Thank you to all the readers and to the audience for making BREW VIII such a wonderful evening of literature and camaraderie. It was an event predominated largely by personal history. I started things off by reading some ancient journal entries in which my 10-year old self seemed concerned primarily with turning his room into a “GIJOE haven.” Then Elizabeth Onusko read to us from her full-length poetry collection PORTRAIT OF THE FUTURE WITH TRAPDOOR (Red Paint Hill, 2016) as well as a new poem examining that odd sensation most of us have experienced as you watch the various permutations of an ex’s life via the distorted portal of the internet. David Olimpio read from his nonfiction collection THIS IS NOT A CONFESSION (Awst Press, 2016) in which he detailed some good old-fashioned polyamorous porch-sex and somehow turned into a meditation on baring our weaknesses for all the world to see. Lauren Hilger read a number of poems from her forthcoming collection LADY BE GOOD (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2016) which use classic movies like The Seven Year Itch and On the Town as a means to dive into the realms of the emotional, psychological, sexual, even sociopolitical. Finally, Leland Cheuk, author of the debut novel THE MISADVENTURES OF SULLIVER PONG ( CCLaP Publishing, 2015), read his poignant, heartfelt and often hilarious essay–recently published by Salon–about his battle with myelodysplastic syndrome and his need to publish a book as a way to cement an existence, here in the physical world, beyond his own existence. The phrase “chemo-mullet” may have been uttered at one point.
Elizabeth Onusko’s first full-length collection, Portrait of the Future with Trapdoor, received the Bryant-Lisembee Book Prize and was published by Red Paint Hill in April 2016. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Witness, Best New Poets 2015, Conduit, DIAGRAM, Sixth Finch, The Awl, and Redivider, among others. She is assistant editor of inter|rupture. Visit her at elizabethonusko.com.
David Olimpio grew up in Texas, but currently lives and writes in Northern New Jersey. He
believes that we create ourselves through the stories we tell, and that is what he aims to do every day. Usually, you can find him driving his truck around the Garden State with his dog, Rothko. He tweets and Instagrams as @notsolinear. He has been published in Barrelhouse, The Nervous Breakdown, The Austin Review, Rappahannock Review and others. His debut nonfiction collection, This Is Not a Confession, wants your eyeballs.
Laruen Hilger’s first full-length collection of poetry, Lady Be Good, is forthcoming from Civil Coping Mechanisms Press, 2016. Awarded the Nadya Aisenberg Fellowship from the MacDowell Colony, where she was a fellow in 2012 and 2014, her work has appeared in Gulf Coast, Harvard Review Online, and Kenyon Review Online, among other journals. She serves as Poetry Editor for No Tokens Journal. For more, see laurenhilger.com.
Leland Cheuk is the author of the novel THE MISADVENTURES OF SULLIVER PONG (CCLaP Publishing, 2015). He has been awarded fellowships and artist residencies including one from the MacDowell Colony, and his work has appeared or is forthcoming in publications such as Salon, The Rumpus, Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, [PANK] Magazine, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Bartleby Snopes, The Margins, and elsewhere. He is also an assistant fiction editor at Newfound Journal. He lives in Brooklyn.