MFA graduate Matt Baker publishes novel with Little Brown


Matthew Baker, MFA 2012, has published If You Find This with Little Brown.  Called “lively, entertaining and satisfying” by Kirkus Reviews, the book, marketed for children from 8 to 12 years old, is Baker’s first novel.   Baker, who came to Vanderbilt with the MFA class of 2011, held a Third Year Fiction Fellowship in 2011-2012.  He was a Fulbright Fellow in Ireland in the year after graduation.

“Smugglers caves, graveyards, ghost houses, seances, and…maps come together to make an intriguing mystery for the group to solve as the characters wrestle with their past selves in hopes of a better future. The story is enhanced with musical and mathematical notations (terms like “forte” and “piano” appear as subscript throughout, modifying actions and dialogue), giving readers a glimpse into Nicholas’s impressive brain and adding an unusual layer of interest and beauty to debut author Baker’s storytelling.”

Publishers Weekly

New poetry collection, Do Not Rise, published by Beth Bachmann

Vanderbilt faculty member Beth Bachmann has released a new collection of poetry.  The book, Do Not Rise, published by the University of Pittsburgh Press, won the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay di Castagnola Award.  To read early reviews, click this link.

A review by Lisa Russ Spaar in the L.A. Review of Books observes:

Swerving among a range of expository, interrogative, and imperative modes, the effect of which, as John Cage put it, is to “demilitarize” and at the same time agitate the text, and sampling from a range of army manuals, war poems and letters, wilderness manuals, and (pop) cultural sources like Garden and Gun: Soul of the South magazine and Pierre Laszlo’s Citrus: A History, these edgy, elusive, disturbing poems seem created out of the umbral depths of war’s perpetual shadow (“the day breaks not; it is my heart”). In their fragmented, telegraphic utterances, the poems seem to want to be more than “about” post-traumatic stress; they want to create in words an experience of it….In the case of the poems in Do Not Rise, Bachmann seems to want to train the eye to work like a mind ruptured by violence…

Lorrie Moore’s new collection, Bark, finalist for The Story Prize for 2014

Lorrie Moore’s new story collection, Bark, has been named one of three finalists for The Story Prize for 2014.  Selected from among a record number of books–129 in total–published by 85 different publishers or imprints, Bark, published by Alfred A. Knopf, joins The Other Language by Francesca Marciano (Pantheon) and Thunderstruck by Elizabeth McCracken (The Dial Press) in vying for the final award on Wednesday, March 4.

Bark “consists of eight stories set mostly in Middle America, about people in or approaching midlife and facing the tension between speaking their minds and protecting their emotions by forming a hard, shell around themselves.”

Previous winners include George Saunders, Mary Gordon, Anthony Doerr, Edwidge Danticat, and Tobias Wolff.

Bark by Lorrie Moore

Tony Earley’s new collection, Mr. Tall, on Washington Post’s Top 50 Fiction Books

The Washington Post has placed Tony Earley’s recently published book, Mr. Tall, on its Top Fiction Books for 2014.  Critic Michael Lindgren wrote that the collection, published by Little, Brown, “is topped by a novella-length tale that’s a rollicking experimentalist riff on ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ — featuring a contemptuous talking dog, a pair of post-feminist maidens and an equally forlorn Tom Dooley, who laments that his famous murder ballad ‘ain’t done much good since Burl Ives died.’”

Seven Guralnick Books To Be Reissued as E-Books With Video and Audio

Peter Guralnick, who teaches nonfiction writing at Vanderbilt, has recently published his two earliest books, Feel Like Going Home and Lost Highway, in a new enhanced e-Book format and is presently preparing five more to be published in the same digital format in the next year.

The enhanced e-books include links to recently shot video interviews and conversations as well as audio segments from his original interviews and new written material.  The expanded format will allow Guralnick’s pioneering writing about music and musicians to link to the work it describes.

The following article by Larry Rohter appeared in The New York Times on April 4, 2014.  Link below to the original article to continue reading.

Music Writer’s Opus, Now With Sound; Video and Audio Being Added to Peter Guralnick’s Books   By Larry Rohtner, April 4, 2014

Credit Joe Buglewicz for The New York Times

As a college classics major, the music historian, writer and critic Peter Guralnick once submitted a paper comparing the Roman poet Catullus’s “Little Bird, Delight of My Girl” to Robert Johnson’s “Stones in My Passway.” “It was not well received,” he recalled recently, but it helped establish a template that has served Mr. Guralnick superbly in writing groundbreaking books on blues, country and soul music, and biographies of pop music figures like Elvis Presley and Sam Cooke.

In more than 40 years of writing about music and musicians, one of Mr. Guralnick’s fundamental premises, he said, has been to “take Howlin’ Wolf or James Brown as seriously as you would take ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles.’ ” That may seem commonplace today, but when Mr. Guralnick was starting out, it was a controversial, even revolutionary, concept.

Now Mr. Guralnick, 70, is extending his franchise. Seven of his books, beginning with “Feel Like Going Home” and “Lost Highway,” his two earliest, but also including the Presley and Cooke biographies, are being reissued this year and next in “enhanced e-book” editions that include video and audio material and, in some cases, new chapters on figures like Jerry Lee Lewis and Delbert McClinton.

Mr. Guralnick, who has had four of his books inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame, said that inserting video and audio material into his books seemed a natural outgrowth of what he has been doing in other media. The writer and co-producer of a documentary about the rock ’n’ roll pioneer Sam Phillips, he also wrote the scripts for a Grammy-winning documentary about Sam Cooke and for Martin Scorsese’s blues documentary “Feel Like Going Home.”

“Peter is a meticulous archivist, and these are among the most cited books on American music ever written,” said John Parsley, an editor at Little, Brown and Company, which publishes Mr. Guralnick’s work and is a division of the Hachette Book Group. “So, it was crying out to be used in new editions.”

In its original print format, Mr. Guralnick’s work “has been foundational,” said Jim Miller, the original editor of “The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll.” Of his two-part Presley biography, for example, Bob Dylan said the first book “cancels out all others,” and in a review in The New York Times Book Review, Gerald Marzorati described the two volumes as “the finest rock-and-roll biography ever written.”

To continue reading, go to The New York Times article here.