Jason Tinney’s ‘Ripple Meets the Deep’ launches at Mick O’Shea’s October 18

Jason Tinney’s words will transport you.  His new story collection, Ripple Meets the Deep, has such power and raw beauty; it is hard to forget his images.

I fall to my knees, drowning where the Mississippi meets the Gulf.  Sway to the desk, to the chair, holding onto her like timber cast off and floating down from Minnesota.

“Shave ’em Dry”

The energy and descriptions are magnificent; ecstatic lust described in a geographical narrative.  “Save ’em Dry” ends with this: “Not an inch of this room is untouched.”

One of a series of ten shorter pieces, “Shave ’em Dry” is a “pallet,” found throughout Ripple Meets the Deep’s ten longer stories.   “All of the pallets’ subtitles reference country, blues, or folk songs though none of them have to do with music, ” Tinney said.  “I thought those short-short stories, told in first person, present tense, could weave in and out of the longer stories, written in third person, present tense.  The pallets follow a traveling musician on a short tour in upstate New York — holed up in a La Quinta, across the road from a Native American owned and operated casino.”

Jason Tinney's portrait by Skye Sadowski-Malcom.
Jason Tinney’s portrait. (Skye Sadowski-Malcom)

“Do you have American Spirits?” I ask a petite dark haired woman behind the counter.  I have no idea if she is Native American or not.

“What are those?” she says refilling a rack of dream catchers and setting out a new sleeve of energy drink shots.”

“Fastest of Ponies”

The characters in Ripple Meets the Deep are in transition, which Tinney explained is the meaning of the title, “It’s a beautiful expression and kept it in a notebook for many years, waiting for an opportunity to use it.”

The term actually comes fromDoug Oxford, an ice fisherman, whom Tinney met when he interviewed him for Maryland Life Magazine.  The ice fisherman told Tinney that fish hang out where the “deep and the ripple” meet.  Tinney added, “I switched the words around but Ripple Meets the Deep was always the book’s working title.”

“At this point in my life, I’d say I’m in the deep end and I think I’m finally finding my own voice.  As I get older I feel a bit rootless even fairly stable and rooted life at home with my family, ” he said.

Tinney and his wife, Aileen, celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary on October 10.  Of Aileen, he said, “I have never, in my life, met a person with such a large and open heart than hers.”

His new collection is the first in a decade.  Tinney published Louis Paris and Other Waltzes (poetry/prose) and Bluebird (short stories and poems) with Hilliard and Harris in 2002 and 2003.  Ripple Meets the Deep is published by CityLit Press, an imprint of the CityLit Project and it will have its Baltimore launch on Saturday, October 18th at 7 PM at Mick O’Shea’s Irish Pub, 328 North Charles Street.  Donegal X-Press, the Celtic rock band, which Tinney co-founded in 1997, will play at 9:30 PM.

An award-winning fiction writer, Tinney also is a musician, freelance journalist and actor.  In addition to Maryland Life, he has written for Baltimore, Style, Gorilla, Her Mind, and Urbanite.  Along with Donegal X-Press, he also performs with the Wayfarers and collaborates on The Swinging Bridge, a traveling literary and visual arts project.

Tinney’s stories are real, thought provoking and eloquent.  “I really love the process, distilling a story or prose and poems, song lyrics down to the essence,” he explained and it shows.  His descriptions of Western Maryland are extraordinary.  This gem is from his story, “Derecho”:

He stood on the back porch of the Victorian, coated in cream and accentuated by dark brown shutters, nestled among pines, maples, and poplars, stretching into the humid mid-June air atop Braddock Mountain. 

Jason Tinney has written the kind of stories that stick with you; unforgettable.

One thought on “Jason Tinney’s ‘Ripple Meets the Deep’ launches at Mick O’Shea’s October 18

  • October 10, 2014 at 8:08 PM

    Really great prose– in this write up! Thanks for an eloquent review about an amazing piece of literary work!

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