Getting In Spirit: Moth Host Dan Kennedy’s Book Launch

Taking a break from NPR, The Moth host Dan Kennedy and Ask Me Another host Orphia Eisenberg read Tuesday night at The Powerhouse Arena in DUMBO in celebration of Kennedy’s new book, American Spirit.

Eisenberg got us started with a section from Screw Everyone: Sleeping My Way to Monogamy. Apparently, her last one night stand had a thing for stuffed cartoon cats: “Rob’s room was full of, and I mean covered with, Garfields.” Understandably, “the sight of this altered Jim Davis’s bedroom killed any sexy, warm, or even safe feelings.”

1. Dan Kennedy, “This is what a book looks like” 2. Fans John Mertens, Dan Vigliano, and AJ Wax

Then it was Kennedy lifting us up with some life coaching from his novel: “There is no reason to beat oneself up about switching to beer early in the day, as the prospect of getting back into jogging is daunting. Something is required to take the edge off. Drinking before noon [is] an OK thing, especially when it is fueling a man in an athletic way, or in a way that lets him realize his dreams.”

How does Dan Kennedy write ‘funny’? “I personally just try to capture the depression that frightens me… It’s usually me alone in a hotel or apartment feeling sad, alone and strange and weird. Then type I something out.”

1. Le crowd 2. Pals Valentine Lysikatos, Dan TaufikSenior Consultant, Bridget Mcfadden and Gina Levitan

Kennedy asked Eisenberg, “How do you write a story from your life? There can only be one ridiculously hung dude with 50 Garfields on his wall.” Eisenberg said, “I do say that he is well endowed. That was all he cared about. He was like, ‘Thanks for the story!’”

And then there was the process question. It’s always lurking. So, what is Kennedy’s process? “I write like how I watch Netflix or smoke or any other compulsive behavior… Writing is the one bad habit that I have that leads to something.”


–Sean Campbell lives, writes, and occasionally updates his blog in Bed-Stuy

Featured image courtesy of Flickr user ML Design.

More Like This

Predicting the 2023 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

This year’s top contenders for the most prestigious award of American literature

Apr 28 - Bradley Sides

We Partied With Padma Lakshmi, Union Supporter, at the National Book Awards

Prize-winning writers spoke out against book bans and censorship at the Oscars for books

Nov 18 - Electric Literature

It’s Time to Radically Rethink Online Book Events

Instead of mimicking in-person events, virtual readings should make use of the possibilities of the internet

Jul 28 - Kate Reed Petty
Thank You!