Staring Contest: Essays About Eyes

“Weaving together such disparate subjects as Bette Davis’s career, the daily challenges of eye contact, and his own decade-long saga of periodic eye injections, Amberson digs deeply into the physical and existential consequences of living with such uncertainty. Staring Contest is wise, generous, and—given the subject matter—surprisingly funny.”

224 pages, trade paperback. ISBN #9781960200006.

Released on Perfect Day Publishing, May, 2023.

A Powell's Books and aWillamette Week 2023 year-end pick.

Print edition / eBook / Audiobook (also streaming on Kobo)

(Go here for advanced praise, press, playlists, radio appearances, and expanded bibliography.)

How to Forget Almost Everything: A Novel

"Set in Portland, Oregon during the late-2000s financial crisis, How to Forget Almost Everything is an introspective coming-of-age story and an off-kilter adventure populated by bus transfer slips, small-town diners, a secret concrete block, and a former child chess prodigy."

248 pages, trade paperback. ISBN #9781957024035.

Released on Korza Books, November, 2022.

A finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award.

Print edition / eBook

(Go here for advanced praise and book trailer.)

Two Plum Press chapbooks

I have three short books on the Portland publisher Two Plum. These include:

Writing Exercises (And Various Approaches to Life on Earth)

A collection of writing prompts for all levels of writers and writing interest. Writing Exercises (And Various Approaches to Life on Earth) is an accessible pocket book of 40 exercises to help you put words to the page. 98 pages, letter-pressed covers. ISBN #9781736046937. October, 2022.

Slow Motion Heroics

Collecting short stories, personal essays, and prose poetry published over the past dozen years, Slow Motion Heroics is a mixtape of material intended to read a little differently than other collections. Stories of casual outsiders, daydreams, unplanned futures, and trains. 108 pages, letter-pressed covers. ISBN #9781736046913. November, 2021.

Everyday Mythologies

A sideways glance at the mundane myths that make up our lives. Or: three personal essays about collecting, cars, and dads (that are also about gender, masculinity, and strength). 66 pages, letter-pressed covers. ISBN #9781732159129. December, 2018.

Basic Paper Airplane zine series

Basic Paper Airplane issues have been coming into the world at a near-glacial pace since 2005. The zine has covered everything from the future of print media to the history of the human family, been reviewed widely, and has (oddly) been referenced as an aesthetic inspiration for the movie adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are. There are currently fourteen issues (with only issues 13 and 14 still in print).

Since the third issue, each issue has been themed. So I like to think that every issue of Basic Paper Airplane is a unique experience, different from the others that came before. And I still have the same idea behind the zine as I did when it began: launching something small and simple into the world and seeing where it lands.

For a short history of the series, each issue's theme and publication date, as well as past reviews, go here.

I also wrote The Prince Zine, a now-out-of-print dive into the career of Prince Rogers Nelson that was first published in 2011 and went through four revised editions. I edited Growing Things: A Guide for Beginning Gardeners in 2012. I also co-edited the zine anthology Is It Just Me or Are We Nailing This?: Essays on BoJack Horseman, winner of the 2020 Broken Pencil Fanzine of the Year Award.