I will be reading at the KGB Bar in Manhattan upstairs in the Red Room on Friday, June 8, from 7-9 PM. If you're around you, come out and see me and all the other writers! It's free and open to the public.
Here are some of the things that we at Sacred Chickens believe you should spend your time reading this weekend.
Julie chose a short story collection that features a small town haunted, both by ghosts and by its racist past. Given the current climate, it tends to feel less like we're haunted by racism and more like it never died in the first place.
Jarad has two things to recommend this week: The first is the book about the Chimpanzees of Gombe, and Dr. Goodall's extraordinary work done there. The second is a Politico article explaining the White House Press Secretary, and how she manages and attempts to put out the ever present fires at the White House
Morty recommends a movie that shines a light on poverty in a county near disneyland, a sad juxtaposition that shows the happiest place on earth with a lot of unseen sadness.
What is Your Uncle Morty celebrating? The fact that people are starting to submit to the first annual Sacred Chickens Writing Contest.
There are no entry fees. Submissions are blind. We don't hold copyrights.
Uncle Morty can't read the submissions until the contest ends, but he's already getting excited. We can't decide whether to take his brandy away or put valium in it.
Here's the scoop!
Heart of the Broken World
by Jeff Weddle
Review by Julie Carpenter
Jeff Weddle writes poetry that captures the terrible dilemma of being human, the paradoxical notion that goodness and beauty may be best appreciated by those who have find themselves on the outside looking in. In all of his poetry, we find decency swallowed by corruption, and then still leaving a shadow of itself, an infection of left over hope.
The title of this chap book is terribly apt for this collection (and most of Weddle’s poetry). . Every poem in the collection is an attempt to shake off the rubbish of decay to find some moment, some nugget of hope or beauty. Weddle acknowledges both the overwhelming bitterness of life and the fact that some elemental good is left after the fires of anger, hopelessness, meanness and strife have consumed innocence.
In almost every poem, the broken and the beautiful are side by side as in this line in the poem “It Will be Later Still” describing an aging man,
“Bald head shining like a beacon to decay”
Decomposition and light meld together. The bitterness of aging is the lens with which one can see the beauty of youth. In poems like “It’s True” the past is a lost country…but not quite lost…because it still exists in the memory. Jeff’s poetry dances on the edge of despair, but never goes over the edge. It is poetry for our times.
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer
By Lish McBride
Review by Jarad Johnson
During the hectic week of final exams, it’s always nice to have a distraction, which is exactly why I picked this book up. It’s an all-engrossing, fast-paced urban fantasy that contains: a zombie panda, witches, werewolves, a dragon-cat, an evil necromancer AND feisty ghosts. This particular ghost also happens to love waffles, but who can blame them? And, while I really enjoyed the book, there is just no way to sum all that up in a succinct sentence. It also may seem like a lot of things going on at once in a rather average-sized book, but somehow it all works, and makes sense within the story.
Click on Morty's picture to find out how you can take his money! Cash prizes! No fees! You keep the all rights after we publish your story.
You know you want to!
Here are some books we thought you might be interested in reading.
Jarad handles the apocalyptic reading this week. We seem to have the apocalypse on our minds. I wonder why?
Julie chooses hers based on character development and a well developed world.
Morty, as usual, wants you to think a little harder.
Just click on the image of the book to if you want to buy and you're off to the apocalypse, to hang out with a grumpy math teacher, or to consider the psychology of fairy tales. Have fun! Stay safe!
Jarad has shockingly run into people who have not read The Stand by Stephen King. He thinks this is a travesty. He loves it for the complexity and world building. Also...Apocalypse people! Wouldn't hurt to start thinking about that.
Julie picks a book about a cranky older lady. Hmmmm...
This book of thirteen short stories takes the reader into the world of Olive Kitteridge, a retired school teacher, the sort of grumpy older woman most of us might ignore if we could. The careful delineation of Olive's story and the world around her is a tour de force in understanding and compassion. Check this out and fall in love with a character you didn't even know you would like.
Is this book old? Yes. Uncle Morty has been dead for a while. He keeps up the best he can. Still, dig this oldie out of the cemetery and read it. Darnton reviews incidents from The Age of Enlightenment that will leave modern readers scratching their heads and puts them in historical context, a lesson applicable in almost any situation. Maybe this book is more timely than you think.
MORTY IS DYING TO GIVE YOU MONEY FROM HIS MONEY BAG!
Click here or on Morty to find out how to enter our fiction contest.
Cash Prizes! No entry fee! You hold the copyright!
Why? Because Morty loves you.
By B. Diehl
Review by Jarad Johnson
In his second volume of poetry, B. Diehl offers us a serious and cerebral exploration of depression, among other things. The poems are thought-provoking and at times read like a personal diary entry. What I really enjoyed about the poetry was that it felt like it wasn’t written for anyone in particular; that is, it reads like someone’s own personal thoughts, which I think makes it more relatable than if it was pandering to a specific audience. John Stuart Mill said that poetry is, “feeling confessing itself to itself in moments of solitude and embodying itself in symbols which are the nearest possible representations of the feeling in the exact shape in which it exists in the poet’s mind.” If I were to sum up the collection, I would probably go with something similar to that definition. It’s very much internalized and self-reflective.
Here are some books that we think you may find interesting. Julie's picks illustrate how the theology of the apocalypse came to be, along with a compelling critique of the worlds worst books. Morty picked a mind-bending fairy tale, and Jarad picked a book that imagines a dystopian society in which women have no rights. So...have fun I guess? (It seems like that kind of weekend.)
Just click on the image of the book to if you want to buy and you're off to the apocalypse, or some dystopia, or a weird fairyland. Have fun! Stay safe!