Read “The End of Moria?” in The Nassau Weekly

Many thanks to The Nassau Weekly for publishing a follow-up essay to a piece I wrote on the refugee crisis in Greece four years ago, a crisis which has recently entered an even more precarious phase given the Coronavirus. Thanks also to the Nass for inviting me to speak at their virtual open mic earlier this month. Read the new piece, “The End of Moria? Looking back on migration-crisis reporting in Greece as a college student,” here.

Please consider donating to The Nassau Weekly at http://nassauweekly.com/donate/ to keep this important Princeton campus publication afloat in these uncertain times.

Read “Guyot Hall under Quarantine” and “The Musical Mineralogist” in The Smilodon

Since the pandemic began, we’ve all had Zoom calls and Zoom meetings. They have their challenges—but what about a Zoom dissertation defense? That was the scenario faced by four Princeton Geosciences Ph.D. candidates this past spring.

It was an honor to be asked to write the cover story for this year’s issue of The Smilodon, the newsletter of the Princeton University Department of Geosciences which traces its history back to 1927.

“Guyot Hall under Quarantine” spotlights the experience of four Princeton Ph.D. candidates who received their doctorates during the COVID-19 lockdown. Taking center stage is their spectacular research—from tracking earthquakes in the most remote reaches of the South Pacific to studying the potential for life on Mars.

In this issue of The Smilodon, it was also a pleasure to write my third article profiling a quirky Princeton mineralogist (the first two, about a Mayor-Mineralogist and Hamilton’s duel doctor, were published in Princeton Alumni Weekly).

“Archibald MacMartin, the Musical Mineralogist” traces the life of a mysterious alumnus who left Princeton with 2,500 exemplary minerals in its collection—as well as founded the first independent music periodical in New York.

You can access a PDF of the issue, featuring both articles, at this link. Thanks for reading, and stay safe and well!

“Tales from the Deep” Anthology due out Nov. 2020

Check out the cool promo page for Flying Ketchup Press’ new speculative fiction anthology, Tales from the Deep, featuring my short story, “Falling.”

From the publisher’s description:

This short story collection will take readers deep into dystopian future water worlds and alien planets that look like home. You’ll visit a doctor in the high mountains of Persia, dive into the microbiology of alien moons, and into the dark recesses of the lives of warriors, deep space travelers, cyborg creatures, and adventurers of all kinds.

–Flying Ketchup Press

The anthology arrives November 2020 in paperback & ebook.

Get ready for Frank Lloyd Wright-themed horror fiction as you’ve never seen it.

Fallingwater, Summer 2018. Photo by Harrison Blackman.

Reading at Reno’s Coffee N’ Comics, Monday, January 20

On Monday, January, 20, I’m happy to announce I’ll be part of a group of local writers reading at the latest, “Writer’s Resist” event, to be held at Reno, Nevada’s Coffee N’ Comics on Monday, January 20 from 6-8 PM.

I’ll be reading a short piece on the uncanny similarities between our current times and the bonkers 1920 administration of President Warren G. Harding. Hope to see y’all there.

“Falling” to be published in Flying Ketchup Press’ “Tales from the Deep” in Spring 2020

I’m thrilled to announced my short story, “Falling,” will be published this spring in Tales from the Deep, an anthology of fantasy, horror and science fiction.

The anthology will be the product of Flying Ketchup Press, a small press based in Kansas City, MO, and be published sometime after May 2020.

“Falling” is a gothic horror retelling of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater House for the Kaufmann family in Pennsylvania.

In the story, retail scion Edward Zeliger Jr. (a fictional representation of E. J. Kaufmann Jr.) becomes fascinated with a mysterious architect (a portrayal of Wright), who Edward Jr.’s father has hired to build their family’s country house. But The Architect’s sublime (and perhaps supernatural) work strives to achieve harmony with nature, a process which has devastating effects on the Zeliger family—and leads Edward Jr. along the dark path constructed by the master builder.

In July 2019, Fallingwater was proclaimed a World Heritage Site. So it is fitting that, a year later, this short story—an appreciation yet cautionary tale about Wright’s work—will reach the wider world. Thanks to all the beta readers who helped shape it!

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Fallingwater. Photo by Harrison Blackman, August 2018.

Read “Late-stage Betomania in Reno” on Medium

On April 25, 2019, Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke visited the University of Nevada-Reno as part of a campaign tour of Northern Nevada. While Beto once was a media darling, of late he’s struggled to break through the crowded Democratic field. Will his presence in Nevada change that?

Here’s my creative nonfiction take on the proceedings, available on my blog on Medium.

Thanks for reading!

Read “The Refugee Crisis Then”

Two years ago, I and five other Princeton journalism students had the opportunity to report on the refugee crisis in Greece. My main project—an investigation into Greek language education for refugees—was never published. Since then, recent NYTimes and WashPost reporting has revealed the situation has only become worse at the Athenian and island camps we visited.

I share my old project now as a historical document and as a call to action. While America seethes in intra-political turmoil, there are bigger things happening all over the world.

(For more reporting on this issue, check out NYTimes’ latest piece on Moria: https://www.nytimes.com/…/europe/greece-lesbos-moria-refuge…)

Watch “The Visionary in the Marsh,” lecture at Benaki Museum on blod.gr

On September 15, 2018 I had the extraordinary opportunity of giving a talk at the Benaki Museum in Athens, Greece, where I discussed the 1960 plans of architect Constantinos Doxiadis for Eastwick, Philadelphia, featuring some ‘cameo’ appearances from Robert Kennedy and Kevin Bacon. You can watch the talk here, courtesy the Bodossakis Foundation. Many thanks to Simon Richards and Mantha Zarmakoupi of the Delos Network for inviting me and allowing me to speak on this subject, one that has occupied my globetrotting research for the past three years.

The Delos Network is an initiative sponsored by the UK Arts & Humanities Council, with academic support from University of Birmingham, Loughborough University, and the University of Pennsylvania. This was the second of three conferences to discuss the work of global architect and urban planner Constantinos Doxiadis (1913-1975), the first such conferences in over a decade.

Thanks to the Delos Network and the University of Nevada, Reno, for financially supporting my visit.

Read “The elusive star of Vergina” on Medium

Last June, I had the opportunity to visit Vergina, a small village in Northern Greece that is home to the tomb of Philip II, Alexander the Great’s father. It was a tremendous experience, full of the power and splendor of ancient Macedonia. In terms of the difficulty in navigating Greece’s public transit options, however, it amounted to a modern odyssey. The perfect exp

To read my travelogue of my visit to Vergina, full of awe, frustration, and some witty observations, check it out on Medium:

“The elusive star of Vergina: To visit the tomb of Alexander the Great’s father, a modern odyssey”

More summer travel memoirs forthcoming on Medium. If you’re looking for a hint—next up will be along the lines of “Coming into the country with ‘Coming into the Country’.”

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Photo of fields of Vergina by Harrison Blackman.