Birthplace: Birmingham, AL
Typewriter: Underwood No. 5, Underwood Standard*, Olivetti Lettera 22/32*, Olympia SM-3/4*.
McGowin first attracted note as a poet in the early 1990s, and published the collections Bogus Pastimes (1993), Wild Afflictions (1994), and The Better Part of a Fortnight (1999). But heralded by his novella The Basement (1998), McGowin began a series of social satires, The Benny Poda Years (2001), Town Full of Hoors (2001) and What God Has Joined Together (2002), which were printed in limited editions while made freely available over the Internet, earning him a sizeable reputation in Europe for his implicit criticisms of American hypocrisy and excess.
Composed on his Underwood No. 5 and Olivetti 22 and revised while uploaded “live” a chapter a day, McGowin’s parodies of Miller, Bukowski, Salinger, Vonnegut, Pynchon and others are offset by his serious reviews and lyrical short stories and vignettes. Appointed Reviews Editor of Eclectica Magazine in 2003 after ten years as contributing editor of Oyster Boy Review, McGowin, whose “final” e-novel Flies in the Buttermilk ran in 2003-2004, has written essays on his use of the manual typewriter, and has inspired a new generation of students to use it.