If you would like to receive my twice-yearly newsletter, with details about recent publications, upcoming events, and a few reading recommendations, please sign up here. Or take a look some highlights below. In either case, thanks very much for your interest.

The Shell Game: Writers Play with Borrowed Forms, the anthology of lyric essays I edited (published last April by University of Nebraska Press), has been on The Millions Top Ten List for four months running, the last two in the #3 spot.
Go, little anthology, go!

Up on LitHub, a speech I delivered at University of New Hampshire last fall about "listening to what our nonfiction is trying to tell us." Short version: listen to your gut. Long version, here

Ander Monson interviewed me for Essay Daily. Not surprisingly, he had a lot of thoughtful questions. We talked about how to put together an anthology, the challenges of form, the power of anger, and book covers.

I contributed to the "Writers Recommend" advice column for Poets & Writers this week about writing through the stuck patches (shut down your frontal lobe by free-writing for a while). I didn't mention hard cider. Not enough room. But I've had luck with that too. 🥃

Earlier this month I moderated a panel called "Writing the Hermit Crab Essay" (a nickname for essays like those in The Shell Game: Writers Play with Borrowed Forms) at the NonfictioNow conference in Phoenix Arizona. Joining me were Dinty W. Moore, Brenda Miller, and Joey Franklin. The panel was standing room only, and a lot of fun.

The Twenty-Seventh Letter of the Alphabet is featured in Poets & Writers current issue in their column Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin, alongside new work from Shelley Jackson, Alice Walker, Haruki Murakami, and John McPhee (say what?!)

Earlier this month I was interviewed by one of the best editors I've ever had the pleasure of working with, Michelle Wildgen, from Tin House. Our conversation was mostly about the challenges of writing a memoir—but we found a way to talk about food and make-up, too.

My friend Julia Werntz and I are collaborating on a full-length chamber opera called The Strange Child,  based on a little known fairy tale by E.T.A. Hoffmann. Julia is composing the music, I'm writing the libretto. The opera will be produced by the Pittsburg-based chamber music group called Kamraton Collective, and will premier in the spring of 2021.

I recently signed with Fiction Advocate to contribute a volume to their wonderful new series called "Afterwords," which the publisher describes as "a living library of the ways literature affects us." My contribution will focus on Karl Ove Knausgaard's My Struggle. It is tentatively titled The Unfamiliar Reader.

Sariah Dorbin interviewed me for the Los Angeles Review of Books. We talked about socks, the importance of curiosity, Bloomsbury's Object Lessons Series, and Martians.

I recently participated in an interesting Q & A about the relationship of form to content on the ArtSake blog, published by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

I'm thrilled to report that my niece Merna gave my book Sock a positive review.


Sock was the #1 bestseller in paperbacks at my local bookstore this week. Thank you Brookline Booksmith! Thank you friends and neighbors!

O Magazine published a short piece of mine called “The Ritual" in their August issue, which has the theme of "Letting Go."

Two of my essays, "Questionnaire for My Grandfather" and "Why Dim Sum Makes Me Feel Tender," have been translated by Ping Xu and published in Chinese literary magazines.