Book Cover

Eating Lightbulbs and Other Essays

Steve Fellner

224 pp. 5.5 x 8.5

Pub Date: November, 2021

Subjects: Creative Nonfiction

Series: Machete

Imprint: Mad Creek

order Paperback $23.95   ISBN: 978-0-8142-5807-1
Order PDF ebook$19.95   ISBN: 978-0-8142-8158-1

Eating Lightbulbs and Other Essays accomplishes astonishing high-wire acts of truth-telling—hilariously, ironically, and utterly without vanity or pretense.” —Tiffany Midge, author of Bury My Heart at Chuck E. Cheese’s

“In this moving collection, Steve Fellner spins fascinating fragments like a kaleidoscope, always surprising us. He showcases a profound love for the essay as he displays a Sedaris-like humor while also tracing the history of his darkest moments.” —Jill Talbot, author of The Way We Weren’t: A Memoir

“Oh god, this book. A wild mouse, a whoopy cushion, a threnody, a meme, a tsunami, a side stitch, a teeth-kick, a heart of ouch, and whoa and bunnies. It’s ‘little fragments of eternity’ and ‘desire of any sort makes me dizzy,’ says the author, who adds: ‘The best way I knew how to write someone a love letter was to write a book.’ I got my love letter, Reader. Go get yours.”—M. Seaton, author of Undersea

In Eating Lightbulbs and Other Essays, Steve Fellner traces the seriocomic absurdities of his own mind, obsessed with family, mental illness, film, poetry, and gay sex. He’s in search of love wherever he can find it: An imaginary 1970s Cineplex movie theatre. Amoebas. A letter penned to the ghost of an environmental activist who killed himself. PrEP.  Lava lamps. A famous queer poet who didn’t know he existed. The AIDS quilt. A book he wrote for his mother who was never able to read it. A co-ed sexual abuse support group.  A baby shower. Fellner is always ready to subvert victim narratives even if he has to commit a few (or more than a few) acts of betrayal along the way. With both laugh out loud funny moments and refreshingly honest glimpses into the moments in life most of us would rather forget, Eating Lightbulbs appeals to our sense of self-preservation and the inherently flawed way we live and love.

Steve Fellner is Professor of Creative Writing at SUNY Brockport. He is the author two books of poetry and a memoir, All Screwed Up. His essays have appeared in Brevity, Mississippi Review, The Normal School, North American Review, The Sun, and Mid-American Review, among others.



Self-Portrait as a 1970s Cineplex Movie Theatre (An Abecedarian)

Eating Lightbulbs

On Redemption




Safe Haven


How to Survive a Baby Shower

On Apology

A Letter to David Buckel

Two Truths and a Lie

“I see flies, I see mosquitos, but I have never seen a gay man.”

Are You There Judy? It’s Me, Steve.

On Beauty

Self-Portrait as a 1980s Cineplex Movie Theatre (An Abecedarian)


Ten Anecdotes about the Destruction of Books


On Insignificance

The Pencil Box

On Love, Sex, and Thom Gunn

Mad Max


On Fragmentation

My mother is suffering from uterine cancer and all I can think about is the ’80s.


On Marxism, My Mother’s Body, and the State of Creative Nonfiction

Deleted Scenes from My Unpublished Memoir


Related Titles:

Book Cover

Like Love

Michele Morano

Book Cover

Out of Step

A Memoir

Anthony Moll