Happy Bloomsday!

It’s June 16, Bloomsday, the day on which James Joyce’s Ulysses takes place. I’ve read the book before, but this year, beginning today, I’ve undertaken with a group of friends on BookBalloon, to read it again. The discussion starts today. You should join us.

“Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed. . . .”

Buy a book on June 14!

Buy this book! No, seriously. Go to my Amazon.com page and buy this book on June 14. Or you could visit the publisher’s website and buy the book there: Press 53.

Or, if you already have my book (thank you!) and you think it’s too early to start your Christmas shopping (really?), you could purchase one of the other fine books published by Press 53. It’s an impressive and growing list.

Here’s the thing. Books purchased directly from Press 53 between Memorial Day and Flag Day (tomorrow, June 14) will support the publisher’s Books for Soldiers campaign. For ever book Press 53 sells, they’ll send one book to an active duty service member. But if you’d rather buy through Amazon.com, the publisher will also send one book to a service member for every ten books they sell on Amazon.

Summer is almost here. You need to stock up on your books for summer reading!


With my new book scheduled for release on September 1, I’m beginning to schedule events. Lots of events. Teaching, reading, speaking, whatever.

Check out my events schedule to see where I am and where I’m going to be. If you’d like to invite me to appear at an event (festival, conference, class, library, club, whatever), I hope you’ll let me know. I’d love to do it if I can.

Fall for the Book, September 26-30

I am very pleased that I’ll be participating in this year’s Fall for the Book Festival in Northern Virginia. Besides me, there are some terrific writers you’ll want to hear, including Michael Chabon, Karen Russell, Alice Walker, and many others.

The schedule for the festival hasn’t been posted yet, but I’ll pass that along when I hear.

Gathering of Writers, August 18, 2012

The Gathering of Writers, hosted by Press 53 and Prime Number Magazine, is a full-day workshop for fiction and nonfiction writers on August 18, 2012 at the Community Arts Café in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Similar to Press 53’s annual Gathering of Poets, which takes place each spring, the Gathering of Writers features gives participants the opportunity to work with four different workshop teachers throughout the day. I’m delighted to be part of the faculty for the program, along with John McNally, Valerie Nieman, Tracy Crow, Susan Woodring, and Kim Wright. If you are in the Winston-Salem area, or can come for the day, please join us! (Participation is limited to the first 53 registrants.)

And there’s more! The night before the Gathering, Press 53 is hosting a FREE event at the Community Arts Café to celebrate the release of my new book, What the Zhang Boys Know, which you can read more about here.

Why is there no Prosist Laureate?

The Library of Congress has announced that the new Poet Laureate of the United States is Natasha Trethewey. Read more about the appointment here.

I think that’s awesome. I like her work very much and people who know her say she’s a terrific individual. It’s great to have a younger PL for a change (no offense to her immediate predecessors), and nice to have a woman and an African American — who happens to be a wonderful poet. So, kudos to the LoC for this choice.

But why don’t we have a Prosist Laureate along with our Poet Laureate. We all know that literacy needs all the help it can get. Wouldn’t it be great if there were a writer designated by the LoC to promote fiction? Who should it be? Bearing in mind that the Prosist Laureate wouldn’t necessarily be America’s greatest living writer, but someone who would make a great representative of the literary arts, tell me who think we should name to this important position.

Short Story Month: "Cousin Barnaby is Dead" in Joyland

Usually, I’m all over Short Story Month. Not this year, though, and I’m sorry about that. I’ve got a book coming out in the fall and I’m revising another book that will soon be shopped around to publishers (I hope), and I’ve been too busy.

But, a story of mine just appeared in a cool online magazine, Joyland. So that will have to be my contribution to the celebrations of short fiction: Cousin Barnaby is Dead. I hope you like it.

New Update for Prime Number

The latest update of Prime Number Magazine has gone live! 19.2 features flash fiction by Brian Conlon, Robert Kaye, and John Duncan Talbird, a short essay by Alice Lowe, and poetry by Michael Kriesel, and Ira Sukrungruang.

Please take a look! The magazine is always looking for good work, so please submit.