ONLINE EVENT: Gregory Wolos & Michael C. Keith
Gregory Wolos and Michael C. Keith join us to discuss their latest books.
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ABOUT DEAR EVERYONE
In Dear Everyone, Gregory J. Wolos, delivers a collection of short stories that reflect Kafka's assertion that literature "must be an ice ax to break the sea frozen inside us." The characters Wolos creates come with the honesty of flawed humans. Whether they are cruel, insensitive, manipulative or ignorant, there is a belief that all is right with the world if only you'll let it be. In one story, Wolos discusses the murmuration of starlings, "With special cameras they've determined that each individual bird only looks at the nearest six or seven around it. Visually, anyway, no single bird knows what the whole flock of thousands is up to. The shape the flock takes seems like it has to be somebody else's idea, not theirs." This is the metaphorical "ice ax" Wolos uses to pick away at that frozen sea within us. We read his stories as if the characters are the six or seven birds closest to us, but when we step back and look at the whole clouded sky, we see ourselves, we see that the triumph of the human spirit is possible.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
More than ninety of Gregory Wolos’s short stories have been published in journals like Glimmer Train, Georgia Review, descant, Florida Review, The Pinch, Post Road, Baltimore Review, The Los Angeles Review, PANK, and Southern Humanities Review. He has authored three collections: Women of Consequence (Regal House Publishing, 2019); Dear Everyone (Duck Lake Books, 2020); The Thing About Men, (forthcoming 2021, Cervena Barva Press.) Visit www.gregorywolos.com for full lists of publications and awards.
ABOUT INSOMNIA 11
Among the diverse array of subjects contributing to the sleeplessness of the characters in Michael C. Keith’s Insomnia 11 are post-death aging, ethnic cleansing, word aphasia, multi-limbed aliens, pleas from the grave, missing stone walls, extraterrestrial landing strips, high peak diving, vanished spouses, Serengeti ghosts, child abduction, suicidal monks, news bulletins, imagined illnesses, creeping senility, Steinbeck’s wraith, sedative holidays, wound sculpting, stupid AI machines, crude cultures, hillbilly haikus, evil caffeine, cabbage theory, Elvis versus the Colonel, blackface hijinks, burning artists, warehoused elders, geomagnetic sub-storms, off-shelf shopping, children in drop zones, and NRA membership. In Dark Night of the Soul, St. John of the Cross writes of spiritual crisis and the joy of being guided by God as he leaves the mortal world . . . enough to keep anyone awake. Keith likewise writes of crisis as well as joy but from a decidedly secular perspective. Fortunately, both works possess an equal amount of light to offset their often-oppressive renderings of the human condition. And then, of course, there’s the matter of the number 11 in the title. Keith’s talent for quirky and compelling observation is renowned and wholly original, and it is that which sets him apart from other practitioners of the epigrammatic story genre.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michael C. Keith is the author/coauthor of 30 noted book volumes and dozens of articles on the subject of radio and broadcast studies. In addition to his non-fiction titles, Keith has published two dozen creative works, including an acclaimed memoir: The Next Better Place––a young adult novel: Life is Falling Sideways––and several short story collections: among them Slow Transit, Perspective Drifts Like a Log on a River, Let Us Now Speak of Extinction,andStories in the Key of Me. His fiction has been nominated for numerous awards, among them the Pen/O.Henry Award, the Pushcart Prize, the National Indie Excellence Award, and the International Book Award. He is professor emeritus at Boston College. www.michaelckeith.com