Philip Graham wants you to come to Lisbon. He wants you to be there so that you'll know what he's talking about in his dispatches for McSweeney's, now collected and expanded on his most recent book, The Moon, Come to Earth: Dispatches from Lisbon, published by University of Chicago Press, 2009. Julia Keller of the Chicago Tribune called it "like a living thing, filled with desire and uncertainty and joy and regret. . . the perfect companion as one contemplates those mysteries, those ceaseless journeys outward and inward.” You can read excerpts on his website (and stick around for his engaging blog).
His essay The Pleasures of Saudade is a friendly primer on the diverse and exciting contemporary Portuguese music scene, complete with videos and links to music you will be very happy to have brought to your attention and very sorry to have gone this long without hearing.
Another reason to come to Lisbon: Philip Graham will be there. We're thrilled to welcome him to the faculty for DISQUIET 2012.
The author of seven books, including two short story collections (Interior Design and The Art of the Knock) and The Vanishings, a collection of prose poems, Graham is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship, a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, two Illinois Arts Council grants, and the William Peden Prize in Fiction, as well as fellowship residencies at the MacDowell and Yaddo artist colonies. His novel How to Read an Unwritten Language (Scribner, 1995; paperback, Warner Books 1997), was nominated and longlisted for an International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. He's also co-authored two memoirs with Alma Gottlieb, Parallel Worlds, which won the 1993 Victor Turner Prize, and a second volume, Braided Worlds, forthcoming in 2012. A Portuguese translation of The Moon, Come to Earth will be published by Editorial Presença in February 2012.
He currently teaches in the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program in writing, and at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where he is co-founder and non-fiction editor of the literary/arts journal Ninth Letter.
You can read Camden Luxford's recent interview with Philip about his experiences in Lisbon here, and Philip's thoughtful essay on reading, Every Day I Open a Book, on The Millions. Or, check out this video essay about Lisbon he made for Ninth Letter: Bring Me the Head of Diogo Alves!
We're really glad to have Philip on board, and suspect you will be, too.