About/Subscribe | Books | Online archive: 2000-10


THE2NDHAND's broadsheet debuted in February of 2000 in a small run in Chicago -- since then it's insinuated itself into the minds of thousands of readers around the nation and the world. Following find info on and pdf versions of its various editions. In February 2010, THE2NDHAND launched a series of mini-sheets circulated primarily via pdf, released in the time between our main print editions. For I.D. purposes, these minisheets have decimal-point numbering systems.

37.1) This issue excerpted Mickey Hess' Nostalgia Echo novel, published in late 2011 by C&R (Chattanooga). The book is the longtime T2Her's homage to Kurt Vonnegut's Breakfast of Champions, the story of Princeton prof and lesser-known "nostalgia theorist" Everett Barnes' late-life brush with whatever fleeting version of stardom is possible for his ilk in our time, complete with his image stenciled on freeway overpasses -- a History Channel TV show having sparked it all, of course. Perhaps more importantly, the book is also the last, most appropriate chance for its narrator to tell his own story. This issue, the first in a new format further optimized for tablets/ereaders, also feature a short by THE2NDHAND's own Jacob Knabb.

37) THE2NDHAND editor Todd Dills' STUPIDIST MANIFESTO tells the story of the short-lived Chicago Stupidists, faux/not-so degenerate literary renegades making short work of more staid troupes in turn-of-the-century Chi-town as remembered by a member. Beyond the section of mostly Dills-initiated Pitchfork Battalion collaborative efforts, the story of the manifesto is his sole contribution as a writer to THE2NDHAND's All Hands On 10th-anniversary anthology, available now for order via this page. Dills founded THE2NDHAND in 2000 and is the author of the novel Sons of the Rapture (2006). He blogs here.

36.1) Longtime THE2NDHAND contributor Joe Meno's IN THE AVENUES OF AIRPLANES AND PAPER -- about a young woman's alienating obsession with putting "air quotes" around virtually everything she says, which ultimately makes her human -- marked the fourth in a series of broadsheets and minisheets we published leading into celebration of THE2NDHAND's 10+ years of publishing with All Hands On: THE2NDHAND After 10, a Reader, now available for order.

36) THE SENTRY, by California-based Amanda Yskamp, was the second in a series of broadsheets leading into celebration of THE2NDHAND’s 10+ years’ publishing with the All Hands On: THE2NDHAND After 10 collection, in which the story is also featured. The accidentally murderous pit bull in “Sentry” stands guard in a robust section of new work that leads the book. Order it here.

35.1) PRESSURE BILLIARDS, by Chicago writer Fred Sasaki, was part of our mini-broadsheets series. The piece is 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.

35) Chicago writer Michael Zapata's WHITE TWILIGHT, No. 35 in our broadsheet series, is a blast of a piece in a speculative tale of the riots that went down on the border between Chicago's Humboldt and Wicker Park neighborhoods the day the first census to declare white folks a minority was uploaded. It marks the first in a series of broadsheets leading into celebration of THE2NDHAND's 10th year.

34.2) Part dictionary of the outrageous, part chronicle of the manic twists and turns of American life, Atlanta writer Jamie Iredell's BOOK OF FREAKS (due fall 2010 from Future Tense) is A+ material, the best of its bits spawning raucous laughter and righteous anger read after read after. Check out several of the "freaks" in this issue, part of our mini-broadsheets series, along with Nashville-based Gabe Durham's similarly structured selections from "Fun Camp," a work in progress, on the back side. Durham is Keyhole Magazine's editor.

34.1) What do you do when your best friend in high school has a peculiar ability to pull bones from a "compartment on the underside of his left forearm"? Why, built a skeletal replica of him, of course. STERNUM AS 3, by Louisville writer Jason Jordan, was No. 34.1, the latest in our mini-broadsheet series. This issue also came with five prose pieces from Rick Henry's "Then" collection.

34) COLD WAS THE GROUND, by Chicago's Scott Stealey, was No. 34 in our broadsheet series, released in Spring 2010. Gina, protagonist, a rather lonely condo dweller/office manager, strikes up a fleeting friendship with one Porgo, an Eastern European construction worker who is burying on her property what Gina takes for a time capsule. But the metaphorical fix is in -- Porgo, an ESL student, may be leading Gina in directions she can't exactly get her head all the way around. Enjoy. Chicago writer Stealey is editor of the Please Don't online mag.

33.2) KIND OF LIKE BIRDS, by Mairead Case. The rules for teaching writing in the local juvie? 1. Don't talk about sex. 2. Or drugs. 3. Or therapy or suicide. The latest in our new mini-broadsheets series, with new fiction from Lydia Ship as well.

33.1) 1997, by C.T. Ballentine, was the first in our 8.5-by-11-inch mini-sheets series, easily printable on readers' desktops. The story is distilled from a nonfictional novel of sorts Ballentine had worked on based on his 2007 tour with the band of the same name. Doug Milam's "Chemtrails for Eliot" rounded out the issue. With this new series, minus the substantial print run of our regular broadsheet, we encourage active participation in distribution from all game parties. Get involved. Follow the main link above for more.

33) LIFE ON THE FRONTIER, by Chicago resident and native Kate Duva, was THE2NDHAND's 33rd broadsheet. Duva began plying the brains of THE2NDHAND readers in 2007, and her characteristic stylistic mix of arch-weird and arch-real in story makes for an explosively brittle manifestation of reality in this Winter 2009-10 piece, the longest she's published in these halls, about a young woman's sojourn at what she sees as the edges of American civilization, Albuquerque, N.M. There, she works as a nurse in state group homes for aging mentally disabled people. This issue also featured a short by THE2NDHAND coeditor C.T. Ballentine.

32) A GAME I ONCE ENJOYED, by Chicago's Patrick Somerville, was THE2NDHAND's 32nd broadsheet. Somerville's work previously appeared here in No.24 in 2007, and this Somerville's second broadsheet since the release of his short-story collection, Trouble, in 2006 marks the first since his novel The Cradle launched into the cultural imagination with coverage in the form of reviews in places as high as the New York Times Book Review. Don't let that turn you off, though; Somerville's work is viscerally humorous and elegantly dramatic as the best out there, as evidenced in this epic story, about a chess game whose stakes might well be higher than its players know. Also in this issue: a short from Ohio scribe Daniel Gallik.

31) THE2NDHAND's 31st broadsheet features a short by Portland-by-way-of-Montana writer Aaron Parrett that captures the power and glory of ambivalence after, during, and prior to what the unemployed poet-protagonist comes to clearly see as, if not love, then surely "Tolerance," the story's title. Parrett is the author of The Translunar Narrative in the Western Tradition as well as numerous stories that have been featured in lit mags around the nation. No. 31 also features a piece by Kyle Beachy, author of the newly released novel The Slide, out from Dial Press, and a vanguard discount coupon and special FAQ from the herbal remedies and soap makers at The Left Hand (

30) GIVES BIRTH TO MONSTERS, by Chicago-based Spencer Dew, is a tale of one man's small heartbreak, the backdrop to a contemporary landscape of well-meaning but ultimately shallow political activism, fractured communicative lines, and more ultimately enduring drives toward total inebriation. In classic Dew fashion, he'll have you laughing all the way to brink of the void. Dew is the author of the short-story collection Songs of Insurgency (2008). This issue, released November 2008, also featured excerpts from our David Foster Wallace collaborative mini-tribute by THE2NDHAND editor Todd Dills and Bellingham, Wash.-based Doug Milam, author of our 27th broadsheet.

29) MIXTAPE: THE2NDHAND’s 29th issue built on a concept we introduced to the Chicago reading/performance scene in July 2007 -- the Mixtape reading, wherein several writers cast short-short stories inspired by pop songs. The concept evolved after several incarnations of its live component to include a published series here at and, in September 2008, this broadsheet, which included 2008 Birmingham Artwalk/THE2NDHAND contest winners Nadria Tucker and Emily Self, as well as a story by Zach Plague, author of the art-school satire/adventure novel Boring boring boring.... Tracklist: Leaving Batesville, Night Moves, Carousel...

28) SMALL COUNTRY, by Lauren Pretnar, was No. 28 in our broadsheet series. Pretnar, a frequent contributor in the past, crafted a grand wedding tale, a deft rendition of the raw emotion of life forever tugged by the past, present and future. This issue came with an excerpt from Spencer Dew's book, Songs of Insurgency.

27) A LITTLE MONEY DOWN, by Doug Milam, was No. 27 of our broadsheets (released Feb 2008) and marked our 8th anniversary. Milam's a frequent contributor and wizard of experimentally styled prose that still burns bright around the campire -- this issue ran with a new design, an excerpt from Susannah Felts' first novel, and more.

26) THE PEOPLE!: "All viz" were the watchwords for our 26th broadsheet, featuring a print by Birmingham's Charles Buchanan, comics by longtime Antipurpose Driven Lifer Andrew Davis. It's all tied together by the Sandburg-inspired illustrations by our resident, Rob Funderburk.

25) 318: This summer 2007 broadsheet featured "318," by Birmingham's Nadria Tucker, the story of a stripper's daughter in prep for a beauty pageant and so much more. Also: "Big Doug Rides Torch," a short story from Jonathan Messinger's then-new collection, Hiding Out.

24) FRIENDS FROM CINCINNATI: Spring 2007 installment 24 featured this part coming-of-age short by Chicago's Patrick Somerville, author of the Trouble collection of shorts, out in 2006.

23) SPENCER HANGS OVER NEWARK: Winter 2006-2007 installment 23 featured this short by Brooklyn-based Tobias Carroll about a thief on his last amends-making adventure.

22) GHOST WALK, by NJ-based writer and hip-hop scholar Mickey Hess. Hess's book of short work, Someone Has Plagiarized Faulkner is due out in 2007 from Gorsky Press.

21.5) THE ROAD TO REDEMPTION IS LITTERED: Installment 21.5 excerpted THE2NDHAND editor Todd Dills's first novel, Sons of the Rapture, in a special edition for Dills's Fall 2006 20-city tour.

21) THE PRINTERS' BALL: A CELEBRATION OF PRINT: We teamed up with the folks at Poetry magazine for this special issue, featuring an announcement for the July 20 event and "Love Is What You Want," our paean to ourselves.

20) THIS IS HOW YOU PAINT A HOUSE: #20, by Austin, TX, scribe Lauren Trojniar, with a special online-audio component, Trojniar reading May 20, 2006, at Quimby's in Chicago.

19) Broadsheet 19 featured ZANGARA, by longtime Burn Collector writer Al Burian, a story told from the point of view of former Chicago mayor Anton Cermak about his assassination by Giuseppe Zangara, deranged New Jersey bricklayer, at an FDR campaign event in 1933 Miami.

18) Installment 18 was PIE, by Anne Elizabeth Moore, Punk Planet associate publisher and Chicago writer and editor.

17) Installment 17 came out in July 2005 and features most notably "Birthday With Grandfather's Corpse," a title we find to be quite self-explanatory, by M. Lynx Qualey, midwesterner expatriated to Egypt. Also included are shorts by Chicago's C.T. Ballentine (Aftercrossword Special) and Joe Meno (Hairstyles of the Damned, How the Hula Girl Sings).

16.5) Broadsheet #16.5, April 2005 special edition attendant to Todd Dills's west-coast ALL HANDS ON tour, compiles two stories from his online series WING AND FLY.

16) Installment 16 was released Feb 2005. It features the work of Michigander Paul A. Toth and Montreal's Jeff Miller of Ghost Pine.

15) This no. 15 all-bombast broadsheet debuted Chicagoan Jonathan Messinger in THE2NDHAND and featured more chaotic, ready-made love letters from Marc Baez.

14) Susannah Felts and Gretchen Kalwinski contribued stories to this issue, released September 2004. Felts's piece, "Errol, Inland," was also featured in ALL HANDS ON.

ALL HANDS ON was released in June 2004 and is a perfect-bound book, weighing in at 256 pages, collecting the best of the first four years of published experimental and traditional fiction and nonfiction in THE2NDHAND.

13) Installment 13 debuted Feb 2004 with a lead short story by Florida novelist John Sheppard and a back-page cut-up by Louisville's Mickey Hess, the great, as we like to call him.

12.5) This special issue 12.5 coincided with Web editor Jeb Gleason-Allured's November 2003 set on the Perpetual Motion Roadshow.

12) Broadsheet #12 debuted one who would become a frequent THE2NDHAND contributor, Doug Milam, formerly of Chicago but now of Bellingham, in the Pacific Northwest. Also featured here were Joe Meno, Amina Cain, and Brian Welch.

11) THINK LIKE A MOUNTAIN is Paul A. Toth's contribution to installment 11 -- a story of family dynamics with the unmistakable urgency of prophecy.

10) The 10th broadsheet came out with our 3-year anniversary and featured avant-gardist Marc Baez, who would go on to be one of our most regular contributors.

9) Joe Meno back with #9 in Fall 2002 with IMPROVE YOUR PERSONALITY WITH A NOVELTY WOLFMAN MASK.

8)Among the pieces in the June 2002 installment 8 were Eric Graf's CRIMESTOPPERS and Jotham Burrello's CREWE'S FATHER PLAYED SHORTSTOP.

7) Greg Purcell in #7 told the story of a billionaire playing God by cloning himself and his wife -- through the eyes of the unhappy clones themselves.

6.5) The special edition 6.5 was produced on the occasion of Todd Dills's first tour with No Media King Jim Munroe in October 2001, from which great things began to emerge.

6) #6: Tijuana Women, by Joe Meno, August 2001, among other things.

5) Installment 5, April 2001, featured Todd Dills, Adam Voith from Seattle, and the great Tom Bradley.

4) December 2000, the release date of our fourth issue, saw featured writers Jim Munroe (Toronto) and Michael Brodeur (Boston) in Chicago for a release event at the Empty Bottle.

3) #3 gave us Joe Meno's first story in these pages, JIM WAS A PUNK ROCK LOSER.

2) MY RAT KING #2, May 2000. Matt Cordell built a 10' x 10' rat king that he plastered up on poster boards all around Chicago. Twas sick.

1) The first, 1st, 1ST. We've come a long way since, but this was pretty damned chimpy, we think.