Monday, May 23, 2011

Read Benjamin Matvey's "Piece of Mind" on Fictionaut

The story "Piece of Mind," a version of which appeared in Philly Fiction 2, is one of the top reads of the year at online community magazine Fictionaut. In Benjamin Matvey's touching and intriguing piece, set in Philly's Mutter Museum, two brilliantly dysfunctional young people are wondering that age-old question, "Is (s)he thinking what I'm thinking?" A couple people told us it was their favorite piece in the collection (but, then, we heard that about quite a number of the stories... Philly Fiction rocks!). We've had the privilege of reading some of Matvey's other fiction, and it's uniformly excellent. He recently finished his first novel; it is much anticipated. Check out "Piece of Mind." You'll like it.

Calling itself "a literary community for adventurous readers and writers," Fictionaut is an invite-only social media site for fiction authors. Reader responses make this a self-selecting magazine "highlighting the most exciting short stories, poetry, flash fiction, and novel excerpts".

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Brief History of Baseball in Philadelphia

On Saturday, the Phillies wore the uniforms of the Philadelphia Stars, a successful team from the Negro Leagues (as the segregated all–African American baseball competitions were known). Read Philly Fiction editor Christopher Munden's story about the history of baseball in Philadelphia, which touches upon the Stars and other now-defunct Philly baseball teams.

The article includes links to some good books about baseball in the city, including Tasting Freedom: Octavius Catto and the Battle for Equality in Civil War America, by Daniel Biddle and Murray Dubin. Tasting Freedom is the first full-length biography of Octavius Catto, a star short-stop and baseball manager who was better known as a pioneering activist for voting rights and equal rights for African Americans in the years after the Civil War. Catto's struggles, which ended in his assassination on election day in 1871, closely mirror those which occurred in the American South a century later (Indeed, despite Pennsylvania's fight on the right side of the Civil War to end slavery, the racial climate in the state in the 1860s closely mirrors, and in many ways was worse than, that in the South 100 years later.) Catto is probably the only person who has been compared to both George Steinbrenner and Malcolm X. His is a great story and one which deserves to be more widely known.

A version of  "A Brief History of Baseball in Philadelphia" previously appeared in the Where Guestbook Philadelphia 2010/2011 as "In the Swing". Rights reverted to the author in May 2011.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Lit Reading featuring PF2 author Kelly McQuain

Kelly McQuain
Local lit mag Painted Bride Quarterly is hosting a reading Tuesday, May 10, 2011, 7:30pm – 9:00pm at the Black Sheep Pub in Center City Philadelphia. The reading will feature writing by Kelly McQuain, author of the story "Erasing Sonny" in Philly Fiction 2 and the piece "Blue Boy," recently selected for inclusion in the forthcoming South Philly Fiction.

Kelly McQuain  holds an MA from Temple University and an MFA from the University of New Orleans. He is a two-time recipient of a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship and a winner of Philadelphia City Paper Writing Awards in both fiction and poetry. His work has appeared locally in the Fringe Festival and Writing Aloud. Recently he juried the Philadelphia International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. He co-coordinates the Poets & Writers Festival at the Community College of Philadelphia.

The event will also feature work by local poet Jeff Markovitz.

Lit Reading -- Boo Ya
Featuring Jeff Markovitz and Kelly McQuain
Black Sheep Pub
247 South 17th Street, Philadelphia 19103
Tuesday, May 10, 2011