I spent last week holed up writing a new essay called The Music and The Boys. It’s about my teenage friendships, music, and my parents’ divorce. Then I came across this photo, that sums up exactly the jumping off point for the essay. God did we LOVE to sing and dance and go to concerts. Marcy Playground, Shakira, Jack Johnson, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Spirt of the West, Kanye, Nora Jones, Britney Spears, you name it. I was happy to find this photo because sometimes I’m worried I’m making stuff up. This photo is from a high school graduation party with a karaoke machine.


How come French films have the best dancing scenes?

Heres two I’m obsessed with. The first one is from GIRLHOOD, which I saw with my Dad over the winter. The girls dance to “Diamonds” by Rhianna. This is exactly how it feels when you’re dancing that way as a teen (and in your twenties!) and it feels super epic.

And Lykke Li’s “I Follow Rivers” dance scene from Blue Is The Warmest Color.

In this new review of WOMEN, they actually compared the book to Blue Is The Warmest Color.

Just as original is the layout of the book. There are no chapters and frequently only one paragraph occupies an entire page. These fragmentary pieces of text are reminiscent of some of Shakespeare’s very short scenes, which are more flashes of action than fleshed out mini-stories.

yoga goth


I went to Monster Cycle for VICE magazine, which is part of the whole #HealthGoth movement. Read my experience here! P.S. I’m the one in red in the back, fucking dying because I’m more of a yogi. Hard cardio is hard, nauseating.

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Photo by Amy Lombard

Photo by Amy Lombard

Gotta go because I’m supposed to be writing, like the Okkervil River song “On Tour With Zykos” (I go home/take off clothes/smoke a bowl/watch a whole TV movie—I was spose’d to be writing).

skipping town


my interview with maggie nelson for Salon:


i was interviewed at The Fanzine

i won 100 bucks from Word Riot for $ for readings, which was nice….if you’re reading this and you’re a writer who travels to and fro from events and readings, apply!

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i liked this essay Flavia Stefani wrote about drinking wine with Cheryl Strayed—it’s classic Cheryl, and then it led me to watch Monica Lewinsky’s TedTalk on being publicly shamed.


next week i leave for the martha’s vineyard writers residency in edgartown…..along with these talented writers and friends:

Georgia Clark:


Stephanie Georgopulos:




Karina Briski:

Karina at my desk in Hudson

Karina at my desk in Hudson


and Cynthia Tassinari, who I grew up with in Spencertown.

me and Cyn in Vermont last summer

me and Cyn in Vermont last summer

never been to a residency OR to Martha’s Vineyard, v excited.


life is grand


we went and conquered miami, i think. swam in the ocean, went to a strip club, got tattoos, watched CATFISHED, long walks on the beach, drank tons of coffee….etc.



WOMEN was shortlisted for best novella for the Saboteur Awards. If you have a second, please vote for it, because you could help me win 125 euro Josephine Baker champagne, which would spark joy (inside joke with people who have read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up) in my life. It’s open to vote until May 24.



I’ve an interview coming out with Maggie Nelson (MAGGIE NELSON!!! as the people call her) in Salon about her new book THE ARGONAUTS some time this week, maybe today? This book is really shaking the lit world up–it’s exciting to watch. My only disclaimer is that I had a week deadline to do this interview. I am berating myself for the interview not being amazing and perfect—I’m usually not on this side of the bar, and I now have much more compassion for everyone who has asked me interview questions in the past. It’s harder than it looks! Also–it’s hard for me to talk about writing in many ways. It’s too ephemeral. 

WOMEN was reviewed in WEIRD SISTER:

Chloe Caldwell’s Women Isn’t About Anything and It’s About Everything

Next month, June 23rd, I’ll be reading from WOMEN, funnily enough, at BOOK WOMAN in Austin, Texas with my one of my best buddies Erika Kleinman. Erika reached out to me in 2012 after seeing Cheryl Strayed reccommend Legs Get Led Astray on this Barnes and Noble list. We started emailing and I helped her edit some essays, like this one. Since then we’ve become really close friends and met for the first time this past December when she visited me in New York. She’s a really special friend and I can’t wait to read with her. Erika’s essay, The Perfect Pair, is one of my all-time favorites–I always teach it in my classes.

Also, every time I go to Austin I have a blast. The first time I went was with my brother and dad when I was 20. We listened to Bright Eyes a bunch, took a road trip to Blooming Grove, I bought clothes I vividly remember from Buffalo Exchange and various thrift stores, and my brother and I went to see The Fruit Bats.

The last time I was there was for book tour in 2012 with Mary Miller and Elizabeth Ellen. Dang, I look young! Isn’t it sad how you think you look fat/gross, then you look back and see you actually looked fine? Never mind, I’ll save this for therapy.


Two more days to sign up for my class: Polish and Publish Your Personal Essay. If you want to sign up but have questions about stuff, feel free to email me: cocomonet@gmail.com

Life is good!!! I should get a Tshirt.

“making art about relationships is hard”


The Rumpus published a review of WOMEN in illustration form by the talented Sara Lautman. Check it out here







A reminder that Polish and Publish Your Personal Essay starts MAY 7. The class goes for 4 weeks and we meet on Thursdays, online with a new lecture and assignment from yours truly. It’s an amazing time and we make friends and you end class with 4 essays ready for publication.


But now I’m leaving for Miami w these b******. It’s like a book tour reunion.


a nice old lady with a tattoo


been thinking a lot about this thing i heard desiree akhavan say on a podcast. they were asking her about her movie appropriate behavior (how much is autobiographical? how does your family handle you writing so nakedly?) and she was like, i failed every where else. i had all these tutors and they were like, wtf is wrong with you? i was embarrassingly mediocre every where but my art. to say i related would be an understatement. i started getting bad grades in middle school. i wasn’t on the high honor roll, lucky if i got on the honor roll. in my art i fail, obviously, but i fail less and i fail in a way that doesn’t bother me. it’s like writing is the only thing i’ve seen success in.

the reading at pete’s candy store last thursday was awesome. thanks to everyone who came out!! one of the best ambiance/vibes of a reading i’d done in a long time.  great stage for readings. i remember seeing some music there with my brother in like 2006.

with the loveliest Elisa Albert

with the loveliest Elisa Albert


sunday afternoon in hudson at courville gallery, i read with abigail thomas, author of three memoirs and two novels. it was such an honor to read with her. i’ve owned her book “thinking about memoir” since i was 22 and highly rec it for anyone writing CNF. abigail read one part where a student described her as ‘a nice old lady with a tattoo’. she was shocked because she doesn’t consider herself nice, or old, or a lady. “didn’t he see me smoking and shooting tequila?” she said.

Abigail Thomas w her lizard tattoo

Abigail Thomas w her lizard tattoo

How lazy I am for SITTING while I read

How lazy I am for SITTING while I read

memoir   uhhh what else. no more readings going on for a bit. how boring are these photos of IMG_4703me standing with a book? do writers really feel that invisible? i explored this a little bit in my essay Microphones, but i find myself thinking about it A LOT lately.  though it wouldn’t feel authentic i guess if i were posting photos of like, animals and landscapes. saw the movie ‘while we’re young’ last night with my mom. funny. this is a little free library in the town i grew up in. i stop at it each time i drive by and yesterday found a copy of ‘on the road’, ‘traveling mercies’, and ‘nine stories’. score, am i right? IMG_4807   at penn station the other day, i did this:

one of these things is not like the other

one of these things is not like the other

april readings


some april events. thursday, april 9th in brooklyn. sunday, april 12th, in hudson. see you somewhere, hopefully.


Facebook event is here. Maybe I’ll coordinate my dress with Elisa’s tattoo yet again.


Sunday April 12th with Abigail Thomas. Facebook event.  I’m told the below reading will have nice cheese and wine.


Someone emailed me once many months ago, and was like, bummed out that I don’t sign my website posts “love, chloe” anymore. Haha! I thought that was really funny.

Yesterday I turned 29. Here’s a photo my mom took when I was…..six?




shades of bleu


Another anthology I’m in along with Courtney Love, (!!) Pam Houston, and Angela Patel. Releases September 2015, but you can pre-order it now.  


From Amazon:

30 Shades of Blue collects the perspectives of well-known writers on depression, sadness, suicide, and being blue, through stories as personal as they are unforgettable. The silent epidemic of depression affects millions of people and takes dozens of lives everyday, while our culture grapples with a stigma against open discussion of mental health issues. Editor Amy Ferris has collected these stories to illuminate the truth behind that stigma and offer compassion, solidarity, and hope for all those who have felt blue.

Contributors to 30 Shades of Blue include:

  • Pam Houston
  • Beverly Donofrio
  • Matt Ebert
  • Caroline Leavett
  • Courtney Love
  • Chloe Caldwell
  • Kitty Sheehan
  • Christine Kehl O’Hagan
  • Jimmy Camp
  • Ruthe Pennebaker
  • Sherry Amanstein
  • Laurie Easter

30 Shades of Blue brings the conversation around depression and sadness into the open with real, first-hand accounts of depression and mental health issues, offering empathy to all those who have been affected by these issues.


I guess I’ll come out of the closet and say I’m almost done putting together a brand new essay collection, titled:

I’ll Tell You In Person. 


Anthologies are sort of the best, in some ways. When I was 21 or something I read a tip for writers which was: submit to anthologies. That way you can meet other writers and do readings and stuff.

Also, it was fun to find this anthology at the library the other day because my friend, the late Maggie Estep has an essay in it that I never knew about, called Lisa The Drunken Slut, of course.


I published an essay on Medium called The Laziest coming Out Story You’ve Ever Heard and I was really surprised at the response! I got lots of emails from strangers and friends it was also a top 20 read on Medium. I’m sort of unclear about why. I don’t mean that in a fishing for compliments way. I just mean like, I wasn’t afraid to publish it and didn’t spend a long time writing it like I do with most my essays. So I was surprised it spoke to people, that must say something about labels, the culture, etc. It’s a short version, and the longer one is going to go in my new book.

I saw Elisa Albert and Jenny Offill in conversation at Oblong Books 2 weeks ago and will be reading with Elisa Albert  at Pete’s Candy store in Williamsburg, April 9, 730pm.

mission creek festival


a girl named lindsay wallace wrote an essay called “how women in literature taught me to write fearlessly and purposefully” and it was really touching to me for a few reasons. one is because she lists me with these women, but another is because i could have written the essay. it sounded like me, naming my personal nonfiction heroes, cheryl strayed and anne lamott.

Growing up, I was obsessed with memoirs, creative nonfiction and personal essay collections.

I dove headfirst into books about self-exploration, breakups, human suffering, sexual exploration and addiction. I particularly loved female authors who were telling their stories through their feelings.

Authors like Joan Didion, Anne Lamott, Cheryl Strayed, Elizabeth Gilbert, Marya Hornbacher, Sylvia Plath and now lesser-known female writers, like Chloe Caldwell, Leslie Jamison and Roxane Gay.

I lovingly refer to them as my literary mothers because it’s through them I found my inspiration to write.


Going to Iowa City on April 2nd through April 5 for the mission creek festival.

Let me know if YOU are going to be there, and/or send your friends. I’m reading, so is Jenny Zhang, Lorrie Moore, Sarah Gerard, Porchista Khapour, Ben Fama…. tons of bands and comics.


days like this


WOMEN is reviewed in the print issue of the Spring BITCH magazine. It’s most def a mixed review, starts off okay but gets a little nasty toward the end. They recommend reading “Any Other Mouth” by Annelise Mackintosh inSTEAD of WOMEN, which is ironic, because I’ve been trying to buy that book locally for a few months and it’s hard to find. Now I will definitely buy it. It was rec’d by a friend.

My essay “Heroin and Acne” is in this anthology, Days Like This, coming in April or May from California Bookstore Day. They’re not printing many and once they’re gone, they’re gone. Stoked to be in a book with Anne Lamott. She’s one of my all time favorites and a huge inspiration since I was a teenager.


I just finished Binary Star by Sarah Gerard. I’ll be reading with her in Iowa next month. I’m re-reading Jonathan Ames and Jonathan Lethem essay collections. I saw Still Alice with my mom (was disappointed, did not do it for me) and watched Red Flag by Alex Karpovsky (love, hilarious, like the male version of Tiny Furniture) and am looking forward to While We’re Young by Noah Baumbach to release this month.

My essay “Learning To Sit Still” is going into an anthology called 50 Shades of Blue, coming from Seal press. There’s rumor that Courtney Love is also in this book….