David Kress

Associate Professor of English
307 Neville Hall
207.581.3815

Email: david.kress@maine.edu

Office Hours – Fall 2017

By appointment

Introduction

Frame, from which all things spring but about which we can never know even a single thing—all my writing, teaching, and time spent by the grill are attempts to weigh this nothing, to trace its effects, its heft, its hem and haw.

Education

PhD Twentieth Century American Literature, Penn State University, 2001

MFA, Fiction Writing, Penn State University, 1995

MA, English, University of New Hampshire, 1986

BA, English, University of Connecticut, 1980

Professional Experience

Research chemist, musician, forklift operator, musician, technical writer, musician, editor, musician.

Listen to a hit song I wrote, recorded by San Francisco’s The Buckets:  Empty Cage

Time at University of Maine

Since fall 2005

Selected Works

My books are published by Mammoth Books, a small press in central Pennsylvania:  Mammoth Books Home

Hush, a novel  (October 2010)

Hush1aHalloo…

Halloo whoever you are!

Are you there?

Which is to say, or write:  are you?

Well.

If you’ve heard any thing about the Church of God the Silence, you’ve probably heard that we’re a bunch of nuts, and about me in particular, that I’m some sort of “tight-lipped-and-tight-who-knows-what-else retard bitch,” as one gentleman of the press reported—off ye olde record, of course.

Watch the  Hush trailer here:Hush Trailer

Martians, a creature (2004)

In this sample of a creature…a globe-trotting homebody, a hyperactive zilch, and the quintessential Brownian Particle all rolled into one, Gnat/Ray wanders across America and our world, buffeted by the allure and nausea of an earth inhabited by five billion homicidal psychopaths. The donut winos, diaper-wearing fashion-plates, clones, ghosts, water bugs, janitors, slam dancers, fish eaters, hippies, lecturers, masked men, skunks, rugs, superheroes, snipers, toys, and cooks whom Gnat lives among, mocks, and finally becomes are at once disturbingly familiar and reassuringly alien: in other words, Martians.

“Not since Miss Lonelyhearts has there been a book (a novel? a “creature”?) that so wrecklessly walked the tight-rope between some kind of noir urban realism and the nightmare realm, and with a fantastic sense of humor that keeps it from teetering into oblivion”—Jonah Winter, author of Amnesia

I’m working with From Some Flounder,  a bluegrass-secret agent punk band from Finland, on a spoken-word version of Martians due out on CD in 2010.

Two  sample tracks follow:

Old Revolution

One of the most opulent and widely traveled mansions lived a life that would amaze the present, my friends.

Its servants, in livery, could afford—could easily afford, eloquently—collaboration.

Though memories of this have grown dim, they were once vivid.

The house scratches out tangible evidence that makes it a family matter:  the first of my ancestors to come to America was hanged in the house:  the old revolution too old.

The Alarm Clock

Blown away by eternity, the nomad machine breaks down in a kind of home—rented though it may be—is now an underpaid machine like China:  fragile.

In some ways this is the last chapter?

Here the story ends, but the alarm clock is still running.

Counting Zero, a novel (1999)

 

C0Emiliana Sopa is crossing herself and staring across the street at Ronca and Dureza while they glug small bottles of a popular red soda:  sweet, gelatinous, spicy, it has characteristics, but no real flavor.  When traffic clears, Emiliana crosses four lanes without the boys seeing her.  In fact, she is standing in front of and in between them before they even begin to think of saying anything to her.  Their babble, quick and aimless, has been gliding among red sodas, low-riders, Chicano hiphop, turf disputes with Los Quesos de Cerdos, and the possibilities of getting their hands on something awful, heavy—their sense of style, the awful, craves a Glock while their heaviness yearns for a Kalashnikov.

“… a first novel of an unusual, and unusually accomplished, kind”–American Book Review, 21.4

Current Work

Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science, a cut-up sci-fi Romance (read the first chapter here:  Fads and Fallacies In the Name of Science)

Creation Machine (Readable Version), a translation of the King James Bible into American English (read the first three chapters here: Creation Machine (Readable Version)

The Innocence, a novel about Mark Twain, Friedrich Nietzsche, and baseball

Short fiction about carnivorism, vivisection, terrorism, soccer, and revolution

Critical work on intersections between science and literature, nothing, anonymity, and amnesia

Fiction Readings

Penn Sate University, DuBois, Pennsylvania, October 2009

Exhibit X Fiction Series, Buffalo, NY, February 2007

You can watch video from my 2007 Buffalo visit here: Exhibit X Reading, Buffalo, 2/21/7

New Writing Series, Orono, ME, December 2005

Gist Street Writers, Pittsburgh, PA, January 2005

Writers and Books, Rochester, NY, May 2004

Quimby’s Books, Chicago, IL, March 2004

Writers and Books, Rochester, NY, April 2002

Lake Forest College, April 2002

Eastern Michigan University, April 2002

Current Activities

Graduate  Studies Committee
Steering Committee, New Writing Series
Faculty Advisor to Stolen Island Review and The Maine Review

Courses Taught

Graduate

ENG 505: Graduate Creative Writing Workshop
ENG 507: Graduate Writing Workshop – Fiction Writing
ENG 529: Studies in Literature – A Postscript to Transgression
ENG 529: Studies in Literature – Gravity’s Rainbow
ENG 546: Modern American Literature

Undergraduate

ENG 205: Introduction to Creative Writing
ENG 229: Topics in Literature – Hopscotch to Oblivion: Dark Humor in American Fiction
ENG 307: Writing Fiction
ENG 405: Topics in Creative Writing – Altered Texts
ENG 406: Advanced Creative Writing
ENG 407: Advanced Fiction Writing
ENG 429: Topics in Literature – The State(s) of the Novel in World English
ENG 440: Major American Writers
ENG 444: Contemporary American Fiction – Twenty-First Century Novels

HON 314: Honors Tutorial

Interests

Kimchi, sailing, world barbecue, the 1962 Ford Falcon, Frame, model airplanes, painting