Ursula Villarreal Moura

Meet Our Lit Crawl Authors

We’d like to thank our friends Steph Opitz at The Texas Book Festival and Jill Meyers at A Strange Object for including us among the hosts for this year’s Lit Crawl festivities. We are amazed and humbled by the stellar lineup of authors they’ve arranged for our event on October 25th at 8:30pm at The Volstead in East Austin: The Austin Review IRL.

Please RSVP at our Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/531534413657070/ and learn more about the other events and schedule at the official Lit Crawl website: http://www.texasbookfestival.org/lit-crawl/

Below is additional information about the four authors who will read at The Austin Review IRL. Please support their work and come out on Saturday night to meet them IRL!

Photo from Austin's website.

Photo from Austin's website.

Austin Kleon

Austin Kleon is the New York Times bestselling author of three illustrated books: Steal Like An Artist (Workman, 2012) is a manifesto for creativity in the digital age; Show Your Work! (Workman, 2014) is a guide to sharing creativity and getting discovered; and Newspaper Blackout (Harper Perennial, 2010) is a collection of poetry made by redacting words from newspaper articles with a permanent marker.

His work has been translated into over a dozen languages and featured on NPR’s Morning Edition, PBS Newshour, and in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. New York Magazine called his work “brilliant,” The Atlantic called him “positively one of the most interesting people on the Internet,” and The New Yorker said his poems “resurrect the newspaper when everybody else is declaring it dead.”

Austin's Texas Book Festival Page: http://www.texasbookfestival.org/author-page/?aid=5196

Photo by Bader Hower

Photo by Bader Hower

Edan Lepucki

Edan Lepucki is the author of the novella If You’re Not Yet Like Me, originally published by Flatmancrooked, and recently re-released by Nouvella Press.  The Los Angeles Times named her a Face to Watch for 2014.

Her debut novel, California, was published by Little, Brown on July 8, 2014.  California debuted at #3 on the New York Times Bestsellers List and has been the #1 bestseller on the Los Angeles Times and San Francisco Chronicle bestsellers lists.  It’s also been on the IndieBound and Publishers Weekly Bestsellers Lists.

California is a fall 2014 selection of Barnes & Noble’s Discover Great New Writers program.  Edan and Stephen Colbert are now besties.

Edan's Texas Book Festival Page: http://www.texasbookfestival.org/author-page/?aid=5236

Photo from Maxwell's website.

Photo from Maxwell's website.

Maxwell Neely-Cohen

Maxwell Neely-Cohen was born and raised in Washington, DC, where he spent his teenage years skateboarding and DJing. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, he lives in New York City. Echo of the Boom is his first novel.

Maxwell's Texas Book Festival Page: http://www.texasbookfestival.org/author-page/?aid=5294

Ursula Villarreal-Moura

Ursula Villarreal-Moura's writing has appeared in New South, CutBank, The Weekly Rumpus, The Austin Review, DOGZPLOT, and other journals. She holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, and is at work on a novel-in-stories.

Q & A with Our Issue 2 Contributor Ursula Villarreal-Moura

1. If you were reviewing your own work, how would you describe its style or point of view?

I think if I were to describe my style it would be a fatalism that drowns the reader then pulls her back up for a gulp of precious air. Until I answered this question, it never occurred to me that that's subconsciously my aim. I mean, that's almost precisely my worldview, although it's starting to shift. Almost everything imaginable makes me uncomfortable, but I keep interacting with the world, because beautiful things can and do happen. 

Themes I consistently write about include loss, speaking or avoiding Spanish, stuffed animals, and abandonment. Those are some of my most loaded subjects--they help me drown and resurface in multiple ways. 

2. Who are some of your favorite contemporary authors?

My list is long: Karl Taro Greenfeld, Mary Miller, Elizabeth Ellen, Leesa Cross-Smtih, and Rumaan Alam. Karl Taro Greenfeld writes excellent fiction and nonfiction. His writing is often surprising but never in a gimmicky way. Mary Miller and Elizabeth Ellen write vulnerable women characters that make me flinch in good, uncomfortable ways. I'm really excited about the upcoming release of Leesa Cross-Smith's book. I read absolutely everything she and Rumaan Alam write. What I love about Leesa Cross-Smith's writing is that it's so uplifting. It's almost the polar opposite of mine. If she drowns her reader, it's for twenty seconds or one minute. Rumaan Alam's short stories and essays are funny, astute, and brilliant. Two of his stories, published in Meridian and Necessary Fiction, I think about almost weekly. I want to be a literary agent so that I can represent him.

3. If you were told you couldn't write anymore, what job would you pursue and why?

I've always wanted to work at a museum. MoMA, are you listening? One of my best professors in college was my art history professor. I was already having a love affair with art by the time I took his courses, though. It's so cliché to admit this, but the first time I saw Guernica in person at the Prado, I felt like I was having a spiritual experience. The irony is that my husband and I had had a framed print of it on our wall, so I didn't expect to feel any different standing it front of it, but I did. Being in the presence of art is like conversing with the universe. 

I'd love to write museum guides, lead tours, or even narrate audio guides.

4. When you think of Austin, what comes to mind?

When I think of Austin, I can't help but flashback to my internship at American Short Fiction. It was a magical time for me. I also think of the times I spent reading and drinking coffee at Houndstooth or book browsing at BookPeople. Because I catalog discomfort, I think about I-35 and people driving 95 mph between San Antonio and Austin. Most people who know me are aware of my dislike for driving and cars.  

5. Answer the question you wish we had asked.

If writing really is creating for an audience of one, who is your audience? 

My seventeen-year-old self. She was hard to impress but had wild dreams. Sometimes I feel I'm earning her respect and living up to her expectations.  

Announcing the Authors of Issue 2

We are so proud to announce our stellar lineup of nine authors for Issue 2. For each author you don't already know, we invite you to read their work online and in print and visit their websites. Help us promote literature through their stories.

Stay tuned to our blog for upcoming author Q&As and, soon after, the release of Issue 2. 

Issue 2 Authors


Micheline Aharonian Marcom


Jennifer Bowen Hicks

Ursula Villarreal-Moura

AJ Olsen 

John Proctor


James Brubaker

Mary Miller

Sam Pink

Vincent Scarpa

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Authors: thank you for entrusting your work with us. Readers: thank you for your continued support.

Your friends at The Austin Review