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My Highlights of the Year for Frieze: A year of protest, power and people

Highlights of the year you say? The year had highlights? Well my response to the year has been to retrench and research to find the possibiities in history. Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass and the unknown William H Johnson (the Albany barber orator he was called in 1888. He was also an abolitionist and later lobbyist in NY State who fought to get through some of this state's most progressive civil rights legislation just after the Civil War). But that was in the 19th century, what about this century, this year? This was what I wrote about for Frieze, protest and power and people... You can read it here (or below)

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To Write About A Hole in VQR

For their very awesome and just-released issue "Street Life," Virginia Quarterly Review published my essay "To Write About A Hole" first on Instagram and then in the magazine. The essay dives down holes in city streets and language, starting with finding "halcyon" on a steel plate on the street in NYC. From there, language slips free gets tossed into the road and travels to where I live upstate. Here that hole in the street connects directly to the reservoir and the "halcyon" to halcyonidae, the kingfisher, which lives along the reservoir and on the stream behind my house...

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The Rainmaker's Flood in Harper's

The nature of ice and snow, Johannes Kepler, war, water and weather modification -- all as it centers around one tiny village: Margaretville, NY. Harper's ran my essay on snow, rain, the city's reservoir system and how one Cold War weapon called on Kepler and changed my village... The rain was silver. It was meant to stop a drought. It brought flooding, and extended from these hills later to Laos and Vietnam, and it was developed in part by Kurt Vonnegut's brother.

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The Place of the Bridge in The White Review

There are countless reasons why I love TWR, and I am grateful that they wanted to run The Place of the Bridge, an essay on brutalism, slavery, feminism, one woman's perilous fall from one of Britain's most famous bridges, the development of lead shot (more perilous falls) and three virgin girls buried in the floor of a medieval church. It's about what goes unseen, what we choose to ignore in the civic landscape. Patches of gum in the pavement, politics and the way capital courses all around us and shapes how we experience the city.

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Growing Up Modern-- Fitzcarraldo Editions' Prize

An early version of the book I'm working on GROWING UP MODERN made the shortlist for Fitzcarraldo Editions' Prize. This thrills me for a bunch of reasons. 1) Fitzcarraldo Editions is just out and out great. They are one of my favorite publishers. And if you're not reading their books you should. (They publish Svetlana Alexievich, Dan Fox and Eula Biss, while its publisher Jacques Testard is also one of the people behind the very excellent literary magazine The White Review). 2) It's an early version of my still-incomplete ms – and the competition is limited to British residents and I am a quasi-sometimes resident. And, the book is really American, about American ideologies – or the uses to which America has put modernism, neoliberalism, individualism while asking questions about morals in the wake of the isms of our age... Add to all this I'm very excited too about the winner and his project exploring faith, doubt and radical religious beliefs...