Two poems: Seriatim and Office Existential

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Big In China Short Fiction Competition


Founded in 2009 by Bjorn Wahlstrom, a Swede living in Shanghai, China, H.A.L. Publishing is proud to announce its first international short fiction (1,500 words) competition, The Big In China Short Fiction Competition.

Deadline for entry is October 1, 2012 at midnight Pacific Standard Time. Winners will be announced by October 15, 2012.

H.A.L., as China’s leading English language small press and literary events company, is best known for cutting edge China-based literature and performances by natives and foreigners living in the PRC, but in recent months has opened up its submissions to include other works from around the world. The Shanghai Tunnels Project International Video Poetry Festival, held in conjunction with Unshod Quills, is one such recent example. H.A.L. books are distributed internationally at such retailers as Garden Books in China, Powell’s Books, online and in Portland stores, and Quimby’s in Chicago.

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Storytelling Friday Night at La Mer

This Friday night at 8, enjoy live storytelling at Café La Mer. Featured previously at H.A.L. LiT, Brian of mamagushi brings together storytellers living in Shanghai to tell the stories they know the best—their own lives.

Cool off, sip on some wine, and enjoy stories of summer nights.

Stories of Summer Nights.  8pm Friday, July 27 @ Café La Mer (677 Julu Lu near Shaanxi Nan Lu).


Unchaste Readers 2

Monday, July 16
Unchaste Readers Version 2 Featuring

Kira Clark (poet, musician, editor @ Housefire)
Margaret Michelle (poet)
Nina Rockwell (poet and writer)
Domi J. Shoemaker (writer)
Lisa Wells (poet and author, Yeah. No. Totally.)
Lidia Yuknavitch (author,  The Chronology of Water; and Dora: a Headcase)

 doors 7:00 pm, show 7:30 PST
Jack London Bar, 529 SW 4th Ave.
Portland, Oregon, USA
$5 suggested donation

Unchaste Readers is a quarterly Portland, Oregon reading series
hosted and curated by Jenny Forrester and Dena Rash Guzman.

Unchaste Readers: Women Reading Their Minds.


Incubator Project: Bilingual fiction, poetry….


Drop by Café la Mer for an open stage evening of poetry, fiction, art, and photography in English and Chinese.  H.A.L.’s own Björn will be among the evening’s readers and drinkers.   Continue reading…


Author Spotlight and Story: Ron Rash


Traveling as a Legend: Devil to Devil Killer

Traveling as April, 1990.  Just one year since certain iconic acts of courage  in Beijing.

In my capacity as Chief Operating Officer for an international nutrition supplement company that processed, packaged, and sold many herbs in quantity, I was headed to Hong Kong and on to Guangzhou in southern China to procure herbs in bulk.

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Good Girls Do Not Marry Men Who Owe Money

by Effie Pow

Murky clouds drew in slowly and a wind stirred the shedding trees on Shaanxi South Road. The vehicles were stuck in their lanes. Lights blinked vigorously and horns wailed impatiently, while drivers tried to edge ahead.

Without any sense of calm under the full canopy, they were like hot, metal bugs that had crawled onto a gummy trail. A glossy BMW kept company with Bus 24 as it crept past narrow store fronts, flower shops, a store filled with Greek canned goods, and an Italian gelato place with shiny counters.

Standing on the crowded No. 24, Xiao Yang scrutinized the fuchsia shirt woman riding in a carbon black BMW750Li. The look was either pulled from Vogue or a retro outfit from the racks of Zara. At the intersection, Xiao Yang watched her reach into a handbag and pull out a white iPhone. The gesture reminded her of a part-time employer Mrs. Laurent. Continue reading…


David Foote’s Exit 2nd Banana

by Nicole Stanton

When was the last time your cheek muscles hurt from smiling? From beginning to end, Exit 2nd Banana is a riot. The plot follows Constable Jack Valentine as he tries to sift through the murky waters of murders while the audience chooses who lives and who dies. True to its tagline, “Meet the Unusual Suspects,” this interactive murder mystery resurrects the noir murder mystery in which everyone is a suspect and your favorite 1920‘s circus characters without the dead clichés. The audience suspends their disbelief of the absurdity to laugh at the lobster-clawed boy married to one of the two heads of a Siamese twin.

Exit 2nd Banana transcends every metatheatrical realm as the audience becomes both murderer and spectator to the murders. With six possible murders, six victims, and eight different endings, each performance is unique. Robin Silver, head one of the Siamese twin sisters, jokes, “I haven’t got to do my murder yet and it is hilarious, thus far the audience keeps picking us as the next victim so I haven’t got to be a murderer yet.” While the actors are at the mercy of the audience decision, the audience members run the risk of playing a lion in Miss Ginger Bünderburg’s feline act, or singing along with the Clairvoyant’s ‘meditational’ hymn. “There is very little, if any, of this type of entertainment in Shanghai,“says H.A.L. founder Björn Wahlström, who was in the audience,“It’s not every day you get to see a cross dressing bearded lady doing a burlesque dance. It’s just good old fun.” Continue reading…


H.A.L. LiT: Thursday June 28 at YinYang’s

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The Motive for Metaphor

by Tim Tomlinson

What happened that day in his therapist’s office still surprised him years later, years after he’d left therapy, years after his therapist had died.
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