You Can Haz Brevity Chapbooks

February 25, 2014 § 2 Comments

chapsAt our first-ever AWP Bookfair table (A40), we will be selling our first-ever Brevity chapbooks, at $1.50 a pop, or five for $5.  Brief essays from Brenda Miller, Heather Sellers, Joey Franklin, Kent Shaw, and Ira Sukrungruang.  We’re pretty excited.

Plus, three of the authors will be in Seattle and will drop by to sign your copies, so stop in and buy a few while they last.  Here’s the schedule:


4:15                 Brenda Miller


11 am             Ira Sukrungruang

2 pm               Joey Franklin

Brevity 44: Just Around the Corner

September 11, 2013 § Leave a comment

(c) Joel Brouwer

(c) Joel Brouwer

Happy to announce that our September 2013 issue will be up and running next week, with fine new essays from Jill Talbot, Sejal Shah, Amy Wright, Cris Mazza, Garnett Kilberg Cohen, Mary Jones, Scott Russell Morris, Kathryn Miller, Lisa Knopp, Karen Salyer McElMurray, Kent Shaw, Sally Ashton, Tami Mohamed Brown, Paul Crensaw, and the dashingly handsome Ira Sukrungruang.

Plus craft essays from Beth Kephart, Joe Bonomo, and Chelsea Biondolillo. Also interviews with Susan Kushner Resnick and Harrison Candelaria Fletcher.

Oh, yes, and book reviews too, from Deborah Thompson and Amye Archer.

And the stunning photography of Joel Brouwer.

Stay tuned.

Not Dead Yet

August 2, 2013 § 1 Comment

800px-FuneralNew Pages has announced the death of Brevity Poetry Review and we’ve received a few questions as a result.  No, this is not us, and no, we are in no way affiliated, and yes, we are alive and strong as ever.  See you in September with a new issue, featuring:

Ira Sukrungruang, Cris Mazza, Jill Talbot, Scott Russell Morris, Mary Jones, Garnett Kilberg Cohen, Lisa Knopp, Amy Wright, Kathryn Miller, Kent Shaw, Sally Ashton, Sejal Shah, Tami Mohamed Brown, Paul Crenshaw, and Karen Salyer McElmurray

Here is the New Pages announcement:

Brevity Poetry Review Goes Under

Brevity Poetry Review has announced via email that they are closing the magazine permanently. Unfortunately, it appears as if the website and the archives no longer exist. “I offer my sincerest apologies and thank you for your understanding,” writes the editor

AWP Flash Nonfiction Panel and Booksigning

March 4, 2013 § 1 Comment


Brevity editor Dinty W. Moore and Brevity contributors Sue William Silverman, Peggy Shumaker, Judith Kitchen, and Ira Sukrungruang will be at the Boston AWP  Conference this week to discuss the flash nonfiction form in the panel “Write Short, Think Long: Exploring the Craft of Writing Flash Nonfiction.”

Please join us if you are in town:

Friday, March 8
3:00 pm: The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Nonfiction contributors Sue William Silverman, Peggy Shumaker, Judith Kitchen, and Ira Sukrungruang discuss the flash nonfiction form in the panel “Write Short, Think Long: Exploring the Craft of Writing Flash Nonfiction.” Room 108, Plaza Level

And immediately following, there will be a signing at the Rose Metal Press Table at the Book Fair:

Friday, March 8
4:30 pm: RMP Field Guide to Writing Flash Nonfiction editor Dinty W. Moore and a number of contributors, including Sue William Silverman, Peggy Shumaker, Judith Kitchen, and Ira Sukrungruang will be signing copies of the Field Guide at the Rose Metal Press bookfair table, B5

Chop Suey: A Brevity Classic

March 29, 2012 § 3 Comments

Chop Suey

By Ira Sukrungruang

My mother was a champion bowler in Thailand. This was not what I knew of her. I knew only her expectations of me to be the perfect Thai boy. I knew her distaste for blonde American women she feared would seduce her son. I knew her distrust of the world she found herself in, a world of white faces and mackerel in a can. There were many things I didn’t know about my mother when I was ten. She was what she was supposed to be. My mother.

At El-Mar Bowling Alley, I wanted to show her what I could do with the pins. I had bowled once before, at Dan Braun’s birthday party. There, I had rolled the ball off the bumpers, knocking the pins over in a thunderous crash. I liked the sound of a bowling alley. I felt in control of the weather, the rumble of the ball on the wood floor like the coming of a storm, and the hollow explosion of the pins, distant lightning. At the bowling alley, men swore and smoked and drank.

My mother wore a light pink polo, jeans, and a golf visor. She put on a lot of powder to cover up the acne she got at 50. She poured Vapex, a strong smelling vapor rub, into her handkerchief, and covered her nose, complaining of the haze of smoke that floated over the lanes. My mother was the only woman in the place. We were the only non-white patrons.

I told her to watch me. I told her I was good. I set up, took sloppy and uneven steps, and lobbed my orange ball onto the lane with a loud thud. This time there were no bumpers. My ball veered straight for the gutter.

My mother said to try again. I did, and for the next nine frames, not one ball hit one pin. Embarrassed, I sat next to her. I put my head on her shoulder. She patted it for a while and said bowling wasn’t an easy game.

My mother rose from her chair and said she wanted to try. She changed her shoes. She picked a ball from the rack, one splattered with colors. When she was ready, she lined herself up to the pins, the ball at eye level. In five concise steps, she brought the ball back, dipped her knees and released it smoothly, as if her hand was an extension of the floor. The ball started on the right side of the lane and curled into the center. Strike.

She bowled again and knocked down more pins. She told me about her nearly perfect game, how in Thailand she was unbeatable.

I listened, amazed that my mother could bowl a 200, that she was good at something beyond what mothers were supposed to be good at, like cooking and punishing and sewing. I clapped. I said she should stop being a mother and become a bowler.

As she changed her shoes, a man with dark hair and a mustache approached our lane. In one hand he had a cigarette and a beer. He kept looking back at his buddies a few lanes over, all huddling and whispering. I stood beside my mother, wary of any stranger. My mother’s smile disappeared. She rose off the chair.

“Hi,” said the man.

My mother nodded.

“My friends over there,” he pointed behind him, “well, we would like to thank you.” His mustache twitched.

My mother pulled me closer to her leg, hugging her purse to her chest.

He began to talk slower, over-enunciating his words, repeating again. “We … would … like … to … thank…”

I tugged on my mother’s arm, but she stood frozen.

“… you … for … making … a… good … chop …suey. You people make good food.”

The man looked back again, toasted his beer at his friends, laughing smoke from his lips.

My mother grabbed my hand and took one step toward the man. In that instant, I saw in her face the same resolve she had when she spanked, the same resolve when she scolded. In that instant, I thought my mother was going to hit the man. And for a moment, I thought the man saw the same thing in her eyes, and his smile disappeared from his face. Quickly, she smiled—too bright, too large—and said, “You’re welcome.”

Ira Sukrungruang is the author of Talk Thai, a memoir about growing up as a first-generation Thai-American on Chicago’s south side. He is also the co-editor of What Are You Looking At? The First Fat Fiction Anthology and Scoot Over, Skinny: A Fat Nonfiction Anthology. His essays, stories, and poems have appeared in numerous publications.

** Read Lee Martin’s fine discussion of this essay, with writing prompt **


March 12, 2008 § Leave a comment

There’s a new kid on the block, full of gooey goodness, or at least sugary promises:

SWEET: A Literary Confection
From the about page:

In 2002 Katherine Riegel and Ira Sukrungruang got married in Chiang Mai, Thailand, at one of the oldest temples in the country. (You should have seen them; they were beautiful). The marriage of Katie and Ira was also a marriage of cultures, a marriage of landscapes, a marriage of genres: poetry and creative nonfiction. So began an ongoing conservation about the two genres, where they intersect, diverge, and mix to create a frothy blend. We, at Sweet, want to include others in this conversation.

We like poetry like we like chocolate. We like creative nonfiction like we like marshmallows and graham crackers. Both are great separately and together. Sweet wants to cater to the chocolate aficionados and those who like their s’mores good and gooey.

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