Prathna Lor

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: /

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.

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 and/or email me to get on our email list:

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

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


[SAFE TOILET SYNDROME has been published by bearcreekfeed.]


If there is such a thing as ‘deadpan surrealism’ or ‘ironic sci-fi,’ then the elusive Prathna Lor may be their frontman. His poems summon strange kinds of unexpected prosaic epiphany — where the known world is plainly spoke, yet told from an entirely foreign, somewhat extraterrestrial angle; case in point, from “Vulcan”:

A fried spider rubs its body against the inside of my mouth.

It makes me want to crack open the shell of a dehydrated crustacean

and whisper into a ligament that is still sensitive to light.


Author Spotlight / 24 Comments
May 29th, 2009 / 7:20 pm