A Little Bird Told Me: Summer Updates from Ron Koertge

Next up on our Q&A fall preview is poet Ron Koertge, whose forthcoming flash fiction collection, Sex World, is available September 16th. Until you’ve had  the chance to explore Sex World for yourself, take a look at Ron’s responses regarding his daily writing habits and his fall title. As usual, he keeps it short, sweet, and well worth the read! (Even if we really were hoping for an awesome chicken joke…)


1. Describe Sex World in as few words as possible (or) if Sex World had a tagline, what would it be?
If everything’s basically about sex, Sex World isn’t.

2. Do you have any unique or unusual writing habits or quirks?
I’m just a regular blue collar worker who punches in 7 days a week.

3. Best joke you’ve ever heard about a chicken
None. I like really filthy jokes.

4. What is it about the short story genre that speaks to you?
I’ve been a poet all my life, so very short pieces appeal to me. That’s why flash fiction isn’t really just short fiction.

5. Did you learn anything new or surprising, or adopt new interests while working on your book?
I programmed myself to write one flash fiction piece a day for 2 months. I wasn’t sure I could do it, but I did.

6. Please provide our blog readers with a summer reading recommendation and a brief explanation of what makes it an appealing read
Try Poisoned Apples, by Christine Heppermann. “Feminist poetry juxtaposed with the trials and tribulations of the modern teenage girl and fairy tales.”

7. If you could go on a date with any fictional character who would it be and why? Describe the date.
I don’t want to date Holden Caulfield, but I’d like to hang around with him for awhile.

8. If you could do a reading at any bookstore or venue in the world, where would you choose to read? Why?
Vroman’s in Pasadena. I like indie bookstores, I know the people there, I’ve always drawn a crowd.

9. How did your title, Sex World, originate? Did you consider other titles for the book?
It’s a provocative title. That alone should sell a few books.



Ron Koertge teaches at Hamline University in their low-residency MFA program for Children’s Writing. His new book is Sex World, his first collection of short, short fiction. His recent books of poetry include Fever (Red Hen Press, 2007), Indigo (Red Hen Press, 2009), Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses (Candlewick Press, 2012), and The Ogre’s Wife (Red Hen Press, 2013). Koertge also writes fiction for teenagers, including many novels and novels-in-verse: The Brimstone Journals, Stoner & Spaz, Strays, Shakespeare Bats Cleanup, Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs, and Coaltown Jesus. All were honored by the American Library Association, and two received PEN awards. He is the recipient of grants from the NEA and the California Arts Council and has poems in two volumes of Best American Poetry. He lives in South Pasadena, California.

Sex World is available now for pre-order from Red Hen Press. It will be released September 16th.

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