Future Tense Books

…….Should Publishers Pull Gregory Sherl’s Books ??…….


On February 4th Kevin Sampsell made the following announcement on Future Tense’s Facebook page:

In light of recent of recent allegations of abuse, we’ve decided to remove Gregory Sherl’s book, Monogamy Songs, from our catalog. We hope that all people involved can heal and find peace.

Future Tense was not, though, the first press to remove a Gregory Sherl title from its catalog. The day before KMA Sullivan had announced on YesYes Books’ Facebook page:

In light of the allegations of abuse that have unfolded over the last few days and my beliefs surrounding these allegations, I have decided to pull Gregory Sherl’s book Heavy Petting from the YesYes Books catalog. I commend the women who have come forward. My sincerest hope is that everyone involved receive the support they need.

I’ve thought about this quite a bit in the last week (and discussed it with a few people I met with during my recent trip to Oakland and San Francisco) and while I agree with and would like to echo the last part of each of these announcements (“We hope that all people involved can heal and find peace” and “My sincerest hope is that everyone involved receive the support they need”) I’d like to think that If I was in a similar position I would NOT remove the book from my catalog.

This is to say that regardless of the allegations, or my beliefs surrounding them, I think the right thing would be to continue to make the book available to those who might want to purchase it. I feel where Future Tense and YesYes are coming from in this difficult, emotionally-charged situation– but for me the book is the book and If I thought it was good enough to publish then I’d like to think I would stand by it still (even if doing so made me wince).


On a related note The Oregon Trail Is The Oregon Trail, by Gregory Sherl, is still available from Write Bloody Publishing.


Author News / 40 Comments
February 11th, 2014 / 2:03 am

One example of the future tense is “Future Tense Books will do amazing things for the next 20 years too”

20 years is a long time. Future Tense Books, run by Kevin Sampsell, has been putting books out for 20 years. These books are about things like talking to the moon and petting whale carcasses. They’re about finally figuring out what it means to belong to what you are, which is that it means you’re a freak. They’re about when your son loves Spiderman. They’re about pictures of ceiling fans in different emotional states. They’re also Gary Lutz, Zoe Trope, Elizabeth Ellen, Shane Allison, Chloe Caldwell, and 20 years worth of folks all the other peppermint cans were too freaked out to publish.

Along with putting out these books, Kevin Sampsell has also been, for 10 of those 20 years, single-handedly curating the most amazing small press cave at Powell’s in Portland, OR. Occupy Indie Lit is a leaderless casserole, except Kevin is probably the one who lent us the stove. He’s been around. He’s helped everybody. He’s sexy. He’s the shit. All of which is to say: do you want a cake maybe? Do you want someone to write a ukelele song for you maybe? Do you want incentive perks, I mean? Most importantly: do you want to support a press that’s been around 20 years and is now running its first ever official fundraiser to help push itself to the next level, literally shank anything depressing you can think of about “the state of publishing,” and take over the world? Well then go here. Help the Future of Future Tense.

Presses / 3 Comments
October 19th, 2011 / 2:20 pm

Forthcoming from Future Tense: Legs Get Led Astray by Chloe Caldwell

Future Tense has announced their first title for 2012—Legs Get Led Astray by Chloe Caldwell.

Legs Get Led Astray is a full-length collection of creative non-fiction. The connective threads throughout the book are love, relationships, obsession. The title alludes to getting lost looking for something that doesn’t exist: the perfect place to live, the perfect desk to write at, the perfect person to love, the perfect person to sleep with. There is no perfect anything and this compilation is about Caldwell coming to these realizations.

Pre-orders start at the end of the year but it is never too early to get excited about an interesting young writer. A couple excerpts from the book are below and you might also enjoy Chloe’s essay, at The Rumpus, a really moving piece about where she writes.


Presses & Web Hype / 68 Comments
May 15th, 2011 / 12:19 pm

Kevin Sampsell Week (6): Future Tense

[In closing out Kevin Sampsell week, Kevin gave us the inside track for the next two releases of his press Future Tense Books. If you aren’t familiar by now, give it a peek: Kevin truly makes releases that are unlike any other press around. – BB]

From the desk of Kevin Sampsell (Portland, OR)

As many of you know, we’re on the brink of releasing the poetry collaboration, OK, Goodnight, by Zachary Schomburg and Emily Kendal Frey (March 2010), but I’ve also been poring over manuscripts to figure out what other treasures Future Tense can deliver this year. This week we were excited to acquire two books that will come out this summer and fall.

In June, we will release a chapbook called Ventriloquism by Prathna Lor. I’ve been buttering up this hot young Canadian for a while now. I’ve sent him knitted hats and coffee-flavoured chocolates. I’ve spelled words like colour and favourite with the extra u in it. Finally, he sent a batch of story-type things. Ventriloquism features works that do that wondrous thing I love so much–when a piece of writing feels so fresh and original that you’re not sure if it’s prose poetry or flash fiction. It’s beautifully uncategorizable, with body parts flitting their way through deeper emotions that Lor’s language tries to dissect with grace and force and unexpected humour. It reminds me a little bit of my all-time favorite story writer, Gary Lutz.

Prathna Lor lives in Toronto, Ontario.
Links: http://prathnalor.bearcreekfeed.com / http://prathnalor.blogspot.com

In November, we will release a paperback book tentatively titled The Book of Freaks by Jamie Iredell. This is another book that seems so fresh and weird and laugh-out-loud funny, I’m tempted to compare it to modern cult classics like Letters to Wendy’s and The Age of Wire and String. The story about discovering this book is a recent and happy accident. While in Seattle just two weekends ago, I saw that Blake Butler and Jamie Iredell were reading at a place called Neptune Coffee. I was excited to meet Blake for the first time and hear him read. I was not familiar with this Iredell dude. At the reading, Jamie read a few parts from his great new book, Prose. Poems. A Novel. And then he read parts of this Freaks project. There was unexpected laughter. There was surprise. There was sheer uncut artistry at work. A few days later, he sent me the manuscript. A few days later, I wallpapered my bathroom with it so that I could always have it near. Sometimes, magic happens fast when true talent is involved.

Jamie Iredell lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
Link: http://jamieiredell.blogspot.com

We’re thrilled to be publishing these two brilliant writers later this year. Both of their books display an effortless and immense kind of entertainment value that we feel is both accessible and revolutionary. Thank you for reading. Please stay tuned to futuretensebooks.com and/or email me to get on our email list: info@futuretensebooks.com

Kevin Sampsell
editor & publisher
(along with Frayn Masters and Bryan Coffelt)

Presses / 16 Comments
February 26th, 2010 / 12:36 pm

Elizabeth Ellen Rules

I’ve written about her before, but frankly, I could write about her every week. Check out her website for all thing Elizabeth Ellen, including contributions to A Peculiar Feeling of Restlessness (Rose Metal Press and a forthcoming chapbook with Paper Hero Press. Here are some power quotes from the woman who was largely responsible for my change in opinion of “online writing”:

From an interview in 3am magazine (linked here):

As for getting noticed…I don’t know. You can always try to be controversial, I guess. That’s certainly one way of getting noticed. Initiate a public feud. Be a dick. Write about it on your blog. That sort of thing. Other than that, I’d say just keep doing what you’re doing. This is going to sound like total, lameass bullshit, but I swear it’s true: I enjoy writing. I love it. I get off on it. I don’t do it to be in a particular magazine or to get a particular publisher’s notice. Not that I wouldn’t be stoked to be in The Paris Review or Tin House or with a major publisher. Of course I would. That’d be awesome. It’s just not something I think about on a daily or weekly basis.



Author Spotlight / 21 Comments
April 3rd, 2009 / 6:14 pm

THE 8TMLGIANT READING SERIES UPDATE: March 8th in Amherst & April 8th in Seattle


Author News / 42 Comments
March 2nd, 2009 / 6:14 pm