The great Molly Gaudry interviewed me for Keyhole Press. We look at five specific videos done for poems from In This Alone Impulse by the likes of BL Pawelek, AD Jameson and Ryan Bradley.

Please give it a read.

Much-loved TNB contributor Irene Zion adds her two cents (and two dogs) to the growing list of folks taping themselves reading from my book of poetry, In This Alone Impulse. Watch her read here.

Other TNB peeps who’ve read include Greg Olear and Jeffrey Pillow.

Wanna play along? Email me and I’ll send you a free copy of the book!

Writer, Editor, and TNB family member Jeffrey Pillow stands in water to read from In This Alone Impulse. His dog seems less than thrilled. Watch the less-than-one-minute video here.

Want to play along? Read a poem from In This Alone Impulse, and get a free copy of the book. Contact me for details.

TNB Senior Editor Greg Olear reads a poem from TNB Fiction Editor Shya Scanlon’s book of prose poetry, In This Alone Impulse.

Shya Scanlon is giving away free copies of his book to anyone willing to post a video of themselves reading a poem from it to YouTube. Wanna go for it? Contact Shya.

I have 25 copies of my debut book of poetry, In This Alone Impulse, and they’re burning a hole in… well, the box they came in. SO! I’ve come up with the following offer: record yourself reading one of the poems (on video), post that video to YouTube, and I’ll send you a free copy via snail mail.

Here’s the skinny:

  1. Express interest by emailing/sending me a Facebook message. (email address can be found through my site: www.shyascanlon.com/contact
  2. I will send you a pdf of the manuscript.
  3. You choose one you like, record, and post the results.
  4. I send you a book in the mail.

The results are already coming in! Take a look at the videos that have been made by generous, fun-loving folks like you–-some I’ve posted myself, and others I’ve “favorited” and are thus linked to my YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/ShyaScanlon

Again, please consider passing this offer around to anyone who you think might appreciate a free book of poetry.

Tonight there will a release reading for my book of prose poetry, In This Alone Impulse, at KGB Bar in NYC at 7pm. In celebration of its polyvocal soul, I’ve gathered a number of friends and fellow literarians to help me read from the book, including:

Lincoln Michel, James Yeh, John Madera, John Dermot Woods, Rozalia Jovanovic, Nicolle Elizabeth, Todd Zuniga, James J. Williams III, Terese Svoboda, Emma Straub, Sasha Graybosch, Nick Bredie, Nora Jean Lange, Joe Sullivan, Peter Schwartz, Timmy Waldron, and Brianna Colburn.

All outstanding writers in their own right, I really look forward to hearing how they give voice to these poems. The reading will also feature videos from people across the country, including BL Pawelek, Ryan W. Bradley, and AD Jameson. I’ve personally been recording videos for these poems for a while now, and I encourage you to watch one or two here. (Want to make one of your own? I’ll send you a copy of the manuscript and let you have at it!)

Here’s a link to the event listing. Please come, or suggest it to a local friend!

What are your poems about?

Sex. Sex and money. The poems of In This Alone Impulse inhabit the interstitial space within the body politic, they’re little assassins paid to rape people in/out of their slumber.

Be honest.

Fine. These poems are about the chemistry of dependence and malaise. They are little language pills designed to work away at the Broca’s area of the brain, to assess and treat expressive aphasia.

So you’re a doctor.

Doctor Feelbad, at your service. Overcoming sex-pressive aphasia can be a nasty business. One of my patients, during convalescence, began to use language so bigly the hospital collapsed around her.

Bigly isn’t a word. I’m sorry to hear it. Is she okay?

The use is archaic. The hospital was just a cardboard box, fortunately. She didn’t have healthcare. Another victim never woke up, and it was beautiful. Her mouth opened around the most amazing sentence I’d ever heard, then closed forever.

Don’t you mean patient?

We tried to be, but in the bigly end we couldn’t wait. Had to operate. Truth will out.

So you know the truth when you see it, do you?

Who says I saw it? No, I only heard about this secondhand. At the time, I was in the counting house, counting all my money. This poetry business is a racket.

Business? I’m glad to hear you say that, because then you doubtless agree that the customer is always right.


And as the customer, I have a request.


And my request—as you’ve obviously expected from the outset—is that you explain your work so I don’t have to be responsible for my own interpretation.

You’re right, I’ve been unfair.

Well, you’re treating me like I’m some nincompoop who’s never heard of reader-response theory. I’m not your enemy, Shya. I’m a fan. I just want to ask you a couple of questions.

I understand.

See, now you’ve got me angry. I’m sorry, but I’m really sick of all you poets thinking you’re a league above your readers—sad little serfs with whom you must occasionally condescend to interact. It’s arrogant, insulting, and frankly, reeks not a little of fear and self-loathing. Are you a self-loathing poet?

Crushingly so. When will it end?

Maybe it will end when you drop all your dumb facades and try focusing on bridging the gap between yourself and the world, instead of willfully prying it open wider. That’s what you’re doing, right? You’re not “speaking” in any traditional sense, you’re just expressing. Cows can express. They can open their mouths and moo. And that’s great, mooing is nice.

Well I think you’re going a little far.

Do you? That’s nice. Let’s see… Oh, why go even farther than the first line? “This like we, likely, is this is, undo.” What distinguishes this from an intricate moo?

Well now you’re putting me in a position. What do you think?

I think it’s a simile struggling to emerge, or a group, a “we” trying to liken themselves to something, to gain perspective. But failing. Or having difficulty, at any rate. It seems to be saying that simile, even as it seeks to enrich understanding, breaks things apart, creates division. I liken something to something else, and in doing so formally separate these two things. But there’s a struggle! Proximity becomes a kind of poisoned commodity (This sums us up.), something sought but also the source of pain, or at least potential erasure. The poem seems to suggest or paint an attempt to self-define, to build identity in the face of some destructive force that’s paradoxically has its origins in the will-to-create. The end, then, is about compromise. What bends so it won’t break? What burns? I’m thinking a bridge. Maybe one with an ogre underneath it. Or a subconscious.

Oh come on. That’s a stretch.

Well what do you think?

I think you’re more familiar with interstices than you let on.

So how long have you been writing poetry?

Actually, I’ve been meaning to clarify. I don’t write poetry. I write fiction.

This is when being an “official” blogger at the Feed really pays off. With not a sliver of compunction, I now point you to a page where you may pre-order my book of prose poetry, In This Alone Impulse, published by Noemi Press.

Here’s a fancy blurb about it from Brian Evenson:

“Locating itself on the boundary between poetry and fiction, In This Alone Impulse is beautifully replete with silence. One has the sense that the world outside is still there but dampened, and being reordered and reformed by the particular and peculiar logic and structures that these syntactically inventive prose blocks have. And yet, despite the formal concerns these pieces seem remarkably human and remarkably painful, opening up the blank avenues of a lone life. With each reading these pieces change, seeming less and less enigmatic and more insistently full of lyrical human meaning. A marvelous and original sequence; there’s really nothing else out there like it.”