Literary Selfie, 2018

by GH

South Korea, October 2018.

When you work in the arts, you’re always second-guessing yourself, wishing you produced more, earned more, etc. That’s why at the end of the year I like to look back at what I accomplished. Because while usually it’s less than what I wanted, it’s often more than I had thought.

I realize that for many this practice smacks of attention-seeking or bragging, to which I say, “You’re goddamn right.”

Fiction. This year, I was lucky enough to receive a Queens Arts Fund grant, which helped me move forward on my novel-in-progress about the Korean War. I was very lucky indeed to have a residency at South Korea’s Toji Cultural Center (pic above), where I met some wonderful people and ate copious quantities of kimchi and tiny anchovies.

Religion Writing. I interviewed Arthur Jones, the Nazi candidate for Congress, for the Jewish Chronicle. I tried to wrap my head around Christian support for Trump and the high Jewish voter turnout for Religion Dispatches. I wrote about the dangers of ethno-nationalism, the Shared Sacred Sites exhibit and the Holocaust in Italy for the Forward. I reviewed Hulu’s Waco miniseries for Religion & Politics.

Teaching. Still having a blast teaching and doing some curriculum development at the School of the New York Times.

Dutch Kills Press. This year we published a print version of Jason Antoon’s wonderful collection of short fiction, The Cursed Frog and Other Stories.

If you’re still reading this post, wishing you all the best for 2019. Heck, I wish you all the best even if you’re not still reading. If there is anything you want to share about your own accomplishments in 2018, I’m all ears.