KGB Bar Reading — SEPT 29, 2019 — 7 PM


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Q: What better way to end such a lovely fall Sunday in NYC than by listening to the words of Emma Smith-StevensLettie Prell John DominiDavid Dario Winner, and yrs trly?

A: None. None better way.


85 E 4th St, East Village, NYC

Five writers with very different connections to New York– Joseph Salvatore, Emma Smith-Stevens, David Winner, Lettie Prell & John Domini– offer a handful of wild cards. Some work takes on the city, some looks elsewhere, and it all goes great with a couple of drinks from the bar. Books available as well.


AWP Panel: The Art of the Book Review (F220) Friday, March 29, 2019, at 1:30 PM – 2:45 PM PDT, Room B110-112, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1


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AWP Panel: The Art of the Book Review (F220) B110-112, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1 55439572_2124140794334579_8148698784772128768_o

Please join me on Friday, March 29th, 1:30-2:45, as I chair an AWP panel called The Art of the Book Review. My fellow panelists will be Michele Filgate, Siddhartha Deb, Carolyn Kellogg, Mark Sarvas, and Chris Campanioni. Find the official AWP link here.
Thousands of books are published each year. We’re led to many of them by intelligent, engaging, well-made book reviews, which not only investigate and articulate the mysteries and pleasures a literary text offers, but also please the reader with their style. Five widely published writers/critics/editors discuss the review as a genre in its own right, a unique form that offers—and invites—critical reflection, raises the level of public discourse, and establishes professional reputation.

Joseph Salvatore is books editor at the Brooklyn Rail and a frequent reviewer at the New York Times Book Review. He is an associate professor of writing at The New School, founding editor of their literary journal LIT, and the author of the story collection To Assume a Pleasing Shape.

Carolyn Kellogg is Books Editor at the LA Times. She assigns and edits all books coverage, online and in print, for the largest newspaper on the west coast. She also helps steer the paper’s Festival of Books, the nation’s largest literary festival. Her literary coverage is award winning.

Siddhartha Deb is the author of The Beautiful and the Damned, winner of the PEN Open award and a finalist for the Orwell Prize. A columnist for The Baffler and The New York Times Book Review and contributing editor to The New Republic, his writing has appeared in The Guardian, The Nation, and n+1.

Mark Sarvas‘s second novel, MEMENTO PARK, was just published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in March 2018. His debut novel, HARRY, REVISED (2008), was published in more than a dozen countries around the world. His book reviews and criticism have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Threepenny Review, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Bookforum, The Huffington Post, The Dallas Morning News, and the Los Angeles Review of Books (where he is a contributing editor). He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle and PEN/America, PEN Center USA, and has judged the PEN Center USA Fiction Award, the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, the Kirkwood Prize and The Tournament of Books. He began his literary career as the host of the popular and controversial literary weblog “The Elegant Variation.”

Michele Filgate is the editor of What My Mother And I Don’t Talk About, forthcoming. She is a contributing editor at Literary Hub, and a board member of the National Book Critics Circle. She teaches creative nonfiction for Catapult and Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop.

Chris Campanioni‘s new book, the Internet is for real (C&R Press, 2019), re-enacts the language of the Internet as literary installations. His selected poetry was awarded an Academy of American Poets College Prize in 2013, his novel Going Down was named Best First Book at the 2014 International Latino Book Awards, and his hybrid piece This body’s long (& I’m still loading) was adapted as an official selection of the Canadian International Film Festival in 2017. He runs PANK and PANK Books, edits At Large Magazine and Tupelo Quarterly, and teaches Latinx literature and creative writing at Pace University and Baruch College. He is a frequent contributor to The Brooklyn Rail.

Hosting the 2018 The Story Prize Awards Ceremony: WEDS, MARCH 6, 2019 at 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM.

I’m honored to be hosting the 2018 The Story Prize Reading and Awards Ceremony at The New School, in NYC, on WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6, 2019 at 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM.

The Story Prize, now in its 15th year, just announced this year’s finalists:

A LUCKY MAN, by Jamel Brinkley (Graywolf Press)
YOUR DUCK IS MY DUCK, by Deborah Eisenberg (Ecco)
FLORIDA, by Lauren Groff (Riverhead Books)

These three finalists for The Story Prize were chosen from more than 100 short story collections published in 2018, representing 79 different publishers or imprints. The finalists will read from and discuss their work with Larry Dark, the director of the award. The event will culminate with the announcement of the winner, who will be presented with a check for $20,000.

Congratulations to the three finalists! Please join us on March 6th.

Details here!

Featured in The New York Times Style Magazine of Spain


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My huge thanks to The New York Times Style Magazine of Spain, T Magazine España, for a full-page feature on the new Spanish translation of my story collection, PRESENTARSE EN FORMA GRATA, which they included in their latest issue’s book recommendations:

“These eleven stories by Joseph Salvatore portray the problems we have of being able to identify for ourselves the very fears and anxieties that cripple us in today’s society.”

I couldn’t be more grateful to Teresa Lanero for her fine translation, nor more grateful to Editorial Dos Bigotes for bringing my book to Spanish readers.

Thank you! xoxo

Spanish Translation of TO ASSUME A PLEASING SHAPE (2018)


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I’m deeply honored to announce that my short fiction collection from BOA Editions, TO ASSUME A PLEASING SHAPE, has not only been translated into Spanish by the talented and brilliant Teresa Lanero, but also will be the first title published in 2018 by an independent publishing house in Madrid, Spain, Editorial Dos Bigotes. “Presentarse en Forma Grata” will be released on February 12th.

Editorial Dos Bigotes was founded in Madrid by Gonzalo Izquierdo Torres and Alberto Rodríguez. I want to express my immense thanks to both of them. I’m proud to be a new member of the ‘mustachioed club.’

My father, who spoke fluent Spanish and had book shelves full of Spanish authors and Spanish grammar books, would have been especially proud of this news. I wish he were here for me to give him one more title to add to his old bookshelf.

To celebrate this publication, I’ll reading from TO ASSUME A PLEASING SHAPE on Saturday, with poet Joanna Clapps Herman, at Cornelia St. Café, NYC, January 13, 2018, 5:45 – 7:45 pm.

And a huge thanks to Peter Conners and Frederick Courtright for all their help.

For more information about Editorial Dos Bigotes:


The BOOKS section of THE BROOKLYN RAIL (June 2017)

As I finish up my editing work on the next issue of The Brooklyn Rail, I want to take a minute to celebrate the most recent issue, June 2017, full of interviews and reviews with poets, fiction writers, and essayists, many of them debut authors. Lisa Ko talks with Nicole Treska about Ko’s debut novel THE LEAVERS. Gabino Iglesias reviews Morgan Parker’s newest collection of poems THERE ARE MORE BEAUTIFUL THINGS THAN BEYONCE. Melissa Febos talks with Ryan Berg about her newest collection of essays, ABANDON ME, which Berg calls a “fiercely intelligent and remarkably intimate investigation of love and obsession, trauma and resiliency.” Our regular fiction critic John Domini reviews Lance Olsen‘s DREAMLIVES OF DEBRIS and Barbara Browning‘s THE GIFT. Mr. Domini also offers us an extended literary essay on the setting of New York City in three novels by Don DeLillo: GREAT JONES STREET, UNDERWORLD, and COSMOPOLIS. David Varno reviews Emmanuel Carrère‘s THE KINGDOM. Kristy Eldredge‘s talks with fiction writer Stacey Levine about her work and her recent collection THE GIRL WITH BROWN FUR: TALES & STORIES. Poet Mai Der Vang talks with Alex Dueben about her first book of poetry, AFTERLAND, just released by Graywolf Press. Joseph Scapellato discusses his debut story collection, BIG LONESOME, with James Tadd Adcox. Yvonne C. Garrett covers new books by women in rock: Kristin Hersh’s RATGIRL, Kim Gordon’s GIRL IN A BAND, and Carrie Brownstein’s HUNGER MAKES ME A MODERN GIRL. Ms. Garrett also covers Chris Offutt‘s memoir MY FATHER THE PORNOGRAPHER and Monica Drake‘s debut story collection THE FOLLY OF LOVING LIFE. Matt Grant reviews Taylor Larsen‘s debut novel STRANGER, FATHER, BELOVED. And J. T. Price gives us one of the best interviews (in my opinion) with author Paul Auster I’ve read in a while. Auster discusses his newest novel, 4 3 2 1, and so much more. Mr. Price also offers us an extensive consideration of Amy Hungerford‘s newest book of literary criticism MAKING LITERATURE NOW.

Many thanks to all of my amazing writers.

Read it here:

“The Body Artist: A Conference in Don DeLillo” — April 28-29, 2017, The New School, NYC


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Three years in the making. I’m proud to be able to announce officially that “The Body Artist: A Conference in Don DeLillo” will be held at The New School in NYC on the weekend of April 28-29, 2017.

Bringing together artists and scholars from across the US and Europe, the conference “The Body Artist” grew out of the undergraduate seminar of the same name, which I’m teaching for the first time this spring at The New School, in NYC. The conference website is done and linked below. Give it a look and let me know what you think. Our keynote speaker will be the writer and critic Vince Passaro. The list of speakers and their topics are formidable—including a talk on Trump and the new political realities. I’m grateful to all of the presenters for agreeing to share their time and talent with us. Click the website to learn more about the speakers and their talks. They are MC Armstrong, Matt Bell, Olivia Kate Cerrone, Scott Cheshire, Anne Margaret Daniel, John Domini, Fred Gardaphe, John Keene, Carolyn Kellogg, Randy Laist, Tyler Malone, Albert Mobilio, Tracy O’Neill, Ed Park, Andrea Scrima, David Winters, Sunil Yapa, and Jacqueline Zubek.

It will be a memorable event. I hope you can make it.
Let me know if you have any questions.

Reading at Pete’s Candy Store, Brooklyn, Thursday, August 18 at 6 PM – 7:45 PM

Recently, I read a stunning and gorgeous novella called ALL THE WORDS, by Maria Frances Brandt. I cannot recommend this book more highly. Brandt’s characters reminded me of myself and of the people I care about, at our best and at our most yearning. These characters struggle, each in their own way, to articulate all the necessary words to each other and to themselves. And their struggle is rendered, in Brandt’s careful and caring hand, artistically and dramatically. In this lyrically lush and beautifully cadenced novella about a family’s love and loss, words are, paradoxically, precious and scarce. Sentences start but sputter out; mouths go mute; memories, both allusive and elusive, tease then disappear, only to reappear as fragmented textual ghosts, italicized and erupting throughout the course of this family’s journey—a journey from trauma to understanding, and, ultimately, to a kind of acceptance. Such a story arc is easy enough to describe, but painstakingly difficult to render dramatically and truthfully. But Brandt pulls it off with élan and intelligence and, best of all, the crafty instincts of a natural storyteller.

I am so fortunate to be reading with this remarkable writer next week in Brooklyn, on Thursday, Aug, 18th, at Pete’s Candy Store, 6 PM. Also sharing work that evening will be Mirene Arsanios, Ricardo Alberto Maldonado, and and Emily Brandt. It will be a lovely late-summer event. I hope you’ll join us to celebrate.

Click here for more information.

Moderating panel on MFA programs at AAWW, Brooklyn, NY, Sat, June 25, 1:00 PM

“Creative writing courses, especially at the undergraduate level, may not necessarily produce the world’s next generation of literary geniuses. As I see it, that is not the purpose of such courses anyway. A deeper more important purpose is to afford students at least a glimpse of what it is like to be a creative writer. And that purpose cannot be accomplished without significant and sustained attention to process.” —Tim Mayers (as quoted in Darin Ciccotelli‘s excellent article on MFA programs in the AWP Writer’s Chronicle.)

Let’s discuss today:



Novelists Naomi Jackson (Iowa Writers Workshop), Karim Dimechkie (The Michener Center), and Kaitlyn Greenidge (Hunter MFA) discuss their pre- and post-MFA experience and give advice about how to navigate the writing program. Moderated by author Joseph Salvatore (The Brooklyn Rail), an assistant professor at The New School.

My latest assignment for the New York Times Book Review, June 5, 2016


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Growing up in the Boston area in the 1970s, I was a faithful Red Sox fan during a time when it was a genuine hazard to one’s psychic well-being to do so. One of my great regrets is that my father, a life-long New Englander and a Sox fan himself who died in 2001, never got to see what I saw in 2004, watching it, as I did, in my new home of NYC. Actor David Duchovny’s new novel is about fathers and sons and the things they wish they could have said to each other; it’s about love and death, and it’s about the Red Sox and the Yankees. So grateful to my editor at the New York Times Book Review for this summer reading assignment. See what I had to say.


By David Duchovny
296 pp. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. $26.05Salvatore-blog427