SCHOLARLY BIBLIO-BIOGRAPHY ABOUT ANDREW DEMCAK IN CONTEMPORARY AUTHORS 2017
Wow - I found out that there is a scholarly biblio-biography about me and my work in the newest edition of the academic reference resource *Contemporary Authors.* Such a big deal for me, an author who has only published at small presses, to be recognized by the literary establishment. A really, really big deal for me. See complete article below:
Born:September 23, 1968 in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States
Born September 23, 1968; married July, 2014; husband's name Roland. Education: St. Mary's College of California, M.F.A., 1997; San Jose State University, M.L.I.S., 2008. Addresses: Home: Oakland, CA. E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Poet, novelist. Also works as a librarian, Oakland Public Library, CA.
Three Candles Press Open Book Award for Catching Tigers in Red Weather.
Catching Tigers in Red Weather, Three Candles Press (Burnsville, MN), 2007.
Zero Summer, BlazeVOX Books (Buffalo, NY), 2009.
A Single Hurt Color, Casa Menendez (Bloomington, IL), 2010.
Night Chant, Lethe Press (Maple Shade, NJ), 2011.
If There's a Heaven Above, JMS Books (Glenn Allen, VA), 2012.
A Little Bit Langston, Harmony Ink Press (Tallahassee, FL), 2015.
Author of three chapbooks, Pink Narcissus, 2009, 672 Hours, 2009, and Blood-Plague, 2012. Contributor of poetry to journals, periodicals, and anthologies.
AndrewDemcak is an American poet and novelist, the author of four poetry collections and three novels. "Ever since I was little, I've been very good at lying," Demcak noted at the Rainbow Book Reviews Web site. "I was always making up stories. The only difference is: now I write them down." Speaking with a contributor on the Ethereal Book Reviews Web site, Demcak further commented on his path to becoming a writer: "I never really thought about becoming a writer; I have always written since I was a kid. I mostly wrote poetry until about  ... when I wrote my first novel. ... I was a theater major as an undergrad in college. Acting was okay, but I loved my playwriting class best. I decided right then to become an English major with the emphasis on creative writing. I ended up getting a Master's degree in English." Demcak added that the major themes in both his prose and poetry are "abuse and recovery." In an interview with Jory Mickelson on the Literary Magpie blog, Demcak offered the following words of advice to beginning writers: "Keep going in spite of everything. Move forward, even if you move blindly. Only you will know when you have arrived."
Demcak's first publication, Catching Tigers in Red Weather, is a poetry collection that won the Three Candles Press Open Book Award. In an interview on the J. Scott Coatsworth Blog, Demcak remarked on this debut collection: "It was a book of experimental writing, Ten X Ten poems: ten syllables per line, ten lines per poem." Demcak further commented on his writing process in the same interview: "I write what I write. My work tends to bend/blend genres but not by any forethought from me. ... I write all the time in my head. ... I spent three years thinking about my first teen novel ... before I wrote a single word down. Then it took me four weeks to write it and another year to edit/revise/beta test. I write in the morning; afternoons and evenings are out. I'm too tired then."
Demcak followed up this first poetry collection with several chapbooks and the collections Zero Summer,A Single Hurt Color, and Night Chant. Demcak has stated that the collection Night Chant began with poems that did not fit in Catching Tigers in Red Weather. The author noted in a post for the Nervous Breakdown Web site: "The poems in Night Chant all have very formal metrical structures and/or rhyme schemes, but the forms are embedded in the line breaks to conceal them." Concealment and the hidden nature of things becomes a theme of these poems which are set mostly at night and deal with subjects from addiction to hate crimes. Speaking with Mickelson on the Literary Magpie Web site, Demcak commented on his fourth book of poetry: "On the surface, the poems Night Chant appear to be simple free verse, but there is a tremendous amount of deep structure to them. I think there is a backlash against formal poetry starting again right now. Perhaps is it the beginning of 'Occupy Poetry'--taking poetry back again from the establishment, the traditions of social exclusivity and academic barricades. ... So the poems in Night Chant are masquerading, but that is part of the theme of the book: what is hidden. ... Night Chant was a cathartic experience for me."
Demcak's first novel, If There's a Heaven Above, is set in the Gothic music scene of Los Angeles in the 1980s and features Matt, who is on the verge of becoming an adult and finds himself immersed in the party and drug scene of the time but is always looking for something more. He thinks he finds it in the form of Patch, tattooed and shirtless and very appealing. They spend a night together, and then Patch disappears. Now Matt, accompanied by friends Annie and Suzy, tries to find him again in the club scene of the time.
Reviewing If There's a Heaven Above online at Outlaw Reviews, contributor Nancy Ferris noted: "I so wanted to like this book. ... Unfortunately, I couldn't warm up to the characters at all. Their lives were boring, shallow, and pointless." Others found more to like in this novel: it was nominated as an "Outstanding" book for older teens by the American Library Association.
Demcak writes for teens in two further novels: Ghost Songs and A Little Bit Langston. In the former title, Demcak features a gay fourteen-year-old musical prodigy, Todd Williams. He is having a hard time of it lately, with two bullies at his private school making life miserable for him, an alcoholic mother who is continually embarrassing him, and best friend Jennifer suddenly not talking to him. So Todd turns to friendly ghost Leroy for help in dealing with things.
Another young gay teen takes center stage in the paranormal romance A Little Bit Langston. James Kerr is a freshman in high school when he discovers that he is physically attracted to Paul Schmitz, his best friend. At the same time, James begins to channel a poet from the Harlem Renaissance (the fictionalized Montgomery Langston), completing a poem in a trance state for an English assignment. When this gift is noticed by adults, James is sent to the Paragon Academy, which specializes in juvenile paranormal research, and there discovers he has a Korean half-sister, Lumen, who may be able to help James understand his psychic ability. Meanwhile, Paul's father struggles to keep his son away from James. A Kirkus Reviews critic had a mixed assessment of A Little Bit Langston, noting, "This book really wants to take its place in the marginalized-will-lead-us genre ... [but] the message gets lost." The critic concluded, "Well intended but desperately unsuccessful."
FURTHER READINGS ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 2015, review of A Little Bit Langston.
AndrewDemcak Home Page, http://www.andrewdemcak.org (May 12, 2016).
Dream Spinner Press Web site, http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/ (May 12, 2016), "AndrewDemcak."
J. Scott Coatsworth Blog, https://www.jscottcoatsworth.com/ (January 31, 2016), "Author Spotlight: AndrewDemcak."
Literary Magpie, http://jorymickelson.blogspot.com/ (January 30, 2012), Jory Mickelson,"An Interview with the Multifaceted AndrewDemcak."
Nervous Breakdown, http://www.thenervousbreakdown.com/ (February 1, 2012), AndrewDemcak: The TNB Self-Interview.
Outlaw Reviews, http://reviews.logophilos.net/ (October 11, 2014), Nancy Ferris, review of If There's a Heaven Above.
Poets and Writers, http://www.pw.org/ (May 12, 2016), "AndrewDemcak."
Rainbow Book Reviews, http://www.rainbowbookreviews.com/ (March 10, 2014), author interview.
St. Mary's College of California, https://www.stmarys-ca.edu/ (May 12, 2016), "AndrewDemcak."*
Source Citation (MLA 8th Edition)
"Andrew Demcak." Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2017. Literature Resource Center, go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=LitRC&sw=w&u=oakland_main&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CH1000320795&it=r&asid=98400c13ffaee33bf9927448d1908b0e. Accessed 29 May 2017.