Rich Ferguson: New Jersey Me

Rich Ferguson: New Jersey Me
book signing, reading, and musical performance
Thursday September 29, 2016, 8-10PM

Author, poet, musician Rich Ferguson celebrates the release of his “New Jersey Me” novel with a night of spoken word and music, at La Luz de Jesus Gallery!

Joining Ferguson will be musicians Tyson Cornell, Butch Norton (Lucinda Williams), Josh Haden (Spain), and Cameron Stone (Game of Thrones). There will be other surprise acts at the show playing and guest reading from “New Jersey Me”. Expect nothing less than a party atmosphere surrounded by the art of the current Coaster Show and Mark Todd exhibitions in the gallery!

“New Jersey Me” by Rich Ferguson
Set amidst the backdrop of the troubled town of Blackwater, New Jersey, a Bruce Lee and Bruce Springsteen-devoted young hero journeys toward adulthood in this devastating yet intelligent debut novel from poet and musician Rich Ferguson.

“New Jersey Me” explores an ensemble cast of unique characters, including Blackwater’s hometown nuclear power plant; a beauty named Baby, Baby’s hell-bent-for-prison boyfriend, Terry; a Mary Kay mom high on Vicodin and Bloody Marys; and an old old tree with a taste for blood. The son of the local police chief, Mark, dreams of escaping the small town’s conflicting and oppressive codes of manhood. In the meantime, though, Mark lives a boy’s life, Blackwater-style: netting fish that have been killed by sudden coldwater emissions from the nuclear plant; kidnapping a chimp from the local circus; selling dirty socks to a local eccentric who may hold the key to Mark’s escape; dating a one-legged girl; and observing the increasingly mysterious behavior of his best friend, Jimmy.


“Nothing short of a near-miracle: put bluntly, this is as authentic, as lived-in an account, as pitch-perfect a rendering of the Garden State’s special brand of denizens as exists. So dust off your vinyl copy of The Wild, The Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle, crack open a cold one, and enjoy Ferguson’s lovely, street-lyrical prose. I sure as hell did!” —DAVID KUKOFF, author of CHILDREN OF THE CANYON and WEIRD SCENES INSIDE THE GOLDMINE

“Ferguson makes full use of his unflinching lyricist’s voice to create a stylized, symbol-rich imagining of this literary archetype as an evocative and darkly witty portrait, perfect in its imperfections, not only of a dysfunctional adolescence but also of a specific time and place in American culture—the hopeful, hardscrabble, self-medicating New Jersey that gave the world Born to Run.” —SHANA NYS DAMBROT, art critic, curator, and author

Rich Ferguson has performed across the country, and has shared the stage with writers and musicians such as Patti Smith, Wanda Coleman, Exene Cervenka, Bob Holman, Ozomatli, and T.C. Boyle. He has performed on Th e Tonight Show, at the Redcat Theater in Disney Hall, the New York City International Fringe Festival, the Bowery Poetry Club, South by Southwest, the Santa Cruz Poetry Festival, DocMiami International Film Festival, the Topanga Film Festival, and Stephen Elliott’s “Rumpus.” He is also a featured performer in the film, What About Me? (sequel to the double Grammy-nominated film 1 Giant Leap), featuring Michael Stipe, Michael Franti, k.d. lang, and Krishna Das. He has been published in the Los Angeles Times, has been widely anthologized, spotlighted on PBS’s Egg: Th e Art Show, and was a winner in Opium Magazine’s Literary Death Match. His spoken word/music videos have been featured internationally, and his poetry collection 8th & Agony has been published by LA’s Punk Hostage Press. Ferguson is a Pushcart-nominated poet, and a regular contributor and poetry editor to the online literary journal, The Nervous Breakdown.

“New Jersey Me”
by Rich Ferguson
Published by Rare Bird Books
ISBN: 978-1-942600-53-4
US $15.95/CDN $20.99
5.5 x 8.5 in | Pages: 144
Fiction | Literary| Fiction/Literature

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