Brian (Francis) Slattery


I’m an editor, writer, and musician living just outside of New Haven, Connecticut.

Editing, Journalism & Nonfiction

These days I work for the New Haven Independent, where I mostly write and edit arts stories and edit some news stories. I’m one of the editors of the New Haven Review. Lately I’ve also done editing work for DataHaven, a regional public policy thinktank.

Pre-New Haven Independent, I worked for a variety of public policy organizations and academic presses, among them the U.S. Institute of Peace, the Peterson Institute for International Economics, and Columbia University Press. While getting my masters degree in public policy from Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs, I was senior editor of its Journal of International Affairs.

Some of my favorite pieces I’ve written for the Independent include a writeup of an art exhibit about gun violence, coverage of a St. Patrick’s Day parade that got into maybe what it means to be Irish-American these days, and an analysis of the legality of sanctuary cities (of which New Haven is proudly one) that let me dust off my policy hat.

One of my favorite pieces I’ve written outside of the Independent is “A Kinder and More Caring Future?” which appeared in Reckoning, vol. 2. It combines journalism, memoir, and a little creative writing to talk about how we might be able to adapt to the gargantuan challenges of climate change with hope, and even a little humor.


I play violin/fiddle, banjo, trombone, and bass in as many musical styles as I can manage. Around New Haven, I play in Dr. Caterwaul’s Cadre of Clairvoyant Claptraps, a stubbornly genre-hopping band that plays music from around the world as well as original compositions. I play jazz manouche on a regular basis with the Hot Club of Black Rock and Vardo Swing. I play violin and trombone with No Line North, a trippy Americana band. I play violin with Bivolita Klezmer and trombone and violin with the Harris Brothers Balkan Brass Band. I' play second violin in the string quartet rock band The Tet Offensive. Several years ago I had the distinct pleasure of playing with the New Haven Improvisers Collective in a conduction run by Butch Morris.

Outside of New Haven I often play Appalachian fiddle music. I’m a member of The Moon Shells and play with Harry Bolick and the Mississippi Travelers.

I teach fiddle and banjo. I have a small number of private students in the New Haven area, and I’ve taught classes and led workshops at the Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins, WV, the Dance Flurry in Saratoga Springs, NY, and other regional festivals.

Over the years I’ve been on albums with An Historic, Bivolita Klezmer, Ken Bloom, Harry Bolick, Drew Bunting, Dr. Caterwaul’s Cadre of Clairvoyant Claptraps, Great Lakes, Max Greene, Mercy Choir, No Line North, and others.


For the past few years, I’ve been on the writing team for Bookburners, an ongoing serialized story created by Max Gladstone and including fellow writers Margaret Dunlap, Mur Lafferty, and Andrea Phillips. Bookburners is published by Serial Box.

I’ve written four published novels: Spaceman Blues: A Love Song, Liberation: Being the Adventures of the Slick Six After the Collapse of the United States of America, Lost Everything (which won the Philip K. Dick Award in 2012), and The Family Hightower. I’ve also published short fiction in Glimmer Train, Interfictions, The Revelator, and the anthology Welcome to Dystopia, among other places.

I’m represented by Cameron McClure at the Donald Maass Literary Agency.


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