Michael Rosen

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January 2010 Archives

TODAY, Saturday, is HUG Eric Jesus Grimm DAY at Everyman Espresso. At 136 East 13th Street. Today is his last working day at my favorite coffee place.

This is Eric...

You can see he's holding up a signed copy of What Else But Home!

You can see the Everyman Espresso sign in back of him. He'd gone to Strand and bought a copy of my book. Very sweet.

This is a closeup of my signature to Eric...

OH MY !! ?? ERIC = SAM ?? ?? What happened? Did I write "SAM" in error? No no, look at the turquoise ink, that's to Eric Jesus Grimm. Who could "SAM" be? Am I two-timing books? Am I... ??

After Eric bought my book at Strand, he opened it up and saw my dedication to Sam.

This is Sam !!

This is Sam's VERY OWN Wikipedia page... CLICK HERE !! Sam Sifton, the CULTURE EDITOR at The New York Times since 2005 ! Wow.

Where is Sherlock Holmes? Where is Doctor Watson? Where is Robert Downey Jr. Where is Jude Law? I'd signed a book to Sam Sifton?

The EVIDENCE fell into our laps! This is IT !

"Dear Sam," the letter began. Something like, 'I'm sending you this book, by my friend Michael Rosen, because...' Something about an 'American classic.' Something about 'ending racism and discrimination.' Something about Sam probably liking the book because he came from the Downtown world, he understood poverty and its deprivations, overcoming racism. Signed, "Clayton."


Clayton Patterson. One of the biggest-hearted people I know. An artist, a photographer, videographer, the subject of the film Captured, editor of the books Resistance, Captured and more.

Clayton recommended he send a copy of What Else But Home to Sam Sifton, whom he respects. Sam would understand the story, Clayton insisted. It's best not to disagree with Clayton.

Clayton drafted a letter to Sam. I edited it a bit, emailed it to Clayton for his approval. Clayton approved. I signed a copy of What Else But Home to Sam. I printed out the letter & biked to Clayton, who signed it. I went to the Post Office, addressed an envelope, I think Priority Mail, stood at the machine, paid and mailed my signed book and Clayton's loving letter to Sam Sifton, Culture Editor, New York Times.

The letter was dated late December, days before Christmas.

I made sure to put the return address: Clayton Patterson, c/o Michael Rosen...

Sam sold my book to Strand. He left Clayton's letter tucked inside. He probably got $6 or so. (I spent about $19 - a bad trade for me?) MORE to the point, Clayton & I spent TIME, and more than that, we spent HOPE, TRUST & OPTIMISM.

So then I thought of my old professors, Brian Spooner, Igor Kopytoff, Arjun Appadurai - The Social Life of Things. Objects. Clayton & I took a What Else But Home and transformed it from a secular to precious object, Sam Sifton SNAPPED it back to bucks, $6 to be more or less precise, and Eric Jesus Grimm helped me sway it back to more, for him & me.

& it all ended with my asking for a cortado, made by Eric....

Isn't that a work of beauty? See, we're back to "beauty."

"...and in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make" (sort of)

So Sam Sifton, thank you !! ~ for letting Eric, Clayton and I share this experience. Here's to Culture !

Come back Eric Jesus Grimm ! Come back Sam Sifton ! Clayton, don't you dare go anywhere ! Love, Michael

An important decision. I'm renting an Exhibitor's Booth @ the First-Year Experience ! 29th Annual Conference, Denver, Feb 12 - 16. Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel Booth 308 ! , with Judy Bernstein, author/co-author of They Poured Fire On Us From the Sky, also published by PublicAffairs. We believe in our books, know they will be excellent in college First-Year Experience. Other presses are taking their writers to the conference, but PublicAffairs can't afford that. They are kind enough to send us each two boxes of our books. If we sell them we keep the money. If we give them away, then we give them away. They're doing what they can. PublicAffairs is part of Perseus, Perseus is in Booth 316, just a couple tables over. They'll have catalogues with our books in them. We'll have our books! It's a match made in heaven. So Judy & I decided, "Let's go to Denver. Let's meet the people who make the decisions to assign books to incoming college Freshmen." So come visit us!

I've signed a contract with HeLT Consulting, in Chicago, run by Heidi Toboni, who was recommended by Kelly Hughes. Heidi consults and books authors as speakers. I'm excited to work with her, developing this aspect of the What Else But Home story, excited to speak more about parenting, fathering, the sacred and social issues that I've been lucky to speak with people about during my book tour.

My friend Michael Cecconi took this photo in the bookstore in the San Francisco airport...
San Fransico airport.jpg

I know it's self congratulatory, but it's awfully nice to see. Okay, so they're making Lego sculptures of Dan Brown books, but hey, still...

In this near year, I didn't thank Sandee Brawarski and the good people she worked with, Matthew Aaron Goodman (Hold Love Strong).


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