Work samples

  • The Thing I Was Trying To Tell You

    A selection of very short stories that will appear in my newest book, The Thing I Was Trying To Tell You, which is forthcoming from Publishing Genius Press in 2024.

  • Old Cole

    In the summer of 2023, I began writing longer short stories after writing very short fiction almost exclusively for about 15 years. "Old Cole" is one of those longer stories and is included with a few others in my projects below. 

  • A Long Time Ago

    A Long Time Ago is a memoir of sorts as recounted in bursts of short prose. I am currently looking for a publisher for this book-length manuscript. 

    All of this happened though where memory stays home imagination drops in.

About Joseph

Baltimore City

Writing is always an experiment, a testing of possibilities. A word, sentence, paragraph finds itself to the page/computer screen and asks, What do I mean, Where am I going? The questions they ask can’t be answered—words are that polysemantic, multivalent. The next word/sentence comes along, looking for a solution, but only asks those questions again. You are left with a story, or an essay, a poem—somehow complete, if you’re lucky—but it still asks, What do I mean?
All of this… more

The Thing I Was Trying To Tell You

The Thing I Was Trying To Tell You is a book length manuscript of short prose, including fiction, found text, and a very short play. The book is scheduled to be published by Publishing Genius Press in 2024. 

  • The Thing I Was Trying To Tell You

    Full text of the manuscript as it currently stands. Discussions of final composition of the book are ongoing with the publisher. 

The Wild Man of Cockeysville, Maryland and Other Stories. Longer work of 2023

In the summer of 2023 I began writing longer stories (1000-5000 words) after having spent about 15 years writing very short fiction almost exclusively. I felt like I wanted a new challenge and to stretch my writing abilities. These four pieces are a few of those longer stories. 

  • The Wild Man of Cockeysville, Maryland and Other Stories

A Long Time Ago

A Long Time Ago is a memoir of sorts that I began in June 2021 comprising a series of short prose pieces. As I believe was common during that period of lockdown and isolation, I spent a good amount of time thinking over the events, small and large, of my life. This book-length manuscript is a product of that contemplation, started then and completed in the Fall of 2023. I am currently seeking publication for the manuscript.

  • A Long Time Ago.pdf

    Full manuscript of A Long Time Ago.

Always Never Speaking: 50 Flash Fictions, with commentaries by the author

In 2019, I self-published a collection of my flash fictions written over the past ~10 years. The stories range from 1/3 of a page to about 4 pages and describe the events in a wide range of characters' lives: a young man and woman forced to leave their apartment after breaking one of their roommate’s antique toys, a teenage boy who learns to fly to deal with his loss and grief, a group of people investigating why a hot baked potato was flung carelessly into a crowd, a woman who loses her beloved red hat, a deceased David Bowie, and the heroes/villains from a couple of Shakespeare’s plays.
I self-published the book so that I might take part in each aspect of the book’s production. I designed the book cover, I typeset the pages, I edited each of the stories, and I made a variety of promotional materials, including a video in which the author Joseph Young (me) is interviewed by Joe Young (me), and a playlist of sound collages and spoken text that I posted to Bandcamp. I very much enjoy trying out new artistic ideas in sometimes very new media, and taking on all of these jobs allowed me to experiment, explore, and learn.
In addition to the 50 stories in the collection I also wrote very brief commentaries on the beguiling and always-shifting nature of flash fiction.

  • ANSFrontCover.jpg
  • ANSFinal.pdf

    Full text of my book, Always Never Speaking.

  • Sample story: "Safe"
    One of the stories from Always Never Speaking, "Safe," about a boy who learns to fly.
  • Story sample: "Fourth Hag"
    A story from Always Never Speaking starring a character from Shakespeare's "Scottish Play."
  • Bandcamp: Always Never Speaking
    I created a playlist of stories from Always Never Speaking that I uploaded to Bandcamp. Read the project description for a hyperlink to the Bandcamp page.
  • Always Never Speaking: Trailer
    Book trailer for Always Never Speaking in which author Joseph Young (me) is interviewed by Joe Young (me).

Easter Rabbit

Easter Rabbit is a collection of microfictions that was released in late 2009 by Publishing Genius Press. The book was widely reviewed in the independent press community to good acclaim and was chosen in 2010 as the City Paper Best New Book by a Local Author. 

In 2009 I organized a release party for Easter Rabbit that included original performances of stories from Easter Rabbit as acted by musician Caleb Stein and artist Linda Franklin  and adapted for the stage and directed by writer Nancy Murray. The release party also included original music from the band Sweatpants (Adam Robinson and Jamie Perez) and art from painters Magnolia Laurie, Laren Boilini, Luca DiPierro, Christine Sajecki, and Kathy Fahey, as well as an art installation from Graham Coreil-Allen. 

Stories from Easter Rabbit have been taught in classrooms and workshops by several instructors including Justin Sirois and Brian Noel, and students from the classes of MICA art instructor Megan Lavelle created video interpretations of Easter Rabbit stories. 

The book was featured in many essays, reviews, and interviews including the following:

In: A Brief History of Fables: From Aesop to Flash Fiction by Lee Rourke: "Joseph Young: from microscripts to microfictions"

Joseph Young: Easter Rabbit, by Megan Lavelle

Review, by Mike Young

Review, by Edward Mullany

Review, by Kathy Fish

Interview, with Tania Hershman

Interview, with Meg Pokrass

Radio Interview, with Aaron Henkin on The Signal, which doesn't appear to be archived.
  • Easter Rabbit Cover (second printing)
    The cover to the second printing of Easter Rabbit, painted by Christine Sajecki, back cover design by Adam Robinson.
  • Easter Rabbit spread
  • Easter Rabbit Cover (first printing)
    Cover to the first printing of Easter Rabbit, painted by Christine Sajecki, back cover design by Justin Sirois.
  • Easter Rabbit review copy
    This pdf version of the first printing of Easter Rabbit was sent out to potential book reviewers and media persons.
  • Easter Rabbit Trailer
    I created this book trailer for Easter Rabbit.
  • Easter Rabbit Release Party
    Wall text from the Easter Rabbit release party that I curated and organized showing contributing artists.
  • Chapter from A Brief History of Fables by Lee Rourke
    This chapter appeared in A Brief History of Fables: From Aesop to Microfiction, by Lee Rourke. Available on Amazon.
  • Easter Rabbit poster
    Poster for the Easter Rabbit release party, designed and printed by Kathy Fahey.
  • Easter Rabbit Release Party Performance
    Caleb Stine and Linda Franklin performing in Nancy Murray's [not shown] adaptation of Easter Rabbit stories [with author].

MicroFiction RowHouse

For more than a decade, I have been installing my extremely short stories on the walls of private homes and art galleries. By means of a process called photocopy transfer, I print these site-specific stories directly on the walls, as well as on wood panels, canvas, paper, and other materials.
I've long wanted to occupy an entire Baltimore rowhouse with these microfictions (10-50 words), installing stories that tell the history of a fictional family who lived in that home—their lives, hopes, trials, happiness and sorrows.
Recently, I decided to take the matter into my own home, using that familiar and intimate space to create MicroFiction RowHouse. After installing 40+ stories, I share my home with this fictional family and its spirits. The stories are of many shapes and sizes to match the space they are printed on, the room they occupy, and tale they tell.

Events were held at the project space and included two literary readings, hosted by local writers Jamie Perez and Justin Sanders, two musical performances by local bands Duchess and the DeadBirds and The Mole Suit Choir, an opening reception, and three workshops. A workshop led by encaustic painter Christine Sajecki taught participants about photocopy transfer, a workshop on the art of ranting was led by writer and publsiher Dylan Kinnett, and I led a workshop in microfiction writing. 

Articles on the project appeared in the art blog Hyperallergic and the Baltimore Sun and I was interviewed about MicroFiction RowHouse on WYPR.
  • Welcome
  • Dull Summer
    Story installed with transparencies on window of MicroFiction RowHouse.
  • Reading List
  • Living Room, installation view
    Stories installed on the ceiling and on the backs of stretched canvases by means of photocopy transfer.
  • On Vacation (Robbed)
  • Family Pictures
  • 10,000
  • Experiments
  • Jury Duty
  • Spiders

Newer Comics

For a bit longer than 2 years, my practice consisted largely of creating digital collages–a project I called Newer Comics–using, quite often, the artworks of artists throughout art history, as well as text I wrote and other markings, images, shapes, and the like. Each Comic comments on some aspect of art, the art world, the specific practice of the artist used in the collage, and in many cases the larger social, cultural, political world we live in.

The complete collection of Newer Comics can be found on my Tumblr (along with a number of other projects). The Comics shown here are a very small sampling of the many I created.
  • All Of Us Too
    Collaged image credit Bob Ross.
  • Do You Think God
    Collaged image credit Franz Marc.
  • Un Boring
    Collaged image credit John Baldessari.
  • Wet
    Collaged image credit Helen Frankenthaler.
  • fly
    Collaged image credit Yoko Ono.
  • Here:
    Collaged image credit Martin Puryear.
  • Fair
    Collaged image credit Gabriele Munter and Wassily Kandinsky.
  • Oh America
    Collaged image credit Tomb of Hafez.
  • bad tales
    Collaged image credit Andy Warhol.
  • Less
    Collaged image credit Isamu Noguchi.

Small Houses and other text installations

The Small Houses Project is my process of installing microfictions written by me on the walls of homes and businesses in Baltimore and elsewhere. These fictions are written to be site specific, as are their design and arrangement on the walls. The fictions are laid out in InDesign and transferred to the wall by means of photocopy transfer. An interview about the project can be found here

I have also done a number of other text installations in the forests, galleries, and neighborhoods of Baltimore, Savannah, and elsewhere.
  • Small Houses
    Installation view of They Kept It.
  • Small Houses
    Installation view of They Kept It.
  • Small Houses
    Installation view of Thunder.
  • Small Houses
    Installation view of The Do Live Here.
  • bird
    bird, photocopy transfer on canvas, 14 instances of the word "bird" transferred to canvas and wrapped about tree trunks in Leakin Park, as part of Art in the Park, Baltimore.
  • The Crossing
    The Crossing, photocopy transfer on found wood planks which were assembled and placed beneath a Baltimore Railroad bridge.
  • Tongue Expressors
    Tongue Expressors, photocopy transfer of various phrases on tongue depressors, shown at Current Gallery as part of the CART art show, Baltimore.
  • The Forest Floor
    The Forest Floor, photocopy transfer of site specific phrases on cedar shingles coated with beeswax, installed on the forest floor at Leakin Park as part of Art in the Park show, Baltimore.
  • Paul Mitchell
    Paul Mitchell, photocopy transfer on 36 found wood panels, as part of Works on Paper and Wood, Savannah, GA, in memorial of Jim Bitler of Ossabaw Island, GA.
  • Stations of the Cross
    Stations of the Cross, photocopy transfer on 14 wood panels.