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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Book Review/ Interview: Catfish McDaris. 27 Hammerheads Circling Ever Closer. Pski's Porch, 2018 (318 pages)


This is an amazing, mind-blowing anthology of Catfish McDaris’s new, old and collected writing over an unspecified number of years. It includes more than a hundred poems, eleven pieces of flash fiction and three extended short stories “Naked Serial Killers in Volkswagens”, “Cocaine Nipples” and “The Painter”- which comprise roughly half the book.

The poetry is characteristically free verse and narrative in form. The poems usually sit comfortably on one page and most are about twenty lines in length. The poetry is extremely varied in subject matter and full of surprizes for the adventurous small press reader. You never know what to expect from one page to the next to the page after that. A prose poem sex romp, and poems about Billy the Kid, Van Gogh and Hendrix appear within a few pages of the book’s opening. The poems move from first to third person, from anecdotal social realism to the surreal or the supernatural or the absurd. The poems often feature a man known as ‘the Spaniard’ and his exploits are told with good humour, wit and exuberance. McDaris’s language is full of inventive word play and explicit sexual and drug references. 

Some of the more memorable poems include “No Longer Here”, “Neptune”, “A Horseshoe and 7 Flies and A Bowl of Tiger Soup”,  “How to be a Small Press Success”, “A Gringo Taco”, “The Kangaroo Blues”, “Feeling  Bit Queered”, “Flashing Back”, “Oh Woof”, “Help Me Please, God”, “The Weasel and the Beaver”, “Make Your Move”, Guaymas”, “Van Gogh’s Spinach” and “Birdman from Albuquerque”.

The title poem is a tight, inventive piece with a catchy name. In the interview with Catfish McDaris which follows this review, he remarks about the poem, “I chose the title first. I just read it, I couldn’t remember it. That’s a fucking killer shape shifting poem, I love it. I’m always writing lines, I never know where they’ll go.”

27 Hammerheads Circling Ever Closer

Six mailboxes of rejects, a geisha
with crotch-less panties in a blue
silk stork robe, Confucius love,
the fear of God and love of sin

Don Quixote eating peyote, while
wolves, grizzlies, Tasmanian devils,
and cat-sized mosquitoes try to
drain your blood in murderous rage

She never knew I was a legerdemain
Charlatan holding hands with magic,
27 hammerheads circling ever closer.

The front cover is illustrated by the Swedish artist Janne Karlsson. In it, a McDaris look-alike smokes a cigarette and strides a hammerhead shark. He spills a cup of coffee as he sinks a large kitchen knife into the beast’s snout.  The back cover consists of two drawings by LaWanda Walters.

The best of the book’s eleven pieces of flash fiction tend to focus on McDaris’s experiences as an artilleryman in the U.S. Army in the early 1970s, in boot camp and later in West Germany after Nixon stopped sending troops to Vietnam. The stories “Dutch”, and most important of all, “Little Vietnam, Tigerland Fort Polk, Louisiana” are fascinating and candid accounts of army life. 

Also memorable is the flash fiction which morphs from realism to a more mystical realm. “The Beautiful Monster” and “Spaniard’s Odyssey” evoke journeys where anything is possible. Consider this last paragraph from “Spaniard’s Odyssey”:

“The maiden led Spaniard up a ladder and down another ladder into a round kiva. They became one, they were contented like timber rattlesnakes sunning themselves on a granite mountain ledge. They could hear grass and corn growing, rivers singing, the ghosts of the ancient ones laughing and chanting. Kokopelli’s flute whispered and echoed, a feather dancing in the air. When Spaniard awoke, his lady had vanished. He could hear a bear growling above the kiva. Instantaneously, Spaniard became a butterfly, he flew into the bear’s mouth. Before the bear could swallow him, he flew away.”

Despite the crafty imagination and ongoing experimentation in McDaris’s poetry and flash fiction, what sets this book aflame and distinguishes it from the typical tread mill of egotistical small press mediocrity, is the daring and downright crazy storylines in his extended fiction. The three extended short stories in the book “The Painter” (51 pages), “Cocaine Nipples” (26 pages) and “Naked Serial Killers in Volkswagens” (64 pages) are full-on original and amongst the maddest shit I have had the pleasure to read for years.

The most accessible of the three is “The Painter”, a road journey about an attractive male artist called Nicky Moon whose specialty is capturing women in his art in the throes of orgasm. This story unfolds in nine parts and is essentially a fuck feast told in the form of a tall story. It follows Nicky’s pursuit of art and pussy and reaches a surprising climax after he pops some peyote buttons and straddles the enchanting and mysterious Sky. 

The story “Cocaine Nipples” is far more experimental, particularly in its bizarre evolving narrative and use of open-ended structure. The story is a loosely connected series of vignettes which progress preposterously to an unimaginable conclusion- even for the writer. Words, ideas, plot lines slip, bend, contort in impossible angles. A late-blooming hunchbacked butterfly eventually emerges but you cannot recall how it got there. 

How do you explain the story without spoilers? Let me just say that the plot includes a mass-murdering possessed mink stole, an artist who paints people eating finger licking chicken thighs and drumsticks, a bloke who sells squirrels to a tiger owner and a haemorrhoid patient who spack-fills his asshole with crunchy peanut butter and non-toxic glue to pay back a group of proctologists from hell.

The highlight of this book is certainly the short story “Naked Serial Killers in Volkswagens” which I recommend you begin this book with.  The unlikely title derives from the 8 chapter titles of the story which are named after mass murderers- Charles Manson, John Wayne Gacy, Aileen Wuornos, Gary Leon Ridgway, Jeffrey Dahmer, Velma Barfield, Ted Bundy and David Berkowitz. The baddies usually enter the story incidentally in the last paragraph or two of the chapter and don’t really affect the direction of the plot. 

The short story begins with Roxi and El Bagre eating spaghetti and sausages in Little Italy but after an old hippie boards their train, Bag drinks Southern Comfort and drops capsules of mescaline with the bloke, and the story, like Bag, enters a black vortex in which two ancient First Nations tribes are pitted againgst each other to fight to the death. The writing is ingenious, totally off-the-cuff and mad to the limit. Sometimes the point of view, storyline or characters disappear within a paragraph and morph into another storyline. At one point in Chapter 8 the narrative even bursts into a series of dead-pan jokes. Here’s a lame one”:

“How about the drunk staggering into the Catholic church? He makes it into confessional and the priest says, tell me your sins my son. There is a long silence, the priest repeats himself to no avail. Finally he bangs on the wall and says you must confess. The drunk says, quit banging, there’s no toilet paper in here either.”

27 Hammerheads Circling Ever Closeris a highly inventive, bold collection of poetry, flash fiction and extended short stories by the Milwaukee based American writer Catfish McDaris. The anthology is a rich and diverse body of work and is hugely entertaining. You will find the best stuff in McDaris’s  extended fiction. It may be uneven and outrageous but also insanely funny!

 Further Resources 

Marquette University- Special Collections and University Archives- Catfish McDaris, 1993-2013: http://www.marquette.edu/library/archives/Mss/CMC/CMC-series1-1.php



13 Questions of Catfish McDaris- Horror, Sleaze, Trash: http://www.horrorsleazetrash.com/interviews/13-questions-with-catfish-mcdaris/

Desolation Angeles- David Blaine Interviews Catfish McDaris: http://fitzroydreaming.blogspot.com/2011/12/david-blaine.html


INTERVIEW WITH CATFISH McDARIS ON 8 JUNE 2018

Why didn’t you seriously start writing until your 30s? What were the circumstances that prompted you to finally get it down on the page?

I dropped out of school in the tenth grade. I was already a journeyman bricklayer, so I had a trade. I got my GED High School Diploma in Boot Camp, then took classes in German and from the University of Maryland. I wrote long letters to family and friends while I was in the army in Germany; describing Europe and army life. For two and a half years I shot cannons and played war games. I also saw lots of castles and went to Amsterdam often. I raised lots of hell and spent nine months at a nudist colony, when I wasn’t playing soldier. I am autodidactic, I read everything. Classics, French, Russians, English, Americans, and Chinese. I needed to teach myself as much as I could, before putting ink to paper. In Milwaukee I went to poetry readings, I got on stage and felt like a rock star. I discovered the small press, it was still the SASE days, no internet. It was great fun; my wife wouldn’t agree or our daughter. Now I say I’m like an inside dog, I only do it on paper. If somebody paid me enough I’d hit the wood again. I’ve done some radio blog shows from home that were cool, one was with Lady Gaga’s violinist.

In David Blaine’s 2011 interview, you refer in detail to your early life before the post office and your marriage. How has this period helped to initiate and shape your writing?

David Blaine is a good writer, he met Carl Sandburg’s youngest daughter, Helga. The army taught me discipline, which is important to work at the Main Post Office in Milwaukee. Writing and reading provides sanity. Love of a good woman and a baby keeps your head straight and keeps you putting beans and tortillas on the table. As they say now, you got to man up.

Over how many years was the material in 27 Hammerheads written? Has much of this stuff been previously published?
 
Dr. Marc Pietrzykowski (PhD) is Pski’s Porch, he’s a professor near Buffalo, New York. He plays 5 or 6 instruments, with 5 string bass being his main stay. I sent him Sleeping with the Fish, a year before 27 Hammerheads Circling Ever Closer. Marc said he didn’t publish flash fiction, he preferred poetry or a novella. I told him give it a go. He wrote back, he said cool. We did that mixture of words. Then we did a tribute to Vincent van Gogh called Resurrection of a Sunflower, then we did 27 Hammerheads. Most of these books are new, old, and collected. If someone paid me or I have a contract on my words, I don’t give credit. The small press doesn’t get enough exposure as it is. If I ever hit the big time, I’ll have my agent deal with where, who, and how. I’m too fucking old for that shit anyway.
Titles come to me, I had a 10 poem chaps called: 72 Magpies Fucking Over Buffalo, also: 66 Lines on Your Soul. Something about numbers are a hook.

What editing process was involved in the publication of 27 Hammerheads? Did you simply send Pski’s Porch a shit-load of work and they published the lot or was the process more elongated and refined than that?

Marc and I get on the same page before layout. We are partners, but he’s still the boss. We trust each other and work well together. Mendes Biondo from Northern Italy has joined us since our Van Gogh book. We do Ramingo’s Porch. Our third issue I rounded up all my old Bukowski and Jack Micheline contacts. Your question was the process elongated and refined, reminded me of a guy hard up for a job. He sees an ad that says they are looking for a piss tester, so he goes and applies. When arrives he sees the ad is actually looking for a piss taster.

I note that you adopted the title of the book from the poem “27 Hammerheads Circling Ever Closer.” Can you explain why you chose this title apart from its intriguing name?

I chose the title first. I just read it, I couldn’t remember it. That’s a fucking killer shape shifting poem, I love it. I’m always writing lines, I never know where they’ll go. As soon as I contacted my Swedish maniac genius, Janne. He said Cat I have your cover and LaWanda did my rear cover. Intrigue is the hook.

‘The Spaniard’ features in many of your poems and flash fiction. Is he your alter-ego or simply an imaginary character to unleash your stories?

Years ago, a writer I respected and still do, Todd Moore told me I was writing “brag poetry and fiction” step away from your work, people will dig it more. Spaniard comes from the last town I lived in in New Mexico, Espanola. I used Quick from a childhood hero, Danny Quick. I used Nappy because of my nappy hair. El Bagre in Killers just means catfish in Spanish.

You gave up the booze many years ago but make many other drug references in your work- usually to ganga or peyote. Do you sometimes write under the influence? If so, how does it aid your creative juices? Do you have to do much editing afterwards and do you consider these experiments ultimately successful?

14 years now with no ignorant oil. No other drugs except coffee and Xanax. Back in my hippie days, there is nothing I wouldn’t try, except datura stramonium (Jimson weed), after one time with that I almost lost my mind. I took lots of acid, peyote, sotol, mescaline with Huichols in Mexico.  I preferred psilocybin mushrooms from southeast Texas compared to all the psychedelics I experimented with. I loved weed smoking: bongs, blunts, chillums, fat boys, pinners. Lots of hash in Europe. I read the top 4 of 5 most powerful marijuana strains grow in Australia. My street drug days are long over. I do not recommend alcohol or drugs for anyone.

I really dig your novella Naked Serial Killers in Volkswagens. I was wondering if you could provide some background as to how you wrote it and how you eventually pieced it together?

Serial killers are a touchy subject in Milwaukee because of Jeffrey Dahmer. He picked up most of his 21 victims close to where I worked. He worked for Ambrosia Chocolate close to the Milwaukee Post Office. There were lots of gay bars and art galleries in the area. I read poetry with various musicians. I met Dahmer a few times and he bought chapbooks from me. I think he wanted to make a snack of me. The cops caught him finally. They came to my house and wanted to see if I was a cannibal too. They put Jeff in prison, he lasted 8 months before he was shanked. For those 8 months, we got 3 to 5 bomb threats a week, people trying to blow his ass up. I watched the movie, Monster about the woman serial killer and threw in Manson. There is so much evil in this world. It seemed like they all had to be naked and vilified driving VW’s.

You said in a previous interview that you write for fun and to entertain your audience. As you grow older, do you consider that you may have a higher purpose?

I never tried to make big money by writing. It’s still fun for me. I’ve won a few awards and been nominated for tons. I like meeting people from all over the world and with the web it is possible. I’m working on three novels all the time, while taking lots of detours.

You store 25 years of your published material in the Special Archives Collection at Marquette University in Milwaukee. Where would you suggest a future literary biographer to begin the exploration of your published work?

Go on the Marquette site and click on the series boxes, that will tell you about some of the places I’ve been published. They collect all current paper publications and electronic, so this interview will be in the archives. Just Google Catfish McDaris. I try never to search my name, it’s too ego inflating. Once I found a long interview I did with the beatnik, Charles Plymell. Some one had translated it into Esperanto. We didn’t get paid, since it has no money or country.

What on the cards next for you?

I’m still editor at Ramingo’s Porch and contributing odditer for Odd Books in Kolkata, India. I have a couple of broadsides coming soon, one from 48th St. Press and another from Holy & Intoxicated, I’ve made a few other scores. Thanks George, you run a tight ship.

Thanks for dropping by, Cat.


Bio: Catfish McDaris’ most infamous chapbook is Prying with Jack Micheline and Charles Bukowski. His best readings were in Paris at the Shakespeare and Co. Bookstore and with Jimmy"the ghost of Hendrix"Spencer in NYC on 42nd St. He’s done over 25 chaps in the last 25 years. He’s been in the New York Quarterly, Slipstream, Pearl, Main St. Rag, Café Review, Chiron Review, Zen Tattoo, Wormwood Review, Great Weather For Media, Silver Birch Press, and Graffiti and been nominated for 15 Pushcarts, Best of Net in 2010, 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2017 he won the Uprising Award in 1999, and won the Flash Fiction Contest judged by the U.S. Poet Laureate in 2009. He was in the Louisiana Review, George Mason Univ. Press, and New Coin from Rhodes Univ. in South Africa. He’s recently been translated into Spanish, French, Polish, Swedish, Arabic, Bengali, Mandarin, Yoruba, Tagalog, and Esperanto. His 25 years of published material is in the Special Archives Collection at Marquette Univ. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Bukowski’s Indian pal Dave Reeve, editor of Zen Tattoo gave Catfish McDaris his name when he spoke of wanting to quit the post office and start a catfish farm. He spent a summer shark fishing in the Sea of Cortez, built adobe houses, tamed wild horses around the Grand Canyon, worked in a zinc smelter in the panhandle of Texas, and painted flag poles in the wind. He ended at the post office in Milwaukee. 


Friday, June 1, 2018

New Release: John D. Robinson The Pursuit of Shadows . Analog Submission Press (2018) 20 pages


The latest chapbook by UK poet John D. Robinson is published by Marc Bruseke's Analog Submission Press. The chap features 9 of Robinson's latest poems in a limited run of 25 numbered, hand made and staple bond copies. The cover art is in black ink on a lime green card and is by the ubiquitous Swedish artist Janne Karlsson.

Here's the title poem:


THE PURSUIT OF SHADOWS
At about 4:30am the door
bell sounded and whoever
it was, was keeping their
finger on the button; I
made it to a window and I
already knew who I’d see;
I went down and let him
in and told him to be
fucking quiet; ‘In here’ I
said; he walked into the
spare room, sat down and
uncapped a cheap bottle
of wine; ‘Fuck you’ I said, closing
the door behind me and
joining him for a drink;
I’d be drunk by 08:30am
and children would be
going to school and people
would be going to work,
people would be rushing
here and there, like it meant
something and I’d be drunk at 
08:30am with my father and my
woman would awake and be
angry with me for being
drunk at 08:30, whilst almost
everyone else was rushing
here and there, all of them,
chasing their own fucking

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

New Release: Ramingo Porch #3 (126 pages)


The latest edition of Ramingo Porch is now available on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Ramingos-Porch-Issue-3/dp/1948920042

This folio features a wide variety of work, including poetry, stories and artwork on the theme of Fuck Bukowski. You'll find poems from the old guard- Neeli Cherkovski, Jack Micheline, A.D. Winans, Catfish McDaris and even seven poems from Buk himself. Important contributions are also made by usually younger small press writers such as Sandeep Vachhani, Brenton Booth, Cindy Rosmus, Victor Clevenger, Wayne F. Burke, Ryan Quinn Flanagan, Jay Passer and many others.

The highlight of the book would have to be New Zealand writer Terence Rissetto's audacious  short story 'The Great Bukowski.'

You’ll also find two satirical poems by me “Buk’s First Tinder Date” and “I Never Said I Was Northrop Fyre”.

Friday, May 25, 2018

INTERVIEW WITH JOSEPH RIDGWELL 24 May 2018


Joe Ridgwell is a London small press writer who will shortly have some of his limited edition out of print book catalogue republished by Ternary Editions, an imprint of the iconic Bottle of Smoke Press. The books include Where are the Rebels?The Buddha BarThe Cross and Last Days of the Cross:  http://www.ternaryeditions.com

After reading and being highly impressed by his novel last days of the cross (2009), his two short story collections oswald’s apartment and other stories (2010) & Ridgwell Stories (2015) and Parts Two & Three of his novella THE CROSS (2016), I asked Ridgwell a few questions to better understand the man and his work.

What was it like growing up in public housing in the East End of London in the 1980s? 

It was great. There was a real community spirit on the estate and as a kid it was the whole world, nothing else existed, you felt like you owned the streets. Everyone looked out for each other. You felt completely safe and lived in a bubble. Thatcher destroyed all that with her, Right to Buy, policy. People brought their council houses for next to nothing, sold them for a healthy profit, and moved away from the area, including me and my parents. The policy was very successful in that it destroyed long standing communities almost overnight. This weakened the people and made them ripe for exploitation. It nearly eradicated the Cockney population from their traditional London heartlands. Most Cockney’s now live in the surrounding home counties. I can’t go back to East London as it has been taken over by the rich, outsiders, middle-class people who have no culture to speak of. They create artificial communities that have no substance. These interlopers are empty people leading empty lives. I pity them.

You travelled extensively for years before you started to write. Can you describe the process in which you finally decided to get it down on the page? 

Actually I tried to write before I travelled, but my efforts were poor, amateurish. It frustrated me. I travelled to get away from everything, family, friends, lovers. The artist has to go it alone for a number of years if they are to achieve anything. In Mexico I decided to be a beach poet and one sultry evening in Bali, I made a breakthrough. It was like someone turning on a brilliant white light. And yet it wasn’t the end, it was only the beginning of a hard road to travel. 

In your biography for Ridgwell Storiesit states that after a drug-induced epiphany on a remote Mexican beach you invented Cosmic Realism. Can you elaborate on this experience and what you mean by the concept and its significance in your writing canon?

I was under the influence of Peyote on a small cove, just south of Puerto Angel. It was a starlight night. In the sky I saw a face. The face told me to believe in the one true spirit. The face looked very wise. Maybe it was a God. Anyway, I had the idea for Cosmic Realism, right there and then. CR is the ability to tell a story that is obviously not based in reality, but which the reader readily accepts as the truth. I didn’t know what it meant then or even how to do it. I also decided to fictionalise my entire life, from cradle to grave. True story novels. But to make them interesting you need to add Cosmic Realism. (not be confused with magic realism). 

Much of your early short fiction in oswald’s apartmentand other stories (2010) is social realist in style but in Ridwell Stories (2015) your writing overall is far more imaginative in terms of point of view, subject matter and style. Some of your earlier short stories such as “Oswald’s Apartment”, “The Assassination Egg” and “The Unbelievable Cloud” venture towards more inventive short fiction, but when did you consciously decide third person, inventive stories was the way to go?

A tip I’d give to aspiring writers is to write about what you know. It’s a cliche but the budding author should start there. That’s what I did. I wrote about what was happening in my life. As my writing skills improved I began adding elements of pure fiction. Once you possess the skills set you can move further afield. But be careful, keep it real, for if the reader thinks you are just making it all up, you will lose them. There are a good deal of writers out there writing about shit that they have no first hand knowledge of. I call them literary voyeurs. They are a corrosive influence on our literary heritage and I urge them to desist. 

A significant part of your writing, including your novel last days of the cross (2009) and your three-part novella The Cross (2016) are set in King’s Cross, a seedy red-light district in Sydney. Why did you originally come to Oz? How long did you stay? How did these years and experiences here help you to develop your work?

Kings Cross, seedy? No way man. The Cross in the late 90’s was an exciting happening inspirational place. The place was alive. It had yet to cleaned up, although the process of killing it was already underway. I came to Oz because they let young British people work there. Being working class I needed to work to survive. There were no William Burroughs trust funds for me. I stayed for five years, living as an illegal immigrant for the last four. The Oz experience was fundamental to my development as a writer as it provided me with a wealth of material. I worked a succession of dead-end jobs, travelled up and down the East Coast, and got to know all the characters of the Cross intimately. Also there’s hardly any literature about the Cross, all I could get my hands on was an anthology of short stories, which wasn’t very good. I mean, Dulcie Deamer - the Queen of Bohemia? Really? 

You mention Charles Bukowski many times as an influence in last days of the cross. What impact did Bukowski initially have on your struggle to become a writer?

Bukowski was a great influence. Like many before, I read his work and thought, if he can do it, so can I. Very naive. He was a master and an original. And to be a master of anything takes, a very, very, long time. And yet their are limitations to his style, maybe if he’d dropped some peyote on a remote Mexican beach…hahahah

As a writer now, how do you nail your words on the page? Do you write every day? Do you do much editing?

I’ve never written everyday. Life is too short. I probably think about writing everyday as the mind is like that. A couple of years ago I went through a period, I call - The Great Edit. It was a period of extensive editing and the writing benefited immeasurably. I don’t have any contemporary influences. As far as I’m concerned I’m in a one man battle with myself. How far can I take it? How long will it last? Where will it lead? 

As a talented and highly accessible writer, you must feel a certain amount of frustration and anger at not being embraced by the mainstream. Is this the case? What would you need to do to establish a wider audience? 

It used to frustrate me, the lack of mainstream recognition, especially when I was younger. As the years have passed I’ve mellowed to this rejection of my work. And you only have to look at the best seller charts to see it is more or less a sewer. I get emails on a weekly basis from lit fiends all over the world telling me how much they dig my work. Some have said it might have even saved their life. 

 Much of your work uses travel as a device to transport the reader to different worlds. What have you best learnt about people and places through your experiences?

What I learnt from extensive world travel is that we are all human and everywhere is the same, aside from regional cultural differences that add colour. As a race, we have a collective overestimation of our own ability and place in the universe. We are all egotists, self-centred, selfish, repugnant little fuckers. The most that the vast majority has going for them is raw ambition. Very few, if any, have real talent. 

Can you tell the potential reader about why they need to urgently read your work?

It’s simple. Do you want to live an unawakened life, or do you want to be awakened? But seriously readers, get hold of a copy of one of my books, and I can guarantee you’ll be laughing out loud or cringing. That’s another thing most writers can’t do - humour. High brow authors look down on humour, but that’s because they do not possess a funny bone. Dull, dull fuckers. 

Ternary Editions, an imprint of Bottle of Smoke Press, are soon to republish some of your back catalogue. What is the backstory behind this coup and when do you expect the books to hit the streets?

Bill at Bottle of Smoke Press got in touch and said he wanted to re-publish some of my out of print books as he thought they deserved a second life. I, for one, didn’t disagree. The books should be available to buy in the next week or so. 

What’s next for you?

There’s a lot going on. Future publications are imminent. I will be in Paris in the summer. Then there’s a trip to New York. Writing wise I’m working on a fourth collection of Short Stories - The Flowery Pot & Other Tales. At the moment I’m working on a short entitled - The Goddess of the Vally. It’s about the time me and my sidekick, Ronnie, climbed Mount Everest, or rather didn’t climb it. Have you been to Nepal? A beautiful place…

No, but a close friend of mine had to be airlifted from the base camp. Thanks Joe for your time!



BIO: Joseph Ridgwell was raised in East London and is a cult figure of the literary underground both in the UK and abroad. Ridgwell has published five collections of poetry, two short story collections, and three novellas. A second collection of stories was published by New York’s Bottle of Smoke Press in Summer 2015: 

Ridgwell Stories was nominated for a 2016 Pushcart Prize and long-listed for the 2016 Saboteur awards.

In November 2015 - Leamington Books - published his long-awaited debut novel - Burrito Deluxe - On the Road for the Offbeat Generation.

Also published in 2016 were Jamaica & Mexico forming a trilogy with Cuba, which was published in 2014. The trilogy is published by Pig Ear Press.

A 6th collection of poetry - Cosmic Gigantic Flywheel - is due to be published in 2018 by Lenka Editions in Paris.

A 7th Collection of poetry - The Beach Poems - will be published by New York’s Bottle of Smoke Press in the summer of 2018.

2nd editions of Ridgwell novels - The Cross, Last Days of the Cross, The Buddha Bar, and his debut poetry collection - Where are the Rebels, will be published by Ternary Editions an imprint of Bottle of Smoke Press in 2018

Ridgwell’s work has also appeared in numerous anthologies. Chiron Review, Abridged, Hanzir, Dwang, Tra Ver Sees, Push, The Arsonist etc

For further details of the authors work and current state of mind go to his website:
http://josephridgwelljr.wordpress.com/


The four books from Joe Ridgwell's back catalogue can now be purchased here: http://ternaryeditions.com/order.html