Literary artists Glaser, Holland and Michel perform pieces at Amherst Books’ event

By Tim Jones

A student and professor in the University of Massachusetts’ Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) program presented readings from the literary magazine, “The New York Tyrant” at Amherst Books on Wednesday, Oct. 21 at 8 p.m.

The event took place as a celebration of the launch of Tyrant Books. Tyrant Books will be publishing works from authors such as Eugene Marten, Michael Kimball, Brian Evenson, Blake Butler, Jason Schwartz and Atticus Lish.

Rachel Glaser, who is a student in UMass’ M.F.A. program, Noy Holland and Sam Michel presented a reading from “The New York Tyrant” at Amherst Books.

Rachel Glaser read a short story about the evolution of society and civilization since the first signs of life in time. Glaser has had works published in “The New York Tyrant,” “Unsaid” and in other publications.

Additionally, other short stories by Glaser, such as ones entitled “The Totem’s Are Grand,” “Dream House,” “The Sad Girlfriend,” “Michael Jordan, in General” and “The Kid,” can be found and read on Glaser’s personal blog at

This summer, Glaser’s first novel, titled “Pee on Water and Other Stories,” will be published by Publishing Genius, a company that won the Best of Baltimore award in September 2009.

Noy Holland, a nominee for the National Book Award and 2003 National Endowment of the Arts fellowship award winner, read two literary works. One of the works was about a Spanish boy, who was blinded during pregnancy by the medication medical professionals used to save his mother’s life. The other story chronicled a young boy’s story about his desires to have mice and also, a woman’s descent into depression and madness since that event.

Holland has written two collections of short fiction, “What Begins with Bird” and “The Spectacle of the Body.” Holland is a professor in UMass’ M.F.A. Program for writers and poets.

“It’s really great to be part of a new literary magazine, one that is committed to emerging writers,” said Holland. She is currently working on a couple of short stories and an upcoming novel.

Sam Michel, the husband of Noy Holland, read excerpts from a book of his, a story about a man who seldom leaves his beloved chair, and must do so to help a neighbor bury a dog. Michel has written two collections of short fiction, entitled “Under the Light” and “Big Dogs and Flyboys.”

“It feels welcoming to be part of ‘The New York Tyrant.’ It’s difficult to find a place for your work,” said Michel. He has won “The New York Tyrant’s” annual Lidano Fiction Award. He is currently working on a new play.

The performance lasted around an hour, and the book store was at full capacity. Multiple readings took place at the same time.

“The New York Tyrant” is a literary magazine created in 2007 by Giancarlo DiTrapano, a former intern at FSG who sold his house in New Orleans to start a magazine. The magazine is based in Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan, N.Y., featuring a variety of short stories from many authors, both new and experienced, who share stories or offer insight into many topics. 

The authors can be seen in “The New York Tyrant,” and the seventh issue will be coming out soon.

Tim Jones can be reached at [email protected]

Alyssa Creamer contributed to this article and can be reached at [email protected]