It's pride month and, as they say, we get by with a little help from our friends. And, in this case, allies. What allies, you ask? The LADIES.
That's why I'm super excited to be featured on WOMEN’s pride month reading list alongside the likes of Manuel Betancourt, Savran Kelly, Elliot Page, Brandon Taylor, and other ubertalents.
Check it out here.
I’m not even sure how to process this reality. For me, during my early education, reading was a fundamental and truly formative experience. It was transformative, transportive, it exposed me to a spectrum of perspectives and lived experiences. It was from reading that my love of language was born.
Somehow now, I’ve become a part of that experience for others. Seen below are students from Will Rogers High School in Oklahoma holding a selection of books from my publisher. And, my book numbers among them. I am without words.
You're invited to read that title in your best Lori Beth Denberg voice.
You're also invited to come watch me embarrass myself as I appear for a Local Author Visit at the library of my hometown: the Middletown Township Public Library.
I'll be reading from my recently released memoir and answering questions! And, so that I don't have to resort to asking myself questions in a variety of voices so as to simulate actual attendees, YOU SHOULD COME!
I mean it. Literally. Be there.
And, it always helps to let the venue know you're planning to attend.
So, be kind. Rewind. And register HERE.
I don't even know what to say about this one. Somehow, somewhere, someone who was feeling particularly generous saw fit to list my book, I'M NEVER FINE, among StyleCaster's recent list of the "Best Books of 2023...So Far." That someone is Greg Mania, and he is a credit to his last name.
For an emerging writer like myself to find his work numbering among the likes of Maggie Smith, Davon Loeb, Richard Mirabella, Gina Chung, and more...? This isn't real life. I'm not even sure it's fantasy.
But, I'm definitely feeling a little high about it. And, YOU can read the whole list HERE.
One thing for which I'll always be grateful is the collection of connections and relationships I've formed since sneaking in the back door of the writing community. This place, which can be so daunting and expansive and loaded with enough masters to make even the most formidable artists shake in their skins, is home to some of the most wonderful individuals who are accessible, inclusive, and generous with their time. Such generosity can be seen in these two latest reviews for I'm Never Fine in Barrelhouse and bookreporter.
See below for some highlights and links to the full coverage.
“One of the joys of Lezza’s writing is its own shapeshifting; sometimes he calls the reader to follow him as he tries to sketch a Polaroid of a memory, while other times he reaches for a poetic brush to color in impressionistic, lyric moments.” - Manuel Betancourt, Barrelhouse
"In its wide emotional amplitude and stark dissection of physical realities, I’M NEVER FINE counters with pathos, vulnerability and a tender germ of healing that starts its growth when we’re least aware of it happening." - Pauline Finch, bookreporter
This past Sunday, 4/9, it was my honor to be a featured guest on KTEP 88.5 FM's Words on a Wire, hosted by acclaimed author (and my former professor) Tim Z. Hernandez.
Words on a Wire has become one of the most established and influential radio shows on writing and creativity. Over the years, they have had guests from first-time writers with new books to the world’s most established thinkers, such as former and current US Poet Laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, and great thinkers who have dedicate their lives to making the world a better place.
It was humbling to have an opportunity to discuss my book, the writing process, the period following release, and even found an opportunitiy to mutually gush about Raquel Gutiérrez.
If you weren't able to listen live, the episode is now available as a podcast! And, you can listen at the links below:
It was my honor, this week, to be featured by the Miss Manhattan non-fiction reading series on their ninth anniversary.
Miss M has been written about in the likes of The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Time Out New York, and more.
And, it was my pleasure to share my work the stage with Elyssa Maxx Goodman, Jodi M. Savage, Denny, and Ben Seagren - all artists overwhelmingly my better.
I was extremely humbled and thankful to the good people at Longreads for featuring an excerpt from my new book among the superlative work they publish.
Founded in 2009, the organization has dedicated itself to helping people find and share the best longform nonfiction storytelling on the web. Over the years, they've been nominated for National Magazine Awards and they've been cited for digital excellence by the Peabody Awards, among others. Suffice it to say, I was rather floored by the selection.
Give it a read HERE!
It was my absolute pleasure to be welcomed by Debutiful last week and to share an excerpt from and discuss my newly released memoir, "I'm Never Fine."
Debutiful is a website and podcast where readers can discover debut authors. It has been named a Best Book Podcast by Book Riot, Town and Country, and Los Angeles Review of Books.
Click HERE to listen!
All posts are authored by Joe unless otherwise noted.