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Service Area at the Rumpus

My short story, “Service Area,” at the Rumpus (with illustrations!)

Tom was on glory hole duty and Ericka was doing the dog shit, so when Crystal went on break, she went out back by herself and lay in the lettuce bags with one of the pamphlets from the Info Kiosk, a pamphlet for the Akron Zoo, a place with things like tigers and fruit bats and penguins that were sort of like dogs and the deer they sometimes saw, but not like dogs and deer at all. Soon her shift would be over and she’d use the time allotted for art-making to work on her sock puppets, and then she’d meet up with Tom and Ericka for dinner and hear all about their day, and if she was lucky, after Ericka had fallen asleep, she and Tom would take a long walk around the perimeter fence and make out behind the dumpsters.

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The Floating McDonald’s

My essay, “The Floating McDonald’s” can be read here.

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Recent Praise for The Exiles and Light without Heat

For The Exiles:

“…Kirkpatrick does not expect the myths to carry the weight of the book, and each of the characters in this slim volume have depths beneath their surface, human behaviors and humor. They bend and distort their stories, slipping the noose of their expected endings. Each section is a different story, and a different point of view: the boy hero, the princess in the tower, the sister in the woods. Depending on the perspective, even the worst tragedy and horror can be relegated to a subplot, even to invisibility. Kirkpatrick puts pressure on the stories we think we know, troubling them, leaving behind only the uncanny sense that no one is who they say they are.” Lauren Perez in The Collagist

“Read it. I promise, you will be unsettled and moved to piece the oddities and mysteries together. You will be haunted. And you may be uneasily appeased.” Tina Cabrera at HTMLGiant

For Light without Heat

“Kirkpatrick has a profound way of exploring real world circumstances and locating them, through his writing, in the atmosphere above where our dreams are and in the minerals below that house our nightmares; emptied towns, the horror of lost children, the fear of leaving a company or position or recognizing the false belief in that job or company– all of these spheres that we exist in everyday, Kirkpatrick handles with empathy, whimsy, charm, sorrow, and anxiety. While these stories vary stylistically, they consistently hone in on a certain mundanity found just outside the frenetic fringes of the country’s metropolises; instead of playing into it, he plays with it.”  William Lazarus Wacker in Drunken Boat

“Reading Matthew Kirkpatrick’s Light Without Heat is like getting sucked into a phonographic mishmash of scrambled linearity, a sometimes dizzy place where the reliability of science and the unreasonable nostalgia provoked by photographs and memories collide. His narrative structures lean toward the unfamiliar, though not so far as to take us into chaos. Rather, the stories in this debut collection mirror the search for selfhood and stability of the Big Bang: Where are my rivers? Where are my mountains, my oceans? Where are the people to bear witness to my pain?” John Oliver Hodges in American Book Review

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The Exiles and AWP

My novellete, The Exilesis about to be released from Ricochet Editions! Order it here.

I’ll be reading here at AWP on Thursday at 6:00 PM from The Exiles (with Anomalous Press/Les Figues/Gold Line/Tiny Hardcore/Rose Metal Press) and on Saturday at Noon at the FC2 Reading (part of the conference this year instead of offsite) with other FC2 authors.

“This small, frozen, frightening world, this gapped, intense, ferocious world, this world of tremors, of shiverings, of longings stripped bare and desires reclothed, this world of muted visions and vivid nightmares, of terrible tenderness, this world of exile, The Exiles, by Matthew Kirkpatrick, this strange and powerful work, this world.”

–Laird Hunt

Cover painting by Bill Dunlap (see interview below!)

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The Exiles

My long story (short novella?), The Exiles, will be published as a chapbook by Ricochet Editions in spring, 2013.

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A few readings….

I’ll be reading from Light without Heat this week in Pennsylvania and DC:

Wednesday, April 18th
Red Weather Reading Series
111 Chambers Bldg. @ 7:35 on the PSU University Park campus

Friday, April 20th
Johns Hopkins Alumni Reading
6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m (I believe the reading will start around 7, after some wine/cheese time)
Johns Hopkins DC Center
1717 Massachusetts Ave., NW

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