Marvin, Jay 1953(?)-
MARVIN, Jay 1953(?)-
PERSONAL: Born c. 1953, in Los Angeles, CA; married; wife's name, Mary. Hobbies and other interests: Painting, computer art.
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Fiction Collective 2, Department of English, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-1580. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Radio personality, poet, and author.
Punk Blood (novel), Fiction Collective 2 (Normal, IL), 1998.
The White Trash Chronicles, Hats off Books (Tucson, AZ), 2001.
Contributor of poems and short stories to publications, including Sign of the Times, Black Bear Review, Nihilistic Review, Fifth Estate, New York Quarterly, Tabula Rasa, Verse, Redneck Review of Literature, Poetry Motel, White Sands, New Digressions, Poetry Ink, and Atom Mind.
Author of poetry chapbooks Angel Wings, Schmaga Press, (with Bill Shields) Two Brothers under the Same Blood Soaked Cover, Strange Press, and (with Paul Weinman) Tasting What You Touch, Piss on a Convict Press. Author of a collection of poems and prose poems, In Your Face: The Midnight Poems of Jay Marvin, published by Spectrum Press of Chicago, and a book of poems and prose, The Devil's Air-Conditioner, published by Angel Angst.
SIDELIGHTS: Author and radio personality Jay Marvin embarked on his more than thirty-year radio career in 1973, when he became a country-music disk jockey in Del Rio, Texas. Gradually his work took him from music-focused stations into talk radio, for which he has worked at stations in Tampa, Denver, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Milwaukee, and Chicago. At one time, Marvin's on-air persona was harsh and abrasive, and he was labeled "a firebrand, liberal-leaning counterpunch to the conservative talk wave that had dominated talk radio for most of the 1990s," by Jim Kirk in the Chicago Tribune. The Columbine High School shootings—which occurred during Marvin's stint on KHOW-AM radio in Denver—prompted him to re-think his approach and abandon the screaming, yelling, and anger. Still, "just because he's toning down the anger doesn't mean Marvin has plans to back away from his opinions," Kirk noted. "He just doesn't plan to shout them at you."
As a writer, Marvin has had poems and short stories published in dozens of magazines, small-press works, and journals. He is also a painter and works in computer art.
Marvin's debut novel, Punk Blood, is a hard-boiled crime novel in experimental form: the entire book, all eighty-six pages of it, is one sentence, page after page, until the period appears at the very end. Scenes change abruptly, and point of view switches between three distinct plots without warning. "These formal tricks require a patient, attentive reader," commented Denver Post reviewer James Lough. "Once you are used to its rhythms, Punk Blood is worth the effort—if you can then get through the often graphic descriptions of rape and murder."
Main character Marvin Cohen is a psychopath, murderer, and rapist with a burning hatred for a society that rejects him. He holds no allegiances, feels that he is bound by no laws. He rides the crests and troughs of amphetamines and downers, constantly thinking about his life, his crimes, his desire for drugs, his options when and if the police close in. He kidnaps and kills young women as casually as he takes a shower. Cohen's "monologues send us into a hell every bit as vivid and horrid as any of Hieronymus Bosch's infernal landscapes," Lough observed. Marvin also explores some reasons behind Cohen's madness—an absentee father, brutal stepfather, and self-hatred gone to extremes. "I admit I had doubts [about the book]," Lough admitted. "I half-expected the amateurish rants of a café poet but discovered a vividly imagined and interesting work that combines method with madness."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Chicago Tribune, September 9, 1999, Jim Kirk, "Jay Marvin Mellows Following Littleton," p. 2.
Denver Post, July 30, 1998, Bill Husted, "Jay Marvin's Got Plenty of Guts to Push New Book," review of Punk Blood, p. A2; September 13, 1998, James Lough, "Punk Blood Evokes Sympathy for a Madman," p. F2.
About.com, http://www.about.com/ (August 30, 2004), "Jay Marvin."
DJHeadlines.com, http://www.djheadlines.com/ (August 30, 2004), interview with Marvin.
Ezone Web site, http://www.ezone.org/ (August 30, 2004), "Jay Marvin."
Jay Marvin Home Page, http://www.jaymarvinonline.com (September 14, 2004).
WLS NewsTalk890 Web site, http://www.wlsam.com/ (August 30, 2004), "Jay Marvin."*