Author
Historian
Public Speaker

About

David J. Goodwin is the author of the award-winning Left Bank of the Hudson: Jersey City and the Artists of 111 1st Street (Fordham University Press: 2017).

He completed Midnight Rambles: H. P. Lovecraft in Gotham (Fordham University Press: 2023) as a Frederick Lewis Allen Room scholar at the New York Public Library.

When he’s not puttering at his desk, he’s usually reading a book.

Little else is important.

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Midnight Rambles

A micro-biography of horror fiction’s most influential author and his love-hate relationship with New York City.

By the end of his life and near financial ruin, pulp horror writer Howard Phillips Lovecraft resigned himself to the likelihood that his writing would be forgotten. Today, Lovecraft stands alongside J. R. R. Tolkien as the most influential genre writer of the twentieth century. His reputation as an unreformed racist and bigot, however, leaves readers to grapple with his legacy. Midnight Rambles: H. P. Lovecraft in Gotham explores Lovecraft’s time in New York City, a crucial yet often overlooked chapter in his life that shaped his literary career and the inextricable racism in his work.

Author David J. Goodwin presents a chronological micro-biography of Lovecraft’s New York years, emphasizing Lovecraft’s exploration of the city environment, the greater metropolitan region, and other locales and how they molded him as a writer and as an individual. Drawing from primary sources (letters, memoirs, and published personal reflections) and secondary sources (biographies and scholarship), Midnight Rambles develops a portrait of a talented and troubled author and offers insights into his unsettling beliefs on race, ethnicity, and immigration.

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Left Bank of the Hudson

An illustrative lesson to government officials, scholars, students, activists, and everyday citizens attempting to navigate the “rediscovery” of American cities.

In the late 1980s, a handful of artists priced out of Manhattan and desperately needing affordable studio space discovered 111 1st Street, a former P. Lorillard Tobacco Company warehouse, in Jersey City, N.J. Over the next two decades, an eclectic collection of painters, sculptors, musicians, photographers, filmmakers, and writers dreamt and toiled within the building's labyrinthine halls. The local arts scene flourished, igniting hope that Jersey City would emerge as the next grassroots center of the art world. However, a rising real estate market coupled with a provincial political establishment threatened the community at 111 1st Street. The artists found themselves entangled in a long, complicated, and vicious fight for their place in the building and for the physical survival of 111 1st Street itself, a site that held so much potential, so much promise for Jersey City.

Left Bank of the Hudson: Jersey City and the Artists of 111 1st Street offers a window into the demographic, political, and socio-economic changes experienced by Jersey City during the last thirty years. Documenting the narrative of 111 1st Street as an act of cultural preservation, author David J. Goodwin's well-researched and significant contribution addresses the question of the role of artists in economically improving cities. As a Jersey City resident, Goodwin applies his knowledge of the city's rich history of political malfeasance and corruption, including how auspicious plans for a waterfront arts enclave were repeatedly bungled by a provincial-minded city administration.

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Events

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Featured Event

New York State of Mind: Lovecraft’s New York Period

Date: August 16, 2024

Location: NecronomiCon Providence

One of two panels in which I'll be a guest!

Blog

A “Greene Country Towne”

A recent trip to Philadelphia offered a dash of nostalgia and discovery.

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Articles

OATW
Featured Article

Silk City, Texas Weiners, and Life

Charting life and relationships through love for Paterson, New Jersey's take on the all-American staple.