Kick Out the Bottom by Erik Mortenson & Christopher Kramer
Recently I had the chance to sit down with author Erik Mortenson to discuss our collaborative memoir called Kick Out the Bottom (Check out the conversation in the video above). This is a book we've been working on since about 2015 or 2016 so it's nice that it's finally coming out. It's releasing through Cornerstone Press at the end of August. Presales for the print edition have begun (contact www.uwsp.edu/cornerstone or email@example.com).
Kick Out the Bottom is an experimental memoir that chronicles our time in bohemian Detroit at the millennium’s turn. Together we express our views on both the city and a mutual friend who became something of a mystical teacher, introducing us to the occult, magic, yoga, and counterculture ideas. It also attempts to understand and negotiate the obvious racial implications of two white men journeying through a majority-Black city while going through a transformative experience.
Here is the synopsis:
Amidst the ruins of Detroit, two seekers question all that they thought they knew as they struggle to achieve spiritual awakening in this collaborative memoir. Guided by Ryan, an eccentric mystic from the suburbs, the pair explore a ramshackle city while running experiments on themselves in a bid for understanding who they are and what life means. But as the questions Ryan poses deepen, the two are left wondering what happens when you truly “kick out the bottom.”
And here are a few blurbs in support of the book.
“Yes, ‘kick out the jams’ was one generation’s provocation, but Mortenson and Kramer inhabited in their youth a heady mixture of punkish aesthetics and neo-hip mysticism. They give us a Detroit that was on the edge of massive re- transformation even as they were themselves on their way to new modes of living.”
--Aldon Lynn Nielsen
George and Barbara Kelly Professor of American Literature
The Pennsylvania State University
“In Rilkean fashion, Kick Out the Bottom explores characters who are willing to change their lives as they endure an archetypal search for meaning.”
Professor of English, Purdue University
editor of The Cambridge Companion to American Poetry and Politics since 1900
“Kick Out the Bottom is the future of literature, or, to appropriate from the Detroit that the book transcends, we may ask, ‘Is there a Kick Out the Bottom in your future?’”
—Stephen Paul Miller
Professor of English, St. John’s University
author of Being with a Bullet
As my readers know, my writing focuses on magic and mysticism. Through my fiction, I examine philosophical dualities, alternate realities, and spiritual revelations. Erik’s work assesses the Beat generation and the elusive “moment,” as well as underground literature in Turkey. I’m a Detroit native and I met Erik while he was doing his PhD from Wayne State University. If you would like to know more about us, you can check out Erik’s website at https://erikmortenson.wixsite.com/home or my About page.
Thanks for reading and I hope you check out the video. We discuss the challenges of collaborating on this book as well as chat about some behind the scenes stories. And if you would like to order the print edition contact www.uwsp.edu/cornerstone or firstname.lastname@example.org.
That's all for today.