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  • We the Animals: A novel
    We the Animals: A novel
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Devil's Kitchen

Some of you noticed already that I updated my Events page a couple weeks back, but some of you haven't. So: I'm going to be reading this weekend at the Devil's Kitchen Literary Festival. To be honest, I'm a tiny part of a truly remarkable lineup of writers. The full schedule of events can be found here, and it includes poets Kate Daniels, Carl Dennis, Rhett Iseman Trull, and Adrian Matejka, as well as fiction writers Jennine Capo Crucet, Danielle Evans, Julie Schumacher, and Pinckney Benedict (whom I saw read late last week in Macomb, at WIU).

If you're in the area, hopefully you can stop by for a reading or a panel.

I'm reading with the poet David Bond and editors from the Crab Orchard Review, to launch the latest issue of the magazine: "Land of Lincoln: Writing from and about Illinois."

Though it took me a while to come to terms with it, I've been taking real pride the past few years in being a Midwestern writer, and I was honored to see my story "American Bulldog" printed in a magazine with a cool collage of Illinois on its cover.

Here's the opening paragraph of my story:

The night before, her socks leached rainwater from the carpet in the basement. The dehumidifier was running. The sump pump still churned. Everything important—her sewing machine table, the desk with her art supplies—was up on blocks from the previous fall, and Anna figured it might as well all stay that way, at least for now: It had rained for four straight days, and who knew how much water was going to seep through the foundation walls before it stopped.

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