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Posts Tagged ‘radical’

I’m grateful to have an essay listed as a Notable Essay in this year’s Best American Essays, alongside pieces by many friends, colleagues and exceptional writers. Guest editor Cheryl Strayed and series editor Robert Atwan selected my essay “\’Ra-Di-Kel\” from Hotel Amerika, about the resurgence of the word ‘rad,’ cultural recycling and aging. (You can hear me read it here.) High fives to fellow notable essayists Leslie Jamison, Frank Bures, Roxane Gay, Colin Rafferty, Eva Holland, Brian Oliu, Steven Church, Nicole Walker, Ned Stuckey-French, Joe Bonomo, Rolf Potts, Ann Patchett, Gwendolyn Knapp, Rich Cohen, Atul Gawande, and someone named David Sedaris. I hope to see more of his work. http://www.hmhbooks.com/hmh/bestamerican/essaysbookdetails
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In the book’s table of contents, J.D. Daniels’ absorbing, voice-driven Paris Review essay “Letter from Majorca,” which you can read here first. The first section slayed me.
Also included, Frank Cassese’s Guernica essay “It Doesn’t Mean We’re Wasting Our Time,” which involves written correspondence with David Foster Wallace. Prose writers will especially enjoy it.
And another absorbing Sun magazine piece by BAE regular, the inimitable Poe Ballantine. Sample “Free Rent at the Totalitarian Hotel” here, and buy the book this October.
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I’m thrilled to have my essay “\’ra-di-kəl\” in the spring issue of Hotel Amerika. It’s one of my favorite literary magazines for nonfiction. Founding editor David Lazar has dedicted much of his professional life to the essay form. The issues are always eclectic, and in the world of literary magazines, Hotel Amerika is a strange bird. It feels good to have my digressive essay about the term ‘rad’ and the nature of cultural recycling there. Thanks to David Lazar and managing editor Adam McOmber for including it in their pages.

To channel my excitement, here’s footage of me reading this esssay on 3/25/12 at Portland, Oregon’s Alberta Street Pub. It was my first public reading. I go to readings — I used to host them at Powell’s Books — but when it comes to participation, I just assume stay in my burrow and write new stuff. I know there’s a balance to strike between writing and reading; I need to work on it with the same dedication that I’ve been working on my tan.

Kevin Sampsell, author, independent literature advocate, and publisher of Future Tense Press, organized the reading to celebrate the release of Chloe Caldwell’s book of essays, Legs Get Led Astray,  He was generous enough to invite me to participate. And he had the thing filmed. Here’s most of it, with his intro:

In an especially cool twist of fate, my friend, the nonfiction writer Lisa Fetchko has an essay in this issue, too. I’m bad at math, but I know enough to say that the statistical probability of us ending up in the same issue, of all the issues and all the lit mags in the world, is very slim. It makes me want to play the lottery.

You can read more of Lisa’s incredible essay “Nipper” here at AGNI, and this review at Bookforum, (Also, here at n+1, though beware: through some sort of editorial miscalculation, the latter is labeled as fiction. As Lisa will tell you, it’s nonfiction all the way.)

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