Most New Orleanians know me as the opinionated guy who writes often about music and art for Gambit Weekly, OffBeat and AntiGravity magazines.
Others know me as the author of "The Donkey Show" (Equator Books) a 2003 novel about moving to New Orleans, bussing tables and teaching in an almost scary public high school. "The Donkey Show" won me famous fans like author and creator of HBO's Bored to Death, Jonathan Ames, vampire author Poppy Z. Brite, and New Orleans own Andrei Corescu, who called me a "comic genius," though I'd bet he'd just gotten back from Molly's Bar when he wrote that blurb...
Still, some others who don't know me at all, know me as the writer of "New Orleans: the Underground Guide" (UNO Press) a controversial book which I believe has been UNO Press' top selling title for two years in a row. The 250 page music and art focused guidebook - the first of its kind - details all of New Orleans non-traditional bands, art galleries, thrift shops, record stores, tattoo shops, comedy clubs etc. It features tons of gorgeous photos, plus travel advice from Andrei Codrescu and rapper Juvenile, etc.
So far, nobody knows me as the writer of "Y'all's Problem" (Dirty Coast), my 2012 novel, which is set mainly in Costa Rica, and took me seven years of hard, consistent work, in between self-imposed writers residencies in that country.
Before all of that, I honed my writing/reporting chops at the esteemed St. Petersburg Times newspaper in Florida. My freelance writing has since appeared in national publications such as Newsweek, SPIN and several Village Voice publications. The publishing house McSweeney's, helmed by author Dave Eggers, published the first chapter of "The Donkey Show" on their website, and I later helped them compile "Voices of Witness," an oral history book about Hurricane Katrina.
Over the last six years I have pioneered an English class that uses music to help students practice their writing. The kids record their own music and lyrics, and also write album reviews of New Orleans artists, which are published in local magazines that pay kids for their writing. My students' recent album was written about in the New York Times. Most recently, I have joined a special team put together by The Lens paper and website to cover New Orleans' abundance of charter schools. I have also been selling a lot of copies of "New Orleans: the Underground Guide" at a small table outside the bookstore on Frenchmen during music festivals.