Alan Semrow’s fiction, nonfiction, and poetry has been featured in over 30 publications. Semrow’s debut short story collection, Briefs (Lethe Press), was published in 2016. His second book, an epistolary memoir called Ripe, was released in 2018. Previously, he was a monthly contributor at Chosen Magazine, the Fiction Editor for Black Heart Magazine, and a Guest Fiction Editor for the Summer Issue of Five Quarterly. Semrow lives in Denver, CO. Reviews of Ripe: Letters: “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.” - Goodreads Reviewer "In his second book, the recently published Ripe, Madison-based writer Alan Semrow uses a barrage of short letters to unpack the complexities of sex and connection with other gay men. Semrow gives us 40-odd vignettes, written in second-person, that eventually start to reveal a bigger picture of a tireless search for human companionship, in often brief but meaningful form. Semrow isn't shy about the sex itself, but what mostly comes through is a genuine fondness for these men, sometimes tinged with sadness. "This will end and both men will go back to their lives," Semrow writes in the midst of the chapter "Dear Desert Guy," noting later in that letter, "By not making any promises, we could put insurance on our perfection." Instead of regretting the brevity of this particular encounter, Semrow cherishes its concentrated intensity. Balancing frankness with sprightly prose, Semrow shows how two people can find something profound and lasting in each other, even if what they share on the surface amounts to a casual hookup or even less—even just charged eye contact and a wink across a room." - Tone Madison "With each letter, the author lays bare his soul. He writes about life and the things he’s experienced, happy, sad, good and bad. These letters are an exploration of friendship, love, and intimacy. ... This isn’t a book in the sense where there are MCs, plots, storylines, or tropes. What he has given us is insight into his heart and mind, his youthful dreams, longings, regrets and ultimately his growth. And that is really quite amazing." - The Kimi-Chan Experience "While some of these letters weren't exactly love letters, they were written from a place of love, highlighting how those encounters no matter how brief impacted the author positively. From Dear 'Birthday Guy' to 'Daddy', 'Blondie' to 'Athlete', each letter is meaningful and poignant, sometimes humorous, sometimes poetic and always comes across as genuine. The reflections are so relate-able, they made me think of my past relationships and how I would address them if I wrote letters to them." - Love Bites and Silk Ties "Each letter details a moment, a few days, a few weeks, in the life of the author, ruminating about encounters with men, some with whom he spent some time, and some he never even met, and learning about himself and life in general as he explores the intricacies of intimacy, friendships, relationships, and the difference between lust and love. Each letter, whether written to Dear Weekend Love or Dear Athlete or Dear Stallion or Dear Lobster Bisque, provides an honest look at what that particular person meant to the author, how each of these men influenced him in some way, no matter how long or short the encounter." - My Fiction Nook "This collection of micro essays chronicles the flings, romances, and loves of author Alan Semrow. The essays are formed like impromptu letters to the narrator’s former lovers. Each one has a title reminiscent of “Dear John,” but captures some facet of what Semrow shared with his partner. Some entries are purely about the physical, but others explore somewhat deeper connections There are a number of people who have sailed in and out of the author’s life, and while some of these connections may be fleeting, they are no less poignant. For me, I really enjoyed reading this prolific series of intimate letter-essays. With every new letter, we get to relive the rush of attraction and passion, while also learning a bit about the author and his object of desire." - Joyfully JayRead more Read less
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