Mike DeCapite

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Mike DeCapite
Born1962 (age 56–57)
Cleveland, Ohio

Mike DeCapite is an American writer (born Cleveland, Ohio, 1962) whose published work includes the novel Through the Windshield, the chapbooks Sitting Pretty and Creamsicle Blue, and the short-prose collection Radiant Fog.

Through the Windshield[edit]

When he was twenty, he moved to Cleveland's Southside, also known as Tremont, the neighborhood where he set Through the Windshield, his first novel. Through the Windshield was conceived as a depiction of a year on the Southside, though DeCapite didn't start working on the book in earnest until he moved to London in late 1985. Through the Windshield was begun in London and completed in Brooklyn, New York, in 1990.[1]

Excerpts from DeCapite's Through the Windshield first appeared in CUZ, a literary magazine edited by Richard Hell and published under the auspices of the Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church, in New York.[2] Excerpts from Through the Windshield appeared in three issues of CUZ, between 1988 and 1989. DeCapite did his first reading in January 1988 at the Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church.[3]

Through the Windshield circulated widely in manuscript and was excerpted in numerous small magazines. In 1998, DeCapite, living in San Francisco, started Sparkle Street Books and published it himself.

Ruined for Life![edit]

In 1995, DeCapite started work on a second novel, Ruined for Life!, still unpublished, which he worked on for the next dozen years. By the time he put it aside, DeCapite was back in New York, to which he'd returned in 2005.[4] Excerpts from the book have appeared in 3:AM, angle magazine, and Sensitive Skin.

In 1999, DeCapite’s story "Sitting Pretty," an outtake from Ruined for Life!, was published as a CUZ Edition, a series of chapbooks edited by Richard Hell that included books by Maggie Dubris, Hell, Susan Noel, Ron Padgett, Will Patton, Rene Ricard, and Nick Tosches. In 2003, "Sitting Pretty" was anthologized, along with novel-excerpts by his father, Raymond DeCapite, in The Italian American Reader.

Creamsicle Blue[edit]

In 2012, DeCapite published his essay Creamsicle Blue as a chapbook.[5] Novelist Karen Lillis reviewed Creamsicle Blue for her blog Karen the Small Press Librarian. She called it "a spectacular piece of writing" [1] and, in an interview with DeCapite, described it as a "27 page piece of nonfiction with the scope of a novel and the depth of a meditation."

Radiant Fog[edit]

In 2003 and 2004, while living in San Francisco, DeCapite wrote a personal-essay column for an arts magazine in Cleveland called angle. Most of these pieces were later collected in DeCapite's Radiant Fog (Sparkle Street Books, 2013).[6]

Sparkle Street Social & Athletic Club[edit]

In 2016, DeCapite—with photographer Ted Barron—presented Sparkle Street Social & Athletic Club, a series of three events featuring readings, photographs, and films, whose participants included DeCapite, Barron, Maggie Dubris, Max Blagg, Vincent Katz, and Luc Sante.[7]


Through the Windshield has inspired the 1993 Pere Ubu Story of My Life outtake Through the Windshield (released as a bonus track on the Story of My Life reissue, Mercury, 2007), the Chargers Street Gang LP Through the Windshield (Get Hip Records, 2003), and the Disturbances of Spring song Through the Windshield (Blurring in the Corner of Your Eye, Disturbances of Spring, 2015).[8])


  • Travel Notes (Price of a Drink Press, 1995)
  • Through the Windshield (Sparkle Street Books, 1998)
  • Sitting Pretty (CUZ Editions, 1999)
  • "Sitting Pretty" anthologized in The Italian American Reader (William Morrow, 2003)
  • "Sitting Pretty" anthologized in The Italian American Reader (Harper Paperbacks, 2005)
  • Creamsicle Blue (Sparkle Street Books, 2012)
  • Radiant Fog (Sparkle Street Books, 2013)


  1. ^ F2K Ep. 20 Novelist Mike DeCapite, retrieved 2016-08-21
  2. ^ Literature, Electric (2014-07-22). "INTERVIEW: Mike DeCapite, author of Through the Windshield — Electric Literature". Retrieved 2016-08-21.
  3. ^ F2K Ep. 20 Novelist Mike DeCapite, retrieved 2016-08-21
  4. ^ Literature, Electric (2014-07-22). "INTERVIEW: Mike DeCapite, author of Through the Windshield — Electric Literature". Retrieved 2016-08-21.
  5. ^ DeCapite, Mike (2012-01-02). Creamsicle Blue (First ed.). Brooklyn, N.Y.: Sparkle Street Books. ISBN 9780966659252.
  6. ^ "MIKE DECAPITE ~ RADIANT FOG | Mac's Backs-Books on Coventry". www.macsbacks.com. Retrieved 2016-08-21.
  7. ^ "HOWL ARTS | Upcoming Events Sparkle Street Social & Athletic Club". HOWL ARTS. Retrieved 2016-08-21.
  8. ^ "[Archive '2014] Story Of My Life by Pere Ubu". archive-net-2014.com. Retrieved 2016-08-21.