Kevin Sampsell

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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 write 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.

Here's a few links to some stuff:
My Tumblr of collage!
My Paper Trumpets collage column at The Rumpus
Excerpts from This Is Between Us
My Longreads essay about my mom's Alzheimer's.
My Salon essay about suicide.
Memoir excerpt on Smith Magazine.
I Know Who You Raped Last Summer.
My essay on bookselling and winning a Patterson bonus
On my first

On November 25th, 1997 (it was a Tuesday), I started working at Powell’s. I couldn’t have guessed that I’d still be there twenty years later or what an important part of my life it would be. Being a bookseller, event coordinator, and champion of small presses at the largest bookstore in the world feels like my calling, perhaps even more important than being a writer or publisher.

But all of this...

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Published on November 26, 2017 19:57 • 35 views
Average rating: 3.76 · 3,024 ratings · 539 reviews · 28 distinct worksSimilar authors
A Common Pornography

3.54 avg rating — 758 ratings — published 2010 — 4 editions
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This Is Between Us

3.71 avg rating — 413 ratings — published 2013 — 4 editions
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Portland Noir

3.37 avg rating — 340 ratings — published 2009 — 6 editions
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Creamy Bullets

4.30 avg rating — 91 ratings — published 2008 — 2 editions
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Beautiful Blemish

4.07 avg rating — 91 ratings — published 2005 — 2 editions
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The Insomniac Reader: Stori...

3.87 avg rating — 53 ratings — published 2005
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The Patricia Letters

4.20 avg rating — 15 ratings
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How to Lose Your Mind With ...

4.25 avg rating — 12 ratings — published 1994
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Haiku Inferno

3.64 avg rating — 11 ratings — published 2007
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Invisible Radios: re-mixes,...

4.22 avg rating — 9 ratings — published 1998
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More books by Kevin Sampsell…

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They Can't Kill U...
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Liartown: The Fir...
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If You Can Cut, Y...
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Kevin’s Recent Updates

Kevin wants to read
The Largesse of the Sea Maiden by Denis Johnson
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Kevin wants to read
Tonight I'm Someone Else by Chelsea Hodson
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Kevin and 2 other people liked Mandy's review of Portland Noir:
Portland Noir by Kevin Sampsell
"This should be required reading for the Portland State Univ. Pop Culture cluster... course titled “Olde Portland” if there was one."
Kevin rated a book it was amazing
Temporal by Troy James Weaver
by Troy James Weaver (Goodreads Author)
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TJW is a young man with enormous empathy and talent and I am proud to be his friend and former publisher. Here's the blurb I wrote for this dark piece of art:
“Temporal is a novel painted with the blood of damaged, disaffected teenagers. Imagine S.E.
Kevin rated a book it was amazing
Test Tube by Carlos   González
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Refreshingly weird and primitive and dream-like. Maybe more of a 4-star kind of thing but I just really loved reading this right now, especially since it was recommended to me by Jon-Michael Frank.
Kevin wants to read
California Calling by Natalie Singer
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Portland Review Spring 2017 by Ursula Le Guin
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Super good issue of the 2017 relaunched Portland Review. My short story, The Soul Singer, which was originally written for two performances with singer Laura Gibson in 2011, is included in this issue.
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felt in the jaw by Kristen Arnett
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Because I Wanted to Write You a Pop Song by Kara Vernor
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Antlers in Space and Other Common Phenomena by Melissa Wiley
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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

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

Kevin Sampsell

“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 — 124 members — last activity Nov 12, 2016 07:32PM
PNW book lovers unite!
983 Portland Readers — 287 members — last activity Jul 28, 2016 12:17PM
People who like to read books* in Portland, OR and surrounding areas. * = books that are vegan, yes?
248 Small and Independent Press Books — 407 members — last activity Jan 17, 2018 09:09PM
A group to discuss and recommend books published by the independent presses. Fiction and poetry only.
6926 Black Oceanographers — 242 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
15406 Local Independent Bookstores and Cafes — 400 members — last activity 20 hours, 55 min ago
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 — 96 members — last activity Nov 09, 2011 12:38AM
Good books for cool people.
32749 Goodreads Official Events — 112 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.
18788 The Rough South — 469 members — last activity Nov 11, 2017 12:48PM
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 (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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