Bloomin' Poets

June is blooming poets. More than usual are coming through town this month, but first and foremost in local poetry news is the recent selection of the 1998 Austin Poetry Slam Team, which will compete in the National Poetry Slam to be held in Austin August 19-22. Representing Austin will be the winner of the Austin Poetry Slam, Ernie Cline, and Susan Sommers-Willett, Karyna McGlynn, and Genevieve Van Cleve. Congrats and good luck... On Monday, June 8, 7pm at Book People Michele Serros will read from Chicana Falsa and Other Stories of Death, Identity, and Oxnard, her collection of poetry and stories. Lalo Press was the book's original publisher; when they went out of business, Serros sold copies from her garage before New York's Riverhead Books picked it up. The novel she's working on, tentatively titled How to Be a Chicana Role Model, won't run into a similar self-distribution fate because Riverhead has plans to publish it. For Serros, a former Lollapalooza artist, "Poetry comes out of an intense stomachache, and when the poem is done, my stomach feels better."...

Thom the World Poet is up to his usual mischief on Saturday, June 13, 2:30pm at Quackenbush's, for the launch party of The Death of Frank Sinatra, a collection of "poems of praise to Ole Blue Eyes." Thom's "organized associates" will be there...

Known for his poetry but now a novelist as well, Houston's Naeem Murr reads from his debut novel The Boy at Book People on Friday, June 5, 7pm. Murr is a former Stegner and Sowcroft Fellow at Stanford...

Anyone who has ever written a poem can enter it in The Bards of Burbank poetry contest. Send one poem on any subject, using any style, 21 or fewer lines, to: Free Poetry Contest, 2219 West Olive Ave., Ste. 250, Burbank, CA 91506. Deadline is June 30 and grand prize is $1,000.

Bargaining for Books

Think of it as a big garage sale, but just for readers... On Saturday, June 13, 10am-1pm, the Austin Book Workers, an organization of book-making professionals and enthusiasts, are sponsoring their annual Swap Meet at BookLab, Austin's largest book production facility. Leather, cloth, paper, book-making supplies, and, basically, many items various and sundry will be sold. The public is invited to buy, sell, donate, and bid on items that will be sold in a silent auction whose proceeds will benefit Austin Book Workers. Items not part of the silent auction are priced and sold by the seller. Call 419-0681 for more information or directions to BookLab, which is located at 1606 Headway Circle, off Rutherford Lane.

Frozen, With Salt

In Odessa native Raymond Benson's new James Bond novel, The Facts of Death, James Bond improbably finds himself at Chuy's with his longtime friend and former CIA agent Felix Leiter. This is at least the second brave leap into fiction for Chuy's; check out former Austin resident Christian McLaughlin's Glamourpuss for the first. At Chuy's Bond "makes contact" with the enemy, Dr. Ashley Anderson, who is the head of an Austin-based sperm bank that is the front for an evil organization. The official publication date for the book is June 15 but Austinites can meet Benson this Sunday, June 7, 11am-1pm in an event sponsored by Chuy's and Book People at the restaurant. Benson's first entry in the James Bond series was 1997's Zero Minus Ten; he also wrote the novelization of Tomorrow Never Dies.

Book news for "Postscripts" must be received at least one week prior to issue date. Mail to: The Austin Chronicle, PO Box 49066, Austin, TX, 78765; fax 458-6910; or e-mail .

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More Postscripts
The last time we heard about Karla Faye Tucker, she was being executed; now, almost four years later, there's a new novel about her. Or about someone very like her. And Beverly Lowry's classic Crossed Over, a memoir about getting to know Karla Faye Tucker, gets a reissue.

Clay Smith, Jan. 18, 2002

Not one day back from vacation and the growing list of noble souls who need to be congratulated is making Books Editor Clay Smith uneasy.

Clay Smith, Jan. 11, 2002

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