Wednesday, 2 July 2008


Issue 8 of my mag, Tom's Voice, has just gone up, thanks to the ministrations of Zoe King, webmeister. And we have an interview with the American novelist musician Rick Moody.


(Synchronicity... reading The Grauniad the other day, out fell the latest 'Great Lyricists' booklet. Patti Smith, with a foreword by Rick M. I felt as though I knew him... 'Hey. He's in MY mag, you know...'


Huge thanks to Rick Moody for allowing us to listen to some of his experiences...and I have to thank my co-editor J.Aaron Goolsby, for that really superb interview, and for securing the agreement of Sam Lipsyte (Assistant Professor and Associate Director of Undergraduate Creative Writing at Columbia Universty) who allows us to republish one of his short stories.

This little mag is extraordinary. It started a few years back as a place where writing by recovering addicts could be read, because so often what they had to say was important - but rarely listened to, outside rehabs. Writing from their families. Those whose lives had been changed irrevocably by the addiction struggles of someone they love.

The first issue was full of pieces written by my students in a rehab in Brighton. Slowly - but thanks to the Internet - word spread until I was getting submissions from writers from all over.

People who wanted to be open about what they'd experienced. Supporting the guys who were struggling to kick their own addictions.

I turn the tables in my mag... so readers have to read the bios of the writers first. Why? because unlike a squillion lit zines, in mine, the WRITERS matter as much as their writing.

The lineup this issue:

Dennis Mahagin is a poet and musician whose work appears in magazines such as Exquisite Corpse, 3 A.M., FRiGG, Absinthe Literary Review, 42opus, Stirring, Thieves Jargon, Hiss Quarterly, Word Riot, Unlikely Stories, and Underground Voices. A first collection of his poetry, entitled Grand Mal, is forthcoming in '09 from Three Roads Press.

Sam'l IrwinThough 22 years sober, Sam'l attends AA meetings regularly. He turned to creative writing after a bad business turn nearly cost him his sobriety. He is a photojournalist for a Louisiana agriculture newspaper, and also freelances for several south Louisiana publications. His fiction has been published by Dead Mule, Spillway Review, Long Story Short, Gris Gris Rouge, Country Roads and Cape Fear Crime Festival.

Sam Lipsyte
Sam Lipsyte is Assistant Professor and Associate Director of Undergraduate Creative Writing at Columbia Universty. He is the author of two novels, Home Land (Picador), and The Subject Steve (Broadway). Cremains appears in his collection of stories Venus Drive (Open City).

Bill Turner.
First and foremost, Bill Turner is an alcoholic in recovery, who has recovered from a hopeless state of mind and body and the incessant cravings to drink. He is also a founding editor of Per Contra, The International Journal of the Arts, Literature and Ideas.He began writing fiction and stage plays in 2004. His fiction has appeared extensively online, and he was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He is a Consulting Editor for Electronic Media for Boulevard Magazine and Contributing Editor for Many Mountains Moving Press

J Aaron Goolsby
lives in Amarillo, Texas. His fiction most recently appeared in the Suisun Valley Review. He recently completed work on his first novel Girls Against Yoga.

He is Deputy Editor and General Good Guy on Tom's Voice, and interviews Rick Moody for us.

Kelly Spitzer
lives in the Pacific Northwest. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Binnacle, Redivider, Cream City Review, Hobart (web), elimae, 3:AM Magazine, Vestal Review, and other publications. She is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize nomination, and an editor with the flash fiction publication SmokeLong Quarterly. Visit her at her website.

Matthew Licht found out the hard way that there's such a thing as too much marijuana. “Two years of being young and playing around the Detroit area in a washed-up jazz combo during the punk years are gone. Hardly any memories at all.”

His story collection The Moose Show is published by Salt and was nominated for the Frank O'Connor Prize 2007. He is the author of the detective trilogy World Without Cops. He also wrote The Crazy House Gag. “A novel about farts, basically.”

and my resident poet, Jo Waterworth.

Jo Waterworth spent most of the 1980's as a Peace Camper and New Age Traveller. During the late 80's and early 90's Class A drugs were infiltrating the Traveller culture.
Many of her close associates started using heroin to come down after partying on ecstasy. Jo spent most of a decade living in a council flat and coping with the realisation that her partner, father of her children, had become an addict.
Writing was her lifeline in a shipwrecked family. After his death, and her subsequent clinical depression, she has found a new role in life - supporting, encouraging and inspiring other people's creativity as well as her own.
She is now doing a Diploma in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes at Bristol University, and recently won first prize - for the second time - in Speak Up Somerset's annual poetry competition.'

Please pass the word about. I love submissions like this. But I also want more from rehabs. if the powers that be will let people write and submit....


Jo said...

i've put a link on my blog...x

Vanessa Gebbie said...

Thanks Jo.