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praise for the writing of

Robert Detman

"A fantastic writer."

--Giancarlo DiTrapano

"Cinematic. . . devastatingly honest"

--Fourth Genre

"A very good story. . . it felt like good journalism."



"Mesmerizing. Wonderful writing and material."

"Extremely interesting idea. . . voice is fantastic."

--Boston Review

"What a pleasure to read this odd, visionary work!"

--Charlotte Pence author of Code

--New Writing (UK)

"A persuasive narrative voice similar to John Banville and Paul Auster."

"You have generated a lot of discussion among our pool of readers."

--American Short Fiction

--The King's English

"The closest experience one can have to what it is actually like to write like Nabokov."

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Nomadic Press :

"Detman’s writing style and skill at storytelling explode viciously . . . I became totally absorbed . . .This is a novel that will stick with you because of its poetical means of exploring the human condition and Detman's uncanny ability to weave beautiful, and haunting, imagery."


Publishers Weekly :

"Detman pulls together various forms and styles in an ambitious novel composed of transcripts, letters, and footnotes, told in sharp prose. [...] The best scenes focus on the intimate details and relationships between the characters. Detman's stylistic choices succeed in the moments when Harry's memories and Basher's documents blur into the present, layering various methods of storytelling to create a fresh and intriguing work."

Read the full review here.


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Also available at:           IndieBound        Barnes & Noble        Amazon      



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Robert Detman has published nationally and internationally, fiction, essays, and poetry in over fifty literary journals, and is the author of the novel Impossible Lives of Basher Thomas (Figureground Press). Publications include Antioch Review, Pleiades, Santa Monica Review, Southeast Review, and The Southampton Review. Among online literary journals, his work has appeared in Akashic Books Thursdaze, Fjords Review, Newfound, New Orleans Review, The Smart Set, and numerous others (see publications below). His short stories have been finalists for the New Letters Literary Awards and nominated for the Best of the Net, and a story collection was a finalist for the Acacia Fiction Prize from Kallisto Gaia Press, and a semifinalist for the Hudson Prize from Black Lawrence Press. He has written journalism for the San Francisco Chronicle, and Yahoo!, and was a regular contributor to Rain Taxi Review of Books, Nomadic Press, and the Superstition Review Blog. He has attended writing conferences at the Abroad Writers’ Conference in Chiang Mai, Thailand, working with celebrated authors Chris Abani and Rebecca Walker, and, at the Virginia Quarterly Review, working with legendary short story writer Amy Hempel. He received an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College and holds a degree in architecture from the University of Michigan.

For any inquiries, please use the contact form.



[recent work]

*Print Publication

Peauxdunque Review  "The Abyss" [memoir] *

Change Seven  "Secret Life" [poetry]

Pinky Thinker Press  "Post Meridian" and "Calibration" [poetry]

[selected fiction exerpts]


The Southampton Review  "Everest"

"“Why don’t you tape the silverware to your hands,” Daniel said. He proceeded to mimic the fumbling simulation of what I might look like to him, with a fork attached to a napkin-wrapped hand as he dully stabbed pork on his plate like a simian trying to force a square peg into a round hole. I looked to Sarah and smiled with embarrassment for myself, for Daniel, for us all. Sarah winced at these theatrics."

Antioch Review  "Under the Suns of a Million Everests"

"The sensation faintly reminds me of those gray days on the frozen lakes of my childhood. Time tinged with a dread of the unknown: when the world you have yet to enter is made up of notions, of rites of passage and terrors heard about but not yet experienced. The openness, the emptiness: this is what it is to truly be alone."


Santa Monica Review  "This is America"

"The world has suffered a pin prick, some air whistled out. In time this will be replaced by more buildings tumbling down, white walls of water, unconscionable misery. These events will be left to dust, washed clean. Everything crawls, eventually, to a stop. This will become a footnote in the news, a candle light vigil."

Evergreen Review "It Was a Tree That Saved Me"

"I know that when the tree came from the water to punch me in the gut that I was to embrace it. And when Maren went under the coiling waters, I clasped the tree to my aching chest and climbed like I did when a boy. I climbed high until the water went one way clear smooth and the next rushing brown with palm branches, chairs and people. I held a hand out to them but they could not reach me."

The Homestead Review  "What We Have Seen Waiting for the               War to End 

       [Finalist, 2008 New Letters Literary Awards]

"From our second floor apartment, we cannot see directly outside, only the light that enters the interior courtyard surrounded by concrete on three sides that rises up five floors. I try to discern what the day will be like from the sounds echoing up from the street, the brave vendors, the frequent cries of grief, the muezzin call."

Driftwood  "The Watch" 

"The backfiring startles Harry and he comes to in a blaze of heat, cooking. The sun is in the wrong place. There is a pain in his head, something more than a headache from gripping the rails on the back of the truck as they blew over washed out roads."

The Wisconsin Review  "The Edmonton Farrell"

"York, stubbing out his cigarette on the rail watched the penumbra-like mole of the sun, white and distended, fading behind a sooty scrim of the Minnesota fury, high in the western sky. The ink of the atmosphere leaded into the surrounding clouds like a blotter."

[selected nonfiction exerpts]

The Tusculum Review  "The Miseducation of an Architect"

"They were adults talking about a future with shape, abundance, and responsibility. But in looking back, I realize that they were eager to give me guidance, and life lessons for the future. Though it was all still so far ahead of me in the way a forty-year old can seem like an ancient relic to a nineteen-year old. I was just beginning an unsteady, at times exciting, at times crushingly daunting, step into the world, and knew nothing. Or, rather, I knew what I thought I knew."

Kitchen Sink Magazine  "The Amorphous Writing Community"

"We heralded our minor successes. One grumbling writer brought in a personally signed rejection letter from George Plimpton of the Paris Review. We clucked and gaped. Another had a story published locally in a small magazine that she held up for the collective oohs and aahs of these future Scott Fitzgeralds. "It doesn't pay," she said, smiling knowingly, "but it counts.""


The Southampton Review  "Everest" *

Akashic Books Thursdaze  "First Time, Last Time"

Antioch Review "Under the Suns of a Million Everests"  *

CausewayLit  "Tegucigalpa"    [2021 Winter Contest Winner]

Santa Monica Review "This is America"  *

Decomp Magazine  “Building the Perfect Wings"   [Nominee, 2016 Best of the Net]

Superstition Review "Fire"   [Finalist, 2007 New Letters Literary Awards]

The Homestead Review  "What We Have Seen Waiting for the War to End"

          [Finalist, 2008 New Letters Literary Awards]  *

Evergreen Review "It Was a Tree that Saved Me"

Wisconsin Review  "The Edmonton Farrell"  *

The Write Launch  "Annapurna”

Timber Journal  "Social(ly) Media(ted) Diptych"

Malarkey Books / Derelict Lit “What You Catch a Glimpse of, Forget as Soon” 

Kindle Edition  Yemalu, An Account of the Days" * 

Juked  "Domestic Triptych"

Spork Press “Three Stories: Ejection Seat, Shine, Ski Patrol” 

Driftwood  “The Watch” *

Eyeshot "Our Satellite Problem” 

Literary Orphans  “The Trials of the Father” 

Pitkin Revew “Harry Obscured”  *

The Greensilk Journal  “Smell the Coffee”

The Higgs Weldon  "Kim Jong-un's Unread E-mails"

21 Stars Review and Anthology “What You Catch a Glimpse of, Forget As Soon”  *

[poetry / hybrid]

Hive Avenue Literary Journal  "There is That One Nagging Detail" 

Box Journal  "Faith" *

The Bangalore Review  "Consider Jerry Garcia"

Up North Lit  "Open Heart" 

Plainsongs  "Domestic Dream of a Post-Pandemic World"  *

Elimae “Synchronicity” 

WordRiot  “Change/Irreparable/Kinematics" 

Haarp / Hexagon Press  “Of Kafka"  *

Sein und Werden "Cogitations on Self"  

Snow Monkey  “Seven Dreams Under the Knife”  

S/Word  "Cyclical" 

S/Word  "Methodology of Protest"  

Crack The Spine "Reversal" 
Bitterzoet  "Ministrations of the Father" 

Burningword Literary Journal  "Object / Multiple Singularities / Be Here Now" 

Em: A Review of Text and Image  "Anger Management"


The Smart Set  "Finding a Framework: A Mentor's Gift" 

The Tusculum Review  "The Miseducation of an Architect"  *

The Smart Set  "Lost in Drawing: Misadventures in Deconstruction" 

Great Lakes Review  "Buildings of My Youth" 

Burnt Pine Magazine  "The Fifth Season" 

Fiction Southeast  "Be Proud, Be Brave, Aspire!" 

Kitchen Sink Magazine "The Amorphous Writing Community: A Primer"  *

Gravel Magazine  "The Other Animals"  

Glint Literary Journal  “Abandoned”   

The Bacon Review  “Storage Room"  

JMWW "Survey" 

Superstition Review Blog "The Necessity of Writing (and Reading)"

Superstition Review Blog "Letter from Japan: On Not Knowing" 

Superstition Review Blog "The Real Risk is Writing" 

Superstition Review Blog "From Journal into Blog: Seven Years of Writing on Writing" 

[essays / reviews]

Tupelo Quarterly  "The Novel as Metaphor" 

Newfound "Writing Contra Technology" 

Fjords Review  "Verse for the Averse"  

Pleiades Book Review  "The Brand New Catastrophe"  *

The Southeast Review "Magic Hours"  *

New Orleans Review  "Everything We Don't Know" 

New City Weekly "Hand to Mouth"  *

Nomadic Press "Einstein’s Beach House "

Nomadic Press  "The Wallcreeper" 

Rain Taxi  "Sunland " *

Rain Taxi  "Preparation for the Next Life "  *

Rain Taxi   "The Flame Alphabet "  *

Rain Taxi  "There’s a Road to Everywhere Except Where You Came From " *

Rain Taxi  "West of Here " *

Rain Taxi  "A Thousand Deaths Plus One " *

Rain Taxi  "Vain Art of the Fugue"  *

Review 31  "Beyond Good and Evil"  *

România Literarã Foundation "Vain Art of the Fugue" (translation)
The King's English “Dim Conflagration”

Trop Magazine "Schadenfreude Unlimited!"

Trop Magazine "Existentialisms"


Wisdom of the West “The Detman Files” 

2022 - Acacia Fiction Prize - Kallisto Gaia Press “The Survivor's Guide (Stories)”  Finalist

2021 - CausewayLit “Tegucigalpa”  Winter Contest Winner

2020 - Variant Literature “Building the Perfect Wings”  Longlist

2018 - The Virginia Quarterly Review Writers Conference Participant

2013 - The Hudson Prize, Black Lawrence Press "The Survivor’s Guide (Stories)"  Semi-finalist

2008 - New Letters Literary Awards "What We Have Seen Waiting for the War to End"  Finalist

2007 - New Letters Literary Awards "Fire" Finalist

2007 - Abroad Writers' Conference, Chiang Mai, Thailand Fellowship Award


*denotes print publication only


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