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Interview on WFIU: Indiana Public Media
On July 9, 2019 | 0 Comments

Last week WFIU Public Radio: Indiana Public Media broadcast a one-hour interview with me in their Profiles series.  I talked about some things I haven’t talked about much publicly before – my background in eastern North Carolina, my studies in Economics and the idea of value, parenting, and my new project on the LA band, […]

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2019 Guggenheim Fellowship
On April 20, 2019 | 0 Comments

Word arrived this month that I won a 2019 Guggenheim Fellowship for my project on the rock band Jane’s Addiction’s original years 1985-1991 in LA and beyond.  I’m surprised and elated and grateful.  I’ve applied for that fellowship a half dozen times over twenty years.  I guess seventh time is charm.  Here is the Guggenheim’s […]

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What Wasn’t There: Gene Smith’s Sink in New Light
On January 16, 2019 | 0 Comments

A remarkable new essay about, in part, Gene Smith’s Sink was published this week by Affidavit magazine.  In “What Wasn’t There” London-based writer Emily LaBarge considers Sink alongside writers I revere including novelists Nathalie Léger, Lydia Davis, and Fleur Jaeggy.  In particular, Léger’s Suite for Barbara Loden is one of my favorite books of recent years.  I’ve read it three […]

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My Top Reading Experiences of 2018
On December 13, 2018 | 0 Comments

2018 was the year I dug deep into work of Susan Howe, spurred by this great piece by Emily LaBarge in BookForum.  I’m now using a line by Howe as an Epigraph for my new manuscript, Which Direction Home.  That line is: “I am an American poet writing in the English language. I have loved watching […]

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Jason Molina’s Love and Work
On November 28, 2018 | 0 Comments

We moved to Bloomington, Indiana two years ago and one of the things I’ve done living here is research Jason Molina, whose label, Secretly Canadian, is four blocks from our house on the west side of downtown.  Some results of my research so far were published last week in two forms – first, a commissioned […]

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Jesse Helms and Jane’s Addiction
On November 7, 2018 | 0 Comments

One reason why I’m currently researching Jane’s Addiction is because their show I attended on November 13, 1990 in Chapel Hill, N.C. was a week after the first Senate race of Jesse Helms v. Harvey Gantt, who was an African-American architect that led the race the whole time before barely losing at the end, after […]

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“This is Why” by Tracy K. Smith
On September 26, 2018 | 0 Comments

Here’s the first paragraph of Tracy K. Smith‘s introduction to American Journal, an extraordinary new collection of 50 poems by 50 living poets selected by her.  I think hers is the best explanation for this kind of work that I’ve ever read.  And I believe it applies to all sorts of documentary poetry, not just writing. […]

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Paperback of Gene Smith’s Sink with New (Original) Cover
On August 30, 2018 | 0 Comments

The paperback edition of Gene Smith’s Sink came out last week.  The cover, I just learned today when I opened a box of them, is the one we (me, my editor, the designer) strongly preferred for the hardback, with no images.  It’s a literary book, we argued, not a photography book.  But the higher-ups overrode […]

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Sink at Big Ears 2018
On August 9, 2018 | 0 Comments

This photograph just in from longtime collaborator Kate Joyce in Santa Fe.  She made it just after the Gene Smith’s Sink event at Big Ears.  Jason Moran and Rachel Grimes played piano tunes intermixed with my readings and Jem Cohen’s short film based on a chapter in my book.  I’m lucky to be able to work with […]

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Homage to Nicole Rudick
On July 3, 2018 | 0 Comments

Today is Nicole Rudick’s last day as managing editor of The Paris Review, a job she’s held for eight years. She’s moving on to her own writing including finishing a book.  Her new era is exciting, but it gives me pause to look back.  I wouldn’t be the writer I am today if it hadn’t […]

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