05
Mar
2012

THE WIND’S WAKE, by C.T. Ballentine

C.T. Ballentine lives and writes between Louisville, Ky., and Chicago, Ill. He’s long been a coeditor of THE2NDHAND. Find his band on Facebook: Young Coconut.

 

Download .doc version of “The Wind’s Wake” for your eReader.

 

“Lookit there…” Derwyn squinted out across the highway, into the Owl Crick Hollow, where a pigtailed child chased after a fat-bottomed rabbit who was, despite his domestic weight, surprisingly nimble. The child’s father reached out and took firm hold of her shoulders, casting a worried eye at a sky gone olive green. The child swirled and wept into his knees, but allowed herself, slowly, to be coaxed back toward the front door.

The father swallowed hard. A relatively young man realizing, perhaps for the first time, that despite his best intentions he might be forced to explain death to his daughter. He closed his eyes as the sirens began. The child cried louder. Derwyn cheered.

“A little respect for the mourners,” Walter muttered, but Derwyn did not hear. Probably just as well, he thought, watching Derwyn tighten the straps on his wind board, testing the give in repurposed ski boots. Among the myriad concepts a backwoods heel like Derwyn could expect to pass through life without understanding, mourning was likely a blessing; for here was a man with much to mourn and to do so at every given opportunity would surely paralyze even the most basic vital functions — eating, breathing, walking — although admitedly walking was shaky at times and hygiene, especially of the oral and nasal variety, was infrequent enough to be in and of itself reason to mourn. No, Derwyn’s unbridled enthusiasm would never know the weight of tears, which quality the television crews had been, no doubt, eager to capture. That there were no television crews taping presently, for example, had not given Derwyn cause to mourn, though Walter was another story.

They’d come representing reality shows for a nature channel; their current project not far along enough in development even to be given a title, but the general gist was silly rednecks exposing themselves to the danger of weather calamities. There would be stock footage of unusual natural disasters: caves collapsing, falling glacial earthquakes, underwater volcanoes, other things beautifully awful and awfully beautiful. And live footage of those insane enough to enjoy the things most mortals feared. Like Derwyn and Walter: Tornado Surfers. Though it was a true hobby for Derwyn alone. Walter had viewed the situation with the tight lips and dumb glare of a scheming Southern businessman. Given a shot at cable television he could surely parlay Derwyn’s entertaining ignorance into a regular program or at very least a viral YouTube clip sure to bring sufficient publicity to open a novelty gift shop off the bluffs of the interstate.

But the winds refused to show and the producers lost interest. Here they were: solo, off the record. For Walter a final hurrah. He’d wanted to bail on this particular opportunity but couldn’t stomach the pained confusion sure to show on Derwyn’s dumb face. And also there was the fact of the folded paper note inside Walter’s back pocket, the existence of which was strictly personal and probably more than a little fruity. A note to the tornado. Had he been drunk when he wrote it? No, but he would continue to tell himself otherwise. He had, in fact, only been emotional, overcome with mourning for lost opportunities, lost youth, lost ambition, loss in general. He couldn’t remember the letter’s exact phrasing and he was too embarrassed to reread it, but it was something to the effect of:

“I know you weren’t here when I wanted you. Maybe you feel terrible for that. I’m sure you feel terrible for lots of other things. People curse you constantly for ruining their homes, their farms, their lives. I understand. Often I too feel terrible. I hope, maybe, today that we can dance together and forget that we are terrible.”

It was Derwyn’s ! yippee ! that pulled Walter from his reflection. And there it was: a funnel cloud larger than a football stadium, sending trees flying like dominoes. Walter felt his windboard pull his feet above his head. He caught sight of the pet bunny rabbit, floating next to part of a shed’s roof. The rabbit was looking at him. He could not move his arm enough to wave, but tried to part his lips and whisper, Good luck.

 

MY PRETZEL HAS EYES

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28
Sep
2011

Busy several days for ‘All Hands On’ upcoming

We’ve got work to do, with a daylong festival in Nashville on Saturday, a drive to Chicago on Sunday for readings Monday and Tuesday evening at Quimby’s and Hungry Brain, respectively, then back Wednesday. It’s all in the name of celebration of 10 and more years of writing published in these halls, which makes it sweet indeed. Below is a listing of the events upcoming, with links to
more information for those interested. Hope to see you out at one.

And here’s a picture from All Hands On‘s first Chicago date this past Monday — with featured writers Lauren Pretnar, Heather Palmer and Mike Zapata at Katerina’s on Irving Park Road. Jacob Knabb snapped it, of Zapata wearing a most apropos t-shirt for a T2H event, I’d say. Apes unite!

EVENTS UPCOMING:
NASHVILLE: Saturday, Oct. 1, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.: Handmade and Bound Zine Festival, Watkins College of Art & Design, 2298 Rosa L. Parks Blvd., Nashville, TN. THE2NDHAND will be tabling with the new book and a new broadsheet and editor Todd Dills will be giving a workshop tour through THE2NDHAND’s history in a practical, conception-to-nuts-and-bolts-type program titled “Toward a self-sufficient, long-lived zine”, 12:30 in room 503: http://handmadeboundnashville.com

CHICAGO: Monday, Oct. 3, 7 p.m.: All Hands On released at Quimby’s Books, 1854 W. North Ave., Chicago, featuring AHO contributors Jonathan Messinger (Time Out books editor, Featherproof publisher, Hiding Out author), Jill Summers and Kate Duva, as well as THE2NDHAND editor Todd Dills: http://the2ndhand.com/THE2NDHANDTXT/all-hands-on-launched-at-quimbys-oct-3/

CHICAGO: Tuesday, Oct. 4, 8:30 p.m.: All Hands On @ So You Think You Have Nerves of Steel?, THE2NDHAND’s monthly variety show at Hungry Brain, 2319 W. Belmont, Chicago. This month’s installment brings together longtime THE2NDHANDers with new faces, featuring AHO contributors Joe Meno (The Great Perhaps, Hairstyles of the Damned), Rob Funderburk (visual artist/designer, formerly THE2NDHAND’s design man), THE2NDHAND coeditor C.T. Ballentine, editor Todd Dills, Fred Sasaki and Marc Baez. Also featuring Chicago writer Matt Pine, music by Young Coconut, and Nerves host Harold Ray: http://the2ndhand.com/THE2NDHANDTXT/nerves-of-steels-special-all-hands-on-edition-tuesday-oct-4/

For performer bios and more information about these events, visit http://the2ndhand.com/THE2NDHANDTXT/category/events
For more information about the new All Hands On anthology, available in both print ($16) and ebook ($6) versions, visit http://the2ndhand.com/THE2NDHANDTXT/books

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19
Sep
2011

Nerves of Steel’s special ‘All Hands On’ edition Tuesday, Oct. 4

Though we be in the business of the creation of new things, it’s old-home-place week at So You Think You Have Nerves of Steel? Oct. 4 at Hungry Brain, with THE2NDHAND editor Todd Dills, former design man and janitor emeritus Rob Funderburk, writer Joe Meno and a cast of sundry others on hand for a run through the past, present and future. Harold Ray, as always, plays hosts to this reunion of the Chicago Stupidists. Prepare to be browbeaten by Stupidist Manifestos, live art, maybe some ukulele and exquisite storytelling, no doubt, as we celebrate the release of All Hands On: THE2NDHAND After 10.

Here’s the digs:

Featuring:
Live viz-art by Rob Funderburk, former THE2NDHAND illustrator and design man, known for murals, interior performance spaces, paintings, and more, Funderburk’s illustrations are featured in All Hands On.

Master swordsman Joe Meno (depicted here in an illustration by Rob Funderburk featured in All Hands On), author most recently of the novel The Great Perhaps. (And also: Hairstyles of the Damned, The Boy Detective Fails, a few different short story collections as well as stories going back to THE2NDHAND’s third issue.)

T2H coeditor C.T. Ballentine (featured also in All Hands On) with his band Young Coconut.

And T2H editor Todd Dills up from Nashville to perform with a crew of T2H writers including Balletine, Matt Pine and others. Leather may be involved. Perhaps pink bandanas.

All Hands On contributors Marc Baez and Nerves alumnus Fred Sasaki round out the blowout.

ALL HANDS ON @ So You Think You Have Nerves of Steel?, Hungry Brain, 2319 W. Belmont, Chicago — Tuesday, Oct. 4, 8 p.m.

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18
Feb
2011

MY PRETZEL HAS EYES, by Pitchfork Battalion (Henry Ronan-Daniell, C.T. Ballentine, Todd Dills)

The writers debuted this piece at THE2NDHAND’s 11th-anniversary celebration at East Nashville’s Portland Brew Feb. 12, 2011.

The listenership of the Pretzel Eyes show remained small. Pretzel Eyes himself, otherwise known as Martin Tanager, had done his best to create the most avant-garde radio program Cornell University student radio had ever known. It was difficult for him to predict how many more hours of crawlspace field recordings the greater Ithaca area would have to hear before it realized the greatness of his show, but he refused to give up. If he threw in the towel now, all he’d have to do with himself as a biology major would be to study the organ systems of creatures which seemed to have evolved solely to bore and infuriate him.

One man had called in last week, attempting, it seemed, to reach another number, and said he’d just been bitten by a dun-colored scorpion. Martin told him to put some ice on the bite and relax, though he did not really know whether this was wise. He’d not yet studied scorpions. Aside from that, though, the phones had not rung. Perhaps the show was still insufficiently avant-garde, Martin worried. He began to monkey with the tone controls in hopes of finding a combination which would further unsettle the philistines, but eventually he turned them all back to the way they had been in the first place.

Perhaps he needed a partner. He’d seen some potential in the Panamanian with whom he shared a lab table, though he did not approve of that fellow’s haircut nor his familiarity with canals. Access, after all, was not what The Pretzel Eyes Show was all about. No, the Panamanian would only louse things up. Better to fly solo. Just as he reconciled himself to this sad necessity, the light on the telephone flashed. Martin answered it.

“Is this the Pretzel Eyes show?” a voice asked.

“Yes, it is,” Martin said.

“Well, I must say I greatly enjoy your recordings, crawlspace and otherwise,” the voice maintained, “and the satisfaction engendered thereby has ennobled my once haggard spirit. You do Ithaca a service.”

“Thank you so very much,” Martin said, and wiped away a tear. –Ronan-Daniell

***
Winsome McKenzie brought his own fat ass onto that elevator. There were his many guts and faded tiger tattoos reflected in a cascade hallway of ornate glass. Throwing a towel over his shoulder and (hopefully) his emerging splotch of ringworm, McKenzie rehearsed vague pitches to potential players. He decided “ancillary artifacts” sounded smarter than “ancillary accessories,” more modern and probably less redundant, although really…

The doors opened for a lanky teenager in a hooded sweatshirt. He bobbed his head in cut time, averting his eyes from the awesome power of bare male flesh.

McKenzie’s eyes swam beneath burst capillary waves of nostalgia — his own youth — nights on the mountain with Syl and Simone. Simone, who’d spent the last month studying formalized logic under the auspices of a nervous young man in khaki shorts, was pulling her legs beneath herself — a heel grazing the boundary of buttock — from which position she lectured through a marijuana haze on the meta-mutations of mathematical conception: circles with negative radii, the name of Yahweh perhaps hidden in algebraic permutations of the Latin alphabet, parabolas turned in on themselves until they became like pretzels, the formula for which had some bearing on the particular trio’s camaraderie. Winsome couldn’t recall specifics, being lost, as it were, in the buttery plane of Simone’s exposed thigh.

“May we have pretzel eyes for brains that our hearts might see them coming,” Simone intoned, drunk and silly. They’d felt on the verge of something then, togetherness defined not by physical boundaries but by an allegiance to ideas so patently obvious that they defied definition. Simone was in Berkley now, working on a farm and spending entire months in self-imposed silence. About Syl, Winsome had no idea and here; here was he, old and fat and ready to swim.

McKenzie realized he’d been staring at the teenager, whose face shone from beneath its hood with a mix of disgust and discomfort. Embarrassed, he jerked his head upward, fixing his eyes on the numbers whose steady decline was nearing its end.

CT, don’t lose that number.
I think it might be killing the blackbirds
I knew this hacker in Chicago long time ago was a big steely dan fan, sat around his house singing dumb deacon or whatever. I mean, assuming you mean those kinds of blackbirds…
Never can tell with hackers, as they are always casting one thing into another thing.Hackers can build programs that cast blue jays into blackbirds or can, for that matter, convert into blackbirds: sandwiches, lollipops and vague feelings of encroaching ennui. I’m not interested in where the blackbird’s been only in where it’s going. Did that hacker have a handlebar mustache? I’ll bet.
He did. Above a very large and unruly beard. I think hackers are killing the blackbirds.
He’s hacked into my YouTube, so i can see what you’re saying And why doesn’t this happen every July 5th? It certainly ought to.
But it is not July 5. Oh if it were. Seeing what you’re saying might be less necessary.
You’re right. It’s like one of those dreams where having to pee turns into a storm cloud.
my pretzel has eyes.
I’m tired of hearing about your pretzel. I’m hungry. Can’t you see that I’m hungry? The pretzel sees what you are up to.
I was a hell-raising shit-talking son of a drunk from a very land of such. Course I knew more than one man my near equal in hubris. But it was Harry Wright who made me tempt the river, not that crazy old preacher.

Harry was a veritable manufacturer of useless ornamental padlocks fashioned from pretzels, grouped in threes and hung upside down — he thread string through the eyes to sinch them together. I don’t remember what the fuck the point was, he needed something to do with the cast-offs of the awful pride he held in his ability to beat a spinning master lock, common for him to demonstrate if you hung around the bar long enough into the evening, which I did. His method? Well-placed hammer stroke, brought down hard on the lock’s face. The dial would pop right out, along with the U, making, the dial, quite a nice little focal point sandwiched among the pretzels he used for the ridiculous ornaments. Maybe he figured he could make money punting them off around Christmas to the few redneck housewives down at his place, where I bellied up most days. They weren’t what I was paying him for.

Another weekday, another three hours in front of me with news for Harry Wright nothing outside the ordinary, which was fuck-all boring. I mean without all the mud on the jobsite and a little drama involving dump driver Willy One-Eye’s stuck shoe I guess I didn’t have nothing at all to say to Harry Wright. Which is exactly what the man told me toward the end of the godforsaken night, almost got in a fight with a useless little bulldog of a Memphis boy who brought his girl in there to prove he could get it up, I guess. He caught me staring at her chest. Don’t tempt me you useless little cobblestone, I told him.

“Don’t you ever change anything up, Grantham?” Harry Wright bellowed to break up the impending altercation, I guess you’d say, then pounding his hammer down, popping open another of his locks on the bar and grinning to eat all the adulative shit that now rained down on him. I kept it up, got a fiery drunk on had to be half a fifth of Evan Williams.

“Call a car for you, Grantham?” Harry said near the end of it.

I don’t guess I was planning to go, but to spite the old man I said nah, I was OK, would be OK, and wobbled up off my seat and I could feel the eyes of every Harry Wright idolator in the place on me as I left, chancing just the glance back to the bar, where an old man had now spun on his stool and grabbed me by the forearm, pulling me down onto an empty seat next to him.

Harry’s eyes peered down on me through his bushy eyebrows, daring me to make a move, telephone out of its cradle and in his hand like he was planning on using it to smash my skull. He shook it with each word, then: “Don’t tempt the river, old man.”

But I wasn’t half as old as the guy who’d sucked me down next to him. I would have knocked him out had it not been for his age and Harry’s dexterity with the hammer, and the phone, I guess. I’d seen him use it.

The old man quickly ordered two beers and then slid one over to me after Harry put them both down in front of him. “He’s OK,” the man said, a little nod of the head to Harry Wright. He didn’t waist no time in what he was about. “You got the Lord, son?”

Oh boy. “You ain’t going there, old man,” I said.

“You need him. Like Harry said, Don’t tempt that damn river.”

I turned my beer up at that, banging the empty down hard on the bar, where it clattered and rolled over down into the trough on Harry’s side. I told them all where they could shove their Lord.

“Jesus, Grantham, the man’s a preacher!” Harry roared.

The eyes.

“Is that right?” I said. “Preachers should not partake. Nor curse. It’s in the goddamn book.”

The grizzled old graybeard just shook his head. “You mind what I told you.”

I had to cross the big muddy 10 minutes later back to my Arkansas home, whine of the tires in my Ford rapping in succession across its sections and, man, I don’t know what the hell happened but next thing I was struggling to get my seatbelt off as the water poured in through the open window, in a matter of seconds up to my neck and over my head and, then, silence.

I was back on the Tennessee bank imagining the truckstops way out across the river, muttering thinking laughing clear to the diesel pumps and dog track about just how Harry Wright wasn’t a scoundrel, wasn’t a pure devilish evil thing of a grandstanding impairment engine. I loved the man, I did, more than booze itself. One of them pretzel padlocks half stuck in the mud beside me getting soggy, couldn’t really feel my left arm. I might have better done to consider the kid at home, the wife, but it’s unlikely in a moment so fleeting. None eyes have seen this glory, a shame bigger there hasn’t been. Death comes quick, louder than a bomb. A quake, a stiff breeze, a howling wind and rain so strong it snaps your scalp. And I was gone. –Ballentine and Dills

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05
Feb
2011

‘Leak’ is the new ‘press release’; AHO in Nashville Feb. 12, Rob Funderburk’s ils and more

This year’s Chicago snowmageddon, I’m happy to note, didn’t outrank my personal midwest winter initiation. After moving to the Chi in the fall of 1998 from the humid climes of Rock Hill, S.C., come the holidays I was back in S.C. but left early. A blizzard was predicted, see, and I was to start a new job Jan. 2 in Evanston, of all places. I motored back to Chicago in time for New Year’s Eve, as the snow began sometime early the next morning, not stopping for the next 24 hours. I was at that new job the following day, a near-four-hour public transit nightmare (never been so damn cold in my life, standing hopping foot to foot on the platform at Diversey, running in place, etc. etc.). That, friends, still sits in the history books as the No. 2 biggest Chicago snow, hell of an initiation rite for a Southerner. I have nerves of steel. Nah, but ’twas a great time to pretend.

Fortunately, in 1999 THE2NDHAND was just beginning to rise in my brain — we wouldn’t launch for another year — and there were no readings to cancel.  Our Nerves of Steel event last Tuesday coincided directly with the worst of the recent white torment, and we unfortunately had to cancel as participants, well, faced travel nightmares to and from the Hungry Brain. We’ll be featuring all — Tomorrow Kings, Mairead Case, Marc Baez and more — in upcoming installments of the event, we hope, the next one to take place March 1.

Meantime, disheartened by the decidedly un-nervy cancellation, Chicago writer Mason Johnson reportedly had his own “Mason Johnson has Nerves of Steel” extravaganza at Moe’s on the northwest side (Central Park and Milwaukee).  Check out the partial results.

ALL HANDS ON
The final day to preorder a copy of All Hands On: THE2NDHAND After 10 (our 10th-anniversary reader) via our Kickstarter campaign is Feb. 16. Reserve your copy. Sometime on the evening of Wednesday, Jan. 26, we hit the funding goal, so barring a disaster the project’s a go. Among features will be  special-section author illustrations, some of which are leaked below, in process, by former THE2NDHAND design man Rob Funderburk — my favorite working painter, no doubt, and one of my favorite illustrators (he’s also a longtime and great friend, of course). Working from photos in many cases (most of the subjects he’s trying capture in portraits he’s never met), he’s been experimenting with all manner of techniques on these, as you can see. The technique behind the Michael Peck il Rob describes this way: “Laid paper over source photos on a lightbox, used flat side v. pointy corner of a graphite stick to render.” Makes it sounds simple, right?

Pretty stunning preliminary results, I’ll say. Find more from Rob’s illustration, painting and mural work, as well as framed watercolors and maquettes and a screen-printed study of the Chicago Rookery building, at robfunderburk.com. Or read his blog.

MICHAEL PECK

HEATHER PALMER

JOE MENO

KATE DUVA

PHILLIP BRUNETTI

AND NASHVILLE, TAKE HEED
ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION THIS COMING WEEKEND.

THE2NDHAND anniversary celebration | 11 years to the day after our first-ever release party
Saturday, Feb. 12, 7 p.m.
@ Portland Brew, 1921 Eastland Ave., Nashville, Tenn.
THE2NDHAND AFTER 10: A NASHVILLE READING Four days before the end of ourKickstarter.com campaign to raise $2,000 to print our 10th-anniversary anthology, All Hands On, THE2NDHAND’s editors and contributors gather at this event to present new writing and work to be published in the book, with performances by:
*T2H shapeshifting collaborative writing crew of the Pitchfork Battalion
*T2H Louisville, Ky.-based coeditor C.T. Ballentine (whose “Friedrich Nietzsche Waits for a Date” novella is featured in its entirety in the All Hands On book)
*Birmingham-based Nadria Tucker, a frequent T2H contributor, with a special section in the book
*Nashville’s own Matt Cahan, whose “Coyote Business,” a short exploring the cultural connections between Mexico and the United States excerpted from his “Straight Commission” novel in progress, via the tale of a group of would-be Mexican migrants and a U.S. chemical salesman, is among new work featured in AHO
*Susannah Felts, Nashville-based author of the novel This Will Go Down on Your Permanent Record
*Nashville-based Henry Ronan-Daniell

Nashville-based wood-block printmaker Martin Cadieux will be on-hand showcasing his print work for THE2NDHAND’s Kickstarter campaign, among other work.


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16
Jan
2011

Final 10-anniv. book push with Feb. events in Chicago, Nashville

With a month left in THE2NDHAND’s Kickstarter.com campaign to fund the printing of our mammoth 10th anniversary anthology, I’m starting what may amount to the final big push to reach the goal. It’s most definitely in sight. As of today, we’re just more than $250 shy of it. Contributors, T2H partisans and others who’ve helped spread the word about the project, a big shout to you. Your efforts have clearly born fruit. Now would be the time to start shooting out those reminders to those who may have been distracted by the holidays or just, well, distracted… I know I was, to one degree or another, but still managed to, just prior to said holiday, get the second in our All Hands On special-edition broadsheets out. If you missed Chicago writer and lit scene force Fred Sasaki’s “Pressure Billiards” minisheet (here pictured, front side), read it here or download the minisheet directly by clicking on the image. Part of Sasaki’s “Letters of Interest” series, which might well be the “Lazlo letters” of the internet age — marketing its target, manipulation through on-the-spot digital, textual interaction its method — the piece is also featured in the 10th anniversary collection, after debuting to a crowd at the East Nashville Portland Brew back in September last year.

Speaking of Portland Brew, two events will cap the fund-raising campaign. Here in Nashville, a crew of All Hands On-contributing writers spanning THE2NDHAND’s 11-year journey from Chicago to Birmingham, Nashville, and Louisville, with faces new and old, gathers 11 years to the Saturday, Feb. 12, we hosted our first release party on the fourth floor of 1278 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago. The reading will be in large part collaboratively focused, with Birmingham’s Nadria Tucker and Nashville’s Matt Cahan presenting work from the book and C.T. Ballentine, myself, Susannah Felts and Henry Ronan-Daniel performing under the Pitchfork Battalion moniker.

Martin Cadieux, too, the wood-block printmaker I’ve written about here, will table with certain of his prints, including examples of the envelopes he did for us to house collections of past broadsheets.

And if you’re in Chicago, Feb. 1 is the date of our next Nerves of Steel event — this one features the hip-hop of the Tomorrow Kings, Nerves of Steel alumnus Mairead Case, presenting a graphic novel, and All Hands On contributor Marc Baez, among others.

Here’s our Kickstarter link: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/the2ndhand/all-hands-on-the2ndhand-after-10-a-reader.

And for media folks among you, I’ve updated our press release to reflect the upcoming events associated, at http://the2ndhand.com/T2HKICKSTARTERRELEASE.doc. Full text is below. Again, big thanks for helping spread the word, likewise to those who’ve contributed.

Nashville and Chicago-based THE2NDHAND passes halfway mark in pledge campaign for ‘All Hands On’ 10th-anniversary anthology; ending campaign events in Chicago, Nashville Feb. 1 and 12

All Hands On: THE2NDHAND after 10, 2000-11, a Reader will be published in 2011 to celebrate and lay down the best of the broadsheet and online magazine’s 10+ years of publishing writing by the budding insurgents of the American lit landscape and other more established writers. THE2NDHAND reached the halfway point in a 90-day fund-raising campaign on Kickstarter.com a week after its launch on November 18 to raise $2,000 to cover printing costs.

By pledging $14 or more, readers can preorder a copy of the 300-plus-page book, which collects work all told from 40 writers, 3 illustrators, four editors, and a couple janitors. Visit http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/the2ndhand/all-hands-on-the2ndhand-after-10-a-reader for the campaign, or http://the2ndhand.com/books.html.

True to form, the book begins with a section of new, as-yet unpublished work representing the full range of the magazine’s long local presence in Chicago (with new work by Chicagoans Patrick Somerville, Michael Zapata and Fred Sasaki), Birmingham, Ala. (Nadria Tucker) and Nashville, Tenn. (Matt Cahan), as well as its far-flung influence in the world of new literary writing the nation over. Contributors to the front, new-work section of the book represent regions from New England to the West Coast, and the large majority of the collection is devoted to special sections highlighting short fiction by the magazine’s best repeat contributors, from Joe Meno (The Great Perhaps), first published in THE2NDHAND in its third issue in its first year, 2000, to more recent contributors like Chicagoan Heather Palmer, whose novella “Charlie’s Train” was serialized at THE2NDHAND.com as its 11th year began in February of 2010.

On Feb. 1, Chicago writer and All Hands On special-section contributor Marc Baez will perform as part of THE2NDHAND’s SoYou Think You Have Nerves of Steel? literary/variety performance series, hosted THE2NDHAND coeditor Jacob Knabb and All Hands On contributing writer Kate Duva, and in Nashville, THE2NDHAND founding editor Todd Dills and coeditor C.T. Ballentine (of Louisville, Ky.) gather with contributors Nadria Tucker (of Birmingham), Cahan, Susannah Felts and others for a reading on the exactly anniversary of THE2NDHAND’s first-issue Chicago release party in 2000, Feb. 12. See below for full reading details.

(Zapata’s “White Twilight,” a speculative fictional take of sorts on the first U.S. census to come back with those checking “white” in the race/ethnicity box in a solid minority, is the featured story in THE2NDHAND’s broadsheet No. 35, out now as a sneak peek into the book; also recently released was an installment — broadsheet No. 35.1 — of THE2NDHAND’s mini-broadsheet series featuring Fred Sasaki’s “Pressure Billiards,” part of his “Letters of Interest” series, a sort of Lazlo letters for the Internet age. )

Other pledge rewards include, in addition to a copy of the book, THE2NDHAND’s signature bergamot-infused bar by Alabama soap maker The Left Hand (thelefthand.net), several books by contributors and editors (from All Hands On cover designer and past contributor Zach Dodson and contributor Patrick Somerville to THE2NDHAND’s founding editor, Todd Dills) and, among others, packets of 10 and 15 broadsheets spanning the 10-year history of THE2NDHAND packaged in custom-designed and -printed envelopes by Nashville-based wood-block fine-arts printmaker Martin Cadieux. At the highest pledge level, $150, a limited number full boxed sets in packaging likewise printed by Cadieux are available.

For more about THE2NDHAND, visit THE2NDHAND.com and peruse past broadsheets and online-magazine archives. THE2NDHAND’s editor will be sharing previews, likewise, of some of the artwork to be included in All Hands On – Chicago artist Rob Funderburk, formerly THE2NDHAND’s principle designer, is at work on illustrative portraits of special-section writers included, for instance. Some in-process photos of Cadieux’ wood-block-printed envelopes are already available in this blog post from early November by THE2NDHAND editor Todd Dills. A fact sheet of sorts about the book, its contributors and the history of the broadsheet and online magazine follows. For interviews with any of the writers listed, please contact THE2NDHAND editor Todd Dills.

EVENTS (http://the2ndhand.com/events/events.html):

Tuesday, Feb. 1, 8 p.m.
@ Hungry Brain, 2319 W. Belmont, Chicago
SO YOU THINK YOU HAVE NERVES OF STEEL?

Featuring:
*Longtime THE2NDHAND contributor, Chicago experimental writer Marc Baez
*Mairead Case
w/ a graphic novel slideshow
*hip-hop by the Tomorrow Kings (http://empworldwide.com/tomorrowkings)

Also: A special public service announce from Seth Dodson and Kellen Alexander

*House band: Good evening (http://goodeveningmusic.com)

*Hosted by Monsieur Harold Ray (the janitorial-services-type, still-West Virginian v. of T2H coeditor Jacob Knabb) and T2H regular Kate Duva

Saturday, Feb. 12, 7 p.m.
@ Portland Brew, 1921 Eastland Ave., Nashville, Tenn.
THE2NDHAND AFTER 10: A NASHVILLE READING

Four days before the end of its Kickstarter.com campaign to raise $2,000 to print its 10th-anniversary anthology, All Hands On, THE2NDHAND’s editors and contributors gather at this event to present new writing and work to be published in the book, with performances by:

*T2H shapeshifting collaborative writing crew of the Pitchfork Battalion

*T2H Louisville, Ky.-based coeditor C.T. Ballentine (whose “Friedrich Nietzsche Waits for a Date” novella is featured in its entirety in the All Hands On book)

*Birmingham-based Nadria Tucker, a frequent T2H contributor, with a special section in the book

*Nashville’s own Matt Cahan, whose “Coyote Business,” a short exploring the cultural connections between Mexico and the United States excerpted from his “Straight Commission” novel in progress, via the tale of a group of would-be Mexican migrants and a U.S. chemical salesman

*Susannah Felts, Nashville-based author of the novel This Will Go Down on Your Permanent Record, Watkins College of Art & Design writing professor and regular contributor to Humanties Tennessee’s Chapter 16 literary website

*Nashville-based Henry Ronan-Daniel

Nashville-based wood-block printmaker Martin Cadieux will be on-hand showcasing his print work for THE2NDHAND’s Kickstarter campaign, among other work.

FACTS:

THE2NDHAND KICKSTARTER campaign main page: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/the2ndhand/all-hands-on-the2ndhand-after-10-a-reader.

VIDEO: A photographic tour through 10 years of THE2NDHAND’s broadsheets, with audio selections from editor C.T. Ballentine’s introduction to All Hands On and more is available via THE2NDHAND’s Kickstarter fund drive page or www.youtube.com/the2ndhandutube.

IMAGES:

All Hands On: THE2NDHAND After 10, 2000-2011, a Reader, cover image:
http://the2ndhand.com/print35/allhandscovercolor.JPG
THE2NDHAND Broadsheet No. 35 pdf:
http://the2ndhand.com/print35/THE2NDHAND_35.pdf
THE2NDHAND Broadsheet No. 35 front side image:
http://the2ndhand.com/print35/thumbnail.JPG

Some other things that are known:

75: Percentage of THE2NDHAND’s current editors who have once lived/worked or are currently working in the mag’s co-HQ of Chicago.

25: Percentage of THE2NDHAND’s current editors who have once lived/worked in West Virginia.

25: Percentage of THE2NDHAND’s current editors who have once lived/worked in past co-HQ of Birmingham, Ala., and current co-HQ of Nashville, Tenn.

50: Percentage of THE2NDHAND’s current editors who have once lived/worked in Louisville, Ky.

42: Number of total THE2NDHAND broadsheets, including numbered half-issues 6.5, 13.5 and 16.5 and our recent 8.5-by-11-inch mini-sheets for primarily digital distribution, begun with No. 33.1 in January 2010.

Today, THE2NDHAND is:

Editors Todd Dills (Nashville, Tenn.), C.T. Ballentine (Louisville, Ky.), Jacob Knabb (Chicago)

FAQ editor Mickey Hess (Philadelphia)

Janitors: Rufus Beady, Harold Ray (all over and everywhere)

And many writers

When it began with a launch party Saturday Feb. 12, at 1278 N. Milwaukee, Floor 4, in Chicago, it was:

Editor Todd Dills (Chicago)

Design men Jeremy Bacharach and (now children’s book illustrator) Matt Cordell (matthewcordell.com)

And fewer writers

Between 2002 and 2004, it was:

Editors Todd Dills and Jeb Gleason-Allured (Chicago)

FAQ editor Mickey Hess (Louisville, Ky.)

Design man Evan Sult (later of band Bound Stems, of Chicago)

Propaganda minister Eric Graf

And more writers

Between 2005 and 2007, it was:

Editors Todd Dills, Jeb Gleason-Allured (Chicago) and C.T. Ballentine (Chicago)

FAQ editor Mickey Hess (Louisville, Ky.)

Design man (Chicago artist) Rob Funderburk (robfunderburk.com)

Propaganda minister Eric Graf

And more writers

Between 2006 and 2009, it was:

Editors Todd Dills (Birmingham, Ala.), C.T. Ballentine (Chicago)

FAQ editor Mickey Hess (Philadelphia)

And more and more writers

Of those writers:

Contributors to All Hands On: THE2NDHAND After 10
It’s been a long run for THE2NDHAND, the little magazine — not even a magazine in any traditional sense, but rather a broadsheet, perhaps the last periodical on earth to be launched without a prefabbed website to bolster its offset-printed pages (though ‘twas to follow shortly, publishing flash and serial fiction weekly from late 2000 on). We mean: THE2NDHAND is a page. A big one – 11-by-17-inch block of black text peppered variously with photo-illustrations, comics, line drawings, distributed in storefronts first in Chicago, then in an ever-growing list of cities around the U.S…. “New writing,” simply, has been its focus since 2000, when THE2NDHAND editor Todd Dills founded the broadsheet working from a crackerbox hole of an apartment in Logan Square, Chicago — small-format has been its watchword physically, but a loud mouth and a big heart its most important parts.

True to form, All Hands On’s front section features new work by Michael Zapata, Nadria Tucker, Jamie Iredell, Patrick Somerville (The Cradle), Fred Sasaki, Amanda Yskamp, Ben Stein (Amherst, Mass.) and Matt Cahan, as well as a collaborative short by Susannah Felts & Todd Dills and a mini-epic poem (“Chicago”) by Doug Milam.

**Cover design by Featherproof Books’ (and T2H contributor) Zach Dodson
**Illustrations for the lead section by comix artist/cermacist Andrew Davis
**Author illustrations by Chicago artist and T2H occasionaljanitor-in-residence
Rob Funderburk
**Special sections with multiple short stories by Marc Baez, coeditor C.T. Ballentine (including the entirety of his “Friedrich Nietzsche Waits for a Date” novella; Ballentine also penned, with copious editorial footnoting by Todd Dills, the book’s introduction), Philip Brunetti, Al Burian (the Burn Collector zine and associated books), Tobias Carroll (“The Scowl” blogger), Spencer Dew (Songs of Insurgency), Kate Duva (cohost of our Chicago “So you think you have nerves of steel?” reading series), David Gianatasio (Mind Games), Mickey Hess (Big Wheel at the Cracker Factory), Joe Meno (The Great Perhaps, Hairstyles of the Damned), Jonathan Messinger (Hiding Out), Doug Milam (Still the Confusion), Anne Elizabeth Moore (Unmarketable: Brandalism, Copyfighting, Mocketing, and the Erosion of Integrity) with comic adaptation by Josh Bayer, Greggory Moore, Kevin O’Cuinn, Heather Palmer, Michael Peck, the Pitchfork Battalion (a collaborative crew with roving membership, including many of those already listed, plus, featured in the book, Sean Carswell, Jim Murphy, Emerson Dameron, John Minichillo, Motke Dapp, and Dominique Holmes), Lauren Pretnar, Patrick Somerville (The Cradle), Jill Summers, Paul A. Toth (Finale), and Nadria Tucker.

I-65 U.S. Interstate Highway within 40 miles of which 57 percent of all AHO contributors live.

30: Percentage of AHO contributors who live in Chicago.

ABOUT Special section authors in AHO:

Chicago writer Marc Baez’s work first appeared in THE2NDHAND in its second year, with a minidrama involving two men and two women seated on a floor after having played a game of Twister, speaking quite baroquely amongst themselves about the personal, artistic and philosophical gulfs that keep them together–and apart. Part 1 of his most recent, tricornered contribution, published in 2009, is featured here, among others. Baez teaches writing at the University of Illinois Chicago. Baez’s work was also featured in THE2NDHAND’s 2004 All Hands On: A THE2NDHAND Reader, 2000-2004 anthology.

C.T. Ballentine has been an editor with THE2NDHAND since 2007 and a contributor since 2005. Also a sound engineer in various music halls and opera houses, he lives, writes and loves between Louisville, Ky., Chicago and Huntsville, Ala.

Philip Brunetti lives and writes in Brooklyn, N.Y., and has been contributing to THE2NDHAND since the fall of 2008.

Al Burian wrote the first issue of the Burn Collector zine in the mid-1990s and continues to write it — and much else besides — today. He’s behind a book of the same name collecting previous installments of the zine and Natural Disaster, collecting later work. When not touring with his work, he lives in Berlin, occasionally Chicago and elsewhere.

Tobias Carroll lives and writes in Brooklyn, N.Y. His work as a book and music critic has been published widely, and his fiction has appeared semi-regularly in THE2NDHAND (since 2007) and other mags. Find more at his indie-culture blog, The Scowl (yourbestguess.com/thescowl).

Spencer Dew, based in Chicago, authored the 2008 “Songs of Insurgency” collection, out from Vagabond Press, and his shorts have appeared in great frequency in many online and print journals, including THE2NDHAND. In 2010 Another New Calligraphy is publishing his Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres book. Visit spencerdew.com for links to pieces of his prolific online lit presence.

Kate Duva grew up in Chicago in a bar; she still lives in the city, where she writes and serves as cohost in THE2NDHAND’s ongoing So You Think You Have Nerves of Steel? reading series, first Tuesday of the month at Hungry Brain on Belmont. Other of her work can be found in Fugue and Opium, on Vocalo Radio and at kateduva.blogspot.com.

David Gianatasio is the author of two collections of short stories, most recently 2008’s Mind Games (Word Riot). He’s published prolifically online for years. He lives in Boston, Mass.

Mickey Hess is a professor of English at Rider University in Lawrenceville, N.J. His work for THE2NDHAND has included serving as progenitor and editor of our FAQ section, and his stories and essays have been published in journals and magazines ranging from Punk Planet and McSweeney’s to more scholarly affairs. He is the author of the memoir Big Wheel at the Cracker Factory and the editor of Greenwood Press’ two-volume Icons of Hip-hop, among other literary and scholarly works.

Longtime THE2NDHAND contributor Joe Meno is the author of several books, including most recently the novel The Great Perhaps (2009), as well as short story collections Demons in the Spring (Akashic) and Bluebirds Used to Croon in the Choir (Northwestern University Press) and the novels The Boy Detective Fails and Hairstyles of the Damned. He is on the faculty of Columbia College in Chicago, where he lives and writes.

Jonathan Messinger is Time Out Chicago’s books editor and the driving editorial force behind the Chicago-based concerns Featherproof Books and the Dollar Store reading series. A prolific short-story writer in his own right, his first collection, Hiding Out, came out in 2007.

Doug Milam lives and writes in Bellingham, Wash. He is the author of a chapbook of shorts, Still the Confusion, and has been published in a variety of other literary magazines. Visit him at milam.blogsite.org/wordpress.

Anne Elizabeth Moore is the author of Unmarketable: Brandalism, Copyfighting, Mocketing, and the Erosion of Integrity (The New Press, 2007), and Hey Kidz, Buy This Book: A Radical Primer on Corporate and Governmental Propaganda and Artistic Activism for Short People (Soft Skull, 2004). Moore served as associate editor of the now-defunct Punk Planet magazine and was the founding editor of the Best American Comics series from Houghton Mifflin. Today, she teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago when she’s not traveling the globe speaking on freedom of speech issues.

Greggory Moore is a lifelong southern California resident, freelance journalist and fiction writer and poet.

Kevin O’Cuinn lives in Frankfurt am Main but is originally from Dublin; he coedits fiction for Word Riot.

Heather Palmer lives in Chicago. Her work has been published in a variety of magazines. In 2010 THE2NDHAND serialized her novella, “Charlie’s Train,” at THE2NDHAND.com, parts of which are excerpted in AHO.

Michael Peck, after a time in Philadelphia and with roots deep upstate New York, lives and writes in Missoula, Mont. His fiction, poetry and essays have appeared in The Rittenhouse Revue, 34th Parallel and others.

The Pitchfork Battalion is THE2NDHAND’s answer to the Wu Tang Clan or to any collaborative artistic group, really. Typically, we collaborate on a theme, or do individual riffs on a phrase in prose – sometimes poetry, as the case of Jim Murphy’s addition to the 2009 “Extraordinary Rendition” is evidence. In AHO are some of our best. For the lot of them, written at the initial instigation of our FAQ editor and continuing contributor Mickey Hess, from 2005 to the present, visit http://the2ndhand.com/archive/archivepitchfork.html.

Lauren Pretnar lives and writes in Chicago.

Patrick Somerville is the author of a novel, The Cradle, and the Trouble collection of stories (patricksomerville.com). In 2010, his genre-busting The Universe in Miniature in Miniature was released by Featherproof Books. He lives and writes in Chicago.

Jill Summers’ audio fiction has been heard via Chicago Public Radio and the Third Coast International Audio Festival. Her writing has appeared in numerous magazines, including THE2NDHAND, where she is a continuing contributor.

Paul A. Toth is the author of a triptych of novels — Fizz, Fishnet and Finale — and lives today in Sarasota, Fla., after years in Flint, Mich. Visit www.netpt.tv; Toth also works in multimedia, poetry and nonfiction.

Nadria Tucker hails from Atmore in South Alabama, though she lives and writes in Birmingham.

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26
Dec
2010

Holmes, Gianatasio, Baez — words for now

Big thanks to all the folks who’ve contributed to the fund drive for THE2NDHAND’s 10th-anniversary anthology, being conducted via Kickstarter.com here. A third of the way through, we’re more than two-thirds funded at this point, well on track to reach the goal — keep getting the word out there as you can. (Past THE2NDHAND.com contributor Ben Tanzer, proprietor of This Blog Will Change Your Life, take note, posted about ‘All Hands On’ a week or so ago, among other notes around the web — thanks, Ben!)

Today, a couple contributors to THE2NDHAND featured in special sections in the book whose work continues to be some of the most at once challenging and comically adept of all T2H’s writers’ to date.

Today we’ve got up as a little Christmas gift to those not worn out by present-getting the first part in Kingston, Jamaica, writer Dominique Holmes‘ “The Girls Talk to Her Like It’s Nothing,” a fantastic story of a world in post-calamity mode, after a flood. Holmes appears in the Pitchfork Battalion special section in the collection in collaboration with myself and T2H coeditor C.T. Ballentine.

David Gianatasio, Boston-based author of a couple collections of shorts, most recently Mind Games (Word Riot 2008), penned “The World Ends Every Day,” a perfect example of the playful intertextuality of much of Gianatasio’s work. We published it in our online mag just last week. It begins:

The onramp swoops overhead like some giant abstract sculpture. We made a film about the last man on earth, and this long-closed stretch of overgrown highway and its immediate environs provided the perfect set. If this were an apocalyptic novel, by J.G. Ballard perhaps, the central traffic island would be cluttered with rusted household appliances, mangled cars, shriveled-up condoms and empty cigarette packs…

The piece proceeds as part film script, part commentary on the script and the film’s making by the method actor telling the story. His ultimate apocalypse (an experienced unveiling, by definition, when the curtain is drawn back to reveal the heart of the truth), in story, is more affecting than the film, to be sure. Read it here.

The second, Chicago scribe Marc Baez, remains perhaps the most wildly experimental of all THE2NDHAND’s regular writers, and thus to my mind one of the most dynamically appealing. Baez’s triptych of stories — well, a poem (“Elegy”), a piece of disjointed poetic prose (“Bloodlines”), and an hilarious exchange between a mother and son (“The Similes”) — featured two weeks back at THE2NDHAND.com is a quick blast emblematic of the author’s range. From “The Similes: Episode 1 — Eat Your Greenbeans”:

Mother: You better eat your green beans unless you wanna look like an old scratch instead of something the lord made.

Son: But they taste like skin.

Mother: Don’t you dare talk to me like I’m some whitefaced doll sewn in an Alpine meadow that you can just hang out with on the moon because nobody on earth likes you.

Son: Lots of people like me. I’m like euphoria for British rockabilly addicts.

Mother: Actually, you’re like an American rapper sucking the milk out of a fainting goat.

Son: You’re like a person who just sits on a chair and paints meat.

Mother: You’re like a local Nebraska television cameraman eating a macaroni salad on break.

Son: You’re like a middle-aged guy from Arizona who just opened the door of his Honda Civic.

Baez I’ve known since the year 2001, when we published the first of his pieces in our then newly minted online mag. Twas a minidrama involving two men and two women seated on a floor after having played a game of Twister, speaking quite baroquely amongst themselves about the personal, artistic and philosophical gulfs that keep them together–and apart.

Highlights from his later work include “Report From Dr. Fugue,” published in our 10th broadsheet, the story of the title Doc’s reanimation of the corpse of Henry Miller and the ensuing havoc wreaked on Chicago bystanders. Read it here: http://the2ndhand.com/print10/story1.html.

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03
Dec
2010

Revisiting Billy Clockout, Antipurpose; New Davis illustrations to be featured in 'All Hands On'

If you haven’t in the recent past, take a moment to page back through the installments of Indianapolis/Bloomington, Ind.-based comix artist and ceramicist Andrew Davis’ “Hideous Bounty” series.

The latest edition, “Sea Snake” (pictured here) is live. Davis cut his artistic teeth in a grad program in Northwest Pennsylvania after a childhood and undergraduate work in South Carolina, where we shared an apartment for a brief time. He inked the original comic to appear in THE2NDHAND‘s first broadsheets — the adventures of one “Billy Clockout,” a young loser bumbling his way through a bizarre existence with a very large rabbit-human for a girlfriend — and the “Hideous Bounty” series was launched way back in 2004, during the arguable height of American messianic tendencies, as the “Antipupose Driven Life.” And I quote:

The Oath of Antipurpose
1) Create your own chemicals or use already existing ones.
2) Have five cats or have none.
3) Watch the sun rise or sleep in.
4) Fight or make love.
5) We must repeat.

Davis’ illustrations also show up in THE2NDHAND no. 35, our latest broadsheet, which showcases new work from All Hands On, where his work will be featured prominently.

Last week, we passed the halfway point in our fund drive at Kickstarter.com for the AHO book, marking THE2NDHAND’s 10th anniversary. Check out the video on our Kickstarter main page for several close-up stills of Davis’ past Billy Clockout comics.

****
And hey, Harold Ray made Chicago weekly New City and other papers this week, in stories about the So You Think You Have Nerves of Steel? event upcoming Tuesday, Dec. 7, next week, which features among others broadsheet no. 35 writer Michael Zapata, AHO contributors Spencer Dew and event chost Kate Duva and many others. Ray (aka T2H coeditor and ACM fiction editor Jacob Knabb) talked with New City’s Kristine Sherred about the event’s genesis about a year ago in the mind of coeditor C.T. Ballentine as well as, well, the Kickstarter pledge campaign. . . T2H partisans, thanks for all the support in that endeavor thus far. Keep the word moving out there, and a big thanks, again, to all who’ve laid down preorders and contributed thus far. If you haven’t, go for it.

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23
Nov
2010

Shya Scanlon's 'Forecast'; THE2NDHAND's 10th anniversary anthology

Kudos to Shya Scanlon. His debut novel, available now via Flatmancrooked, marks the release of something long in the making that I’m happy to say we could be a part of via THE2NDHAND.com. Last summer, we published a small piece of the book in Chapter 8 here, one in 42 separate online pieces published in 42 separate online mags and blogs Scanlon proved marked logistical prowess by roping together in an uninterrupted chain of publishing.

He recent wrote all of us to announce publication of the ultimate results in a single volume, calling it “something I hadn’t, at the start, foreseen,” but I cry wolf to that. Anyone with that much pull on the imaginations of that many editors could well be forgiven for expecting as much, if not more. Get over to Flatmancrooked and order a copy.

And hey, in case you’ve missed the news making the rounds on the social networks and at our site, we’re live both with a new special edition broadsheet (with an absolutely kick-ass short by Chicago’s Michael Zapata) with a Kickstarter.com campaign to raise funds for printing and related expenses for our All Hands On: THE2NDHAND After 10 collection next year. You can preorder the book for $14, and there are other associated rewards at various pledge levels, including broadsheet packets and some full sets with block-printed covers by Cadieux (see previous post), bizarre “buy a header” schemes (think of it as a sort of satirical/whimsical take on vanity publishing, or textual/print tagging).

We’re doing well thus far, but still have plenty of ground to cover. Check out the vid below, and following find a link to a press release we’re updating with facts/figures as they are remembered/recorded.

A QUESTION: When did you first encounter THE2NDHAND. Tell me at todd@the2ndhand.com. Can’t remember? Hey, we like to read fiction, of course. -TD

Grab the press release, with links to images, video, etc.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezx5SYSMZc0]

From the release:

Nashville and Chicago-based THE2NDHAND launches pledge campaign for ‘All Hands On’ 10th-anniversary anthology / “Nerves of Steel” event Dec. 7.

All Hands On: THE2NDHAND after 10, 2000-11, a Reader will be published in 2011 to celebrate and lay down the best of the broadsheet and online magazine’s 10+ years of publishing writing by the budding insurgents of the American lit landscape and other more established writers. THE2NDHAND launched a 90-day fund-raising campaign on Kickstarter.com November 18 to raise the money needed to cover printing costs, and will host a kickoff party as part of its regular So You Think You Have Nerves of Steel? reading series event Dec. 7 at Chicago’s Hungry Brain.

By pledging $14 or more, readers can preorder a copy of the 300-plus-page book, which collects work all told from 40 writers, 3 illustrators, four editors, and a couple janitors. Visit http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/the2ndhand/all-hands-on-the2ndhand-after-10-a-reader for the campaign, and http://the2ndhand.com/events/events.html for details on the event.

True to form, the book begins with a section of new, as-yet unpublished work representing the full range of the magazine’s long local presence in Chicago (with new work by Chicagoans Patrick Somerville and Michael Zapata), Birmingham, Ala. (Nadria Tucker) and Nashville, Tenn. (Matt Cahan), as well as its far-flung influence in the world of new literary writing the nation over. Contributors to the front, new-work section of the book represent regions from New England to the West Coast, and the large majority of the collection is devoted to special sections highlighting short fiction by the magazine’s best repeat contributors, from Joe Meno (The Great Perhaps), first published in THE2NDHAND in its third issue in its first year, 2000, to more recent contributors like Chicagoan Heather Palmer, whose novella “Charlie’s Train” was serialized at THE2NDHAND.com as its 11th year began in February of 2010.

(Zapata’s “White Twilight,” a speculative fictional take of sorts on the first U.S. census to come back with those checking “white” in the race/ethnicity box in a solid minority, is the featured story in THE2NDHAND’s broadsheet No. 35, out now as a sneak peek into the book.)

Other pledge rewards include, in addition to a copy of the book, THE2NDHAND’s signature bergamot-infused bar by Alabama soap maker The Left Hand (thelefthand.net), several books by contributors and editors (from All Hands On cover designer and past contributor Zach Dodson and contributor Patrick Somerville to THE2NDHAND’s founding editor, Todd Dills) and, among others, packets of 10 and 15 broadsheets spanning the 10-year history of THE2NDHAND packaged in custom-designed and -printed envelopes by Nashville-based wood-block fine-arts printmaker Martin Cadieux. At the highest pledge level, $150, a limited number full boxed sets in packaging likewise printed by Cadieux are available.

For more about THE2NDHAND, visit THE2NDHAND.com and peruse past broadsheets and online-magazine archives. THE2NDHAND’s editor will be sharing previews, likewise, of some of the artwork to be included in All Hands On – Chicago artist Rob Funderburk, formerly THE2NDHAND’s principle designer, is at work on illustrative portraits of special-section writers included, for instance. Some in-process photos of Cadieux’ wood-block-printed envelopes are already available in this blog post from early November by THE2NDHAND editor Todd Dills. A fact sheet of sorts about the book, its contributors and the history of the broadsheet and online magazine follows. For interviews with any of the writers listed, please contact THE2NDHAND editor Todd Dills.

FACTS:

THE2NDHAND KICKSTARTER campaign main page: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/the2ndhand/all-hands-on-the2ndhand-after-10-a-reader.

VIDEO: A photographic tour through 10 years of THE2NDHAND’s broadsheets, with audio selections from editor C.T. Ballentine’s introduction to All Hands On and more is available via THE2NDHAND’s Kickstarter fund drive page or www.youtube.com/the2ndhandutube.

IMAGES:

All Hands On: THE2NDHAND After 10, 2000-2011, a Reader, cover image:
http://the2ndhand.com/print35/allhandsoncovercolor.JPG
THE2NDHAND Broadsheet No. 35 pdf:
http://the2ndhand.com/print35/THE2NDHAND_35.pdf
THE2NDHAND Broadsheet No. 35 front side image:
http://the2ndhand.com/print35/thumbnail.JPG

NERVES of STEEL DETAILS:
SO YOU THINK YOU HAVE NERVES OF STEEL?
8 p.m., Tues., Dec. 7, Hungry Brain, 2319 W. Belmont, Chicago

THE2NDHAND announces to Chi-town, city of its birth in 2000, the T2H Kickstarter.com campaign toward publication of its 10th-anniversary book, All Hands On: THE2NDHAND After 10… and of course much more, with performances by:
**THE2NDHAND No. 35 (just released) writer Michael Zapata
**the team of Matt Bell (Wolf Parts, among others) and Michael Czyzniejewski (Elephants in Our Bedroom)
**and Natalie Edwards, Mary Hamilton (of Quickie’s reading series) and Lindsay Hunter (Daddy’s) in a collaboration that will melt faces like that scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark when they open the ark…

ALSO:
**Puppetry by Brandon Will
**music by Nerves of Steel house band Good Evening
**and a PSA by T2H regular Spencer Dew (touring a little with his Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres book out from Another New Calligraphy)

Some other things that are known:
75:
Percentage of THE2NDHAND’s current editors who have once lived/worked or are currently working in the mag’s co-HQ of Chicago.

25: Percentage of THE2NDHAND’s current editors who have once lived/worked in West Virginia.

25: Percentage of THE2NDHAND’s current editors who have once lived/worked in past co-HQ of Birmingham, Ala., and current co-HQ of Nashville, Tenn.

50: Percentage of THE2NDHAND’s current editors who have once lived/worked in Louisville, Ky.

42: Number of total THE2NDHAND broadsheets, including numbered half-issues 6.5, 13.5 and 16.5 and our recent 8.5-by-11-inch mini-sheets for primarily digital distribution, begun with No. 33.1 in January 2010.

Today, THE2NDHAND is:
Editors
Todd Dills (Nashville, Tenn.), C.T. Ballentine (Louisville, Ky.), Jacob Knabb (Chicago)
FAQ editor
Mickey Hess (Philadelphia)
Janitors:
Rufus Beady, Harold Ray (all over and everywhere)
And many writers

When it began with a launch party Saturday Feb. 12, at 1278 N. Milwaukee, Floor 4, in Chicago, it was:
Editor
Todd Dills (Chicago)
Design men
Jeremy Bacharach and (now children’s book illustrator) Matt Cordell (matthewcordell.com)
And fewer writers

Between 2002 and 2004, it was:
Editors
Todd Dills and Jeb Gleason-Allured (Chicago)
FAQ editor
Mickey Hess (Louisville, Ky.)
Design man
Evan Sult (later of band Bound Stems, of Chicago)
Propaganda minister
Eric Graf
And more writers

Between 2005 and 2007, it was:
Editors
Todd Dills, Jeb Gleason-Allured (Chicago) and C.T. Ballentine (Chicago)
FAQ editor
Mickey Hess (Louisville, Ky.)
Design man
(Chicago artist) Rob Funderburk (robfunderburk.com)
Propaganda minister
Eric Graf
And more writers

Between 2006 and 2009, it was:
Editors
Todd Dills (Birmingham, Ala.), C.T. Ballentine (Chicago)
FAQ editor
Mickey Hess (Philadelphia)
And more and more writers

Of those writers:

Contributors to All Hands On: THE2NDHAND After 10
It’s been a long run for THE2NDHAND, the little magazine — not even a magazine in any traditional sense, but rather a broadsheet, perhaps the last periodical on earth to be launched without a prefabbed website to bolster its offset-printed pages (though ‘twas to follow shortly, publishing flash and serial fiction weekly from late 2000 on). We mean: THE2NDHAND is a page. A big one – 11-by-17-inch block of black text peppered variously with photo-illustrations, comics, line drawings, distributed in storefronts first in Chicago, then in an ever-growing list of cities around the U.S…. “New writing,” simply, has been its focus since 2000, when THE2NDHAND editor Todd Dills founded the broadsheet working from a crackerbox hole of an apartment in Logan Square, Chicago — small-format has been its watchword physically, but a loud mouth and a big heart its most important parts.

True to form, All Hands On’s front section features new work by Michael Zapata, Nadria Tucker, Jamie Iredell, Patrick Somerville (The Cradle), Fred Sasaki, Amanda Yskamp, Ben Stein (Amherst, Mass.) and Matt Cahan, as well as a collaborative short by Susannah Felts & Todd Dills and a mini-epic poem (“Chicago”) by Doug Milam.

**Cover design by Featherproof Books’ (and T2H contributor) Zach Dodson
**Illustrations for the lead section by comix artist/cermacist Andrew Davis
**Author illustrations by Chicago artist and T2H occasionaljanitor-in-residence
Rob Funderburk
**Special sections with multiple short stories by Marc Baez, coeditor C.T. Ballentine (including the entirety of his “Friedrich Nietzsche Waits for a Date” novella; Ballentine also penned, with copious editorial footnoting by Todd Dills, the book’s introduction), Philip Brunetti, Al Burian (the Burn Collector zine and associated books), Tobias Carroll (“The Scowl” blogger), Spencer Dew (Songs of Insurgency), Kate Duva (cohost of our Chicago “So you think you have nerves of steel?” reading series), David Gianatasio (Mind Games), Mickey Hess (Big Wheel at the Cracker Factory), Joe Meno (The Great Perhaps, Hairstyles of the Damned), Jonathan Messinger (Hiding Out), Doug Milam (Still the Confusion), Anne Elizabeth Moore (Unmarketable: Brandalism, Copyfighting, Mocketing, and the Erosion of Integrity) with comic adaptation by Josh Bayer, Greggory Moore, Kevin O’Cuinn, Heather Palmer, Michael Peck, the Pitchfork Battalion (a collaborative crew with roving membership, including many of those already listed, plus, featured in the book, Sean Carswell, Jim Murphy, Emerson Dameron, John Minichillo, Motke Dapp, and Dominique Holmes), Lauren Pretnar, Patrick Somerville (The Cradle), Jill Summers, Paul A. Toth (Finale), and Nadria Tucker.

I-65 U.S. Interstate Highway within 40 miles of which 57 percent of all AHO contributors live.

30: Percentage of AHO contributors who live in Chicago.

ABOUT Special section authors in AHO:
Chicago writer Marc Baez’s work first appeared in THE2NDHAND in its second year, with a minidrama involving two men and two women seated on a floor after having played a game of Twister, speaking quite baroquely amongst themselves about the personal, artistic and philosophical gulfs that keep them together–and apart. Part 1 of his most recent, tricornered contribution, published in 2009, is featured here, among others. Baez teaches writing at the University of Illinois Chicago. Baez’s work was also featured in THE2NDHAND’s 2004 All Hands On: A THE2NDHAND Reader, 2000-2004 anthology.

C.T. Ballentine has been an editor with THE2NDHAND since 2007 and a contributor since 2005. Also a sound engineer in various music halls and opera houses, he lives, writes and loves between Louisville, Ky., Chicago and Huntsville, Ala.

Philip Brunetti lives and writes in Brooklyn, N.Y., and has been contributing to THE2NDHAND since the fall of 2008.

Al Burian wrote the first issue of the Burn Collector zine in the 1990s and continues to write it — and much else besides — today. He’s behind a book of the same name collecting previous installments of the zine and Natural Disaster, collecting later work. When not touring with his work, he lives in Berlin, occasionally Chicago and elsewhere.

Tobias Carroll lives and writes in Brooklyn, N.Y. His work as a book and music critic has been published widely, and his fiction has appeared semi-regularly in THE2NDHAND (since 2007) and other mags. Find more at his indie-culture blog, The Scowl (yourbestguess.com/thescowl).

Spencer Dew, based in Chicago, authored the 2008 “Songs of Insurgency” collection, out from Vagabond Press, and his shorts have appeared in great frequency in many online and print journals, including THE2NDHAND. In 2010 Another New Calligraphy is publishing his Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres book. Visit spencerdew.com for links to pieces of his prolific online lit presence.

Kate Duva grew up in Chicago in a bar; she still lives in the city, where she writes and serves as cohost in THE2NDHAND’s ongoing So You Think You Have Nerves of Steel? reading series, first Tuesday of the month at Hungry Brain on Belmont. Other of her work can be found in Fugue and Opium, on Vocalo Radio and at kateduva.blogspot.com.

David Gianatasio is the author of two collections of short stories, most recently 2008’s Mind Games (Word Riot). He’s published prolifically online for years. He lives in Boston, Mass.

Mickey Hess is a professor of English at Rider University in Lawrenceville, N.J. His work for THE2NDHAND has included serving as progenitor and editor of our FAQ section, and his stories and essays have been published in journals and magazines ranging from Punk Planet and McSweeney’s to more scholarly affairs. He is the author of the memoir Big Wheel at the Cracker Factory and the editor of Greenwood Press’ two-volume Icons of Hip-hop, among other literary and scholarly works.

Longtime THE2NDHAND contributor Joe Meno is the author of several books, including most recently the novel The Great Perhaps (2009), as well as short story collections Demons in the Spring (Akashic) and Bluebirds Used to Croon in the Choir (Northwestern University Press) and the novels The Boy Detective Fails and Hairstyles of the Damned. He is on the faculty of Columbia College in Chicago, where he lives and writes.

Jonathan Messinger is Time Out Chicago’s books editor and the driving editorial force behind the Chicago-based concerns Featherproof Books and the Dollar Store reading series. A prolific short-story writer in his own right, his first collection, Hiding Out, came out in 2007.

Doug Milam lives and writes in Bellingham, Wash. He is the author of a chapbook of shorts, Still the Confusion, and has been published in a variety of other literary magazines. Visit him at milam.blogsite.org/wordpress.

Anne Elizabeth Moore is the author of Unmarketable: Brandalism, Copyfighting, Mocketing, and the Erosion of Integrity (The New Press, 2007), and Hey Kidz, Buy This Book: A Radical Primer on Corporate and Governmental Propaganda and Artistic Activism for Short People (Soft Skull, 2004). Moore served as associate editor of the now-defunct Punk Planet magazine and was the founding editor of the Best American Comics series from Houghton Mifflin. Today, she teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago when she’s not traveling the globe speaking on freedom of speech issues.

Greggory Moore is a lifelong southern California resident, freelance journalist and fiction writer and poet.

Kevin O’Cuinn lives in Frankfurt am Main but is originally from Dublin; he coedits fiction for Word Riot.

Heather Palmer lives in Chicago. Her work has been published in a variety of magazines. In 2010 THE2NDHAND serialized her novella, “Charlie’s Train,” at THE2NDHAND.com, parts of which are excerpted in AHO.

Michael Peck, after a time in Philadelphia and with roots deep upstate New York, lives and writes in Missoula, Mont. His fiction, poetry and essays have appeared in The Rittenhouse Revue, 34th Parallel and others.

The Pitchfork Battalion is THE2NDHAND’s answer to the Wu Tang Clan or to any collaborative artistic group, really. Typically, we collaborate on a theme, or do individual riffs on a phrase in prose – sometimes poetry, as the case of Jim Murphy’s addition to the 2009 “Extraordinary Rendition” is evidence. In AHO are some of our best. For the lot of them, written at the initial instigation of our FAQ editor and continuing contributor Mickey Hess, from 2005 to the present, visit http://the2ndhand.com/archive/archivepitchfork.html.

Lauren Pretnar lives and writes in Chicago.

Patrick Somerville is the author of a novel, The Cradle, and the Trouble collection of stories (patricksomerville.com). In 2010, his genre-busting The Universe in Miniature in Miniature was released by Featherproof Books. He lives and writes in Chicago.

Jill Summers’ audio fiction has been heard via Chicago Public Radio and the Third Coast International Audio Festival. Her writing has appeared in numerous magazines, including THE2NDHAND, where she is a continuing contributor.

Paul A. Toth is the author of a triptych of novels — Fizz, Fishnet and Finale — and lives today in Sarasota, Fla., after years in Flint, Mich. Visit www.netpt.tv; Toth also works in multimedia, poetry and nonfiction.

Nadria Tucker hails from Atmore in South Alabama, though she lives and writes in Birmingham.


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18
Jan
2010

T2H in Japanese, more Ballentine and Nashville BRICK

Welcome to my world — the last time anybody wanted to interview me about the history of THE2NDHAND before this fall must have been a couple years ago now. And the last – a back-and-forth, emailed affair conducted by Jun Teshima of the Hametuha arts mag in Japan – I can’t even read. I can’t thus promise  I was anything like eloquent or sage in my talk in the off chance you get your hands on a copy of the latest edition of Hametuha, but it’s worth a look for the simple joy of seeing Rob Funderburk’s illustrations for Al Burian’s 2006 “Zangara” broadsheet (THE2NDHAND no. 19), about the would-be assassin of FDR who ended up killing Chicago mayor Anton Cermak instead, surrounded by wonderfully complex Japanese characters. The folks at Hametuha were quite taken by Burian’s story (it’s long been a favorite of mine among the work we’ve published as well), so they translated and republished it in their latest edition, devoted to zines from around the world. Above find the cover and a spread from Burian’s piece, the latter with those likely familiar illustrations.

Also, just launched on our part is a new series of mini-broadsheets that is taking further the grand something of an experiment in distribution models that is THE2NDHAND. The physical format is scaled down from our typical 11-by-17-inch sheets to the more standard desktop-printer-compatible 8.5-by-11. As with the others, we’re doing our own runs for select Chicago and Nashville distribution, but we encourage all interested out there to join in the fun — printing double-sided and dropping copies in reading-friendly spaces, from neighborhood bars and coffeeshops to their bathrooms. Online reading via laptop, desktop or mobile phone will be easier as well, in the smaller format.

Which is to say nothing of the excellent story leading the first installment in the series, THE2NDHAND no. 33.1, THE2NDHAND coeditor C.T. Ballentine‘s distillation of a 2007 book project he undertook on tour with Chicago band 1997 (whose nicely allusively titled “Notes From Underground” record came out recently on Victory).

And the date is set for the launch of our coproduction with the folks at Nashville’s Keyhole magazine and press, doing some great stuff lately particularly in the books arena: Friday, Mar. 12 will see the first installment in the Brick Reading Series at the East Nashville Portland Brew (1921 Eastland Avenue, 37206). I’ll be hosting, and am happy to report that, in addition to individual readings, I’ll be collaborating with the participants — Atlanta’s Lydia Ship, Louisville’s Jason Jordan, and Nashville’s own Eric Durchholz — in a Pitchfork Battalion-style collabo on the theme “Building With Brick.” Appropriate, eh? Click on the logo here for the site and full details.

Work in progress: 

I postponed my first day fishing for work on 14th Street in favor of sleeping in, such as I could (considering that by 10 a.m. the late-summer Alabama sun was overhead and scorching the pates of the hairless, heating up my little-big cavern of a home here again to near unbearable proportions). Plus, it’d be much less hot out the day next, and I spent the day wandering from Black Hat Books to the grocery store to a taqueria I discovered nearby where no one seemed to mind that all you ever ordered the two hours you sat there and scarfed down free tortilla chips and salsa was a single beer.

King wasn’t around all day long, but the volunteers working the counter past noon told me right when they said he’d been in by sundown. A punk band from New Orleans called Monocle was warming up when I strolled over from my second $3 visit to the taqueria of the day and found King out front of the place arguing with a city cop out in the street, next to one of three orange cones said cop had used to block off the roadway in front of Black Hat, one of just a couple surface routes over the freight tracks and into the downtown business district. “Fucking city bullshit,” King was saying. He’d removed his Lennon-esque glasses and was waving them around like a maniac, smoldering cigarette in his other hand that he jabbed at the cop to emphasize his vulgarity.

The cop was none too pleased. “Deal with it,” he said, then made like to walk away. The second he turned his back King picked up the cone that had stood between them, then walking deliberately to the next one, parked in the center of the middle of this three-lane one-way street. He’d grabbed the last cone before the cop even noticed anything was amiss, then the two waddled at King’s lead down to the end of the block, where King deposited the cones, turning around and doing his best to pretend the cop didn’t exist.

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