Welcome to my new website, MichaelCroland.com! I’m thrilled to have a site with a new direction that reflects where I’m at as a writer and editor.
I launched my previous site, OyOyOyGevalt.com, in 2016, shortly before my first book, Oy Oy Oy Gevalt! Jews and Punk, was published. That site, including the blog, revolved around promoting the book and my interest in Jewish punk. When I published Punk Rock Hora: Adventures in Jew-Punk Land in 2019, it made sense to keep using my Jewish punk website. When I published Air to the Throne: A Poetry Chapbook about Air Guitar last year, it didn’t seem like the best fit for the site. But I wasn’t ready to start anew.
Since I published Oy Oy Oy Gevalt!, I’ve grappled with what my next “big project” should be. While I’ve had various ideas, I’ve been reluctant to research and write another full-length book from start to finish; it takes a lot of time, which is infeasible given my personal and professional commitments. But given the amount of material I had about Jewish punk, Punk Rock Hora—part memoir, part collection of articles, and part punk rock hodgepodge—made sense as a follow-up. Once I got into the mindset of compiling previously written material, adding to it, and making it cohere, Air to the Throne called out for the same treatment. But then what?
Since Air to the Throne came out last year, I’ve explored the same approach for various projects. I compiled my limericks and considered publishing a chapbook, but I decided against it; I shared my air guitar limericks in a blog post instead. Should I anthologize my writing about animal protection issues from a Jewish perspective? I said I’d never publish another full-length book about Jewish punk, but would there be any point in publishing a prose chapbook or zine about Jewish punk? Earlier this year, I compiled my anti-Trump writing in a zine called Documenting the Trump Era, but the overall quality wasn’t up to my standards and I didn’t publish the zine. Sometimes writers have to hit dead ends in order to realize what’s working and what’s not.
Since then, I’ve started working on two books that will tentatively be published in 2022. While I’m not revealing specifics yet, I’m pleased that both are shaping up quite nicely. Neither will come as a surprise given the explanation I just gave. Suffice it to say that there’s more coming down the pike!
Why am I launching a new website when I’m not ready to promote my works in progress yet? OyOyOyGevalt.com is up for renewal this week, and that site has outlived its purpose. So now is the time. Thank you, Jonah Schrogin, for creating the new site!
Like the new site as a whole, my blog will no longer center on Jewish punk. The blog posts from OyOyOyGevalt.com are available on this new site, and I’ll still cover Jewish punk. But I’ll also blog about different topics related to my books and other projects as a writer and editor, without worrying that I’m veering off course. My interests aren’t singularly focused, and the blog won’t pretend to be.
Just as I’ve looked back at my past writing in recent years for the sake of potential new books, I took on a similar project with my blogging. Starting with Passover last year, I’ve written blog posts compiling my past writing—about Jewish punk and animal protection—that are organized by holiday. I will complete the series and then do a recap post next month.
Since Oy Oy Oy Gevalt!, I haven’t found my next big project. I’ve found numerous satisfying, smaller projects instead. I’m proud of them, and some have aimed to “do justice” to my past writing by connecting the dots. I’m embracing a multipronged approach as a writer and editor, and this new website—especially the blog—will celebrate that.