Alan Semrow’s fiction, nonfiction, and poetry has been featured in over 30 publications. Apart from writing fiction and nonfiction, he is a contributor at Chosen Magazine and a singer-songwriter. Previously, he was the Fiction Editor for Black Heart Magazine and a Guest Fiction Editor for the Summer Issue of Five Quarterly. Semrow’s debut short story collection, Briefs, was published in 2016. Ripe is his second book. Semrow lives in Minneapolis.
Funny, sexy, evocative, and brutally honest, Ripe is Alan Semrow’s ode to relationships with men. In this epistolary book, Semrow writes to the men who have impacted his outlook, reminded him of basic life lessons, surprised him in more ways than one, and left him reeling for days. Writing to one-night-flings, men he has never met, and men he’ll never stop running into, Semrow touches on some of the most constant human themes—love, lust, desire, and the yearning for connection. All the while, the book details a man’s journey navigating and blooming by way of the modern gay scene. Readers will find familiarity and hard truths in Semrow’s statements about the intricacy and explosiveness of the intimate moments we share.
Review of Ripe:
“I’m always skeptical of gay writers writing on gay subject matter. They either knock it out of the park or slither into a culvert filled with refuse. Semrow hit a home run. Honest. Vulnerable. Compelling. He’s the first gay writer I have seen in many years who can write erotically without actually being erotic. Hints and suggestion make for really beautiful poetry. Although it’s billed as a book of letters, it’s much more than that.”
Purchase From (Paperback & E-Book):
Windy City Times (Feature/Article/Interview) | Tone Madison (Press Feature)
The Novel Approach (Interview) | The Cosy Dragon (Interview)
LGBTQ Reads (Feature: Writing Gay in 2018)
Thoughts and Things (Press Feature) | Kai Tyler (Press Feature)
Drops of Ink (Press Feature)| Mirrigold: Musings & Mutterings (Press Feature)
Bonkers About Books (Press Feature) | Valerie Ullmer (Press Feature)
The lives of Semrow’s characters in this debut collection are like the charged particles in the atmosphere before the storm; these stories, while brief, are torrid and turbulent, as relationships crash apart, people find themselves damp with more than tears, and the silver linings of the storm clouds remain tantalizing, out of reach.
Purchase From (Paperback, E-Book, & Audio):
Columnist – Chosen Magazine. (2018-present)
Fiction Editor – Black Heart Magazine. (2016-2017)
Volunteer Reader – Black Heart Magazine. (2015-2016)
Ripe: Letters. (October 2018)
Briefs (short story collection), Lethe Press. (November 2016)
“Beach House,” BlazeVox14. (2014) “The Next Great American Novel Sinks to the Bottom of the River,” Red Fez. (2014) “Abstracts of Other Men,” The Bicycle Review. (2014) “Hospital: Night” and “Television in Color,” Blotterature Lit Mag. (2015) “My Name is Sunshine,” Former People: A Journal of Bangs and Whimpers. (2015) “To Know Only the Sun,” Danse Macabre Literary Magazine. (March 2015) “For the Record,” “Players of the Game,” and “Pink Boy,” Danse Macabre Literary Magazine. (May 2015) “UV,” Earl of Plaid Lit Journal. (2015) “The Vanity Mirror,” The Corner Club Quarterly. (2015) “Red,” The Zodiac Review. (2015). “The Reunion” and “The Lawnmower” Inwood Indiana. (2015) “Girl Pimp,” The Kitchen Poet. (2015) “Get Home Soon,” Wilderness House Literary Review. (2015) “XOXOX,” Story Shack Magazine. (2015) “The Treehouse,” Tiny Moments Literary Anthology. (2016) “Fish Swim in Pools,” The Literati Quarterly. (2015) “Dull Resolution & Summer Cherry,” The Biscuit. (2015) “Closets,” “Heartlocks,” “Sugar,” and “Georgie Boy” Potluck Magazine. (2015) “Alien,” DoveTales Lit Journal. (2015) “Fools in Old Fords,” Eunoia Review. (2015) “Baby’s Daddy,” Calliope Magazine. (2016) “Pretty When I Cry,” Crack the Spine Anthology. (2016) “Down Where the Birds Sing,” The Bitchin’ Kitsch. (2015) “Realistically Speaking,” TWJ Magazine. (2015) “Walk in Jerusalem,” The Chaffey Review. (2015) “A Professor of American Lit” and “Boarding School,” The Rain, Party, & Disaster Society. (Feb. 2015) “The Lawnmower” and “The Six-Year Dance,” The Rain, Party, & Disaster Society. (June 2015). “The Massacre,” EAP: The Magazine. (2015) “What Mom Said About Tradition,” Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine. (2015) “Realistically Speaking,” The Commonline Journal. (2015) “We Used to Feed Chickens,” Indiana Voice Journal. (March 2015) “Hard Chairs,” Indiana Voice Journal. (July 2015) “Hydroponic Nights,” The Radvocate. (2015) “Pretty When I Cry,” Crack the Spine. (2015) “Walk in Jerusalem,” (audio) Golden Walkman Magazine. (2015) “A Professor of American Lit,” Great Jones Street. (2017) “Beach House,” “Put Under,” and “Wrong Girl.” Barney Street Anthology. (2014) “Diane Lane.” Wordplay Anthology. (2014) “If It Makes You Happy” and “Rolling Stone” (paintings) Chicago Literati. (2015). “Scenes from Unfaithful.” Cobalt Review. (2019)
Awards & Honors
Featured Fiction Writer – The Rain, Party, & Disaster Society (2015)
Essayist Award – UW-Stevens Point English Department (2014)
Poetry Award (Honorable Mention) – UW Stevens Point English Department (2014)