Archive for May, 2011

Yaaaay! Bite Your Nails! by Jeffrey Brown

Posted in journal updates with tags , , , , , , , , on May 30, 2011 by Holly Huckeba

When I heard Jeffrey Brown speak on an autobio comics panel at Stumptown Comic Fest in Portland, I knew I’d struck gold: cartoonists creating strips that were explicitly memoir.


I sent Jeff an email, telling him a little about Junk, inviting him to check out our site and submit if he wanted. He told me he didn’t really have anything related to addiction except perhaps one strip about nail biting.


So, here we go, folks. We’re launching our first Comics Edition at Junk, presenting Jeffrey Brown’s piece, “Yaaaay! Bite Your Nails!

Help us get the word out. This is going to be fun.


Junk Talk Interview with James Brown, author of This River

Posted in authors with tags , , , , , , , , on May 24, 2011 by Editors

This River

We had the good fortune to sit down with James Brown, author of the recently released This River from Counterpoint Press. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation. Jim Brown is one of the most thoughtful, humble, and articulate authors writing today.

Tim Elhajj for Junk Talk: I’m a writer and recovering addict. With the stigma of addiction being what it is, I thought long and hard before publicly revealing my problems with drugs. One thing that really impressed me with your writing was how candidly you discuss your own struggles with mental health, alcoholism, and hard drugs—all subjects that have an associated social stigma. Granted the stigma with some of these subjects has softened in the last, say, fifty years, but do you ever feel the weight of having revealed so much of your life in your writing?

James Brown: Yes, like you, I thought long and hard before I decided to come clean about my past in my writing, particularly with my first memoir, The Los Angeles Diaries. Years of alcoholism and addiction had robbed me of my sense of responsibility, ethics, morality, self-confidence and self-esteem. When I was finally able to collect a decent amount of sober time, just over a year, I came to realize that there was no story more important to tell than my struggle with addiction, and I felt that if I didn’t write about it, that I’d never be able to move beyond that part of my life. I needed to tell the truth in order to confront and better understand the nature of my illness, the same illness that destroyed my brother and sister. Their suicides haunted me, and still do. The revealing of my past was painful in the recounting, the remembering, the reliving, the recreating on the page. It wasn’t cathartic, though it did, in the end, give me a sharper perspective and greater understanding of my family and what tore us apart.

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This River by James Brown

Posted in books with tags , , , , on May 22, 2011 by Editors

This River

This River by James Brown was recently reviewed by Junk Talk’s own Tim Elhajj, who seemed to enjoy it quite a bit.

Read the review on The Internet Review of Books. Buy This River: A Memoir from Amazon. Keep an eye on the site. We’re going to publish an author interview with James Brown shortly.

Here is an excerpt from the review:

James Brown’s new memoir, This River, is a collection of a dozen stories, most of which were previously published in literary journals or magazines. Here they come together to form a taut, sometimes brutal, picture of a man whose life has been ravaged by drug and alcohol addiction, mental illness, and plain old-fashioned hard luck. But it would be wrong to label this work as confessional or some sort of misery memoir. Brown doesn’t revel in his personal catastrophes. Arguably some of his best work is the work in which he explores his relationships with his two young sons or his own father. He’s got a light touch, a thoughtful outlook, and he knows how to weave a gripping narrative.

Laurie Woodum’s Amazing story, “Grace”

Posted in journal updates with tags , , , , on May 14, 2011 by Tim Elhajj

This months’ story came to us through the grapevine. Someone from my writing group saw the story where it first appeared on Laurie Woodum’s blogI see paradise, and let me know. And I’m so pleased she did. Grace is an amazing story. It’s beautiful and haunting, one of those startling revelations we sometimes get,  when we least expect it. Enjoy.

Have You Called Your Mom?

Posted in holiday with tags , , , , , on May 8, 2011 by The Editors

Don’t forget the beef.

A public service message brought to you by the editorial staff at Junk.

Get Your Cinco de Mayo On

Posted in holiday with tags , , , , , , on May 5, 2011 by Editors


Today’s revelers, tomorrow’s contributors.

Junk wishes a happy Cinco de Mayo to all our readers, whether abstaining, indulging or somewhere in between.

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