Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Bonnie Jo Campbell biography 400 words

AWP has asked for a 400-word biography of yours truly. This is the longest bio I've ever heard of. Below is what I came up with. Do any of you have any suggestion? By the way, this might be my new author photo.

Bonnie Jo Campbell is six feet tall and rides a donkey. She grew up on a small Michigan farm with her mother and four siblings in a house her grandfather Herlihy built in the shape of an H. She learned to castrate small pigs, milk Jersey cows, and make remarkable chocolate candy. When she left home for the University of Chicago to study philosophy, her mother rented out her room. She has since hitchhiked across the U.S. and Canada, scaled the Swiss Alps on her bicycle, and traveled with the Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus selling snow cones. As president of Goulash Tours Inc., she has organized and led adventure tours in Eastern Europe, including Russia, Latvia, Romania and Bulgaria. She currently lives with her husband Christopher in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where she practices weapons arts, holding the rank of Nidan in Koburyu kobudo.

Her newest work of fiction, American Salvage (Wayne State University Press, 2009), is a lush and rowdy collection of stories set in a rural Michigan landscape, where wildlife, jobs, and ways of life are vanishing; from this collection, “The Inventor, 1972" won the Eudora Welty prize from Southern Review. According to Alan Cheuse, “In these stories about cold, lonely, meth-drenched, working-class Michigan life, there's a certain beauty reaching something like the sublimity of a D.H. Lawrence story.” Her collection Women & Other Animals, (University of Massachusetts Press, 1999), which won the AWP award for short fiction, details the lives of extraordinary rural and small-town females; "The Smallest Man in the World," from W&OA, was awarded a Pushcart Prize. Her novel, Q Road (Scribner 2002), investigates a community in which development pressures are changing the character of the land; Q Road was named a Barnes & Noble Great New Writer book and was honorable mention for the top award. Her fiction has recently been published in Southern Review, Kenyon Review, Alaska Review, Boulevard, and Witness. The New York Times has called her stories “Bitter but sweetened by humor,” and Publisher’s Weekly said Campbell details, “domestic worlds where Martha Stewart would fear to tread.” German translations of her fiction have been published by Droemer-Knaur. In 2009, Kim Addonizio chose her collection of poems, Love Letters to Sons of Bitches, for the Center for Book Arts Letterpress Chapbook award. Campbell teaches at Pacific University’s Low Residency MFA program in Oregon. You can find her on Facebook or at

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Book Release Party Invitation

Book Release Party for Bonnie Jo Campbell’s
American Salvage

Sunday, May 24, 2009, 2:00 - 8:00
Bell's Brewery & Beer Garden
355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo, MI, 269-382-2332
Bonnie will read briefly at 3:00 pm
Readings by others will follow; sign up sheet will be available.

Win Prizes:
· American Salvage Cake Contest: Bring your cake, decorated with an American Salvage theme or just plain delicious.
· Come to the party via your most salvaged conveyance or vehicle.
· Most American Salvage temporary tattoos applied to one’s body; tattoos available at the event.

Michigan News Agency will sell copies of American Salvage ($18.95 + tax) and other BJC books. Mary Whalen, whose artwork brings to life the cover of American Salvage will display photographs and have prints for sale.

· Come read your own poems/stories in the beer garden
· Tell anecdotes for posterity
· Pin the Tail on the Donkey all day long
· See & and maybe win Kalamazoo’s Biggest Ball of String
· Meet someone from the Geek Group
· Bring acoustic musical instruments and play

Also, come and celebrate informally the arrival of summer, as well as class of ’80 Comstock High School 29th Reunion, John Dickmon's Birthday. Halfway between Mike Campbell & George Campbell’s birthdays. Beer, wine, books, and food for sale.