Thank you to everyone who has supported authors Mykle Hansen, Violet LeVoit, and myself as the tour traveled up through Virginia and Washington, DC! You can read all about the perils and triumphs of these touring authors over at the Entropy Mag tour diary maintained my Mykle.
Also, don’t forget to come see what happens when G. Arthur Brown joins us at The Copycat in Baltimore, Maryland tonight! The event starts at 7, and is located in the Copycat Building / Gallery, 1511 Guilford Ave, Baltimore, MD 21202.
Kenrick Brimley, the state prison’s official gigolo, hangs over a lava pit on trial for his life in a strange land. He will reveal the course of his life one misguided step at a time for his captors. From his romance with serial arsonist Leena Manasseh to his lurid angst-affair with a lesbian music diva, from his ascendance as unlikely pop icon to otherworldly encounters, the one constant truth is that he’s got no clue what he’s doing. As unrelenting as it is original, Last Burn in Hell is John Edward Lawson at his most scorching intensity, serving up sexy satire and postmodern pulp with his trademark day-glow prose. The Director’s Cut includes: deleted scenes, alternate ending, photo stills, remastering for more enjoyable viewing, and more!
What People Are Saying About Last Burn in Hell:
“I like writers who say things that you’re not supposed to say, and Lawson’s fiction is exhilarating in its anarchic rebelliousness—obscene, crude, sacrilegious, and explosively intelligent.” —Write-aholic
“Last Burn in Hell is an exceptional creature as far as books go…Lawson is an exception to the business of comparison in that his voice is a worthwhile addition to the chorus of authors following the trend most prominently presented in Palahniuk’s body of work. An earnest, but wry honesty in writing, exploring the paradoxes of our contemporary American society.” —Scott Lefebvre for Icons of Fright
“John Edward Lawson is very much a man of ideas (one need only read his poetry to understand that), and Last Burn in Hell: Director’s Cut shows that not only is he constantly coming up with new ones, but he is also unlikely to run out of them anytime soon…it would very likely appeal to fans of The World According to Garp, and it deserves that large and diverse audience.” —Somebody Dies
“This Last Burn in Hell burns with the humor and intensity of hell. From hereon forth, I will not be able to bring up Vonnegut without speaking of Lawson. John Edward Lawson could contest the throne that Chuck Palahniuk sits upon with the masses of college students looking for something different, a voice of the counter-culture.” —Skullring.org
“Without a doubt, John Edward Lawson is what Friedrich Nietzsche would have called an “Ubermensch” (“overman,” or “superman”) of the written word. Last Burn in Hell is a nonstop romp in a bizarre world of a man who has one of the best, and at the same time, worst jobs possible. His landscape is fresh, his strokes are perfect, and the final product is a wonderfully mastered piece of bizarro fiction that will leave you enthralled.” —Midwest Book Review
“In Last Burn in Hell, John Edward Lawson takes us on an insane trip where predicting what happens next is virtually impossible. This book draws the reader in right from the beginning and continues to be laugh-out-loud funny and nightmarishly scary to the very end… It ranks right up there with other bizarro cult classics like Satan Burger.” —The Swallow’s Tail
“A nice literary feat, disturbing, amusing and always entertaining. I have read a lot of Lawson’s short fiction before, and hope his full-length novel is the first of many. I already miss Kenrick and the bizarre crowd he runs with, as well as Lawson’s social satire and criticism and his quick wit and clever puns, his erotic descriptions and his hip hop lunacy. A wonderful first novel. Let’s hope the rest of the series is as well done and takes us more into Kenrick’s bizarre world, and gives us more of Lawson’s hilarious, deadly accurate social and cultural commentary.” —Verbicide
“You should read this book. It’s fun and entertaining as hell. The fact that it says ‘Director’s Cut’ should clue you in to the fact that it flows like a movie albeit one with some weird twists and turns. The set-up is original; the characters are original and/or humorously based on real-type people. This is a ‘bizarro’ book that you shouldn’t miss.” —Jordan Krall, author of Squid Pulp Blues
“Okay–forget for a second that John Edward Lawson is a fantastic writer. Forget that he’s assisted in the pioneering of fringe and unusual literature. Forget, too, that his fiction is capable of making you physically recoil in horror one second and eliciting uncontrollable laughter from you the next. For a second, despite all that, let’s focus on this book.
The story of a gigilo in a women’s prison–when it was originally published, it had everything you’d think such a story would have. Here, the ‘Director’s Cut,’ plays out like a special edition DVD, replete with bonus scenes, behind-the-scenes, alternate endings, and even a soundtrack (that probably WON’T play in your CD player). Lawson has taken creativity to a whole new level, insisting that the publishing industry as a whole stand up and take notice. The George Orwell of our time, John Lawson illuminates the new direction of fiction…then punches it square in the face.” —Ronald Damien Malfi, author of The Floating Staircase and Snow
“John Edward Lawson plays a persona of a chemical=anthropoid’s death.” —Kenji Siratori, author of Blood Electric
“A hip picaresque novel of the kind recommended by William Burroughs.” —Steve Beard, author of Digital Leatherette
“A crazy, fun romp through prison sex psychosis!” —Michael A. Arnzen, author of Play Dead
“Metaphysical, challenging, and outrageous…this book will get you laid!” —Humperdunk, professional athlete
“This $^&* takes hate-ism to new places.”—Dre-Coola of Down for the Count
Many people have contacted me regarding where I will or will not appear on the Bizarro Across America Book Tour. First: THANK YOU to everyone for your interest, and again to the tour organizers for making this happen!
Where you can find me this week:
September 1 Richmond, VA Chop Suey Books 2 p.m.
September 1 Richmond, VA The Wingnut 7 p.m.
September 2 Washington, DC Guerrilla Action
September 3 Baltimore, MD Copy Cat Gallery 7 p.m.
September 4 Philadelphia, PA The Farm 7 p.m.
September 5 York, PA York Emporium 6 p.m.
Sadly, I will not be at the first Philadelphia event (A-Space) or the Brooklyn event…however, you will still find the other bizarros kicking butt, so come out and support them! Beyond that, given the different lengths of reading slots available I will in all likelyhood be performing different material each night, so be sure to come to as many of the events as you can (especially since the events feature different authors).
Please keep an eye out for more tour dates as the info becomes available!
Hawthornden Castle stands on a secluded crag overlooking the valley of the river North Esk, just to the south of Edinburgh. The view is impressive, as is the silence surrounding the glen.
Duration: 1 month
Paid by artist:
Individual traveling expenses
Paid by host:
Accommodation, board, food.
Application Guidelines and Criteria:
Any creative writer, from any part of the world, who has already published may apply for a Fellowship at Hawthornden. Please send a letter of interest via postal mail and they should get back to you with more information to apply.
I am happy to announce I will participating in the Bizarro Across America book tour this September! Here is the official press release:
“BIZARRO ACROSS AMERICA” BOOK TOUR BRINGS STRANGE NEW VOICES TO THE EAST COAST!
In September 2014, the writers, artists and co-conspirators of the Bizarro genre are coming to Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York, to spread the gospel of Bizarro Fiction to new audiences and die-hard fans.
WHEN: September 1, 3pm: CHOP SUEY BOOKS, Richmond, VA September 1, 8pm: THE WINGNUT, Richmond, VA September 3, 7pm: THE COPYCAT — 1501 Guilford Ave, Baltimore, MD September 4, 1pm: A-SPACE, Philadelphia, PA September 4, 8pm: THE FARM, Philadelphia, PA September 5, 6pm: YORK EMPORIUM, York, PA September 7, 7pm: MELLOW PAGES LIBRARY, Brooklyn, NY
BIZARRO FICTION is a fast-growing underground genre of high weirdness, with over 100 titles in print from ERASERHEAD PRESS, RAW DOG SCREAMING, BIZARRO PULP PRESS and others. It’s been described as “the genre of Anything Goes” and “the literary equivalent of the Cult section of your video store, back when there were video stores.”
The BIZARRO ACROSS AMERICA TOUR will feature readings, performance and odd behavior from some combination of:
MYKLE HANSEN — Wonderland Award-winning author of “I, SLUTBOT” and “HELP! A BEAR IS EATING ME!” “Mykle Hansen has already proven himself to be one of the great new humorists of our time, in league with Christopher Moore, Terry Prachett, Robert Rankin, and Tom Robbins, only a hell of a lot weirder.” – Carlton Mellick III
VIOLET LEVOIT — Baltimore-based author of “I AM GENGHIS CUM” “An amazing performer … also stunning on the page. The prose is fast and cruel, beating down all taboos. Go read. Don’t eat anything while you do so.” – Daniel Wallace
BRADLEY SANDS — author of “RICO SLADE WILL FUCKING KILL YOU” and “TV SNORTED MY BRAIN” “There is no simple way to describe Bradley Sands’ fiction, but ‘superretardo anarchy awesomeness’ is a good start … one of the funniest authors you will ever read.” — VERBICIDE
CHRIS GENOA — author of “FOOP!” and “LICK YOUR NEIGHBOR” “Chris Genua is one of our authentic literary lunatics…” – James Marrow “..a new, innovative, clever author with a thrilling amount of potential: when he’s good, he’s so good that no one can touch him.” – REFLECTION’S EDGE
JOHN EDWARD LAWSON — multi award nominated author of “PARAMOURN” and LAST BURN IN HELL” “For people that enjoy the writing of William Burroughs and Donald Barthelme and J. G. Ballard and Clive Barker that have already read all of that and are looking for something new and challenging.” -Scott Lefebvre for FATALLY YOURS
WILLIAM PAULEY III — author of “THE BROTHERS CRUNK” and “DOOM MAGNETIC” “THE BROTHERS CRUNK is a bizarrely imaginative blend of sci-fi, horror and fantasy adventure… creativity has never flowed so freely… a perfect example of bizarro fiction… every single line is littered with wild and imaginative ideas.” – FANGORIA
CHRISTOPH PAUL — author of “PSYCHOANALYTIC CELEBRITY POEMS” and “THE PASSION OF THE CHRISTOPH” “Everything you were afraid to ask (or find out) about men and sex, toilet paper rolls, porn stores, teenage rehab, post-sex etiquette, being single, military school, and karma. Paul is now one of my favorite humor essayists; David Sedaris eat your heart out.” — INDIEREADER
G. ARTHUR BROWN — author of “KITTEN” “KITTEN is bizarro written with sincerity… I’d call it slow-burning bizarro.” — S.T. Cartledge, House Hunter
ERIC MAYS — author of “NAKED METMORPHOSIS” and “KARAOKE DEATH SQUAD” “KARAOKE DEATH SQUAD is the book that secured Eric Mays’ place in my mind as one of the funniest guys in print.” — Joshua Myers
PLUS: Brian Keene, Adam Cesare, and more still confirming!
Bizarro is the genre of the strange. The stories and poetry of Bizarro are often provocative, usually funny, always outrageous. Even though the Bizarros are underground cult outsiders they still have gained great respect in the publishing industry, having been praised by the likes of Chuck Palahniuk, Christopher Moore, William Gibson, Jonathan Lethem, Piers Anthony, Cory Doctorow, Poppy Z. Brite, Michael Moorcock, and Charles de Lint, to name a few, as well as the publications Asimov’s Science-fiction, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science-fiction, Fangoria, Cemetery Dance, Publishers Weekly, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Details Magazine, Gothic Magazine, and The Face, among many others. Bizarro books have also been finalists for the Philip K Dick Award, the Bram Stoker Award, the Rhysling Award, the Wonderland Book Award, and the Pushcart Prize.
I suspect many other authors and publishers received a message from Amazon in their email this morning. The missive relates to Amazon’s ongoing battle with Hachette, considered one of the “big” book publishers.
Since finding themselves in a deadlock–which seems to stem from Amazon wanting to increase its cut from sales of Hachette books–the two companies have been very public in posting comments to each other. It has gotten quite messy, and since there isn’t enough transparency for us bystanders to make fully educated judgements it’s hard to say what is really going on. Or, what the outcome will be. The general consensus is, however, that the results of this struggle could shape the future of the publishing industry.
Further compounding issues is the fact that Amazon is reporting enormous losses. Their profitability plummeted despite increasing sales by 25% in the last year. This is a familiar pattern for the company, with poor performance in seven of the last nine quarters. It sounds like Amazon is heading into bad territory. Of course, they have investments in new products that could potentially pay off, and an overall worth of $147 billion to fall back on if things gets too rough.
How many authors or even publishers can make such a claim?
Instead of being a facetious question that is the actual crux of the entire issue. You see, Amazon is suggesting the dispute is over their retail pricing suggestions. More simply put: everyone follow their business model, one built on using products as loss leaders–hooks to lure consumers in for more profitable purchases–and outlasting besieged competitors. However, if the business model is not even working for Amazon with their vast resources to draw from, how can it work for the rest of us, and–worst of all–will it lead to Amazon’s failure?
Whether you are pro-Amazon or against, or indifferent, we are now at a place where things would not be good for all of us if they go under. I don’t want to see all those sales go away for the distributors and manufacturers, not to mention the independent sellers with listings on Amazon. All the shops and chains Amazon is accused of putting out of business will not magically come back if they disappear, and I shudder to think what will happen to the shipping industry. So, then, let’s take a look at making things work out. How do we engineer a good solution?
It does not start with hobbling content creators, considered in Amazon’s corporate plan one of their four pillars of success. They are trying to couch the discussion in terms of the price consumers pay for eBooks. That is generally a free market issue where people who charge too much will whither and die, or correct their course. None of this seems to have anything to do with Amazon wanting a steeper cut of the book sales, if Hachette’s claims are to be believed anyway.
Whatever the case, in the letter sent out today they criticize Hachette for hiding behind the authors and essentially disregard the authors as being a consideration in the amount of money being paid or received. Then, at the end of the letter they call on authors to take part and actively go against Hachette in an email campaign…making them a shield for Amazon. So, which is it? Should authors be in the middle of the debate or not?
Even more questionable is this: whether the debate is over the sales price, or the amount Amazon takes from the sales, either way boils down to authors receiving less money per sale. And: asking the authors to actively pursue this business model. If I ask you to remove your shoe so I can hit you with it…you will say no. Right? Or, at least tell me to go buy my own shoe to hit you with.
Listen, authors already make so little most of them have to rely on other sources of income, juggling a number of jobs and hats, and what little money they can make is often a matter of dispute with their publishers. You’re seriously going to appeal to authors’ sense of…what? Brand loyalty to Amazon to override their sense of self preservation?
Speaking of which, check the following from Publisher’s Lunch regarding Amazon vs. Hachette:
“In a recent survey of almost 5,300 buyers (completed July 19), Peter Hildick-Smith of the Codex Group reports finding high awareness of the dispute. Just over 39 percent of respondents indicated that they were aware of the standoff.
Among those book buyers aware of the dispute who have an opinion on that disagreement, 19 percent said they were buying fewer books from Amazon, while 4.4 percent said they were buying more books from the etailer.”
Brand loyalty aside, perhaps Amazon is counting on authors being so upset about failing to convince publishers to invest in their manuscripts that they will overlook the details of their argument. Rejection stings, after all, but then so do the details.
The letter Amazon sent out opens with a citation of technological changes in publishing, such as the innovation of the paperback in addition to hardcovers, changing price dynamics. Technology advances and changes have nothing to do with the current disagreement; the argument isn’t about killing Kindle or eBooks to preserve the sanctity of hard copies. That ship sailed and sank years ago.
If you know anything about what experts term “the race to the bottom” in digital content–which has impacted the music, film, video game, and pornography industries–you might grasp that maybe there is a struggle to maintain the perception that people should pay an amount that makes it possible to continue generating products.
Because I can’t say to my son, “Hey buddy! I sold 25% more, but we lost so much I can’t pay the mortgage.” If seven out of nine times I check my money and find myself losing money, what then? Sure, I do follow Amazon’s model somewhat by offering books for a dollar or as a free download from time to time in order to generate interest. BUT. I also have to cover time spent on accounting, the time I spend on writing and editing, and that invested by the authors who publish with me, so I can’t offer everything at minimal pricing.
The profit margin on hardcopy books is not great, but they do cost more to produce which in turn involves higher cost for the consumer. Maybe eBooks don’t get printed and warehoused, but there does exist an investment on all sides of the equation: eBook conversion services cost, as do book designers, design software with eBook conversion software, the logistics people on the retail end, and the aforementioned editors and authors developing books.
If that last bit really isn’t worth anything shouldn’t we tell all the tech companies and pharmaceuticals to stop hiding behind “research and development” as an excuse for high costs? Are we really going to expect authors to ignore the years of work that go into their books and tell publishers to slash prices?
Or, should we acknowledge that Amazon really, really needs content to make their investment in Kindle–and the Kindle Unlimited program launched last month–pay off? At what cost are they providing content to consumers, though, in order to sell all those Kindles…and offset Amazon Prime memberships…
As somebody who has Kindle books available I of course want it to succeed, especially in light of Nook’s failure.
Yes, Alibaba is growing in a strong way, but if Amazon wants to brace against them for the long haul they need to strengthen their overall business model, not sell everyone on business models that don’t work for them–or even Amazon itself. Hey, if we insist realtors slash prices then everyone could live in a mansion. Okay, that’s silly, but it is not silly to think Amazon will turn around and demand to renegotiate every deal they have with publishers if Hachette caves to their demands.
In the meantime, we have volleys of letters, blog posts, and emails from both Hachette and Amazon. Until now I have been thinking Amazon’s preemptive strikes in public–such as their bribe to authors by offering to create a fund for them–were effective at least. Hachette’s latest offensive will hit the pages of the New York Post tomorrow, and with signatures from 900 authors, including some of the biggest industry, it seems the tide has turned. Especially with Amazon’s vice president calling twice in the past two weeks in attempts to personally put an end to this…and failing.
What follows is the letter Amazon hopes will improve their luck, in its entirety. What is your opinion? Please let me know in the comments section. Thanks for reading!
* * *
Dear KDP Author,
Just ahead of World War II, there was a radical invention that shook the foundations of book publishing. It was the paperback book. This was a time when movie tickets cost 10 or 20 cents, and books cost $2.50. The new paperback cost 25 cents – it was ten times cheaper. Readers loved the paperback and millions of copies were sold in just the first year.
With it being so inexpensive and with so many more people able to afford to buy and read books, you would think the literary establishment of the day would have celebrated the invention of the paperback, yes? Nope. Instead, they dug in and circled the wagons. They believed low cost paperbacks would destroy literary culture and harm the industry (not to mention their own bank accounts). Many bookstores refused to stock them, and the early paperback publishers had to use unconventional methods of distribution – places like newsstands and drugstores. The famous author George Orwell came out publicly and said about the new paperback format, if “publishers had any sense, they would combine against them and suppress them.” Yes, George Orwell was suggesting collusion.
Well… history doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.
Fast forward to today, and it’s the e-book’s turn to be opposed by the literary establishment. Amazon and Hachette – a big US publisher and part of a $10 billion media conglomerate – are in the middle of a business dispute about e-books. We want lower e-book prices. Hachette does not. Many e-books are being released at $14.99 and even $19.99. That is unjustifiably high for an e-book. With an e-book, there’s no printing, no over-printing, no need to forecast, no returns, no lost sales due to out of stock, no warehousing costs, no transportation costs, and there is no secondary market – e-books cannot be resold as used books. E-books can and should be less expensive.
Perhaps channeling Orwell’s decades old suggestion, Hachette has already been caught illegally colluding with its competitors to raise e-book prices. So far those parties have paid $166 million in penalties and restitution. Colluding with its competitors to raise prices wasn’t only illegal, it was also highly disrespectful to Hachette’s readers.
The fact is many established incumbents in the industry have taken the position that lower e-book prices will “devalue books” and hurt “Arts and Letters.” They’re wrong. Just as paperbacks did not destroy book culture despite being ten times cheaper, neither will e-books. On the contrary, paperbacks ended up rejuvenating the book industry and making it stronger. The same will happen with e-books.
Many inside the echo-chamber of the industry often draw the box too small. They think books only compete against books. But in reality, books compete against mobile games, television, movies, Facebook, blogs, free news sites and more. If we want a healthy reading culture, we have to work hard to be sure books actually are competitive against these other media types, and a big part of that is working hard to make books less expensive.
Moreover, e-books are highly price elastic. This means that when the price goes down, customers buy much more. We’ve quantified the price elasticity of e-books from repeated measurements across many titles. For every copy an e-book would sell at $14.99, it would sell 1.74 copies if priced at $9.99. So, for example, if customers would buy 100,000 copies of a particular e-book at $14.99, then customers would buy 174,000 copies of that same e-book at $9.99. Total revenue at $14.99 would be $1,499,000. Total revenue at $9.99 is $1,738,000. The important thing to note here is that the lower price is good for all parties involved: the customer is paying 33% less and the author is getting a royalty check 16% larger and being read by an audience that’s 74% larger. The pie is simply bigger.
But when a thing has been done a certain way for a long time, resisting change can be a reflexive instinct, and the powerful interests of the status quo are hard to move. It was never in George Orwell’s interest to suppress paperback books – he was wrong about that.
And despite what some would have you believe, authors are not united on this issue. When the Authors Guild recently wrote on this, they titled their post: “Amazon-Hachette Debate Yields Diverse Opinions Among Authors” (the comments to this post are worth a read). A petition started by another group of authors and aimed at Hachette, titled “Stop Fighting Low Prices and Fair Wages,” garnered over 7,600 signatures. And there are myriad articles and posts, by authors and readers alike, supporting us in our effort to keep prices low and build a healthy reading culture. Author David Gaughran’s recent interview is another piece worth reading.
We recognize that writers reasonably want to be left out of a dispute between large companies. Some have suggested that we “just talk.” We tried that. Hachette spent three months stonewalling and only grudgingly began to even acknowledge our concerns when we took action to reduce sales of their titles in our store. Since then Amazon has made three separate offers to Hachette to take authors out of the middle. We first suggested that we (Amazon and Hachette) jointly make author royalties whole during the term of the dispute. Then we suggested that authors receive 100% of all sales of their titles until this dispute is resolved. Then we suggested that we would return to normal business operations if Amazon and Hachette’s normal share of revenue went to a literacy charity. But Hachette, and their parent company Lagardere, have quickly and repeatedly dismissed these offers even though e-books represent 1% of their revenues and they could easily agree to do so. They believe they get leverage from keeping their authors in the middle.
We will never give up our fight for reasonable e-book prices. We know making books more affordable is good for book culture. We’d like your help. Please email Hachette and copy us.
Hachette CEO, Michael Pietsch: Michael.Pietsch@hbgusa.com
Copy us at: email@example.com
Please consider including these points:
– We have noted your illegal collusion. Please stop working so hard to overcharge for ebooks. They can and should be less expensive. – Lowering e-book prices will help – not hurt – the reading culture, just like paperbacks did. – Stop using your authors as leverage and accept one of Amazon’s offers to take them out of the middle. – Especially if you’re an author yourself: Remind them that authors are not united on this issue.
Bram Stoker Award Finalist 2 nominations for the Dwarf Stars Award 2 nominations for the Rhysling Award
From the introduction by Michael A. Arnzen: Welcome to one of the meatiest collections of grizzly, grotey, bizarro poetry you’ll come across. In other words, “the good stuff.” The stuff you like to read. The guilty pleasure stuff that’s hard to come by. Not the stuff you used to read from your lovers or childhood heroes, or the stuff you were made to read by your teachers or parents. The stuff you genuinely like to spend time with, musing and mulling and mashing. The stuff that makes you guffaw with laughter and want to read out loud to other unsuspecting people.
What they are saying about The Troublesome Amputee:
“There are few books like this one. Even within the new and growing Bizarro movement Lawson has released a book full literary razorblades in the form of poetry. Lawson’s work shines through the whole spectrum, including funny, sad, morbid, disgusting and meaningful poems. Libraries looking offer a unique book of poetry that spits in the face of conventional, sugary sweet, or pretentious ‘literary’ poetry, that expresses a dissident voice of gloom should put this book in the shelf. Recommended.”
“Reflective and, at times, philosophical. Lawson’s use of language is accomplished and often very evocative.”
“Mr. Lawson makes a good case for himself as a poet. He comes on like Catholicism, Palahniuk, and Lovecraft on bad acid. Sometimes rambling away on a titular theme, but occasionally spouting a bit of profundity. To say he’s focused on the macabre, the moribund, and the painful is understating where Lawson’s coming from…if you can get past the ‘disturbed’ nature of the first third of this collection and want to read some humorously nasty gems I can recommend The Troublesome Amputee.”
“Lawson proves he’s a poet to reckon with…The Troublesome Amputee not only confirmed John Edward Lawson as a triple threat (editor, poet, writer of fiction), but shows why he’s among the leading pioneers of the Bizarro genre.”
—Midwest Book Review
“I believe I am now a Lawson convert. The Troublesome Amputee has opened my eyes to new possibilities in poetry, and I am eager to seek out more of his work. Lawson has a way of getting under my skin with his words, making them memorable long after the pages have closed. That said, I wouldn’t recommend reading many of the poems in one sitting; there are so many ideas and images that come so quickly that I needed time in between readings to process things properly. Too much is bound lead to some sort of mental or emotional overload.”
“Lawson is genuinely one of the best horror poets writing today.”
—The Swallow’s Tail
“Did somebody say ‘crazy poetry’? I am actually running out at 5 p.m. today and finding myself a copy of John Edward Lawson’s The Troublesome Amputee. I can think of few things sweeter than going up to a be-turtlenecked struggling poet, giving the sullen fellow a copy of this book, and saying, ‘Nice angst there, Raven, but your poems don’t have nearly enough werewolves.'”
“Lawson’s poetry inspires, sings, dissects, and screams, reflecting his unique insight to a world willing to indulge in self-amputation: harming itself in unexplained ways. Whimsical, strange, and unflinchingly true, Lawson’s work is always entertaining. Like coming home to unanswered screams, Lawson’s poems weave words into unforgettable songs of sweet darkness.”
—Linda Addison, Bram Stoker Award winning author of Consumed, Reduced to Beautiful Grey Ashes
“I’m a big fan of John Edward Lawson’s work, and The Troublesome Amputee is by far his best poetry collection to date. It’s sometimes hilariously funny, sometimes deadly serious, but always morbid (often really morbid) and thought-provoking. Any horror fan—even those who aren’t into poetry—should check this one out.”
—Jeff Strand, author of Pressure and Casket for Sale (Only Used Once)
“With this blistering salvo of poetic gutshots Lawson has proven himself Bizarro’s true bard, its mad laureate. Switching from dark whimsy to retina-blast shock to political outrage without missing a beat, The Troublesome Amputee is a powerful collection of pitch-black verse.”
—Jeremy Robert Johnson, author of Angel Dust Apocalypse and Skullcrack City