Thaddeus Rutowski

West Mount Airy will play host to an acclaimed fiction author, Thaddeus Rutkowski, on Saturday, July 16. The novelist, poet, and editor will not only share pieces of his own work, but will lead a two-hour workshop for locals who wish to hone their own writing skills.

Rutkowski has published three novels, numerous short stories and various poems, and the multi-genre workshop, held from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Big Blue Marble Bookstore, will reflect his diverse knowledge. Participants will write short pieces, according to several different prompts, and then offer feedback on one another’s work. Rutkowski brings considerable teaching experience, too, from institutions such as CUNY, Pace University and the Asian American Writers Workshop.

After the workshop, Rutkowski will read from his new book, “Haywire.” A graduate of Cornell University and Johns Hopkins University, he published his first novel in 1999. The book, “Roughhouse,” features a protagonist with a Polish-American father and Chinese mother like Rutkowski’s own. He mines his life experience with rigor, portraying a similar character in both of his other two novels.

Though Rutkowski works across several genres, his subject matter remains consistent: His work focuses on moments of familial dysfunction and troubled relationships. He writes in a series brief, vivid vignettes, strung together to create surreal and often jarring narratives. – Madeleine Wattenbarger.