Meet acclaimed authors, friends with UT connections

Weirdos and sketchoids, unite behind your local(ish) literary heroes!

It’s an all-too-rare event: Two cool, young, edgy, nationally-accomplished authors with Florida connections swinging through Tampa to read, kvetch and generally Inspire the Youths. Orlando-based Burrow Press is mounting a statewide tour in support of Shane Hinton’s new short story collection, and he’s bringing along his pal Jeff Parker for a reading at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 29th at Wilson’s Book World in St. Pete. In a town where finding accomplished fictioneers can seem like searching for a lost ring on the beach (but which nonetheless often turns up gold), this one’s a gimme.

Hinton is the nominal headliner, reading from Pinkies, a collection Burrow is releasing in late May. Previews promise a collection of surrealistic Florida oddities, including python fights, hyperaggressive automobiles, and (somehow) anxieties about fatherhood.

You can preorder Pinkies here for pickup at the event.

click to enlarge Meet acclaimed authors, friends with UT connections (2) - Burrow Press
Burrow Press
Meet acclaimed authors, friends with UT connections (2)
Jeff Parker’s debut novel, Ovenman, was an aggressively offbeat punk-weirdo splorch about a drunken pizza guy/skateboarder. It was published in 2007 by the book division of the revered (and often outwardly staid) Tin House journal, and he’s also been collected in the McSweeney’s-affiliated Best American Nonrequired Reading.

Hinton and Parker have both a big Tampa connection, and a strange pseudo-father/son relationship (especially strange for guys who seem about the same age). Hinton earned an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Tampa, while Parker was the founding director of the program. Parker was at UT somewhere amidst spending a lot of time in Russia, where he drew inspiration for last year’s Where Bears Roam the Streets (HarperCollins), a collection of nonfiction about that strange place.

(Side note: is it just me, or should I be somehow unnerved that the guitarist for Tortoise is now the third-ranked Jeff Parker according to Google?)

This is the first intercity tour organized by Functionally Literate, Burrow Press’s reading series. Parker and Hinton will also be stopping in Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale, and of course, back home in Orlando.

The Orlando stop, on May 30th, might be worth the drive, since it’ll also feature poet Erica Dawson, who has been featured in Virginia Quarterly Review and two volumes of Best American Poems – and who is, oh yeah, a columnist for this here rag.

Burrow Press is taking a much-needed step towards making connections between the smallish scenes across our fair cities. The local stop is being hosted by Wordier than Thou, whose regular open mics are an anchor of the Tampa Bay lit scene.

Find out more details of all the tour stops at Functionally Literate.

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