Shelf Life Nonfiction Reading Series


On Tuesday, August 5th, I am reading at Hullabaloo Books in Brooklyn for the Shelf Life Reading series. 

Facebook event.

BYOB. Reading will be followed by an informal Q&A. 

Tiny bookstore, big hearts, words that’ll buzz on your tongue for days. Come hang out with us!

I’ll be reading along with:

LESLIE JAMISON’S essay collection, The Empathy Exams, won the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize and spent four weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. The book is about medical acting, ultra-runners, prison, an ultra-runner in prison, parasites, silver mines, gang tours, and—beyond and beneath all else—the possibilities and limits of compassion. Leslie’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Harper’s, A Public Space, The Believer, Oxford American, Tin House, and The New York Times, where she is a regular columnist for the Sunday Book Review. Her first novel, The Gin Closet, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times First Fiction Prize. She was raised in Los Angeles and currently lives in Crown Heights–just a few blocks away.
KASSI UNDERWOOD is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic online, The Rumpus, Guernica, and elsewhere. She received multiple fellowships from Columbia University, where she earned her M.F.A. in literary nonfiction and taught in the Undergraduate Writing Program. She has been featured in New York Magazine and appeared a guest on MSNBC’s “Melissa Harris-Perry Show,” HuffPost Live, and Fusion’s Alicia Menendez Tonight. She hosts The Freerange Nonfiction Reading Series at CULTUREfix and is at work on a memoir. Say hi online at

p.s. I made an author page on Facebook. Like it here.

A blurry shot from the Hudson reading the other night.

Elisa Albert, me, Aaron Burch, Karina Briski, Caleb Cutiss

Elisa Albert, me, Aaron Burch, Karina Briski, Caleb Curtiss



EE, MM, & CC


This weekend is exclusive double initial name weekend in Ann Arbor–AA as I like to call it.

I love these women. I see Elizabeth Ellen pretty often but I have not seen Mary Miller since this photo taken in Chicago, March 2013 at The Drake Hotel.

on the bathroom floor

on the bathroom floor

This next one is a flashback of our Southern Book Tour in summer 2012. This was taken in New Orleans. MM is holding a jello shot or some kind of shot, ha.



I had an essay published on Thought Catalog last night. It’s called Microphones. I always felt weird about this essay. Like it was unfinished or I couldn’t figure out what exactly I was trying to say. But sometimes you just have to call something finished.

I got the idea for the essay after reading Toilet Bowl by Kate Zambreno.


Read full essay here. 

People have been beginning to read ARCS of my new book. They’ve mostly expressed good things like “I’m madly in love with you” “How much of this is true I want it all to be true” and similar. But it also kind of seems like no one knows what to say about it. But maybe that’s just wishful thinking.






The White Dude Dad book tour is passing through town, so we decided to do a reading together. COME! BYOB.



17 N 4th Street Hudson, NY

Aaron Burch is the author of BACKSWING & editor of HOBART: another literary journal. He lives in Ann Arbor, MI.

Caleb Curtiss is the author of A Taxonomy of the Space Between Us (Black Lawrence Press, 2015). His writing has recently been published in DIAGRAM, New England Review, TriQuarterly, PANK, and Ninth Letter, and is forthcoming from Quiddity, Gigantic Sequins, and Green Mountains Review. He lives in Champaign, IL, where he co-organizes and curates the literary component of The Pygmalion Festival and teaches high school English.

Karina Briski is a writer whose work has appeared in Marie Claire, The Hairpin, Unmapped Magazine and the Thought Catalog anthology GIRLS? She currently lives in Brooklyn.

Elisa Albert is the author of The Book of Dahlia and How This Night is Different. Her new novel, After Birth, will be published in early 2015.

Chloe Caldwell is the author of the forthcoming novella “Women” (SF/LD, October 2014) and the essay collection “Legs Get Led Astray” (Future Tense Books). Her work has appeared in The Rumpus,, Hobart, Men’s Health, The Nervous Breakdown, and various anthologies. She lives in Hudson, New York.


Glimmer Dumping


The writing retreat in Big Sur was magical and crazy and heavy.

The cabins where the writers stayed for the week

The cabins where the writers stayed for the week


Stopped at this river on the way to Big Sur from Monterey. Enormous burritos were consumed.

Stopped at this river on the way to Big Sur from Monterey. Enormous burritos were consumed.


Pensive writers

Pensive writers

After the reading. Alan Heathcock, Steve Almond, me, Cheryl Strayed, Kristen Forbes, Samantha Dunn and Pam Houston

After the reading. Alan Heathcock, Steve Almond, me, Cheryl Strayed, Kristen Forbes, Samantha Dunn and Pam Houston

Part of the garden at Esalen

Part of the garden at Esalen

Erin, Cheryl, me, Kristin. Celebrating our last night!

Erin, Cheryl, me, Kristen. Celebrating our last night!

What did I learn?

Pam Houston gave a lecture on “Glimmer Dumping.” I highly suggest you take a workshop with her to learn more about this.

Steve Almond said never used the word “mindfully” in your writing. Or ever.

Samantha Dunn had us draw the floor plans of the homes we grew up in, to trigger memories.

Alan Heathcock said “Be brave enough to take yourself seriously.”

Cheryl Strayed said……….OMG I forget. She definitely said, “Being in your twenties means figuring out if you are a lesbian or not.” Which is pretty much what my next book is about. She also said to write with abundance and generosity. And with LOVE.



P.S. I also learned that Kristen Forbes writes amazing essays and is basically my soul mate.

The Story You Have To Tell


On Friday, I leave for Big Sur, California for Cheryl Strayed’s workshop, “The Story You Have To Tell.”  There will be classes taught by Cheryl, Samantha Dunn, Steve Almond, Pam Houston, and Alan Heathcock. The awesome essayist Kristen Forbes and I will be the assistants at the workshop.

I can’t WAIT.


Yesterday a box of my new book, Women, arrived. It feels so strange when something you’ve typed on the computer for the past year turns into a real book.





Guess that’s it for now. Upward and onward with the arts, as Maggie Estep once said to me.

Love, Chloe

P.S. I just finished this book, The Meat and Spirit Plan and I loooooooved it!

unnamed (1)



is this art


Went to MOMA with my BFF last weekend. We made some lovely memories. Unfortunately, she lost her hat that she is holding below. It read: “Take A Hike.”

photo (1)



Other things:

“Women” is on Goodreads. Add it to your shelf here.

I am teaching my course “Polish and Publish Your Personal Essay” for the third time this September. More info and sign up, here. 

I am open for reading manuscripts of personal essays or memoir.

I offer sliding scale prices, so please email me for more information @:

Also open to work with you on your personal essays. Same deal as above.

Hope everyone is having an EXCELLENT summer!

Much love <3, 





karina likes chips


i dreamt the last night  that i’d written a website post about my friend karina. i texted her about it and she said she had a similar dream! wtf? so obvi i had to write one.

karina is my friend. i met her in 2012 at the bookstore bookthugnation and i swear she told me that she’d read my where i write essay and that she’d also lived in washington heights. but she says this is untrue. the memory is a funny thing.

anyway, she writes good shit that you should read. we both have essays in this anthology GIRLS? hers is about not going on food stamps, and mine is about having my apartment condemned. it’s a sweet anthology, grab a copy!

BUT this essay about visiting Alaska is one of my favorites:

I’d forgive the mistake you’ve probably already made, of imagining this night as any other night, in any other bar at the flickering outskirts of any other town. There’s plenty to suggest this: an electronic jukebox, lighting up every time one country song fades into another, a narrow section of sand past the swinging patio door, used for throwing cigarette butts and horseshoes. Next to the bathrooms, a pool table doubles as a cup-holder, and thin-faced, over-40 waitresses circle the tables searching for empty bottles and dollar bills. The fog of cigarette smoke makes me think of the VFW bars I once sat in drinking bottomless Shirley Temples, a dartboard all to myself, while my dad would talk business over mid-afternoon beers. I don’t know a thing about fishing boats, but I’m convinced at least about one thing, even if no one else is: I belong in bars like this.

Read the essay in it’s entirety here. Follow Karina on Tumblr and Twitter because she’s a sweet and smart Minnesota/Brooklyn gal and we need more of those.  She is also my height twin. Some more fun facts: She loves tequlia sodas, chips, and charleston chews, and i find this all very endearing.

karina and i

karina and i last weekend, photo by jacob perkins

work work working


Been working heavily on my book Women……

We will have galleys some time this summer……

Katrina with my manuscript

Katrina with my manuscript

my office today

my office today

I also color-coded my books today

I also color-coded my books today

Other news:

I’ll be at the workshop “The Story You Have To Tell” in Big Sur at the Esalen Institute June 29th–July 4th. If you’re going to be there too, let me know!

I’ll be hosting Aaron Burch, Colin Curtiss, and Dave Housley when they read in Hudson July 22nd

I’ll be reading with Leslie Jamison at Shelf Life Nonfiction Reading Series at Hullabaloo Books on August 5th in Brooklyn.

That’s all I got for now.

I love you.




Myrtle Beach


I remember in high school, my friends who were in “band” got to go on a school trip to Myrtle Beach.

I wasn’t in on that because I wasn’t in band. I was in choir. I don’t know why I put band in quotes above, but I’m leaving it that way. We were freshman or sophomores in high school. The band kids all ended up getting suspended, because they were caught with alcohol.

Anyhoo, Elizabeth Ellen and I are leaving for Myrtle Beach for the weekend tomorrow. I am not in choir anymore, and I drink whatever I want, as I am 28 years old.

I have my manuscript printed out, along with a friend’s memoir and a friend’s novel.

EE and I are going to be working on my book. Gonna look something like this:.

Affichage de photo.JPG en cours...