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Why Did Mud Luscious Close? Getting busy with JA Tyler

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Hello, here is an interview that I did with J.A. Tyler. We started it via email soon after the announcement that his press, Mud Luscious, would have to close down. It’s fairly long. First we talk about all the things he did with MLP, then we get into the nitty gritty of what happened that caused its demise. I really appreciate that he would do this. I’ve asked other presses to do a similar post mortem but they’ve declined. It’s not easy, I know. You run a press, you feel an almost paralyzing responsibility to the people you publish. You have a book that does well, you’re fucked because your responsibilities seem to increase. It’s not a thankless job, art — not by any means — but it’s a tough one. And the place where art intersects with business IS thankless unless your strength is on the business end of things. Anyway. Get into this interview. Remember MLP for its growth and its commitment and its problems.

Hi, J. A. How are you feeling? Would it be an understatement to say you’re sad?

Yes: Sad, overwhelmed, frustrated, sick. A million things all at once.

 

Well, we started this interview back in April, so it’s been a while. How are you feeling about things now? Is the remorse turning to relief? Have you started to get a glimpse of what a normal life can be yet?

Normal life, probably not. There is this residual layer of guilt that I presume will take much longer to unwind from wherever it is in me. I do see how much time I spent doing MLP related things, both on the “free time” I’m now allotted and in the size of the hole it left.

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Behind the Scenes / 23 Comments
June 6th, 2013 / 1:56 pm

[in Just-]

BY E. E. CUMMINGS

in Just-
spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman

whistles far and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it’s
spring

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old balloonman whistles
far and wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and

it’s
spring
and

the

goat-footed

balloonMan whistles
far
and
wee

Presses / 1 Comment
April 22nd, 2013 / 7:27 pm

25 Points: Michael Kimball Writes Your Life Story (on a postcard)

mkpostcardMichael Kimball Writes Your Life Story (on a postcard)
by Michael Kimball
Mud Luscious Press, 2013
162 pages / $15.00 buy from SPD or Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MK Postcard Back
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Reviews / 2 Comments
March 21st, 2013 / 12:09 pm

25 Points: The Alligators of Abraham

aoaThe Alligators of Abraham
by Robert Kloss
Mud Luscious Press Novel(la) Series, 2012
214 pages / $15 buy from SPD or Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Alligator: Non-commissioned submarine, completed Spring 1862 by Union Navy. Length: 14.3m. Speed: 2-4 knots. Crew: 8. Missions: Five, failures. Abandonment: Its tow ship, the U.S.S. Sumpter, cut it loose during a storm off Cape Hatteras, NC. Remains lost.

2. Abraham Lincoln visited the Alligator during its testing phase. Brutus de Villeroi’s initial design required paddle propulsion, which was later replaced by a central screw propeller.

3. (The American Annual Cyclopedia and Register of Important Events of the Year 1891): “One steamer, the ‘Louvre of Paris,’ was built and put on service [using a central screw] between Paris and London. She made a very good record for herself for nearly a year, but was unfortunately wrecked, through no fault, however, of her peculiar construction.”

4. When the alligators finally appear and begin devouring people about halfway through RK’s novella, I did one of those disorienting Google/library searches on whether a plague of alligators really followed the Civil War anywhere in the coalescing Union. I found the Alligator instead, and I couldn’t separate it from the flesh gators in the book. A plague of hungry submarines.

5. Matt Kish’s drawings are toothy reptilian sprawls of overlapping flesh and machine, gaping mouths in the process of being perfected.

6. The General, Alligators of Abraham’s marauding patriarch, shifts his bloodlust, augmented by grief over a son dead from typhoid and a suicided wife, into (self-)mutilating industry. Into a necrophilic fixation on embalming his body while still alive, and living inside the bloated corpses of alligators. Into pathetic need: “I need you here by my side. I fear I may destroy us all” (to his second son, after a second wife has left him). Into merging his sons’ identities, never naming the composite dead/alive child he (and the book) regards as you except to call him by the dead boy’s name, Walter.

7. Old Testament-fueled American novels of war rage relegate women to drawing rooms, brothels, graves, sanitariums, rumors, away. The second wife inspects a private room the General has customized for her, and says to son and husband, “Will the both of you just leave?” As if I can’t be in this room if you’re watching. And after she has packed and gone, the General says to his son, “If she weren’t gone already, I would kill her.”

8. “And your father lit kindling beneath his tin tub while infant alligators darted within, and soon the slow boil of water, and your father said into the absence, ‘I believe their hide impervious.’ And when these alligators bobbed lifeless in the bubbling, your father said, ‘They must become stronger with time.’”

9. (This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War): “Redemption and resurrection of the body were understood as physical, not just metaphysical, realities, and therefore the body, even in death and dissolution, preserved ‘a surviving identity.’ Thus the body required ‘sacred reverence and care’; the absence of such solicitude would indicate ‘a demoralized and rapidly demoralizing community.’ The body was the repository of human identity in two senses: it represented the intrinsic selfhood and individuality of a particular human, and at the same time it incarnated the very humanness of that identity—the promise of eternal life that differentiates human remains from the carcasses of animals, who possess neither consciousness of death nor promise of either physical or spiritual immortality. Such understandings of the body and its place in the universe mandated attention even when life had fled; it required what always seemed to be called ‘decent’ burial, as well as rituals fitting for the dead.”

10. Nobody in this book is decent. READ MORE >

Reviews / 2 Comments
February 12th, 2013 / 2:21 pm

Mud Luscious Acquires Blue Square Press

This week, J. A. Tyler’s Mud Luscious Press announced that they were taking over/buying out/merging with Blue Square Press, run by David Peak and Ben Spivey, as an addition to their imprint series. As Tyler says in the brief interview below, the deal gets BSP in on MLP’s distro (and more), while MLP gets to participate in the publication of more great books.

To celebrate the union, they are offering Jack Boettcher’s Theatre State and Ben Spivey’s own Flowing in the Gossamer Fold at a reduced price, here.

I asked the parties involved some questions, starting with J. A. Tyler:

When did you first start paying attention to Blue Square Press? READ MORE >

Behind the Scenes & Presses / 17 Comments
November 3rd, 2011 / 11:47 am

I Am A Very Productive Entrepreneur (2)

I Am A Very Productive Entrepreneur
by Mathias Svalina
Mud Luscious Press, 2011
67 pages / $12.00 Buy from Mud Luscious Press
Rating: 8.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mathias Svalina’s I Am A Very Productive Entrepreneur has a very simple conceit: in a series of vignettes, an entrepreneur describes the outlandish businesses he’s started, and, occasionally, their reasons for not working. Thus, we learn of enterprises to turn everything into gold, to put blond hairs on the pillows of single men, to allow children to remain children forever, to retrofit memories with pilot lights and to slip old notes inside of used books by invisible employees.

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Reviews / 1 Comment
August 23rd, 2011 / 12:17 pm

I Am A Very Productive Entrepreneur

I Am A Very Productive Entrepreneur
by Mathias Svalina
Mud Luscious Press, 2011
67 pages / $12.00 Buy from Mud Luscious Press
Rating: 8.7

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I received Mathias Svalina’s novella, I Am A Very Productive Entrepreneur in the mail, I didn’t quite know what to expect. I tore open the padded manila envelope and found myself staring at a green and orange cover with the words “a novel(la)” printed on it. Ok. Then I did a preliminary flip through of the book and didn’t see a novella at all. The book seemed to be filled with short poems, prose poems and pieces of what some would call flash fiction. Ok. I was hoping the book wasn’t going to be some failed attempt at “experimental fiction.” But, coming from Mud Luscious Press, I wasn’t exactly surprised that this book was, at first impression, well, weird. J.A. Tyler and his Mud Luscious Press have been putting lovely oddities into the world for a few years now, and I Am A Very Productive Entrepreneur stayed the Mud Luscious Press course, and did not disappoint.

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Reviews / 11 Comments
August 18th, 2011 / 12:44 pm

13 ways of looking at Michael Stewart: An Interview

Back in 2001, I took my very first fiction workshop. It was with Catherine Kasper. I’d never written a short story before. I was a junior. My first story submission was terrible, truly terrible.

Despite my really shitty story, Michael Stewart was nice to me.

I thought he was the best writer in class. (And he was.) And there were some spectacular writers in class.

Over the past decade, Michael and I have consumed a lot of coffee and breakfast tacos together. We have played many chess games and go games. We have seen each other’s heartbreaks and victories.

Michael Stewart is a charming man and a charming writer. His first book, The Hieroglpyhics, is out now (and can be purchased here) with Mud Luscious Press.

READ MORE >

Author Spotlight / 9 Comments
March 14th, 2011 / 10:27 am

14 holding backs of diatribes on the 2011 radio

3. Mud Luscious Press goes all web update, all Heidi Blair Montag with a touch of Birdman. It detaches the retina in a kind way. Go look.

3. A get-off-my-plot-of-lawn-quote:

The others aren’t that much fun to describe: somebody gets into trouble, and then gets out again; somebody loses something and gets it back; somebody is wronged and gets revenge; Cinderella; somebody hits the skids and just goes down, down, down; people fall in love with each other, and a lot of other people get in the way; a virtuous person is falsely accused of sin; a sinful person is believed to be virtuous; a person faces a challenge bravely, and succeeds or fails; a person lies, a person steals, a person kills, a person commits fornication.

9. Joan Fontcuberta

55. Harmony Neal uses repetition at January 2011 Hobart. You know, repetition, like this, via BHR:

The requirement that we change words is arbitrary.

3. The Girard Perregaux 925 Silver / Celluloid “Tourbillon” Fountain Pen goes for $1785.

14. Off The Internets for 8 days and what does that do? Doesn’t make you write, I say. I didn’t, sans two checks and an entry in a running journal. But it do refill the synaptic bathtub, me thinks, possibly with bubbles. Things brighten, shard, slow. I would like to write today, I’m saying. So. I ponder what happens when you leave The Internets?

Random & Roundup / 8 Comments
January 3rd, 2011 / 9:29 am

Mud Luscious Press Goings On

MLP has officially acquired the Pindeldyboz print archives – all remaining copies of pboz print can now be purchased from mlp.

They have also officially struck a deal with Blake Butler to release a two-volume set of the Lamination Colony Archives – including both a wealth of the online issues and the ebooks.

They have contracted for a re-release of Ken Sparling’s DAD SAYS HE SAW YOU AT THE MALL slated (tentatively) for 2012.

They have contracted for a re-release of Norman Lock’s GRIM TALES in a new stand-alone version slated (tentatively) for 2011.

They have re-started our previous stamp stories project and now, with associate editor Andrew Borgstrom at the helm of that beast, we are planning to reach 100 authors / 100 stamp stories and then, down the line,
release those 100 pieces in a new mlp anthology titled { C. }

Visit the MLP site for more details.

Presses / 37 Comments
June 2nd, 2010 / 1:00 pm

the internet literature
magazine blog of
the future