Book Review: The Pittsburgh Anthology
Nancy McCabe, Ploughshares

Through portraits of a bowling alley, a real estate agent’s property listing, and an indie band, among others, the anthology offers glimpses into multiple facets of a vibrant city with a rich past, memorable characters, and distinctive places. Characters include a neighbor who welcomes the author to a new apartment building through a foot massage and unexpected wisdom (“Won’t You Be My Neighbor? “ by Rachel Mabe); a civil rights photographer who brings to light seemingly invisible parts of history (Yona Harvey’s “The Missing Made Visible: In the Footsteps of Teenie Harris“); an alcoholic uncle who introduces the young narrator to a new, frightening world (“The Bottoms” by Matthew Newton); and a hipster/hunter and a steeler’s fan, among others (Rebecca Morgan’s full-color paintings.) (January 29, 2016)

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The Pittsburgh Anthology tempers all of the Most Livable City rah-rah with essays, stories, and poems of a grittier, more complex nature
Kristofer Collins, Pittsburgh Magazine

Stand-outs include Dave Newman’s “A Middle-Aged Student’s Guide to Social Work,” in which Newman, who left his tenuous position as an adjunct teacher at a local university to become a social worker, details early experiences while trying to help people largely ignored by the system. Matthew Newton’s personal essay about his uncle’s death achieves a graceful elegance in its emotional restraint. (October 29, 2015)

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Writers on Mental Health Series
Andrew Lipstein, 0s&1s Reads

“I would say it’s so ingrained that there is no separation. It’s difficult to see OCD as anything but an invasive presence, no matter its ebb and flow in my life over the years. While there’s no doubt it informs my desire for order, there’s no true advantage to living with it. When I was first diagnosed as a teenager it was a bewildering experience. A certain sense of relief came with knowing that the obsessions and compulsions were part of a larger disorder, but that relief was only temporary. As an adult, while I no longer get caught up in the same compulsions that dogged me in adolescence—things like checking, counting, excessive hand washing, etc.—rumination remains a challenge.” (October 6, 2015)

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In The Pittsburgh Anthology, local talents paint a multifaceted portrait of the city
Bill O’Driscoll, Pittsburgh City Paper

However, many of the book’s most memorable pieces reflect Pittsburgh’s more sobering realities. Frazier’s searing photos depict African-American life in her hometown of Braddock. Journalist Cody McDevitt explores the perils of casino gambling. Boyd himself illuminates the strange world of a human guinea pig involved in a psychological experiment. Matthew Newton offers a potent character sketch of his uncle, an alcoholic Vietnam vet, set in the depressed, post-Big Steel Mon Valley of the 1980s. Ben Gwin, himself a recovering alcoholic, recounts a painful custody battle with a heroin-addicted ex. And Dave Newman recounts his experience as a social-work intern, plumbing with an angry poignancy the underside of an economy where society’s losers are left to fend for themselves. (September 2, 2015)

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Past and Present Collide in Pittsburgh
Maurice Berger, The New York Times

As a complement to an earlier exhibition, “Teenie Harris Photographs: Civil Rights Perspectives,” the museum asked writers—including poets, playwrights and historians—to respond to “the social, cultural, and political content” of Mr. Harris’s photos. Edited by Matthew Newton, associate editor at the museum, the series continues with the exhibition “Teenie Harris Photographs: Cars” (through Nov. 16). The project represents an imaginative effort by a pre-eminent American art institution to rethink its historical holdings and make them relevant. (June 2, 2015)

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Writing becomes a way to cope with mental illness
Bill Zlatos, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Lee Gutkind, professor emeritus at the University of Pittsburgh and founding editor of Creative Nonfiction magazine, ran the workshops. He said the fellows’ work exceeded his expectations. Lauren Shapiro, 34, of Squirrel Hill was trying to enjoy a family vacation in Puerto Rico last Christmas when she learned of her father’s suicide attempt. Matthew Newton, diagnosed with severe clinical depression when he was 15, wrote of his relationship two decades ago with a girlfriend who threatened to kill herself. (November 25, 2013)

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Small-press publisher debuts with zine release
Bill O’Driscoll, Pittsburgh City Paper

Local writer Matthew Newton has started a new small press, and is launching it with his own lovely new zine, titled “In Case of Emergency.” The event is tomorrow night, at Braddock’s UnSmoke Systems Artspace. The zine, with illustrations by William Arthur, is another of Newton’s takes on young-adult life during the Great Recession. Like Death of a Good Job, his e-book from earlier this year, “Emergency” spins off of Newton’s abrupt firing from his position as a magazine editor. The new story also draws heavily on his experiences, in 1994, as a high school dropout washing dishes in a Holiday Inn karaoke bar. (November 15, 2013)

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Walkabout: Young writer Matthew Newton finds market challenging but worth the effort
Diana Nelson Jones, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Like so many kids in 1980s Pittsburgh, Matthew Newton imagined a better scene and life anywhere else. He found a community playing in punk rock bands. But writing was his first love, and he majored in creative nonfiction at the University of Pittsburgh. Graduating in 2001, he realized he had chosen a field that would be difficult no matter where he lived. (November 11, 2013)

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How To Cope with Layoffs
Jason Boog, GalleyCat

As the publishing industry evolves in the 21st Century, layoffs have become an all-too-common experience. Sometimes, it can be helpful to see how other writers coped with this devastating situation. Journalist and author Matthew Newton published Death of a Good Job recently, a short memoir of losing his job as an editor during the Great Recession. (July 25, 2013)

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Author’s experience echoes a generation’s job woes
Jeff Ihaza, Pittsburgh City Paper

Pittsburgh author Matthew Newton is familiar with the reality of economic decline. Raised at the end of the steel age, Newton has a perspective on the world informed by the unpredictability of local economies. In 2009, against a backdrop of nationwide economic uncertainty, Newton learned he’d lost his job as an editor of a nonprofit automotive magazine. The news came just as the author and his wife were contemplating a larger family, while vacationing in the Laurel Highlands. (April, 3, 2013)

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Sean Stewart and the Underground Press
Walter Gordon, The Rumpus

At Guernica, Matthew Newton interviews Sean Stewart, former owner of the now closed Babylon Falling, a radical bookstore and gallery space in San Francisco, and editor of On The Ground: An Illustrated Anecdotal History of the Sixties Underground Press in the US. Aside from compiling his book, Stewart has also converted Babylon Falling into a blog, a transformation perhaps indicative of a larger movement of underground press sources onto the internet. (August 6, 2012)

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Altered States of America
Chris McDonnell, Meathaus

Visit Matthew Newton’s Annals of Americus to peep the series “Altered States of America” which will be posted daily in July. It’s short stories by Matthew paired with artwork by Mike Reddy. Mike also blogs here and has a selection of work here. I really like the Annals of Americus description: “Annals of Americus is a digital journal documenting art, culture, and politics in post-empire America. It’s as much a lamentation of the decline of Western civilization as a love letter to its undying promise.” (July 11, 2011)

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Look Out for the Altered States of America
Sam Riley, The Rumpus

Writer Matthew Newton and Brooklyn-based illustrator Mike Reddy have launched a brand new comic series called Altered States of America in which they produce one comic a day for the month of July. Each comic is comprised of a short story and an accompanying illustration. Like this one about former friends in Deadtown, which is a very sad place. (July 7, 2011)

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Press On
Karen Lillis, Pittsburgh Quarterly

But the jackpot Sprout winner of late is the East End art collective, Unicorn Mountain, which received a $10,000 grant. “They may be the biggest success story in Pittsburgh small publishing,” says Matthew Newton, 29, co-editor at Turtle Creek’s Poison Control. “Not only did they get the money, they are committed more than anyone to promoting Pittsburgh artists.” Both Unicorn Mountain and Poison Control favor the anthology format. Unicorn Mountain features narratives by graphic artists, while Poison Control’s latest issue has short prose, illustration and photography in an attractive, wood-bound package. (Fall 2006)

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(Photograph: Wikimedia Commons. Caption: New York City newspaper street stall in Times Square, 1982.)