Messages-Bottles-EventWhat: Messages & Bottles Reading Event
Who: Authors Steph Post, Schuler Benson, Beth Gilstrap, Taylor Brown
When: Friday, May 29 7:30 PM
Where: Palate Bottle Shop and Reserve
1007 North 4th St, Wilmington, North Carolina 28401.

I’m thrilled to be reading with three of my favorite writers at Palate on Friday, May 29.

Steph Post (A TREE BORN CROOKED, Pandamoon 2014)

Steph lives in St. Augustine, Florida, and she’s one of the most gracious writers I know. Here’s the rundown on her book:

A whirlwind road trip across the desolate Florida panhandle, as James Hart tries to stay one step ahead of the vengeful Alligator Mafia and keep his brother alive.

I actually blurbed Steph’s novel:

“Steph Post delivers a 12-gauge shotgun blast of country noir from the gun-shaped state, a grit-rich tale of blood and citrus sure to have you recalling the rough beauty of Daniel Woodrell’s work.”

Schuler Benson (THE POOR MAN’S GUIDE TO AN AFFORDABLE, PAINLESS SUICIDE, Alternating Current 2014)

Schuler, an Arkansas native, lives down in Myrtle Beach, where he’s completing his Master’s at Coastal Carolina University. His book was perhaps my favorite story collection of 2014.  Here’s the rundown:

Twelve stories, fraught with an unapologetic voice of firsthand experience, that pry the lock off of the addiction, fanaticism, violence, and fear of characters whose lives are mired in the darkness of isolation and the horror and the hilarity of the mundane. This is the Deep South: the dark territory of brine, pine, gravel, and red clay, where pavement still fears to tread.

Here’s what I wrote about it:

“I honestly can’t remember a voice this thrilling and fearless since Barry Hannah. These stories sing out at the edge of abandon, at the very edge of catching fire and burning you up. Schuler Benson is the real thing, and you should read this book before it internally combusts.

Beth Gilstrap (I AM BARBARELLA:  STORIES, Twelve Winters Press 2015)

Beth lives in Charlotte, and she’s Editor-in-Chief of Atticus Review. Here’s the rundown on her book.

This is a collection populated by characters at the fringes of contemporary society — working-class characters with a raging taste for self-destruction. Many of the stories take place in Charlotte, North Carolina — a place people rarely end up on purpose. These characters aren’t bankers or old money, nor entirely belles or rednecks, but some kind of poetry in between, always stumbling, and trying to survive. These are stories of how folks press on and reinvent themselves in a time when textile manufacturing is dead, and most of their friends and family have long since moved on.

Here’s the public url for the Facebook event: