Salvatore Pane

Month: July, 2012


This September, NAP Magazine is releasing my very first chapbook #KanyeWestSavedFromDrowning. We’ll be launching the book at a Vouched reading in Indianapolis with Amber Sparks and Lania Knight, but it’ll be available online as well. Last night, epic editor Chadwick Redden sent me this early mock up of the cover. BEHOLD!


Drake on the Exodus of Jeremy Lin

“I can see it in your eyes: you’re angry. Regret that shit on what you’re feeling now. You mad cause he ain’t like me. Oh you mad cause nobody ever did it like me.”

“I know, I know that you love me, baby. They’re trying to take you away from me. Only over my dead body.”

“They know, they know, they know, they know, they know, they know, they know, they know, they know. Yeah they know yeah. That the real is on the rise!”

“Ok look: I’m honest. Jeremy I can’t lie: I miss you. You and Novak were the only things that I commit to.”

“I might be too strung out on compliments. Overdose on confidence. Started not to give a fuck and stopped fearing the consequence. Drinking every night because we drink to my accomplishments.”

“I guess we know what Harvard gets us. But seeing my family have it all
took the place of that desire for diplomas on the wall. And really, I think I like who I’m becoming.”

“I know things get hard, but Lin you got it, Lin you got it. There you go!
Can’t you tell by how they looking at you everywhere you go wondering what’s on your mind, it must be hard to be that fine, when all these James Dolans wanna waste your time. It’s just amazing, Lin, and all I can say is…

I’m so, I’m so, I’m so, I’m so,
I’m so proud of you
I’m so, I’m so, I’m so, I’m so,
I’m so proud of you
I’m so, I’m so, I’m so, I’m so,
I’m so proud of you
Everything’s adding up, you’ve been through hell and back, that’s why you’re bad as fuck!”

Pittsburgh Lit Events or My President is Black/My Prius is Blue

Guys. I just heard about this reading. It’s tonight. You should go!


AWESOME BOOKS Downtown Presents:

Killer Readings from Three Pittsburgh Writers:
Heather McNaugher, Carolyne Whelan, & Karen Lillis

Fiction & Poetry
Thursday, July 12

Awesome Books / Downtown location
929 Liberty Avenue

Three Pittsburgh writers read from their recent books:

Heather McNaugher, System of Hideouts (Main Street Rag, 2012).
Heather teaches poetry, nonfiction, and literature at Chatham
“In System of Hideouts, Heather McNaugher uses voices of elegy to
mourn the “self” that never was, the “self” that was, and the
possibilities of “self” not mentioned. This elegiac chorus is moving,
surprising in its tenderness. Yet in these smart, layered poems with
clear lines, the elegy itself proves to be a hideout, which straddles
the line of vulnerability and the lake of elation”~Jan Beatty

Carolyne Whelan, The Glossary of Tania Aebi (Finishing Line Press,
2011). A graduate of Chatham’s MFA writing program, Carolyne teaches
memoir and travel writing at CCAC.
“Carolyne Whelan’s The Glossary of Tania Aebi is a surrealistic ode to
heroism and loneliness. The vivid compact language evokes the wildness
and serenity of the sea, and we come away from this poem with
admiration for the bravery of Aebi, as well as for the skill of
Whelan’s rendering.”~Michael Simms

Karen Lillis, Watch the Doors as They Close (Spuyten Duyvil Novella
Series, 2012). Karen is the author of four books of fiction and
the creator of the website, Small Press Pitttsburgh.
“[Watch the Doors as They Close is] beautiful and poignant….One of
the finest pieces of independent contemporary literature of 2012,
Lillis has broken the mold of the classic New York City love
story.”—Lavinia Ludlow, The Nervous Breakdown

Dispatches From a Creative Writing Camp: SPORTS! COMICS!

For the third summer in a row, I’m teaching at the Young Writers Institute in Pittsburgh, a day camp for grade school and high school students who have elected to spend their time away from school learning about poems and stories. Before, I always taught at the grade school component which, although it involved serious writing, was also broken up with trips to the library, parks, and various tourist locations across Pittsburgh. This year I’m teaching in the high school version and really enjoying it. The day is broken up into a series of workshops which any student can sign up for. I teach one a day, and I’ve been experimenting with things that come from my own writing and other lectures/exercises I use with my college students.

I thought it might be interesting to share some of my workshops here. Much of what I do in the classroom involves talking. I’m chatty. Below, there are three prompts about sports, but most of that hour long workshop was spent discussing why sports are so important to so many of us and why it’s so difficult to write about something so many people can relate to. I figure out what I think on a subject by talking, and the students who gravitate toward me the most do the same. This is all to say that I can never replicate an hour long workshop by posting prompts, and I hope you don’t judge me on these alone. That’s not the intent.

Dude. I just want to share some exercises and thoughts.

1. Writing About Sports: Nonfiction AND Fiction

A. Write about your most vivid experience playing a sport, organized or non-organized. Focus on the sights, smells, and sounds. Can you make your experience stand out for people who’ve gone through similar events?

B. Explain why your favorite team is your favorite team. What makes them special and unique? Why should anyone care what team you root for other than you? Should they care? Is it all basically the same anyway, or is there a fundamental difference between a Yankees and Pirates fan?

C. Write a fictionalized account of your favorite athlete. Do not put them in a familiar situation. What does it mean to be an athlete/celebrity if we’re putting them into scenarios we know have nothing to do with them? Can a totally fictionalized scenario about an athlete/celebrity shed light on who we perceive them to be?

2. How to Write a Comic: Superheroes and Origins


Note: This is an excerpt from an unpublished script written by myself and my longtime comics co-writer Mark Kleman.


Wide establishing shot of Snake Well. It’s a small 3 road town in the middle of the desert surrounded by a twenty-foot wall built from logs. In the center of the town is a a 4 story wooden tower vaguely resembling a rook chess piece. The buildings are are all reminiscent of the main streets in classic Western films like True Grit or The Searchers of Tombstone. There are a few wooden houses apart from the main roads and a tent city as well. The city is buzzing with haggard men and women milling about and tending to their horses. The sun hangs bright in the distance.

Snake Well, Texas – 1885

A covered wagon pulled by two side-by-side horses  approaches the reader slowly. Two men are sitting in the front bench of the wagon, and a third sits on a separate horse that trots alongside them. The reader cannot see inside the wagon. The men are dressed like cattle rustlers–worn cowboy hats and chaps, dust-covered and hungry. REGULATOR 1 (the man on the bench) is bearded, curly hair hanging down for his hat. REGULATOR 2 (the other man on the bench) looks young, no older than a teenager, a twinkle in his eyes. REGULATOR 3 (riding the horse) is paunchy.

Two guards sit atop a fortification on the gate in the wooden wall surrounding Snake Well. Both guards appear middle-aged, neither are particularly tough looking. They eye the approaching strangers suspiciously.

Guard 1

What do you want, strangers?

Regulator 3

We’s just looking for a place to stay and water our horses. On our way to California.

Guard 1

I got orders not to let any pass till the boss returns.

Close-up on the wagon. REGULATOR 2 has moved the curtain and now the reader can see a little bit (although not everything) inside. There is a sick woman–FEMALE REGULATOR–brunette with her hair in a bun dressed in a torn Victorian dress. She is coughing, holding a handkerchief to her mouth. REGULATOR 1 looks disgusted because the guards won’t let them in.


My wife’s sick with dysentery! Please, she just needs water!

Close up on the guards. GUARD 2 gives GUARD 1 a pleading look to do what is right. GUARD 1 looks put out.

Guard 1

Ah, hell. Open the gate.

A. Jack Kirby and Stan Lee used to work primarily in the nine panel grid, the most classic of sequential art structures. One of the major difficulties for writers in the comic business today is not being overly wordy and letting the art tell the story. This can be especially difficult for those of with a prose background. Today, can you write a one page, nine panel script using less than 15 words of dialogue or captions on any given panel? Remember, your descriptions can be as long as you want, just make sure you keep your panels clean of too many words. To get you started: a character in a New York City apartment looks out their window and is shocked to see…

B. You are now freed from the nine panel grid and may use as many or as few panels as necessary to tell your story. I’d like for you to now create your own superhero or villain and tell their origin. Think of how Spider-Man was born when puny Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider. Remember, origins don’t necessarily have to be long. Look at the Fantastic Four example above. Dr. Doom’s entire origin is given in five panels.