Monday, December 27, 2010

Featured Author of 2011: Cihan Kaan

Cihan Kaan

(Photo by Anjali Bhargava)

Our featured author for 2011 is Cihan Kaan, born on a Transcendental Meditation Commune in Texas and raised in Brooklyn. Kaan is a filmmaker and musician, which is the secret ingredient to the dynamism behind his writing.

Discovered by UpSet Press during the screening of his film: She's Got an Atomic Bomb, in 2005, Kaan has written a fantabulous first book. As his manuscript grew, so did our press. We are happy to announce Kaan as our first fiction title and our most successful author (even before the book has been released). He's gone from punk squat, to Park Slope loft, to the State Department and to university campuses on speaking engagements (and taken the press with him). It has certainly been as adventurous and, at times as surreal, as some of his stories in the collection.

Due to both the strategic title, Halal Pork (the title alone has irked or shocked or tickled new readers to our readings) and to the dashing comedic style in his readings, Kaan's book has been the most pre-ordered book during our history as a press (our first book was published in 2004).

His book will be released in 3 weeks. Stay tuned for more information on the launch and celebrations of his book. Send us a note if you are interested in reviewing the book. And for all of you who have followed the updates, written us notes of support, and wanted to teach this book in your classrooms -- THANK YOU! The book will be here soon, very soon! And we cannot wait to share it with you.

2010 Year in Review:

November 20, 2010: Philly

Nor'Easter Exchange Series
Robin's Bookstore and Moonstone Arts Center
Featuring: Cihan Kaan, Ryan Eckes, Aziza Kinteh, Eliel Lucero, and Yolanda Wisher

Read more:

October 6, 2010: NYC
That’s Absurd!
Linh Dinh's "Love Like Hate" and Cihan Kaan's "Halal Pork and Other Stories"
Asian American Writers' Workshop

September 7, 2010
: DC
Cihan Kaan was invited to Generation Change: The Next Generation of American Muslim Leaders, an event that brought together American Muslim leaders for a conference and was held before the State Department Iftar Dinner. Here is an official note about Generation Change:

This year's Iftar included a special emphasis on the young generation of American Muslims. Why the generation under the age of 30? Over half of the nearly 1.6 billion Muslims on the planet are under the age of 35, and we want to do more to build stronger long terms partnerships with these young people. Our embassies around the world are focusing on engagement with this young generation
of Muslims as well; whether in Muslim-majority countries, or nations where Muslims are a minority, we are finding ways to build partnerships and share ideas.

Farah Pandith, Special Representative to Muslim Communities
U.S. Department of State Official Blog

May 19, 2010: NYC
Brought to you by Feminist Press. Readers: Cihan Kaan, Denise Galang, Nicholas Powers, Matthew Rotando & Ben Cramer.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

2010 UpSet Press Bestseller: Suheir Hammad

UpSet Press editors wanted to take a moment to mark the extraordinary success of the rebirth of Suheir Hammad's first collection of poetry: Born Palestinian, Born Black & the Gaza Suite. Published in October, 2010 the book was not only our largest print of books but also the fastest to leave our warehouse!

(Cover Art: Aaron Kenedi)

Hammad's book is a bestseller and we do not need NYTimes Book Review to tell us that! Not surprisingly, we've almost sold out of BPBB. The tremendous surprise is that we have not held a single event to celebrate the rebirth of this book! This is what makes the book remarkable. It was as if there was a drought for her words and there in one swoop, the world drank up her words.

Yes, we mean world! We were bowled over by the love and support of her fans. And we were challenged to keep up with her international orders. Suheir Hammad is most certainly loved by the world! And we are honored by her grace and words.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Born Palestinian, Born Black & The Gaza Suite by Suheir Hammad

UpSet Press is happy to announce the release of Suheir Hammad's classic book of poetry: Born Palestinian, Born Black & The Gaza Suite. We just received the packages of books at our warehouse! For the next few weeks, UpSetters will be busy packing and mailing out the book that almost sold out even before we received it! Thanks to pre-orders and the hundreds of professors who support Suheir Hammad's work!

So if you haven't yet -- reserve your copy of the lovely Suheir Hammad's book now!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Halal Pork & Friends on May 19 8pm @ Happy Ending bar in Lower East Side, Manhattan

Wednesday, May 19
302 Broome Street
8pm (doors at 7)

Halal Pork & Friends

From surreal anarchist poetry to urban Sufi myths, four UpSet authors read works that have blurred boundaries, broken taboos, and constructed bridges on unstable foundations for the sake of literary luminescence: Cihan Kaan, Nicholas Powers, Matthew Rotando, and Denise Galang.

The Faster Pussycat Reading Series
Faster Pussycat is a renegade, lithe, and loose reading and performance series curated by the Feminist Press. We bring together writers from divergent backgrounds who share an activist spirit. Poets, punks, weirdos, and milquetoasts celebrate new works in all genres.

Denise Galang is a native New Yorker of Filipino descent. She received an MFA at Brooklyn College. Her poetry has been published in Brooklyn Review, Poetry in Performance, and Maganda Literary Journal. Recent projects include her blog, Being Home, a chapbook titled Split Islands, and turning her terrace into an edible garden. Mother to two and teacher to scores of eighth-graders. She subsists on words, bread, family, and some booze.

Cihan Kaan is a Texas-born, Brooklyn-raised writer and filmmaker. His short film She’s Got an Atomic Bomb (2004) won Best Short Film for the Evil City Festival and toured underground film festivals such as the Coney Island Film Festival, the B-Movie Film Festival (winner of the Audience Award), and the Lost Film Festival. His second short film, Shuffle Mode (2006) won Best Short Film at the Sin Cine NYC Erotic Film Festival. His book of short stories, Halal Pork and Other Stories, is forthcoming in Fall 2010 from UpSet Press. He is the first American fiction author of Crimean Tatar descent.

Nicholas Powers is a method writer who uses Lee Strasberg's techniques of affective and sense memory in his writing. He has reported from New Orleans during the flood, U.N. camps in Chad for Darfur refugees, and recently from Haiti after the earthquake. He writes for the Indypendent, teaches literature at SUNY Old Westbury, and has a poetry book, Theater of War (UpSet Press 2005). Currently he is writing a memoir titled The Internal Flood.

Matthew Rotando received an MFA from the City University of New York, Brooklyn College, and a Fulbright Foundation grant. He is a member of POG, a collective of artists and poets in Tucson, Arizona and is an avid rider of an old Italian bicycle. He is the author of The Comeback's Exoskeleton (UpSet Press 2008). Matthew received his Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Arizona and is part of the faculty at Nassau Community College.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Halal Pork!

In Halal Pork and Other Stories, Cihan Kaan projects an avant garde, post 9/11 world, from the perspective of a young Muslim New Yorker. It's a place where Coney Island meets Mars; where hijabi girls are punk rock dervishes; where identity salesmen count pigeons at insane asylums as a cream cheese conspiracy brews in gitmo; where rich boys pay to be Muslim for a day; where the transgendered are holy; and where the bacon is halal. Kaan offers up five urban Sufi tales in the swirling graffiti of Brooklyn.

Forthcoming Fall 2010

Welcome to the hip and edgy and vibrant world of Halal Pork & Other Stories, a postcolonial feast where, as the title implies, contradictions reign, the figurative is made literal, stolen homelands are bought back and not fought over, and a Coney Island circus star, garbed in a space suit and known for her levitating act, is none other than the prophetess from another planet. These five, witty stories serve up a refreshing crash course on identity, diaspora, dispossession, and on the not-so-distant future full of "alien-human hybrid forms" seeking their "way to a place of solace, grief, or limbo." An impressive debut.

R. Zamora Linmark, The Evolution of a Sigh and Leche

What do you mean you’d never even thought about reading Tatar Turkish Russian Muslim immigrant Brooklyn post-colonial sci-fi punk-rock short fiction before? After you’ve finished Cihan Kaan’s Halal Pork and Other Stories, you’ll realize how ridiculously narrow-minded you must have been. Irreverent, urgent, funny and refreshingly unpredictable, Kaan entertains and instructs in devious and delightful ways.

Moustafa Bayoumi, The Edward Said Reader and How does it Feel to be a Problem: Young and Arab in New York