Kent Russell, "Gonzo" style journalist, to read from his new essay collection, March 12, 2015

Nonfiction collection "I Am Sorry to Think I Have Raised a Timid Son" explores the notion of masculinity

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Journalist Kent Russell Photo credit: Michael Lionstar

ALBANY, NY (02/26/2015)(readMedia)-- Kent Russell, author of adventurous first-person journalism, will read from and discuss his new essay collection, I Am Sorry to Think I Have Raised a Timid Son (2015), Thursday, March 12, 2015 at 8:00 p.m. in the Standish Room, Science Library, on the University at Albany's uptown campus, 1400 Washington Avenue, Albany. Earlier that same day at 4:15 p.m., the author will present an informal seminar in the same location. The events are sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute, and are free and open to the public.

Kent Russell, a writer of adventurous, first-person journalism, explores the notion of "masculinity" in his new nonfiction collection, I Am Sorry to Think I Have Raised a Timid Son (2015). Bestselling author Jim Shepard said in advance praise, "For those of us who've been missing Hunter Thompson lately, good news: [Kent Russell] is as close as we're going to get to his second coming when it comes to full-on gonzo passionate observation and self-loathing transmuted into social criticism." Pulphead author John Jeremiah Sullivan said, "Kent Russell is one of the most excitingly gifted young non-fiction writers to have appeared in recent memory."

Essays in the new collection profile National Hockey League "enforcers"; the devoted followers of the cult "horrorcore" band, Insane Clown Posse; a businessman-turned-hermit who lives on a crocodile-infested island; a "self-immunizer" who subjects himself frequently to venomous snakebites; preeminent Hollywood horror movie make-up artist Tom Savini, known as the "Sultan of Splatter"; and the scrappy players who inhabit the cloistered world of "Amish baseball".

Russell also explores his own boyhood fears and terrors, as well as his relationship with his father, a colorful, often volatile Vietnam veteran perpetually concerned about his son's emerging manliness. "He thought it was important that I should greet Death as part of my morning routine," writes Russell.

Russell's essays have appeared in the New Republic, Harper's, GQ, n+1, The Believer, and Grantland. Recent work includes the feature article, "We Are Entering the Age of Alzheimer's" in the New Republic, and an interview of the rapper Pitbull for GQ. "American Juggalo," Russell's piece for n+1 about Insane Clown Posse fans (included in the new collection) was awarded a 2013 Pushcart Prize.

Kent Russell is the brother of Pulitzer finalist and MacArthur "Genius Prize" winner Karen Russell, who recently said in a New York Times "By the Book" interview that Kent "is one of the funniest and strangest writers I know. He is my favorite nonfiction writer."

A native of Miami, Russell lives in New York.

For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at