If you saw either of my last two plays (Yellow Flesh/Alabaster Rose, or Red Light Green Light), you'll remember Rachel as Rose, the pregnant goth teen (the Los Angeles Times called her "radiant"), and you might also know Rachel as a kick-ass poet and emcee (she used to host Co:Lab at Temple Bar in Santa Monica, and Chromosome X at The Knitting Factory), but if you don't know her at all, you should get acquainted. I have a feeling you'll be seriously glad you did.
But don't just take my word for it. Here's what people who've actually read the book are saying:
Rachel Kann has crafted an addictive parallel universe, where funky little worlds shift and shudder, and characters are deftly etched and blessed with her gleefully skewed perspective. The sharp lyricism of these stories, which practically beg to be read aloud, unmask Ms. Kann for the poet she is, and that unpredictability of language is nothing less than a revelation.
--Patricia Smith, Teahouse of the Almighty (National Poetry Series Winner,) Four Time National Poetry Slam Champion
Anyone lucky enough to hear Rachel Kann perform knows that this woman has a Voice. What a thrill to see this voice translated into fiction, into a wide range of other voices, voices that burn right through the page with their yearning for, and fear of, connection. She's crafted stories that are fresh and surprising, with a true human heartbeat.
--Gayle Brandeis, The Book of Dead Birds (Bellwether Prize for Fiction Winner)
I'm looking for a story in a voice I care about-and a distinctive voice that isn't like anyone else's. I'm looking for something new and interesting and worthy of my time as a reader. And Rachel Kann's fine work is all of those things and more.
--Rob Roberge, author of Drive and More Than They Could Chew
When Rachel handed me her first pages, told me to be gentle, because it was her first time, I knew Rachel probably didn't want any kind of gentle first time. First times should be messy and angry and strange...and, oh, Rachel did not disappoint. And here we are again, another first time, but this time it's a book, and it's messy and angry and strange and beautiful and passionate and hopeful, sometimes all in the same sentence.
--Tod Goldberg, author of Simplify, Living Dead Girl & Fake Liar Cheat
Also, while I'm on the subject of Rachel and her awesomeness...
Rachel is participating in this online spoken word competition, and she needs people to vote for her video. If you have a few short moments, click on the links below and check it out. It's one of my favorite poems of hers, and she totally deserves so many more votes than she has right now.
Here are all of the pertinent details about the competition (cut-and-pasted from an email Rachel just sent out):
i am in this fame cast spoken word competition online thing right now.
and, i am just saying...
the prize is 10,000 bux.
and you can vote for me.
its a video comp, and so my animated piece, pretty talk, (the amazing lewis klahr did the animation,) is in the running.
its really easy to vote.
yes, its one of those things where you have to register...
BUT...these fame cast people are very cool, and you won't get spammed in your email inbox, i promise.
they're cool like that.
so, you go register here: CLICK ME
and then you go vote here: CLICK ME
so it would really really mean a lot to me if you voted, i am really proud of the piece, lewis klahr is brilliant, and its like the only animated piece in the whole competition that i am aware of. so do it for collage art, people!
feel free to spread the word about the competition and the book by forwarding this email to anyone you think would be interested.
i hope you are well.
i am really grateful to you for reading this,