Graceland Too Owner Dies


On our Southern Book Tour ( totally covered it by the way, lol) in 2012, Elizabeth Ellen, Brandi Wells, Donora Hillard and a friend named Ben Fama drove to Graceland Too, a shrine for Elvis memorabilia, the day after we did a reading at  Oxford Books.

After knocking and knocking on the door, Paul McLeod answered, spitting an Elvis tune. I think the tour lasted something ridiculous like three hours. In the photo below you can see our nervous laughter and apprehension. I remember Elizabeth saying she felt like she was going to have a panic attack. Because we were stuck in a house with a hoarder and didn’t know how long we were going to be there. 



In July Elizabeth texted me that Paul McLeod was found dead. According to some articles, a man was trying to break into his house, so he shot him, then he had a heart attack. 

Which brings me today, finding this photograph on my computer.  Not sure what else to say, but, wow. 

Book Sale!


I have a bunch of copies of Legs Get Led Astray just sitting on my shelf. Normally the book is $12 on my site but I will send you a signed copy for just $10 along with a fun surprise!!!! paypal me at

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There are some spots still in my online personal essay class which begins 9/4. The last two times I taught the class, it sold out.  I’d also like to point out that Chuck Paluhnik teaches for the same company. His class is sold out, obvi. If you have questions about my class just shoot me an email at the above address.


I am getting around the block this October. Like really around the block. I’ll be in a bunch of random cities doing readings. Details TBA v. soon. 





Yep, WOMEN is ready for pre-order! The books will ship at the end of September. You can order a copy here

WOMEN cover 


“In her novella, Women, Chloe Caldwell writes,  “There are thousands of ways to be blindsided.” Perhaps that’s the best way to sum up the effect this story had on me. If we’re lucky, we allow ourselves to love with ferocity, with abandon, with the hell to the consequences. If we’re lucky we survive this love and love again. Chloe Caldwell joins the ranks along with Kate Millett, Rebecca Brown, and Jeanette Winterson to write about boundaries and desires and the power of love to crush and heal.”

-Rhonda Hughes, Publisher at Hawthorne Books 


“I’ll read anything Chloe Caldwell writes.  She’s a rare bird: fearless, dark, prolific, unpretentious, and truly honest.  WOMEN is an urgent reminder that narrative is how we make sense of obsession.”

Elisa Albert, author of The Book of Dahlia and the forthcoming novel After Birth

“Chloe Caldwell’s Women describes–with grace, generosity, and insight—an affair between two women and its messy, loping aftermath. As Anton Chekhov’s “Lady with The Dog” describes, and as our own experiences show us, this kind of taboo sexual love ricochets between ecstasy and misery. Caldwell handles this material exactly as one should, revealing all the ways intense mutual desire tangles up with secret, impossible love. The narrator and Finn have impossible encounters, or impossibly possible encounters. The affair does not operate in the ordinary realm. Caldwell’s novella also deftly describes the intricate way the narrator’s extraordinary love for Finn illumines her loving relationship with her mom. Sure, the title of this book recalls Bukowski’s Women, and yet Caldwell’s Women offers what Bukowski would have envied—-a nuanced description of love as an unfurling, open thing, a female thing, cruel and kind and soulful, not easy to restrain, and in that way, Caldwell’s prose seems more linked to the maximal prose of Eileen Myles. What seems utterly Caldwellian (Chloean?) is how closely the prose attends to the female body, its aches and joys, its connections and dispossessions, how it feels, at every step, to be touched deeply and then left alone.”

Jay Ponteri, Author of Wedlocked and Darkmouth Strikes Again
“Chloe Caldwell’s Women is all of the beautiful, haunting pain of heartbreak — caught in amber and held up to the sunlight. Chloe’s clarity and candor allows us to be voyeurs while simultaneously making us feel understood. If you’ve ever felt passion mixed with uncertainty, desire mixed with rejection, or if you’ve ever been just plain mindfucked, this book will hit home.”
Erika Kleinman, Essays Editor at The Nervous Breakdown 

“With Women, Chloe Caldwell is to Millennials what Anais Nin was to previous generations–a voice that is raw, intimate, thoughtful, compelling. Above all, heartbreakingly real.”

– Samantha Dunn, author of the novel Failing Paris and the memoir Not By Accident: Reconstructing a Careless Life

Here’s a photo of Cheryl Strayed, her daughter Bobbi and I at Omega last week. My mom took this. Afterwards, Cheryl asked her kids if they knew they story of how she and my mom knew each other and Bobbi said, “Yeah, the story is like—we’re all related or something.”
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Becca Worby’s reading series in  Crown Heights was fantastic. The little bookstore was homey and smelled like wood and felt like a sauna but in a good way. I got to be reunited with Kassi Underwood, and see my friend Molly Oswaks.  We ate some delicious sushi in the back of a cab and then had a bunch of wine and deep conversation. P.S. Molly and I are in the early stages of planning a launch party for WOMEN  in Brooklyn, details TBA.


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Me at the podium gazing at Kassi.

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The Q and A got pretty serious. Becca grilled us about our nonfiction habit.


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Leslie Jamison and I. As I double fist my phone and an IPA.

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My personal essay class begins in less than a month! We will study essays by Leslie (above!), Jonathan Ames, David Sedaris, Michelle Mirsky, Cheryl Strayed, Lidia Yuknavitch, Emily Rapp, and MORE.

Sign up.  It’s fun as hell, I promise!

 Oh, and I published an essay on Human Parts the other day, called Behind The Till. 


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!

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