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Work in Joyland, Hobart, and The Offing. Winner of a PEN Prison Writing Award. Working on a novel. // Eric-Boyd.com
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“It was good!” My girlfriend lied. “I really liked it!”

How could she keep a straight face, telling me this? She’d read my most recent piece of writing and I knew it was bad, knew she was just being nice.

I waved my hand in the air. “Eh,” I grunted…


For a couple years now I’ve been working on a novel about train hoppers. It’s been a constant project in the sense that it’s the only thing I’m working on, but it’s only been worked on in fits and starts. I have a few chapters. I can say they’re fairly…


It’s like a radio stuck between stations. Static and half-thoughts. I’m nervous all of the time. I can’t stop picking and chewing at my skin. Yesterday I hung something on a wall and spent hours thinking about the fact that I didn’t center it properly. I try to unwind with…


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You can always come back

but you can’t come back all the way

— Bob Dylan, “Mississippi”

I’m walking along with Summer Lee, a progressive democrat running for state representative of District 34 of Allegheny County in Pittsburgh. Lee and I are walking through Homestead, an area I’ve lived in…


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I stare at the little bubble on Facebook Messenger. It does not move. The bubble does not descend. The messages I’m sending will not be seen. At least not on a phone or laptop or any other device.

Messenger is the only reason I keep Facebook. It’s been the only…


photo by the author ©MMXXI

How many pandemic novels do you think anyone actually finished? I would bet surprisingly few. Once it was clear I wouldn’t be going anywhere for a while — that my job wasn’t reopening anytime soon and everything was shutting down— I knew for sure I’d finish my train hopping novel…


A look at the ways I’ve tricked myself into writing (or not)

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I can’t write for shit. I don’t mean that the things I do write are bad but that, as a practice, I am horrible at this. Writing agonizes me in a way that, if I passed Kafka on the street, we’d high-five in recognition of each other’s inabilities, then we’d…


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The cycle continues. I, of course, am going to miss a— let’s be real — somewhat self-imposed deadline for submitting a novel draft. For the past four months I’ve been trying to work on a project that an agent I greatly respect wanted to see, and I’ll still try to…


Photo by Jordan Whitfield on Unsplash

I feel like I am experiencing life without my body for the first time, and it scares me. In jail, my job was to collect trash, run errands, and scrap copper wire for the county to get a little guard food every night; when I was released I sold my…


Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

As a kid I used to count down things in my head. I would stare out the window of my second-floor bedroom and wait for people. We lives on a dead end street so I would watch the fork in the road; someone could either go up the hill or…

Eric Boyd

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