Friday, January 8, 2016

New Fiction in Booth

My short story "Steve Harvey & Carlos II" was published by Booth today. Thank you to editors Robert Stapleton and Chris Speckman for publishing my story.

"Steve Harvey & Carlos II" is another short story in a series I'm writing dedicated to my best friend, Army 2nd Lieutenant Peter H. Burks, who was killed by an IED just outside the Green Zone in Baghdad on November 14th, 2007. You can read my story here. As always, thanks for reading!

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Fiction in The Boiler

My short story "The Quiet" has been published in the just-released Winter issue of The Boiler. There is a lot of stunning work in this issue. I can't thank Sebastian Hasani Paramo enough for publishing my story, a tale about a girl and her father and an oil spill in Alaska. I started writing "The Quiet" in Seattle when I felt just close enough to Alaska to set a story there. I hope you like it! You can read my story here. As always, thanks for reading!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Second Printing for Families Among Us!

I'm very happy to announce that in addition to being a Small Press Bestseller when it debuted, my chapbook of six short tales, Families Among Us, sold out of its original print run and is now in its second printing! Winner of the Black River Chapbook Competition, I hope you'll give this little collection a look and get a copy for yourself and/or as a gift for the person in your life who loves to read. You can order the book here, which will be giving future you a gift when it arrives via post. Stories in this book were adapted for broadcast on NPR, published by Tin House, and anthologized in The Best Small Fictions 2015.

And here are some awfully kinds words about the book:

Each of the stories in Blake Kimzey’s astonishing chapbook Families Among Us are intricate, beautifully written universes unto themselves. These stories blur the lines between what is real and what is possible yet they are also intimate and familiar because they are stories about people and connection and the very human desire to be a part of something greater than ourselves. —Roxane Gay, Author of An Untamed State and Bad Feminist

These stories are like tiny portholes into worlds teeming with rich, surprising life. Blake Kimzey is a master miniaturist. —Ramona Ausubel, author of No One is Here Except All of Us and A Guide to Being Born

Blake Kimzey has given us all the pleasures our imagination can bear, six stories to savor slowly, to break our hearts and then mend them. I wanted more of these good things. —Kyle Minor, author of Praying Drunk and In the Devil's Territory

These imagined worlds conjure not some other space but the forgotten weirdness of the world we know, revealed here in all its wondrous everyday magic. —Matt Bell, author of Scrapper and In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods

Following the likes of Orson Welles and his radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds, Rod Serling and the television series The Twilight Zone, and John Carpenter and his film The Thing, Blake Kimzey and his chapbook collection of short stories Families Among Us delve deep into different, yet equally mysterious phenomena. Kimzey’s collection proposes that we need look no further than our own homes and communities for the source of the curious and the bizarre, and it is through these otherworldly, yet earthly, creations that we discover that which binds us all. -Colorado Review, Center for Literary Publishing

Without ever resorting to one-to-one symbolic resonances, or hyperbolic strangeness, these stories strike a balance that leaves me feeling both recognized, and impossibly far from home. I also end up wondering how Kimzey walks this line so well.  -Green Mountains Review

An entire universe lives within these forty pages, spun into existence with the sincere cadence of an ancient origin story. For readers, this chapbook is a welcome pause from realism, a chance to give in to and live briefly in the fantastical. -PANK

Lovely and Majestic. Kimzey has fashioned six allegories about the inevitability of change, people trying to love what is different from themselves, and the hardship and heartbreak that comes with being part of a family. -The Small Press Book Review

Families Among Us is a daring book. As with Kafka’s work, after living in these stories for a couple days, they get even stranger, and new layers emerge. -Fiction Southeast

Thank you for supporting my writing! Get your copy here

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Best Small Fictions 2015 - Available Now

Today is the official publication day for The Best Small Fictions 2015. I’m honored that Pulitzer Prize-winner Robert Olen Butler has selected my story “The Boy and the Bear” for inclusion in The Best Small Fictions 2015, an anthology that includes stories from Ron Carlson, Diane Williams, Stuart Dybek, Bobbie Ann Mason, Michael Martone, Hiromi Kawakami, Kelly Cherry, and many other amazing writers. I am beyond thrilled at this news! The anthology is available to purchase now if you'd like a copy. Thanks as well to series editor Tara L. Masih!

By way of recognition, "The Boy and the Bear" first appeared in The Masters Review, and I can't thank Kim Winternheimer enough for originally publishing this story. I also want to thank Black Lawrence Press Executive Editor Diane Goettel and Chapbook Editor Kit Frick because "The Boy and the Bear" is collected in my chapbook Families Among Us, winner of the 2013 Black River Chapbook Competition and published by BLP in September 2014. More news to come! Thanks for reading!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Writing Out of the Wilderness - Speaking at the NLC Arts & Literary Festival

I was invited to be a guest speaker at the North Lake College Arts & Literary Festival. I'll be giving my talk "Writing Out of the Wilderness: How to Survive Rejection and Forge a Path to Publication."

I'm scheduled to speak Monday, 10/12 at 12:30. More details can be found here. I'd like to thank Dr. Brett Bodily for extending the invitation to come speak. I'm really excited to share what I know about writing, revising, and submitting your work for publication. I hope to see you there!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Families Among Us: Great Review in Green Mountains Review

Thank you to Natalie Mesnard and Green Mountains Review for this great review of my chapbook, Families Among Us.

Here is a short excerpt:

I’m happy to say, in all cases, that Families Among Us takes my defenses apart. Without ever resorting to one-to-one symbolic resonances, or hyperbolic strangeness, these stories strike a balance that leaves me feeling both recognized, and impossibly far from home. I also end up wondering how Kimzey walks this line so well. Even as the book remains, start to finish, at a pleasingly odd level of partial-resolution, engaging me with unnamed characters and situations that feel near to allegorical, for me it delivers this simple truth: though the forest is always possible, the town is, and always will be, what we have.

You can read the rest of the review here. And if you'd like to buy a copy of Families Among Us, an Indie Bestseller now in its second printing, you can do so here. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

New Fiction in FLAUNT Magazine

My short story "The Wilderness" has been published in the L.A./London issue of FLAUNT Magazine, a fashion and culture magazine distributed in over 32 countries. All of the creative writing in this issue fits the billboard-culture theme, and my story is no exception. But this is really the Beyoncé and John Baldessari issue, and I'm thrilled to be part of it!

The issue just hit newsstands and you can read my story online, along with great essays on billboard culture by Michael Jaime-Becerra, Robert Landau, and Kenny Schachter. I'd like to once again thank editors Amy Slocum and Ryan Ellis for publishing my fiction! You can pick up a copy of the magazine at bookstores and newsstands across the world or read the story right here. Thanks for reading! 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Reading at The Pygmalion Festival - 9/26

I was invited to read at The Pygmalion Festival in Urbana-Champaign, IL later this month (9/26). I'm really excited about this. Now in its 11th year, The Pygmalion Festival features bands, writers, artists, and techies all showcasing their wares. I'm thrilled to be part of the literary lineup and Lit Crawl along with Brian Evenson, Aaron Burch, Elena Passarello, Colin Winnette, Jennine Capó Crucetand, and a bunch of other really awesome authors. If you're in the Midwest later this month you should come to this festival. There is sure to be great music, readings, art, and tech discussions. I hope to see you there! More info here.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Guest on The Other Stories Podcast

I was a guest on Ilana Masad's podcast The Other Stories last month and the episode went up today. I read and we talked about my story “And Finally the Tragedy (originally published by Tin House), and about Donald Barthelme’s influence on this particular story and on my writing in general. I also bring up this great piece by Michael Byers in the Fiction Writers Review, which is totally worth your time if you're a fan of Barthelme. We also talk about the writing process in general and where stories come from. I had so much fun talking to Ilana and am so happy she invited me to come on the show! I think you'll really enjoy our conversation. Here is the link to listen if you’re interested.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Teaching Creative Writing at The University of Texas at Dallas

This fall I'm teaching in the Graduate Creative Writing Program at The University of Texas at Dallas. I taught the undergraduate fiction workshop at UTD last fall and am very happy the director of the Creative Writing Program invited me back to teach the graduate fiction workshop this year. I couldn't be more excited or grateful for this opportunity to step back into the classroom at UTD!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

New Fiction in Hobart

I'm thrilled that Hobart published my short story "M80" today in honor of Independence Day! This is a story about a guy with nine fingers that comes back for more on July 4th. I love Hobart and I'm so honored they published this story on my favorite holiday. Big thanks to founding editor and fellow writer Aaron Burch for publishing this story. You can read it here. As always, thanks for reading!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

New Fiction in FLAUNT Magazine

I'm excited that my short story "The Zipline" has been published in the yearly summer fiction issue of Flaunt, a fashion and culture magazine distributed in over 32 countries. The theme of this issue is "Summer Camp" and features profiles of Elizabeth Banks, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Nicholas Hoult, Hank Azaria, and more. My story is about a couple of camp counselors who go naked zip lining. I'd like to thank editors Amy Slocum and Ryan Ellis for publishing my fiction! You can pick up a copy of the magazine at bookstores and news stands across the country or read the story right here. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Writing Out of the Wilderness - Speaking to the Writers' Guild of Texas

I was invited to speak to the Writers' Guild of Texas at the Richardson Public Library next Monday night (5/18) at 7:00pm. My talk is titled Writing out of the Wilderness: How to Survive Rejection and Forge a Path to Publication. My talk should last about an hour and is free and open to the public. In a John Steinbeck letter from 1953, republished in The New York Times, he wrote:
The process of acceptance-rejection is not unlike the lone dance of the fiddler crab. A man writes a book - why? Because he wants to...Now the purpose of a book I suppose is to amuse, interest, instruct but its warmer purpose is just to associate with the reader. You use symbols he can understand so that the two of you can be together. The circle is not closed until the trinity is present - the writer, the book, and the reader.
I'll be talking about how we as writers can close that circle: you, your book, and your reader. And you can find more information about my talk at local NPR-Affiliate KERA's Art&Seek Website, which I'm thrilled is promoting the event. So if you’re in the Dallas area next Monday night and hankering for a talk about writing, I’d love to see you!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Families Among Us: Great Review at PANK

Thank you to Thomas Michael Duncan and PANK for this great review of my chapbook, Families Among Us. Here is a short excerpt:
When a writer tells vibrant stories that bleed into the margins, and when a sharp design meets fitting, fascinating artwork, the result is too great to ignore. In other words, the result is Families Among Us. An entire universe lives within these forty pages, spun into existence with the sincere cadence of an ancient origin story. For readers, this chapbook is a welcome pause from realism, a chance to give in to and live briefly in the fantastical.
You can read the rest of the review here. And if you'd like to buy a copy of Families Among Us, you can do so here. Thanks for reading!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Guest on The Weekly Reader on Minnesota Public Radio

Last week I was a guest on The KMSU Weekly Reader, an author interview radio show that airs weekly on Minnesota Public Radio. Thanks so much to host Teagan Knoblich for having me on. We talked about my chapbook of short tales, Families Among Us, the writing process, what I'm working on now, and even how having kids has had a wonderful affect on my writing. It was a lot of fun, and I also read from a couple stories. You can check out the show archives for great interviews with Steve Almond, Kyle Minor, Daniel Handler/Lemony Snicket, Frank Bill, D.A Powell, Robert Boswell, and Kate Bernheimer, among others. And you can listen to the episode I'm on right here. Thanks for listening and for reading!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Anthologized in The Best Small Fictions 2015

I’m honored that Pulitzer Prize-winner Robert Olen Butler has selected my story “The Boy and the Bear” for inclusion in The Best Small Fictions 2015, an anthology that includes stories from Ron Carlson, Diane Williams, Stuart Dybek, Bobbie Ann Mason, Michael Martone, and many other amazing writers. The anthology will hit bookstores this October. I am beyond thrilled at this news!

By way of recognition, "The Boy and the Bear" first appeared in The Masters Review, and I can't thank Kim Winternheimer enough for originally publishing this story. I also want to thank Black Lawrence Press Executive Editor Diane Goettel and Chapbook Editor Kit Frick because "The Boy and the Bear" is collected in my chapbook Families Among Us, winner of the 2013 Black River Chapbook Competition and published by BLP in September 2014. Thank you all! More news to come!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Reading at AWP '15

I'll be a featured reader at the Black Lawrence Press AWP Offsite reading in Minneapolis on 4/9/15. It promises to be a great night at Kieran's Irish Pub. I'm happy to be part of the Black Lawrence family and read in support of my chapbook, Families Among Us. I hope you'll join me for what I think will be a very fun evening. I've read in Vermont, New York City, Iowa City, Los Angeles, Dallas, and this will be my first reading at AWP. I hope to see y'all there! 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Author Interview in Structo (England)

My short story ‘The Skylight’ first appeared in issue nine of the beautifully produced British journal Structo. Today, Structo founding editor Euan Monaghan posted an interview in which we talk about my chapbook of short tales, Families Among Us, and also about living and writing in Paris, finding inspiration in place, putting a short collection together, and what I'm working on now. You can read the whole interview here. Thanks so much to Structo and to Euan for publishing my work and championing my chapbook! And if you'd still like to order a copy of my chapbook, you can do so here.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

New Fiction in Green Mountains Review

I'm honored that Green Mountains Review published my story "The Loft" today, which you can read here. I've long admired Green Mountains Review and I can't thank writer and editor Jensen Beach enough for believing in my story enough to publish it. Thank you, Jesnen! And thank you for reading!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Thanks to The Masters Review!

Along with books written by Karen Russell, Richard Matheson, Shirley Jackson, Jeff Vandermeer, Ben Lerner, Panio Gianopoulos, and a few others, The Masters Review has included my chapbook Families Among Us on this list of Nine Books You Can Read In The Time It Takes To Watch The Super Bowl, saying:
Small and special, the characters in these six stories sprout wings and slither. They grow snouts, claws, and fur. Kimzey’s stories have been called, “beautifully written universes” and they are exactly that. 
You can check out the whole list here. And if you'd like to order Families Among Us, you can do so here. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Author Interview with Lit Central O.C.

I was in the same workshop as Cynthia Romanowski at Squaw Valley. She wrote a story that had Steve Almond's jaw on the ground along with the rest of the table. Cynthia was kind enough to interview me for Lit Central O.C. when my chapbook Families Among Us came out. We talked for an hour and a half via Skype about a lot of things, including grad school, writing bad fiction, asking for blurbs, being okay with uncertainty, and the literary wilderness. You can read the whole interview here. Thanks for reading!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Families Among Us: Great Review from the Colorado Review/Center for Literary Publishing

I'm honored to see this wonderfully in-depth and generous review of my chapbook Families Among Us from the Colorado Review and the Center for Literary Publishing. A short snippet:
Following the likes of Orson Welles and his radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds, Rod Serling and the television series The Twilight Zone, and John Carpenter and his film The Thing, Blake Kimzey and his chapbook collection of short stories Families Among Us delve deep into different, yet equally mysterious phenomena. Kimzey’s collection proposes that we need look no further than our own homes and communities for the source of the curious and the bizarre, and it is through these otherworldly, yet earthly, creations that we discover that which binds us all.
You can read the whole review here. And if you'd still like to purchase a copy of Families Among Us, you can do so here. Thanks for reading! 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

New Fiction in Day One

My story "Reunion Briefing" was published by Day One today along with a poem from Kyla Marshell and original cover art by Maryanna Hoggatt. You can purchase the issue here.

"Reunion Briefing" is another short story in a series I'm writing that is dedicated to my best friend, Army 2nd Lieutenant Peter H. Burks, who was killed by an IED just outside the Green Zone in Baghdad on November 14th, 2007. 

Day One, featured on the Ploughshares blog yesterday as a literary journal to watch, showcases one writer and poet each week, with issues delivered directly to Kindles or Kindle reading apps. I hope you'll give it a look.

Thank you to Day One editor Carmen Johnson for publishing this story. She had a real heart for this piece of writing and I can't thank her enough for seeing it to publication.

Thank you for reading!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Short Piece in McSweeney's

On this Christmas Eve, McSweeney's published my short humor piece "Your Great Aunt Is Not Making Another Green Bean Casserole for Christmas." I'm thrilled to have a piece on their site. Big thanks to Tendency Editor Christopher Monks for publishing my work! You can read it here.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Families Among Us made Necessary Fiction's Year-End Recommended Reading List

Families Among Us made Necessary Fiction's year-end recommended reading list, along with great books from Chang-Rae Lee, Jenny Offill, Julia Elliott, Dorthe Nors, Christy Crutchfield, Aaron Burch, and Mike Meginnis. Big thanks to Steve Himmer and Brian Seemann for including me!

I'm humbled to be the only chapbook on this year-end list, surrounded by books published by Riverhead, Vintage, Graywolf, Tin House, Melville House, Coffe House Press, and Two Dollar Radio. Big thanks to Black Lawrence Press for publishing my chapbook, which has been released to more sales and praise than I thought imaginable. So thank you to everyone who has bought a copy, the little chapbook that could.

And if you'd still like to buy a copy of Families Among Us, you can do so here. Thanks!