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You Are All a Part of Me

Description This collection of essays is about people. My people. In the midst of a pandemic, I am even more aware of the importance of my people— and time. There are friends I consider family who live in Europe and I have no idea when I will be allowed to see them again. There is family in the south and I long for their company. There is a biological relation who I will never see again. There are mentors who literally changed my life, and students whose impact never left. There are New Yorkers and Floridians, and there is immeasurable loss. What you get to take with you when you leave this earth is the following: what you did, how you lived, who you loved, who loved you. All the people that made you — for better or worse — who you are. People matter. To me. People matter, and time: the finite time you have with your people, and the finite time they have with you. About the Author Lisa del Rosso originally trained as a classical singer and completed a post-graduate program at LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art), living and performing in London before moving to New York City. Her plays “Clare’s Room,” and “Samaritan,” have been performed off-Broadway and had public readings, while “St. John,” her third play, was a semi-finalist for the 2011 Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Barking Sycamores Neurodivergent Literature, Razor’s Edge Literary Magazine, Sowing Creek Press, The Literary Traveler, Serving House Journal, VietnamWarPoetry, Young Minds Magazine (London/UK), Time Out New York, The Huffington Post, The Chillfiltr Review, The Neue Rundschau (Germany), Jetlag Café (Germany), and One Magazine (London/UK), for whom she writes theater reviews. Her first book, a hybrid memoir, Confessions of an Accidental Professor, was published in 2018, and she had the pleasure of being interviewed about the book by Brian Lehrer on his WNYC radio program. She is the recipient of a 2018 NYU College of Arts & Sciences Teaching Award, where she currently teaches writing. In 2019, she was awarded a New York Writers Workshop scholarship to Sardinia. Praise del Rosso navigates the sense of the split between our veneer of wholeness and completion that people see compared to the internal sense of fragmentedness that we so often feel. —William Christopher Brown, Ph.D. Read more…

A Slant of Wind: A Summer Afternoon’s Reflections on Writing and Publishing

Description The prolific Georges Simenon was convinced that “writing is not a profession but a vocation of unhappiness.” “Let’s face it,” William Styron concluded, “writing is hell.” But now, under the oaks on a summer afternoon, I remember none of that. I remember only the joy, the exuberance of taking an idea and working with it, of daily tackling and solving the myriad challenges each chapter, each page, every paragraph can present, of reading over a page that seems just right and adding another page to it, and then another. Of seeing pages accumulate and reading them again and again, with mounting satisfaction and pleasure. The essays in this collection include “A Slant of Wind” and Some “Vampire Erotica” • From “Send Me a Man Who Reads” to “Who Reads? Send Me A Wide Receiver” • The Baffling Case of F. Scott Fitzgerald and the Mystery of Best Sellers • An Author in Search of a Character — and Himself: Gore Vidal Meets Denham Fouts • A Character in Search of an Author: The Last Lord Tredegar • De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum: On the Folly of Reviewing Books • Jacqueline Susann: Patron Saint of Writers? • “My Huckleberry Friend”: Memories of Gloria Vanderbilt • “Apply it to the Problem, Gentlemen” About the Author A graduate of Wesleyan University and the University of Virginia School of Law, Arthur T. Vanderbilt II is the author of many books of history, biography, memoirs and essays. His books have been selections of the Book-of-the-Month Club, Reader’s Digest’s “Today’s Best Nonfiction,” the Easton Press Series of the 100 Best Books of American History, and other book clubs, and have been serialized in newspapers and magazines, translated into foreign languages, excerpted in anthologies, and optioned for television and film. He lives in New Jersey. Praise “A Slant of Wind” is wonderfully readable: funny, illuminating, informative, gossipy, wise. Arthur Vanderbilt writes so convincingly of the paradoxes, perils, and pleasures of the writing life, with reference to such notables as Scott Fitzgerald and Gore Vidal, that one would swear he’d lived among them as a close friend. The most beautiful of the recollections is “My Huckleberry Friend: Memories of Gloria Vanderbilt” — an account of a late-in-life (for Gloria) friendship with her writer-cousin Arthur from a distant branch of the Vanderbilt family. Highly recommended.” — Joyce Carol Oates Books by Arthur T. Read more…

Our Literary Travels

Description Our literary travels have taken us to Miami, Prague, the West of Ireland, Bruges/Brugge, Copenhagen, Broughton Castle, Bath, Haut-Koenigsbourg, Stockholm, Danish Prisons, Buonconvento, Paris, London, South Africa, Iceland, the Virgin Islands, and the Isle of Mull. Once there, we walked in the footsteps of Jane Austen, Ernest Hemingway, Fyodor Dostoevsky, James Boswell and Samuel Johnson, Charles Dickens, Virginia Woolf, George Bernard Shaw, William Butler Yeats, Knut Hamsun, Halldór Laxness, Giovanni Boccaccio, William Burroughs, Georges Rodenbach, Heinrich Böll, Hyam Plutzik, Franz Kafka, and many others. These twenty essays reveal our discoveries. About the Authors Walter Cummins has published seven short story collections-Witness, Where We Live, Local Music, The End of the Circle, The Lost Ones, Habitat: stories of bent realism, Telling Stories: Old and New. He also has two collections of essays and reviews-Knowing Writers and Death Cancer Madness and Meaning. More than one hundred of his stories, as well as memoirs, essays, and reviews, have appeared in magazines such as New Letters, Kansas Quarterly, Virginia Quarterly Review, Under the Sun, Arts & Letters, Confrontation, Bellevue Literary Review, Connecticut Review, in book collections, and on the Web. With Thomas E. Kennedy, he is founding co-publisher of Serving House Books, an outlet for novels, mnd eamoirs, and story, poetry, and essay collections. For more than twenty years, he was editor of The Literary Review. He teaches in the graduate creative writing programs at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Thomas E. Kennedy’s many books include novels, story and essay collections, literary criticism, anthologies, and translations. The four novels of the Copenhagen Quartet were published by Bloomsbury in the U.S. and the U.K. (In the Company of Angels, 2010; Falling Sideways, 2011; Kerrigan in Copenhagen, A Love Story, 2013; and Beneath the Neon Egg, 2014). His two collections from New American Press are Last Night My Bed a Boat of Whiskey Going Down (2010) and Riding the Dog: A Look Back at America (2008). His stories, essays, travel pieces, interviews, poems, and translations appear regularly in American and European periodicals. His writing has won an O. Henry Award, a Pushcart Prize, a National Magazine Award, a Charles Angoff Award, and other prizes. With Walter Cummins, he is founding co-publisher of Serving House Books. Read more…

A Screenwriter’s Notebook: Reflections, Analyses, and Chalk Talks on the Craft and Business of Writing for the Movies

Description Of all the creative elements that go into making a movie, probably none is more misunderstood by those outside the industry than the role of the screenwriter. A writer but not an author, indispensable yet utterly disposable, the screenwriter exists in an unwieldy blend of creative and write-to-order mercenary functions. A Screenwriter’s Notebook is one insider’s explanation of the ways screenwriters and screenplays actually work (and don’t work) in moviemaking. About the Author Bill Mesce, Jr. is a screenwriter as well as an award-winning author and playwright. He is currently an adjunct instructor at several colleges and universities in New Jersey where he lives with his family. Among his many books are several respected works about film and television, including Overkill: The Rise and Fall of Thriller Cinema, Inside the Rise of HBO: A Personal History of the Company that Transformed Television, The Rules of Screenwriting and Why You Should Break Them, and most recently, The Wild Bunch:The American Classic that Changed Westerns Forever. Read more…

The Kuhreihen Melody

Description The Kuhreihen Melody will be released on December 3, 2019. It may be pre-ordered by clicking Buy Now. Once considered a disease, nostalgia has been described as a yearning to return to “a past that never was, “a place that can only be reached through the imagination. In its fifteen essays, The Kuhreihen Melody examines nostalgia from various angles through an array of lenses. In the title essay, the author revisits his ghost-ridden hometown. “Swimming with Oliver” presents a mosaic of memories of his watery friendship with author-neurologist Oliver Sacks .”The Strange Case of Arthur Silz “investigates the six¬ty-year-old murder of a Greenwich Village artist on a mountain in Mexico, while “The Opening Credits of Rebel Without a Cause” conducts a granular dissection of the first minute and twenty-three seconds of that iconic American film. From barbershops to stripes to a boy’s drowning death blamed on the author, The Kuhreihen Melody turns a wistful eye on bygone people, places, and things, and finally on nostalgia itself. About the Author Peter Selgin is the author of Drowning Lessons, winner of the 2007 Flannery O’Connor Award for Fiction. He has written a novel, three books on the craft of writing, and several children’s books. Confessions of a Left-Handed Man, his memoir-in-essays, was a finalist for the William Saroyan International Prize. His memoir, The Inventors, won the 2017 Housatonic Book Award and was voted one of the best nonfiction books of the year by Library Journal, whose reviewer called it “an instant classic.” His full-length drama, A God in the House, based on Dr. Jack Kevorkian and his “suicide machine,” premiered at the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference and was optioned for Off-Broadway. A visual artist as well as a writer, Selgin’s paintings and illustrations have been featured in The New Yorker, Forbes, Gourmet, Outside, and other publications. He is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, Georgia, where he is the nonfiction editor of Arts & Letters, an international journal of poetry and prose. Praise “The riveting quality of this startling collection of essays strips it of even awhiff of sentimentality. Selgin understands that nostalgia means ‘the return of pain’; that it is in longing that we discover the existential grief of being human. Desire weaves its way through this book like a river. Read more…

Nine Nails

Description This is the story of the decline of a marriage and of a woman, stepping out of the ashes—not quite a Phoenix yet, but dusting off her wings from the fire of an anguished, codependent love. It is the story of betrayal, infidelity, illness, addiction and loss. It is also a story of hope and, most of all, of personal resilience. About the Author T Nicole Cirone lives next door to her parents in Upper Darby, PA, with her teenaged daughter and two very literary cats. Ms. Cirone is an English teacher and a yoga instructor. Her work has appeared in several literary journals, including Serving House Journal, Ovunque Siamo: A Journal of Italian-American Writing, Hippocampus, Perigee, Red River Review and Philadelphia Stories; and in three anthologies: The Best of Philadelphia Stories Anthology, Reaching Beyond the Saguaros: A Prosimetric Travelogue and Gateways. She is also a prose reader for The Literary Review. Ms. Cirone holds undergraduate degrees in Italian Studies and Political Science and an MA in English from Rosemont College, and a dual-concentration MFA in Creative Writing Poetry and Creative Non-Fiction from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Praise Nine Nails is a haunting travelogue of courtship and marriage. “Today,” Cirone writes in her vows, “I am marrying my best friend”—what better promise of happiness? She captures, in aching clarity, the resiliency of the human heart and the fragilities of a compromised mind. She’s written for us a chronicle of love, both beautiful and horrifying—and she’s done so with a clear eye and with compassion. A heartbreaking work of hope and generosity. —Renée Ashley, author of Minglements In Nine Nails, Nicole Cirone accomplishes what’s wonderful: a candid, charming, ultra-readable three dimensional account of a dreadfully complicated love. She dives in with heart and courage, and unflinching perspective. With every dramatic misstep, it’s almost impossible not to tremble with resonance and empathy—who hasn’t, somehow, loved badly too. Minna Zallman Proctor, author of Landslide: True Stories Interview with T. Nicole Cirone in Ovunque Siamo. Read more…

Anecdotes and Antidotes: People I’ve Known or Known of Including Myself

Description When it comes to a good story, I’m an elephant served a single salted peanut. I suspect I’m no different than most in this respect, but test yourself to see if I’m right: read “The Dean’s Story” and ask yourself if you aren’t hungry for more.“Heirs to the Vlasic pickle fortune, Dean Howard Cox and his wife, Roxy, lived many years on a boggy acre with a stream meandering through their front yard in Clemson. Both were long-time wildflower enthusiasts living as they were on the banks of a small Lake Hartwell tributary. So, when Lake Jocassee in the mountains to the north began rising toward ‘full pond,’ and a friend whose property was scheduled to be inundated invited the dean to transplant a few Oconee Bells, Howard leapt at the opportunity to assist an endangered species. “After several hours of digging and hauling the plants to the trunk of his Bentley Continental, he headed home in muddy clothes and boots. On the way back, he stopped in a country grocery to buy a soft drink and a pack of peanuts. As he waited to pay, the customer in front of him dropped a dime. Always the gentleman, Howard picked it up and offered it to its owner. Said he after giving his deanship a quick assessment, ‘Keep it—you look like you need it more than I do.’ “So, Howard quietly pocketed the coin, paid for his purchases, and went back to his car. As he was preparing to leave, the careless customer tapped on the driver’s-side window of the dean’s Bentley. As Howard was rolling down his window, the man said, ‘I want my dime back.’” There are dozens more like this one which I’ve collected over forty years in and out of academe. About the Author Born December 12, 1941 at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, DC, Skip Eisiminger is the son of Dorothy and Sterling Eisiminger. In 1959, he graduated from Mt. Vernon HS (his tenth school in twelve years). In 1963 while serving three and a half years in the Army Security Agency, he married Ingrid Barmwater of Helmstedt, West Germany. With her committed assistance, he graduated from Auburn University in 1967 (BS) and 1968 (MA). The same year, he settled his family in Clemson, SC after taking a job teaching English and interdisciplinary humanities at Clemson University. Read more…

Inventing the World: The Fiction Writer’s Guidebook for Craft and Process

Description This book is meant to stimulate thought on the various elements of fiction and on the techniques of writing good fiction and avoiding the bad. Most of the articles in this collection are on the various elements of fiction — character, point of view, structure, theme and idea — and how to handle these well. Also included are some articles on different technical challenges a writer is likely to face, including handling dialogue, writing solid prose, creating voice, and avoiding clichés. Beyond these fundamentals, other articles consider different lengths of fiction, from the shorter to the longer: flash fiction, the short story, and the novella. The book ends with interviews of a number of notable writers, three of them Pulitzer Prize winners, a National Book Award winner, and one a winner of both prestigious awards. Like the articles, these interviews focus on the craft of fiction. About the Author Jack Smith has published four novels: Miss Manners for War Criminals (2017), Being (2016), Icon (2014), and Hog to Hog, which won the 2007 George Garrett Fiction Prize and was published by Texas Review Press in 2008. He has published stories in a number of literary magazines, including Southern Review, North American Review, Texas Review, Xconnect, In Posse Review, and Night Train. His reviews have appeared widely in such publications as Ploughshares, Georgia Review, American Book Review, Prairie Schooner, Mid-American Review, Pleiades, Missouri Review, Xconnect, and Environment magazine. He has published a few dozen articles in both Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market and The Writer magazine. His creative writing book, Write and Revise for Publication: A 6-Month Plan for Crafting an Exceptional Novel and Other Works of Fiction, was published in 2013 by Writer’s Digest Books. His coauthored nonfiction environmental book entitled Killing Me Softly was published by Monthly Review Press in 2002. Praise “A generous collection of essays, interviews, and conversations that does nothing less than throw a light onto the mystery of the creative process, Jack Smith’s Honing the Elements of Fiction is an indispensable guide for any writer at any stage of his or her career.  Highly recommended. Read more…

Art, Sex, Politics

Description In a new, provocative collection of essays, William Eaton, the author of Surviving the Twenty-First Century, shares the pleasures of a life full of questions, tastes, reading and more visual arts. “That we are animals, that is as sure as ever. How savagely we behave toward one another and toward other species and inorganic others. How we rub affectionately up against one another and—however desperately—make love.” About the Author In between drawings, William Eaton has been an award-winning journalist, novelist, writer of erotic fiction, intellectual essays, and dialogues. Surviving the Twenty-First Century, a collection of his essays from Montaigbakhtinian.com, was published by Serving House in 2015. One of Eaton’s dialogues, The Professor of Ignorance Condemns the Airplane, was staged in New York in 2014. He is the Editor of Zeteo: The Journal of Interdisciplinary Writing. He holds graduate degrees from Columbia and the City University of New York, and a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley. Praise Engaged, non-doctrinaire, well-read, independent-minded, Eaton shows us that in an age of media distraction and academic specialization a thinking person can still make a path. – Sven Birkerts, Editor of Agni and author of The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age Beautiful and wise and moving book! – Amy Friedman, author of Desperado’s Wife: A Memoir and Nothing Sacred· A Conversation with Feminism A delicacy full of surprises and pleasures. Entertaining, yet packs a quiet intellectual wallop. – Claire Stewart, author of As Long as we Both Shall Eat: A History of Wedding Food and Feasts Full of insights and speculations, and very enjoyable to read. In the Eaton world linkages are everywhere. – Nahid Rachlin, author of Persian Girls (memoir), Foreigner, and Jumping Over Fire (novels) William Eaton finds arresting themes in unusual places. The writing is masterful and wonderfully absorbing .” – Edward F. Mooney, author of On Soren Kierkegaard· Dialogue, Polemics, Lost Intimacy and Time William Eaton never doesn’t think. You may not always (or ever) agree with him. But I don’t always agree with Montaigne either. For the price of a sandw ich plus tax, Eaton’s little book could start you thinking about your own life, perhaps in ways you never before considered. – Nina Mishkin, writer and lawyer So thought-provoking and so poetic that I didn’t want it to end. It makes the reader want to respond in some way. Read more…

Confessions of an Accidental Professor

Description Confessions of an Accidental Professor reveals ten years of teaching college freshman through the prism of an adjunct professor. In this hybrid memoir, essays are interspersed with anonymous student evaluations, emails, and chair observations. The issues range from serious (rape and sexual assault of college students) to silly (being contacted by a twenty-five-year-old former student who sent photos of himself stripped to the waist and asked for a date.) The relationships between students and teacher reveal the challenges and satisfactions of an underpaid adjunct professor with humor, drama and immediacy. About the Author Lisa del Rosso originally trained as a classical singer and completed a post-graduate program at LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art), living and performing in London before moving to New York City. Her plays Clare’s Room and Samaritan, have been performed off-Broadway and had public readings, respectively, while St. John, her third play, was a semi-finalist for the 2011 Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Barking Sycamores, Neurodivergent Literature, Razor’s Edge Literary Magazine, The Literary Traveler, Serving House Journal, VietnamWarPoetry, Young Minds Magazine (London/UK), Time Out New York, The Huffington Post, The Neue Rundschau (Germany), Jetlag Café (Germany), and One Magazine (London/UK), for whom she writes theater reviews. She teaches writing at New York University. Praise As an account of the contemporary academic adjunct catastrophe, del Rosso’s book should be required reading for full-time professors and their administrative bosses who are charged with maintaining the integrity of their institutions—of course, they’ll likely flinch in the face of the reality that defines the life of the adjunct professor and that seems beyond redeeming and out of their control.  It’s not, and that’s an important part of this story. However, what makes this rollicking, painful, smart, hilarious, and honest memoir required reading for all of us is its enormous heart: in adversity, del Rosso upholds and celebrates her students and her life—it is, in the end, a triumphant embrace. —David Daniel, Co-founder and former president of the Affiliated Faculty of Emerson College; Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Read more…