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Catapult Catapult publishes books, produces a daily web magazine, offers writing classes, and hosts an open online writing platform. Catapult publishes books, produces a daily web magazine, offers writing classes, and hosts an open online writing community.

From the founders of Electric Literature and Black Balloon Publishing. Catapult is headquartered in New York, NY, with a second office in Portland, OR. Have a question? Shoot us an email at [email protected]

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Happy publication day to the great Padgett Powell! 🐍 💪 📚His essay collection INDIGO: Arm Wrestling, Snake Saving, and So...
11/10/2021

Happy publication day to the great Padgett Powell! 🐍 💪 📚
His essay collection INDIGO: Arm Wrestling, Snake Saving, and Some Things in Between is on shelves today!

"A champion in the shadows . . . a major American writer." —The New York Times

Gathering pieces written during the past three decades, Indigo sees Padgett Powell in Sweden for the World Armwrestling Federation Championships, searching for the endangered indigo snake, and writing on authors from Donald Barthelme to Flannery O'Connor.

A throughline in many of the pieces is the American South—the college teacher who introduced Powell to Faulkner; the city of New Orleans, which “can render the improbable possible”; and the seductions of gumbo, sometimes cooked with squirrel meat.

As Pete Dexter writes in his foreword to Indigo, “He is still the best, even if not the best-known, writer of his generation.”

Get your copy from your favorite bookseller here:
https://buff.ly/3oG8Wf1

Happy publication day to the great Padgett Powell! 🐍 💪 📚
His essay collection INDIGO: Arm Wrestling, Snake Saving, and Some Things in Between is on shelves today!

"A champion in the shadows . . . a major American writer." —The New York Times

Gathering pieces written during the past three decades, Indigo sees Padgett Powell in Sweden for the World Armwrestling Federation Championships, searching for the endangered indigo snake, and writing on authors from Donald Barthelme to Flannery O'Connor.

A throughline in many of the pieces is the American South—the college teacher who introduced Powell to Faulkner; the city of New Orleans, which “can render the improbable possible”; and the seductions of gumbo, sometimes cooked with squirrel meat.

As Pete Dexter writes in his foreword to Indigo, “He is still the best, even if not the best-known, writer of his generation.”

Get your copy from your favorite bookseller here:
https://buff.ly/3oG8Wf1

11/10/2021

"The ten days I spent in my birthplace have been stored in the place where I keep my dreams. The trip doesn’t feel real, and I might have imagined much of it." A new essay by Aline Mello.

Oregon Public Broadcasting interviews THE MANNINGTREE WITCHES author A.K. Blakemore from the Portland Book Festival!
11/09/2021
A conversation with Rivka Galchen and A.K. Blakemore from the Portland Book Festival

Oregon Public Broadcasting interviews THE MANNINGTREE WITCHES author A.K. Blakemore from the Portland Book Festival!

Authors A. K. Blakemore and Rivka Galchen each have new books out that explore the very real witch trials of the 17th century. The pair joined OPB's Crystal Ligori to discuss the process of basing fiction on historical events, how individual experiences can be wrapped up in national and global circu...

Our language around suicidal ideation often separates the person from the thought, writes Arianna Rebolini: "How much do...
11/09/2021
How Do We Survive Su***de? | Arianna Rebolini

Our language around suicidal ideation often separates the person from the thought, writes Arianna Rebolini: "How much does my fear of owning this darker voice hinge on a cultural insistence that it’s unhealthy, even unnatural? What if I’m all of it?"

How much does my fear of owning this darker voice hinge on a cultural insistence that it’s unhealthy, even unnatural? What if I’m all of it?

“I fully believe that art is necessary. It is not a luxury. There’s nothing self-indulgent about it. Books have saved my...
11/09/2021
How’s the Writing Going, R. O. Kwon? | A Conversation with Sari Botton

“I fully believe that art is necessary. It is not a luxury. There’s nothing self-indulgent about it. Books have saved my life.” Don't miss this conversation between Sari Botton and R. O. Kwon!

“I know that when I’m really writing, when I’m really, really lost in a sentence, I forget I have a body, I forget what time is. I forget to eat.”

"How was I to communicate what it felt like, to have an ordinary day that felt like a seismic war?" Kyle Lucia Wu, autho...
11/09/2021
Writing an Ordinary Existence | Kyle Lucia Wu

"How was I to communicate what it felt like, to have an ordinary day that felt like a seismic war?" Kyle Lucia Wu, author of WIN ME SOMETHING, writes:

I didn’t know how to make things happen in fiction—maybe because the drama of my life seemed so ordinary to everyone else.

Tonight! Join Anne Elizabeth Moore and Casey Rocheteau at 7PM ET for a virtual conversation about GENTRIFIER, hosted by ...
11/09/2021
At Home with Literati: Anne Elizabeth Moore & Casey Rocheteau

Tonight! Join Anne Elizabeth Moore and Casey Rocheteau at 7PM ET for a virtual conversation about GENTRIFIER, hosted by Literati Bookstore, partnering with Rent Party Detroit!

We're pleased to welcome Anne Elizabeth Moore to our At Home with Literati Series in support of Gentrifier. She'll be in conversation with Casey Rochetau. The event will also highlight work of Rent Party Detroit. You can donate to Rent Party Detroit here.

11/09/2021

"in Brazil, I felt the ease one feels of not having to say where they’re from, what language they speak. While in the US, I am used to explaining my origins at every turn. In Goiânia, I didn’t have to be Brazilian; I could just be me." A new essay by Aline Mello: https://buff.ly/3GZpyXT

TONIGHT at 7PM ET, join Mina Seçkin and Jean Kyoung Frazier for the launch of THE FOUR HUMORS, IN-PERSON at powerHouse A...
11/09/2021

TONIGHT at 7PM ET, join Mina Seçkin and Jean Kyoung Frazier for the launch of THE FOUR HUMORS, IN-PERSON at powerHouse Arena! https://buff.ly/2ZUbQor

TONIGHT at 7PM ET, join Mina Seçkin and Jean Kyoung Frazier for the launch of THE FOUR HUMORS, IN-PERSON at powerHouse Arena! https://buff.ly/2ZUbQor

11/09/2021

"Whenever I 'missed' Diana, I knew, one day, I would have to miss Mom too." Matt Ortile on grief, memory, and the myths of the people's princess. https://buff.ly/3BW5Ic7

11/09/2021

"[Mom] and Diana were contemporaries, two years apart in age, similar in their styles: sharp blazers, revenge pearls, feathered hair at mom-appropriate length—elegant as they were sensible." Matt Ortile on grief, memory, and the myths of the people's princess. https://buff.ly/3BW5Ic7

"Powell seems to me . . . a champion in the shadows, a rare creature, a delicious hybrid—and a major American writer."Ch...
11/09/2021
Padgett Powell Goes Snake Chasing

"Powell seems to me . . . a champion in the shadows, a rare creature, a delicious hybrid—and a major American writer."

Christian Lorentzen considers Padgett Powell's role in American letters and the joys of his new essay collection INDIGO for The New York Times.

The novelist’s first nonfiction book, “Indigo,” collects wide-ranging essays unified by his unmistakable voice.

"What is the right way to embrace the fact that your body is trying to kill you?" Nora Feely on gratitude, rage, and the...
11/08/2021
The Script Characters with Cancer Are Told to Follow | Nora Feely

"What is the right way to embrace the fact that your body is trying to kill you?" Nora Feely on gratitude, rage, and the script characters with cancer are told to follow:

Nora Feely on unrealistic storylines and tropes of characters with cancer, what it means to "survive," gratitude, and toxic positivity

"Neither of us game as much as we did a decade ago," writes Nadine Bachan, "but we’re both content with maintaining a ba...
11/08/2021
Two-Player Mode: Me, My Brother, and Our Gaming History | Nadine Bachan

"Neither of us game as much as we did a decade ago," writes Nadine Bachan, "but we’re both content with maintaining a balance of commitments." Read more from this history of a sibling relationship told through video games:

We spent hours, whole evenings, whole weekends, absorbed in ‘World of Warcraft.’

11/08/2021

"Whenever I 'missed' Diana, I knew, one day, I would have to miss Mom too." Matt Ortile on grief, memory, and the myths of the people's princess. https://buff.ly/3BW5Ic7

“There was a billboard [of the book] in Times Square . . . I'm in London, so when they sent me the photograph, I just re...
11/07/2021
Read an Excerpt from Chibundu Onuzo's Gorgeous Novel, 'Sankofa'

“There was a billboard [of the book] in Times Square . . . I'm in London, so when they sent me the photograph, I just remember shouting out loud. I live alone, and I remember shouting out, ‘I need a party!’” 🎉

Elle Magazine interviews SANKOFA author Chibundu Onuzo!

In an early scene from the book, the author introduces Anna Graham's quest to find the father she never knew.

11/06/2021

"I hear his name, and these things flood in: his eyebrows, his mother’s brisket, his voice, our voices together. That is all I have left to rid myself of. It is a blessing." New short fiction from Allison Darcy: https://buff.ly/3mKQgLJ

11/06/2021

⭐️ "A ruminative account of the pursuit of a master forger ... Hypnotic ... This captivating work is one to savor." ⭐️

A Publishers Weekly starred review for Portrait of an Unknown Lady by María Gainza, translated by Thomas Bunstead!
https://buff.ly/3ER8yBl

A rave for Jordan Salama's forthcoming EVERY DAY THE RIVER CHANGES from The Post and Courier "Superb in its evocation of...
11/06/2021
Review: Time on the river Magdalena reveals true nature of Colombia

A rave for Jordan Salama's forthcoming EVERY DAY THE RIVER CHANGES from The Post and Courier
"Superb in its evocation of place and time, Every Day the River Changes deserves the widest possible audience. Salama’s is a triumph of travel literature."

Jordan Salama, beginning his explorations as a student and bringing them to fruition in his stirring memoir, “Every Day the River Changes,” offers readers a different reality. It is one

11/06/2021

"And then what would happen if I ran into him and he said something to me? And what would happen if I ran into him and he didn’t?" New short fiction from Allison Darcy: https://buff.ly/3mKQgLJ

"The sunlight that drifts through the leaves makes the red hair look like it’s changing; shades of fresh blood, fallen l...
11/05/2021
Seven Questions in Exchange | Cindy Zhang

"The sunlight that drifts through the leaves makes the red hair look like it’s changing; shades of fresh blood, fallen leaves, berries in autumn." Beautiful new short fiction from Cindy Zhang:

She follows the signs deeper as a weight in her gut grows colder with every step. It’s almost been long enough that she’s forgotten the finer details. Almost.

If you're looking for contests, residencies, and publishers to submit your writing to, check out this week's submission ...
11/05/2021
Bitly | Forbidden | 403

If you're looking for contests, residencies, and publishers to submit your writing to, check out this week's submission roundup by Nicole Dieker!

This is a 403 error, and it's not as ominous as it sounds. Bitly can only show this page to people who have permission to see it. Maybe what you are looking for can be found at Bitly.com.

"Who wouldn’t be scared knowing that the love they were falling in could be seized like contraband?" Read new short fict...
11/05/2021
Revelations | Eloghosa Osunde

"Who wouldn’t be scared knowing that the love they were falling in could be seized like contraband?" Read new short fiction from Eloghosa Osunde:

There’s nothing harder to let go of than an already-gone thing.

11/05/2021

"I hear his name, and these things flood in: his eyebrows, his mother’s brisket, his voice, our voices together. That is all I have left to rid myself of. It is a blessing." New short fiction from Allison Darcy: https://buff.ly/3mKQgLJ

11/05/2021

"Something a little gay, unlabeled, lingered just off-screen." Michael Colbert on Madison Montgomery and the campy, beguiling aesthetics of 'American Horror Story: Coven.' https://buff.ly/3mLBMLI

11/05/2021

"[My mother] didn’t want to be a superwoman, but she would do anything for her people to be well and happy." Ravynn K. Stringfield on The Flash, Black motherhood, and affording Black women their humanity: https://buff.ly/3bHgSXE

11/05/2021

"Black mothers rarely are afforded the courtesy of humanity. Mistakes are inexcusable. Perfection is expected." Ravynn K. Stringfield on The Flash, Black motherhood, and affording Black women their humanity: https://buff.ly/3bHgSXE

THE FOUR HUMORS is one of Bustle’s most anticipated books of November! Congrats, Mina!
11/04/2021
Bitly | Forbidden | 403

THE FOUR HUMORS is one of Bustle’s most anticipated books of November! Congrats, Mina!

This is a 403 error, and it's not as ominous as it sounds. Bitly can only show this page to people who have permission to see it. Maybe what you are looking for can be found at Bitly.com.

11/04/2021

"I felt a kinship with her zingers; her blazing, problematic sense of superiority; an imprecise discontent that sometimes glows beneath the surface." Michael Colbert on Madison Montgomery and the campy, beguiling aesthetics of 'American Horror Story: Coven.' https://buff.ly/3mLBMLI

11/04/2021

"Something a little gay, unlabeled, lingered just off-screen." Michael Colbert on Madison Montgomery and the campy, beguiling aesthetics of 'American Horror Story: Coven.' https://buff.ly/3mLBMLI

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Comments

I was just ready to submit my first full-length poetry manuscript only to read on Authors Publish that submissions closed a day early without any notice on your website or Twitter feed. This does not inspire faith in your respect for writers who have worked long and hard on a manuscript, scheduled time for the submission and attachments only to find out that you closed submissions day early without notifying anyone.
I just read your article by Alexis Zanghi called What Home Staging Showed Me About Housing in America. I absolutely loved it. Her writing is magnificent. I hung on every word and I don't usually read all the way to the end on a long article unless it's good. It's very good
From my WIP entitled "God, Send Sunday": "Papa stepped off the porch and faced the man. Why had he said the man was white when clearly he was the loudest shade of pink Sunday had ever seen?"
Hannah Walhout's article on New York was quite wonderful. It was definitely New Yorker style writing in more ways than one.
I just finished "Before and After the Book Deal: A Writer’s Guide to Finishing, Publishing, Promoting, and Surviving Your First Book" by Courtney Maum and I will be recommending it to many of my writer friends!
A Country Muse “Hear Sir! I write poetry far better than anyone on earth,” the young man claimed. “Oh! You don’t believe I can show you that.” He came close and demanded to read the yellow lines printed on his black t-shirt. I glued to the words, and as the t-shirt was tattered, and washed more than hundred times, many letters lost their sheen. You need to apply your imagination to have a sense of the poem. I failed to decipher the lines, but said with a sweet voice, “Wow! I’ve never read such a beautiful poem in my life!” “Eh, where do you find beauty?” He asked with a sneer, and apparently had been much pained with my words. “Why, man, I found beauty in each letter you pen.” I tried to mollify his wrath. But he was gloom and dark. A silence sustained. I felt shaken for my misdeed. The air was cool, and the day pleasant. The sun was mellow, and its soft rays fell on us through the laced twigs of lovely trees. The water of the pond riffled with a low murmur. Birds flew and sang dolefully among the bushes and thickets. The ducks paddled in glee in the gleaming water. A fishy smell smothered us. “You, the educated, always find beauty in everything—beauty in nature, beauty in women, beauty in poetry, even beauty in the poor. Eh…Where is beauty? Huh.., this poem is written not with ink. Each letter is dripped and soaked with my own blood. Huh…beauty?” He spat, and the air flung it far. He looked me hard, eyes forcibly wide, and face flushed with anger and disdain. “Where is the blood? It’s printed in a machine. Do you have a textile factory?” I feigned nonplused. He was terribly dismayed. He said nothing, as if he suddenly lost words. He squinted at me with derision. His eyes glittered, and a spasm of ache ran through his face. He jumped up with energy, and hurried a few paces away. But he came back, and said, “Blood, you can’t see, as you’re blind. Why do you keep eyes? Go to Nripen Mitra Eye Care, and donate them.” “That I do at when I die.” I quipped. “Hear Sir! And don’t forget. You may be a professor, but I’m your teacher.” He said with conviction, and thumped the soil hard, and his dangling hand was covered with dust, and the rays of the late noon sun began to play chiaroscuro before our eyes. “Why do I write? Do you know? Any idea?” He stooped his head, and it hung heavy. “Because you love it.” I plainly said. “But I’m asking now why do I love it?” He shouted shaking his head. A strain of fresh spit covered his thick lower lip, and his mouth was watery. “How can I tell that, man? I never know you and your poetry. Some write for name, some for posts and parks, the elegant and rich take it as hobby; the fashionables indulge in it as mere pastime. And we all love it. Your particular case I know not.” I bluntly said. He grasped or not I couldn’t tell. But he nodded his head, and said, “Sir, I’m writing since childhood. And I can tell you even the exact date. It was June 28, Monday morning when my father died. It was a heavy weeklong downpour, fields and ponds flooded. Villagers kept shut in huts. Many were washed away. We cried long. At noon the rain slowed, and we brought the dead to the burning ghat. We somehow made an odd plank with woods, wet and soaked, and poured two drums of kerosene oil over it. Father lie naked, and I set fire to his mouth. The body was not getting burnt, it was smouldering. My neighbours took bamboo poles and beat and beat, until they got tired. They thrashed his skeletons. And then Vangha Das, a tall dark man with a huge paunch and long untrimmed whiskers, a specialist in cracking heads hit and broke my father’s skull. It splattered like a ripe melon. I came home, swapped and sucked. And after midnight I wrote my first poem, “Mrituya” (Death). And I kept the draft in a tin trunk at a corner of my hut. At my restless days and nights I read it aloud, keeping me shut, and dark at my hole.” “Ask me why, why I write?” He stirred his legs unstopped, and stared at me. “Why?” “To kill pain, Sir.” “What pains? You’re young, and perhaps you have a good wife and a lovely child.” I remarked. “I’m unmarried,” he protested thumping his breast and told, “in old school days I fell in love with a girl. She was a beauty. You can’t find such a nice girl nowhere. But I was a student, and her father refused me her hand. I cried, and I penned many poems to soothe me. She loved my words, and at night lone she sang. We never talked. Only now and then stolen glances we exchanged. She knew the depths of my love, my admiration, and I dreamed her day and night. Then one day she stopped coming school, and I heard she eloped with a man of two children.” “So what? Fall in love again with any girl of your choice. Who Cares? It was so cool in today’s world.” I flatly said. “Are you a profe-saar? You’re talking like a…a low fellow. Huh… with such mentality you teach. Shame, shame on you!” He squeezed his face, and spat with a loud noise, and fell silent again. “Why man, love knows no time, no clime, no age. And I’m not asking you to marry and fetter your soul. I only ask you to fall in love, sacred and pure. And what’s wrong with that?” I extended. “Nah, nah… I’m happy with my life and my poetry. I don’t hate girls, but I shun them. I fear intruders into my little world of poetry.” He told, and looked earnest. “Oh, it’s fine. Have you published any poem?” “I’ve no luxury to do that. I have an acre of farm lands, and a yard of betel nut rows, and I live on that. Hah, Dr. Satidhar Rai, editor of Mujnai published some of my poems. But one day he called me, and asked to sell 200 copies to my friends and known faces. I declined before his face, ‘Saar, I don’t sell poems; I’m a poet, I only pen it.’ Since then he stopped me publishing.” He paused for a while thoughtfully, and then softly said, “I pen on sheets, and often print them on shirts and pants. My friend Amit has a printing machine. He does it free. And you know I have no ambition. A poor village poet I’m, and love to remain so. And see, not only on clothes, I also etched them on my skin.” He removed his t-shirt, and threw it away. It fell on a twig beyond, and hung like a scarecrow. He turned his back, and I saw, it was painted all with a green sketch ink. He pushed me to read. I tried and failed again. Only some dying words I could discover with much difficulty. The wind blew and yellow leaves fell on us. We made cozy leafy cushions, and sat on them. A cuckoo cooed tirelessly from a tree nearby. A kingfisher sat still on a lone stray branch, and its eyes set on the gliding water. The sky was all blue. The sun was rich and soft. Peasants, men and women, yonder were all busy weeding potato fields. “How many poems have you written?” I asked, and he said nothing. He looked weird, and a line of pain ran across his sunken cheeks, bearded and scabbard and jaded. His small eyes glowed, and gleamed in a way that thousands tales one could read there. “Countless Sir! My trunk is filled, and I now keep them on everywhere—bed, four corners of my hut, kitchen. And Sir, at my hut you can’t keep feet without nudging them. I write on boundary tins, clothes, utensils, plastic jars. My yard was scratched, and nut trees embossed all. In rain my poems bath, and in sun they bask.” He laughed so loud that birds made a flutter from trees. “Anything else you love, man?” I asked looking at the greeneries of the fields, and heard the rustle of the leaves. A leafless shimul tree was in full bloom, and its underneath was covered with gory scentless flowers. The man sat bare. The day was pleasant, and the place was a bit cold. “Oh…,” he smiled, “nothing much of that. I like fishing. But I don’t kill them. I catch fish, see them gasping for life for a minute or two, and freed them in crystal water. Sometime I pelt pebbles in ponds hours after hours. I also frequent forest to see tall trees standing still. I love to hear the buzz of bees, and cries of peacocks, but what I love most is to hear the sad silence of long wintry night and to watch and count the sparkling stars hung heavy over my tin shade.” “Oh! What a beautiful life you lead!” I exclaimed. “No beauty, please. It’s simple. I love simple things.” He warned me with an air of authority. He scratched his head, brushed his face again and again, scrambled his back pocket and lighted a bidi. He smoked, and asked me to forgive him for this little pleasure. “What I have Sir, …nothing,” he sighed, and began, “you know I have no bad habits—no women, no wine. I smoke bidi (a cheap smoke), and write at dark night. The things I need—a pen, a bidi, and a dark corner. I’m not a poet of moon, and sun, and stars. I’m a poet of pain. And I write poem not for fame or name. I write to quench the pangs of my birth. You understand, not laugh. Everybody writing poetry, hu… it’s not so easy and baby thing. All are not poets, a very few are.” He looked fierce, his eyes burnt. He spat, and with a mournful look he sat silent, and began to count lines of his palm, and muttered. And suddenly he hinged out a crumpled paper from his hind pocket and began to read so loud that some peasants soon left weeding, and hurried, and circled us. He commands all for being silent, coughed, straightened the sheet, readied himself and began to shriek, “Jago amar maa ar ghumayo naa “(Awake mother, no more sleep) Tomare fele jodi choli (If I leave you) Pothe jodi bipod ase (If darkness comes in my path) Dakbo kare maa? (Whom I call?) Nirapode tumi chhhaya (You are my safe shelter) Tomar kole, tomar buker (Lying on your lap) Dugdho tene (Sucking your breasts) Ei prithibir prothom alo (First light of the earth) Peyechi ami maa…” (I see…) ” He stopped, and kissed the sheet thrice, and sounded aha ha ha, oh oh ohhoho, and began to cry. He cleared his nose, and tears ran down, making his beard greasy. The peasants were all silent, and stared us still. The scent of fresh mud entered my nostrils. And they were so overwhelmed, and they almost bent over us. I could see nothing, only the bare mud caked, dusty legs, and the toes all flat like the ducks pointing towards us. An old pale lean woman among the crowd wiped her eyes with the end of her soiled sari, and pitied the man, “Why do you cry, bachha (boy). Your mother is no more. So what, I’m your mother. Come, I caress you.” Suddenly the man stopped crying, and tried hard to figure out his mother, and when found, he looked quizzically straight at her, and said with a serene voice, “You are my maa, it’s all right maa. But underneath lays another thought. Can you tell me that anyone? I ask you all.” His burning eyes slowly surveyed the dull faces of the peasants one by one. The peasants eyed one another, and stood silent, gaped and yawned. He then raised his voice and shouted, “Why won’t you die? Why do you live at all, you all are rustic fools!” He spat. I sat silent. He pushed me and asked, “Sir! What will do they? The mother of my poem is all’s mother—Bharat maataaa. Huh… it’s not so easy; a poem isn’t a baby thing! He cried loud and fainted.