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Author Talk: Alex Alberto and Adrian Shirk hosted by Nathan Shuherk

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Influencer Nathan Shuherk (@SchizophrenicReads) is hosting Alex Alberto, author of ENTWINED: ESSAYS ON POLYAMORY AND CREATING HOME and Adrian Shirk, author of HEAVEN IS A PLACE ON EARTH: SEARCHING FOR AN AMERICAN UTOPIA, for a reading and conversation about unconventional romance, collectivism, community-building, micro-anarchism, and radical reimaginings of home and family. Both books will be available for purchase.

Tickets are pay-what-you-can with a suggested price of $10. This helps to fund the costs of programming and/or paying authors and writers.

ENTWINED: A moving, often hilarious memoir about polyamory and the radical possibilities of chosen family. In a series of genre-blending essays, Alex attempts to build two committed relationships at once when no one involved has done it before; develops a powerful bond with the woman their partner loves; sits through a tense Thanksgiving Dinner with religious in-laws; questions the need for rules and hierarchy in their relationships; experiences the intensity of a triad; wrestles with the fragility baked into the nuclear family after their father's stroke; and explores their queerness and gender identity in English, in New York, while struggling to reconcile their newfound self in their native French-Canadian language and culture.

ALEX ALBERTO: Alex Alberto is a queer and polyamorous storyteller and educator. They grew up in Montreal and currently live in upstate New York. Their essays have been published in Huffington Post, Write or Die Magazine, and elsewhere, and their plays have been featured at Dixon Place and Theatre Row in New York City. Entwined: Essays on Polyamory and Creating Home is their first book. You can connect with Alex on Instagram and TikTok @thatalexalberto, and learn more about their work at

HEAVEN IS A PLACE ON EARTH: An exploration of American ideas of utopia through the lens of one millennial's quest to live a more communal life under late-stage capitalism. Told in a series of essays that balance memoir with fieldwork, Heaven Is a Place on Earth is an idiosyncratic study of American utopian experiments--from the Shakers to the radical faerie communes of Short Mountain to the Bronx rebuilding movement--through the lens of one woman's quest to create a more communal life in a time of unending economic and social precarity.

When Adrian Shirk's father-in-law has a stroke and loses his ability to speak and walk, she and her husband--both adjuncts in their midtwenties--become his primary caretakers. The stress of these new responsibilities, coupled with navigating America's broken health-care system and ordinary twenty-first-century financial insecurity, propels Shirk into an odyssey through the history and present of American utopian experiments in the hope that they might offer a way forward.

ADRIAN SHIRK: Adrian Shirk is the author of HEAVEN IS A PLACE ON EARTH (Counterpoint, 2022), a personal odyssey of American utopian experiments, and AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY (Counterpoint, 2017), a hybrid-memoir exploring American women prophets and mystics, named an NPR 'Best Book' of 2017. Her essays have frequently appeared in Catapult, The Atlantic, Lit Hub, and others. She teaches in Pratt Institute's BFA Creative Writing Program, and is an ensemble member of The Party, with whom she devises original theatrical productions. She lives in the Catskill mountains at the cooperative arts lab The Mutual Aid Society.

NATHAN SHUHERK: Nathan Shuherk is a nonfiction book reviewer and influencer living in Indianapolis. He's currently working on his first book.