Black Lawrence Press

Americana

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Praise

  • "In TJ Beitelman’s poems, 'everything’s a powder / keg,' where everyday occurrences explode into expressions of joy and heartache. Americana begins with an examination of American icons and institutions, then moves out in widening circles to encompass everything from Greek myth to global politics. Here you’ll find strange bedfellows—Bogart and the Big Bang, Hank Aaron and Buddhism, Hezbollah and Frank O’Hara—drawn together by Beitelman’s nimble mind. Full of surprising turns and observations, Americana is a wide-eyed view of the extraordinary world around us, one most of us rarely have the capacity to see."
    —Mark Neely, author of Beasts of the Hill
  • "Beitelman's Americana is a funhouse full of mirrors that reveal the comic, the tragic, the beautiful, and the grotesque of commonalities we can't avoid: pop culture, politics, history. It is a funhouse where 'truth and memory are mute' and the connections between, say, 'Bela Lugosi and truck tires' are what guide us through spinning tunnels and illusions. And as we exit, it's difficult to say what is more real: Beitelman's mad rendering or the world that inspired it."
    —Michele Battiste, author of Uprising

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TJ Beitelman

TJ Beitelman is a writer and teacher living in Birmingham, Alabama. He’s published a novel, John the Revelator, and a collection of short fiction, Communion, as well as two collections of poetry: In Order to Form a More Perfect Union and Americana, all from Black Lawrence Press. His stories and poems have appeared widely in literary magazines, and he’s received fellowships from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the Cultural Alliance of Greater Birmingham. He taught writing and literature at Virginia Tech, where he earned an M.A. in English, and at the University of Alabama, where he earned an M.F.A. in creative writing and also edited Black Warrior Review. He currently directs the creative writing program at the Alabama School of Fine Arts in Birmingham. He can be found on-line at www.tjbman.com.

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