Articles, Essays & Interviews
Peak Whale, Orion Magazine
The Last Neighborhood I Loved: Rockaway, Queens, The Rumpus
Escapology, Bending Genre
Playlist for The Great Floodgates of the Wonderworld, Largehearted Boy
Live Interview, Oregon Public Broadcasting's Think Out Loud
Live Interview, KMSU Radio
Live Interview, KBOO radio
Live Interview, Utah Public Radio
Podcast Interview, Late Night Library
Feature-Length excerpt from Wonderworld, Portland Mercury
Podcast Reading from Wonderworld, Poets & Writers Magazine
The Writer's Life Interview, Shelf Awareness
Interview, The Normal School Magazine
Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Interview (bottom of page)
Winter Workshop Craft interview, Tin House website
Author Spotlight in Tethered By Letters
Walidah Imarisha interview, Agenda magazine
Reasons to Love Portland: The Biggest Little Writing Scene in the World, Portland Monthly magazine
Ultrasonic: An Interview with Steven Church, Tin House blog
The Great Floodgates of the Wonderworld
Justin Hocking lands in New York hopeful but adrift—he's jobless, unexpectedly overwhelmed and disoriented by the city, struggling with anxiety and obsession, and attempting to maintain a faltering long-distance relationship. As a man whose brand of therapy has always been motion, whether in a skate park or on a snowdrift, Hocking needs an outlet for his restlessness. Then he spies his first New York surfer hauling a board to the subway, and its not long before he's a member of the vibrant and passionate surfing community at Far Rockaway. But in the wake of a traumatic robbery incident, the dark undercurrents of his ocean-obsession pull him further and further out on his own night sea journey.
Life & Limb: Skateboarders Write from the Deep End
Although the stories and essays in Life and Limb are diverse in subject—and some explore tangential activities from tree eating to the historical and cultural significance of boulders—they all express certain approaches common to skateboarders everywhere. These include an iconoclastic sense of creativity fostered by a lifetime spent outside the restrictions of team sports; a collaborative artistic spirit and a disdain for overt competitiveness; a sense of humor; an appetite for risk that often borders on self-destructiveness; a youthful distrust of authority; and a reluctance to join the "adult" world of commerce and responsibility. While all the contributing writers have been heavily influenced by skateboarding, the stories in Life and Limb don't glorify or idealize the sport. Many of the pieces reveal a darker side—the curse that accompanies the blessing of a lifetime spent rolling very fast over very hard surfaces.
From the downtown streets littered with strip clubs and gutter punks to the north side where gentrification and old school hip-hop collide, Portland, Oregon is a place that seems straight out of a David Lynch movie. It’s a city full of police controversies, hippie artist houses, and overzealous liberals, where even its fiction blurs with its bizarre realities.
Portland Noir is an encompassing literary journey where your tour guides take you to the Shanghai Tunnels, dog parks, dive bars, sex shops, Powell’s Books, Voodoo Doughnuts, suspiciously quiet neighborhoods, the pseudo-glitzy Pearl District, Oaks Amusement Park, and a strip club shaped like a jug. Violent crime, petty mischief, and personal tragedy run through these mysterious tales that careen through this cloudy, wet city.