Recent Reviews

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At Green Apple Books, San Francisco

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At Copperfield’s Books, Petaluma CA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reviews of THE DOG LOOKS HAPPY UPSIDE DOWN are out! See links to them below. The book is available throughout bookstores in the United States, including Powell’s Flagship Store, Portland OR and Garrison Keillor’s Common Grounds Books, St. Paul, MN.

Meg Pokrass bops and slams through these little stories like some genius extraterrestrial psychic on a world tour of the human heart. Her language is supercharged and witty, with humor and sadness in approximately equal amounts. -Bobbie Ann Mason

REVIEWS ARE OUT!

In Diagram

At The Short Story

At Bath Flash Fiction Award

Sunday Oct 1 prompt

cb09a8a1b4178a35f125cc489f34ae21VISUAL PROMPT.  Write something inspired by this bizarre old photo. Try to use the following words:

tender, job, chicken

2016 NaNoWriMo Writing Prompts

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November 6 a.

November 6 b

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About

About Meg’s latest collection from Etruscan Press, “The Dog Looks Happy Upside 51bGQpg6SWL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Down” (Etruscan Press, 2016)

“Meg Pokrass bops and slams through these little stories like some genius extraterrestrial psychic on a world tour of the human heart. Her language is supercharged and witty, with humor and sadness in approximately equal amounts.” – Bobbie Ann Mason

“The people in these stories need Meg Pokrass. Their lives are tough but her imagination is the fire-lasso that can save them, save us. In her work, off-kilter is the same as clear-eyed focus. Here, strange and normal go hand-in-hand, a marriage that explains nothing but makes so much clear. Time after time, these little stories read big.”
-Bob Hicok,
author of Elegy Owed (Copper Canyon Press, 2014) and This Clumsy Living (University of Pittburgh Press, 2007)

 

Meg Pokrass is the author of four flash fiction collections and one award winning book of prose poetry. Her books include Damn Sure Right (Press 53, 2011) My Very End of the Universe, Five Mini-Novellas-in-Flash and a Study of the Form (Rose Metal Press, 2014) Bird Envy (2014) and forthcoming are: Cellulose Pajamas (Blue Light Book Award winner,  2016)) and The Dog Looks Happy Upside Down (Etruscan Press, 2016).  Meg’s stories have appeared and are forthcoming in over 220 literary magazines including Five Points, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Gigantic, Wigleaf, Green Mountains Review, The Rumpus, storySouth,  and international anthologies, including the forthcoming Flash Fiction International (W.W. Norton, 2015). Pokrass has been showcased as “Digital Author to Watch” by Galleycat/Media Bistro, and is considered an innovator in the use of Facebook,Twitter, and other social media platforms. She is a co-founder of The Flash Fiction Collective reading series in San Francisco.

Blog

Prompts will appear here!

“The Dog Looks Happy Upside Down” (Etruscan Press, 2016)

51bGQpg6SWL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_The people in these stories need Meg Pokrass. Their lives are tough but her imagination is the fire-lasso that can save them, save us. In her work, off-kilter is the same as clear-eyed focus. Here, strange and normal go hand-in-hand, a marriage that explains nothing but makes so much clear. Time after time, these little stories read big.-Bob Hicok, author of Elegy Owed (Copper Canyon Press, 2014) and This Clumsy Living (University of Pittburgh Press, 2007)

“Meg Pokrass bops and slams through these little stories like some genius extraterrestrial psychic on a world tour of the human heart. Her language is supercharged and witty, with humor and sadness in approximately equal amounts.” –Bobbie Ann Mason, author of Shiloh and Other Stories, In Country, and The Girl in the Blue Beret

“Meg Pokrass gets a lot done in the shortest spaces imaginable, whole worlds in a handful of words, a teeming city of characters arising from mere paragraphs, 55 stories that just won’t quit.  And laughs!  And tears!  And those moments when you have to stop reading and think for a dayWith The Dog Looks Happy Upside Down, Flash Fiction comes of age.” —Bill Roorbach, author of The Remedy for Love and Life Among Giants.

“Serious and witty, mystical and dark, Pokrass’ poems are small windows into another world, a world which is almost this world.  But not quite. I find myself wanting more, always a little more of her work.  One short poem, one small collection, it is never enough.  In short, and in her very short and masterful pieces, Pokrass leads her readers on, page by page, enticing them with her beautiful and dream-like language.  Pokrass’ writes books you want on your nightstand to read not once, but again and again.”
Nin Andrews

“I dare you to read a Meg Pokrass sentence and not want to read the next. Just enter that voice voice and it makes magic. It’s the kind where you don’t know where you’re going until you’ve left, but you know it was deeply right to have been there. Unassuming, ridiculous, insightful, dark.”
Robert Shapard, editor of seven anthologies for W.W. Norton from Sudden Fiction to Flash Fiction International.

“Cellulose Pajamas” (NEW!)

cover 2xBlue Light Poetry Award winner!
Ordering link!

In a smattering of sassy, wry words Meg Pokrass creates a universe of love in Cellulose Pajamas.  These sexy but wistful prose poems hint at entire constellations of affections, relationships at once sweet, sad, satisfying—and not.  The poet’s delicately surreal metaphors give her poems so enticing an air that they seem to wear perfume.  Care to lounge about dressed in greens?  Try on Meg Pokrass’s splendid Cellulose Pajamas. –Molly Peacock, Author of The Second Blush

Serious and witty, mystical and dark, Pokrass’ poems are small windows into another world, a world which is almost this world.  But not quite. I find myself wanting more, always a little more of her work.  One short poem, one small collection, it is never enough.  In short, and in her very short and masterful pieces, Pokrass leads her readers on, page by page, enticing them with her beautiful and dream-like language.  Pokrass’ writes books you want on your nightstand to read not once, but again and again. –Nin Andrews, Author of The Book of Orgasms, Spontaneous Breasts, Why They Grow Wings, Midlife Crisis with Dick and Jane, Sleeping with Houdini, and Dear Professor, Do You Live in a Vacuum.

I have admired Meg Pokrass’s work for a long time—Damn Sure Right and Bird Envy among other books.  Cellulose Pajamas contains that same bold quality: stories painful and joyful at once.  Meg Pokrass proves once again that she can write an epic on the head of a pin!”
John Skoyles, poetry editor, Ploughsares. Author of A Little Faith; Permanent Change; Definition of the Soul and The Situation, A Moveable Famine and The Nut File

Meg Pokrass has the gift of a fluid imagination. Strange and beautiful prose poems pour across the pages of her new book in a confluence of the surreal and the mundane. It’s as if Raymond Carver and Russell Edson had collaborated on these fine poems, which manage to be fierce and vulnerable at the same time.  Cellulose Pajamas is a moving, haunting, riveting book.
-Ellery Akers, Author of Practicing the Truth, and Knocking on the Earth

Prose poems require a particular intensity to be truly successful. Pokrass has no problem with that constraint. This book is a breathtaking as racing a car. There isn’t a single one of these fireworks that doesn’t completely satisfy. One of those few writers who can handle this form with grace and room after room full of magic.
D.R. Wagner author of 20 books and chapbooks of poetry and letters (Rattlesnake Press)

 

The Dog Looks Happy Upside Down (Etruscan Press, 2016)

enhanced-buzz-24383-1360508984-0“Pokrass writes like a brain in search of a body.” – Frederick Barthelme

FORTHCOMING!
THE DOG LOOKS HAPPY UPSIDE DOWN (Etruscan Press, 2016)

Two competing adolescent friends bark at the neighborhood dogs while stoned and rollerskating at night, an abandoned woman compares a lost love to the iridescent look of cat urine, a middle-aged divorcee fantasizes about her virtual sea-captain-lover while staring at a robotic touch-and-talk parrot…these are snapshots of the first four stories of “The Dog Looks Happy Upside Down” a collection of forty –nine stories by Meg Pokrass.

With these stories, Pokrass’ second full collection, we are offered flash fiction truffles. Each story in this collection is bursting with spice, ready to be swallowed whole. Direct, brave, funny, achingly personal, darkly humorous and sad, these stories linger and pull, begging to be reread many times. We feel that she is doing literary flips while wearing Groucho Marx glasses. Pokrass is trickster, a shape-shifter, a writer who chronicles the maladies of the modern world, and who makes us laugh.

The trick with flash fiction is compression. Creating what William Blake suggests, “the world in a grain of sand,” in 100 words, in 500 words, or even 1,000 words.  People wonder: in that short space, can you tell a story with  characters you care about? For Pokrass, the answer is yes.

Short-shorts. Flash fiction. Whatever you call them… Pokrass is their queen. In a market that bullies a short story writers to crank out novels instead, Pokrass goes even shorter, firm in her commitment to keep it tight. While many literature lovers have enjoyed one or two brilliant short-shorts, few have read a whole book of them.

contact: megpokrass (at) gmail (dot) com for pre-publication interviews.

 

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My Very End of the Universe (novella-in-flash)

MVEotU Final Cover (Low-Res)“My Very End of the Universe” wins the Gold IPPY! (Independent Publisher’s Book Award)

additionally, 
Entropy Magazine’s
Best Fiction Books of 2014 list!

Live, streaming and archived.. on the radio, KMSU Weekly Reader, discussing the novella-in-flash and reading selections from “Here, Where We Live”.

Order the book directly from Rose Metal Press or Amazon
Hear the playlist at Largehearted Boy
Meg’s interview at Brevity
Podcast author reading at The Next Book Blog

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My Very End of the Universe
Five Novellas-in-Flash and a Study of the Form
By Chris Bower, Margaret Patton Chapman, Tiff Holland, Meg Pokrass, and Aaron Teel
Paperback, 328 pages
November 2014
ISBN: 978-0-9887645-8-3
$15.95
Available as an e-book for Kindle and Nook

My Very End of the Universe is a celebration and study of an increasingly popular genre: the novella-in-flash, a novella built of standalone flash stories. The novellas in this collection—Betty Superman by Tiff Holland, Here, Where We Live by Meg Pokrass, Shampoo Horns by Aaron Teel, Bell and Bargain by Margaret Patton Chapman, and The Family Dogs by Chris Bower—are com­pact and specific, yet whole and universal, using the flexibility of the genre to offer a polyphony of setting and emotion. Accompanying each novella-in-flash is a craft essay by the author exploring the form’s power, uses, and unique characteristics. The book opens with a genre-defining introduction to the novella-in-flash by editors Abigail Beckel and Kathleen Rooney, which also offers historical and contemporary context.

Although the family struggles presented in these five novellas-in-flash are as old as time, the authors use the form to make them new and vital, each one presenting a self-contained galaxy of characters, while expanding—like the universe itself—into vaster realms of experience.

 

“The five novellas-in-flash in My Very End of the Universe are excellent type specimens of the genre, and the accompanying craft essays help give this chimeric form a theory and a practice. Writers interested in story structure owe it to themselves to add this book to their office bookshelves, but it’s adventurous readers who will surely benefit the most, finding themselves thrilled by the surprising tales within.”
—Matt Bell, author of In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods

My Very End of the Universe is indispensable reading for anyone who loves fiction that defies categorization—and for anyone who simply loves engrossing stories cast in superb prose. Each of these novellas-in-flash is exquisite in its own distinct way, and collectively they demonstrate what is possible when we break the traditional confines of form and dare to invent something new.”
—Laura van den Berg, author of The Isle of Youth

“Mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, family dogs, all the dramas, distilled, through flash, more potent than ever. My Very End of the Universe offers five outstanding examples of the novella-in-flash form itself, along with indispensable essays from the authors on what this blending of short and long can do.”
—Jane Ciabattari, author of Stealing the Fire and California Tales

“In tornado-flung trailer parks and icy lakes, citrus groves and drugstore aisles, the characters of My Very End of the Universe yearn to soar like Superman but are, more often, prayed for. Daughters struggle to rescue mothers, sons clobber the weak, outlaws menace and bedazzle—and in 1893, a newborn says ‘Hello?’ in a tiny, astonishing voice. Compact, intense, and thrilling, these five novellas-in-flash show us that even in the smallest spaces, we can learn how to fly.”
—Rebecca Meacham, author of Let’s Do and Morbid Curiosities

 

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Private editing & mentoring

Contact Meg about editing or private study.

megpokrass(at)gmail(dot)com

TESTIMONIALS

“Recently, I wrote a 200-word story… and a brilliant editor, Meg Pokrass, helped make smart, delicate cuts.”

—Jane Ciabattari, BBC Culture

Photo on 10-7-15 at 4.15 PM #2“I don’t write short fiction, but Meg encouraged me to try my hand. I did have a failed poem sitting around that I just couldn’t wrangle into shape, so I pulled it out of form and began to work on it like a story. I sent it to Meg and she did a fantastic job of editing the piece. It was published in SmokeLong Quarterly. Meg wrote me that the piece was later chosen by Wigleaf Top 50,long listed as one of the best shorts on the web. I thought that would be the end of it, but then she wrote again and asked for more so I went back into my files and found another failed poem. With Meg’s super fine editing skills, was also published.”  —Dorianne Laux

“Meg Pokrass is a writer with a gift for mentoring, encouraging and teaching others some of the many roads into the writing world. I am indebted to her for the inspiration her writing prompts have provided me over the past several years.” —James Claffey, author, Blood a Cold Blue: Stories.

“Lets see: She takes personal interest in her students. Sticks her neck out for them. Hints and nudges them forward gently without aggressive editing. Gets excited on reading their work. Drops too many “wowzers”. Doesn’t talk about herself and her own writing. Gets them critiquing each others’ work. Yes. Meg Pokrass is a terrible mentor.” —Jamal H. Iqubal, Writer, Producer, Designer

“Meg Pokrass is a creative force. Her prompts get you writing–and excited to write–and her editorial suggestions are first rate. After taking her flash fiction workshop, I published three stories in prominent flash journals within months. Work with Meg. You’ll get results.” —Beth Keefauver, author

Work with Meg is serious play. When I find myself stalled, needing to shake it up, I know her prompts will help me write beyond my habits to find the fresh slant on what’s brewing in my head. I can rely on her to feed me great readings, to discuss craft, and to provide solid feedback on my stories. Her encouragement to develop my “practice” and to trust my writing has been invaluable.—Ashley Nissler, author

 

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