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Bio

SUMMARY

 

Over a 30-year career in higher education, publishing, criminal investigation, journalism, and the law, Seth Abramson (MA, MFA, JD, Ph.D.) has worked at Harvard University, Dartmouth College, Georgetown University, Wesleyan University, University of Iowa, University of Wisconsin at Madison, University of New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Institute of Art, the Institute of Art and Design at New England College, University Press of New England, the Committee for Public Counsel Services’ Boston Trial Unit, and the New Hampshire Public Defender’s Nashua Trial Unit.

 

An Iowa Writers’ Workshop and Harvard Law School graduate and attorney in good standing with both the New Hampshire Bar Association and The Federal Bar for the District of New Hampshire, Seth is a retired professor who taught journalism, mass communications, and legal advocacy at University of New Hampshire. He’s also a New York Times–bestselling Donald Trump biographer and Poetry Foundation–bestselling poet. He has published thirteen books across three genres and edited five literary anthologies, receiving honors over the years for his creative writing as well as his journalism.

 

Before and after the Trump administration, Seth worked as a professional art critic and columnist, writing for such publications as The Washington Post, The Dallas Morning News, The Kansas City Star, The Seattle Times, The Economist, The Guardian, Newsweek, Boston Review, HuffPostThe Philadelphia Review of Books, Indiewire, and Poets & Writers. During the Trump administration, Seth was a regular contributor to CNN and the BBC as well as a Newsweek columnist. In 2018 he was named to the National Council for the Training of Journalists’ list of the most respected journalists in the United States and United Kingdom—one of only nine freelance journalists so honored.

He authors two substack publications ranked in the Top 20 worldwide in their subject categories: Proof (#12 in U.S. Politics) and Retro (#18 in History).

FULL BIOGRAPHY

 

A graduate of Harvard Law School, Seth worked for nine years as a criminal defense attorney and criminal investigator before returning to school to receive two additional terminal degrees, after which he joined the tenure-track undergraduate faculty of the Department of Communication Arts & Sciences at University of New Hampshire, the State of New Hampshire’s flagship public university (R1). He taught for years in the university’s Professional & Technical Communications, Engineering Technology, Digital Language Arts, and Literary Studies programs; some of his areas of academic specialization were digital journalism, post-internet writing, cultural theory, and legal advocacy (legal writing, case method, and trial advocacy).

Seth is an attorney in good standing with the New Hampshire Bar Association and the Federal Bar for the District of New Hampshire; a former longtime member of the American Bar Association, New Hampshire High Tech Council, and the National Council of Teachers of English; a former culture columnist and art critic at Indiewire, political essayist at Newsweek, and data journalist at Poets & Writers; and a New York Times–bestselling author.

Trained as a criminal investigator at Georgetown University (1996) and Harvard University (2000-2001), Seth worked for four public defenders between 1996 and 2007 (three state, one federal), representing over 2,000 indigent criminal defendants during that time in cases that ranged from juvenile delinquency to first-degree murder. He first testified in federal court as a federal criminal investigator for the Georgetown Criminal Justice Clinic (one of the two federal public defender organizations in Washington, D.C.) at the age of 19; represented his first homicide client at age 22 (as a Rule 33 attorney for the Boston Trial Unit of the Committee for Public Counsel Services, or CPCS); and had won a first-degree murder jury trial for the New Hampshire Public Defender by the age of 29—the youngest Granite Stater to do so in the 21st century.

After working for CPCS on major felonies—termed non-concurrent felonies in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts—in Boston Municipal Court and Dorchester District Court in 1999 and 2000, Seth represented misdemeanor clients in Roxbury District Court through the Harvard Criminal Justice Institute from 2000 to 2001. Between 2001 and 2007, he was a Staff Attorney for the Nashua Trial Unit of the New Hampshire Public Defender, working misdemeanor and felony cases in New Hampshire district courts as well as the two Superior Courts in Hillsborough County (the Southern District and the Northern District).

 

A 1998 graduate of Dartmouth College (A.B., English), Seth returned to school after his time at the New Hampshire Public Defender and received additional terminal degrees in Creative Writing (MFA, University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, 2009) and English (MA, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2016).

 

After he joined the undergraduate tenure-track faculty of the College of Professional Studies (CPS) at University of New Hampshire in 2015, Seth aided the transition of CPS into departments and its English program into Digital Language Arts and Professional & Technical Communications degrees within the college’s new Department of Communication Arts & Sciences. These degrees covered topics ranging from digital journalism to technical writing, legal advocacy to post-internet literary and cultural theory, graphic novels to nonfiction writing.

Seth’s “Digital Creative Writing” course, designed to focus on entrepreneurial white papers for high-concept digital projects rather than conventional print-published literary art, became the first workshop of its kind in the United States in 2016—one that focused on poetics (a key concern in Seth’s doctoral research) rather than aesthetics, and meta-workshopping (the question of how we choose what to write and how we understand what we read) rather than conventional line editing.

 

Seth also co-founded, in 2016, University of New Hampshire’s Legal Advocacy Program, in which he created courses in legal writing and research—most notably, a pre-law course reproducing law school study for undergraduates—and a criminal justice-oriented professional writing course whose curriculum focused on the procedures and policies of the U.S. criminal justice system as well as a panoply of legal advocacy skills such as direct examination and cross-examination, how to write client letters and legal memoranda, opening statements and closing arguments, how to analyze written police reports, and how to structure legal research papers.

In 2018, Seth was Affiliate Faculty at the New Hampshire Institute of Art; in 2019, he was Affiliate Faculty at the Institute of Art and Design at New England College in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Seth has been a print and radio journalist since 1994, when at age seventeen he became a sports reporter at The Daily Dartmouth—America’s oldest college newspaper—covering Dartmouth’s Division I (FCS) football team, the Big Green, and serving as lead radio (color) correspondent for Dartmouth’s Division I men’s college basketball. His work in radio at Dartmouth also included a weekly sports-talk roundtable and an hours-long music block (for which he was the DJ) focusing exclusively on American and British psychedelia from 1965 to 1972. 

 

Since leaving college, Seth’s reporting and editorials have been published in both American and British media outlets, including The Washington Post, The Dallas Morning News, The Kansas City Star, The Seattle Times, The Economist, The Guardian, Newsweek, Boston Review, The Philadelphia Review of Books, VRScout, and SBNation (for whom he covered Division I FBS college football, specifically the University of Wisconsin Badgers).

In the 2010s, Seth was, with PEN/Bingham Award-nominated novelist Chris Leslie-Hynan, the Manager of an education consulting LLC, Abramson Leslie Consulting. Abramson Leslie worked with aspiring novelists, poets, and memoirists to help prepare them for graduate study in their respective fields—creating a model for one-on-one arts mentorship (a model particularly suitable for non-traditional students who’d received little manuscript guidance while in school) that was unprecedented at the time. The LLC was incorporated in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the contractors it hired were all terminal-degree-holding professional writers with significant creative writing experience, publishing credits, and pedigrees.

From 2004 to 2006, Seth ran a media outlet focused on American politics, The Nashua Advocate, whose 2005 nomination for a Koufax Award (and coverage in Rolling Stone for its reporting on the 2004 “Gannongate” scandal within the George W. Bush administration and White House press corps) led to him appearing regularly as a commentator on Air America Radio. While in 2005 The Nashua Advocate became the first-ever blog listed as a news outlet on Google News, the outlet lost this designation due to public complaints and a write-in campaign organized by far-right pundit Michelle Malkin and readers of her website. The listing of blogs on Google News would later become commonplace, and indeed Proof occasionally shows up in such searches. 

 

From 2008 to 2013, Seth was a reporter and data journalist for Poets & Writers, where he had sole responsibility for the only comprehensive national rankings of graduate (MFA) programs in Creative Writing in the United States. From 2013 to 2016 he was an art critic, culture columnist, and regular reviewer of television, film, and other multimedia at Indiewire. His TV reviews were picked up by major review-aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, where he retains his “legacy critic” status. From 2010 to 2017, Seth was a columnist and editorialist at HuffPost (now a division of Buzzfeed News), where his research and writing on American politics was shared via social media well over two million times during the 2016 presidential primaries. From March 2017 until election day in 2020, Seth’s tweets (from his “@sethabramson” Twitter account) were retweeted over 100 million times.

 

In January 2023, Politico identified a 56-tweet thread published by Seth in October 2017 as one of the five dozen events in Twitter history that permanently “changed [U.S.] politics.” The magazine cited him as one of the American social media users most responsible for the “rise of the Twitter thread.”

All told, Seth has around 1.1 million followers across several social media platforms.

After the election of Donald Trump in late 2016, Seth became both a Newsweek political columnist and a regular commentator on U.S. politics on CNN and the BBC, with additional interviews by (among many others) CBS, CBS Radio, MSNBC, CNBC, NBC Radio, ABC News, ABC Radio, NPR, PBS, the CBC, HBO, Bloomberg, the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia Journalism Review, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Newsweek, PoliticoNew York MagazineTime, Vanity Fair, The Boston Globe, Congressional Quarterly, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Der Spiegel, Playboy, the New York Daily News, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Sunday Times (UK), Slate, Roll Call, The Philadelphia Inquirer, the “Under the Skin” podcast with Russell Brand, various political programs on SiriusXM Radio, and many others. He was the featured on-air interviewee on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher (a week after Salman Rushdie and a week before Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff) and the featured monthly interview in Playboy (between Sam Harris of the so-called “Intellectual Dark Web” and Tarana Burke of the #MeToo movement).

 

His political writing and research was widely cited in TV, radio, print and online during the Trump era, with discussions on CBS, CBC, CNBC, PBS, NPR, FNC, and BET, as well as Politico, Newsweek, Time, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, The Philadelphia InquirerThe Atlantic, The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Chicago Tribune, The Weekly Standard, The New Yorker, Vibe, People, Vox, The Hill, The New York Post, The Times of Israel, The Week, and many others.

 

Ellen McCarthy of The Washington Post has written that Seth attained “prominence in the collective American consciousness” as a result of Donald Trump’s presidency.

The most recent citation of Seth’s journalism was in the 2023 #1 New York Times bestseller Oath and Honor, written by former Wyoming congresswoman Liz Cheney (R), a member of the House January 6 Committee. During the period the HJ6C was sitting in 2022, it both contacted Seth for his input and cited his work in its congressional publications. Seth’s name also appears in the private data stolen by the FSB from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton during the Trump-Russia scandal, which data was published by Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks.

In October 2018, the National Council for the Training of Journalists named Seth, as a freelance journalist, to its annual roster of the “most-respected journalists” in the United States and the United Kingdom. Voted on by British journalists, the NCTJ list featured only nine freelancers; other journalists honored by the NCTJ in 2018 included Pulitzer Prize winners Bob Woodward and Ronan Farrow and Emmy- and Murrow Award-winning CNN reporter Christiane Amanpour.

In November 2018, Simon & Schuster published Seth’s New York Times and USA Today bestselling book on Trump-Russia collusion, Proof of Collusion, which took readers through four decades of Trump’s ties to Russia, with a particular emphasis on the events of the 2016 presidential election.

 

The 450-page book contained 1,650 endnotes and 2,000 major-media citations.

In September 2019, Macmillan published Proof of Conspiracy, Seth’s New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly-bestselling book on the transnational pre-election geopolitical conspiracy—centered on the Middle East—that helped Trump win the White House.

 

Also a national bestseller at Amazon, Audible, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes (and attached to an online archive of 3,250+ endnotes and 4,330 major-media citations), the 600-page Proof of Conspiracy chronicled the so-called “Red Sea Conspiracy,” the plot by which the leaders of Russia, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates conspired to assist Donald Trump in becoming President of the United States.

In September 2020, Macmillan published Proof of Corruption, the conclusion of the Proof Trilogy. The book focused on Trump bribery scandals involving the COVID-19 pandemic, the presidential election of 2020, Ukraine, China, Turkey, Iran, and Venezuela, along with major updates on earlier Trump scandals involving Russia, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Proof of Corruption was a USA Today bestseller, as well as making pre-order and post-release national bestseller lists at Amazon, Audible, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Books-A-Million, and Walmart.

 

Its archive of 5,000 major-media citations is now free online at www.sethabramson.net.

In October 2020, Seth released Proof: A Pre-election Special, a limited-series podcast co-hosted by former Vice editor Thomas Morton and Produced by Cineflix. A 10-episode explainer of key facts from the epic, 2,500-page Proof Trilogy—unpacking several of its most shocking revelations across a dozen hours of audio—the podcast reached Apple Podcasts’ Top 10 in the Government category in 31 countries, including the United States, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, China, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Peru, Qatar, Romania, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, and the UAE.

 

The podcast reached the Top 5 in 24 of these countries, and the top two spots in a dozen (the United States, Canada, Croatia, Finland, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Romania, Singapore, and South Africa). In all, episodes of the Proof podcast were viewed or downloaded nearly 100,000 times in the weeks immediately preceding the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

In January 2021, Seth founded Proof, a 14-section media outlet on Substack that became the top-ranked Culture substack in the world within its first 120 days of operation and is now ranked in the Top 15 of Substack’s newly developed U.S. Politics section. In 2022, Proof published the fourth book in the Proof series, Proof of Coup: How the Pentagon Shaped An Insurrection. The 250-page book, which focuses on events leading up to the armed attack on the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021, has now been read by tens of thousands of readers from around the world.

 

You can find Proof at sethabramson.substack.com.

In October 2021, Seth founded Retro, another media outlet published via Substack. Retro covers music, TV, film, books, memes, video games, toys, and a host of other arts-and-culture-oriented topics, with a special emphasis on “vintage” cultural phenomena. Retro is ranked among the Top 20 History substacks in the world, and has been particularly noted in major media for its 2021 coverage of multimillion-dollar scandals plaguing the sealed-and-graded collectibles industry.

Seth is represented by Jeff Silberman of Los Angeles-based Folio Literary Management.

 

Seth co-founded (and for a decade was the series editor for) an annual anthology of experimental writing encompassing every genre of creative writing and various hybrid genres, Best American Experimental Writing (Wesleyan University Press). From 2017 through 2019, Seth was the editorial director of the New Hampshire digital city newspaper The Manchester Independent. Prior to his co-founding of the Best American Experimental Writing series in 2013, Seth co-founded and was poetry editor for The New Hampshire Review (2004-05). He has also served on the editorial staff at the University Press of New England (1994-98), The Iowa Review (2008-09), Crazyhorse (2009), and Devil’s Lake (2009-11), the last of these a publication of University of Wisconsin at Madison. The fifth edition of Best American Experimental Writing, Best American Experimental Writing 2020, was published by Wesleyan University Press at the end of 2020. Guest editors for the series have included such celebrated authors as National Book Award finalists Carmen Machado, Cole Swensen, and Douglas Kearney; Guggenheim Fellowship recipients Tracie Morris and Joyelle McSweeney; and Bollingen Prize winner Charles Bernstein.

Seth has authored or edited eighteen books, including An Insider’s Guide to Graduate Degrees in Creative Writing (reference, Bloomsbury, 2018); Golden Age (poetry, BlazeVOX, 2017); DATA (poetry, BlazeVOX, 2016); Metamericana (poetry, BlazeVOX, 2015); Thievery (poetry, University of Akron Press, 2013), winner of the 2012 Akron Prize; Northerners (poetry, Western Michigan University Press, 2011), winner of the 2010 Green Rose Prize and a Poetry Foundation–bestselling collection; and The Suburban Ecstasies (poetry, Ghost Road Press, 2009), which was shortlisted for the 2007 Many Mountains Moving Prize.

 

Additional literary awards given to Seth’s creative writing include the J. Howard and Barbara M.J. Wood Prize from Poetry, a Teaching-Writing Fellowship from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, the August Derleth Fiction Prize and Alexander Chambers Essay Prize from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and a selection by former U.S. Poet Laureate Mark Strand for Best New Poets (University of Virginia Press, 2008).

Seth has three in-progress novels that were started over a 30-year span: Smokin' Yella, a work of detective fiction; The Book of Pumpkins, an epic, Halloween-themed young-adult fantasy; and The Commonwealth, a gritty suburban drama about teenagers caught up in a network of Dungeons & Dragons-themed gangs in Massachusetts in the 1980s. The first chapter of the last of these won the aforementioned August Derleth Fiction Prize from University of Wisconsin at Madison. Seth’s first book, however, was Atlas 1999, a reference book written when he was 14 and intended to be the manual for a sprawling, counterintelligence-themed role-playing game set in the real world.

 

Seth submitted Atlas 1999 to the then-popular Steve Jackson Games in 1990—unbeknownst to him, in the midst of one of the most infamous counterintelligence-related scandals in U.S. history, which saw the U.S. Secret Service raiding Steve Jackson Games and wrongly confiscating some of its fictional work-product as supposed evidence of espionage. This bizarre episode would later be immortalized in a federal civil lawsuit, Steve Jackson Games, Inc. v. United States Secret Service, 816 F. Supp. 432 (W.D. Tex. 1993).

Seth has published verse in hundreds of venues, including state reviews (e.g., Alaska Quarterly Review, California Quarterly, Colorado Review, Florida Review, Hawaii Review, Indiana Review, The Iowa Review, Minnesota Review, Mississippi Review, New York Quarterly, North Dakota Quarterly, South Dakota Review, Texas Review, and Wisconsin Review); city reviews (e.g., Boston Review, Brooklyn Review, The Cincinnati Review, Denver Quarterly, The Louisville Review, Madison Review, The Manhattan Review, New Orleans Review, Portland Review, and Seattle Review); reviews housed at universities (e.g., AGNI at Boston University, Bat City at University of Texas in Austin, Columbia Poetry Review at Columbia College Chicago, Conjunctions at Bard CollegeGettysburg Review at Gettysburg College, Gulf Coast at University of Houston, LIT at The New School, Harvard Review at Harvard University, Meridian at University of Virginia, Jubilat at University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Notre Dame Review at University of Notre Dame, The Southern Review at Louisiana State University, and Western Humanities Review at University of Utah); and major independent reviews (e.g., Poetry, Fence, Salmagundi, Verse, The Academy of American Poets, American Poetry Review, New American Writing, and Crazyhorse).

From 2000 to 2002, Seth was on staff as a moderator at The Alsop Review’s Gazebo, one of the first creative writing workshops on the internet and the subject of a New Yorker investigation on how American poetry adjusted to the dawn of the digital age. At the time, the Gazebo (or “Gaz”, as its hundreds of participants called it) was home to an astonishing array of up-and-coming creative writers on the cusp of their big break, including but by no means limited to: children’s novelist Linda Sue Park, winner of the 2002 Newbery Medal; Guggenheim Fellow and Whiting Award-winning poet Paul Guest; Booker Prize finalist and Dylan Thomas Prize-winning novelist Patricia Lockwood; A.E. Stallings, a poet and translator who has been both a Guggenheim and MacArthur Foundation fellow as well as a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and who currently serves as Oxford University’s 47th Professor of Poetry (one of the most prestigious literary appointments in the English-speaking world); the poets laureate of many states, including Alabama (Sue Scalf) and New Hampshire (Patricia Fargnoli); and Eric Gregory Award-winning British poet-novelist Frances Leviston, who’s been shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize and regularly reviews new literature in British major media.

Seth’s seminal essays on a burgeoning post-postmodern cultural philosophy, metamodernism—the subject of his Indiewire column, much of his writing at HuffPost, and his academic research at University of New Hampshire—were credited by Sturgill Simpson as being part of the inspiration for his Grammy Award-nominated alt-country album, Metamodern Sounds in Country Music. These essays are now regularly cited in academic journals and treatises on metamodernism.

 

The critical theorist who coined the term and first developed the concept of metamodernism in 1975, University of Oregon and Syracuse University professor Mas’ud Zavarzadeh, has said of Seth that his “work on the poetics and the analytics of metamodernity is a very important conceptual contribution to contemporary theory.”

Seth has guest-lectured on metamodernism and other topics (including experimental poetics, higher education, the disciplinary history of English, criminal investigations, and contemporary American politics) at many colleges and universities, including Harvard University, University of Wisconsin at Madison, University of Iowa, Bard College, New England College, Northwestern University, University of Michigan, University of Amsterdam, University of Maine at Farmington, University of Wisconsin at La Crosse, The Pratt Institute, Illinois Wesleyan University, Manhattanville CollegeDrake UniversityMadison College (WI), St. Edward’s University (TX), and Southeastern Community College (IA).

A lifelong lover of both sports and music, Seth has worked as an award-winning tennis instructor at the historic Cape Cod Sea Camps in Massachusetts; been a member of the Dartmouth Squash Club; and was, in his youth, an all-star soccer and baseball player who played on select, traveling, indoor, and state tournament teams in these sports across 30 seasons of participation combined. At Dartmouth College he was an avid golfer; in high school he played in a B’nai B’rith International basketball league.

 

At other times he has made extended—even years-long—attempts to become adept at certain less-common sports, among them darts, croquet, shuffleboard, cross-country skiing, four-square, badminton, kickball, flag football, twenty-a-side Boston-style “relieveo” (played across an entire zip code in semi-rural Massachusetts), weightlifting, cycling, horseback-riding (in which he took a full college course), bowling, gymnastics (in which he took years of lessons), archery, ping pong, airgun riflery, and tetherball. He can’t throw a Frisbee, and can make no claim to having retained any of his former athleticism, but he remembers it with fondness nonetheless.

 

Before leaving for college at age 17, Seth had studied piano, drums, the hammered dulcimer, and voice, immersing himself in musical experiences that ranged from playing a single snare drum in a Billy Joel cover band to singing in an a cappella group, from being the Vice President of his high school choir to giving piano recitals and singing in a group specializing in Renaissance madrigals.

He has also dabbled in the recorder, the harmonica, the synthesizer, the bass drum—which he played more or less indifferently in an orchestra for a time—and the kazoo. In the late 1990s, he became so obsessed with “Cool Cymru” that he tried to teach himself Welsh. While a student at Harvard Law School from 1998 to 2001, he was a regular at Twisted Village, the famous but now-shuttered psychedelia-focused Cambridge, MA record shop owned by Wayne Rogers and Kate Biggar (two of the four members of the band Magic Hour, with Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang of seminal neopsychedelic band Galaxie 500; Rogers and Biggar would later form the band Major Stars).

 

Seth is currently an EDM musician who has released seven albums—six LPs and a compilation—under the studio name Hounds (in honor of his two rescue hounds, Quinn and Scout). These LPs have been pre-released to full Retro subscribers and should be on iTunes by 2025 or 2026. Seth is currently working on four new Hounds albums (one a compilation) to be released (also via Retro) in 2024. His influences as a musician include the sixties psychedelia he used to specialize in as a radio DJ in the 1990s; TV, film, and especially video game scores; and trance and post-rock music.

Among Seth's other areas of interest and expertise are eighties-nostalgia touchstones like LEGO—he owns what is likely one of the larger collections of the plastic building bricks in New England—and Nintendo Entertainment System games, specifically “homebrew” (or “independent”) NES games developed this century. Retro includes the largest archive and ranking of such games in the world, featuring more than 1,000 NES titles developed after the lifespan of the system ended. His expertise in aftermarket eight-bit games led to him being selected to serve as the final judge in a major contemporary game-development competition, The Byte-Off. He also publishes a ranking at Retro of the best mobile games for Android, and has worked hard in this decade to expand his expertise in that area. Retro’s mobile-game rankings include hundreds and hundreds of top titles.

 

Seth collects sealed-and-graded vintage video games (besides NES games, games for the Atari 2600, Intellivision, SNES, PS2, and Sega Dreamcast); baseball caps; psychedelic-LP CD reissues from the 1980s and 1990s; Dungeons & Dragons reference books, LEGO-built G.I. Joe figures, and other equally esoteric items a nerd or dork who grew up in the mid-/late 80s would feel drawn to.

Among the jobs Seth has held not mentioned above are Hebrew tutor, chauffeur, copy editor, secretary, babysitter, ice cream shop server, marketing department assistant, sandwich shop employee, and paralegal.

 

Outside his 32 years of unbroken employment, Seth’s life has been just as frenetic. A convicted antisemitic terrorist—one sung about in a Donald Glover song—once put a digital fatwa on Seth on the dark web; Shia LaBeouf told a Forbes reporter at SXSW that his art practice is influenced by Seth’s essays on metamodernism; Seth once spoke to Captain America (Chris Evans) and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and a cast member from his favorite TV show (Community) on the same day—all without leaving his house. He’s at various times been a victim of Burglary, Assault (while serving process in a junkyard in Vienna, VA), Identity Theft, Defamation, Criminal Threatening, Criminal Mischief, and Fraud, yet he remains a staunch proponent of civil rights and civil liberties, and was proudly a member of the Harvard Civil Right-Civil Liberties Law Review.

Seth is near-sighted, flat-footed, slope-shouldered, cowlicked, stye-prone, acrochordon-prone, cup-earred, hirsute, herniated, graying, balding, ashy, hyperhidrosic, GERD-beset, vertiginous, long-lashed, diabetic, crooked-nosed, insomniacal, occasionally gouty, subclinically agoraphobic, clinically anxious (though in full remission), spectrumy, and suffers from sleep apnea. He has a foreign object in one of his eyes that his optometrist says will cause him to go blind in that eye if it moves—though she assures him it’s unlikely to do so. One time a chicken quill pierced one of his tonsils. A hospital x-ray technician once told him he had the widest hipbone structure she’d ever seen in a man.He has effortlessly raised a sweat well inside the Arctic Circle. His bellybutton once began bleeding uncontrollably due to stress. He once suffered from INMI for three weeks, recovering only after listen to Beach House’s “Space Song” on repeat for three hours. He once “greened out” (the worst experience of his life). A reporter for The Chronicle of Higher Education once asked to photograph the top of his head because, the reporter said, he’d “never seen male-pattern baldness like that before.” Incredibly, despite all the foregoing, Seth is also married—to the smartest, wisest, and most accomplished woman he’s ever met.

A third-party project headed up by a well-known indie musician endeavored for almost a year to put together a documentary film about Seth’s life, but the project was abandoned in large part due to the COVID-19 pandemic (2020–2024). Somewhere out there all the master tapes still exist.

 

Just so, Proof of Conspiracy was optioned to IDW Comics for the creation of a graphic novel edition shortly after its publication in late 2019, but due to the early-2020 onset of a global pandemic the project has (quite understandably) yet to advance.

Seth’s favorite experiences abroad include seeing the Northern Lights from a forest clearing in Lapland (Finland); rockhounding in the windy spray of the Firth of Forth before loafing for hours in an Edinburgh pub; shopping in Old San Juan, the Muslim Quarter of Xi’An, and Xiushui (Silk) Street in Beijing; watching the USWNT defeat Germany in Montreal; proposing to a woman while standing with her knee-deep in the Seine beneath a flashing Eiffel Tower (she said yes, but the relationship didn’t last); traveling across North America, from Boston to Anchorage, with stops in (among other locations) Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton, and Whitehorse (the Yukon Territory); eating reindeer and boar in Denmark; pedaling through rural villages in Yangshuo County, China; chatting uncomfortably with a lady of the night on a park bench in West London at 2AM; visiting Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum while tripping balls; seeing Michelle Obama and her daughters at the Summer Palacetobogganing off the top of the Great Wall of China; and driving hundreds and hundreds of miles along the western coast of the most beautiful country on Earth: Norway.

 

Also “visiting” (via virtual reality) Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, and St. Petersburg—three locations that he likely can’t safely travel to after publishing the Proof Trilogy. Per American intelligence sources who contacted Seth through a major-media intermediary, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy was once observed with the Ukrainian translation of Proof of Collusion under his arm.

Seth has been fortunate beyond words to have studied under some of the best teachers, mentors and professors in the United States, from Joe McInerney, who received a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching from President Ronald Reagan, to Robert Binswanger, the Dartmouth Education professor who led the Experimental Schools Program at the Department of Education under presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford; from Reagan’s Solicitor General, Charles Fried, to Anne-Marie Slaughter, Director of Policy Planning for the State Department under President Barack Obama; from criminal defense attorneys renowned as the best in their jurisdiction—such as Richard Guerriero of New Hampshire, Alan Dershowitz of Massachusetts, and John Copacino of DC—to one of the leading Shakespearean scholars in the world, Dartmouth’s Peter Saccio; from close friend of the Obamas (and attorney to Tupac Shakur and Anita Hill) Charles Ogletree to the one-time Thurgood Marshall clerk and leading Critical Race Theory scholar Randall Kennedy; from William Brennan clerk Einer Elhague, who represented Florida’s House of Representatives in Bush v. Gore, to—briefly, in a law school clinic—current Supreme Court Justice John Roberts; from Bancroft Prize-winning legal historian Morton Horowitz to sociologist and renowned Iran expert Misagh Parsafrom Todd Edelman, an Obama-appointed Associate Judge on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, to Criminal Justice Act Panelist for the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals Gail Johnson; from award-winning poets like Cole Swensen, Tony Hoagland, Peter Gizzi, Dean Young, and Quan Barry to highly accomplished novelists like Marilynne Robinson, Judith Mitchell, and Ed Carey.

 

At various points, Seth has lived and worked in Iowa, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Washington, DC. He was born in America’s “Cradle of Liberty”—Concord, MA—in the nation’s bicentennial year (1976). Like John Keats, Peter Jackson, John Candy, Adam Horovitz of the Beastie Boys, Dan Rather, and Rob Van Winkle (a.k.a. “Vanilla Ice”), he was a Halloween baby.

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