Writer, Editor, Mediocre Guitarist
2002: MFA in Creative Writing, Fiction, from Columbia University if you must know, which I am still paying off.
1990: BA in English and Fine Arts (double major!) from a state school (Albany). My friends and I had fun.
Religion Writer for outlets like Religion Dispatches, Religion & Politics, Forward, Tablet, and Killing the Buddha. This is really interesting work: lately I’ve been looking at the intersection of conservatism, religion, and politics (clips here, here, and here; more clips here).
Fiction Writer of UGGS for Gaza, a collection of short stories and novellas about young (and not-so-young) people in varying stages of distress, which is a very funny and moving book that you should buy immediately. Currently working on stories about the Korean War. I also wrote a novel that a publisher tried to destroy, and if you buy me a drink I’ll tell you the whole painful story.
Business Writer of native content for the nice people at City Point and Rockefeller Center and German tourism. Also editing for an IT company, and a white paper on credit risk for a financial info company, among (many) other clients.
Instructor at the School of the New York Times. Now, this is a fantastic gig because (a) all the students want to be there and (b) I get to teach creative writing and (c) I get to do a lot of fun stuff with the students like go to restaurants! And museums! And Central Park! 2016-present.
Adjunct College Instructor at various institutions of higher education in New York City and Los Angeles, which paid starvation wages but were often quite rewarding due to the students, which is a cliché but true, and there’s not a snowball’s chance I’m doing this ever again, unless you pay me three times as much. 2000 to 2014.
Publisher and Editor at Dutch Kills Press, a micropress I started in 2013 to help get interesting work out into the world, such as:
- Dan Bern’s second novel, 10,000 Crappy Songs, (the e-book includes 22 non-crappy songs!)
- Amber Benson’s (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) hilarious story Death and Buses
- Jason Antoon’s (Claws) brilliant collection The Cursed Frog and Other Fairy Tales for Grown-Ups
- E-Books. Making e-books, selling e-books, consulting about e-books, thinking that it might lead to a nice day job, but so far it’s only led to some extra income, not that I’m complaining.
- Writing and editing. Like every other schmuck in New York.
- Languages: Bad French, execrable Polish.
- Fulbright Fellowship to Poland, 2002. One glorious year of traveling, note-taking and writing, which resulted in a travelogue that was rejected by 30 of American’s finest publishers.
- MacDowell Colony Residency, 2007. Two glorious months in New Hampshire that I hoped would herald a new phase of my career, which it did not, although I did meet my wife and now we have a son, so it wasn’t like great things didn’t come out of it, plus I totally hung out with Michael Chabon.
- Queens Arts Council Award, 2008, 2018. They give you money! For writing!
- International Association of Religion Journalists
- Religion News Association
- One aspirin per day to prevent heart disease
- Red wine
- Xanax (when flying)
- Global warming