The New York Times Style section featured an author profile of Tommy Pico and mentions his Birds, LLC book IRL. Check out the full article. IRL is now available in audiobook format from your favorite provider. Check out this one at Audible.
R E D excavates from Bram Stoker’s Dracula, through the process of erasure, an original narrative of violence, sexual abuse, power dynamics, vengeance, and feminist rage, and wrestles with the complexities of gender, transition, and monsterhood.
Chase Berggrun’s R E D is deathy goddy girly queer erasure supreme. They turn the “I,” that bossy mercurial pronoun, into a transcendent blade beyond confession. They take the broken thing of identity and endow it with the kind of agency that can only arise in the survivor, one who has seen madness only in what madness has already been done to them. Chase’s brilliant debut demands to be re[a]d with an exasperated, murderous clarity.
“I violate limitation” says the speaker in Chase Berggrun’s R E D and how can I help it, I love her to no end. This is a book that celebrates, no, reifies the power of erasure to usher in (re)creation. The gifts of transition. The gift of a body becoming “a determined echo hammering away.” How my own body needed these “hands full of sound.”
Erasing Bram Stoker’s Dracula all the way down to its psychoanalytic minimalia, Chase Berggrun unearths a narrative not only of gender transition, but of the uncanny political and metaphysical transitions entailed by the metamorphosis of individual into chorus as well. By the end of this adventure in appropriation as self-disclosure, we learn that the “mystery” was self all along: “A detail in a pool of blood / the body gathered in an awkward kink / I dress myself in easy anything.”
Chase Berggrun is a trans poet. They are the author of R E D, forthcoming from Birds, LLC. Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Lambda Literary Spotlight, Pinwheel, PEN Poetry Series, Sixth Finch, Diagram, The Offing, Beloit Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. They received their MFA from New York University. They are poetry editor at Big Lucks.
“IRL delights and surprises, defies categorization, and challenges our narrative and linguistic expectations,” said Téa Obreht, Brooklyn Library Prize jury member and National Book Award finalist. “It is, on every level, a remarkable achievement.”
About winning the prize, Tommy said, “When I was young and bullied, libraries gave me books and books gave me a reason to want to keep going. Seeing [IRL] awarded a literature prize by a library is pretty cosmic.”
Pico was awarded the Fiction & Poetry prize by a jury that featured Téa Obreht (novelist, National Book Award finalist), Anderson Tepper (Vanity Fair editor and Brooklyn Book Festival international committee co-chair), Imbolo Mbue (novelist, winner of the 2017 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction), Jack Halberstam (eminent queer theorist and Columbia University professor), and Nick Higgins (BPL Director of Outreach Services).
Please join us in congratulating Tommy...yay Teebs!!!
If you haven’t already, get your copy of IRL now.
Please join Ana Božičević with Anne Boyer, Jesse Chun, Roberto Montes, and music by Juan & the Pines Thursday, Sep. 21 for the launch of her new book Joy of Missing Out(dance party to follow with DJ Sapphic Faggot & DJ Pastiche Lumumba).
Joy of Missing Out is an SPD staff pick and available from them for 20% off for the month of Sept. with the code “SPDPICKS.”
Ana will also be teaching a poetry workshop called:
ALL ALONE TOGETHER: Poetry in Solitude and Collaboration Poetry
October 1–October 29
Sundays, 4-7 PM
Birds, LLC will be at the Brooklyn Book Fest, Sunday, September 17, booth #644 with friends Lost & Found and Upset Press. Birds, LLC books will be available and Bird’s author Tommy Pico will be reading with Kaveh Akbar, Nicole Sealy, and Meghan O'Rourke on the North Stage, Camden Plaza East at 5pm.
You can also hear Tommy read on
Saturday, Sept 16 with Nicole Sealy and Erica Dawson at Berl's in DUMBO
Monday, Sept 18 the Brooklyn Public Library's Literary Prize Shortlist reading at Books are Magic in Cobble Hill
For our Midwest friends, check out Lauren Hunter reading on her Human Achievements Tour:
Thursday, Sept 14 at Six Points Reading in Chicago with Melissa Castro and The Atticus Lazenby Group
Friday, Sept 15 at Salon Catroit in Detroit with Jennifer Nelson
Lauren and Ana will also be reading in Northampton, MA with Chase Berggrun, Dan Boehl, Justin Marks and Chris Tonelli in the The But Also Reading Series #3: The Birds LLC Edition, Saturday, Sept 23.
Ana Božičević’s Joy of Missing Out is officially… out! To celebrate, Joy of Missing Out is 20% off during August as part of Small Press Distribution’s Handpicked series. Use code HANDPICKED for 20% off discount. Many thanks to everyone at SPD.
Three Birds, LLC books were also on the Small Press Distribution Bestseller list for July, including Tommy Pico's IRL as the #1 Bestseller. Congrats to Lauren Hunter (Human Achievements), Ana Božičević (Joy of Missing Out), and Tommy Pico (IRL), brilliant books by brilliant poets.
JOY OF MISSING OUT is starlite verse on death and independence for the dreamers, dropouts, rebels and the neuroatypical. A confession and sublimation of breakdowns personal and systemic, JOMO paints a playful and unflinching portrait of the ups and downs of psychological struggle, city survival, and queer romance. Simultaneously it deploys online slang and high lyrical registers, morphs the sad girl into Baba Yaga, drops truth bombs on art and politics, and puts the sin into sincerity. Even as it engineers the death of its speaker, JOMO is a paradoxically joyous litany of her endurance and a boost-plea to stay in a messed-up world and say it out loud. This anthem is best read at night or dawn when no one's around for a Like or a kiss.
Ana Božičević invents a new language of 21st century displacement: a displacement that occurs not just in space and in time but in heart, vision and mind. The poems in Joy of Missing Out range from Croatian farm fields and embroidered dresses to life spent online, emoji, chain stores and drugs. Her casual poems are formidably informed and, also, great.
Auto-erotic (sunlit) pool life + "the funny softness at the deep end of the field" = Joy of Missing Out. Mid-ocean, is that sound of civilians being murdered, or is it Julie Andrews exclaiming in B minor on an Alpine piste? (Or meadow.) This book is full of switches. Pull the wrong one and there's no Europe. To put it another way, are there continents, cities and countrysides that, having left them, a person might never see again? Twenty-first Century 101: "Stupid pleasures" substitute in their entirety for a very real glacier, etc. I have loved Božičević's poetry for a long time, and it was a glamorous treat for me to be with it again. The extreme poetry that will never, precisely, return.
from Joy of Missing Out
Life is lol
Love is lol
Pain is lol
The wind is lol
Cats are lol
Dreams are lol
You are awake
When all is lol
Join Lauren Hunter & friends Thursday, May 18th in Brooklyn to celebrate the launch 🚀 of her first book HUMAN ACHIEVEMENTS 🏅 from Birds, LLC. 🍾
Featuring readings by lyrical luminaries:
✨ Lauren Hunter ✨
✨ Precious Okoyomon ✨
✨ Niina Pollari ✨
✨ Bridget Talone ✨
Hosted by: 🎤 Amy Lawless & Paige Taggart 🎤
Readings will be followed by a dance party @ 9:30pm with 3 DJs spinning all vinyl: funk, soul & vintage Latin music
Lauren's book HUMAN ACHIEVEMENTS will be available at the launch party at a discounted price, and for more info and to order, go here.
Cover & interior art by the brilliant Dara Cerv.
For more info about Lauren, visit her author page.
Join Birds, LLC Monday, May 22nd at 7pm for the annual Brooklyn Independents reading series at the Brooklyn Public Library.
🎤 Poetry readings/performances by Birds, LLC authors 🎤:
New Birds, LLC books will be available at the reading.
CHASE BERGGRUN is a trans poet. They are the author of R E D, forthcoming from Birds, LLC in 2017, and the chapbook Discontent and Its Civilizations: Poems of Erasure, published by jubilat in 2012. Their work has appeared in the PEN Poetry Series, Sixth Finch, Diagram, The Offing, Prelude, Apogee, No Tokens, Beloit Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. They received their MFA from New York University.
ANA BOŽIČEVIĆ, born in Croatia in 1977, is a poet, translator, teacher, and occasional singer. She is the author of Joy of Missing Out (Birds, LLC, 2017), the Lambda Award-winning Rise in the Fall (Birds, LLC, 2013) and Stars of the Night Commute (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2009). She is the recipient of the 40 Under 40: The Future of Feminism award from Feminist Press, and the PEN American Center/NYSCA grant for translating It Was Easy to Set the Snow on Fire by Zvonko Karanović from Phoneme Media (2017). She is the editor of "Mysteries of Vision" by Diane di Prima published by Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative.
LAUREN HUNTER is the author of HUMAN ACHIEVEMENTS (Birds, LLC 2017) and the chapbook My Own Fires (Brothel Books 2011). Her voice can be found inside the Poetry Jukebox in New York's East Village, on the experimental track AM Radio by Marselle, and in poems forthcoming from Jubilat and The Recluse. Lauren currently lives in her hometown of Durham, North Carolina.
SOMMER BROWNING is a poet, comedian and librarian based in Denver. Her poems have appeared in BOMB, Spork, Brooklyn Rail, and more. Her latest book of poetry is Backup Singers (Birds, LLC; 2014) and her most recent book is the collection of comics "Everything but Sex" by Low Frequency Press.
A heartfelt thanks to the Brooklyn Public Library for their support and for their dedication to supporting small independent presses, their authors, poetry and literacy!
We’re excited to announce the next title from Birds, LLC:
Chase Berggrun is a trans poet. They are the author of R E D, forthcoming from Birds, LLC in 2017, and the chapbook Discontent and Its Civilizations: Poems of Erasure, published by jubilat in 2012. Their work has appeared in the PEN Poetry Series, Diagram, The Offing, Prelude, inter|rupture, Apogee, Beloit Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. They received their MFA from New York University.
“I tried to undress a mystery,” testifies the speaker of R E D as this haunting literary performance—somewhere between neo-Gothic burlesque and formal experiment in queer auto-theory—begins. Erasing Bram Stoker’s Dracula all the way down to its psychoanalytic minimalia, Chase Berggrun unearths a narrative not only of gender transition, but of the uncanny political and metaphysical transitions entailed by the metamorphosis of individual into chorus as well. By the end of this adventure in appropriation as self-disclosure, we learn that the “mystery” was self all along: “A detail in a pool of blood / the body gathered in an awkward kink / I dress myself in easy anything.” Rapt and unsettled, we readers find ourselves, too, both saturated and implicated in the sanguinary affair of desire, “drenched to a scarlet with want.”—Srikanth Reddy
Pre-Order Human Achievements or purchase any other Birds, LLC title from our website until January 2017 and we will donate 50% of all book sales to the Sacred Stone Legal Defense Fund, providing legal support services for those involved in direct action against the Dakota Access pipeline.
Here are some organizations where you may donate directly to Standing Rock and support the #NoDAPL struggle: the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Standing Rock Medic & Healer Council, Stand with Standing Rock, and Sacred Stone Camp.
Tommy Pico IRL Tour:
Sept. 24 - book launch for Nick Comilla’s Candyass, the Bureau of General Services Queer Division, NYC
Sept. 25 - Tender FM reading series, Crown bar, Baltimore
Sept. 28 - IRL book tour in Philly, Tattooed Mom, Philadelphia PA
Sept. 30 - IRL book tour Baltimore, Red Emma’s, Baltimore
Oct. 1 - Federal Dust reading series, Baltimore
Oct. 2 - Sparkle queer open mic feature, Busboys & Poets, DC
Oct. 3 - Outwrite! at the Gay & Lesbian Center, DC
Oct. 6 - Hey You, Come Back reading series, Baltimore
Oct. 13 - IRL Tour Providence, Ada Books, Providence RI
Oct. 14 - Mr. Hip Presents reading series, Boston MA
Oct. 15 - IRL Tour, Northampton MA
Oct. 18 - Brooklyn College class visit, Brooklyn NY
Oct. 29 - Cat Fitzpatrick book launch party, Brooklyn NY
Nov. 5 - NOMAD reading series, Branch Ofc., Brooklyn NY
Nov. 10 - Tire Fire reading series, Tattoed Mom, Philadelphia PA
Nov. 14 - Barrelhouse reading, DC
Nov. 15 - the Inner Loop reading series, DC
Nov. 16 - Blabbermouth reading series, Baltimore