid plum-apricot. Most grocery stores have 3-4 different kinds of pluots.
If you have miraculously lived this long without eating a pluot, I recommend you correct this gross oversight.
Will do. By the way, can I keep this whole exchange as part of the last question?
If you’re comfortable admitting you are an adult who hasn’t heard of a pluot.
Swarm is proud to announce our 2014 nominees for Best of the Net:
Michael S Bazzett, “The Horse”
Sasha Fletcher, “Ask me no questions I’ll tell you no lies”
Sarah Jean Grimm, “Afterglow”
Kathleen Hellen, “How I Came to Some Advantage”
Roberto Montes, “One way to be a person is to reach an understanding”
Mike Young, “Remembering the Way You Feel and Feeling the Way You Remember“
Thank you so much to our contributors for letting us share their wonderful work, and good luck!
It’s been one year since our inaugural issue, and we’re excited to present our first issue of 2014!
Head on over to the new issue to find prose by Allegra Hyde and Erin Lyndal Martin, and poetry by Annelyse Gelman and Kathleen Hellen. As always, we’re proud to showcase stunning new work by fantastic writers such as these four.
We’re also open for submissions as of now until April 30th, so send us your poems and short fiction!
Thanks for reading!
Brandon, Dillon, Ian & Peter
We’re thrilled to announce Swarm‘s nominees for the Pushcart Prize. Check out these great pieces in our current issue and archive:
“The Horse” by Michael Bazzett
“One way to be a person is to reach an understanding” by Roberto Montes
“Homunculus” by Karen Skolfield
“Who Are You Supposed to Be?” by Elise Burke
“The Cowboys of Fukushima” by Christopher Linforth
“Dead Reckoning” by Vincent Scarpa
And with it comes new fiction from Elise Burke and Leonard Kress, and fresh poetry from Michael Bazzett and Mike Young.
Fall 2013 issue of Swarm is right here, so jump on in and stay awhile.
Karen Skolfield (Swarm Winter 2013 contributor) has won the First Book Award for Poetry from Zone 3 Press. Her book Frost in the Low Areas can be purchased at Amazon or at Zone 3 Press, with free shipping: https://epay.apsu.edu/C20023_
We’re very happy for Karen and are proud to have published her poem “Homunculus,” which appears in her new book, in our inaugural issue. Congrats, Karen!
We’re happy to announce our nominations for Best of the Net 2013:
Wah-Ming Chang, “Moonbeams” – Spring 2013
Michael Reilly, “Smoke” – Spring 2013
Mary Lou Buschi, “Scouts” – Spring 2013
Amorak Huey, “The Lion Tamer Resolves to Start Telling the Truth” – Spring 2013
Gregory Sherl, “Superhero Poem” – Winter 2013
Karen Skolfield, “Homunculus” – Winter 2013
The Summer 2013 issue of Swarm is live! We’re thrilled to bring you some stunning new work: fiction by Christopher Linforth, plus poetry by Roberto Montes and Eleanor Paynter. We hope you’ll check it out and love it as much as we do: http://swarmlit.com/current-issue/
As always, a new issue being released means Swarm is also open to submissions again. So after this new issue has soaked in, head to our submissions page and send us your finest poetry or prose. Submissions stay open until October 31st for the Fall issue.
Thanks for reading!
Brandon, Peter, Ian and Dillon