Review of The From-Aways

My review of CJ Hauser’s moving debut novel, The From-Aways, is in the current issue of Pleiades.


I first came across Hauser’s work when I read her short story, “A Bad Year for Apples,” in TriQuarterly.

You can find more about Hauser and her work at

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Elite Groups in SFF

Thanks to Kate Lechler for running my short essay, “Elite Groups in SFF,” in her column over at

In the essay, I look at the similarities between elite groups of warriors in everything from Stars Wars, to Dune, to Avatar, to Game of Thrones, and I talk about why we get so invested in these characters to begin with.

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Wedding in a Bookstore


This past Saturday, I got married in a bookstore! Thanks to Joseph-Beth Booksellers, our friends and families, and to Brenda.

Hat-tip to Katie Farley for all the amazing pictures. I think this one might be my favorite.

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Wabash Prize Winner

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I’m so thrilled that Kelly Link chose my story, “Ghost Jeep,” as winner of Sycamore Review‘s Wabash Prize in Fiction. I’ve been a fan of Link’s work for a long time. She’s one of the finest storytellers we have, and I’m grateful that she would like one of my stories.

This story is important to me for a lot of reasons. It draws a lot on my teenage years driving around rural Arkansas in my best friend’s Jeep Cherokee. There’s a lot of home in it. And after reading this story at Southern Arkansas University’s Youth Writing Festival and getting such a great response from the attendees, I’m happy that it found such a good home.

Here are Link’s comments on the story:”What a pleasure to read a ghost story in which it is the ghosts who are haunted by the  living. This story had the structure of an urban (suburban?) legend that, rendered in the third person plural, gained back some of its strangeness. The ghosts, doomed to go down their roads and town in plural perpetuity, are mirrored by the town (also an entity made up of many )which haunts and is haunted by them. The girl, on the other hand, is nicely sketched in as something singular. Why is she drawn toward dangerous roads and the dead? Honestly, I’m happier not to know. Isn’t that what adolescence is about? Looking for people who want judge you, and exits from the place that you don’t want to be anymore? The rules of the supernatural are also nicely clear, and the story feels grounded in coherent details of life, and how we regret the things that were done to us as well as the things that we are no longer capable of doing.”

You can find the official announcement here.

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Folk & Fiction, Cincinnati

Last Thursday, I got to read a ghost story alongside Brenda Peynado who read an alien story. Thanks to Brooks Rexroat for making it happen and to all our friends who came out.


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AWP Readings

I have a couple of off-site readings scheduled at AWP next week, one through New American Press and one through the Cambridge Writers Workshop.

Looking forward to seeing lots of old friends and great writers in Minneapolis!


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UC Trans Writ Large: Writing Difference

This Saturday, I’m reading in Cincinnati with Brenda Peynado, Ondrej Pazdirek, and Katie Knoll.

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For full conference information, you can find the program here.

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Sigma Tau Delta Convention 2015


I had such a great time at the English Honor Society’s convention in Albuquerque. Thanks to everyone who came out for my craft talk, the reading at Bookworks, the bad poetry event, and the publishing panel. And thanks to everyone who bought books. If you asked me to sign it, I wrote something cryptic and weird above the signature for you. It will make more sense after you read the collection.

Highlights included Emily Rose Cole’s amazing poetry, all the great panels and readings, and the fact that my cab driver grew up with Rudolfo Anaya.

This is my eighth or ninth convention, and I always get so much out of the experience. We have the best students. You guys are amazing. Thank you, thank you.

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Calvino Prize Reading at UL

Thanks to everyone who came out for my reading and bought books at The Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture Since 1900. The room was packed, and people asked great questions.


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Midwestern Friendly Reading Series

Thanks to Lauren Mallet and Purdue University for hosting the Midwestern Friendly Reading Series last weekend. All the readers were great, and I had a really good time.


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