…They may not mean to, but they do.” So writes Philip Larkin in “This Be the Verse.”
In the latest edition of Creative Nonfiction, I moderate a roundtable discussion with Michelle Herman, Heather Kirn Lanier, and Amy Monticello, in which we try to figure out if and how we can write about our kids without messing them up (too much). And as a side issue: Is it ever okay as a writer/parent to share how incredibly cute it was the time your kid ate that grape?
I’m thrilled to have a new essay in the latest issue of River Teeth. The piece is called “Partisans,” and it’s about the time I dragged my wife to the outskirts of Valladolid, Mexico, to the home of a racist Crimson Tide fan, just so I could watch an important Ohio State game (the 2005 matchup with Texas, the first time the two schools had ever met in football). Not one of my proudest moments. Come to River Teeth for my yapping; stay for stunning essays by writers such as Sonya Huber, Jerald Walker, and Rebecca McClanahan.
Watershed is back with a new single just in time for summer. Please consider pre-ordering your copy now at Kickstarter. The two new songs were produced by Tim Patalan at The Loft in Michigan. Plus we’re throwing in a few old-school bonus tracks, including two produced by the legendary Willie Phoenix way back in 1990. The CD single will be officially released (when else?) on the 5th of July. For much more information, check out the Kickstarter project page.
I’m thrilled to report that my next book, an essay collection called Partisans, will be published by Black Lawrence Press in May of 2017. The pieces in Partisans are about choosing-up sides. From a trip through Mexico that my wife and I financed by attending timeshare presentations (“The Low Season”) to a suburban encounter with a soon-to-be murderer (“The Mercy Kill”) to a night watching college football with a racist Crimson Tide fan (“Partisans”), I take on the question of where and why we draw boundaries—both personal and cultural. What’s the border between us and them? How do we decide who’s in, who’s out, and who belongs where? More news and information to come over the next year.
The new issue of Brevity Magazine features an essay in which I argue in support of the wisdom of everybody’s favorite flying nanny, especially as it relates to writing creative nonfiction: Mary Poppins and the Art of Sweetening with Scene. Confused about what Poppins and the craft of creative nonfiction have in common? Click HERE to read my little discourse on the topic.
The fine folks at Superstition Review, the student-run journal at Arizona State University, have just published a new essay of mine, The Get Down. The piece is about race, parenting, and my utter failure as a first grade Michael Jackson impersonator. Dancing…Dancing…Dancing!
Ah, spring in the Southland. The crack of the bat. The blooming of the azaleas. The dusting of the pine pollen (free tip for allergy sufferers: eating local honey is good; eating local bee pollen is better).
There’s lots happening down my way. Watershed is working on new tunes. I’m putting together a couple book proposals. And in the next few months I’ll have work appearing in River Teeth, Creative Nonfiction, Brevity, and Superstition Review. More information about all of this coming soon. Watch this space.