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Cliff Burns's Blog

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What can I say, two books out this month, both of them superb, literary efforts and that following the release of my western novel The Last Hunt earlier this spring. That makes three books with my name on them on the shelves in one calendar year. This from a guy notorious for being one of the...
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Stromata cover 2.png
Folks, lately my RedRoom numbers have been going through the roof, far out-stripping the visitors popping by my main blog, Beautiful Desolation. As a kind of "thank you" and acknowledgement of the growing popularity of RedRoom, I'm offering fans of this site the very first peek at the cover of my...
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New & Selected Poems
There have been delays, a lengthier waiting period than I expected but, at long last, the proof of my next book is finally in the mail, zipping its way toward me as I type these words. I've been a professional author for over 25 years, with numerous books under my belt but, I have to tell you, it's...
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The big cheat
I'm opening my organization to new members, encouraging people from the farthest flung places on the globe to join the "10 Second Club". No, I'm not referring to any act of speed or endurance, I'm talking about folks who intend to watch ten seconds or less of the coverage of the Olympic Games in...
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Something changed this summer. I've started taking note of beauty. Natural beauty. No straight lines and enclosing fences. A grand chaos of smells and noises and sensations that can only be found in places far from the madding crowd. It didn't used to be like this. Summer was the busiest time of...
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New & Selected Poems
Chris Kent is the cover designer for Black Dog Press, a post he's handled since my novel So Dark the Night a few years back. Chris's latest assignment might have been his toughest yet but he handled it with a laidback aplomb that I found admirable. He had to design the look of a collection of my...
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As previously reported, I'll be releasing my next book, NEW AND SELECTED POETRY, 1984-2011, in mid-July. I'm very excited to have this work back in print--some of it has been unavailable for over twenty years. Today I posted an excerpt from the book, ten poems that should provide a pretty good idea...
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Ray Bradbury is gone. Wow, it's hard to conceive of the world without him. He was the first writer I can recall loving, the first whose works I sought out.  I'm feeling pretty emotional today but I've managed to cobble together a bit of an appreciation for the Master, you'll find it over at my...
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I'm sure I'm not the only scribe who goes through periods of self-doubt, spells of intense reflection and turmoil. I had one of those episodes this weekend and it wasn't pleasant. A long interval of berating myself for not being a better writer, a more powerful and compelling writer--perhaps then...
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A recent article on GalleyCat informs us that in the past six weeks, ten million copies of E.L. James' loathsome, laughable, loogie-worthy Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy have been snapped up by readers with sticky fingers and tiny forebrains. Do you need any further evidence of the dumbing down of...
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Adrian Villar Rojas' "Family Dead"
It was Baudelaire who got me hooked. I picked up a volume of his works at some booksale and discovered that as well as verse that could blacken your eyeballs, he also composed these fascinating short prose pieces.  Snippets with edges that cut to the bone.  Compressed language, stripped...
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My wife told me she heard "author" E.L. James being interviewed on a national radio program and assured me that I would've loathed every syllable she uttered. Indeed.  I loathe everything Ms. James and her ilk stand for.  Bad, juvenile writing, a complete disregard for the power and...
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Well, well, look at you: You just walked out of "The Avengers" movie and you're down about thirty bucks, what with admission, beverages and popcorn, parking on top of that.  That's thirty bucks of your hard-earned money to see a bunch of buff actors, emoting to a green screen, throwing mock...
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Orson Welles
What is it with me and obsolete art forms? I love westerns enough to actually go out and, y'know, research and write one.  Walked the same paths as my hero, cast my eyes on the same sights he would have seen more than 125 years ago.  The Last Hunt is a deliberate homage, a love letter to...
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My friend Laird and his family visiting last night.  Predictably, both music and scotch flowed. He played us the three tunes he'll be performing before my reading and earned high marks from an appreciative audience. One of the songs is a piece we wrote together called "The Last Juliet". ...
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