Kevin Sampsell

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Kevin Sampsell

Goodreads Author


in Kennewick, Washington, The United States



Sex, bacon, guitar feedback...

member since
June 2007

About this author

I am the publisher of Future Tense Books in Portland, Oregon. I work at Powell's Books. I write reviews and articles for various papers and mags. I have a few books out. My newest short story collection, Creamy Bullets, came out in 2008 from Chiasmus Press. Portland Noir, a book of crime fiction that I edited for Akashic Books, came out in 2009. My memoir, A Common Pornography (the long version!), was published by Harper Perennial in early 2010.
My novel, This Is Between Us, will be published by Tin House Books in late 2013.

Here's a few links to some stuff:
Flash fiction and flash interview in Smokelong Quarterly.
My Salon essay about suicide.
Memoir excerpt on Smith Magazine.
I Know Who You Raped Last Summer.
An essay about music in my book, Cre...more

Every time someone asks me what’s been going on, I usually shrug and say, oh, more of the same. Or something like that. I think it’s about time I just fess up: I’m busy as f$ck!

I go to work and then I come home and “go to work” again, until way past my bedtime. I thought July and August were like vacation months. Times to lay out in the sun or on the beach. Sadly, it doesn’t work out that way....

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Published on July 16, 2014 00:32 • 14 views
Average rating: 3.72 · 1,552 ratings · 335 reviews · 21 distinct works · Similar authors
A Common Pornography
3.56 of 5 stars 3.56 avg rating — 578 ratings — published 2010 — 4 editions
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This Is Between Us
3.8 of 5 stars 3.80 avg rating — 272 ratings — published 2013 — 2 editions
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Portland Noir
3.34 of 5 stars 3.34 avg rating — 241 ratings — published 2009 — 4 editions
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Creamy Bullets
4.36 of 5 stars 4.36 avg rating — 80 ratings — published 2008 — 2 editions
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Beautiful Blemish
4.25 of 5 stars 4.25 avg rating — 67 ratings — published 2005 — 2 editions
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The Insomniac Reader: Stori...
3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 44 ratings — published 2005
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The Patricia Letters
4.21 of 5 stars 4.21 avg rating — 14 ratings
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How to Lose Your Mind With ...
4.25 of 5 stars 4.25 avg rating — 12 ratings — published 1994
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Haiku Inferno
3.64 of 5 stars 3.64 avg rating — 11 ratings — published 2007
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Invisible Radios: re-mixes,...
4.25 of 5 stars 4.25 avg rating — 8 ratings — published 1998
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More books by Kevin Sampsell…

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John Stezaker: On...
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Texts From My Mom
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Leaving the Sea: ...
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by Ben Marcus (Goodreads Author)
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Kevin's Recent Updates

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John Stezaker by Irith Hadar
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Kevin rated a book 4 of 5 stars
Town of Mirrors by Robert Pollard
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Pretty fun collection of collages by the Guided By Voices leader. All the fuzz and rough edges of his music carries over into his art, though I would have liked a bit of that ol' killer Pollard hook as well. His simplest work is the best. There's als...more
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Texts From My Mom by Christie Ann Reynolds
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Kevin and 1 other person liked Elissa Washuta's review of Excavation: A Memoir:
Excavation by Wendy C. Ortiz
" I had to let this book take over my life for a few days. Ortiz's narrative is powerful and relentless: she doesn't look away from painful and complicated truths, forming memory into incredibly textured characters. Wendy's troubled situation and he... " Read more of this review »
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All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews
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I've been immersed in this for a couple of weeks now because I'm a slow reader, but the slowness of my reading made the bittersweet folly of these characters feel more real, full of blood and sadness that gushes out in Toews's long sweet sentences. I...more
This Is Between Us by Kevin Sampsell
" So honest, beautiful, broken and redeemed. Not a field guide, but a front line emotional report on what it means to be human and to love, without a novel's usual (easier) leap into hyperbole. "
This Is Between Us by Kevin Sampsell
" Reading this I couldn't help but think repeatedly, "Is this how guys think?" Because if it is, I have vastly underestimated the amount of time they are thinking about sex. And that's with studies being published telling me they think of sex every... " Read more of this review »
Kevin rated a book 5 of 5 stars
p e r m a f r o s t by Russ Woods
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Starts with a Superchunk quote and ends 26 pages later with "Poetry is like/dying on the moon/with all your friends."
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Wolf Doctors by Russ Woods
Wolf Doctors
by Russ Woods
read in August, 2014
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Russ Woods, now known as Sara June Woods, does a lot of strange and exciting things in Wolf Doctors. The poems reminded me of Russell Edson at times and the prose had a dreamy feel like MTV-era Barry Yourgrau. But both had its own stamp of "Woods-ian...more
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The Book of Joshua by Zachary Schomburg
The Book of Joshua
by Zachary Schomburg (Goodreads Author)
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Who is Joshua? That is the mystery. What is Joshua? That is the beauty. Why is Joshua? That is the charm of forever. This is Schomburg's most ambitious book, a koan of one human's life in an out-of-body state.
More of Kevin's books…
“I realize that nothing is really normal. All it takes to alter normalcy is a death or a birth. Or just some misguided fear, love, or loneliness that never goes away.”
Kevin Sampsell, A Common Pornography

“We wondered what was inside her heart”
Kevin Sampsell, A Common Pornography

Kevin Sampsell

Topics Mentioning This Author

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Classics for Begi...: Author Last Letter First Letter 1110 269 Jan 29, 2014 11:01PM  
“I think if you tell someone that you love him or her, (especially a person that once screamed, “I’m not gonna love you ever!”) and that person says “duh,” then I think that means you have done something right.”
Chloe Caldwell, Legs Get Led Astray

“Mr. Pappadakis smells like Just for Men peroxide dye and eucalyptus foot unguents. He has a face like a catcher's mitt. The whole thing puckers inward, drooping with the memory of some dropped fly ball.”
Karen Russell

“They weren't hours, these classes; they weren't even forty-five minutes--they were "periods," which sounded to me as if they were each at once a little era and then the end you had to see decisively put to it.”
Gary Lutz

“My mother wanted to be Betty Boop. Betty Boop was independent. Betty Boop was sexy. Betty Boop really had her shit together, you know?”
Chloe Caldwell, Legs Get Led Astray

“A chainsaw's God's way of evening out the playing field between you and everything, even the invisible stuff.”
Jennifer L. Knox, Drunk by Noon

107 The Pacific Northwest Contingent — 121 members — last activity Jun 21, 2011 03:17AM
PNW book lovers unite!
983 Portland Readers — 249 members — last activity Mar 05, 2014 06:48PM
People who like to read books* in Portland, OR and surrounding areas. * = books that are vegan, yes?
248 Small and independent press books — 335 members — last activity Feb 17, 2014 08:47PM
A group to discuss and recommend books published by the independent presses. Fiction and poetry only.
6926 Black Oceanographers — 253 members — last activity Dec 14, 2010 09:38PM
This group is designed to discuss books published by Black Ocean, receive updates on publications and get news on author events. All are welcome, only...more
15406 Local Independent Bookstores and Cafes — 186 members — last activity May 31, 2013 09:53PM
A group of like-minded readers out to save some of America's best places, (i.e. local independent bricks-and-mortar bookstores and cafes) by purchasin...more
31804 Harper Perennial — 94 members — last activity Nov 09, 2011 09:38AM
Good books for cool people.
32749 Goodreads Official Events — 118 members — last activity Apr 21, 2010 02:57AM
This is the group for official Goodreads events, including book swaps, pub crawls, and anything else that Goodreads sponsors.
18788 The Rough South — 171 members — last activity Aug 15, 2014 04:57AM
If you started as a fan of William Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor and then found your way to Harry Crews, Barry Hannah, Larry Brown, Melinda Haynes, D...more
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Comments (showing 1-23)    post a comment »
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message 23: by selena

selena Kevin wrote: "selena wrote: "a book published by chiasmus? does this mean you know the lovely ms. yuknavitch?"
Yes--Lidia and I are old friends. In fact, we just read together (and with Kerry Cohen) in Seattle ..."

the world keeps getting smaller. she was my writing professor and i just loved her and everyone she taught me about.

message 22: by Kevin

Kevin selena wrote: "a book published by chiasmus? does this mean you know the lovely ms. yuknavitch?"
Yes--Lidia and I are old friends. In fact, we just read together (and with Kerry Cohen) in Seattle last Thursday!

message 21: by selena

selena a book published by chiasmus? does this mean you know the lovely ms. yuknavitch?

message 20: by Sabra

Sabra Embury Happy 2011, Kevin Sampsell.

message 19: by Mary

Mary Van Note Yo! I love, love, loved the books by Chelsea Martin and Claudia Smith. You sure know how to pick 'em. Can't wait to see you read in SF!

message 18: by Kevin

Kevin Brandon wrote: "Thank you for being my one fan."

Actually, I've just been writing another "fan" of yours--and I'm going to sell him a rare copy of "Who the Hell..."

message 17: by Brandon

Brandon Thank you for being my one fan.

message 16: by e

e I just received an email with my goodreads updates,
and the subject was "updates from Kevin, Kevin, Kevin, Kevin, Kevin"-
perhaps it is my drowsy state that finds this hilarious-
or maybe it really does sound like a pissed off valley girl.
either way.....

message 15: by Brent

Brent Legault Saw your interview in The Believer. Very nice.

message 14: by Erika

Erika hey kevin~
congrats are overdue for Creamy Bullets-- ready? aim, FIRE!

message 13: by Michael

Michael Kimball Thanks for publishing Gary Lutz's A Partial List of People to Bleach. The world is a better place with that book in it.

message 12: by Dennis

Dennis Ya, sure. Where are my reads? Best intentions and all, but haven't had a moment to log my books. I'm saving up.

message 11: by Colette

Colette I've heard so much about you.

Or maybe it's just that I've heard you exist over and over.

I guess you'll have that.

Actually, I think you rejected one of my books once. For which I am not bitter.


message 10: by Susan

Susan Henderson I predict I'll be out your way within the year.

Just turned in my book edits today. Feels like running a marathon, and when you're finished, you're too tired to even say, Yay!

message 9: by Otis

Otis Chandler Hey Kevin - glad you like the site - and thanks for helping spread the word! T-shirts coming soon :)

Jeremy Thanks for sharing, Kevin! I haven't read any of those works, so I'll definitely check them out.

Here's wishing you the best in all aspects of your life.

-Jeremy :)

Recynd Okay, Kevin: I think I'm going to give "Clown Girl" a try. I'll let you know how I like it...

Jeremy Hi Kevin!

If you don't mind sharing--I was wondering, what's your favorite book of all time?

Here’s wishing you a weekend filled with wacky whims, wonderful weirdness, and well-disposed werecats.

-Jeremy :)

jeremy yes, indeed. and today, of all the things to be thankful for, this reminds me what an incredible gift literacy really is.

Summer Aw, thanks and shucks and stuff. You too, really, I spent forever reading your reviews and now I have several dozen books to read.

I love Powells, maybe next time I'm in Portland you can show me some favorite books. I work at BookPeople in Austin. Yay bookstores.

message 3: by Tish

Tish Hello, Kevin,

Thanks for the add request. After perusing your book list, I know that having you for a goodreads pal will keep me in literary heaven for years! I rarely get up to Amsterdam to visit the English bookstore (and they wouldn't have too many - if any - small press offerings)...but on my annual trip to Portland, I spend hours at Powells. Usually I'm so overwhelmed with all there is to read, I don't know where to start. I end up going waaaaay over the weight limit on my return luggage...



message 2: by Sara

Sara HI Kevin. Thank you for the friend invite. We met briefly in 2002. Hello again. I just remembered that I really liked the patricia letters when I found it in a small bookstore when I was 19. sara

message 1: by Susan

Susan Henderson Hi Kevin! Thanks!

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