Outside of the third-person, I'm just a person. Not fancy. More messy than my collection of bylines might suggest, but reliable enough to generally follow through on what I say I'll do. I use all three of my names because I published for years under various combinations of those names, so one day I decided to use them all and just accept how pretentious that might seem. Off the page, many people shorten my name or give me a nickname. My family often calls me Joshy.
I started my "career" in the early 2000s, co-running the SSO Press poetry-and-arts nonprofit home-publishing operation, which founded the Olympia Free Poetry Project.
Since 2005, I've largely written prose and my work has appeared in over a hundred different publications, including zines, literary journals, newspapers, magazines, chapbook and book anthologies, as well as all manner of digital publications.
In years past, I curated the Northwest Literary Showcase at the Helsing Junction Sleepover music festival, served as an organizer for the Portland Zine Symposium, worked as an events coordinator for the Independent Publishing Resource Center, co-fronted the music project Letters, served on the editorial board of the Kithe literary journal, and co-hosted the second season of The Steer podcast. I'm a graduate of Portland State University’s MFA writing program
Currently, I teach creative writing privately and through Portland Community College’s Community Education program, publish the zine series Basic Paper Airplane, and head up the Antiquated Future online store and record label. I'm in the early stages of a slightly skewed-reality novel and a nonfiction book about Pacific Northwest independent record label history.
My dreams all take place in my home state of Washington. A lot of my waking hours are spent with my aging dog and cat. I try not to take life for granted.
Joshua James Amberson is a Portland, Oregon-based writer and creative writing instructor. He's the author of Staring Contest: Essays About Eyes (Perfect Day Publishing), How to Forget Almost Everything: A Novel (Korza Books), a series of chapbooks on Two Plum Press, as well as the long-running Basic Paper Airplane zine series.
A former regular contributor to The Portland Mercury, his work has appeared in The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Rumpus, The Seattle Times, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Electric Literature, and Tin House, among others.