Author Archives: mhemmingson

Dzanc Books Write a Thon!

Yo, all ya all,

Again, like last year, I am participating in the Dzanc Books Write-A-Thon which will take place July 21st through July 24th.   I plan to spend twenty hours on those days, writing away with the same furious obsession that Captain Ahab had when pursuing the elusive white whale of fate. 

Not only will it be a treat for me to have a dedicated time for my writing, but hopefully this will also benefit Dzanc.  Last year I produced two stories during the four days, both which I quickly placed in established literary journals: Fiction International and The Indiana Review. This year I may attempt a novella, depending on the writing prompt theme.

Dzanc is a wonderful non-profit independent publishing company that supports literary magazines, small presses, and publishes fantastic work; after all, their imprint, Black Lawrence Press, published my collection of stories, Pictures of Houses with Water Damage, last year. Also, Dzanc funds writing programs in public schools where creative writing classes are not offered. They also sponsor the Dzanc Prize which benefits not only the writer awarded it, but pays for a community based project like writing workshops in prisons, cancer centers, or working with immigrant populations.

I would be honored if you would sponsor my writing this year. Your dollars will help Dzanc Books to continue to support great writing and foster the creative talent of public school kids. If you’d like to pitch in, please click on the following link that will take you to a page where you can make a donation: 

Hit the donate button to the left and make it in my name. You will need a Paypal account. Paypal is a wonderful online method of virtual currency with zero gold or silver backing up the symboligy of what we deem money.  A sign of the end times? What they hey…and please remember to do so in my name, and good luck with the big drawing they’ll have for all people that donate!

Thanks for your time!


Michael Hemmingson

Michael Hemmingson’s First Full-Length Poetry Collection Now Out

Black Lawrence Press author Michael Hemmingson (Pictures of Houses with Water Damage, Summer 2010) now has a full-length (84 pages) collection of poetry out, Ourselves or Nothing, published by The Olympia Press as The New Traveller’s Companion #157 (perfect for National Poetry Month!).

To get from Amazon, wander here.

Short Essay in The Hemingway Review

The new Fall/Winter 2009 issue of The Hemingway Review , published by The Heminwgay Society and Univ of Idaho Press, contains a short research essay I wrote on the “Bimini” excerpt from Islands in the Stream that Esquire published in 1970.  Gordon Lish was fiction editor at the time, when Howard Hayes ran the men’s journal.

When I was researching Lish’s papers at Indiana Univ. last year on two Helm Fellowships, I found letters from Mary Welsh Hemingway to Lish — they spent much time together, and she was not happy with the cover photo of her deceased hubby, nor the situation with the excerpt (which the magazine had paid $30K for — probably $200K in 1970 money!).

Gordon Lish, of course, has again lately been the subject of much debate in the press now that Raymond Carver’s Beginners and a new biography is out, which is anti-Lish.

My Carver bio, which will be out in 2011 from McFarland and Company, will tend to be pro-Lish editing — for the most part.  I contend Carver would not be he institute he is without Lish’s help; he would have been a obscure but respected minor short story writer published by small and university presses, not McGraw-Hill and Knopf, which Lish had to go up to bat and do songs and dances to secure book contracts.

“Why Don’t You Use Your Parking Space?”

The 2009 issue of Gargoyle Magazine (more like anthology) contains my short story, “Why Don’t You Use Your Parking Space?” which is the lead story in my Black Lawrence Press collection, Pictures of Houses with Water Damage, out Summer 2010.

This is issue #55, cover image below.  I have been reading Richard Peabody’s Gargoyle since I was 16, contributing now and then since I was 18.  Long history here. I also had stories in Peabody’s books, Momdo Marilyn and Mondo James Dean (St. Martin’s Press).

Pictures of Houses with Water Damage Now Up on Amazon for Pre-Order!

Pictures of Houses with Water Damage (Black Lawrence Press, Summer 2010) is now up on Amazon here.

Water Damage final

Anthology: Morbid Curiosity Kills the Blues

I have an essay, “The Barbie Wrecking Yard,” in this new anthology from Scribner, Morbid Curiosity Kills the Blues.


Order from Simon & Schuster here.

Order from here.

Book trailer:

Black Lawrence Press author Michael Hemmingson Receives Norman K. Denzin Qualitative Research Award

Have been informed I have won the 2009 Norman K. Denzin Qualitative Research Award for my paper, “Autoethnographic Fragments of my Grandmothers.”  The award is give  out by the Carl Couch Center.


Dear Prof. Hemmingson,

Thank you very much for your application for the 2009 Norman K. Denzin Qualitative Research Award. The Award Review Committee has completed its review of this year’s applications. I am very happy to inform you that you the winner of this year’s Denzin Award.  Congratulations for a fine piece of work!

As the winner of this year’s Denzin Award, there are several items I would like to inform you:

(1) Please plan to attend the Ethnography Division Business Meeting in 2009 National Communication Association(NCA) Convention in [Chicago], where a plaque of Norman K. Denzin Qualitative Research Award will be presented to you.  I will inform you the time, date, and place of the event in my later correspondence with you.  If you could not attend the award presentation, please arrange someone to accept the plaque on your behalf.

(2) Your name will be entered onto the Norman K. Denzin Qualitative Research Award Plaque, a 14”x 17’’ plaque, placed in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Award announcements will also appear in the newsletters and listserves of professional organizations.

The Carl Couch Center thanks you for your application of the Norman K. Denzin Qualitative Research Award. Congratulations for winning this distinguished award.  I will be in touch with you regarding the award presentation. Thank you again.


Shing-Ling Sarina Chen

Program Manager, Carl Couch Center

Bill: A Short Novel told in tweets

bill-2My short novel, BILL: A SHORT NOVEL, a novel told in tweets, has started @ Twitter here:

Sign up for the adventures of Bill, a doctor with a loose prescription pad in Hollywood, Calif.

Auto/ethnographies — collection of essays from Michael Hemmingson


Availale at,, or directly from the publisher.

Recent Publications

Academic quarterlies are often behind in schedule — case in point, The Explicator, just issued its Summer 20o08 and Fall 2008 issues at the same time. I have work in both — three explication notes on Raymond Carver’s stories — in the Summer issue, they’re on self-image in “Intimacy” and how Gordon Lish edited “Tell The Women We’re Going;” in the Fall, on Gordon Lish’s editing “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love,” a.k.a. “Beginners,” which was the big to-do in last year’s Xmas issue of The New Yorker, with correspondence, and on-line, a play-by-play, or cut-by-cut, blow-by-blow showing of the edits.

My suite of five flash fictions, “Five Freaks,” is in the new issue of Fictional International

A review-essay on a book called Sperm Counts is in the Fall 2008 issue of The Journal of Sex Research.

An essay, “Autoethnography as Stand-Up Comedy,” in Vol. 1.2 of Creative Appraoches to Research.