Above All Men (Midwestern Gothic)
Join us for a special evening as the members of Gather: The UC Riverside MFA reading series share their work alongside former student Eric Shonkwiler, reading from his debut novel.
Years from now, America is slowly collapsing. Crops are drying up and oil is running out. People ﬂee cities for the countryside, worsening the drought and opening the land to crime. Amid this decay and strife, war veteran David Parrish ﬁghts to keep his family and farm together. However, the murder of a local child opens old wounds, forcing him to confront his own nature on a hunt through dust storms and crumbling towns for the killer.
Praise for Above All Men:
“Shonkwiler takes the world on his own terms, and wrestles it to the ground.”–Tom Lutz, Editor-in-Chief, The Los Angeles Review
“Shonkwiler has taken an iconic landscape and ﬁltered it through near-collapse and fear, then through loyalty and love.”–Susan Straight, National Book Award ﬁnalist
“Sparse and poetic, the words within these pages are as sharp as a corn knife.”–Frank Bill, Author of Donnybrook and Crimes in
“A rare, stark and beautiful achievement.”–Paula Bomer, Author of Nine Months
Eric Shonkwiler’s writing has appeared in The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Millions, Fiddleblack, [PANK] Magazine, and Midwestern Gothic. He was born and raised in Ohio, received his MFA from The University of California Riverside, and has lived and worked in every contiguous U.S. time zone.
Angela Peñaredondo (Poetry) is a poet and artist from Los Angeles, California. Angela is a recipient of a University of California Institute for Research in the Arts Grant, Gluck Fellowship. She was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
Kate Bolton Bonnici (Poetry) grew up in Alabama and graduated from Harvard University and New York University School of Law. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Southern Humanities Review, NANO Fiction, B O D Y, The Examined Life Journal, Kudzu Review, VOX MOM, and elsewhere. She serves as guest poetry editor ofThe Fertile Source, was a finalist for the 2012 Morton Marr Poetry Prize (Southwest Review), and is a Gluck Fellow.
Andy Holt (Fiction) started writing fiction while growing up in Tampa, Florida. He earned a B.A. in English from Wake Forest University, where he also wrote and edited for the student literary magazine. During his sophomore year, he studied abroad at Cambridge University in England. After graduating, he spent a year in Chicago writing stories, giving readings, and complaining about the cold. His first published short story is forthcoming in Chicago Quarterly Review.
Eric Loya (Poetry) is a graduate of California State University at Long Beach where he received his B.A. in English Literature. Born and raised in California, Eric lives in Long Beach where he writes poetry and fiction. He has published in Verdad, White Pelican Review,Trajectory, and Pearl Magazine.
Vickie Vértiz (Nonfiction) is from southeast Los Angeles. Her poems and stories map the intersections of feminism, identity, and Latino sub-cultures. Her work is widely anthologized, found in publications such as Open the Door, from McSweeney’s and The Poetry Foundation. Swallows, her first collection of poetry, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2013.
Peter Barrasso (Nonfiction) comes to Riverside from Washington, D.C., where he was an associate in a boutique communications firm comprised of former presidential speechwriters. The Wyomingite graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in Government, accompanied by English and Philosophy minors. Shortly after graduation, he moved to Anchorage, Alaska and worked on United States Senator Lisa Murkowski’s historic write-in campaign – the first write-in victory for a U.S. Senate seat in almost sixty years. Peter briefly worked in Baltimore, Maryland where he received his first film credit - “Legal clearance liaison” – in the HBO production “Game Change.”