Photograph of my face by  Beowulf Sheehan . (Here’s a  hi-res version .)

Photograph of my face by Beowulf Sheehan. (Here’s a hi-res version.)

At present I’m experiencing the highs and lows of a writer with his debut novel just out in the world. I’m doing this in Kingston, New York, where I live after a decade in NYC. (It’s great. Fewer Seamless options, but you can afford a house.)

Brief, Official Bio:

Ryan Chapman is a Sri Lankan-American writer originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota. His work has appeared online at The New Yorker, GQ, Bookforum, BOMB, Guernica, McSweeney’s, and The Believer. He is a recipient of fellowships from Vermont Studio Center and the Millay Colony for the Arts. He lives in upstate New York. Riots I Have Known is his first novel.

Longer Bio:

After completing my undergraduate degree at the University of Puget Sound I lived in Seattle and Prague for a couple years while working for an education-based technology company. (In short, I created interactive films teaching British Literature and French to high schoolers. ) Upon moving to New York I found work in marketing and online editorial with Farrar, Straus and Giroux, where I produced the Work in Progress site and newsletter and worked on campaigns for Jonathan Franzen, Jeffrey Eugenides, and Roberto Bolaño, among others. Later I worked in a similar capacity for The Penguin Press, creating marketing and advertising for titles by Zadie Smith, Thomas Pynchon, and Michael Pollan.

I then moved briefly to a now-defunct publishing startup, and happily landed at BOMB Magazine in a jack-of-all-trades role. Besides creating programs with Justin Vivian Bond, Claudia Rankine, and Lynne Tillman, I oversaw BOMB’s online editorial and worked closely with critics and essayists.

Somewhere along the line I also published Conversation Sparks, an illustrated book of trivia inspired by my Webby Award-nominated Tumblr. (Remember Tumblr?) I now freelance full-time, balancing interviews, essays, Catapult courses, and manuscript consultation, while working on the follow-up to Riots I Have Known. Don’t ask me how that last one is going.

I’ve spoken on panels and served on committees for the Brooklyn Book Festival, BookExpo America, the AWP annual conference, Wordplay (Minneapolis), SXSW, the Asian American Writers Workshop, and the Texas Book Festival. I’ve guest-lectured on the publishing industry at Bard College and the New School.

Oh, and I produce an infrequent literary trivia night called “Nerd Jeopardy!” It’s like the game show, except everyone’s tipsy, all the categories concern books, and nobody wins any money. (The winners earn respect, which is worth something.) I’ve hosted the game show across NYC and at Lit Crawls in Austin, Minneapolis, and Portland (OR).


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