Grab Bag

Inside the grab bag are four very different books—a hilarious comic novel co-authored by 27 writers; a writing handbook by Robert Wolf, giving the secrets of his workshop method; a powerful collection of stories on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict; and a history of Chicago jazz, written by Wolf, based on interviews with scores of musicians, beginning with those who played in gangster owned Chicago clubs..


SJ4REVsmWBeginning with its roots in New Orleans ragtime and polyphonic improvisation of the early masters, Story Jazz traces the development of jazz styles through the Prohibition in the twenties with hot players like Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke, and the Austin High Gang to swing in the thirties, the emergence of bop in the forties to the free form styles of the AACM and others in the sixties. Story Jazz is chock full of first-hand accounts by the men who made the music.

This book is available in the Free River Press online store here.




VIOLENCE IN THE HOLY LAND: Witnessing the Conflict in the Middle East

ViolenceREVsmWAn anthology of stories and essays written primarily by Israeli Jews and Palestinians. Developed for the most part in writing workshops at Riverside Church in Manhattan and at the Puffin Foundation in Teaneck, New Jersey, Violence in the Holy Land has contributions by twenty-four men and women. Arranged in dialogue form, Israeli and Palestinian stories alternate, expressing multiple perspectives from both sides, culminating in an essay by the leader of a New York dialogue group.

Read excerpts from Violence in the Holy Land. Click here:

Praise for Violence in the Holy Land:
Violence in the Holy Land helps us transcend the mythology and partisanship that obscure this struggle and to empathize with human beings on both sides.”
Ambassador (ret.) Philip C. Wilcox, Jr., President, Foundation for Middle East Peace

“Vignette after vignette bear witness that freedom from fear is the common yearning binding all humanity together. The book is am amazingly uplifting text, even with so much tragedy; a testament to the human spirit.”
Rev. Fanny Erickson, Minister of Parish Life and Director, Health and Wellness Ministries, The Riverside Church, New York

Read excerpts from four essays from Violence in the Holy Land. Click here.


Paperback -- $15

Paperback — $15

   The Writer Within is a concise guide that offers Wolf’s writing techniques from his  Free  River Press workshops. The Writer  Within grew out of Wolf’s 24 years of teaching writing to people at all levels, from elementary school youngsters to college students to small town folk, farmers, and homeless individuals in community workshops. Rooted in the oral tradition, Wolf’s methods include storytelling, visualization, spontaneous prose composition, and sketching. Useful for both the individual and groups as well as for beginning or practiced writers, his concrete techniques are flexible enough to be applied towards any form (poetry, composition, non-fiction, plays, etc.).

The Writer Within does exactly what it promises: teaches how to write from everyday life.”–The Bloomsbury Review

“Wolf shows that writing can be fun, noncompetitive, and mutually supportive…. [It] will make everyday readers of this book say not only, ‘That’s terrific,’ but also, ‘I could do that.” –Peter Elbow, author of Writing With Power and Everyone Can Write

Chapters:  “Preliminary Matters”     “Strategies”    “Observation”    “Genesis & Metamorphosis”                     “Conversation & Dialogue”  “Memoir Writing”    “Group Activities”
This book is available in the Free River Press online store here.




A wildly comic novel, Pulp Feathers was written in a day and a half by 17 professional writers at a conference at Iowa State University.   Based on  a scenario created by Robert Wolf and two others, the writers chose the chapters they wanted to create. The action centers around Tall Grass University, whose biology department has developed a renewable fuel derived from Ostrich poop. Characters include a diabolical African cannibal, an unethical university scientist, a corrupt university provost and a hapless hero and heroine. Written in parody of the Best Seller Style, Pulp Feathers is an education in contemporary reality. (Or so we claim.)
This book is available in the Free River Press online store here