Reverse Fan Mail Authors for APRIL 2015

The annual Reverse Fan Mail project is one of our favorite parts of APRIL. The process is simple: one person makes a donation to the festival, then we take their name and send it to one of our favorite small press authors. That author then writes a brand new, never-published piece of writing with the donor’s name as their ‘prompt’ or inspiration. Then we send a hard copy of that piece to the donor. It’s one direct way APRIL carries out our mission to connect readers with authors.

All Reverse Fan Mails this year will be printed as broadsides and feature a new print by Justin Duffus and it looks like this:

Donate on or before October 17 (the last day of this year’s fundraiser!) and get a Reverse Fan Mail from:

Jac Jemc’s My Only Wife (Dzanc Books) was a finalist for the 2013 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize and winner of the Paula Anderson Book Award. Her collection of stories, A Different Bed Every Time (Dzanc Books), is released this month.

Ed Skoog is the author of two collections of poetry, Mr. Skylight (Copper Canyon Press, 2009) and Rough Day (Copper Canyon Press2013). 

Shya Scanlon is the author of the novels Forecast and Border Run (Artistically Declined Press, 2012), and the poetry collection In This Alone Impulse (Noemi, 2011). His novel, The Guild of St. Cooper, will be published in 2015 by Dzanc. He curates contributions for the Twin Peaks Project, a series of analyses, reflections, and reminiscences about the impact of Lynch’s seminal show. More info at www.twinpeaksproject.com

Wendy Xu is the author of You Are Not Dead (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2013) and two chapbooks. She is the recipient of a 2014 Ruth Lilly fellowship and co-edits iO: A Journal of New American Poetry / iO Books.

Arna Bontemps Hemenway Arna Bontemps Hemenway is the author of Elegy on Kinderklavier (Sarabande 2014), which was named a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers pick for Summer 2014. His fiction has appeared in A Public Space, Alaska Quarterly Review, Ecotone, FiveChapters, The Missouri Review, The Seattle Review, Meridian Literary Review, Bat City Review,They Magazine, and Epilogue Magazine, and has been named a Notable/Distinguished Story of the Year in both the Best American Short Stories and Best American Nonrequired Reading anthologies.

Rich Smith is the author of All Talk (Poor Claudia) and the chapbook Great Poem of Desire and Other Poems (Poor Claudia). His poems have appeared in Tin House, City Arts Magazine, Guernica, Southeast Review, Hobart, Barrow Street, The Bellingham Review, Pleiades, Verse Daily, and elsewhere.

Kate Lebo’s first cookbook, Pie School: Lessons in Fruit, Flour and Butter was just released from Sasquatch Books. She is also the author of A Commonplace Book of Pie (Chin Music Press, 2013) and The Pie Lady’s Manifesto, a zine republished by The Rumpus in 2014. Her poems, essays, commentary, and recipes have appeared in Best New Poets, New England Review, Gastronomica, Willow Springs, AGNI, The Washington Post, City Arts Magazine, 94.9 KUOW, Poetry Northwest and other places. She teaches poetry and food writing workshops across the nation, but especially at Richard Hugo House and The Pantry at Delancey. A graduate of the University of Washington’s MFA program, she’s the recipient of a Nelson Bentley Fellowship, the Joan Grayston Poetry Prize, and a grant from 4Culture.

Mike Young is the author of Sprezzatura (Publishing Genius, 2014), Look! Look! Feathers (Word Riot Press, 2010)We Are All Good If They Try Hard Enough (Publishing Genius, 2010), and Who Can Make It (Big Lucks, 2014). He’s also the publisher of NOÖ Journal and Magic Helicopter Press, and writes for HTMLGIANT.

Jane Wong holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is a former U.S. Fulbright Fellow and Kundiman Fellow.  She is also the recipient of scholarships to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Currently, she teaches literature and poetry at the University of Washington and the Richard Hugo House. The recipient of Meridian’s 2013 Editors’ Prize, poems have appeared in journals such as CutBank, Hayden’s Ferry Review, ZYZZYVAMid-American Review, The Volta, Salt HillThe Journal, and the anthologies Best New Poets 2012 (The University of Virginia Press) and The Arcadia Project (Ahsahta Press). She has two chapbooks, including Dendrochronology (dancing girl press) and Kudzu Does Not Stop (Organic Weapon Arts). Her poetry reviews appear regularly in Warscapes, a journal providing a lens into current conflicts through literature.

More about our festival and our other thank you gifts at aprilfestival.com.

"there are no user manuals actually / so kiss me you idiot / neither of us is a windswept traveler / instead I am a windfarm / you are the source of my power"— from Amber’s poem “Everything Dissolves at a Certain Temperature” in Issue 15 of the great journal Coconut. Read the whole poem here and watch Amber read from her work in this video posted at The Volta. Her fan letter for you will be at least one windswept traveler. (This excellent photo of Amber hard at work tabling her books for Alice Blue Press is from Short Run, Seattle’s comics and small press festival.)

Amber Nelson is the co-founder and poetry editor of alice blue review, and the founding editor of alice blue books and shotgun wedding. Her first full-length, In Anima: Urgency is available from Coconut Books. She is the author of 4 chapbooks, most recently Dutch Baby Combo is available from Dancing Girl Press.

If you donate for a ‘Reverse Fan Mail' to APRIL, we'll send your name to one of our favorite small press authors who will write a short, original work using your name as inspiration and you'll get a good-looking hard copy to show off.  There are illustrated versions, too!
More about our festival and our other thank you gifts at aprilfestival.com.

"there are no user manuals actually / so kiss me you idiot / neither of us is a windswept traveler / instead I am a windfarm / you are the source of my power"— from Amber’s poem “Everything Dissolves at a Certain Temperature” in Issue 15 of the great journal Coconut. Read the whole poem here and watch Amber read from her work in this video posted at The Volta. Her fan letter for you will be at least one windswept traveler. (This excellent photo of Amber hard at work tabling her books for Alice Blue Press is from Short Run, Seattle’s comics and small press festival.)

Amber Nelson is the co-founder and poetry editor of alice blue review, and the founding editor of alice blue books and shotgun wedding. Her first full-length, In Anima: Urgency is available from Coconut Books. She is the author of 4 chapbooks, most recently Dutch Baby Combo is available from Dancing Girl Press.


If you donate for a ‘Reverse Fan Mail' to APRIL, we'll send your name to one of our favorite small press authors who will write a short, original work using your name as inspiration and you'll get a good-looking hard copy to show off.  There are illustrated versions, too!

More about our festival and our other thank you gifts at aprilfestival.com.

We love our supporters so much, our authors write them fan letters. Get your own and support independent literature!


"When the racetrack closed forever I had to get a job. Want ads made wonderlands, founding systems barely imagined. Adventure’s imperative ruled nothing could repeat. …Do anything once; then, best of all, never again." —There’s a generous excerpt of Doug Nufer’s novel Never Again on the Brooklyn Rail. And this photo is from a great self-interview Doug did using song lyrics from “The Real Book” on The Believer’s blog, which is more than worth a read, too. Honestly, we’re dying to know what Doug will write inspired by one of you.
Doug Nufer is the author of half a dozen novels and three books of poetry, including Never Again, the novel where no word appears more than once, and Lounge Acts, a poem made up of bar band names inspired by cocktail culture. With Wally Shoup on sax and Bill Horist on guitar, he has performed lounge acts of Lounge acts, and is available for weddings, funerals, and school assemblies that can meet his price. The Dammed, a movie by Amy Billharz of him reciting from the eponymous poem while standing in the middle of a river, recently played at the Hedreen Gallery Medium Medium exhibit.

If you donate for a ‘Reverse Fan Mail' to APRIL, we'll send your name to one of our favorite small press authors who will write a short, original work using your name as inspiration and you'll get a good-looking hard copy to show off.  There are illustrated versions, too!
More about our festival and our other thank you gifts at aprilfestival.com.

"When the racetrack closed forever I had to get a job. Want ads made wonderlands, founding systems barely imagined. Adventure’s imperative ruled nothing could repeat. …Do anything once; then, best of all, never again." There’s a generous excerpt of Doug Nufer’s novel Never Again on the Brooklyn Rail. And this photo is from a great self-interview Doug did using song lyrics from “The Real Book” on The Believer’s blog, which is more than worth a read, too. Honestly, we’re dying to know what Doug will write inspired by one of you.

Doug Nufer is the author of half a dozen novels and three books of poetry, including Never Again, the novel where no word appears more than once, and Lounge Acts, a poem made up of bar band names inspired by cocktail culture. With Wally Shoup on sax and Bill Horist on guitar, he has performed lounge acts of Lounge acts, and is available for weddings, funerals, and school assemblies that can meet his price. The Dammed, a movie by Amy Billharz of him reciting from the eponymous poem while standing in the middle of a river, recently played at the Hedreen Gallery Medium Medium exhibit.


If you donate for a ‘Reverse Fan Mail' to APRIL, we'll send your name to one of our favorite small press authors who will write a short, original work using your name as inspiration and you'll get a good-looking hard copy to show off.  There are illustrated versions, too!

More about our festival and our other thank you gifts at aprilfestival.com.

"…birds were splashing / around in their baths, lake-colored amulets were / slipping behind armoires, gentle perfumes from adjoining / fields were accidentally pressed into concrete slabs. / All told, the fanciful was making a fantastic showing"—from “The Survey” in jubilat (read the rest! The ending is great!). Three more to sample in Undertow Magazine and a video of Joshua reading “Karate Chop of Love.” And his next could be written—for you!

Joshua Beckman was born in New Haven, Connecticut. He is the author of nine books, including The Inside of an Apple, Take It, Shake, Your Time Has Come, and two collaborations with Matthew Rohrer: Nice Hat. Thanks. and Adventures While Preaching the Gospel of Beauty. He is an editor at Wave Books and has translated numerous works of poetry and prose, including Micrograms, by Jorge Carrera Andrade, 5 Meters of Poems (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010) by Carlos Oquendo de Amat and Poker (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2008) by Tomaž Šalamun, which was a finalist for the PEN America Poetry in Translation Award. He is also the recipient of numerous other awards, including a NYFA fellowship and a Pushcart Prize. He lives in Seattle and New York.

If you donate for a ‘Reverse Fan Mail' to APRIL, we'll send your name to one of our favorite small press authors who will write a short, original work using your name as inspiration and you'll get a good-looking hard copy to show off.  There are illustrated versions, too!
More about our festival and our other thank you gifts at aprilfestival.com.

"…birds were splashing / around in their baths, lake-colored amulets were / slipping behind armoires, gentle perfumes from adjoining / fields were accidentally pressed into concrete slabs. / All told, the fanciful was making a fantastic showing"—from “The Survey” in jubilat (read the rest! The ending is great!). Three more to sample in Undertow Magazine and a video of Joshua reading “Karate Chop of Love.” And his next could be written—for you!

Joshua Beckman was born in New Haven, Connecticut. He is the author of nine books, including The Inside of an Apple, Take It, Shake, Your Time Has Come, and two collaborations with Matthew Rohrer: Nice Hat. Thanks. and Adventures While Preaching the Gospel of Beauty. He is an editor at Wave Books and has translated numerous works of poetry and prose, including Micrograms, by Jorge Carrera Andrade, 5 Meters of Poems (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010) by Carlos Oquendo de Amat and Poker (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2008) by Tomaž Šalamun, which was a finalist for the PEN America Poetry in Translation Award. He is also the recipient of numerous other awards, including a NYFA fellowship and a Pushcart Prize. He lives in Seattle and New York.


If you donate for a ‘Reverse Fan Mail' to APRIL, we'll send your name to one of our favorite small press authors who will write a short, original work using your name as inspiration and you'll get a good-looking hard copy to show off.  There are illustrated versions, too!

More about our festival and our other thank you gifts at aprilfestival.com.

"There are small typewriters / that other people keep in their eyes / clicking away at all of our farewell parties" Wendy Xu writes in her poem "And Then It Was Less Bleak / Because We Said So" published in ILK. And she will write you a Reverse Fan Mail, especially for you, with the typewriters in her eyes, because she said so!
More great poems by Wendy full of rural states, forgiveness, the desert, horses and coyotes and many other varieties of livestock and wild animal, and varieties of incredible imagery can be found in Diagram and [PANK]. —And someday, maybe one full of you! (Get a Reverse Fan Mail! Support independent lit! Help us spread the word about authors like Wendy!)
Wendy Xu is the author of You Are Not Dead (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2013), and two chapbooks. Recently poems have appeared in The Best American Poetry, Gulf Coast, Black Warrior Review, The Volta, and elsewhere. She co-edits iO: A Journal of New American Poetry / iO Books, and lives in Western Massachusetts.

If you donate for a ‘Reverse Fan Mail' to APRIL, we'll send your name to one of our favorite small press authors who will write a short, original work using your name as inspiration and you'll get a good-looking hard copy to show off.  There are illustrated versions, too!
More about our festival and our other thank you gifts at aprilfestival.com.

"There are small typewriters / that other people keep in their eyes / clicking away at all of our farewell parties" Wendy Xu writes in her poem "And Then It Was Less Bleak / Because We Said So" published in ILK. And she will write you a Reverse Fan Mail, especially for you, with the typewriters in her eyes, because she said so!

More great poems by Wendy full of rural states, forgiveness, the desert, horses and coyotes and many other varieties of livestock and wild animal, and varieties of incredible imagery can be found in Diagram and [PANK]. —And someday, maybe one full of you! (Get a Reverse Fan Mail! Support independent lit! Help us spread the word about authors like Wendy!)

Wendy Xu is the author of You Are Not Dead (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2013), and two chapbooks. Recently poems have appeared in The Best American Poetry, Gulf Coast, Black Warrior Review, The Volta, and elsewhere. She co-edits iO: A Journal of New American Poetry / iO Books, and lives in Western Massachusetts.


If you donate for a ‘Reverse Fan Mail' to APRIL, we'll send your name to one of our favorite small press authors who will write a short, original work using your name as inspiration and you'll get a good-looking hard copy to show off.  There are illustrated versions, too!

More about our festival and our other thank you gifts at aprilfestival.com.

"Pitchers have their superstitions and I have my honesty to consider"—from "Ichiro Flies Out to West," commissioned by Richard Hugo House from Ed Skoog. Commission your own Reverse Fan Mail and get not just a great opening line like that, but a whole poem of them! Check out this appropriately holiday-themed by Ed, too: "The Carolers," in Poetry Magazine.

Ed Skoog is the author of two books of poetry, MISTER SKYLIGHT (Copper Canyon Press, 2009) and ROUGH DAY (Copper Canyon Press, 2013).


"…you are not her, though I call you you // like I called her you. And perhaps I shouldn’t / but I do" —in an excerpt published in Pinwheel from Rich’s chapbook The Great Poem of Desire (Poor Claudia). A poem about a woman in a dress in Guernica is good for heart-throbbing, too.

Rich Smith is the author of Great Poem of Desire and Other Poems, published by Poor Claudia. His poems have appeared or will soon appear in Tin House, City Arts Magazine, Guernica, Southeast Review, Hobart, Barrow Street, The Bellingham Review, Pleiades, Verse Daily, and elsewhere.


If you donate for a ‘Reverse Fan Mail' to APRIL, we'll send your name to one of our favorite small press authors who will write a short, original work using your name as inspiration and you'll get a good-looking hard copy to show off.  There are illustrated versions, too!

More about our festival and our other thank you gifts at aprilfestival.com.

Mike Young and Megan Kaminiski will write you a Reverse Fan Mail!


"…I won’t explain, / not in the face of your expensive research and cheap / buses, not without a draft from your snowplow driver’s / early bourbon, not unless I’m allowed to debut the great / Hawaiian shirt of my intuition that suggests I call your / bullshit" —from Mike Young’s poem "What I’ve Learned from Sleeping in New England" in Sixth Finch. Read a great short story by Mike in Hobart if you want to see his other side.

Mike Young is the author of the story collection Look! Look! Feathers (Word Riot 2010) and two books of poems: We Are All Good If They Try Hard Enough (Publishing Genius 2010) and Sprezzatura (Publishing Genius 2014). He edits NOÖ Journal, runs Magic Helicopter Press, writes for HTMLGIANT, and lives in Northampton, MA. Find him online at http://mikeayoung.tumblr.com.


"Down south the coastline crunches / rock-strewn wind-buried sand-showering / 
faces squinting eyes into secret coves / I have secrets too”—
from"Coast" published on Coconut. A convenient list of more poetry, some essays, even some videos on Megan’s website.

Megan Kaminski is the author of Desiring Map (Coconut Books, 2012) and six chapbooks of poetry, most recently This Place(Dusie, 2013) and Gemology (LRL Textile Editions, 2012). She lives in Lawrence, Kansas, where she teaches poetry at the University of Kansas and curates the Taproom Poetry Series.

If you donate for a ‘Reverse Fan Mail' to APRIL, we'll send your name to one of our favorite small press authors who will write a short, original work using your name as inspiration and you'll get a good-looking hard copy to show off.  There are illustrated versions, too!

More about our festival and our other thank you gifts at aprilfestival.com.

'Edmonde' by Rebecca Brown, a Reverse Fan Mail made possible by one of APRIL's generous donors last year:
 Ed was a one of the mispronounced world, not monde but mund.  Because the world we are in’s not right, the world is wrong.  When the dark goes away it always comes back, when the light comes back it goes away again.  The air goes out of a room sometimes but doesn’t go somewhere else.  The pendulum doesn’t swing sometimes but sticks.  Sometimes someone’s stuck up, some times something sticks out, a sore thumb or a broken heart or party out of ground up hearts of them like us and others who don’t get it, that is do not want to get whata  mis-made mispronounceable messed up a mess the world we have to live in is.  We do not get it, do not understand or get it right, we cannot we just won’t.  We’ve been told, corrected; we have tried.  By faith and Begorrah, (I’m Irish), by Sodom Gomorrah (oh kiss me, I’m Irish, I’m green; Zagorin isn’t), the world will do as the world wilt and we, mund Ed, shall try and try and hard to say something about it with our words.

 Here’s some:
 1) Detroit, Detroit, it’s a helluva town.  

Don’t go all eely on me.  

 Actually do: 
 defined: A snakelike fish with a slender elongated body and poorly developed fins, proverbial for its slipperiness.  
 used in a sentence: The man was wanted in a dozen worlds but was as slippery as an eel.*
 * That’s from my dictionary app, New Oxford American Dictionary, and I quote.

If you donate for a ‘Reverse Fan Mail' to APRIL, we'll send your name to one of our favorite small press authors who will write a short, original work using your name as inspiration and you'll get a good-looking hard copy to show off.  There are illustrated versions, too!
More about our festival and our other thank you gifts at aprilfestival.com.

'Edmonde' by Rebecca Brown, a Reverse Fan Mail made possible by one of APRIL's generous donors last year:

Ed was a one of the mispronounced world, not monde but mund.  Because the world we are in’s not right, the world is wrong.  When the dark goes away it always comes back, when the light comes back it goes away again.  The air goes out of a room sometimes but doesn’t go somewhere else.  The pendulum doesn’t swing sometimes but sticks.  Sometimes someone’s stuck up, some times something sticks out, a sore thumb or a broken heart or party out of ground up hearts of them like us and others who don’t get it, that is do not want to get whata  mis-made mispronounceable messed up a mess the world we have to live in is.  We do not get it, do not understand or get it right, we cannot we just won’t.  We’ve been told, corrected; we have tried.  By faith and Begorrah, (I’m Irish), by Sodom Gomorrah (oh kiss me, I’m Irish, I’m green; Zagorin isn’t), the world will do as the world wilt and we, mund Ed, shall try and try and hard to say something about it with our words.


Here’s some:

1) Detroit, Detroit, it’s a helluva town.

  1. Don’t go all eely on me.  

Actually do:

defined: A snakelike fish with a slender elongated body and poorly developed fins, proverbial for its slipperiness.  

used in a sentence: The man was wanted in a dozen worlds but was as slippery as an eel.*



* That’s from my dictionary app, New Oxford American Dictionary, and I quote.


If you donate for a ‘Reverse Fan Mail' to APRIL, we'll send your name to one of our favorite small press authors who will write a short, original work using your name as inspiration and you'll get a good-looking hard copy to show off.  There are illustrated versions, too!

More about our festival and our other thank you gifts at aprilfestival.com.



(Source: aprilfestival)

Mark Leidner and Tessa Hulls will write you a Reverse Fan Mail!


"It’s difficult to say / who makes loves to whom / in these times." —how one poem by Mark Leidner (found here, at Action Yes, among others) ends. Check out five more at La Petite Zine, too.

Mark Leidner is the author of Beauty Was the Case that They Gave Me (Factory Hollow Press, 2011) and The Angel in the Dream of Our Hangover (Sator Press, 2011). He lives in Atlanta and writes at twitter.com/markleidner.


"I am calling off an engagement. And I am doing it over the phone. While illegally camped in a cow pasture. In west Texas. With toilet paper shoved in my ears to drown out the passing semi trucks. And I keep having to kick my tent walls to scare these damn curious cows away." —Tessa Hulls presents an exploration of personal experience in art and down time in the creative process (as explained by hair ties!) and passes out candy at Seattle’s wonderful interdisciplinary reading series, Breadline.  A whole portfolio and blog of her illustrations and writing on her website, tessahulls.com.


Tessa Hulls is a restless artist/writer/adventurer who collects creative mediums as other members of her gender collect shoes. She works as a painter, cartoonist, essayist, performance-slideshowist, drawer, instigator, interviewer, muralist, bike mechanic, saboteur, feminist, sociologist, cartographer, illustrator, and chef. She is a voracious reader, and frequently finds herself surrounded by poets. When not frenetically project hopping in Seattle, Tessa enjoys traveling alone on her bicycle through remote landscapes, and testing the limits of her own capacity for isolation. She plans to spend a good chunk of 2014 working in Denali National Park in Alaska, and she is (very slowly) working on a non-fiction graphic novel about living in Antarctica.

If you donate for a ‘Reverse Fan Mail' to APRIL, we'll send your name to one of our favorite small press authors who will write a short, original work using your name as inspiration and you'll get a good-looking hard copy to show off.  There are illustrated versions, too!

More about our festival and our other thank you gifts at aprilfestival.com.