NEW JERSEY ME
book signing, reading, and musical performance
Thursday, September 29, 2016
La Luz de Jesus Gallery
(in the Soap Plant / Wacko building)
4633 Hollywood Blvd,
Los Angeles, CA 90027
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
“New Jersey Me”
by Rich Ferguson
Published by Rare Bird Books
US $15.95/CDN $20.99
5.5 x 8.5 in | Pages: 144
Fiction | Literary| Fiction/Literature