Author Archive for Mark Athitakis

Washington City Paper’s Fiction Issue: Submit!

Calling all fiction writers: On January 2, Washington City Paper will publish its second annual Fiction Issue. If you've been looking for a chance to set free your inner Edward P. Jones, Danielle Evans, or George Pelecanos, here it is.
Once again we're looking for stories that are in some way about the District. Once again, we'd prefer these stories not [...]

Inaugural Poet Has D.C. Ties

It was announced today that we'll have the first poet reading at an inauguration in more than a decade: Elizabeth Alexander, the much-decorated author of, among other books, the poetry collection The Venus Hottentot and American Sublime, a Pulitzer finalist. Alexander, who currently teaches at Yale, is a D.C. native; her mother, Dr. Adele Logan [...]

Housley: No Chance Ryan Seacrest Carries His Own Skin Bronzer

Nice interview in the latest edition of Bookslut with Dave Housley, the D.C author of the short-story collection Ryan Seacrest Is Famous (we profiled him in November '07) and coeditor at the literary journal Barrelhouse (which disclosed its Patrick Swayze anxiety in our pages last April). He talks a little about Barrelhouse, the story collection, [...]

Dickwads and Dickweeds: A History

Art Taylor, a local writer, critic, and George Mason University English prof who also works on GMU's annual Fall for the Book Festival, has been making a few revisions to his novel in progress. The book is set in 1984, so he's been careful about matters of historical authenticity. Very careful: In a blog post [...]

AU Professor Proposes Using Complex Online Scheme to Make D.C. Simple to Understand

Washington, D.C. is a complicated place. Journalists in D.C. bureaus are getting laid off in droves. Kids these days like Second Life and other avatar-driven games. Dave Johnson, a professor at American University, is clearly smarter than the rest of us, because he thinks he's figured out a way to reconcile all this by creating [...]

Vertigo’s Top Book Picks

Todd Stewart of Vertigo Books was on the Kojo Nnamdi Show today offering a few recommendations for some of his favorite books of the year. I've read (and liked) two of the books in his list, Philip Roth's Indignation and Art Spiegelman's Breakdowns, which gives me a fair amount of confidence in the rest. With [...]

Voice of America, Soothingly Covering the Local Comic-Book Scene

Everybody has their own way of finding their Zen. Some do yoga. Some smoke weed. Some turn cuddling into an odd, process-oriented group activity. Me, I stick to Voice of America Special English, which broadcasts news stories about the awesomeness of American culture to faraway lands, using a limited pool of vocabulary words spoken slowly. [...]

Bad Gift Idea: The Oxford Book of Death

Last December City Paper editor Erik Wemple launched a series on City Desk called "Bad Gift Idea," which catalogued some of the worst things you could possibly give to your loved ones during the holidays. It proved to be one of the biggest features ever on this blog—gathering, at one point, more than 8 million [...]

Life Magazine Photo Archives Now Online

Years before it was a Sunday newspaper supplement that presciently united John McCain and a certain Sarah Palin lookalike, Life was a weekly newsmagazine that was the gold standard in photojournalism. Though it's probably bad news that signals the hastening death spiral of glossy news magazines, it's still interesting to look at the Life photo [...]

William Ayers Rallies the Anti-Rhee Crowd

William Ayers' appearance last night at All Souls Unitarian Church last night has been well-covered—today's Post has a thorough accounting of Ayers' day in D.C., as does the Wall Street Journal. Neither story, though, mentions the biggest noise the audience made during the evening. When Jeff Smith, executive director of DC Voice and moderator for [...]

William Ayers Reading Moved to All Souls Church

William Ayers, favorite punching bag of rageoholic conservative bloggers, isn't reading at the 14th & V Busboys & Poets tonight as planned. The bookstore just sent an e-mail blast:

Due to the large number of people and media who want to attend the event with William Ayers, we have moved it to a venue that can [...]

William Ayers, Still Inspiring Angry Blog Commenters

Lots of chatter this week in newspapers and blogs about the news that William Ayers will speak at Busboys & Poets on Monday. Nobody really took much notice of this when I blogged about it about a month back. Clearly I need to take more swigs of whatever Michelle Malkin's drinking:
The violence-embracing Marxist is on [...]

Why Not Post the Norman Mailer Files?

Buried in today's Style section is a story about what the Post dug up when it filed a FOIA request on author Norman Mailer, who died last year. There's not a whole lot of shocking news in the files, which may explain why it's buried in the Style section—Feds impersonated friends to extract Mailer's whereabouts, [...]

Art Spiegelman Is Not Arrogant

That's something the comic artist kept stressing to me when we spoke by phone about a week ago. But Spiegelman—best known for his two-volume graphic novel about his father's experiences during the Holocaust, Maus—in't about to deny his influence, either. In the Q&A below, he discusses his recently reissued 1978 collection Breakdowns (reviewed in this [...]

How to Save Newspapers: Make Every Day Elect Obama Day!

The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News are printing extra copies of today's paper. So is the Chicago Sun-Times. And the New York Times. And the Raleigh News & Observer. And—oh, whatever, looks like every daily newspaper in the country is printing extra copies. So when your grandkids ask, "What was it like when Obama got [...]