October 2014

News & Events...

EVENT! Featured Reading by Dammit Author Douglas Gwilym at the Millvale MASH (Millvale Community Library), Monday, October 13 @ 7:30 p.m., 213 Grant Avenue, Millvale, PA 15209 For more information, click here.

PRESS! Click here to read the Press Release from Scott Bradley Smith's reading at the Lynden Gallery in Elizabethtown, PA on September 22.

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SUBMIT! Want to be the next Dammit author? We're now accepting submissions for the next book. Click here to submit.

Now Available At...

NEW RETAILER! Dammit Books are now available at Carnegie Mellon University Bookstore in Pittsburgh, PA.

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Welcome back to Dammit News!

In this issue, Seth Roskos speculates on the
therapeutic value of stories.

The Healing Power of Story
by Seth Roskos

dammit book

The first book I wrote was in the fourth grade. It was about my pet cat. Her name was Velvet. And, in my book at least, she was a total bad-ass. She discovered an underground passageway beneath an abandoned house and battled some goblins. I bound the book and drew a picture of Velvet on the front. She was a level nine wizard. Thus began a life of fiction or, as some like to say, “a fiction of life.”


Dammit author Katherine Gross talks about what she
learned from a particularly influential musical.

The Rent Effect
By Katherine Gross

In early 1996, the musical Rent premiered on Broadway. I don’t remember where I was when I first heard about it, but it was probably in the cafeteria during lunchtime, and I was probably with my friends from the Family Singers—a select, audition-only choir that met every day to rehearse and that toured Europe in the Spring. The kids from Family usually overlapped into the orchestra, and made up most of the cast of the annual school musical. We were the theatre kids, and thusly were in tune with everything that went on in the outside world that had to do with plays, musicals, movies and music. Being part of this group was not only life-saving, at what would have been a lonely time in my life, but provided me with an essential community through which I could express myself, both musically and personally.

Rent, a rock musical based on the opera La Boheme, centered around a group of bohemian artists in New York City in the early ‘90s. Rent was a controversial production for a number of reasons but received wild acclaim and won a Tony as well as a Pulitzer. My friends and I would sing it verbatim everywhere—in the hallways of the music department, in the cafeteria, and of course, at home in our own rooms. I would put the CD in my portable player and listen through the headphones while doing housework. I have a distinct memory of belting out a certain song whilst vacuuming my parents’ living room.

For my birthday that year, my parents took me to see the production. It was magical and lived up to my every expectation. For me, as a senior in high school, poised on the precipice of independence and identity, Rent expressed my feelings and gave me a sense of what was important: the struggle for freedom, acceptance, and the unwillingness to be anything but myself.

What happens when someone shares a story with us—a true story, a story from their heart-of-hearts?

We feel connected. We realize the commonality of our emotions. How we are, as human beings, all the same. We all falter. We all fear. We all stumble. And we can all come back stronger.

This book contains those stories.


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