I’m delighted to be moderating a conversation with Chris Stuck (GIVE MY LOVE TO THE SAVAGES) and Theodore C. Van Alst, Jr. (SACRED CITY) for the Book Festival this year. Their brand new story collections are sharp, devastating, and, incredibly, miraculously, also often funny.
What feels like many moons ago, I was interviewed on The Steer podcast, the coolest idea for a show ever: the hosts bring on writers to talk about music, and musicians to talk about books. It’s like a dream come true if you’re a person like me.
The episode we taped that long ago day on March 2nd is now up and live and the final version of the episode is so, so good.
I never listen to interviews I do. It’s just too weird. But because of its conversational format, I really wanted to hear this one, listen to the conversation I had with writers Jeff Alesandrelli and Joshua James Amberson.
As I suspected, it was a fantastic talk about failed projects, giving up, inspiration, not giving up, and the way success can be confusing for a minute. Also, tons of music. Also, I read the beginning of a new story that took me 15 years to write.
Deepest thanks to KBOO’s Ken Jones for dreaming up a short story all-star roundtable of writers for his once a month show Mr. Jones’s Neighborhood, where I had the joy of talking for an hour around the mikes with these luminaries of the literature and the short story – KAREN RUSSELL, LIDIA YUKNAVITCH, & KIMBERLY KING PARSONS.
The conversation could have gone on much longer than the hour we had.
It was an absolute privilege to be in the room with these women and to discuss everything we love about my favorite literary genre.
The title is alongside works by Ursula K. LeGuin, Raymond Carver, Katherine Dunn, Ken Kesey, Charles D’Ambrosio, Lidia Yuknavitch, Barry Lopez, Brian Doyle, Terese Marie Mailhot, Mitchell Jackson, Joe Sacco, Beverly Cleary, Tom Spanbauer, Pete Rock, Ruth Ozeki, Jim Lynch… It’s really quite an incredible honor.
Thanks so much to the booksellers at Powell’s for supporting Northwest writers and for bringing them to the attention of readers everywhere.
The Hugo House Literary Series interviewed each writer reading at this month’s event and asked them to write about three things: the work they’ll share with the audience; a single piece of advice that’s kept them going; and what one superpower they would have if they could.
Check it out here: https://hugohouse.org/exclusive-domingo-martinez-terese-marie-mailhot-margaret-malone/
The advice, in particular, is outstanding.
If you’re in Seattle, come on over to Hugo House where I’ll share new work along with National Book Award finalist Domingo Martinez and the gorgeously fierce writing of Terese Marie Mailhot.
Big thanks to Beth Golay of Marginalia at KMUW for the chance to hang out in the studio and chat about my Visiting Writer gig for the month of February at Wichita State University, and to pimp my upcoming reading at the Ulrich Museum.
I’ve loved my time in Kansas, except for that thing with the arm. But even still, you’re in my heart, Wichita.
This is easily one of the coolest things I’ve ever been invited to do. The podcast STORYTELLERS TELLING STORIES, now in its second season, invites writers to read a story which host extraordinaire Jude Brewer then coordinates and foleys with sound and music and pacing to create a wholly original experience for the listener. It’s magic.
If you haven’t heard an episode yet, get ready. You’re going to get hooked.
Not that it’s about me, but since you’re at my website, I’ll give you the lowdown on where I’ll be reading this year, in case you are looking for me.
FRIDAY, November 9 – LitCrawl Portland
6:00 pm – LITERARY BINGO! at The Big Legrowlski at NW 8th & Couch with Why There Are Words PDX. Prizes!! Hilarity!
7:00 pm – Storytellers Telling Stories Live at Powell’s Employee Union L5 Gallery at NW 9th & Burnside (There will be a live band at this one, playing a coordinated soundtrack with each writer’s story – don’t miss it!)