About me

Jay Lesandrini
Carmel, IN

MFA Creative Writing
Butler University

MA English
Butler University

I've been writing stories for as long as I can remember and telling them even longer. I kept a lot of the stories I wrote as a kid, mostly the retelling of books I'd read or my mother read to me. She had been a teacher before she met my father and she would gather me and my brothers together at night and read us books rather than plop us in front of the TV (though we still watched our fair share of television, don't get me wrong). 

When I was in fifth grade, our teacher took the class to see the film "All the President's Men" and I decided that I wanted to be a journalist when I grew up. That didn't happen, but I never stopped writing...well maybe not completely. Sometimes life gets in the way. For me, writing is a lot like exercising. It's often hard to convince myself to start, but when I'm actually doing it (the writing or the exercise), I really enjoy it. 

In high school and college I fancied myself a poet, and though my poetry was what you might expect from a person that age (not very good), I did learn a lot about language and the sound of words. The poet Etheridge Knight once told me that language is physical, that hearing words rattles the bones in your ears, which in turn creates an emotional reaction. If you've ever read Cormac McCarthy and wondered why your stomach was in knots, go back and look at his word choices and syntax. Look as how often he uses hard consonants and short sentences. The sound is very dark. Very disturbing. Even if you are not reading aloud.

Eventually, I began writing prose poems and that morphed into personal essays (I have full draft of a memoir that I haven't looked at more than six years). After reading On Writing by Stephen King, I finally got the courage to try writing a novel. The first draft was 160,000 words, but I've paired that down considerably and am trying to find a home for it. Currently, I'm working on another novel and scratching out notes for a third. 

I've posted some of my shorter pieces in the writing section of this website, as well as some chapters I like from the novels. I've also got a section where I list books I am reading or have read that I really liked in case you're looking for something to read. 

Feel free to reach out to me with any questions you might have via my Contact page.