I’ll be in conversation with Italian author and translator Claudia Durastanti on Monday, April 4th, 2022, 6 PM


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I’m looking forward to being not only in conversation but also in person (my first in-person event since 2020) with Italian author and translator Claudia Durastanti this Monday, April 4th, 6 PM, for the U.S. book launch of the English edition of her novel STRANGERS I KNOW, translated by Elizabeth Harris. (Originally published in Italian in 2019 as La Straniera.) Claudia Durastanti is the Italian translator of Joshua Cohen, Donna Haraway, Ocean Vuong and the most recent edition of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

The event will take place at at the John D Calandra Italian American Institute at Queens College, CUNY, at 6 PM for their Writers Read Series: 25 West 43rd Street, 17th Floor New York, N.Y. 10036

Jhumpa Lahiri says: “Formally innovative and emotionally complex, STRANGERS I KNOW explores themes of communication, family, and belonging with exceptional insight. Durastanti, celebrated in Italy for her intelligent voice and her hybrid perspective, speaks to all who are outside and in-between. Strangers I Know, in a bracing translation by Elizabeth Harris, is a stunning English-language debut.”

STRANGERS I KNOW is the fourth novel by Claudia Durastanti and her first to be translated to English; the book is a bestseller in Italy and winner of the Premio Pozzale Luigi Russo and the Premio Strega Off. The largely autobiographical novel is a subversive story about family and coming of age; it crosses oceans, languages, and generations, bringing readers into small pastoral villages of Southern Italy as well as into smoky night clubs and the NYC punk rock scene. The novel’s narrator finds herself living in a strange transnational atmosphere in which communication is nearly nonexistent. An outsider in every way, she longs for a freedom she isn’t sure exists and attempts to create her own version of her life.

Free, open to the public, and held in person at the Calandra Institute.

RSVP by calling (212) 642-2094.

Registration is required for all events in order to follow current CUNY COVID guidelines. Proof of vaccination and ID are required upon entry. Masks are encouraged but not required. We will continue to assess the latest data and public health guidance and to act in compliance with CUNY protocols.


Interviewed in the Los Angeles Times about my class on Don DeLillo


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Honored to be interviewed by the amazing Carolyn Kellogg in the Los Angeles Times about my class and academic conference on Don DeLillo at The New School on the occasion of DeLillo’s new novel THE SILENCE, which will be released tomorrow. Thanks to Carolyn and the LA Times for letting me be part of the conversation about Don DeLillo, along with Rachel Kushner, Dana Spiotta, Jonathan Lethem.


“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.


Publications in The New York Times Sunday Book Review

In my role as Books Editor for The Brooklyn Rail, I have a small sense of how much work my editors at The New York Times Book Review have to do.  Each of the following book reviews has been improved by those fine editors.  I’m deeply grateful to them.  (Note: Some of these reviews appeared in the NYTBR’s ‘Fiction Chronicle’ and ‘The Shortlist’; those titles and authors have been listed separately.)

Bucky F*cking DentBy David Duchovny

XO Orpheus, Edited by Kate Bernheimer

The Cool School, Edited by Glenn O’Brien

The Moth Anthology, Edited by Catherine Burns

The Twelve (part two of The Passage vampire trilogy), by Justin Cronin

We The Animals, by Justin Torres

There Is No Year, by Blake Butler

Mary Ann In Autumn, by Armistead Maupin

Dogfight, A Love Story, by Matt Burgess

The November Criminals, by Sam Munson

The Escape, by Adam Thirlwell

Generation A, by Douglas Coupland

Sometimes We’re Always Real Same-Same, by Mattox Roesch

The Death of Bunny Munro, by Nick Cave

Home Boy, by H.M. Naqvi

The Cry of the Sloth, by Sam Savage

Perforated Heart, by Eric Bogosian

Ugly Man, Dennis Cooper

The Hospital for Bad Poets, J. C. Hallman

Pygmy, by Chuck Palahniuk

Security, by Stephen Amidon

After You’ve Gone, Jeffrey Lent

Revenge of the Teacher’s Pet, by Darrin Doyle

Pandora in the Congo, Albert Sanchez Pinol

The Unknown Knowns, Jeffrey Rotter

Future Missionaries of America, by Matthew Vollmer

Body Surfing, Dale Peck

Out of My Skin, by John Haskell



TONIGHT! May 13, 2020, I’m reading a new story at Guerrilla Lit, 7:30 PM. See the event listing for details!

Here’s a story for you. Once upon a time, I would promote on social media my own local NYC readings by addressing my ‘local friends,’ those folks who could jump on a subway or walk to a bookstore or bar to attend a lit reading in the bustling, dense, soul-revivifying metropolis that is New York F*cking City. But what do terms like ‘local’ or ‘far-flung’ even mean anymore? We all live virtually inside a little digital box now. Which scares the hell out of me. In fact, since the pandemic shut down Gotham City, I’ve heard more people say that this whole thing seems like a nightmare. Fear, anxiety, suspicion and doubt pervade. And so, my friends (both local and far-flung), tonight, from inside my tiny digital cell, I will read to you a Tiny Nightmare, which just happens to appear in the soon-to-be-released anthology of horror-inspired flash fiction—TINY NIGHTMARES: VERY SHORT TALES OF HORROR (Catapult, 2020)—featuring over 40 new stories from literary, horror, and emerging writers—edited by Lincoln Michel and Nadxieli Nieto, the twisted minds behind Tiny Crimes: Very Short Tales of Mystery and Murder (Black Balloon, 2018). If you want to hear my tale of horror, join me tonight online from where ever you are currently holed up. The reading will be hosted by the august Guerrilla Lit: John Domini, Joseph Salvatore, Suzanne Dottino, which I will link below. And if you’d like to support this dark new anthology, please consider pre-ordering TINY NIGHTMARES: VERY SHORT TALES OF HORROR (Catapult, 2020). Here’s that link (which has Bookshop listed there, my favorite way to buy books these days):


Join me tonight, friends from all over. I’ve got something especially nightmarish to read to you. Details about the reading will be in the comments below.

Dixon Place Presents a Virtual Guerrilla Lit Reading Series

We are pleased to announce that the reading scheduled for Wednesday,May 13 features John Domini, Joseph Salvatore, Suzanne Dottino.

This virtual reading will occur on Zoom at 7:30 PM.


Register for this meeting here:


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

About the Readers

John Domini’s latest book is The Color Inside a Melon. Blurbs came from Salman Rushdie and Marlon James, and the Washington Post praised it as it “sage,” “spry,” and “especially well-turned.” He has three earlier novels and three story collections; The Millions called his work “a new shriek for a new century.” Other books include selections of criticism and poetry. He’s published fiction in Paris Review and Ploughshares, non-fiction in GQ and the New York Times, and won a poetry prize from Meridian. Grants include a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Domini has taught at Harvard and elsewhere and makes his home in Des Moines.

Joseph Salvatore is the author of the story collection To Assume A Pleasing Shape, published by BOA Editions, and the co-author of the college textbook Understanding English Grammar. A Spanish translation of his story collection, Presentarse En Forma Grata, was published in 2018 by Editorial Dos Bigotes. He is Books Editor at The Brooklyn Rail and a frequent contributor to The New York Times Sunday Book Review. His fiction has appeared in, among other places, The Collagist, Dossier, Epiphany, New York Tyrant, Open City, Post Road, Salt Hill, Sleeping Fish, and Willow Springs. His criticism has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Rain Taxi, the Routledge International Encyclopedia of Queer Culture, Angels of the Americlypse: an Anthology of New Latin@ Writing, the Believer Logger and elsewhere. He is an associate professor of writing at The New School in New York City, where he received the University Distinguished Teaching Award, and was the founding editor of the literary journal LIT. He lives in Queens.

Suzanne Dottino is a writer of fiction and plays. Her latest story “Angel of Mercy,” appears in the current Issue of The Bellevue Literary Review and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She teaches literature at BMCC. She is the editor of the online literary journal KGB Bar Lit.

Dixon Place Literary Programs are generously supported by the Axe Houghton Foundation and the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs.

We’d be so grateful if you considered making a donation to keep the literary fires burning at Dixon Place. If you can, please donate here:


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: http://www.dosbigotes.es/quienes-somos/