All posts in Vermin in the News


Vermin turns 13

It’s true: the occult powers of the 13th anniversary of Vermin on the Mount blotted out the fucking sun. (Thanks to Agatha French for the write-up in the Los Angeles Times.)



Tickle Me Vermin

Humans have discovered that rats like to be tickled: According to the New York Times “the similarity of rats to humans in the tickling realm is pleasantly bewildering.” News to you, perhaps, but not to the Legion of Vermin.


VOTM in Lit Hub

Many thanks to Siel Ju for her excellent profile of Vermin on the Mount in Literary Hub: “The Reading Series That Wants Readers to Feel Like Rock Stars.” It was great to reminisce about the highs and lows of running a reading series for a dozen years. Plus, lots of members of the Legion of Vermin (Jami Attenberg, David Fromm, Amelia Gray, Scott O’Connor and Wendy C. Ortiz) weigh in on their experience with VOTM. Here’s the opening paragraph:

“A dominatrix-cum-memoirist. A PEN/Faulkner Award finalist. An ex-junkie rock star. A bestselling novelist. When you walk into a Vermin on the Mount reading, you never quite know what you’re in for.”

Lit Rats Infest Museum

From San Diego CityBeat’s The Short List:

Irreverent, edgy, often-subterranean writers read their work to an audience of lit-crazed beatniks. It’s called Vermin on the Mount. And, no, it’s not a collection of Jesus’ ethical teachings; but, yes, it’s usually chock full of insights into the human condition.

Read the rest (scroll down).

VOTM in Nomadic Sojourns

Many thanks to Christian Niedan at Nomadic Sojourns for this write up of the Vermin on the Mount event in Brooklyn last weekend.

Brooklyn-based author Jami Attenberg has long hosted sunset author readings in her South Williamsburg apartment. And she’s met many of those authors on the road while promoting her own work—highlighted by 2013 best-selling novel, The Middlesteins. Among them, Jim Ruland, whose “Vermin on the Mount” (VOTM) reading series recently paid a visit to Attenberg’s place.


Department of Not Impressed

Don’t want the hype. Don’t need the hype. Will take the hype.

The tiny, 8,800-person community known colloquially as Frogtown suddenly is impossible to ignore. (Its official name, Elysian Valley, is rarely used.) Artists Shepard Fairey, Mark Grohjahn and Thomas Houseago recently opened studios there. Nomad Art Compound, a sort of hybrid print shop/commune, has established itself as one of the weirdest and coolest venues in L.A. Frogtown’s annual arts festival, the Frogtown Art Walk, is extending its half-mile track to accommodate the thousands of Angelenos (and counting) that show up every year.

Read the full article here.


Rest in power, you magnificent bastard.

“It was quite a shocking experience,” Bengtsson said in summary. “No one wanted to go into the kitchen after, and the cat was terrified for a week. The pest controllers said they’d never seen such a big rat before.”

VOTM in SD Reader

VOTM featured in the Reader‘s 2014 Guide to the Arts in San Diego. Tonight’s showcase of irreverent readings at 3rdSpace features writers from San Diego and Los Angeles, plus selections from Black Candies published by So Say We All. Don’t be bitten!

VOTM in KCET’s Artbound

Big ups to Andrew Pogany at KCET’s Artbound for his stellar write-up of the L.A. Zine Fest and L.A. Zine Week, which VOTM is proud to be a part of.

“Of particular interest are Vermin On The Mount at Book Show and We Are In Zine Love With You at And Pens Press — both on Thursday night and both featuring performances and readings by some exciting writers and artists. In true L.A. fashion, events span the metropolis, from Downtown to Culver City to Frogtown, culminating in the main event on Sunday, Feb. 16 at Helm’s BakeryThe L.A. Zine Fest.”



Frogtown Vermin Video

We couldn’t be more excited about Book Show at NOMAD: Vermin on the Mount’s new home in L.A. To celebrate, and to kick off our tenth year of programming literary events in Los Angeles, we commissioned a video from Eric Minh Swenson. EMS documents all facets of L.A.’s art scene and he was on hand to capture the magic at our first event in our new home. Click the link to watch this short two-minute racap of the event on youtube: Vermin on the Mount Frogtown.

Vermin in the News

Vermin on the Mount received a very nice shout out from Carolyn Kellogg in the Los Angeles Times book blog Jacket Copy:

“The punk rock reading series takes its name from its original location, the Mountain Bar, where it began 10 years ago. Host and organizer Jim Ruland has found a new home for the semi-regular series, at NOMAD Studio near the L.A. River.”

Writing for the L.A. Weekly, Joseph Lapin’s generous profile explores the origins of the series. “Incredible writers have graced the stage at Vermin on the Mount. At the first ever reading, the performers were Joe Meno, an author and playwright from Chicago who has written six novels; Joshuah Bearman, the former L.A. Weekly journalist who wrote the story that would become Argo; and Andrea Siegel, author of Like the Red Panda and a screenwriter. There have been many memorable performances, Ruland recalls, including the time Stephen Elliot, the author who’s a founding editor of The Rumpus, appeared unexpectedly on Father’s Day to read a touching piece about his father.”

It’s a great beginning to our tenth year of programming in L.A.!




Giant Rats to the Rescue

It’s no secret that here at VOTM headquarters we hold vermin in high regard. But this news story on the BBC Future blog made us sit up and take notice. In Mozambique, giants rats are being used to detect land mines. The rats undergo nine months of intensive training by the Belgian NGO Apopo.

Since Apopo’s rats launched into action in 2006, they’ve successfully cleared more than 6 million square meters of Mozambique’s countryside, uncovering 2,406 landmines, 992 bombs, and 13,025 small arms and ammunitions.

Today’s vermin, tomorrow’s heroes.