| Give a Gift |

  • Digital Edition

The Matthew Sharpe Book Signing: Postcard From New York City, Part 3


Online Only, posted 6.03.07

It was Saturday morning and Matthew Sharpe was late, but for a good reason. The author of Jamestown was supposed to be signing copies of his book in the autographing room of BookExpo America (BEA), but he’d just been named a finalist for a Quill Book Award, part of a program organized by NBC Universal and Reed Business Information that honors books in nineteen different categories at an awards show televised on NBC. Sharpe was busy being interviewed for MSNBC.

One of the draws at BEA is the free books—as many as you can grab to make up for the price of your ticket if you’re not a bookseller or member of the media. You can also have authors sign your free book for you, which is why one particular table was stacked with copies of Jamestown. A lone intern from Soft Skull Press, Sharpe’s publisher, was left to appease the people waiting in a line that stretched out into the children’s area of the convention center. It was the first day of her internship, and the people waiting in line, some with totes overpacked with books, were impatient.

Finally, Sharpe popped out from behind the author-area curtain, dressed in a checked pattern shirt, cuffs upturned to show a paisley pattern underneath. He’s a calm and quiet guy, still a bit surprised about being nominated for the Quill and interviewed for TV, but not too giddy about it. He sat up in his chair, pulled out a pen, and prepared to sign copies of his book at a table between the authors of The Brain Diet and Sober Celebrations—both nonfiction titles.

A lot of people just asked that their books be signed by the author without a dedication. Do they sell them on eBay? "I guess they could," said Sharpe when there was a lull in the line of autograph-seekers. The break didn’t last long. He attracted a steady stream of traffic—so steady, in fact, that he ran out of copies of Jamestown at the exact moment when a fan said she’d traveled all the way from Germany to meet him. She was kidding, of course, but she had been so effusive in her praise of Sharpe’s work that she convinced her friend to buy copies of all his other books—Stories From the Tube, Nothing Is Terrible, and The Sleeping Father.

Other die-hard fans were on hand too. Edward Kaback brought all of Sharpe’s previous books with him to be signed. Beth Shields asked for a picture. Librarians from Connecticut got their copies and said how excited they were to have Sharpe coming to sign at their library in the fall. One little girl who probably shouldn’t be reading Jamestown—considering it’s set in a post-apocalyptic future and includes some pretty violent scenes—also asked to get a copy signed. Her head barely cleared the table. It turns out she wanted a copy not for her but for her sister’s teacher.

Sure beats an apple.

Article Permissions
The Matthew Sharpe Book Signing: Postcard From New York City, Part 3

In the details box below, please include information about the reprint permissions you'd like granted.

Thank you for your permissions request. We do our best to respond immediately, but it may take up to three business days.

City Guide

by T Cooper


From newly established bookstores such as McNally Jackson Books in SoHo to long-time forums such as the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church on the Lower East Side, T Cooper, author, most recently, of The Beaufort Diaries, visits his favorite places to research, revise, and read in New York City.

Upcoming Events
Berl's Brooklyn Poetry Shop
October 22, 2014 - 7:00pm
New Jersey Performing Arts Center
October 23, 2014 - 9:00am
New Jersey Performing Arts Center
October 24, 2014 - 9:00am
Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House
October 24, 2014 - 5:00pm
October 24, 2014 - 7:00pm
Conferences & Residencies
New York, New York United States
New York City, New York United States
New York, New York United States
Writing Contests
Poetry Society of America
Bronx Council on the Arts
Magazine Articles

by Rebecca Bates

November/December 2014

The Center for Humanities at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City is making the ephemeral more tangible through its Lost & Found chapbook series.

by Cat Richardson

November/December 2014

The New York City–based art and politics magazine rings in its second decade with its first paid staff position and the launch of a print anthology.

by Julia Fierro

September/October 2014

Founder of the Sackett Street Writers' Workshop in Brooklyn, New York, Julia Fierro discusses how creating her own workshop program—and in doing so, building her own community of writers—allowed her to rediscover her own voice.

Directory of Writers
Brooklyn, NY
New York, NY
New Hyde Park, NY

Subscribe to P&W Magazine | Donate Now | Advertise | Sign up for E-Newsletter | Help | About Us | Contact Us | View Mobile Site

© Copyright Poets & Writers 2014. All Rights Reserved