Episode 4: Lucas Mann

iTunesIn this episode, draft editor Mark Polanzak talks with author LUCAS MANN about writing inspired by failed childhood dreams, workshop and post-workshop tantrums, and something Mann’s grandmother called kennaharra, which he now uses to ward off failure (kind of).

Lucas Mann is the author of Lord Fear: A Memoir and Class A: Baseball in the Middle of Everywhere, a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection.  His work has appeared in Guernica, Barrelhouse, TriQuarerly, BuzzFeed, and The Kenyon Review, among others, and he has received fellowships from The Iowa Arts Foundation and The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.  He earned his MFA from The University of Iowa and teaches at The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Learn more at this author’s website.

Lord FearLord Fear is not a biography or an elegy or a even a memoir so much as it is a meditation on the function of grace, proof that love can defy all logic, transcend facts or even reality itself until it is almost indistinguishable from faith. . . . Mann’s first book, 2013’s Class A, was a genius piece of narrative reportage. . . . With Lord Fear, although its roots are firmly planted in the soil of fact, Mann allows himself something more akin to a fiction project, in the way that he sends out his imagination to inhabit those whose lives were affected by Josh. . . .  The best we can do sometimes is to look at things honestly, describe them as accurately as possible and say to each other, ‘Well, this is really kind of sad, isn’t it?  In his sensitivity for these sorts of states, Mann proves himself one of the most talented young nonfiction writers working today.” —Nicholas Mancusi, Miami Herald



“What elevates Class A beyond being just an entertaining and poignant work of narrative nonfiction is the book’s most winning character—Mann himself. As a writer and observer, he is patient, sympathetic to a fault, optimistic in spite of himself, and, despite his gifts, impressively unassuming. . . . Decades from now, the vast majority of the names currently seen on the spines of books will probably seem as unfamiliar as those found in a pack of random 2013 baseball cards. But I’d be willing to wager that Lucas Mann is one of the names that will endure.”—Adam Langer, The Boston Globe