CLMP recommends "These Are the Fables" by Amelia Gray


Vol. 13, No. 3 EDITOR’S NOTE

If I’m the first person to tell you about Amelia Gray, we obviously don’t have any Facebook friends in common.  More than a few CLMP members have published her: Tin House, Guernica, DIAGRAM, American Short Fiction, to name some. And Flavorwire just named her one of The Top 10 Best Millennial Authors You Probably Haven’t Read (Yet). So, let’s do something about that.

I first encountered Amelia Gray accidentally at a reading, maybe four years ago. She got on stage with a handful of note cards and said she was going to read some “threats.”  And then she proceeded to scare the crap out of me. With each card, a promissory note of a very awkward and/or terrifying thing that would happen (to who? me!? gulp). And, once she pronounced the threat, she crumpled it up and chucked it at the audience. I bring this up to warn you: Amelia gets up in your face.

Her stories aren’t the type you read and then forget when and where you read them. You’ll remember. You’ll remember because it’s like rubber cement, or some other addictively-bad smelling thing, that you can’t get away from and have to roll-peel off your skin for days. Take “These Are the Fables,” for example. Believe you me, the burnt sugar smell of the blazing Dunkin’ Donuts is going to need more than a shower to ditch.

In the glow of the glazed and sprinkled flames, is a couple too-old-to-be-forgiven-for-this-type–of-behavior plotting their next moves through Texas. They learn they’re with child. We learn what we think is a lot about how to read this couple. From the get, you’ll think Amelia is generous with the details. She lures you in with information, you think you have it all down, and then you realize those surface information nuggets are just a distraction and all the while something else has been happening. There isn’t a lot of action or a big cast, and yet, each encounter, every action, like any great short story, is just so—well—pregnant. So in this trail of smoke through Texas towns avoided and considered, here’s a story about closed doors, physical contact, willful ignorance, the search for meaning, obsessive love, the inertia of the day to day, and, ultimately, what to share. And, while the images of the couple can at times be endearing, each time you read this story, you’ll say to yourself, Jesus H. Christ there is just something menacing about this picture. 

Steph Opitz
Former Programs Director
Council of Literary Magazines Presses 


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These Are the Fables by Amelia Gray Recommended by CLMP

WE WERE IN THE PARKING LOT OF A DUNKIN’ DONUTS IN BEAUMONT, TX when I told Kyle that I was pregnant. I figured I’d rather be out under God as I announced the reason for all my illness and misery.

I said to him, Well shit. Guess we’re having a baby.

“Lemme see,” Kyle said. I handed him the test and he squinted at it for a second before tossing it into a bush. A stranger set his coffee on the roof of his car and clapped. Kyle flipped him the double deuce. “People these days,” Kyle said.

I said that my mama will be happy.

“Here’s the thing,” he said. “Your mama’s dead. And you’re forty years old. And I have a warrant out for my arrest. And I am addicted to getting tattoos. And our air conditioner’s broke. And you are drunk every day. And all I ever want to do is fight and go swimming. And I am addicted to Keno. And you are just covered in hair. And I’ve never done a load of laundry in my life. And you are still technically married to my drug dealer. And I refuse to eat beets. And you can’t sleep unless you’re sleeping on the floor. And I am addicted to heroin. And honest to God, you got big tits but you make a real shitty muse. And we are in Beaumont, Texas.”

I said, These are minor setbacks on the road to glory.

“And,” Kyle added, “the Dunkin’ Donuts is on fire.”

Read More

Taste Test: I Tell Random People About You by Svea Barrett, Spire Press, 2011

The Paris Inn of Wayne, NJ

There was no film in my camera that day
when you told me over a cracked green
salt and pepper set that you might just love me.
"Might," the way I’d said it in second grade
to my teddy bear when I wore a LOVE ring
I won from an arcade machine.

Now I eat the heart of an apple that rots
in my kitchen, after I cut out the spots
just like the ones on the landlord’s cat
which stared at me when I first came to see 
this place, right after I finally knew I’d need
to take off your ring and be done with you. 

Tonight at Housing Works in NYC

Tonight, June 12, at 7 pm, Cynthia Cruz (The Glimmering Room), Farrah Field (Rising, Wolf and Pilot) and poets from Birds, LLC, Belladonna, Black Square Editions, and Futurepoem, will be reading at the FACE OUT Reading & Reception: Maximizing the Visibility of Emerging Writers event at Housing Works (126 Crosby St.) in NYC. Hope you can come!

The Glimmering Room, Rising and Wolf and Pilot are all available from Four Way Books


Do you like Indie Lit? Do you like summer? Who’s your crush?

These are all pertinent questions.

Anobium is now an official memeber of the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses. We’re legit. And also, Anobium will continue to become more available across a wide variety of networks and distributors. And other business lingo.

We have some changes to make to our website and guidelines, but the Internet connection from our underground bunker has been unstable. We are making this update from an Internet Cafe in Haysworth, IL. Don’t look for it on a map, you won’t find it. We are surrounded by dust and filth.

Orders have been slowly rolling in. If you’ve received your copy or thumbed through it at one of our sellers, send us an e-mail letting us know what you think. If it’s witty enough, we’ll post it on here.

Support CLMP and Indie Lit in Our #MyFirstTime Virtual Fundraiser

Dear Writer,

Remember your first time?

First time being published, that is. Maybe it was a story in your college lit mag, or a poem in an online journal, or an essay in a periodical. Maybe you even had a manuscript accepted by a small press. Whatever your publishing track record, we’re willing to bet that your first time was something special—and chances are it was through an independent literary publisher.

Perhaps you’re still waiting for your first acceptance letter, but thanks to CLMP—the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses—independent literary publications are thriving, creating more opportunities for writers like you to be heard!

As representatives of the community of indie lit publishers, we ask that you join us in supporting CLMP, the organization that helps make it possible for us to publish writers like you. CLMP provides essential training and information to literary publishers small and large, established and just beginning. Russell Banks, George Plimpton and others founded CLMP in 1967, and CLMP has been here for us, helping us do what we do even better, ever since.

Supporting CLMP means that you play an active role in sustaining the very publishers most likely to publish you.

Today, we’ve banded together to show CLMP that writers will join us in giving back. Please make a contribution below, and to celebrate your support (and toot your own horn—you’ve earned it!), simply tweet/Facebook/tumblr about the first time you published—and the publication that made it happen—then add #myfirsttime and a link ( to our donate page.

Thank you for your voice, which inspires our work, and for helping us support this vital organization.


A Public Space
Apeiron Review
Bodega Magazine
Coffee House Press
Colorado Review
Creative Nonfiction
Electric Literature
Four Way Books
Graywolf Press
Iowa Review
The Literary Review
The Missouri Review
One Story
Rain Taxi
Tin House
Words Without Borders


This week at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe: tickets are still available to the New York Times-approved bookstore opera of Weimar Germany, A Weimar Flute (three performances, tonight 6/11, Thursday 6/14, and Monday 6/18); and tomorrow we’re Moth-ing and welcoming Glen Hansard (sold out! but tickets still available to his 6/29 Beacon show) in the same night, because why not? All the awesome! Happy day this week is from 10AM to 5PM on Friday.

Heads up, this also means we close at 5 or 6PM most days this week for events. BUT! Please join us when we are wide open on SUNDAY for the GIANT Lit Mag Fair, one of our favorite annual events and a great time to catch up with your favorite lit mags and find new loves.

I almost wish I had a long commute...

I said almost. But really, for the last 2 mornings I’ve taken the bus into New York for the CLMP Literary Writers Conference at the New School. (Highly recommended, by the way.) So much time for Tumblr and being brilliant on Facebook!

Yesterday I was thinking that I always feel like I should feel something when I see the industrial-scapes of NJ from the highway. Kind of like a political issue where you feel that in order to be an intellectual person you need to be able to have a precise, intelligent opinion argued persuasively. I feel the same way about looking down at all the lights when an airplane is landing. I SHOULD BE ABLE TO HAVE A DEEP THOUGHT ABOUT THIS!!! I AM A WRITER!

Instead, today I was reminded of a particular bus route in college and how all the buses on that route were so creaky like they were about to sigh and give up. I thought of class trips and how exciting it was to walk out the door and see the fancy coach bus rather than a school bus with the textured vinyl seats with the patches kids would pick at and the windows that often wouldn’t close all the way or would close crooked in a sad droopy manner and the little electric fan perched in the corner above the driver’s left shoulder.

These are my deep thoughts, and I guess that’s ok. I suppose it has it be. I suppose it’s all I got.

Even though it is on temporary hiatus, we want to give a signal boost to CLMP’s “Lit Mag Adoption” program that enables teachers and students to subscribe (at a discount) to participating lit mags for use in the classroom. Check out the link, and don’t miss the essays from Kimiko Hahn, David Lynn, and Carolyn Kuebler, on using little magazines in the classroom.

Taste Test: Amnesia of the Movement of Clouds and of Red and Black Verse, by Maria Attanasio, translated by Carla Billitteri, Litmus Press, 2014


Parlare della morte poi scopare
o litigare a più non posso––lei
s’appiattiva nell’angolo: per te
in forma di ragno per me
di scarafaggio, cieca, paralizzata,
morta la morte––le guglie tremavano
le maniglie delle porte si aprivano
da sole la bellezza era vicina di tavolo
e compagna di letto il passo barocco
acuminato nell’anima che mi hai dato.


To talk about death and then to fuck
or fight as hard as we can––she
squashed herself in a corner: for you
in the shape of a spider for me
of a roach, blind, paralyzed,
dead death––steeples trembled
doorknobs opened
of themselves beauty was at next table
and a bed companion the baroque step
acute in the soul that you gave me.


Are you following the #myfirsttime hashtag on twitter? It’s a lot of fun because you get to see where all your writer friends first published, support CLMP and indie mags/presses, and because there are random tweets mixed in from people going to Disney or watching the Price is Right or making pineapple cheesecake for the first time. lol.







CLMP Launches MyFirstTime Fundraiser

The Council of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP) is hosting a fundraising drive with the hashtag #MyFirstTime. The My First Time campaign takes to social media encouraging writers to talk about the first time they were published.

Participating writers are Tweeting a brief narrative about their first time, hashtagging it with #MyFirstTime and linking to the fundraising page ( ) where they can contribute. 

Here are a few examples:

#myfirsttime was in high school, thanks to the generosity of my English teacher. First time published, you pervs.

— Benjamin Samuel (@benasam)

June 5, 2014

#myfirsttime was honestly like the best thing that ever happened to me. Thanks @oneteenstory.

— julie buntin (@juliebuntin)

June 5, 2014

#myfirsttime was in the Portfolio literary magazine at the University of South Carolina, writing about a a TV host at a nude beach @CLMPorg

— Scott B. Pruden (@ScottBPruden)

June 5, 2014

#myfirsttime was at Yankee Pot Roast with a list of things I wanted to say to the guy yelling across the restaurant to ask if I knew karate.

— James Yeh (@jamesyeh)

June 5, 2014

3rd grade, in the school magazine. A vaguely coherent story about a man with balloons for fingers. #myfirsttime

— Meakin Armstrong (@MeakinArmstrong)

June 5, 2014

CLMP supports independent presses and literary journals through various programs and fundraising efforts make these programs possible. Even if you don’t want to talk about your first time, you can still contribute to CLMP’s fundraising campaign by visiting their site:

Tell Me A Story

studded motorcycle jacket

studded jacket

{ October 9, 2012 }

Dress: Asos
Jacket: Gryphon
Tights: BCBG
Scarf: Send the Trend
Heels: Michael Kors
Bag: BCBGeneration

It was such a cloudy, overcast day but a perfect setting for me to do a flash fiction reading at the New York Public Library. I wore my (newly) favorite studded leather jacket that I scooped up at a sample sale over the summer. It’s a little Mad Max-ish, don’t you think?

Let’s rewind a little - I was such a lucky lady to be reading that night with other great fiction writers. I read at the NYPL on behalf of NANO Fiction in conjunction with clmp. It was an absolutely joy to read alongside such talented writers. When I get the podcast, I’ll send the link your way! In the meantime, check out NANO and clmp, they’re awesome resources for writers and readers.

My Upcoming Readers!


It seems that I’ve been able to convince the world that it should listen to me, for a time, for a time. Here are some upcoming readings that I do hope you’ll attend:

Shitstain—Friday, October 25th, 7:30pm at Tip Top Bar & Grill (Bed Stuy, Brooklyn)

Bushwick Sweethearts—Saturday, October 26th, 7pm at Brooklyn Fire Proof (Bushwick, Brooklyn)

Federal Dust—Saturday, November 2nd, 7pm IN BALTIMORE (1003 Light Street, Baltimore!)

CLMP’s Periodically Speaking—Tuesday, November 12th, 6pm at New York Public Library (Manhattan) : This is a panel discussion I’ll be taking part in with the stellar editors from No, Dear and Bodega Magazine.

No, Dear Issue #12 Launch—Friday, November 15, 7pm at La Sala (Williamsburg, Brooklyn)

Forged, the Inaugural Reading Series from The Boiler Journal—Wednesday, November 20, 7pm at Cake Shop (Manhattan)

The Buzzard’s Banquet— Thursday, November 21, 8pm at Soda Bar (Prospect Heights, Brooklyn)

The Firecracker Awards for Independently and Self-Published Literature

Hey, y’all! Guess what? The Firecracker Awards are back!


That’s right. And we’re currently reading submissions. Categories include Best Fiction, Poetry, Creative Nonfiction, Graphic Novel, YA, and Magazine of the Year. 

Find out more information and enter on our Submittable page: 

CLMP Gala Features Chinese Food Under Manhattan Bridge


CLMP’s fall gala will feature a Chinese feast and a spelling bee championship. The event will raise money for the non-profit organization’s efforts to support independent presses and literary journals. 

Former spelling bee crown holders Ben Greenman, Lev Grossman, and Francine Prose will face-off in a contest. Awards will be presented by CLMP. 

  • $200
  • 88 Palace Restaurant
  • 88 East Broadway, Manhattan
  • 7:30 pm
  • Wednesday, October 29th

To get tickets or for more info, visit CLMP’s Gala page