Hey. Like, thanks for visiting. My name's Josiah but most everyone calls me Duke.
I wrote a novel, and I'd like to think it's pretty damn good. This site is a launchpad for that novel as I revise and put it to publishers in the coming months. It's also a spot for me to build future projects--video games, wicked scripts, midrash--and is also my way of saying, "Hi, world."
So hi. If you're curious what I'm about, read on. Look below for bits from my blog and sign up on the mailing list for a sample chapter of my novel.
I write, mostly.
After flirting with poetry in college, I settled into a deep comfy groove with fiction and essays and we've been going steady ever since. Words are unsettling, idiosyncratic things with the power to upset and placate. Use them to change minds, shape truths, and paint a picture of one's inner world: it doesn't matter. At the end of the day they're just words. Featured below are a few of mine.
"I don’t watch Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli’s films to escape reality; like all good fantasy, I delve into these other-worlds to return, invigorated, to this one. Even in the more grounded Ghibli films, there is a palpable awareness of something beyond this plane: the brief, soothing fantasia of Whisper of the Heart (1995) or the almost self-conscious serendipity of From Up on Poppy Hill (2011). When I sit down to watch Castle in the Sky (1986) I look at distant mountains and feel the explorer’s pulse, the desire to search out unfound things for the pure joy of it. At its core, most every Ghibli film describes some pure, wordless drive in the human experience and makes it move in brilliant color and music onscreen."
- "Ghibli's Moving World" Christ and Pop Culture 09.08.14
In Manetowak (Menominee: Ma-ni-to-woc meaning "Place of the Spirits"), a man searches for his missing wife while a series of murders unfolds in a small Wisconsin town. Horrific dreams, haunted history, occasional levity. A black river, a depthless bog, occasional visits from inner demons drive our man down a slow descent into the Menominee underworld.
Conceived in 2010 and written steadily since, Manetowak is my first novel. Inspired by hell, small town detective procedurals, the paper mill town of Mosinee WI and personal grief, the book is equal parts metaphysical thriller and meditation on loss.
Currently, the book is in the midst of heavy revision before being reviewed by publishers. Please sign up for the mailing list to get regular updates and promotional materials as it nears completion.