Spencer Dew dot com

Spencer Dew is the author of Here is How it Happens (Ampersand Books), Songs of Insurgency (Vagabond Press), Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres (Another New Calligraphy), the critical study Learning for Revolution: The Work of Kathy Acker (San Diego State University Press).

A regular reviewer for Rain Taxi Review of Books, and a Staff Book Reviewer for decomP magazine, Dew has published fiction and essays in scores of publications, including art reviews in Newcity Chicago and Chicago Artists' News.

News / Essays

*A review of Eva Heisler's Drawing Water:  "Hierarchy hides in every taxonomy."

*Poet Chris Pusateri offers a brilliant treatment of Here is How it Happens:  "The characters... desire experience, but are instantly bored by what they create.  They do not live in the present: their happiness is dependent on making memories that can then be idealized -- memories that are, by definition, unattainable."

*Kate Kimball reviews Here is How it Happens

*Here is How it Happens is the May feature on the website Crowd the Book.

*Publisher's Weekly reviews Here is How it Happens:  "His prose is simultaneously urgent and hesitant as his characters are desperate for connection but also terrified of what looms ahead."

*Northeast Ohio in a raw autumn is perfectly drawn," says The Akron Beacon Journal in a review of Here is How it Happens.

*Xenofiles reviews Here is How it Happens:  "fiction... with lyricism borrowed from poetry."

*Another review of Here is How it Happens.  According to Small Press Reviews, "Dew perfectly captures the desperation of his characters to stay true to their ideal selves even as they realize that they're all doomed to become echoes of their parents."

*Spencer Dew interviewed for "The Next Big Thing" about the forthcoming Here is How it Happens.

*Spencer Dew interviewed by Karen Lillis about "the art of book reviewing"; plus Spencer Dew''s "Best of 2011" list for Karen the Small Press Librarian's "Best of the Small Press 2011" 

*New Spencer Dew short story, "The Process of Discovery" at TriQuarterly.

*Spencer Dew quoted in USA Today on Moorish Science.

*Spencer Dew on the Almighty Black P-Stone Nation--gangs, religion, and the law.

*Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres is available now.  For my thoughts on the book, check out this little essay (at decomP).  Cynthia Reeser review Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres at Prick of the Spindle.

*Spencer Dew on sovereign citizen ideology and the religion of Moorish Science.

*Spencer Dew on Tocqueville in America and Mircea Eliade in Portugal.

*Spencer Dew on Ayaan Hirsi Ali's hatred of Islam and fetishization of Christianity.

*Spencer Dew on the ethical problematic of Jack Kerouac's theology.

*Spencer Dew on Troika Ranch's loopdiver, the work of  Jack Smith, new fiction from  Helen Oyeyemi, the reception of contemporary Muslim theologian Tariq Ramadan, the dramatic trajectory of the Nutcracker, and the problem of racism in the history of American/Haitian relations.


Reviews of Songs of Insurgency                                               

Hipster Book Club:  "These three- to ten-page stories are meant to be savored like bitter chocolate."


Tarpaulin Sky:  "It's about cliche.  And saturation.  And how our perceptions as Western readers and intellectuals cannot easily be divorced from the media in which we live."

St Louis Post-Dispatch:  "Spencer Dew pounds through the apathy and delusions of our post-9/11 world with the force of a jackhammer....  In their rawness and brevity, the stories send up a flare from the accident scene of our world....  The world is not all right, and these characters aren't going to pretend that it is."

Time Out Chicago:  "In his 23 sharp, poignant shorts, Chicago writer Spencer Dew lays out a terrifying post-September 11th world....  His book hits like a sock to the gut..."

Mark Baumer of Everyday Yeah:  "I wanted to eat every page after I read it"


Ian Wood at Write Bastard:  "Dew has deliberately separated himself from the black and white political orthodoxy which infects so much of the creative class in the post 9-11 American sphere."


David  Erlewine at The Short Review:  "Spencer Dew's Songs of Insurgency is hysterical and heartbreaking, often brutally dark, rife with unhealthy sex, failures to connect, fetishes, injuries, and death."


Mark Peacock Brush of Wandering Army in The Mile Hive:  "The writing is roundly poetic, but never without purpose, and never without some tragic story to tell. Dew writes about human difficulty, and leaves it difficult."


Two interviews with Chris Luna for Crowd the Book: here and here.

Interview with Amy Guth on Chicago Now


Interview with Ben Tanzer on This Blog Will Change Your Life


Interview with The Short Review


Interview with Mark Baumer of Everyday Yeah


Interview with Aleathia Drehmer on Guild of Outsider Writers


Interview with Ragad's Nick Ostdick


Spencer Dew's "Book Note" essay on Largehearted Boy


Interview with What to Wear During an Orange Alert


Interview with SmokeLong Quarterly

Contact:  Spencer Dew at Gmail dot com