NYC | Inhuman Swill | William Shunn
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Before the Dawn
I'll be one of more than 150 scheduled performers at the 25th Annual Alternative New Year's Day Spoken Word/​Performance Extravaganza, which takes place on January 1, 2019, from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. at St. John's Lutheran Church in Greenwich Village. This year's theme is "Before the Dawn."

(Note: My 3-minute slot on the program will take place at some point between 7 and 9 pm.)

The Alternative, which is free to the public, features poets, prose writers, monologists, musicians, dancers and other performers in an eight-hour showcase that ranges from some of New York's most seasoned talents to emerging stars. The lineup evolves each year to keep the event fresh and democratic. The audience is encouraged to donate paperback books to Books Through Bars, for people incarcerated in prison, and canned or boxed food or drink for City Harvest, which provides for the hungry in New York.

The Alternative began on New Year's Day in 1995, and quickly became one of the most popular events on the city's poetry and literary scene. Founder Bruce Weber is ably assisted by a staff of writers, designers and curators. Each year a fresh group of performers are plucked from all corners of the Tri-State area to enliven and transform the Alternative in unexpected ways. Adding to the mix for the sixth consecutive year will be an anthology comprised of featured writers, published by Rogue Scholars Press under the guidance of C. D. Johnson.

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My novelette "Our Dependence on Foreign Keys" is now available as a 99¢ ebook! I hope you'll check it out, especially since I'm hoping to get to work on more Franny and Hondo stories.

"Our Dependence on Foreign Keys" was originally published online in 2015 in Across the Margin.


Our Dependence on Foreign Keys

'Our Dependence on Foreign Keys' by William Shunn

Release date: 2 May 2017

When high-tech partycrashers swarm his exclusive soirée high above the floodways of New York City, billionaire inventor Pell Franziskaner can't be sure whether it's a garden-variety annoyance or a prelude to murder. His own.

Environment, economics, and augmented reality collide in this tale of reputation, revenge, and artificial intelligences so advanced they run directly on the fabric of spacetime.


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Nail salon workers
Lined up in a row of five
Taking a selfie

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Taboo Tales

I'm very excited to be part of the second Taboo Tales event in New York City on Monday, October 10th. Taboo Tales is the long-running show from Los Angeles where people tell stories about their fucked-up lives. Come out and see us at The PIT on Monday and I guarantee you'll feel better about yourself.

Now, I'll let Taboo Tales tell you more...


We've learned New Yorkers are pretty fucked up so we're putting on our second show on October 10th. It's Columbus Day so tell all your friends to come out and discover this one of a kind storytelling show where we talk about topics no one wants to discuss in public.

Our BRAVE storytellers for this show will be:

  • Allison Guerra
  • Tony Carnevale
  • Kent Koren
  • William Shunn
  • Karen Fratti
  • Bobby Hankinson

    Hosted by Vanessa Golenia and Kejal Macdonald
    Happening at the PIT theater (24th and Lex)
    7pm. Arrive by 6:30pm.

    Save some money and get your tickets in advance!
    $10 online tickets // $13 at the door

    Want to see how much fun we had at the last one? Say no more. Check our event photos.

    SEE YOU THERE!


    More info:
    http://tabootalestheshow.com/about-2/
    https://www.facebook.com/events/1781798598730652/

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  • Uh-oh! Oreo!

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    Oreo mayhem
    Oreo packet,
    rip'd open and crush'd on the
    subway floor. Tragic.

    —for the kid in all of us

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    Springtime in Manhattan

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    Tourists in Times Square
    Blocking the sidewalk to gape
    At an ambulance

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    Share the wealth

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    Homeless man feeding
    his McDonald's French fries to
    pigeons. Share the wealth.

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    Memory Lane

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    Their former stoop
    She strains at the leash,
    Trying to turn the corner.
    "Not that way," I say.

    But Ella insists,
    So I give in and follow.
    Not that big a deal.

    This short, narrow lane,
    It's a valid path back home,
    Not such a detour.

    Along the sidewalk
    We rush, my arm stretched out straight,
    Not pausing to sniff.

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    Winter haiku

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    Snowflakes ride updrafts
    in Brownian reels outside
    my twelfth-floor window.

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