Upcoming “Folktales and Legends of the Middle West” events

July 1: The Hideout, Chicago, 5 p.m.
July 3: Tuesday Funk, Hopleaf, Chicago, 7:30 p.m.
July 5: 57th Street Books, Chicago, 6 p.m.
July 7: Everybody Reads, Lansing, Mich., 3 p.m.
July 8: Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, Mich., 7 p.m.
July 9: Pages Bookshop, Detroit, 6 p.m.
July 11: Middleton Public Library, Middleton, Wis., 6:30 p.m.
July 14: Caestecker Public Library, Green Lake, Wis., 10 a.m.
July 14: Fond du Lac Public Library, Fond du Lac, Wis., 2 p.m.

“How to Speak Midwestern” on WGN Radio

On Thursday, June 8, I joined Justin Kaufmann, host of WGN’s “The Download,” for a feature called “You Know What I’m Saying?” I tried to guess where callers were from by asking probing questions such as “What do you call a store where you buy alcohol?” or “What do you call athletic footwear?” I was able to identify the home states of most callers; the ones who stumped me won a free pass to Sycamore Speedway in Sycamore, Illinois. Listen here.




Publication Day for “How to Speak Midwestern”

December 1 was Publication Day for “How to Speak Midwestern.” It started off with an interview on the “Morning Shift” program at WBEZ in Chicago. Listen here. Crain’s Chicago Business ran an excerpt from the book. Chicagoist weighed in with a nice feature, as did Third Coast Review. In the evening, I did a book reading at the Book Cellar, where we sold 29 books, a one-day record for me.

“Happy Anyway: A Flint Anthology” Coming Out June 1

Happy Anyway: A Flint Anthology is Flint at its funniest, its weirdest, and its saddest. A collection of essays and personal narratives, the book, edited by Flint writer and Belt contributor Scott Atkinson, captures an almost impossible-to-capture city. Flint is far more than the common narrative of an industrial town picking itself up after the big company that fed it left, or the victim of a horrendous public health crisis.

Happy Anyway delves into the lives and stories within the city—what it’s like growing up on the eastside or witnessing your first murder; why a certain strange hot dog could bring an entire city so much pride; what it means to finally leave a city that you love—and what it means to stay, even when bikes or jewelry or love keep disappearing.

Including work from Gordon Young, Jan Worth-Nelson, Connor Coyne, Layla Meillier, Andrew Morton, and yours truly. You can pre-order the book here.