What the?

MobyLives started in 1998 as a syndicated newspaper column about books and writers. It ran until 2003, appearing in numerous newspapers, alternative news weeklies, and on–line journals across the United States and Canada, such as in The Orlando Sentinel, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, The Little Rock Democrat–Gazette, Creative Loafing, The Ottawa Citizen, and at Alternet.com. The website started in March, 2001. The book publishing branch of MobyLives.com, Melville House Books, started in February, 2002. MobyLives Radio launched on 7 November 2005. From the start, MobyLives has been, and remains, an independent operation. It is not affilaited with any other blog, it fronts no other organization, it takes no payment from any publisher or retailer, nor any other funding source. It's almost as if—well, as if no one wanted anything to do with us. All of the ads on the site are given for free to books selected by the editors on sheer whim. No remuneration for links to Amazon.com is recieved, for example, because MobyLives has never linked to Amazon.com, unlike some people we could mention. One other thing: None of the contributors to MobyLives receive payment for their writing—which, come to think of it, could explain why so few people want anything to do with us . . . .

Who the?

Editor Dennis Loy Johnson is a short story writer and a graduate of the University of Iowa's Writers' Workshop. He is the author of The Big Chill: The Great, Unreported Story of the 2001 Bush Inauguration Protest, and the co–editor, with Valerie Merians, of Poetry After 9/11, and What We Do Now, which collected manifestos from Howard Dean, Lewis Lapham, Nicholas Kristof, Donna Brazile, Greg Palast, George Saunders, Percival Everett, and others. His fiction has been awarded the Pushcart Prize and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, and has appeared in literary journals such as Ploughshares, the New England Review, the Georgia Review, and Story magazine, as well as in anthologies such as the Pushcart Prize series and Algonquin’s "New Stories From The South." His journalism has appeared in a wide range of publications, from the wires of the Associated Press to USA Today, Salon.com, and major newspapers across the country and in Canada. Formerly an English professor at Allegheny College, where he taught fiction writing and journalism, he has also taught fiction writing at the University of Iowa, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Pittsburgh.

Literary Editor Becky Kraemer graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a BA in Creative and Professional Writing. After working in rights at Simon & Schuster and Hyperion, she joined Melville House, where she is currently senior editor and rights director.

Co–Editor Kelly Burdick is a graduate of Bard college. After stints at The Nation, The New Press and Cambridge University Press, he joined Melville House as an editor and head of production.

Why? Why, why, why?

Why is the column called MobyLives? People ask this a lot. Those who guess it has something to do with Herman Melville are on the right track. Those who recognize that the phrase is evocative of graffiti saying "Bird Lives" that appeared around New York City after Charlie Parker died are also headed the right way. Those inspired to recall, simply, that the whale didn't die at the end of the book should say to themselves: bingo. The whale survived, unlike his detractors, who had harpoons, no less. Similarly, the literary arts will survive, are surviving, these confusing times. It is, in short, both metaphor and analogy, a slogan reeking of heaviosity.

Where in the?

The MobyLives / Melville House Intergalactic World Headquarters is located in Hobken, New Jersey.