Kevin Sampsell

Goodreads Author

in Kennewick, Washington, The United States
March 17




1980s hip hop scratching, darkness, kindness, poetry, doughnuts, guita ...more

Member Since
June 2007


I am the publisher of Future Tense Books in Portland, Oregon. I work at Powell's Books and also make collage art. I have written reviews and articles for various papers and mags. I have a few books out. My memoir, A Common Pornography, was published by Harper Perennial and my novel, This Is Between Us, was published by Tin House Books. I also edited Portland Noir, a book of crime fiction published by Akashic Books. My book of collage art, I Made an Accident, will come out in 2021 from Clash Books.

Here's a few links to some stuff:
My Tumblr of collage!
Flash Fiction on X-R-A-Y
My essay about coronavirus closing down Powell's
Short story at Hobart
Flash Fiction on Wigleaf
My Paper Trumpets collage column at The Rumpus
Excerpts from This Is Between U

What Even is Now?

It’s mid-2020 and the world is simultaneously burning down and rising up. The weirdest year possibly ever. The “president” sucks. The coronavirus is a menace. The police are dicks. The wrong people are dying. Karens are abusing their cell phones. Sports are put on pause!

But. But! Some social justice work is finally happening, at least in the ways that people can instigate. Sometimes by resistance

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Published on July 04, 2020 15:19
Average rating: 3.74 · 3,367 ratings · 560 reviews · 27 distinct worksSimilar authors
A Common Pornography

3.53 avg rating — 800 ratings — published 2010 — 5 editions
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This Is Between Us

3.67 avg rating — 452 ratings — published 2013 — 6 editions
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Portland Noir

3.34 avg rating — 414 ratings — published 2009 — 7 editions
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Beautiful Blemish

3.98 avg rating — 105 ratings — published 2005 — 2 editions
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Creamy Bullets

4.26 avg rating — 97 ratings — published 2008 — 2 editions
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The Insomniac Reader: Stori...

3.86 avg rating — 57 ratings — published 2005
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How to Lose Your Mind With ...

4.15 avg rating — 13 ratings — published 1994
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The Patricia Letters

really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 13 ratings
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Haiku Inferno

3.44 avg rating — 9 ratings — published 2007
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Invisible Radios: re-mixes,...

4.17 avg rating — 6 ratings — published 1998
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Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
Salvage the Bones
by Jesmyn Ward (Goodreads Author)
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The Answers by Catherine Lacey
The Answers
by Catherine Lacey (Goodreads Author)
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Kevin and 3 other people liked Mike Robbins's review of The End of Free Love:
The End of Free Love by Susan Steinberg
"I went out with Susan on one date. I read her book as prep work. She thought that was mighty eager (creepy). Truth was I couldn't put it down once I picked it up and poked around.

Free-form style I hear was avant-garde like fifty years ago. Could've " Read more of this review »
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Hydroplane by Susan Steinberg
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A dark and amazing collection of stories in the spare, fast, and sexually charged style that Steinberg is known for. I love how preoccupied she seems to be about youthful memories and deeply-seated angst. Fun fact: I named my cat Susan after this aut ...more
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My Body Would Be the Kindest of Strangers by Fiona Helmsley
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Fiona Helmsley is one my favorite chroniclers of Gen-X decadence, culture, and vice. In this earlier (hard to find) collection of essays, she smartly dissects everything from sex work and her love of Courtney Love to death and the word "victim." She' ...more
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Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' Murder Ballads by Santi Elijah Holley
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Santi Holley takes each song from Nick Cave's infamous Murder Ballads album and delivers fantastic rabbit hole histories of their lineage, characters, and mysteries. I don't think I've seen another book in the 33 1/3 series get so dang detailed and c ...more
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The Ancestry of Objects by Tatiana Ryckman
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The first-person plural narrator of Tatiana Ryckman’s novel seduces the reader into a fever pitch of sensual prose that slices into our most delicate thoughts—about family, memory, sex, and the urge to end things. Told in short, poetically aching sce ...more
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The Resurrection of Joan Ashby by Cherise Wolas
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The Guardians by Sarah Manguso
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A deeply compelling and nuanced grief memoir. It may not have been a great time for me to read this, as I'm currently grieving, but Manguso's poetic voice often brought me comfort. It also burrowed into my thoughts and made my heart heavy for her los ...more
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50 Barn Poems by Zac Smith
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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

“A few times I drove past early-morning commuters, driving slowly with their headlights on, sipping coffee from their travel mugs, half asleep and unaware that a scared, naked man debated whether or not to plow into them with his car like a missile.”
Kevin Sampsell, A Common Pornography

“You’ll freeze out here,” he said. What did he know? I was already a sheet of ice, a frozen branch, a twig. I could freeze in my own house, if I wanted to. The man’s eyes darted down the road.
I was an icy slip of nothing. I was invincible.”
Monica Drake, The Folly of Loving Life

“Spelling is a way to make words safe, at least for now, until another technology appears to soften attacks launched from the mouth.”
Ben Marcus, Notable American Women

“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

“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 — 123 members — last activity Nov 12, 2016 07:32PM
PNW book lovers unite!
983 Portland Readers — 286 members — last activity Feb 18, 2019 04:18PM
People who like to read books* in Portland, OR and surrounding areas. * = books that are vegan, yes?
248 Small and Independent Press Books — 441 members — last activity Dec 26, 2020 05:14PM
A group to discuss and recommend books published by the independent presses. Fiction and poetry only.
18788 The Rough South — 522 members — last activity Jan 14, 2020 06:41AM
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
32749 Goodreads Official Events — 110 members — last activity Apr 20, 2010 05:57PM
This is the group for official Goodreads events, including book swaps, pub crawls, and anything else that Goodreads sponsors.
31804 Harper Perennial — 91 members — last activity Nov 09, 2011 12:38AM
Good books for cool people.
15406 Local Independent Bookstores and Cafes — 435 members — last activity Jun 19, 2018 11:38AM
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
6926 Black Oceanographers — 241 members — last activity Dec 14, 2010 12:38PM
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
752314 Books Almost Nobody Reads (But Should) — 384 members — last activity Dec 26, 2020 09:12PM
What oldish unread stuff should more people be reading? Do you love riveting out compelling stories from the back shelves of used bookstores? Are you ...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 (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:15PM)

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 (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:01PM)

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

message 8: by Jeremy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:58PM)

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 :)

message 7: by Recynd (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:58PM)

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

message 6: by Jeremy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:55PM)

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 :)

message 5: by jeremy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:54PM)

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

message 4: by Summer (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:46PM)

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 (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:30PM)

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 (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:20PM)

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 (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:25AM)

Susan Henderson Hi Kevin! Thanks!

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