April 1, 2015

Michael Shapiro among authors featured in Best Travel Writing, appears at Book Passage on March 1, 2015, at 4pm


The key to making a travel story – or just about any kind of story – compelling is a convincing sense of place.

Wash Post: Dylan Thomas’s Wales


“Listen to (his most famous poem) from a child’s point of view,” Annie says. “His father wouldn’t give Dylan the words he needed like ‘well done’ or ‘I’m proud of you.’ The work between father and son wasn’t finished.”

Review of Sarah Vowell’s “Unfamiliar Fishes”


Last year I reviewed Sarah Vowell’s book “Unfamiliar Fishes” for the San Francisco Chronicle. It’s an uneven book, but recently I’ve learned of a book by Julia Flynn Siler that appears much more promising: Lost Kingdom. I look forward to reading Siler’s book, “a tale of one of the most breathtaking land grabs of the […]

Burning the devil in Guatemala – American Way magazine


The flames rise 30 feet into the air, casting a lurid glow on spectators’ faces. The burning effigy gives off a villainous stench, its acrid smoke engulfing the plaza. Bomberos (firefighters) watch nervously as thousands of Guatemalans howl and rejoice, stamping their feet and jumping into the air to get a better view of the demise of el diablo.

Anne Lamott on her baby having a baby


When my book A Sense of Place came out a few years ago I got compliments about being a good interviewer. But here’s the secret: I interviewed people — the world’s leading travel writers — who had something to say. I had a similarly delightful experience interviewing author Anne Lamott who recently published Some Assembly […]

Video: Yellowstone with Tim Cahill

A few years ago a producer asked Tim Cahill and me to record an interview at Yellowstone. Here’s the 10-minute pilot that came from that weekend in the snow.

BookTV telecast w/ Cahill, Allende et al

In 2004, the launch event for my book “A Sense of Place” was a conversation in San Francisco with Isabel Allende, Tim Cahill, Jeff Greenwald and Jan Morris. It’s 90 minute long but you can watch it in segments. Click here to watch the video.

Aug. 16-21: Writing seminar with Tim Cahill on Idaho’s Salmon River

Michael Shapiro is co-teaching an on-river adventure writing workshop on one of America’s premier whitewater rivers: The Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho. For details, see Idaho River Journey’s site.

Shapiro appears at 20th annual Book Passage travel conference

I’ve just heard there’s still time to sign up for the 20th annual Book Passage Travel & Food Writing & Photography Conference. An amazing line-up of teachers includes LA Times travel editor Catherine Hamm, actor-turned-travel writer Andrew McCarthy, SF Chronicle travel editor Spud Hilton, NYT contributor David Farley and many others. I was a student […]

David Sedaris’ subversive charm

David Sedaris is not a rock star. He’s an author, radio contributor, humorist, playwright, and essayist. Yet when he walks onstage Saturday night , October 30, at the Wells Fargo Center, he’ll be greeted with as much effusive enthusiasm as any heartthrob musician. This slight, 53-year-old man is not only talented, insightful and funny, with […]