jamie iredell

Thanksgiving Morning, 2013


We had some plans but an unexpected medical procedure canceled those plans. READ MORE >

Random / 12 Comments
November 28th, 2013 / 6:01 pm

Jamie Iredell was a Fat Drunk Catholic School Insomniac

Now available for preorder from Future Tense (and for a limited time in hardcover) is freaky Jamie Iredell’s newest, an essay collection with the uncanny title, I was A Fat Drunk Catholic School Insomniac, funded by its even more uncanny cover:


Iredell’s essays never shy from getting up in the face of the nasty phases of one’s life, and how those phases make you into someone wiser, grateful to have survived. This book goes hard.

For a taste, check out his body-image-catalogying essay “Fat” at the Rumpus.

Author News / Comments Off on Jamie Iredell was a Fat Drunk Catholic School Insomniac
October 24th, 2013 / 2:10 pm

Why We Need Superheroes, or, A Parental Theory, or What Was Just A Review of Chronicle Before People Were Murdered While Watching The Dark Knight Rises

This July my wife, daughter, and I visited my family in California and on our return flight to Atlanta we met with a reprieve when our one-year-old fell into a deep sleep in our arms. She didn’t even wake when my wife had to use the bathroom and shifted the baby into my lap. I took this quiet opportunity to scan the movie offerings on those individual screens that some Delta flights afford passengers. The movie choices are not usually very good and the descriptions of the plots are vague, especially if you’re like me, and you hardly watch television and so remain ignorant when it comes to pop culture. I ended up selecting one of these vague choices, with an equally vague title. I didn’t know anything about Chronicle. The plot synopsis was something like “three friends chronicle their lives through a camcorder when suddenly everything changes.” I didn’t recognize the actors’ names, and I think that’s why I chose to watch it; I figured I’d try something completely unknown.

I got lucky with this choice. The movie is not very long (at 83 minutes it’s closer to the length of movies that I grew up on and not the typical two-hour epics that are common today), and I didn’t know when my daughter might wake, which would end my movie-watching experience. But she snoozed right through the whole thing, which afforded me the time to think about the ideas that coalesced in writing the first draft of what you’re reading. READ MORE >

Film / 5 Comments
August 29th, 2012 / 12:41 pm

So Bad It’s Good: An Interview with Wolf Larsen

My wife says that I “just have a bizarre fascination with him.”

“Him” being “Wolf Larsen,” and she’s right. Like my wife, my literary-minded colleagues—and, I’m guessing, most people—have been content to indulge my fascination for a moment then brush it off, saying, “That’s great, Jamie. Yes, it’s hilarious. The guy’s crazy.”

That’s what happened when I became aware of his existence through a submission to a literary magazine (we were all together for a meeting, sitting around a large table). I kept going back to that submission, laughing intermittently for over an hour as I marveled at this literary accident. How can you not find hilarity in books with titles like Pricks, Cunts, and Motherfuckers, or Ten Thousand Penises in Your Ear? Then there’s God and the Devil Dancing through World War III Together, with my favorite cover copy for a book ever: “The characters in this book include Caligula, Marie Antoinette, Wolf Larsen, yuppie cannibals, crack whores, Adolf Hitler, the Virgin Mary, the entire human race, etc.”

What I can’t figure out is if Wolf Larsen (obviously a pseudonym, taken from the Jack London character) just totally sucks, and that’s why I sometimes find myself going back to his homepage (like rubbernecking), because he knows it and he owns it, or if he’s oblivious, or if he doesn’t care and it doesn’t matter. I’m leaning toward a combination of all these, and tossing in a little plain old crazy to top it off. Still, there’s a paradoxical value to Wolf Larsen’s existence; or maybe that’s just my obsession.

Before this interview I tried contacting Wolf Larsen for over a year. I had forgotten about him till one night with a friend I remembered him and his website and said, “You’ve got to check this fucker out; it’s hilarious.” That friend suggested this interview, so I sent emails that garnered no response. I found some online venues and poetry forums where he’d published or posted and tried getting in contact through those editors’ and other’s emails or avatars: nothing. Then the other day I googled “Wolf Larsen,” and came across a blog (mentioned below). Wolf Larsen had surfaced. A blog comment later, we started up this dialogue.


Author Spotlight / 19 Comments
July 6th, 2011 / 1:33 pm

It’s Weird That People Think That That’s Weird: An Interview with Jamie Iredell

Earlier this year saw the release of Jamie Iredell’s second book, The Book of Freaks, from Future Tense Press, on the heels of his much beloved Prose: Poetry, A Novel. Essentially an encyclopedia-style catalog of human oddities and the author’s wild ruminations on everything from Russians to People Named Spencer and Their Wives, the whole assemblage works as a collage you can dip in and out of with immediate pleasure, but also manages to construct among its pieces a hybrid narrative that is truly singularly Iredellian. Over the past several weeks, Jamie was kind enough to take some time to talk about some of the manners of the book with me via email.

– – –

BB: Having published your first book that was largely autobiographical, but in some ways also a book full of freaks, how did you end beginning work on an actual, encyclopedia-styled Book of Freaks?

JI: I don’t know. I didn’t really think about it at all, in that I wasn’t thinking “I’m writing a book.” I was just writing shit mostly in the Notes App on my iPhone. Basically talking shit. When I thought something was funny or fucked or whatever, I’d write about it, and then in rewriting I’d make it better. Eventually I saw themes developing. I caught a bunch of these A&E shows about obese people, or folks with other debilitating conditions, like this woman with one part of her body (legs) growing out of control her entire life, so her legs were all fucked up huge while the rest of her was normal. Then I figured, if there’s something interesting about those people then there’s something equally interesting about Mexicans, or people who purposely style their hair into fauxhawks.


Author Spotlight / 20 Comments
May 16th, 2011 / 3:10 pm

Giving Away the Freaks

Jamie Iredell is giving away his killer new book,  the weird faux-encyclopedia of trash talk and straight talk: The Book of Freaks. Here follows the scheme from Jamie himself — MY

“I want to give away some copies of The Book of Freaks.

I’m thinking that the most entertaining way I might achieve this is to have other people write their own entries to The Book of Freaks.

For examples, some of the entries that I wrote can be found

at Hobart
at the2ndhand
at Robot Melon (x2)
at Mad Hatter’s Review
at Servinghouse

Write your freakish entry. It can be about anything you damn well please. Post your entry in the comments here. Entries will be judged by Roxane Gay and Mike Young. Three winners and a runner-up will be selected to receive a signed copy of the book and some other junk that I decide to send your way.” Post your comment entries by Thursday May 12th.

Contests / 27 Comments
May 5th, 2011 / 9:24 am

Look! Freaks and Feathers on the West Coast

Mike Young and Jamie Iredell are flying out to the west coast today (on an airplane, I think). They want to read to people on the west coast. They are nice people. They are calling their reading tour “Freaks and Feathers.” If you’re on the west coast and interested, check out their reading schedule.

Pilot Books, Seattle WA (TODAY 7pm)
Ampersand, Portland OR (3/5/11 7:30pm)
Ashland Public Library, Ashland OR (3/6/11 7pm)
Rancho Parnassus, San Francisco CA (3/7/11 7pm)
John Natsoulas Gallery, Davis CA (3/8/11 8pm)
KKUP 91.5 FM, Cupertino (3/9/11 8pm)
Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo CA (3/10/11 tba)
Skylight Books, Los Angeles CA (3/12/11 5pm)

If you can, say hi! They’d like to see you too.

Events / 5 Comments
March 4th, 2011 / 5:42 pm

Book of Freaks

Jamie Iredell. Future Tense. The Book of Freaks. March.

Oh, hell yes.

Author News / 1 Comment
January 25th, 2011 / 7:43 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

Jamie Iredell’s Prose. Poems. A Novel.

Out today!

prose poems cover

In his debut collection, Jamie Iredell calls on a classic and reemerging literary form to tell a story of travel, adventure, boredom, and life in general. Prose. Poem. A Novel. is a precisely written series of poems that when collected tell an addictive story. However, don’t expect to see complex titles and strict structure; this after all is a novel. Iredell masterfully pushes the reader through every detail, but as each page is turned form and genre melt quickly into a vital story.

Prose. Poems. A Novel., the third release from Orange Alert Press, is filled with brilliant and thematic illustrations from Christy Call (Literary Dispatch, Publishing Genius, and Willows Wept Press). These illustrations are in full color and add an even more vibrant visual element to Iredell’s story.

Here is my blurb on the book: “If Mary Robison listened to more punk, grew up in Las Vegas in the 80s before the 80s sucked, did whippits while reading Ben Marcus and scrolling the alternative personals for golden lines to crib, she might have exploded into the post-post-Beat sentence index that is Atlanta. But she didn’t. Jamie Iredell did, and in reading this lean but dense meat-eater of a sui generis prose poem cycle, one realizes there might still be a way for chapbooks to compete with porn.”

“What in the hell are these things? Stories? Poems? Stoems? Whatever they are, they have (lucky for us) catapulted from the brain, indeed the life, of this epicurean-poet-goonmaniac from Atlanta-via-Reno-via-northern-California. This book (much like the speaker himself) moves with a moody cat, and resolves amidst (and beyond) the sometimes seedy underbelly of Atlanta with its cavernous tavern dives, its ungodly cockroaches, its lust for excess. When you put down this book, you might suffer a hangover. But these pieces simultaneously achieve a sense of bildungsroman (think Joyce, not Sherwood Anderson). The consistency of voice and style here is remarkable, as is Iredell’s knack for creative metaphors (think Richard Brautigan). James Iredell has the skillz to pay the billz. Wait, he’s a poet so he can’t pay his billz. What I mean to say is, he has the skills to throw out the mail and keep scribbling, which is something he is always doing, and doing well.” – Mike Dockins, author of Slouching in the Path of a Comet

Great book from a great guy. Buy.

Author Spotlight / 10 Comments
October 20th, 2009 / 2:29 pm