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Joe Clifford, who has been living in the San Francisco area since graduating from the FIU MFA Program, is having a busy year. As already reported here in January, his story collection Choice Cuts was published by Snubnose Press. Now his first novel, Junkie Love, was published by Battered Suitcase Press in March, his second novel, Wake the Undertaker, is just out from Snubnose Press, and he has been awarded a San Francisco Acker Award in Fiction.

Junkie Love is an autobiographical novel, of which The Ampersand Review says, “From the first page, everything you experience through Clifford’s graceful yet biting narrative is beautiful and tragic. The journey over a decade of addiction to seek redemption is compelling, daunting, with no easy escape or roadmap home found in track-marred arms.” Wake the Undertaker, a noir thriller that harks back to vintage pulp, was originally Clifford’s MFA thesis The Lone Palm. You can read (or hear) interviews with Clifford about his journey to the publication of his three books (in a short time, but years in the making) on his website.

The Acker Awards “for Achievement in the avant garde” are given to artists “who have made outstanding contributions in their discipline in defiance of convention, or else served their fellow writers and artists in outstanding ways.” The award ceremonies will take place in San Francisco on June 6, 2013.

Joe Clifford is currently Acquisitions Editor at Gutter Books and Managing Editor for the Flash Fiction Offensive. With his wife Justine Clifford he co-produces Lip Service West, a bi-monthly reading series for true stories. A short film/book trailer for Junkie Love is up on You Tube. Rumor has it that Clifford will be in Miami in September to participate the annual alumni reading at Books & Books.