Memoir Mixtapes Vol.4, Track 21

We Were Teenagers, Akin to Being on Fire by Joey Gould

To read this piece, click on the album cover below.

About the author:
Joey Gould is a poet, tutor, & produce clerk from Hopedale, MA. He coedits two journals: Drunk Monkeys & Golden Walkman. The rest of his poetry life centers around Salem, where he leads workshops, attends a writer’s group, & coordinates set-up for the Massachusetts Poetry Festival. Please search “Joey Gould poetry” on google or follow on Twitter @toshines or IG @joey.toshines.


Memoir Mixtapes Vol.4, Track 19

Blue Wing by Matthew Woodman

To read this piece, click on the album cover below.

About the author:
Matthew Woodman teaches writing at California State University, Bakersfield and is the founding editor of Rabid Oak. His nonfiction piece on Richard Buckner’s The Hill appeared in Memoir Mixtapes Vol. 2.


J.S. Recommends: “With You Every Day” by Anna Burch

When your problems have borne yet more problems (I’ve enough already thank you) and the walls have begun to close in, might I suggest taking a pause and queuing up some graceful, spacious indie pop to soothe your fraying nerves?

Singer-songwriter Anna Burch’s debut LP Quit The Curse dropped two months ago. Her music is 1990s alternative interpreted by 1960s pop, her lyrics a slow walk through the rise and fall of a summer romance. Its release was expertly timed to join me in a succession of major crises and mild panics, and is now very likely burned into my memory forever. Now, if an album is going to take up residence — quite unannounced — in your head, you couldn’t do much better.

I am a poptimist by nature. For whichever digressions I have into dissonant noise, weird minimalism, and John Cage not playing the piano for 4 minutes 33 seconds, I always return to the anthemic choruses and hummable hooks that pop serves up by design.

The final track on Curse, “With You Every Day”, delivers everything you could want in a quality indie pop tune. Jangly Telecasters are interrupted by the occasional staccato burst, a loping Labrador of a bass line steadies the track, while a chorus chock-a-block with nonsense syllables collides with the obvious — though not cloying — heartbreak at play in verse. So put on your headphones, close your eyes, and let Anna Burch’s songwriting take up residence between your ears. What else were you going to put there?

(Song recommendation by J.S. Robson)

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.4, Track 18

Who Got Da Props? by Justin Davis

To read this piece, click on the album cover below.

About the author:
Justin Davis earned his BA in Literature & Creative Writing from Rhodes College, where he received the Anne Howard Bailey Prize in Poetry. A 2018 Pushcart nominee, his poems and fiction can be found in decomP, Bodega, and Arcturus. He works as a community organizer in Memphis, Tennessee.

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.4, Track 17

Sociopath by Amber D. Tran

To read this piece, click on the album cover below.

About the author:
A Pushcart Prize nominee and a two-time Best of the Net nominee, Amber D. Tran graduated from West Virginia University in 2012, where she specialized in lyrical non-fiction and contemporary poetry. She is the Editor-in-Chief for the Cold Creek Review literary journal. Her work has been featured in CalliopeAfter the PauseSpry Literary JournalCheat River Review, and more. Her award-winning debut novel, Moon River, was released in September 2016. She currently lives in Alabama with her husband and two dogs, Ahri and Ziggs.

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.4, Track 16

War Sounds by Terrell Fox

To read this piece, click on the album cover below.

About the author:

Terrell Fox is a graduate of the MFA creative writing program at the University of Washington Bothell.  He is a former Marine who can’t draw, paint, sing, dance, play music, take pictures, sculpt, or throw pottery, so he writes as his way of artistic expression.  His work has previously been published in Proximity MagazineRicky’s BackyardHoly Shit Journal, and Clamor.  He has upcoming work in Black Candies: The Eighties, and Incoming: Sex, Drugs, & Copenhagen.  He was recently selected to be a group leader for Planting The Oar, a literature-based veteran/civilian discussion group sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

He has also completed a novel-length experimental memoir about his experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Terrell can be reached on Twitter @FogButWithAnX.

Sam Recommends: “All Night Long” by Mary Jane Girls

It’s 1995. My mom is gone for a few days for a work conference, which means my dad is in charge of keeping the house and his two young daughters in tact.

It’s dinner time, and we already had Rice-a-Roni the night before. Which means Hamburger Helper is on the menu.

“All Night Long” by Mary Jane Girls is playing on the stereo system in the living room at full blast. My sister and I watch my dad dance and sing along as he stirs the pasta/meat mixture.

My mom comes home the next day, and we eat real food again, but I keep the good memory and the love for this track for the rest of my life.

(Song recommendation by Samantha Lamph/Len)

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.4, Track 15

Lana Del Rey’s “Ride,” Cancer, and the Struggle to Be Free by Anya Silver

To read this piece, click on the album cover below.

About the author:
Anya Silver is a poet, and has published four books of poetry, most recently Second Bloom (Cascade, 2017). She is a professor of English at Mercer University, and lives in Macon, GA (birthplace of Otis Redding) with her husband and son.

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.4, Track 14

Escape from Paradise by Stephanie Valente

To read this piece, click on the album cover below.

About the author:
Stephanie Valente lives in Brooklyn, NY. She has published Hotel Ghost (Bottlecap Press, 2015) and waiting for the end of the world (Bottlecap Press, 2017) and has work included in Susan, TL;DR, and Cosmonauts Avenue. Sometimes, she feels human.