Sunday, March 12, 2017

Monument Club

Ryan is starting a site exploring art and culture called Monument Club with a new domain. We welcome submissions of essays, 1000 words or fewer. Allow us a month or two to get the site running. Please express interest by writing to

Monument Club explores arts and culture from the perspectives of individuals embracing right and left. We assert that acknowledging opposite streams running in the heart affirms human experience.

Our heroes include Camille Paglia, Christopher Hitchens, Aayan Hersi Alli, Flannery O’Connor, James Baldwin, Saul Bellow, Kay Redfield Jamison, Amy Hempel, George Orwell, ZZ Packer, Ha Jin, Ernest Hemingway, Marilynne Robinson, 
Francine Prose, John Gardner, Norman Mailer, Cormac McCarthy, Virginia Woolf, Henry Miller, Yukio Mishima, and Oscar Wilde.

Editor Ryan Blacketter is the author of Down in the River. He works as a mentor for PEN America's Prison Writing Program. 

Editor Christopher Schmitz is an essayist and poet from Cleveland, Ohio. Educated at Catholic schools through 12th grade, he attended Kenyon College and Cleveland State University, earning a B.A. in English with a master's degree in progress. He has held diverse jobs ranging from blackjack dealer to undertaker. His poems have been set to music by local composers and performed publicly, and he's won an essay contest for a piece comparing Walt Whitman and James Baldwin that earned a picture and article in Cleveland's "Plain Dealer" newspaper. He counts Camille Paglia, James Baldwin, Yukio Mishima, Cormac McCarthy, and Leslie Fiedler among his writing idols.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Ryan is a contributer at the Observer

Click here for Ryan's articles:  Thank you to Observer editor, Kevin Currie.

Monday, January 16, 2017

She's Back to Sleeping

Ryan's story "She's Back to Sleeping" appears in Eclectica Magazine, America's oldest continuously publishing online journal, twenty years and counting. 

Click Here: She's Back to Sleeping

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Online Fiction Workshop, Jan-March 2017

High-Risk Fiction: A Writing Workshop
This class encourages fiction that, like all good writing, takes risks. This riskiness sets literature apart from the dishonesty of bad books, TV, and movies. Workshop is not confession, but in the privacy of their writing rooms students might begin to tell personal stories that perhaps they have only told about other people. 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Reviews for Down in the River: Fiction Writers Review, Paste, The Rumpus, Largehearted Boy, etc.

Reviews, interviews and endorsements of 
Ryan Blacketter's Novel, Down in the River.

Fiction Writers Review: "What makes this novel so warm and heartbreaking despite its gruesome material is that all the characters are driven by their love and concern for each other." Click here to read the entire review: Fiction Writers Review

The Rumpus: "[Down in the River] casts us deep into a haunting, crystalline forest of ice-lit trees, broken streetlamps . . . a place where a kind of inner wilderness has crept back through the city, where the lights of passing trains, the reflections of windows and the 'cry of night birds' appear intermittently like forms of meaningless chaos or secret signs." The Rumpus

Paste Magazine's interview with Ryan Blacketter: "The human story is a fairly dark one with painful and dangerous impulses that we all have. And that's coupled with a fortress-like psychology that most people have, protecting them from the awareness of the fact that they are part of this human experience." Paste Magazine

Pittsburgh City Paper: Ryan talks about the writing life in Pittsburgh and how he ended up in this terrific city. CP Arts Feature

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, Ryan Blacketter is the author of Down in the River. He works as a mentor for PEN America's Prison Writing Program. His short stories appear in Antioch Review, Crab Orchard Review, Eclectica Magazine, Alaska Quarterly Review, Image, and elsewhere. His non-fiction has been published in the Rumpus and the Observer. Ryan lives with his wife and son in Pennsylvania. He's completing the final drafts of a novella. 

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Ryan Likes Teaching Prisoners

Ryan is proud to work for PEN America's Prison Writing Program. For a hundred years, PEN has defended writers from harassment, censorship, even the penalty of death, all over the world.

In 2006, with a grant from Idaho Humanities Council, Ryan taught a week-long fiction workshop at North Idaho Correctional. He wrote about his experience in 2paragraphs: Teaching Writing in Prisons.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Radio Interview In Ketchum

Ryan's radio interview in Ketchum. He neglected to clarify in the interview that he loves Amy Hempel--the best of the 80s quirky minimalists.

Podcast of Ryan's Interview:

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Ryan's Response to Boise State University's the Arbiter.

The article about my firing is misleading. It leads with the statement that I was fired from the university with a "lifetime ban," for one example. 

Monday, February 01, 2016

Ryan's Rumpus Essay on Guided By Voices

"Albums of Our Lives: Alien Lanes"

Thanks to the Guided by Voices fans who commented and sent notes. 

And thanks to Rumpus assistant music editor and musician 
Liz Wood, who helped me develop this piece.