black lawrence press


25 Points: The Man Who Noticed Everything [UPDATED]

AdrianVanYoungCoverThe Man Who Noticed Everything
by Adrian Van Young
Black Lawrence Press, 2013
200 pages / $16.00 buy from Black Lawrence Press
[Update]”The Sub-Leaser,” discussed here, is now available to read in Electric Literature’s “Recommended Reading” [End Update]






1. I first met Adrian Van Young at 2012 AWP, when he was hanging out at the Gigantic table. I remembered him as an engaging person to talk to. That’s saying a lot, cuz, you know, AWP.

2. Six months later he emailed me about reading in Baltimore. That’s when I remembered what a nice guy he was.

3. His email was cordial but also professional, and he attached a press release about his book, The Man Who Noticed Everything, and a headshot. The color scheme in the photo matched the colors on his book jacket: black and dark green.

4. Ben Marcus said “you’d think this book was an anthology collecting the work of the best young writers of the new generation”—talking about The Man Who Noticed Everything.

5. So we set up a reading for January, even though I hadn’t read his book and even though the main provision for the series that Stephanie Barber and I run is that we’ll only host writers whose work we really admire. I guess the thinking was, this guy has his act together.

6. And he does. I’m not just saying that because he brought a fresh bottle of Jameson to the reading.

7. At the reading, Adrian read a short story. Sometimes I have a hard time listening to fiction. It can be so boring.

8. But while Adrian read, I laughed and laughed. The story was called “The Sub-Leaser,” and listening to it, I felt like it was full of jokes. Or, actually, it struck me as a better kind of funny writing, in which there aren’t actually jokes, but the whole concept (and the way the concept is delivered) is meant to be funny.

9. What’s more, the funniness happens within the prose, which is primarily descriptive, and that is a really hard and precarious thing to do. The story’s narrator is describing his apartment. He says, “My apartment is a standard one for the part of the city where I live. It begins at the door, which opens, like so, to show the splintered wooden hallway that I mentioned before. On the right is a bathroom, ill-sequenced of tile, with a sink built onto the wall and a bathtub, where a thin and mildewed curtain hangs, clad in a pattern of green and white plaid. To the left of the curtain, an insolent toilet, coated with a film of brown.”

10. “ill-sequenced of tile”? “an insolent toilet”? You see what I mean. The whole story is like that. READ MORE >

March 19th, 2013 / 11:09 am

Over 1,000 pages of Georg Trakl coming. In 3 years, but coming…

Forthcoming in 2013 is The Collected Works of Georg Trakl, translated by Daniele Pantano and published by Black Lawrence Press. The book will include all of his poems, plays, fragments, drafts and letters and will be well over 1,000 pages. The timing of publication will dovetail with the centenary of Trak’s death (November 3, 1914).

Web Hype / 13 Comments
March 16th, 2010 / 1:15 am

Black Lawrence Press tries to sell me (i.e. you) “tips for getting published by a small press”

I can’t decide where I think this falls on the lameness scale. On the one hand, it’s cheap to join, you get a book for your trouble, and Black Lawrence (a Dzanc imprint) seems reasonably cool. On the other hand, I am instantly and deeply suspicious of anyone claiming to offer advice to “novice, mid-career and seasoned authors alike.” Especially when their leading examples of this “advice” are “what editors look for in cover letters” and “how to choose which conferences to attend.” At the risk of cutting in on BW’s action, let me save you a lot of time- 1) Editors don’t look for anything in cover letters; they don’t read them until after they’ve looked at the manuscript, and if they don’t love that, they’re not reading the letter. Period. So yes, you do need to have one, but as long as it’s less than a page long, and that page isn’t smeared in feces or syrup, you’re probably fine. 2) I’m not sure what the difference between a “mid-career” and a “seasoned” author is, but I can tell you one thing they have in common– neither takes her career advice from a pay-to-play email newsletter, even a cheap one offered up by seemingly decent people. I don’t want to come off like I hate Black Lawrence. I really don’t. But I do hate that whole “secrets of publishing” sales pitch, and the tone that goes along with it. It just grosses me out. After the break, the full commercial from Black Lawrence. Decide for yourself what you think.
Presses / 56 Comments
November 16th, 2009 / 11:25 am

Dzanc Half-off Holiday Sale

From Dzanc:

Based on a True Story
Based on a True Story

Hesh Kestin

Best of the Web 2008
Best of the Web 2008

Steve Almond
Nathan Leslie

Gifts and Clothing

In a Bear's Eye
In a Bear’s Eye

Yannick Murphy

All Over
All Over

Roy Kesey
Gifts and Clothing

Unending Rooms
Unending Rooms

Daniel Chacón
Black Lawrence Press

While in Darkness There is Light

Louella Bryant
Black Lawrence Press
Temporary People
Temporary People

Steven Gillis
Black Lawrence Press
The Last Game We Played

Jo Neace Krause
Black Lawrence Press
Signs of Life

Norman Waksler
Black Lawrence Press


Issue Five


Issue Four
Things That Pass for Love
Allison Amend
OV Books
Presses / 34 Comments
December 5th, 2008 / 7:05 pm