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Cover for Short Flights

Short Flights

Thirty-Two Modern Writers Share Aphorisms of Insight, Inspiration, and Wit

James Lough (Editor), Alex Stein (Editor)


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A compilation of satirical and philosophical aphorisms from modern writers on the cutting edge of their craft
A unique anthology that draws together the work and musings of our leading pioneers of short-form writing, this book features writers who take this time-honored literary form to new heights. Concise, wise, and sometimes terse or humorous, aphorisms are short phrases that are often instructional or moralistic. With a brief introductory piece from each author and a generous sampling of each individual’s particular take on the aphorism, the reader is presented with a vast trove of wit, wisdom, insight, and inspiration, as well as new ways to look at language, words, and writing. From “Nothing dirtier than old soap” to “He doesn’t need imagination—he’s got money,” the writers expound upon their favorite adages. The contributors range from prize-winning poets Charles Simic and Stephen Dobyns to bestselling authors like James Geary, David Shields, and experimental writers such as Olivia Dresher and Yahia Lababidi. Short Flights is sure to intrigue and delight all lovers of literature, language, and wordplay.

Praise For Short Flights: Thirty-Two Modern Writers Share Aphorisms of Insight, Inspiration, and Wit

"And you thought an aphorism was just an aphorism? This thoroughly lively volume of contemporary aphorists (a no longer secret society) suggests otherwise." —David Lazar, poet, essayist, editor, author, The Body of Brooklyn

"Aphorism is thought going naked . . . It aims for transparency, and when it achieves that, as it does on every page of this wonderful collection, the result is arousing . . . writing instructors will find the book especially useful." —Joe Hutchison, Colorado Poet Laureate

"Editors Lough and Stein prove that good things come in small packages with this collection of modern aphorisms—short but sweet nuggets of wisdom, humor, insight, and clever turn of phrase . . . something for everyone in this proverbial box of chocolates." —Publishers Weekly

"I’m pleased to be part of an anthology, Short Flights (Schaffner Press), which draws together the work and musings of 32 leading pioneers of short-form writing. I’m especially proud to be in the company of writers I respect and admire." —Yahia Lababidi, author, Signposts to Elsewhere; guest blogger, "Best American Poetry" Blog

"Short Flights will be the perfect addition to any book collection. Those not familiar with aphorisms will be surprised by how gratifying these little word nuggets can be." —Khwaja Khusro Tariq, Huffington Post

"This is a book of folds, of multiplicities that in turn folds and multiplies you . . . swept up in flows that exceed, surround, and ignite you. To read this book of aphorisms is to flourish in the seam of it all." —Daniel Coffee, blogger;  former professor, Philosophy, Berkeley University

"Short Flights . . . offers several pleasures. Some excellent work is included, notably selections by James Richardson and H.L. Hix, as well as Lily Akerman and George Murray . . . It is helpful, too, that every contributor to the volume includes his or her own preface." —Rachel Hadas, Times Literary Supplement

"Even in colleges, we may experience the instruction of brevity more so than in the past. So in a time where the Victorian three-volume novel has lost popularity, the penetrating effectiveness of the aphorism continues to thrive." —Sarah Warren,

Schaffner Press, Inc., 9781936182886, 264pp.

Publication Date: November 13, 2015

About the Author

James Lough is a professor and graduate coordinator at the Savannah College of Art and Design. He is the author of This Ain’t No Holiday Inn: Down and Out at the Chelsea Hotel, 1980–1995. He has published more than 70 articles, short stories, and book reviews, and has served as an editor with several literary journals, including Bastard Review, Denver Quarterly, and Divide. His collection of essays, Sites of Insight won the Publications Prize from the Colorado Endowment of the Humanities, and his stories have won the 2011 America’s Got Stories Award and the Frank Waters Southwestern Writing Award for short fiction. He lives in Savannah, Georgia. Alex Stein teaches at the University of Colorado–Boulder. He is the author of two books of interviews, The Artist as Mystic: Conversations with Yahia Lababidi and Made-Up Interview with Imaginary Artists, and a book of aphorisms, Weird Emptiness. He lives in Boulder, Colorado.