List/Award Culture is such a strange thing. We’re all sitting around waiting to hear our names called and we’re all putting our blood and sweat into what we do. This is not a list as much as a celebration of people/things that I enjoyed by people I know or wish I knew. As far as I am concerned, anyone who can keep their ass in the chair long enough to create a thing and then put that thing out in the world is a champion.
Books by people I know/have communicated with/wish I knew better or even at all birthed in 2014 that I read and loved and I think you may read and love as well:
Excavation: A Memoir — Wendy C. Ortiz
Things To Make and Break — May-Lan Tan
Pity the Animal — Chelsea Hodson
The Self Unstable — Elissa Gabbert
Kill Manual — Cassandra Troyan
Preparation for the Next Life — Atticus Lish
Made To Break — D. Foy
Conversations With the Stone Wife — Natalie Eilbert
Ancient Oceans of Central Kentucky — David Connerly Nahm
Songs Only You Know — Sean Madigan Hoen
Black Cloud — Juliet Escoria
Faces in the Crowd — Valeria Luiselli
High as the Horse’s Bridles — Scott Cheshire
OHSO — Mike Bushnell
Every Kiss a War — Leesa Cross-Smith
That’s When the Knives Come Down — Dolan Morgan
Where To? A Hack Memoir — Dmitry Samarov
The Old Neighborhood — Bill Hillmann
Once I Was Cool — Megan Stielstra
If Only You People Could Follow Directions — Jessica Hendry Nelson
Albums that came out in 2014 that pushed me around and I would like nothing more than to sneak them onto everyone’s personal music library device:
Clearing the Path to Ascend — YOB
To Be Kind — SWANS
A World Only Lit By Fire — Godflesh
Interrupt — Bleeding Rainbow
If Anything — Greys
Salt EP — Institute
Demimonde — Maniac
Vile Art — Ritual Mess
Divide and Exit — Sleaford Mods
Typical System — Total Control
Refractory Obdurate — Wovenhand
Easy Pain — Young Widows
And Blow Us A Kiss — Azar Swan
Things that happened to me in 2014 that made me feel like the world was a decent place and maybe we all deserve to live:
Starting a podcast with Eric “Little Brother Sunshine” Nelson and somehow bullying/conning Tobias “Paddington” Carroll and Jason “King Cozy” Diamond into letting us run the fucking thing on Volume One Brooklyn. All the rad people we got to sit down and talk with. Eric’s never-wavering sense of goodness and humor. Mellow Pages Library for letting us use their space, for existing. Anyone and everyone who ever listened.
Popsickle Fest, which blew my fucking mind. Everyone was beautiful and everyone was incredible. Almost twelve full hours of poetry flowing, vibes vibing, love loving, all put together with the heartmeats of JD Scott and Niina Pollari. Amazing people. Amazing event.
AWP in Seattle. My god[s]. Somehow managing to keep a straight face while being video’d by Juliet Escoria about heroin while Jamie Iredell and Scott McClanahan kept making faces at me and making grunting sounds. The teriyaki joint Matty “Champ” Nelson took me to. The legend of “Neckman.” Hanging out with my psychic twin, Wendy C. Ortiz and witnessing so many of the strange things we both witnessed and being thankful we had each other as witnesses. All the tiny avatar faces turning into real faces with contours and smiles. Jim Ruland! Chiwan Choi! Patrick O’Neill! Matthew Simmons! Cari Luna! Amy McDaniel! Lindsey Gates-Merkel! Diya Chaudhuri! Jacob Knabb!
Somehow convinced Civil Coping Mechanisms to publish a book of my weird shit. Getting to know Michael J. Seidlinger, the last true believer, the last starfighter.
Basically, I am saying I am fucking thankful for 2014. Let’s get on with it.
Sean H. Doyle lives in Brooklyn, NY. He works hard every day to be a better person and is learning how to love himself more. His book THIS MUST BE THE PLACE is forthcoming from Civil Coping Mechanisms in 2015. seanhdoyle.com @seanhdoyle