Great new interviews up at Unlikely!

July 19th, 2014
Hello, beautiful readers! We’ve got a groovy little update of Unlikely Stories: Episode IV available, featuring five interviews conducted by Jeremy Hight! Learn about:
Code-poet Mez Breeze
“alt lit” maestro Austin Islam
HTML Giant and Entropy editor Janice Lee
Artist and writer Mark C. Marino
and artist and designer Gary Panter, along with a selection of his sketches!

We’ve also got some exciting staff changes at Unlikely. First, our Poetry Editor, Michelle Greenblatt, will now also handle music submissions. Check out if you’d like to learn about having music featured at Unlikely. Second, our Art Director, Jeremy Hight, is switching gears—he’s now going to take over as Staff Interviewer, and spend more time interviewing interesting folks of all sorts of disciplines. He’s doing amazing work in that regard, so to let him pursue that, we’re looking for a new Art Director—if you’re interested, check out

Because words are still our favorite things,

Jonathan Penton

The Gypsy Art Show Recognizes #specialcharacters by Larissa Shmailo

July 14th, 2014

Three cheers for team U.S.

July 14th, 2014

Larissa Shmailo reviews Beautiful Rush by Marc Vincenz, here:

K.R. Copeland Interviews the Juiciest Unlikely Contributor, John Bryan

June 8th, 2014

KR: Unlikely Stories has been publishing your poems (and now, ebooks) on a regular basis for years. So much so, that I practically consider the name John Bryan synonymous with Unlikely Stories. Tell me, what, in your opinion, makes this ongoing publisher/poet relationship work so well?

JB: Jonathan (Penton) has played the single most important part in my poetic life. I adore Unlikely Stories and to have you, a contemporary of mine, inextricably link my name to it means a lot to me, though i feel sorry for Jonathan. I’m not sure why the relationship ‘works’, if that’s the right phrase, it just ‘ís’. Jonathan and Unlikely Stories, despite the gaps, throughout the years (thirteen of them in fact), have just always been ‘there’.

KR: Thirteen years is a long run, and Unlikely fans have no doubt taken note of your poetic unfolding in such time, culminating most recently in your interactive three-part eBook, Love has been Liquidated. In this imaginative romp, readers encounter everything from dinosaur penises to shaved pussies, and have the option of having their, ‘remains pimped out for forensic research’. With this choose your own adventure style story, there are so many possibilities. Do you have a favorite, ‘don’t miss this’, path or passage you’d care to share with the audience?

JB: I think the path my life has taken me since January 2013 has been the most interesting, with my wife Allie by my side from the United States. This path has led me away from ‘Love Has Been Liquidated’ a little bit, as i still have two more parts to LHBL to submit to Unlikely (eventually). I guess this adventure with my wife, is the one that I would like to share most with the universe, and is what defines me; LHBL was practice for this.

KR: Ah, love. In the words of quintessential songsmith, Andrew Lloyd Webber, ‘love, love changes everything’. Are we Unlikely readers to assume then, going forward, there will be no more, wet mounds of damsels and attention deficit sex peppering future installments of Love has been Liquidated?

JB: Five parts all told…matching the five fingers of a sweaty palm. There’s plenty more liquid to be loved.

Begin the adventure, here:


mixed feelings

May 20th, 2014

Hello my darlings,

Today I have the honor and obligation of announcing our biggest, most beautiful, most intricate and impressive issue to date — as well as announcing that two Unlikely contributors have passed away since our last issue. Randy Adams (September 27, 1951 – April 25, 2014) and Kurtice Kucheman (May 31, 1981 – February 23, 2014) have left us since I last wrote. We’ve got a lot to say about that: more than we can say in this space, so let me direct you to Jeremy Hight’s interview and remembrance of Randy, and my thoughts on Kurt and his role at Unlikely.

Then there’s the issue, which involves:
Willis Gordon on superficial activism
Ellen Brown on public banking
Jordan Flaherty on how transgender issues fit into the gay rights movement
Brian McAfee on child fatalities from easily-treatable diseases
Dennis Weiser on the death of journalism
Ndaba Sibanda on the need for creativity
Jeremy Hight’s interviews with Talan Memmott, Daniel Rehn, Beach Sloth, and the aforementioned Randy
Short Movies by Talan Memmott and Matthijs Vlot (along with a mini-interview of Vlot)
Hot Fiction by Elizabeth McGuire, Alain Marciano, and J. Donnelly
New Poetry of the textual and visualish persuasion by Benjamin Bailey, Joe Balaz, John M. Bennett, Charles Clifford Brooks III, Billy Cancel, Wendy Taylor Carlisle, K.R. Copeland, Vernon Frazer, Alan Fyfe, Jefferson Hansen, Jeff Harrison, mark hartenbach, Kyle Hemmings, Ally Malinenko, Peter Marra, Clare L. Martin, Michael McAloran, Anne Elezabeth Pluto, L. Wayne Russell, Ndaba Sibanda, Jeffrey Side, Jay Sizemore, Yuriy Tarnawsky, and Mark Young
Visual Art by Vanessa Martinez and Randy Adams
Wild Visual Poetry by Baron, John M. Bennett, Tom Cassidy, Bela Grimm, Jukka-Pekka Kervinen, and Matthew Stolte
and an in-depth 41-image gallery of the Visual Poetry of Jim Leftwich

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out Ethan has nowhere to go, a collection of slantwise multimedia explorations of an unpublished Jeremy Hight story. And there’s lots of cool stuff in the Unlikely Blog, including reviews by outgoing Staff Reviewers Frankie Metro and Lindsey Thomas (we’re gonna miss you guys!). Oh, and bear with me as I slobber over the labor and genius of our staff: this issue was created by Poetry Editor Michelle Greenblatt, Political Editor Willis Gordon, and our Art Director, the aforementioned Jeremy, and made real by Social Media Director K.R. Copeland. I’m lucky to be working with them, and you’re lucky to be reading their carefully-curated selections. So go do that.

Jonathan Penton,