Complete List of Thomas Larson's Publications: 1981 - 2024 Print E-mail


Spirituality and the Writer: A Personal Inquiry. Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press / Swallow Press, 2019.

The Sanctuary of Illness: A Memoir of Heart Disease. Albany, NY: Hudson Whitman / Excelsior College Press, 2014.

The Saddest Music Ever Written: The Story of Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings." New York: Pegasus Books, 2010.

The Memoir and the Memoirist: Reading and Writing Personal Narrative. Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press / Swallow Press, 2007.


Audible Audiobooks:

Spirituality and the Writer: A Personal Inquiry. Ian Putnam, University Press Audiobooks, 2022.

The Saddest Music Ever Written: The Story of Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings." Gregory St. John, Audible Studios, 2013.


Amazon eBooks:

Awash in Celebrity Authors. Amazon Kindle, March 2012.

We Are Their Heaven: A Family Memoir. Amazon Kindle, August 2011.

On the Poetry of James Wright. Amazon Kindle, March 2011.

What Exactly Happened: Four Essays on the Craft of Memoir. Amazon Kindle, January 2011.


Books Edited:

A Year in Ink: San Diego Writers’ Ink Anthology. Editor. San Diego, California: The Ink Spot Press, 2008.


Works Anthologized:

"Kneaded." Sustenance: Writers from B.C. and Beyond on the Subject of Food. Vancouver, CA: Anvil Press, December 2017.

"This Shining Night." Solstice Selects: Two Years of Diverse Voices. Edited by Lee Hope, 2016.

"A Few Photographs of Molested Children." Eclectia Magazine: Best Nonfiction, Volume 1. October 1996 - February 2016.

"'In Spite of Everything': The Definitive Indefinite Anne Frank." Anne Frank: People Who Made History, ed. by Jennifer Hansen. Greenhaven Press, 2003.

"A Political Vision of Afro-American Culture: Richard Wright’s 'Bright and Morning Star.'" In Richard Wright: Myths and Realities, ed. by C. James Trotman. Garland Publishing, 1988.


The Social Author:

Essay Series at Guernica.

"Rachel Maddow, Isocrates, and the Power of Speech." May 22, 2014.

"The Fearless Oratory of Christopher Hitchens." February 6, 2014.

"The Great Literary Future Behind Us." December 20, 2013.

"On the Social Authorship of the Bible." November 13, 2013.

"Our Multimedial Beginning." September 30, 2013.

"Writing Seen, Writing Spoken." August 26, 2013.


Video Essay:

"I'm Sorry / What For." AWP, Boston, LIR, March 7, 2013.


Psychology Today "Mysteries of the Heart":

"Inflammation & Heart Disease." November 2014.

"Thinking Ourselves Heart-Sick." October 2014.

"From 'Not Me' to 'Why Me?'" September 2014.

"Women Caretaking Men, Part 2." July 2014.

"Women Caretaking Men, Part 1." June 2014.

"Inextinguishably Alive." May 2014.

"The Heart and a Language To Describe It." April 2014.

"Cuddling with Mamie." March 2014.

Blog Posts:

One year of blog-post essays and articles at 3QuarksDaily. November 2020 to November 2021.

"My Vegan Heart." Everyday Health. January 15, 2014.

"How We Spend Our Days: Thomas Larson." Catching Days blog. October 1, 2013.

"After Many a Summer Still Writing My Parents." Michael Steinberg's blog. November 28. 2012.


Multimedia Presentations:

"James Agee and Music." The Sembrich Museum. Bolton Landing, NY. August 26, 2015.

"The Sanctuary of Illness." Premiered, January 26, 2014, Swedenborgian Hall, San Diego, CA. One dozen other dates.

"And Titanic's Band Played On: 100 Years of a Musical Mystery." Multimedia performance, summer/fall 2012, five dates.

"Disenthralled: An End to My Heart Disease." Ashland University MFA program multimedia performance, August 3, 2011.

"The 'Author' in the Digital Age." Multimedia talk. Two venues, 2011.

"The Saddest Music Ever Written." Multimedia presentation. Fall 2010 National Tour, thirty dates.


Writing on the Art of John Daniel Abel:

"Hopelessly American." An afterword to Rank 'N File: Life and Death for the American Underclass. Summer 2014.

"Whatever." An Introduction to The Last Word: 76 American Epitaphs. New edition, 2014.



"The Pleasures and Paradoxes of Spiritual Writing." Rain Taxi Interview with Renee D'Aoust. Fall 2019.


Eulogies & Elegies:

"Growing Sugar Beets in Sonoma: Elegy for Bruce Brown." January 2020.

"Eulogy for John Christianson." April 2, 2018.



"Eat & Read." Write or Die. December 6, 2023.


Feature Articles, Critcal Essays, & Commentary:

"The Pete Wilson Legacy in 30 Pieces." Cover Story. San Diego Reader. May 8, 2024.

"Paraphrase, or Writer With Child." Essay. Assay. April 1, 2024.

"Why I'm Saying No to Self-Publishing." Essay. Zero Readers. March 31, 2024.

"Mine Ears Have Heard the GloryThe Ilford Review. March 22, 2024.

"Pretending Publish Space Is Private (After Rebecca Solnit)." Commentary. Times of San Diego. March 3, 2024.

"Dudes to Dads." San Diego Reader. February 14, 2024.

"The Writer-On-Writer Memoir." Essay. AWP Writer's Chronicle. February 1, 2024.

"Very Good Boys and Girls." San Diego Reader. January 10.2024.

"Time During the Holidays." Times of San Diego. January 6, 2024.

"Down to the River Jordan." The Truth Seeker. September 2023.

"Noise Is a Necessary Obscenity." San Diego Reader. August 23, 2023.

"On John Baldessari." Raft Magazine. July 9, 2023.

"San Diego Smart: In Search of Intelligence." San Diego Reader. February 8, 2023.

"Absurd Givenness: The Death of God, Richard Rubenstein, and Me." The Truth Seeker. Sept-Dec, 2022.

"Will No One Rid Me of This Troublesome Orange Jesus?" Times of San Diego. October 2, 2022.

"Life in Calipatria." San Diego Reader. August 31, 2022.

"Pro-Life? Not Exactly. More Like Pro-Birth. Life's Something Else. Times of San Diego. July 5, 2022.

"The Self, As Ensemble, The Prose, Like Jazz: On Albert Murray's South to a Very Old Place." Metapsychosis. June 1, 2022.

"Jackie Bryant Builds a Platform (The News Will Never Be the Same)." San Diego Reader. January 26, 2022.

"What's in His Wallet? An Addendum to the Texas Abortion Law." Times of San Diego. September 9, 2021.

"Unchurched." San Diego Reader. September 1, 2021.

"The Multimedia Art of Chauvet Cave." 3QuarksDaily. July 12, 2021.

"Certainty Makes You Stupid. San Diego Stupid." San Diego Reader. June 30, 2021.

"Fraudsters." San Diego Reader. May 6, 2021.

"I Assert the Right to Live Free From Disinformation." Times of San Diego. January 28, 2021.

"Beach Erosion." San Diego Reader. January 13, 2021.

"A Plurality of Traditions: Anthony Davis & the Social Justice Opera." Los Angeles Review of Books. October 17, 2020.

"Here's That Rainy Day: Hard Times for 17 County Cities." San Diego Reader. August 6, 2020.

"To Play with Reptiles All Day." San Diego Reader. July 29, 2020.

"Masking the Unmasked." Times of San Diego. June 28, 2020.

"We Need to Protect Against Covid-19 As If It Were (Far Worse Than) Gun Violence." Times of San Diego. May 2, 2020.

"After a Century of Animal-Borne Diseases, It's Vegetarian Time." Times of San Diego. April 11, 2020.

"This South Bay Sentinel: On Paradise Hills." San Diego Reader. January 22, 2020.

"Elegy for the Trapdoor Spider." San Diego Reader. November 2019, 2019.

"My College Is Better Than Your College." San Diego Reader. August 14, 2019.

"Thirty-Five Glimpses at Lemon Grove." San Diego Reader. April 10, 2019

"We Wish There Were Fewer." San Diego Reader. January 23, 2019.

"Sorrento Valley Lacks Stickiness." San Diego Reader. November 21, 2018.

"Users and Their Words: Wrestling with John D'Agata." River Teeth. Spirng 2018, 19.2.

"All Those Glittering Notes: The Music of Richard Thompson." San Diego Troubadour. May 1, 2018.

"Fanfare for an American Maverick: Ruth Crawford Seeger." San Diego Troubadour. February 1, 2018.

"Rejoice! Secularism Won! Why We Can Never Celebrate." The Truth Seeker. January 31, 2018.

"In My Heart, I Hate It: Little Italy." San Diego Reader. January 17, 2018.

"Thomas Merton and the Language of Spirituality." Berfrois UK. October 17, 2017.

"The Reliably Spiritual Author." Pacifica Literary Review. Summer 2017.

"Between Indifference and Hope." San Diego Reader. June 28, 2017.

"One Smartphone, 100 Million Users, and Privatizing Faith." Free Inquiry. June 2, 2017.

"San Diego's Top 12 Donors." San Diego Reader. April 19, 2017.

"What I Am Not Yet, I Am." Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies. April 1, 2017.

"Through the Veil One Sees: On Richard Selzer." Paper read February 9, 2017 @ AWP Conference.

"The Purgatorial Trenches of Wilfred Owen." The Truth Seeker. January 15, 2017.

"Leo Tolstoy and the Origins of Spiritual Memoir." Los Angeles Review of Books. January 13, 2017.

"Who Are You Calling an Atheist?" Church & State, UK. October 15, 2016.

"Christploitation @ the Movies." The Truth Seeker. October 1, 2016.

"Oldest Things in San Diego." San Diego Reader. August 31, 2016.

"A New Art Aloud: On Margaret Noble." San Diego Reader. June 8, 2016.

"Consume, Discard, Repeat: The Industrial Landscapes of Kim Reasor. San Diego Reader. June 1, 2016.

"The Taxman Cometh Not." The Truth Seeker. May 2016.

"A Secular Founding Father: On Ian Ruskin's 'Thomas Paine.'" The Truth Seeker. May 2016.

"Between Words & Images." Profile of Justin Manor and Sosolimited. San Diego Reader. February 3, 2016.

"I Don't Know Why I'm a Musician." Profile of Joe Garrison. San Diego Reader. December 24, 2015.

"Denying and Welcoming the End: The Evangelical Duplicity." The Truth Seeker. Volume 142. September 2015.

"In the Guise of Telling the Truth." Referential Magazine. September 23, 2015.

"On Medical Authority." Guernica. August 6, 2015.

"Child No More." San Diego Reader. July 22, 2015.

"San Diego For Sale." San Diego Reader. April 2, 2015.

"Print (Almost) Anything." 3-D printing. San Diego Reader. January 28, 2015.

"Befouled." San Diego's Most Polluted Areas. San Diego Reader. November 26, 2014.

"The Music Is Always There: Reflections on Jazz, Improvisation, and the New Orleans Jazz Fest, 2014." Guernica. Two Parts. November 24, 25, 2014.

"The Sincerely Held Religious Belief: Hobby Lobby and the Bible." New English Review. November 2014.

"The Misunderstood, Abused, Victimized, and Writerly Essential Outline." TriQuarterly. October 21, 2014.

"The Big Dry." San Diego Reader. August 20, 2014.

"Men in Peril, Hollywood, & Our Skewed Portrayal of Heart Disease." Bright Lights Film Journal. April 11, 2014.

"Orality Hunger (for David Shields)." Solstice Literary Journal. Spring 2014.

"We Don't Call Them Drones Anymore." San Diego Reader. February 5, 2014.

"Slog for a Green Card." San Diego Reader. December 31, 2013.

"The Psychopaths Among Us: A Three-Act Essay." Triquarterly. May 31, 2013.

"How I Want To Be in That Number." Dispatch from the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage festival, May 20, 2013, Oxford American online.

"Writing While Ill: Pathography, Then & Now." Shenandoah. Online journal 62.2., February 2013.

"What Am I?" A history of San Diego in 20 objects. San Diego Reader. January 30, 2013.

"What Became of San Diego's Newspaper." The Awl. January 18, 2013.

"The Shifting Self." On Donald Morrill's The Untouched Minutes. Oxford American. Issue 78: August, 2012.

"Music, Memory, and Prose: On Joan Didion's Memoirs. Puerto del Sol. Volume 47, No. 1, Summer 2012.

"Book Critic Censored by San Diego Newspaper." Counterpunch. May 25-27, 2012.

"Year-Round Santa." San Diego Reader. June 27, 2012.

"Disenthralled: An End to My Heart Disease." River Teeth. Volume 13, No. 2. Spring 2012.

"Tased and Subdued, Throttled and Killed." San Diego Reader. February 22, 2012.

"The Celebrity Author: Fame = Credibility." Ontological: A Journal of Art and Thought. Winter 2011.

"Describing Darkness: The Night Photography of Scott B. Davis." The Summerset Review. Winter 2012.

"Debt. Arson. Murder." San Diego Reader. October 5, 2011.

"Is He a Citizen?" San Diego Reader. September 21, 2011.

"Outside on the Night Shift." San Diego Reader. August 2, 2011.

"Authoring Ourselves." Fiddleback. August, 2011.

"Now, Where Was I?" On Maggie Nelson's Bluets." TriQuarterly Online, February, 2011.

"Music and War's Grief." Commentary. San Diego Union-Tribune. Veterans Day: November 11, 2010.

"Hog Wild." Pigs go crazy in the backcountry. San Diego Reader. August 4, 2010.

"Caitlin Rother: Crime Writer." Short profile. San Diego Magazine. July 2010.

"Till Death Do Us Part. It's the Only Way We Will." The murder-suicide of Ginger Wolbers & Frank Bass. San Diego Reader. June 2, 2010.

"After the Music Died." Music's resurrection in public schools. San Diego Reader. March 31, 2010.

"Nonprofits Nonplussed." Doing less with less. San Diego Reader. December 30, 2009.

"Ex-Pros." Is there life after sport? San Diego Reader. November 4, 2009.

"Puppeteers: Eight San Diegans Who Don't Want To Tell You What They Do." On city councilmembers' chiefs of staff. San Diego Reader. September 2, 2009.

"Fiction, Fact, and Faked Memoirs." The story of four recently faked memoirs and the ensuing struggle to clarify the moral identity of memoir writing. New English Review. July 2009.

"If We Didn’t Advertize We’d Go Broke Treating the Poor." Big hospitals, big marketing, big money. San Diego Reader. June 24, 2009.

"Bertha Bugarin Heads to Jail." An abortionist’s end. San Diego Reader. February 18, 2009.

"Identity Crisis: What Is Memoir Anyway?" Etude: Literary Nonfiction. Winter, 2009.

"Why Local Radio Is No Longer Local." San Diego Reader. December 30, 2008.

"Go Directly to Jail . . . and Die." Death by detention. San Diego Reader. December 10, 2008.

"Intimate Murder." When a woman kills her man. San Diego Reader. July 2, 2008.

"How UCSD Spent Over $500,000 on a Home Remodel That Never Happened." In the land of the Kumeyaay dead. San Diego Reader. April 30, 2008.

"San Diego’s Highest Paid Executives." Gouge, gouge, gouge. San Diego Reader. December 27, 2007.

"The Self-Reliant Classicist: An Introduction to the Art of John Abel." John Daniel Abel: Paintings and Graphics, 1977-2006. San Diego Art Institute Press, December 9, 2007.

"Of Course You Qualify!" The mortgage meltdown: subprime San Diego. San Diego Reader. September 6, 2007.

"The Age of Memoir." Essay. Review Americana. Spring 2007. Volume 2, Issue 1.

"What’s That Smell?" An olfactory tour of San Diego. San Diego Reader. May 10, 2007.

"To Fuse Wind and Its Motion." Meditation on the seagull. turnrow. Winter, 2007, Vol. 5.1.

"The Well-Traveled Tomato." Do you know where the food you eat comes from? San Diego Reader. March 8, 2007.

"Greeting the Tense New Dawn." Institute of Peace and Justice and the people’s revolution in Nepal. USD Magazine. Spring 2007.

"No Bad Jobs, Just Bad Attitudes." Three local motivational speakers. San Diego Reader. December 28, 2006.

"Dig a Little Deeper." The murder of William H. Thompson. San Diego Reader. Oct. 12, 2006.

"The Guest Is Like God." Indian-American hoteliers. San Diego Reader. June 29, 2006.

"A Tenth Grader’s History of the World." Abysmal high school textbooks. San Diego Reader. June 22, 2006.

"The Patient Person." Profile of Cmdr. Lavencion Starks, male nurse. USD Magazine. Summer 2006.

"Dirty Jobs." San Diego’s worst blue- and white-collar jobs. San Diego Reader. April 27, 2006.

"He Never Displayed Any Meanness." Profile of felon Donald Marquis Bickerstaff. San Diego Reader. September 29, 2005.

"The Good Shoemaker and the Poor Fish Peddler." Sacco, Vanzetti, and San Diego. San Diego Reader. August 18, 2005.

"The Unmitigated Gall of Dinesh D’Souza." Commentary. Counterpunch. August 16, 2005.

"Bankrupt." Those who file for Chapter 7 and the predatory credit-card industry that helps them get there. San Diego Reader. May 12, 2005.

"The High Tech High Way." Article on San Diego charter high school. USD Magazine. Spring 2005.

"The Controversialist." Profile of Dinesh D’Souza. San Diego Reader. April 14, 2005.

"Bulldog for the Underdog." Profile of Michael Shames, founder of UCAN and consumer advocate. USD Magazine. Winter 2005.

"Elections San Diego Style." The seven most contentious races in San Diego history. San Diego Reader. October 28, 2004.

"Beautiful Light." San Diego Reader. October 7, 2004.

"Scary Pictures. What Your Kids See on TV." San Diego Reader. August 27, 2004.

"Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr." On pit bulls. San Diego Reader. July 29, 2004.

"Our Samuel Clemens: Mark Twain in the Age of Personal Disclosure." Southern Humanities Review. Spring 2004. Volume 38, No. 2.

"Caged." Surviving San Diego jails and California prisons. San Diego Reader. May 20, 2004.

"To Fuse Wind and Its Motion." Meditation on the seagull in San Diego. San Diego Reader. December 4, 2003.

"Under Our Perfect Sun This Man Finds Trouble." Profile of Mike Davis. San Diego Reader. October 17, 2003.

"The White Mask. Marilyn Monroe and the Hotel del Coronado." The making of Some Like It Hot. San Diego Reader. September 4, 2003.

"Soldier’s Pay." Article about San Diego military wives, waiting in bread lines for food, during the Iraqi war. San Diego Reader. August 21, 2003.

"Reina’s Story." Narrative nonfiction tale of a 15-year-old Mexican girl trafficked into prostitution in the San Diego. San Diego Reader. August 7, 2003.

"Struck Rich! Winning the California Lottery." Feature story. San Diego Reader. June 26, 2003.

"I Am Your Loving Daughter Clara Clemens." Feature story: Mark Twain’s daughter and the end of her life in San Diego. San Diego Reader. May 8, 2003.

"El Cajon Mojo Master Lectures Spielberg." Responding to Michael Jackson’s voodoo curse. San Diego Reader. April 24, 2003.

"A Few Photographs of Molested Children." Essay. Eclectica Magazine. April/May 2003.

"Get Me Rewrite!" A review of the film Adaptation. The Redwood Coast Review. Spring 2003. Volume 5, No. 2.

"Does the City Care How Much Water You Use?" Investigative story on local water supply, rate-hikes, and usage. San Diego Reader. October 3, 2002.

"Busy Being Born." On the origin of life on earth. San Diego Reader. September 12, 2002.

"Almost Beautiful: A Life of Nathanael West." Gettysburg Review. Volume 14/Number 4, Winter 2001.

"I Have More Money Than We Could Possibly Spend in Our Lifetimes." Investigative story on the rise and fall of PinnFund, USA. San Diego Reader. April 18, 2002.

"How Steam and Sun Can Light Your Life." Profile of geothermal energy in the Imperial Valley. San Diego Reader. December 6, 2001.

"Not Only the Man Down the Street." Investigative story on child molestation in San Diego. San Diego Reader. July 12, 2001.

"Swords Unsheathed." Profile of local city council race. San Diego Reader. May 31, 2001.

"The John Moores Exemption." Investigative story on the owner of the San Diego Padres, a major league baseball team and its stadium project. San Diego Reader. April 12, 2001.

"Jenna’s Dad." Profile of grief psychologist Ken Druck. San Diego Reader. January 11, 2001.

"Adult Boys of Rancho Penasquitos." Article on a hate crime by eight youths against five Mexican farm workers. San Diego Reader. December 7, 2000.

"Making News." Profile of two San Diego television news stations. San Diego Reader. September 14, 2000.

"Troubling Beauty." On the painting of William Glen Crooks. Southwest Art. July, 2000.

"Fairy Shrimp, the Mayor of Poway, and the City of San Diego." Environmental exposé. San Diego Reader. April 20, 2000.

"Never Die." Feature on stem-cell research. San Diego Reader. March 23, 2000.

"'In Spite of Everything': The Definitive Indefinite Anne Frank." Antioch Review. Winter 2000, Volume 58, No. 1.

"City of Artless Politics." Commentary on rejected art project for the San Diego Convention Center. San Diego Reader. December 2, 1999.

"Something Saved From Destruction." Feature article on recycled housing. San Diego Reader. November 18, 1999.

"Last Light." Feature article on San Diego painters, collectors, gallery owners, and museum directors. San Diego Reader. August 26, 1999.

"Richard Diebenkorn and the Art of Crossing Borders." Review. Art Revue Magazine. December 1998.

"Skull and Roses—Reflections on Enshrining Georgia O’Keeffe." Essay. Southwest Review. Vol. 83, No. 1, 1998.

"Autobiographies of the Present." Essay on innovative techniques of contemporary autobiographical writers. Boulevard. Spring 1993.

"Yellowstone: Two Years After the Fires of ‘88." Essay. South Dakota Review. Vol. 29, No. 1, Spring 1991.

"Unanswering the Question." Essay on the music of Charles Ives and the poetry of Charles Olson. Perspectives of New Music. Double issue: Fall-Winter, Vol. 20, No. 1, 1981; Spring-Summer, Vol. 20, No. 2, 1982.


Personal Essays and Memoir:

"Still Unsettled in the Promised Land." Los Angeles Review. June 1, 2023.

"On Cezanne's 'The Card Players.'" 3QuarksDaily. June 14, 2021.

"Affinity & Ambiguity: Writing & Music." The Nonconformist. April 5, 2021.

"Hal Holbrook & Clara Clemens Samossoud." Times of San Diego. March 20, 2021.

"One Afternoon in the Annals of Marriage Therapy." Helix Literary Magazine. March 12, 2021.

"Emma's Graveyard Moan: Thomas Hardy's Elegies for His Dead Wife." 3QuarksDaily. November 2, 2020.

"Quieted America; A Reverie for New York in the Time of Covid-19." The Sembrich Online. September 11, 2020.

"Between the Numinous & Me." Bangalore Review. September 2020.

"The Mytheme of Male Desire." After the Art. June 18, 2020.

"Michael Steinberg: A Remembrance and a Review." River Teeth Blog. January 3, 2020.

"On Writing That Is Far Less Religious, Way More Spiritual." Brevity. May 30, 2019.

"Kneaded." Sustenance: Writers from B.C. and Beyond on the Subject of Food. Vancouver, CA: Anvil Press, December, 2017.

"What It Was My Father Came Here to Get Away From." River Teeth. 18.2: Spring, 2017.

"On The Best American Essays 1995: Man Versus Boy." Essay Daily. December 16, 2015.

"Eliot & Faith." Forth Magazine. November 2015.

"I Go To Church, Meet God on Film, and Find the Pastor's Faith in the Word Lays Bare the Absence of Mine." Indiana Voice Journal. November 5, 2015.

"Oh Me of Little Faith." Lehigh Valley Vanguard. October 3, 2015.

"For When I'm Not." Lyric essay. Ray's Road Review. Spring 2015.

"This Shining Night. 'We Are Talking Now of James Agee's "Knoxville: Summer 1915."'" Solstice Literary Magazine. December 21, 2014.

"Stress Echo." Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine. June 27, 2013.

"No Absence Like Water's Absence." Lyric essay. Catamarran Literary Reader, Summer 2013.

"One Way It Happens." Brevity 41. January 2013.

"The Son Not Taken." An end to my father’s birth. Tampa Review 36. Winter 2009.

"Mrs. Wright’s Bookshop." An elegy to a woman, a place, a time, and the pleasures of books. New Letters. Volume 74, No. 3. Summer 2008. Winner (first-place tie with Kim Addonizio) in New Letters’ Readers Award for the Essay, 2007 - 2008.

"Beguiled by Mozart’s Image." A meditation on an 1819 portrait of Mozart. Cadillac Cicatrix. Issue 2.0, Winter 2008.

"Everlasting Uncertainty: How I Became an Academic Marxist." / Shorts. A lit-crit fool such as I. December 20, 2007.

"It’s a Good Story For You." Remembering Judith Moore. San Diego Reader. August 16, 2007.

"The Woman on the Corner." / Shorts. The deaths of my maternal grandparents. August 3, 2007.

"Hide and Seek: Finding Mozart In His Image." A meditation on an 1819 portrait of Mozart. Music & Vision Daily. April 8, 2007.

"Forth From My Pioneer Speakers." On Roy Harris’s Third Symphony. San Diego Reader. August 11, 2005.

"Mother in Her Casket." Potomac Review. Issue 39, Spring/Summer 2005.

"Bob Hope at One World Trade." Raven Chronicles. Volume 10, special issue: Writers examine 9/11 and its aftermath: 2003.

"Get Me Rewrite!" Essay on the film Adaptation by Spike Jonez. Redcoast Review. Spring 2003.

"Writer, Interrupted." Memoir. San Diego Reader. May 30, 2002.

"Torn Past." Memoir. San Diego Reader. June 15, 2000.

"California, Here I Come." Personal essay and review. San Diego Reader. February 24, 2000.

"Everlasting Uncertainty: How I Became a UC San Diego Marxist." Personal essay. San Diego Reader. January 7, 1999.

"Falling Back to Earth." Memoir and cover article. Chicago Reader. July 3, 1998.

"Honesty, Confession and Other Dramas of ‘Creative Writing’." Essay. AWP Chronicle. March/April, 1998.

"Freshman Comp, 1967." The Anchor Essay Annual: The Best of 1997. Edited by Phillip Lopate, Doubleday: 1997.

"What I Hid on My Summer Vacation." Travel essay. The OC Weekly. September 26, 1997.

"When Pink Elephants Flew In To the Rescue." The Cream City Review. Volume 21, No. 1, Fall 1996.

"The Hollow Boy: A Childhood Memory." The Cream City Review: 20th Anniversary Anthology. Volume 20, Nos. 1 and 2, Spring 1995-6.

"Fellow Teachers, We Are Not Mr. Holland." Opinion article. Inside English. May, 1996, XXIII, No. 4.

"Fred Goldman Gave Dignity to Expressing Grief." Opinion article. The Blade-Citizen. October 22, 1995.

"Economic Opportunity a Joke to Today’s Young Americans." Opinion article. The Blade-Citizen. September 17, 1995.

"The Memoir of Parental Responsibility." Talk given at the American Literature Association's "Symposium on American Autobiography" Cabo San Lucas, Mexico November 14, 1994.

"A Meditation on California While Rushing Through It." Essay. Benicia Bay Review. Vol. 1, No. 2, Fall 1994.

"The Myth of the Great Teacher." Essay. Inside English. May 1994, XXI, No. 4.

"Bitter Californians Are Giving Up on State and Leaving." Opinion article. The Blade-Citizen. November 7, 1993.

"Somewhere in the Talk Show Audience." Satiric essay. San Diego Union-Tribune. August 12, 1993.

"Words for Boys and Girls." Autobiographical story. San Diego Writers’ Monthly. August, 1993.

"When the Subject is AIDS, No One Knows What to Say." Autobiographical essay. San Diego Union-Tribune. July 1, 1993.

"Goddess of the Sixties." Autobiographical essay. Cimarron Review. Spring, 1993.

"On My Father’s Business." Autobiographical story. Great River Review. No. 22, April, 1993.

"My Father’s Keeper." Autobiographical story. Chicago Reader. December, 1992.

"The Hollow Boy: A Childhood Memory." Autobiographical story. The Cream City Review. Vol. 16, No. 2, Fall, 1992.

"The Lure and the Deep." Autobiographical essay. San Diego Writers’ Monthly. April, 1992.

"New Snow." Autobiographical story. San Diego Reader. Vol. 20, No. 20, May 23, 1991.

"Public Pain." Autobiographical story. San Diego Reader. Vol. 19, No. 26, July 5, 1990.

"The Duck." Autobiographical story. Read on KPBS-FM radio, San Diego On Air. February 13, 1987.


Book, Music, Art, & Film Reviews 2020s:

"The Essay--An Unprescribable Form." Review of The Edinburgh Companion to the Essay. La Piccioletta Barca. June 15, 2024.

"The Circling Narrative." Review of Daniel Mendelsohn's Three Rings: A Tale of Exile, Narrative, and Fate. River Teeth. May 10, 2024.

"Bestseller Reparations." Review of American Fiction (film). Quillette. January 24, 2024.

"Riding to Nowwhere." Review of Americosis. American Spectator. January 2, 2024.

"The Anger of Memory: Teju Cole's Tremor." The Rumpus. October 25, 2023.

"Always Crashing in the Same Car: On Art, Crisis, and Los Angeles, California by Matthew Spector," a review. Quillette. March 17, 2023.

"Procession: A Film Review." The Truth Seeker. January 2022.

"Seeing Mad: A Review of Essays on MAD Magazine's 'Gang of Idiots.'" Another Chicago Magazine. October 26, 2021.

"The Amish Atheist." The Truth Seeker. October 1, 2021.

"I'm Going To Build a Heaven of My Own: The Harry Smith B Sides." Los Angeles Review of Books. April 18, 2021.


Book, Music, Art, & Film Reviews 2010s:

"Shapes Shifted, Senses Altered, Values Freely Wheeled." Reivew of Fluid States by Heidi Czerwiec. River Teeth Blog. August 2, 2019.

"Making Violence Holy." Dialogue review of Mass: A Sniper, A Father, and A Priest by Jo Scott-Coe with Renee D'Aoust. River Teeth Online. December 3, 2018.

"Sing Out!" Review of First Time Ever by Peggy Seeger. Another Chicago Magazine. October 23, 2018 & San Diego Troubadour March 2019.

"Death and a Return to Wholeness: Joe Garrison's 'The Broken Jar.'" San Diego Troubadour. November 1, 2017.

"#literatureasexhaustion." Review of Three Kinds of Motion by Riley Hanick. Essay Daily. October 7, 2015.

"An Inner Exhuberance." Review of The Little Locksmith by Katharine Butler Hathaway. River Teeth Blog. October 1, 2015.

Review of One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Created Christian America by Kevin Kruse. The Humanist. July/August 2015.

"Interlude" by Jamie Cullen. Music and Musicians Issue 4, 2015.

"Growing the Soil and the Soul: On Richard Gilbert's Shepherd." River Teeth Blog. June 1, 2014.

Review of Memoir: An Introduction. C. Thomas Couser. American Book Review. Vol. 35.2. May 13, 2014.

"The Griffin of Literature: Three New Books of Prose Poetry." TriQuarterly. January 31, 2014.

"ReCollage." Review of How Literature Saved My Life by David Shields. The Rumpus. March 4, 2013.

"Beyond Blood." Review of Elsewhere by Richard Russo. American Book Review. Jan/Feb, 2013.

Review of Let the People In: The Life and Times of Ann Richard by Jan Reid. Oxford American online. February 11, 2013.

"What Is the Sound of One Note Droning?" Review of Draw a Straight Line and Follow It: The Music and Mysticism of La Monte Young by Jeremy Grimshaw. Contrary Magazine. Winter 2013.

"Let Us Now Praise Free Men." Review of A Free Man: A True Story of Life and Death in Delhi by Aman Sethi. Los Angeles Review of Books. November 1, 2012.

"One Maniacally Meandering Memoir." Review of [Sic] by Joshua Cody. Punchnel's. August, 2012.

"Suicides Are Painful." Review of The Guardians: An Elegy by Sarah Manguso. Contrary Magazine. July 9, 2012.

"Write What You Don't Know." Review of Mrs. Nixon: A Novelist Imagines a Life by Ann Beattie. The Rumpus, January 30, 2012.

"The Self-Avoidant Biographer." Contrary Magazine. Winter 2012. Review of A Book of Secrets: Illegitimate Daughters, Absent Fathers by Michael Holroyd.

"I Am Large. I Contain Multitudes." Contrary Magazine. Autumn 2011. Review of Bob Dylan: Like a Complete Unknown by David Yaffe.

Review of The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning by Maggie Nelson, The Rumpus, July 11, 2011.

"The Non-Expert Expert." Contrary Magazine. Summer 2011. Review of Otherwise Known As the Human Condition by Geoff Dyer.

"Motherhood, Disenthralled." Contrary Magazine. Spring 2011. Review of Bring Down the Little Birds by Carmen Gimenez-Smith.

"This Is Your Brain—On Books, On Screens." The Rumpus.Net. February 22, 2011. Review of three books & one article on reading and the brain.

"Marshall McLuhan: You Know Nothing of My Work!" The Rumpus.Net. December 21, 2010. Review of Marshall McLuhan by Douglas Coupland.

"Alchemical Grief." Contrary Magazine. Winter 2011. Review of Mourning Diary by Roland Barthes.

"In Murder-Crazy America." Contrary Magazine. Autumn 2010. Review of Green Fields: Crime, Punishment, and a Boyhood Between by Bob Cowser Jr.

"Upbeat Diary: Victory Over Cancer." Contrary Magazine. Summer 2010. Review of The Adventures of Cancer Bitch by S. L. Wisenberg.

"Driving Cars in Clown Suits: David Shields Terrifies Novelists." AGNI Online. June 2010. Review of Reality Hunger: A Manifesto by David Shields.

"From Russia With Love." The Rumpus.Net. May 13, 2010. Review of The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Love Them by Elif Batuman.

"Still Addled After All These Years." Contrary Magazine. Spring 2010. Review of The Adderall Diaries by Stephen Elliott.


Book Reviews 2000s:

"Books of the City." Open Letters Monthly. December 2009. Review of Nine Lives: Death and Life in New Orleans by Dan Baum and Zeitoun by Dave Eggers.

"America's Great Feminist Icon." Contrary Magazine. Fall, 2009. Review of Frankly, My Dear: Gone With the Wind Revisited by Molly Haskell.

"A Poet’s Memoir." Contrary Magazine. Summer, 2009. Review of The River Lock: A Boy’s Life Along the Mohawk by Stephen Haven.

"The Composer’s Advocate." Contrary Magazine. Spring, 2009. Review of Hallelujah Junction: Composing an American Life by John Adams.

"DeWitt Henry and the Anxiety of Self-Discovery." Contrary Magazine. Winter, 2009. Review of Safe Suicide by DeWitt Henry.

"A Reporter Reviews a David’s Coverage of a Goliath." Contrary Magazine. Autumn, 2008. Review of Taking on the Trust: The Epic Battle of Ida Tarbell and John D. Rockefeller by Steve Weinberg.

"A Good Question Remains Unanswered." Contrary Magazine. Summer, 2008. Review of What is Life? Investigating the Nature of Life in the Age of Synthetic Biology by Ed Regis.

"Through a Glass, Outwardly: Memoirist Misses Inner Picture." Contrary Magazine. Spring, 2008. Review of The Windows of Brimnes: An American in Iceland by Bill Holm.

"Study of Fraud Poet Gives Him More Than His Due . . . At Last." Contrary Magazine. Winter, 2008. Review of Forging Fame: The Strange Career of Scharmel Iris by Craig Abbott.

"Is the Unexamined Life Worth Voting For? The Memoirs of Clinton, Edwards, and Obama." A review-essay of the three top Democrat presidential candidates: October 12, 2007. / Shorts.

Review of The Lost: The Search for Six of Six Million by Daniel Mendelsohn. Fourth Genre. Volume 9, Issue 2, 2007.

"On Bovine Excrement." Review of On Bullshit. Harry G. Frankfurt. Free Inquiry. August/September 2006, Vol. 26, No. 5.

"Bret Easton Ellis’ Lunar Park starring one Bret Easton Ellis, is a big self-conscious mess." Review of Lunar Park. Bret Easton Ellis. San Diego Union-Tribune. September 4, 2005.

"The Soul of American Music." Review of From Dovrak to Duke Ellington by Maurice Peress. American Book Review. Volume 26, No. 2; Jan/Feb 2005.

"Shaken and Stirred." Review of The Myth of Solid Ground. David L. Ulin. San Diego Union-Tribune. September, 2004.

"The Passion According to Henry." Review of H. L. Mencken on Religion edited by S. T. Joshi. Free Inquiry. February/March, 2004. Vol. 24, No. 2.

"Searching for Nowhere." Review of Visions of Utopia by Edward Rothstein, Herbert Muschamp, and Martin E. Marty. American Book Review. Volume 25, No. 1; Nov/Dec 2003.

"The Fatalist." Review of Train by Pete Dexter. San Diego Union-Tribune. October 5, 2003.


Book Reviews 1990s:

Review of Avatar of the Word by James J. O’Connell. Georgia Review. Spring, 1999. Vol. LIII, No. 1.

"A Micro-Memoir." Review of The History of Light by Alvaro Cardona-Hine. Bloomsbury Review, July/Aug 1998, Vol. 18, Issue 4.

"A Mostly Male Form." Review of When Memory Speaks by Jill Ker Conway. San Diego Union-Tribune, March 22, 1998.

"Because They're Entitled Is Why." Review of Grace and Favor by Thomas Caplan. San Diego Union-Tribune, January 4, 1998.

"Song of Ireland." Review of Grace Notes by Bernard MacLaverty. San Diego Union-Tribune, September 14, 1997.

"An Epic for Our Times." Review of The Saskiad by Brian Hall. San Diego Union-Tribune, February 9, 1997.

"A Postmodern Disaster." Review of The Last Thing He Wanted by Joan Didion. San Diego Union-Tribune, September 19, 1996.

Review of Slow Dancing on Dinosaur Bones by Lana Witt. San Diego Writers’ Monthly, March, 1996.

Review of Jigs and Reels by Michael Stephens. Furious Fictions #3, October, 1993.

"Uneasy Confessions." Review of truth and lies that press for life. Poetry Flash. No. 232, July 1992.

"Surfaces to Keep." Review of Eden, poems by Dennis Schmitz. South Florida Poetry Review. Vol. 8, No. 2, Winter, 1991.

"Poetry With and Without Feeling." Review of three poetry collections: Infant Bonds of Joy by Roger Weingarten, Speaking in Tongues by Maurya Simon, Hope Against Hope by Lowell Jaeger. High Plains Literary Review. Vol. VI, No. 2, Fall 1991.

Review of The Great Ledge, poems by Peter Davison. The Cream City Review. Vol. 14, No. 2, Winter 1991.

"Bridgeable Shores." Review of Above the River: The Complete Poems by James Wright. Poetry Flash. No. 220, July 1991.

"Riders of the Unconscious." Review of American Poetry: Wildness and Domesticity, essays by Robert Bly. Poetry Flash. No. 214, January 1991.

"The Old Man and the Land of Enchantment." Review of River of Traps: A Village Life by William deBuys and Alex Harris. Rag Mag. Vol. 9, No. 1, 1991.

"The Art of the Felt Story." Review of Circe’s Mountain, stories by Marie Luise Kaschnitz. Northeast. Series V, No. 3, Winter 1990-1991.

"Heart to Heart." Review of Metaphor and Memory, essays by Cynthia Ozick. Pembroke Magazine. No. 23, 1991.

Review of Fear of Falling: The Inner Life of the Middle Class by Barbara Ehrenreich. Minnesota Review. N.S. 34/35, Spring/Fall 1990.

"East Eats West." Review of The Disappearance of the Outside, essays by Andrei Codrescu. In These Times. Vol. 14, No. 35, Sept. 19-25, 1990.

"The Predestination of It All." Review of Dogeaters, a novel by Jessica Hagedorn. Hungry Mind Review. No. 14, May-June 1990.

"A Moon Without a Bicycle." Review of Cambodia: A Book for People Who Find Television Too Slow, essays by Brain Fawcett. Another Chicago Magazine. No. 21, 1990.

"Into the Oak Brush." Review of Dancing at the Edge of the World, essays by Ursula K. Le Guin. Brick. No. 38, Winter 1990.

"Agency & Author Overkill." Review of Blank Check: The Pentagon's Black Budget by Tim Weiner. San Diego Union-Tribune. October 5, 1990.

Review of The Life of Sylvia Plath by Anne Stevenson. Calapooya Collage. August 1990.

"The Psychology of Oppression." Review of The Mind of South Africa by Allister Sparks. San Diego Union-Tribune. June 29, 1990.

"Oh, Those Antinomian Canadian Jews." Review of Solomon Gursky Was Here by Mordecai Richler. San Diego Union-Tribune. May 4, 1990.

"Sold to Death." Review of Satisfaction Guaranteed: The Making of the American Mass Market by Susan Strasser. San Diego Union-Tribune. January 5, 1990.


Book Reviews 1980s:

"Picasso of the Stage." Review of Jazz Cleopatra: Josephine Baker In Her Time by Phyllis Rose. San Diego Union-Tribune. December 22, 1989.

"Farewell Ray." Review of A New Path to the Waterfall, poems by Raymond Carver. Bone and Flesh Aside #3, Autumn 1989.

"The Moment of Love." Review of The Great Ledge poems by Peter Davison. San Diego Union-Tribune. November 10, 1989.

"Technology Will Save Us, Right?" Review of American Genesis: A Century of Innovation and Technological Enthusiasm 1870 - 1970 by Thomas P. Hughes. San Diego Union-Tribune. June 9, 1989.

"I Am What I Read." Review of The Call To Stories: Teaching and the Moral Imagination by Robert Coles. San Diego Union-Tribune. April 14, 1989.

"Storr Digs Up Freud. Reburies Him." Review of Churchill's Black Dog, Kafka's Mice by Anthony Storr. San Diego Tribune. March 10, 1989.

"Poignant Confession." Review of Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood. San Diego Tribune. February 17, 1989.

"Something Is a Myth Here." Review of Other People's Myths by Wendy O'Flaherty. San Diego Tribune. January 27, 1989.

"A Soviet Poet's Prison Memoir." Review of Grey Is the Color of Hope by Irina Ratushinskaya. San Diego Tribune. November 4, 1988.

"A Clawing Effect." Review of A Bird in Her Hair, stories by Philip Bonosky. American Book Review. Vol. 10, No. 4, September/October 1988.

"Tolstoy, The Man and the Legend." Review of Tolstoy: The Ultimate Reconciliation by Martine de Courcel. San Diego Tribune. September 9, 1988.

"Pounding Away at Racism." Review of Writin' Is Fightin' by Ismael Reed. San Diego Tribune. August 26, 1988.

Review of Leaning Forward, poems by Grace Paley. UCSD Archive for New Poetry Newsletter. Fall 1987.

Review of Americas: Essays on American Music and Culture, 1973 - 1980 by Peter Garland. American Music. Vol. 4, No. 3, Fall 1986.


Other Writing Experience:

August 1988 - September 2005. Book reviewer for the San Diego Union-Tribune, Arthur Salm, book editor. Reviewed literary fiction, essays, sociology, politics and biography. Most of these reviews are listed here.

August 1980 - 1982. Music and arts writer for the Santa Fe New Mexican. Authored 125 articles, reviews, interviews, and commentaries on musical subjects. None of these pieces is listed here.

1975 - 1977. Contributing editor to Blues Magazine, Toronto, Canada. Wrote a series of articles and lessons on blues guitar playing. None of these pieces is listed here.