Freerange Nonfiction’s April 15, 2014 Installment

I’m reading a brand spanking new essay at the Freerange Nonfiction Reading Series this evening!

LINE-UP: Mitchell S. Jackson, Leah Vincent, Robb Todd, Michele Filgate, James Yeh, Erika Anderson.

HOST: Kassi Underwood

DATE: Tuesday, April 15th

TIME: 7 p.m. - 10 p.m. Show at 7:30.

STAGE: CULTUREfix at 9 Clinton Street in the Lower East Side. F train to Delancey; J, M to Essex, B, D trains to Grand

SUGGESTED DONATION: $5 (includes raffle ticket for prizes)

Follow us on Twitter: @FreerangeReads

MITCHELL S. JACKSON is the author of Oversoul: Stories and Essays and The Residue Years: A Novel (Bloomsbury USA). He has been the recipient of fellowships from Urban Artist Initiative and The Center For Fiction. A former winner of the Hurston Wright Foundation’s award for college writers, he teaches writing at New York University and is the literary editor of Dossier Journal. He is a Portland, Oregon native who lives in Brooklyn, New York.

LEAH VINCENT is a writer and activist. The first person in her family to go to college, she earned a BA in psychology as a night student on a Presidential Scholarship at Brooklyn College before going on to earn a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School as a Pforzheimer Fellow. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Unpious and The Jewish Daily Forward. Leah is an advocate for reform within ultra-Orthodoxy and for the empowerment of former ultra-Orthodox Jews seeking a self-determined life. She is a co-producer of the It Gets Besser project and a member and board member of Footsteps, the only organization in the United States supporting formerly ultra-Orthodox individuals.

ROBB TODD, author of the collection “Steal Me for Your Stories,” has worked as journalist, columnist and editor, and his photography has been exhibited internationally. But all he really wants you to know is that he has never seen a pigeon walk backwards. Visit him at

MICHELE FILGATE is a writer, indie bookseller/events coordinator at Community Bookstore, and critic. Her work has appeared in The Paris Review, The Rumpus, Salon, Time Out New York, The Daily Beast, Poets & Writers, O,The Oprah Magazine, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Capital New York, The Star Tribune, Bookslut, The Quarterly Conversation, The Brooklyn Rail, and other publications. She lives in Brooklyn.

JAMES YEH is a founding editor and the publisher of Gigantic. His stories have appeared in NOON, BOMB Magazine, Tin House, Tank Magazine, VICE, Fence, the anthology 30 Under 30, and elsewhere. His essays, interviews, and other work have appeared or are forthcoming in the Believer, VICE, The Organist, and elsewhere. The recipient of fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and Columbia University, he was named a Center for Fiction New York City Emerging Writers Fellow in 2011. He lives in Brooklyn, where he is at work on a novel, and can be found online at or at

ERIKA ANDERSON is an editorial assistant at Guernica Magazine and teaches for the Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Creative Nonfiction, Guernica, Interview Magazine, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She has an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and lives in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights, where she co-hosts the Renegade Reading Series for emerging writers.

No Chaperones: An Awkward Middle School Dance

TONIGHT at Housing Works Bookstore at 7pm: Cut footloose in celebration of Kevin Brockmeier’s memoir of the seventh grade, A Few Seconds of Radiant Filmstrip, and join Kevin Brockmeier, Jen Doll, Anna Holmes, Saeed Jones, Katie Heaney, Chiara Atik, Michelle Wolf, Daniel Ralston and more for music, dancing, and readings about their own awkward middle school experiences. Presented by Buzzfeed Books and Community Bookstore. Hosted by Isaac Fitzgerald.

But to me, there is one great thing about people who spend their lives in good books. They’re walking around carrying with them all these other lives that they’ve lived through the books. They’ve done the one thing you can do to destroy solipsism, which is to spend all those hours in somebody’s else’s shoes, in somebody else’s consciousness. That’s the only thing, really, that books can do that TV and stage plays and all those other forms can’t do. It’s a really efficient technology. It multiplies the experience of living in the world. You open to the first page, and then you’re inside somebody else’s mind, thinking somebody else’s thoughts, seeing things the way somebody else sees them.

Reading A Book Is Being In Someone Else’s Mind

I interviewed Kyle Minor for Buzzfeed Books.