Map for a Forgotten Valley and 631

Dear Locals (and those traveling nearby) who will be around Youngstown on February 15th.  I am giving a reading from my series of creative nonfiction vignettes called “Map for a Forgotten Valley”, along with a showing of Derek Jones’ short film “631”.  Here is a blurb of what the evening will look like.  Please click on the image to make it larger.


Please come, listen, watch, speak.

Also, the image of the feral house on this flyer was taken by Tony Romandetti, photographer extraordinaire. 😉

Attention Seattle (once more)

For those readers out and about in Seattle, I recently mentioned I’ll be reading at University Bookstore on March 12th at 7PM and hosting a one-day workshop at Richard Hugo House on March 14th from 10-5. If you click the link below, you can find a pdf flyer for the events. Please feel free to distribute it to anyone you think may be interested in attending the reading or the workshop. I’d love to meet Seattle, so please come out!

Reading and Workshop Information

Attention Seattle

Attention Seattle readers/writers.  In March, I’ll be in the city in conjunction with Northwest MediaArts to give a reading at University Bookstore on March 12th at 7PM, and a day-long writing workshop at Richard Hugo House from 10-5 on the 14th.  It’s all part of Northwest MediaArts’ Fantastic Fiction Workshops & Salons series.  If you’re interested in the reading, in the workshop, or both, please visit their website for more information.

This will be my first time in Seattle.  Looking forward to seeing the city and meeting cool people.

Reading at Thurber House

Last week was a big week for me.  Three nice things happened.

1. It was my birthday.  Fun times, growing old.

2. I got to reconnect with an old friend from college.  Fun times, rehashing when I was a youngster.

3. I read at Thurber House, In Columbus, Ohio, where the writer Jamese Thurber is from.  They run a summer series of literary picnics, and the most recent one was aimed at featuring three emerging voices in Ohio, in three forms: creative nonfiction, poetry, and fiction.  Memoirist David Giffels was invited as the creative nonfiction writer, James. J. Siegal was there for poetry, and I was the emerging voice in Ohio fiction writing.

What was really cool about this reading is not just the reading itself, which is well-attended by a wonderful audience of people who clearly like to not only read books but to listen to authors read from their work, but what happens before and around the reading itself.  A great interview session at Ohio State University that will be podcasted later this summer (I’ll let you know), and a tour of Thurber’s house, where a portrait of each author who has read there will be hung (that’s me next to Anna Quindlen! well, I don’t know where they’ll hang mine, but it’ll be up there!), as well as a ritual signing of Thurber’s closet, among all the names of all the other writers who have read at Thurber House as well.  In addition, my books will be added to the library in Thurber House.  It’s all very traditional and very quaint and the people who hosted the event were lovely and kind and accomodating.  If you’re ever in Columbus, check out their website to see if they have an event coming up.  It would be well worth it to attend one.

And if you’ve never read any James Thurber, you should start here.

Discussion in America means dissent.”

–James Thurber

Goodreads/Endicott Q&A

If you’re a member of Goodreads (which is a truly awesome social networking service for book lovers), and also a member of the group (on Goodreads) called Endicott Mythic Fiction (an incarnation of the community grown by the amazing Terri Windling and many other amazing writers, artists, musicians, etc, at the Endicott Studio and the Journal of Mythic Arts over many years now) you can participate in a Q&A session with me about my first novel, One for Sorrow, during the last week of this month.  The administrators kindly contacted me a few weeks back and asked if I’d speak with the other members of the group if they chose my book for the monthly reading group, and I was of course more than happy to be invited.  

If you’re not a member of Goodreads, or if you are a member but have yet to join the Endicott Mythic Fiction group, you can do so by clicking here (to become a Goodreads member) or here (to join the Endicott group).  Come, join in on the discussion, and feel free to ask me questions in another week or two.

On my way to NYC

I barely have time to blog these days, and my thoughts are on so many different things that it’s difficult to hold a cohesive and developed thought on any one of them because of that. Tomorrow I’m on my way to NYC to visit friends, do a radio interview on WBAI’s The Hour of the Wolf program, and read at the KGB Bar next Wednesday night.

I always like visiting NYC around Christmas–the lights, the decorations, the many people out on the streets shopping and carousing with friends, heading home a little tipsy from office parties, that sort of thing. In the summer the city feels less welcoming because it seems to trap the heat down in all that pavement, but winter is sublime.

I’m also looking forward to excellent Japanese food (as opposed to the decent we have here–my standards keep lowering year by year, I think) and also for some Thai, which we sadly lack in the old Youngstown.

Anyway, if you’re around town, come see me at the KGB reading and say hi. Or call the radio show and ask me a question. It’s a really early in the morning show. Last year when I was a guest, we had some great heavy breathers call in.

I heart NY.

Gettin ready to rock

Lately I have been in busy hell.  Forgive me if I owe you an email.  Right now, getting revved up to go to Wiscon at the end of this week.  Karaoke Party on Friday night.  Be there or be square, as they say in Paris, or in the 1950s.  Also this Wiscon Alan, Kristin and I will be debuting our first publication in the new Electrum Novella Series, David J. Schwartz’s The Sun Inside, which will rock your socks off.  A review from novelist Elizabeth Bear says: “Beautiful Women.  Exotic cultures.  Fabulous monsters. Audacious heroes. Total war.  Sound familiar?  It should not.”  If that doesn’t pique your interest, I don’t know what will.  Maybe a private karaoke session avec moi dans la Concourse L’hotel en Madison?  Like I said, be there (at the karaoke party) or be square (having not read David Schwartz’s novella The Sun Inside and thus not being able to participate in the conversations gazillions of people will be having about it, sharing communal feelings about a cultural artifact that allows them to talk about, you know, ideas and beliefs)!

So, onward now to make departure preparations.


The near future

This weekend I’ll be reading with Cat Valente at Suspect Thoughts Books at 4903 Clarke Avenue in Cleveland.  Looking forward to a trip up there.  If you’re around the area, stop in and say hi.

On Saturday, April 26th at 3 PM, I’ll be hanging out at Barnes and Noble in Boardman, Ohio with poets, Philip Brady, William Greenway and Nin Andrews.  These are three of our local poets here in Youngstown, two of which teach at YSU in the English department, all of which are fabulous wordsmiths.  Come buy a book of their poetry, have it signed, take their words home and read curled up with coffee, tea or whiskey, or some combination of the above.

I’ll also be in Columbus for the Ohioana Book Festival on May 10th. I get to meet the governor or his wife, or both maybe?  And to go to the governor’s mansion.  I get to bring one person with me.  I wish it were two, but maybe I’ll have to somehow get myself invited again in the future so I can bring various people I know and love who would like to say they have been a guest at the governor’s mansion in Ohio.  (“And all because of my son the novelist,” would be how my mother would finish that statement, as she rides around town on the back of a convertible speaking through a megaphone.)

And then of course at the end of May I’ll be at Wiscon, hosting the karaoke party and getting my groove on (at least on Friday night.)