Follow up interview with Really Serious Literature Barracuda Guarisco!

I was so proud when Barracuda Guarisco; Really Serious Literature founder decided to publish my Candy Maze as a disappearing chapbook.  The amount of work that Barracuda has brought to the masses via his endless initiatives speaks volumes as to the human being he is.  Barracuda is honestly such a fun person to interview, not only does he provide answers that will provoke thought but also literature that does the same. After you read this interview I suggest you head over to his link tree to keep up to date on his happenings. 

RMMW: As one of your Facebook friends and followers of your Instagram I\’ve noticed that you enjoy posting very different food photographs.  Is there an origin story behind this, if yes, please explain?

BG: You’re probably referring to the gross out foods with threatening auras. There isn’t an origin story, really. I just enjoy the wtf aesthetics. 

RMMW: What projects have you been working on with regards to Really Serious Literature?

BG: Oh me, oh my. There’s a lot. Ummm, woo-boy-howdy. Right now: hosting an upcoming virtual reading with Be About It Press, Back Patio Press, and South Broadway Ghost Society on May 8th; slinging upcoming titles by Said Farah, Graham Isaac & Justin Plinz, Gwendalynn Roebke, Anna Mirzayan, Crystal Stone, Kenning JP Garcia, Michael Chang, and Kim Vodicka; joining Taco Bell Quarterly’s M.M. Carrigan and presenting “The Beefy Chapbook Potato-Rito Remote Residency To-Go Contest XXL” where the winner earns a $300 gift card to Taco Bell and limited edition chapbooks printed and handmade by Bottlecap Press; wrapping up the final “Cravan & Bronson Dilemma Tattoo Contest” where the winner gets their flash fiction tattooed on me; and posting Disappearing Chapbooks and Zeptopoems on our Instagram page (@rlysrslit)… We’re sweating URLs and meme promotions. Keeping ourselves busy as we remain locked to a one block radius thx to the pandemic.

RMMW: As far as words go \”What\’s your muse\’s damage?\” is brilliant, I relish the concept of tattooing powerful words onto your own skin… Please tell our readers a little bit about your Flash Fiction Tattoo contest and its origin?

BG: Well, I wanted to explore the opposite of the Disappearing Chapbook and publish something more lasting but still as intimate, resting somewhat on the border of so-called innovation, so I decided to open up a contest and have the winner’s words tattooed on me. Their words will die when I die. Whenever that is. Just something fun to do and gives me an excuse to get more tattoos. Past winners: Kim Vodicka and @mollidearest. The deadline for the final contest is 04/30/2021 but depending on how many submissions I get I may push it out.

RMMW: As our interview was over two years ago; have your favourite indie poets changed? And to whom?

BG: My favorites generally stay the same but I’ve really been loving Lonely Christopher’s Double Rainbow.

RMMW: What kind of music do you listen to when you write?

BG: Shoegaze and synth pop. 

RMMW: This past COVID year has been very hard on the indie art scene; how do you feel readers can support writers who are not able to have as many readings as there used to be pre COVID? 

BG: While I understand the virtual playground experience is not enjoyed by everyone, there are still quite a bit of readings taking place. And not all of them are recurring organized events. If you follow your favorite indie writers online, some of them will do random pop up readings on FB or Instagram. But if that’s not your vibe, maybe ask ‘em what their Venmo or PayPal is and toss a loving tip their way. Or buy a book from them if they have any. We love attention. FREAKING LOVE IT.

RMMW: I\’ve noticed that there are various cheese combinations with regards to cheese steaks. Which one is your favourite and why?

BG: If you use anything other than provolone, wiz, or American cheese you can go home and suck on a lemon egg fusion. 

RMMW: Having written so many books; do you have a favourite book or poem written by you? 

BG: I’d say my first book “I Gave this Dream to a Color”(Spuyten Duyvil) and my most recent book “Uncomfortable Music” (Vegetarian Alcoholic) are my favorite collections so far. 

RMMW: When you select writers; do you have specific guidelines or do you go with your instincts.  Please explain why either way? 

BG: It depends on how their work made it to me. Our first batch of titles were by solicitation only and by writers I’ve known for years. I practically agreed to publish some of them without even seeing a completed manuscript first because I trusted their talents as is. Luckily, they delivered stellar work and I can sleep easy without feeling like a dummy. One of our titles was a collection a colleague wanted feedback on and after looking it over I fell in love with it and told him it was exactly the type of collection I’d envisioned putting out and begged him to let me publish it. As far as open submissions go… I don’t have a specific style or voice I’m looking for when it comes to content. I want our titles to feel separate from each other, that way a crossbreed of various schools and literary communities can be invited and introduced to one another. I mean, I guess that can only be a successful model if a person actively explored our catalogue. In short, if I feel I’ve published it before, I’m not going to publish it again. At least that’s the plan for print/contests.


Barracuda Guarisco/C. C. Hannett/Kris Hall is a cheesesteak obsessed, bisexual crybaby who enjoys absurdity at varying levels. Barry is the author of several books in the Spuyten Duyvil Publishing universe, as well as Uncomfortable Music (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press, 2021) and The Gold Boys are back in Gold Town (Really Serious Literature) co-authored with Joshua Robert Long. Nominated for Best Microfiction, he is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Really Serious Literature. He has had work placed with Maudlin House, giallo lit, Silent Auctions, Expat, Rejection Letters, Meow Meow Pow Pow and various others found under Entropy Mag\’s \’Where to Submit\’ list. He lives with his wife, Pilar, in Seattle, WA. 

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