Bourbon Cowboy

The adventures of an urbane bar-hopping transplant to New York.

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Location: New York, New York, United States

I'm a storyteller in the New York area who is a regular on NPR's "This American Life" and at shows around the city. Moved to New York in 2006 and am working on selling a memoir of my years as a greeting card writer, and (as a personal, noncommercial obsession) a nonfiction book called "How to Love God Without Being a Jerk." My agent is Adam Chromy at Artists and Artisans. If you came here after hearing about my book on "This American Life" and Googling my name, the "How to Love God" book itself isn't in print yet, and may not even see print in its current form (I'm focusing on humorous memoir), but here's a sample I've posted in case you're curious anyway: Sample How To Love God Introduction, Pt. 1 of 3. Or just look through the archives for September 18, 2007.) The book you should be expecting is the greeting card book, about which more information is pending. Keep checking back!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Post-Update Update, or Another Quixotic High Concept Is Born

Money came! You can basically relax now and wait for me to repay you. FYI.

In other news, I thought I'd mention that I'm overloaded with light verse poems at the moment, and there's no reason that I couldn't make a book out of what I've got, and (if I may risk an immodest assertion) no particular reason I can see that people wouldn't want to buy it. (No one who ever grew up loving Shel Silverstein, anyway.) The problem is, I can't seem to convince a single agent to even look at what I've got. The only way, I've been repeatedly told, to get anyone to pick up a book of funny poems (or a book of humor, for that matter) is to be famous for something else first. So that sucks.

However, there is one guy in the country who really does make a living writing (among other things) light verse poetry: Calvin Trillin. And he's really good at it---so good, in fact, that he has just published a book of poems about the Bush administration, compiled (and, I believe, slightly expanded) from a series he does for Time Magazine. And here's the thing: he's coming to The Strand Bookstore in mid-June to read from and promote said book! So my plan is, in the absence of any other influential fans, I'm gonna go there (and buy his book: support light verse!) and give him a sheaf of some of my poems. If he's the guy I think he is, he'll hopefully be impressed and maybe kick open a small door somewhere. (And then I'll kick one open for my former co-worker Scott Emmons.) I'm thinking five pages would be enough to show that I'm consistently good and can produce plenty more.

I may, of course, be delusional. But if it doesn't work, I'm no worse off than I am now, and at least the poems will be read by a fellow practitioner.

So here's your chance to be an enabler! If any of the poems I've written on this blog seem like especially strong candidates for a five-page sampler, please let me know! I've got a month to assemble a sort of light-verse C.V. , and I'd welcome any help y'all are willing to give. (And if you want to vote for some poem I've e-mailed you, feel free to post it in the comments.)

By the way, I've also noticed something wrong with my website: it has no links to other websites. So if you have a website, send me the address and I'll see if I can figure out how to link to it.


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