Potted Meat

Potted Meat
Steven Dunn

* Shortlist, Granta Best of Young American Novelists
* Finalist, Colorado Book Award
* Co-winner, Tarpaulin Sky Book Prize
* Small Press Distribution Bestseller

Novel | 5.25″x8″ | 134 pp. | Paperback | August 2016

Cover art by Angel Whisenant, Norfolk, VA.

$14 includes shipping in the US
(vs. $16 + $3.99 shipping elsewhere)

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.

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, author of Neverhome and Kind One

Steven Dunn’s Potted Meat is 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, author of The Yellow Birds

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, author of Slab and The Meat & Spirit Plan

101 pages of miniature texts that keep tapping the nails in, over and over, while speaking as clearly and directly as you could ask. A childhood of confusion and abuse blossoms into military inscription like watching a life pass before your eyes. 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, “22 Best Books I Read in 2016”

Just so fucking solid. Like, this is it. This is the art.

— Dustin Holland, Boulder Poetry Tribe


excerpts from Potted Meat

Columbia Journal | Granta


About Steven Dunn

Shortlisted for Granta magazine’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.

See our author page for Steven Dunn.

tour dates for Steven Dunn and Potted Meat

(reverse chronology)

6 March 2018: Macomb, IL
Fred Ewing and Lola Austin Case Writer-in-Residence presents
Steven Dunn, Keith Lesmeister, and Ben Percy
Western Illinois University
1 University Circle
(Fiction Panel Discussion and Q&A is 3pm in the Sherman Hall Auditorium. Reading is 5pm in Taylor Hall downtown, next door to Sullivan Taylor.)

5 August 2017: Denver, CO
Steven Dunn at The Myths & Legends Convention
(Panels and readings)
Ramada Plaza Denver North
10 E 120th Ave

25 July 2017: Brooklyn, NY
Cool As F*** Reading Series
featuring Claire Donato & Steven Dunn
Pete’s Candy Store
709 Lorimer St

30 June – 2 July 2017: Denver, CO
Steven Dunn at Denver ComiCon
700 14th St

27 June 2017: Denver, CO
Tattered Cover Bookstore
2526 East Colfax Avenue
featuring David Hicks, Courtney Morgan, Steven Dunn, and Erika T. Wurth

12 May 2017: Denver, CO
Colorado Book Award Finalist Reading
featuring Mona Awad, Steven Dunn, Carolina Ebied, Ruth Ellen Kocher, and Steven Schwartz
7pm @ The BookBar
4280 Tennyson Street

15 April 2017: Boulder, CO
Steven Dunn hosts Vi Khi Nao, Elizabeth Hall, and Caroline Swanee Swanson
4pm – 5pm MT
Innisfree Bookstore and Cafe
1301 Pennsylvania Ave

19 January 2017: Marquette, MI
Steven Dunn and Ginny MacDonald
Bards & Brews Reading Series
6pm at Ore Dock Brewing Company
114 W Spring St

18 January 2017: Philadelphia, PA
Steven Dunn with Caren Beilin, Hilary Plum, Vi Khi Nao, and Matt Jakubowski
Marginalized Work, Innovate Critique
Hosted by Full Stop Magazine
6:00 PM in the Arts Cafe
University of Pennsylvania
3805 Locust Walk

15 January 2017: Denver, CO
Steven Dunn at Regis University
Regis University Lowell Campus
3333 Regis Blvd. / Park in Lot 4 (off of Lowell Blvd.)

15 October 2016: Northampton, MA
House Reading
w/ Steven Dunn, Alex Benke and Brian Lupo
7:00pm 9:00pm
36 Forbes Ave

13 October 2016: Pittsfield, MA
Steven Dunn
2:00pm 3:00pm
Berkshire Community College
1350 West St

28 July 2016: Fort Collins, CO
Steven Dunn and Mathias Svalina
Time & location TBA

24 July 2016: Denver, CO
Gina Tron’s release for Eggolio and Other Fables
w/Steven Dunn and Ben T. Karge
Syntax Physic Opera
554 S Broadway

July TBA: Boulder, CO
Steven Dunn and Mathias Svalina
Innisfree Bookstore

25 June 2016: Denver, CO
Steven Dunn Reading, Q&A, Booksigning
Mutiny Information Bookstore
2 So. Broadway

18 June 2016: Santa Fe, NM
Santa Fe Tarpaulin Sky Book Launch
Steven Dunn, Dana Green, and Kim Parko
With guest readings/performances/artwork by:
Meg Tuite, Jamie Figueroa, Autumn Gomez, Anna Yarrow, Collestipher Chatto, Edie Tsong, and Jamison Chas Banks
6pm at El Zaguán
Historic Santa Fe Foundation
545 Canyon Road

23 April 2016: Longmont, CO
Adult Story Time
David S. Atkinson, Angela Buck, Steven Dunn, Dana Green, Katie Jean Shinkle, and Khadijah Queen
7:00pm to 9:00pm
Still Cellars Distillery & Art House
1115 Colorado Ave

19 April 2016: Denver, CO
Steven Dunn hosts FBOMB, featuring Brian Lupo
7:00pm to 9:00pm
Mercury Cafe

16 April 2016: Denver, CO
Tarpaulin Sky Press Book Launch at Counterpath Press
Kim Parko, Dana Green, and Steven Dunn
7:00pm to 9:00pm
7935 East 14th Ave