The Seattle Times had it precisely right when they described my friend Midge's short story collection, Forgetting English, this way. When the collection first won the Spokane Prize for Fiction and was published a couple of years ago, I devoured its delicate stories and gave several copies of the book as gifts. Now, Forgetting English has been re-released (with some new stories!) by Press53 -- a publisher that is offering some fabulous fiction to the world this year.
Soon to come from Press53 is the novel Hustle, by my friend and former colleague Jason Skipper. Jason and I worked together at Pacific Lutheran University several years ago. But half a decade before that, our first publications in literary magazines appeared side-by-side in the University of New Mexico's Blue Mesa Review. Jason's short story "Buddy" and my essay "Learning to Distinguish Refrigerators and Bicycles." Jason will celebrate Hustle at King's Books in Tacoma on Friday, June 24. I hope to be there -- and so should you!
Midge and I will celebrate our books together on several occasions, in five different states, in the coming months:
- On Friday, July 15 at 6 pm, Midge and I will read together at Orca Books in Oympia, Washington. And the following week we will both teach at the Port Townsend Writers' Conference at Centrum.
- On Sunday, September 11 from 3 to 5 pm, we will co-teach a writing workshop -- "Writing Global Stories with a Local Heart" -- at Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, Vermont.
- On the evening of Thursday, September 14, we'll offer that workshop again at RiverRun Bookstore in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
- Also this fall, we'll offer a reading or two in Massachusetts as well as in Iowa -- stay tuned for details!