Navy veteran Steven Dunn’s second novel, water & power (Tarpaulin Sky Press 2018) plunges into military culture and engages with perceptions of heroism and terrorism, in a collage of voices, documents, and critical explorations that disrupt the usual frequency channels of military narratives. “Steven Dunn’s remarkable talent for storytelling collapses the boundaries between poetry and prose, memoir and fiction” (NIKKI WALLSCHLAEGER); “Complex and bold and conflicted and powerful and terrified and tough and human” (KHADIJAH QUEEN)
Shortlisted for Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists, Steven Dunn is the author of two novels from Tarpaulin Sky Press: water & power (forthcoming, 2018) and Potted Meat, which was co-winner of the 2015 Tarpaulin Sky Book Prize and finalist for a Colorado Book Award. Steven was born and raised in West Virginia, and after 10 years in the Navy he earned a B.A. in Creative Writing from University of Denver. He is currently an MFA candidate at Goddard College.
Novel. 5.25″x8″, 134 pp., paperback. August 2016.
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Potted Meat, a novel set in a decaying town in southern West Virginia, follows a young boy into adolescence as he struggles with abusive parents, poverty, alcohol addiction, and racial tensions. Using fragments as a narrative mode to highlight the terror of ellipses, Potted Meat explores the fear, power, and vulnerability of storytelling, and in doing so, investigates the peculiar tensions of the body: How we seek to escape or remain embodied during repeated trauma.
“101 pages of miniature texts that keep tapping the nails in, over and over, while speaking as clearly and directly as you could ask…. Zero indulgence, all formative. Bone Thugs, underage drinking, alienation, death, love, Bob Ross, dreams of blood: This thin thing is flooded with power” (Blake Butler, VICE); “Steven Dunn’s Potted Meat is full of wonder and silence and beauty and strangeness and ugliness and sadness and truth and hope. I am so happy it is in the world. This book needs to be read” (Laird Hunt); “A remarkable piece of work. Rarely does one encounter a book so evocative of place and so bracing in its ability to transform the quotidian into revelation. It is a beautiful whole in its sharp fragments, and its author’s focus and attention enlarged my world moment by moment, scene by scene” (Kevin Powers); “Potted Meat is an extraordinary book. Here is an emerging voice that calls us to attention. I have no doubt that Steven Dunn’s writing is here, like a visceral intervention across the surface of language, simultaneously cutting to its depths, to change the world. My first attempt at offering words in this context was to write: thank you. And that is how I feel about Steven Dunn’s writing; I feel grateful: to be alive during the time in which he writes books” (Selah Saterstrom).
water & power
Novel | 5.25″x8″ | 180 pp. | Paperback | October 2018
Cover art by Jay Halsey.
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$14 includes shipping in the US
Navy veteran Steven Dunn’s second novel, water & power, plunges into military culture and engages with perceptions of heroism and terrorism. In this shifting landscape, deployments are feared, absurd bureaucracy is normalized, and service members are consecrated. water & power is a collage of voices, documents, and critical explorations that disrupt the usual frequency channels of military narratives.
Dunn’s remarkable talent for storytelling collapses the boundaries between poetry and prose, memoir and fiction. Dunn reveals, exacerbates, and speculates on the gargantuan mythology of a legendary branch of the American armed forces: The Navy. How is a superpower created and maintained? Who maintains it? What stories are told, buried or collected along the way — stories of survival, violence, duty and ethics? Among the interviews, photographs, and journal entries Dunn shows us an intimate portrait of power: like water, you are never quite sure who is claiming control beneath the surface. (Nikki Wallschlaeger) Dunn unrelentingly captures the difficult, funny, abject, exhilarating, heartbreaking and maddening aspects of Navy life, both on and off duty. Read this book and understand the veterans in your life better, understand the aggressive disconnection the armed forces demands, and retain a much clearer picture of the people who wear the uniform in America’s name — as who we are, complex and bold and conflicted and powerful and terrified and tough and human. (Khadijah Queen)
Steven Dunn, a professional member of PEN America, is the author of the novel, Potted Meat (TS 2015), which was a Colorado Book Award Finalist and was shortlisted for Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists. His second book, water & power is forthcoming from Tarpaulin Sky Press later this year.
Granta issue 142 — “Animalia” — features an excerpt from water & power Steven Dunn’s forthcoming second novel with Tarpaulin Sky Press: “A surreal and compelling indictment of the US military machine.”
Excerpts from Steven Dunn’s forthcoming second novel with Tarpaulin Sky Press, water & power , appear in a new journal called Rigorous.
Julia Bouwsma reviews Steven Dunn’s Potted Meat (TS 2016): “As ragged as it is vibrant, as beautiful as it is destitute, and as intoxicating as it is dangerous….”
Our thanks to the brilliant Dana Green, who reviews Steven Dunn’s Potted Meat (TS 2016) at the always-excellent Diagram: “The blend between detail, sincerity, and raw honesty finds its home in a fragmented, short form that only tells what it needs to, and continually leaves me without breath.”
Today, good news comes in twos. We’re totally stoked to announce that debut author Steven Dunn’s Potted Meat (TS Press 2016) has been chosen as a finalist for a Colorado Book Award in the category of Literary Fiction.
“Zero indulgence, all formative. Bone Thugs, underage drinking, alienation, death, love, Bob Ross, dreams of blood: This thin thing is flooded with power.”
At Necessary Fiction, Steven Dunn talks Potted Meat, Selah Saterstrom, Nas, Outkast, grammar, and privilege: “A huge lesson in self-acceptance, like sometimes I’m on some street shit, and sometimes I’m on some introspective-space shit. And it’s fine. The (human) (artistic) form can hold both and what’s in between and outside.”
Thanks to Levi Andrew Noe at Rocky Mountain Revival, you can hear new TS author Steven Dunn read from his novel, Potted Meat, and you can hear an interview with Steven as well.
Steven Dunn: “I prefer the other definitions of plot, like a burial plot or garden plot: a space to excavate, grieve, cultivate, construct, or whatever types of work has to be done there.”
We’re big in Britain. Granta features the first third of Steven Dunn’s debut novel, Potted Meat, co-winner of the 2015 Tarpaulin Sky Book Prize. The book is out “officially” on August 1st. If you haven’t already “pre-ordered” Steven’s novel from us, do yourself a favor….
“I’d been reading Tarpaulin Sky books for about four years before I submitted to them. I knew they made beautiful books, and was publishing writing that I felt were taking risks and fucking shit up. So when they decided to publish Potted Meat, I knew I was in good hands, and in good company with all of the other badass writers they have published, are publishing, and will publish.”
Our thanks to the good folks at Freedom Train Radio for this interview with Steven Dunn, author of Potted Meat (TS Press 2016). We’d give you an excerpt, but it’s a podcast, so you need to go there and listen.
Dustin Holland reviews Steven Dunn’s debut novel, Potted Meat (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2016): “So fucking solid. Like, this is it. This is the art.”
Impress your friends. Save big money. Read some of the most exciting indie-press literature being published today. Subscribe to the Tarpaulin Sky Press 2016 roster, featuring debut authors Steven Dunn, Dana Green, and Elizabeth Hall, in addition to new work by poetry icon Amy King and the mysterious desert hermit, Kim Parko.
Tarpaulin Sky Press Book Launch with Kim Parko, Dana Green, and Steven Dunn Saturday, April 16, 2016 7:00pm to 9:00pm Counterpath 7935 East 14th…
Columbia Journal features fiction by Steven Dunn: excerpts from his debut novel, Potted Meat, forthcoming from Tarpaulin Sky Press in 2016. “Chrissy Ann don’t stink. She smells like work. Like how I smell like coal smoke. She lives at the end of the holla on top of a mountain and has lots of hogs and chickens. She feeds them every morning. When I was at her house her little brother stuck a stick up the hog’s butt. Chrissy Ann slapped the shit out of him. Then she hugged the hog. Then she said we should take a walk in the woods to get out the heat and away from her stupid brother….”
We said that we’d pick two, but went ahead and picked four instead. Also: calling up first-time authors at home? There is just no better part of this job. Meet the winners and read excerpts: Steven Dunn’s novel Potted Meat, Dana Green’s fiction collection Sometimes the Air in the Room Goes Missing, Amy King’s poetry collection The Missing Museum, and Kim Parko’s novel The Grotesque Child.