Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Video: Reading from DR. BIRD

Here's a video of me reading from Dr. Bird's Advice for Sad Poets. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Dr. Bird's Advice for Debut Author Readings: QUESTIONS YOU COULD BE ASKED

Questions you'll likely be asked by your audience:
  1. Writers, (unpublished and/or teens) will often ask about how you got published, revision, outlining, rough drafts and whether you need to be "inspired" to write
    • You determine how much to reveal here, obviously. Cite one thing you do that's unique to your writing process, which will solidify your awesomeness and professionalism (this is not a joke -- your audience wants to celebrate you, so let them!). We all love to know that Hemingway wrote while riding bulls, for example. (This is not true, but you get the point.)
  2. What's your definition of success?
  3. Who reads your work first?
  4. How did you get an agent?
  5. How long did it take you to write this book?
  6. Two related examples: Do you write personal stuff about yourself? AND Do you ever worry about offending people, family, friends? 
  7. Are they going to make your book into a movie? / Are you going to get on Oprah's book club? 
  8. How many copies have you sold? / How much money do you make? / Can you just give me a ballpark?
  9. Are you on Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Tumblr?
  10. Can you read some of my work? / Why not? / Seriously? / Why are you walking away from me?
  11. What are you working on next? / When does your next book come out? / What is your next book about?
  12. At a talk I did recently, I got asked about my favorite music, favorite authors, authors that inspired my writing, authors I disliked, books I'd recommend (according to genre), if I think writers need to outline, if I ever get writers block and questions 1-11.
Lastly, some advice I've gathered from other writers, my time at an MFA, my own professional career in academic and corporate settings, and from other posts and twitter conversations. 
  1. Define success for yourself in a way that is authentically you. Tayari Jones once told our class that she had a moment of success for her first two novels. She did not cite prizes or reviews or blurbs, but readers who wrote to her or spoke to her. This always, always will stick with me because it was true and it was so much more healthy and under her control as a writer. When people ask you about your notion of success, be honest. If it's money, prizes, reviews then say so. Be authentic. Don't apologize. For me, I'll always consider the fact that Dr. Bird made it to the world as a success. My reviews are successes. But I also have emails from readers that are the successes I'll hold onto forever.
  2. The world is small, especially online, so don't badmouth publishing, booksellers, other authors (no matter how famous and abhorrent they are to you) when you answer questions or tweet. Seems obvious, but I see this all the time. I've seen people trash book reviewers, journals, other authors, editors, agents, their MFA programs. At readings, in interviews, or on social media. I've done it myself. People love to hear gossip, but you only risk your reputation if you give in to questions like "Do you hate Twilight?" by saying "Yes. It's ruined everything." While you might feel good being honest, you only insult Twilight fans in the audience and the people who like you for saying that are likely to go online and say "Evan Roskos said he hated Twilight!" Will anyone online care what I say about a massively successful author/series? Probably not. But you never know what other authors think of you, what they might have a chance to do for you, or what they might refuse to do for you because of that one tweet or interview response. 


Dr. Bird's Advice for Debut Author Readings: WHAT DO I READ?

3) WHAT DO I READ? Picking an excerpt shouldn't be hard, but it totally messes people up. For good reason, I think. As I've discussed with people on Twitter and at my MFA readings back before I knew what the heck I was doing, there are considerations of content, spoilers, length, dialogue, clarity, and more.
  • Basic ideas—What part of your book can you read that feels like a story, not just a chapter? The opening chapter is usually a good place to consider. It's what you, your agent, your editor, copyeditor, reviewers likely read first and agree is the best place to start. Some books are "bigger" and require more "warm up"—so the opening chapter might be too much of a "broad overview" for an engaging reading.
    • I find that SCENES work better than DENSE NARRATIVE PASSAGES. Great writing can draw attention, but if you have a chapter that's all in a character's mind, involves tons of setting description and orientating description, you might lose some people. On the page it works differently than out loud. 
      • Scenes are real time, involve dialogue, involve multiple characters, and can be very easy for the audience to imagine.
    • If you don't have a sequence that feels like a story, can you create an engaging reading with multiple sections that aren't sequential or juxtaposed in the book, but can be easily threaded together by you with some commentary?
      • Maybe the subplot is more accessible for a live audience if you read passages from chapters 2, 5, 8, & 10
      • Maybe you want to just talk about character descriptions and how you do something really cool with them that people might not notice.
      • Maybe you want to highlight your use of color in a particular group of scenes.
      • Think outside of "I have to read 1 solid chapter" and totally dismiss the idea that you can't stop and talk about your writing or thought process. Read a scene and then describe how that scene came about, changed positions in the book, caused you problems, etc.
  • Content—your audience and your own comfort level determine whether to read that passage where your characters curse while doing drugs and having sex in order to subvert the American government. Parents may object to language and content at a reading but, in my experience, parents who bring their teens to readings are actually more open minded than not.
    • Cursing or graphic descriptions of sex/violence can be tricky unless you know your audience is full of friends or people who already read the book. Skipping cursing/harsh language isn't lame, though teenagers do love to hear adults curse! 
    • Do you have a platform or larger goal outside of crafting great stories? If the answer is yes, and you also are worried simply about audience response not your own discomfort, then recognize the benefits of reading "tough" passages.
      • For instance, Dr. Bird is about a kid that suffers from depression & anxiety, considers suicide, and has a sister that also suffers mental health issues. It's a book about people who lack the vocabulary to talk about their problems. It's the kind of story that encourages readers to speak up about their own issues. I knew before the book came out that I would have the chance to show teen readers that I was an adult willing to listen and discuss these issues in public. I wanted to encourage people not to dump problems on me, but to gain courage to talk to people in their lives. If you read difficult passages from your book in person, you might inspire a teenager who needs to see a confident, successful adult being vulnerable and risky. I have proof that the book alone can do this; I also have proof that speaking in public can do this. 
      • I made the choice to open up to strangers about my issues. (I still control what I specifically say and don't say.) HOWEVER: No one else should command you to read what you think will make you or others uncomfortable.
    • If parents come without their kids and ask if your book is appropriate for a certain age, just go with what your publisher has said and suggest the parent read the book first. Don't put yourself in a position where a parent says, "You told me my 12 year old could read this book and there's bad language in it!" 
  • Spoilers—Even if you don't spoil your book, someone will do it in the Q&A session. ("When did you decide that the whole book was really the dream of a bored pigeon?" Note: That's not actually what happens in Dr. Bird.) Sometimes you have big reveals early on and you might not feel capable of reading around those plot point but you also don't want readers to experience the reveal at the reading. 
    • Consider reading towards that plot point without reading through it -- entice your reader with the moments that lead up to the reveal. This requires more prep before you do your reading, and you may need to tweak your passages before you get the right "flow" but it CAN be done.
    • Consider reading passages from after the reveal that aren't plot dependent. 
    • If you can't read an excerpt without a spoiler, consider the nature of the spoiler. 
      • Is your whole book ruined? (Doubtful. Books with reveals that early still have to be good for the rest of the way.)
      • Are people not going to buy the book if they know that your main character is a robot? 
        • If something is early enough in the book (first fifty pages) then it's not a true spoiler. You can read it aloud and the reader will still have 200+ pages to enjoy your masterpiece. 
      • If the spoiler is later, then there should be plenty of scenes for you to read without a major incident. 
    • Early in Dr. Bird, my main character is hit by a bus trying to save a bird in the street. This incident is not a huge spoiler, but it's one of the most overtly comedic moments in the story and one I am very proud of because it gives the story such energy (which I then take away with depression and sadness! muhuhuhahaha!). In fact, the funniest part about that scene is...well, that would be spoiling it. Honestly, at a reading I do the whole scene. It might be ruining the experience of reading it for the first time, but for me getting an audience to laugh at a point I want them to laugh is a great feeling when reading live. Plus, am I going to spoil the book for ten thousand readers if twenty of them hear that particular part?
  • Length—see above, but don't fret about ending mid chapter. You're a writer—you know what the end of a scene feels like. You know cliffhangers. Leave your audience wanting to buy the book!
  • Dialogue or "He do the police in different voices" (unnecessary Dickens-via-Eliot reference)—You have to choose how to differentiate the voices of dialogue when you read. It just makes for an easier listening experience but also shows energy from you. Don't get cartoonish unless that suits the tone of your book (even then, be careful). 
    • At least make a vocal differentiation so the reader—and you—know who is talking when. Doing slight appropriate accents or changes in pitch will also SLOW YOU DOWN, which is always good when you're nervous. 
      • I do this kind of stuff when I read to my son, who is three. Sometimes the voices are over-the-top, but sometimes I just want him to be able to know that 2 characters are talking so I just raise my vocal pitch for one character and lower it for another.
      • Consider these subtle pairings: 
        • high vs. low voice
        • loud vs. soft voice
        • fast vs. slow voice
  • Choose passages based on Clarity—Sometimes a prologue or opening chapter might seem perfect for a reading, but what if it makes more sense on the page than when read out loud?
    • For instance, do you have multiple, unnamed voices in the first chapter? That might be hard for the audience to follow. 
    • Is there a ton of description (more than a page from the very beginning?) or something that won't make sense until the middle/end of the book? At a reading you want to give something that's compact and feels whole in 15 minutes. You want the readers' attention immediately. 
    • If the first chapter or two doesn't provide something that feels like it stands alone, then find a chapter that stands alone. Of course, setup the context first! "This is after the main character James has been hit by a bus and now has a cast that no one is signing, so he's feeling lonely. He's already had a crappy week and now we're introduced to his best friend, Derek, who plays a key role in James becoming more self aware." 
Initially: WHERE TO BEGIN?

Dr. Bird's Advice for Debut Author Readings: HOW LONG DO I READ FOR?

Continuing my wordy advice for author's overwhelmed by the prospect of readings.

2) HOW LONG DO I READ FOR? For prose, I'm a big fan of readings where the author spends an equal amount of time talking and reading. This format doesn't please everyone (even I once complained about an author that read the last chapter of his book before talking for thirty minutes, but I didn't quite understand the point then).
But consider this: the attention span of your audience is tricky. If they're already your fan—i.e., they already bought the book—then reading to them for 20-30 minutes might be pleasing or they might prefer to hear the "Making of" story of the book. If you haven't won people over yet (the curious walk-in or walk-by audience member), then reading for 10-15 minutes gives them a chance to go get a copy while 30 minutes is not necessarily how they want to get to know your book.
  • Who is your audience?—in a new area or do you see a sea of friendly smiles? While your anxiety remains the same for these two audience types, your approach might change. Reading to your friends might seem tedious, but talking to them about the book you've possibly been ranting about for five years might seem just as unappealing. Total strangers have no idea whether to care about you or your work.

Dr. Bird's Advice for Debut Author Readings: WHERE TO BEGIN?

I recently began doing events to promote my novel, Dr. Bird's Advice for Sad Poets, and found that the process of preparing for readings felt very similar to teaching literature as a college adjunct. Basically: I arrange some introductory comments to set context, concoct some comments about the main character, pick a passage to read, practice some voices for dialogue, etc. It seems pretty natural, and yet it's not.
Not everyone is a teacher.
Not everyone is comfortable with reading, speaking, or performing in front of crowds.
Not everyone has written the same kind of book.
Not everyone has been going to poetry and fiction readings since they were twelve.
So, at the risk of increasing my tendancy towards know-it-all-ism, and even mansplaining some things, I have composed a few posts on promoting your book in public. I've broken this into 4 posts because I tend to be...wordy. Links to each topic are featured at the end of each post.
Also, please put suggestions or thoughts or experiences in the comments section. Ask follow up questions and I'll incorporate stuff into the main post if it's super-helpful!

1) WHERE TO BEGIN? A reading is a performance in many ways, but it's never successful if you get up, read, then sit down. Even if you're reading the opening pages of your novel, where all readers begin on equal footing, you should give the readers some sense of what they're about to hear. Consider it this way: in a store or online, people might read the jacket copy before page 1, so at a reading the very basic thing you can do to begin is:
  • Be your own jacket copy! 
    • Here's a simple example of what I might say: "Good evening! Thanks so much for coming out to celebrate reading and books and laughter and more serious things. For those of you unfamiliar with Dr. Bird's Advice for Sad Poets, it's the story of a teenager who suffers from anxiety and depression and tries to manage his mental health by reciting Walt Whitman poems and talking to an imaginary pigeon." That plus a couple of lines to give a sense of the key characters is often enough for any audience. 
    • It's basically: Hi, here's my pitch. Wanna listen? Great!
  • In addition to being my own jacket copy, I like to discuss what precisely inspired the book. (Usually someone asks this question if you don't discuss it up front, so you should have an answer in mind anyway.) You don't have to rewind the story of your life to second grade and talk for 15 minutes. 
    • I often start with "I wanted to write a book about a depressed teenager that was funny but also respectful. In many ways, the book is emotionally autobiographical even though the plot isn't. I never liked Whitman as a teenager nor did I hug trees or talk to an imaginary pigeon. But the anxiety is what binds James and I together."
    • I also have a different origin story that involves another book I started to write with friend and author Matthew Quick. He's the reason I wrote this book in the first place, but he and I also openly discuss mental health issues in our work, so it's an authentic way to show 1) writers aren't totally isolated from each other, 2) I have a serious issue and personal investment with this book, and 3) I give a shout out to a guy who's been supportive to me since the day we met. 
      • You should always give shout outs at readings! People are going to ask you who you read anyway, why not support your friends?
    • If the inspiration of your book feels lame to you, don't fake it! Don't use it! Discuss what excites you! Discuss what inspired you! Discuss what expresses the YOU of YOU! 
      • Who do you hope to connect to with this book? 
      • How do you relate to other writers? To books? 
      • When did you know you were a writer? 
      • Is this the first book you wrote or, more likely, the second/third/fourth...? 
      • Why is this the book only you could have written?
      • Is some of this sounding familiar?
  • Matt Quick and I did an event for the Newburyport Literary Festival at the end of April. We spoke to about 200 people for an hour (including a long Q&A). We discussed our friendship, writing relationship, and our struggles with mental health. Neither of us read from our books. Both of us sold out of books. Not everyone can do this, or has the material to do this, but if you can give your audience a reason to care about you as a writer (not necessarily as a person, but as a writer-who-is-human), then you will connect and succeed. 
  • Maybe you don't want to share personal information—that's ok! I stress that your story, your persona, is what will energize people. Who are you? How do you create stories from thin air? It's a magical skill to non-writers. It doesn't have to be emotionally raw, it can be fun or serious & still authentically YOU. 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Let's Discuss: The Great Gatsby as seen by two lit teachers who love movies.

I've been contemplating Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of The Great Gatsby since it was announced he was filming it. 
With Leo. 
In 3D. 
Gold Hatted Gatsby was one of Fitzgerald's original titles.
Third was "I'm Really Bad at Titles"

I knew it would be either a trainwreck or the equivalent of a fun train wreck (like getting stuck on a roller coaster for about 15 minutes; unique but not annoying). In the end, I actually liked the movie much more than I expected I would and feel some of the things Lurhmann did well -- dare I say got right -- are not things he's known for. 
But I also believe that simply spouting my love for the movie is not really all that intriguing. Plus, I have many friends with varying opinions on Fitzgerald and his novel, so I thought it would be fun to talk to one of my favorite deep-thinkers, Monica D'Antonio (click to read her excellent thoughts on the novel that aren't guided by my own questions).

Monica and I both received our MA in literature from Rutgers and while we share similar literary loves (Heart of Darkness!) we don't necessarily agree on things. Fortunately, I always learn something from her. So I asked Monica a few questions, and added my own thoughts right after hers. The following is the result.
[Note: MD is Monica, ER is me. We have a strange medical theme going on with our initials. Perfect for a book that climaxes with a woman being hit by a car!]
1) What were your expectations for a new film adaptation of The Great Gatsby? Have you seen the Robert Redford version?
MD: I was in a weird place about this movie. I was SUPER excited to see it, but my expectations were low. I really thought it was going to be a big-budget, superhero movie-esq (especially with its release date near Iron Man 3) travesty. It turned out I was only partly right about that. I saw the Robert Redford version in high school but can’t say I remember it well enough to comment on it.
ER: Oh, the Redford one! I saw it years ago, after high school but before grad school, and it was so dull to me. I think Redford is too sure of himself. Gatsby plays the role of millionaire well, but there's an anxiety in the book when he's with Daisy. I think the first scene where he makes Nick's house & yard all pretty, then runs outside -- that's the nervous, human Gatsby that Dicaprio did really well. Redford, I have no recollection of him as anything other than the artifice Gatsby portrayed. 
As for my expectations, they were low. I never minded the Romeo & Juliet adaptation and knew Lurhmann's cinematic somersaults would be intrusive in this book, but in the end I think he restrained himself as the movie progressed. 

2) What is your relationship with the novel? A torrid affair? Frustrating flirtation? Mixed signals? Longterm & still in love?
MD: So, you’re asking: do I “like” it or do I “like it, like it”?? Haha! I just reread the novel after not having read it in at least a decade, but, from now on, I plan to take a page out of Steve Almond's (a writer I admire) playbook and read it once a year, probably in the summer. I am deeply in love with this book, and I believe that this book loves me (and my personal beliefs, ideologies, fears, anxieties etc.) back. I don’t think I will ever change our relationship status to “it’s complicated.”

ER: Gatsby is one of my top 5 favorites. I've never taught it (and I think that makes a difference in my expectations of the film), but I've read it every 3 years or so since high school. For me, it's the sentences. The classic opening, the classic ending-- so many things. But I gained an ever stronger love in grad school when I learned about Fitzgerald's love of Joseph Conrad and how the whole "American Dream" interpretation really isn't what Fitzgerald was going for. (Funfact for readers: The American Dream philosophy is popularized in the early 1930s.) 
What I love is that Gatsby is a story about outsiders. It's certainly about New vs Old (money as much as mores). But Tom Buchannan's speech about how the superior race needs to defend itself is rooted in the late teens early 20s US Nativist movement. Gatsby can't be trusted because his origins are unknown. His business partner is Meyer Wolfshiem -- a wolf. But specifically a Jew. And if we know anything about the attitude towards the Jews in this part of the century, it's one of distrust, even amongst artists (T.S. Eliot famously wrote some anti-semitic poems as a young man). While I don't see Fitzgerald as sharing that attitude, he clearly needs Gatsby to be associated with the underworld and outsiders.
3) Did the film elicit a strong reaction from you? Was it a specific scene or the overall piece that did so?
MD: When I first walked out of the theater, my initial reaction was simply: “Well, I didn’t hate it as much as I thought I was going to.” I let my opinion rest there for a bit, but throughout the remainder of the weekend, I found myself still thinking deeply about the movie. So, I guess the fact that I’m still thinking about it (I’m even contemplating a blog post about it right now, though I guess I’m showing a bit too much of my hand with this little project we’re doing) shows that it certainly elicited a strong reaction from me. What I’m still not sure about is whether the reaction is positive, negative, or a healthy mix of all of the above. I’m inclined to go with the latter.
It’s been said that this novel is un-filmable, and for the most part, I’d agree with that sentiment because I think, above all, that Gatsby is a book about language, which I gather is hard to film. But, there were some scenes that, while great in the book, really came alive in the movie (side note: I saw it in 2D not 3D). For example, the scene with Gatsby throwing his shirts on Daisy is stellar. It’s awesome because we seem him devolving in to complete MANIA. This is when we’re really seeing him start to fall apart. Second, he is literally drowning her in his expensive shirts. It’s like when someone tickles you, and at first it’s funny, but then it gets really aggressive, and you start to lose your breath. I felt her anxiety and suffocation as he continued to pile shirt after shirt on her. He was trying to show off and it wound up becoming super creepy. It was a great scene.
There were some scenes, however, that I viscerally hated. The apartment scene with Tom, Myrtle, Catherine and the neighbors is TERRIBLE, mainly because it’s there purely for the orgy of it all and is not in any way an accurate recounting of Nick’s POV of that scene in the book. Not only is the POV inaccurate, but the way the scene was shot (and scores of others like it with all the jump cuts and sweeping/zooming shots – I can’t speak film language, so pardon me if I’m using the wrong terminology here) made me physically nauseous. I often felt assaulted by all of the cinematic gymnastics that were going on. That, to me, is where the book and the movie diverge so greatly. Fitzgerald is just so clean, so tight, so beautiful without being fussy…you never feel beat over the head with any one trope, one theme, one character.
ER: I agree with you about the shirt scene. It could've so easily been done poorly. But it's one moment where I realized Daisy was going to get a more complex presentation. Her tears are earned for exactly the reason you describe. I also think her comment "They're such beautiful shirts" is almost made because Nick is watching them (from up high) not because she's shallow.
I think what film does is it creates a dual narrator no matter who the character-narrator is. The camera is a narrator which can show us things that Nick might not. And I think that's why the book feels so unfilmable. Nick famously considers himself an honest man and everyone in the book is labeled a liar (or duplicitous, at least) very specifically. So, Lurhmann constantly has to fight to not show us when Nick, too, is lying or "prettying-up" the truth. In some ways it succeeds, like in that sequence with the shirts and after where we're supposed to know that Gatsby & Daisy might be behaving a little differently because Nick is present. But other times, Nick looks too overwhelmed and the camera seems to be more cynical than him. Early on, that's okay, but I believe this novel is about Nick's cynicism, which is why he admires Gatsby, despite the fact he should probably be just as cynical of a man who thinks he can repeat the past.
4) How do you feel about the Daisy character in the book and in the film (if you see differences)?
MD: Funny you should ask this…when I read the book most recently, my immediate reaction to Daisy, Jordan, and Myrtle’s characters was “Wow! Fitzgerald really hates women.” This may or may not be true, but upon further reflection of the novel itself, he throws the hate around pretty evenly across all characters. No one is above reproach. And no one comes out a hero. So, I guess there’s a certain gender equity in the fact that both sexes are portrayed in equally abhorrent ways.
As for the movie, in general, I like Carey Mulligan. I love her in An Education, and I thought she did a fine job with Daisy. I thought she handled that breathless, Marilyn Monroe-esq voice nicely, and that was certainly something Fitzgerald emphasized in the novel. Overall, though, she’s not one of the most memorable aspects of the movie.
ER: The women in the film are so negatively portrayed. The last shot of Daisy condemns her to ongoing satisfaction with Tom whereas we know she had the possibility with Gatsby. Fitzgerald was reportedly charming to women. He wasn't necessarily a serial cheater, though I wouldn't be surprised. I've read that he was always more comfortable with women than men. (I guess if you're friends with men like Hemingway, you'd prefer to hang out with women.) 
Alright, Hemingway's pretty awesome.

I think in the novel, the women really are condemned and that's why the movie does Daisy some justice—she's not as shallow. Or, she's not a cipher, which Fitzgerald believed (he was dissatisfied with how he rendered her in the final version). I think Mulligan's Daisy really sells the idea that she loved Gatsby, but then married Tom and loved him. She can't say whether one was true love and the other was the love of circumstance. To her, there's no need to decide because she looks ahead to time with Gatsby (though she's clearly not strong enough to stand up and make a choice for herself.)
What's such a huge huge bummer is that Jordan, while played very, very well by Elizabeth Debicki, is not labelled a liar in the film. One sentence. Maybe two would've done it. Jordan Baker was accused of cheating in a golf tournament. The fact that she's not indicted as a liar is a big, easily avoided mistake. I believe we have to accept Nick's belief that he's honest and everyone else is dishonest in order for Gatsby's mysterious allure to work. Jordan is not even clearly Nick's love interest in the film, so Nick never seems like he's totally slipping into the world before pulling back out. So, when Nick shuns her towards the end, it doesn't have the same meaning. Jordan, too, loses depth because I think she wants Nick to be with her, to share in this weird world. Maybe to corrupt him, but maybe because she senses that Nick isn't as annoying as everyone else.
5) Do you think the film will get people to read the book?
MD: I’m not sure, and I’m not sure that was the intent (which doesn’t really matter one way or the other). My gut wants to say NO, only because the movie—for a younger audience anyway – is more “exciting” than the book. So, once you see this version, why bother with the real deal? I think this movie is Lurhman’s homage to Fitzgerald, and, for some people, the homage is better than the thing itself.
ER: Ha! Very true. I have no idea. I want to believe more people will read it. I assume it will just get more people to want to ban the book because of that orgy scene (which was totally over the top though I thought that was kind of the point—to show Nick being seduced while also showing it's a temporary euphoria). 

Monday, May 13, 2013

All The Write Notes: Radiohead - An Interview with Author Evan Roskos

All The Write Notes: Radiohead - An Interview with Author Evan Roskos: Today at ATWN, author Evan Roskos stops by to talk about his love of everything Radiohead, his critically acclaimed book Dr. Bir...

Want to know some funfacts about my love for the band Radiohead? How about a chance to win a copy of Dr. Bird's Advice for Sad Poets + some Radiohead swag, including a bootleg? Click the link!