sylvia reading photo.jpg

Brokedown Palace coming from Subpress november 2019

I was a 911 paramedic in New York City throughout the AIDS epidemic, the crack years, and the attack on the World Trade Center. Though I participated in historical events, most of my time was spent in places that never made the news. Homeless hotels, shelters, subway tunnels. Places where throw-away people lived. The media narrative of their lives, or of the life of a paramedic, didn’t fit my experience at all. The older I get, the more I understand that I have a responsibility to document the truth of my era and not let it turn into a smoothed over, inevitable path into the present day. The future is encoded in the past. But only if the past is remembered clearly. That’s my mission as a writer. My past brought us to Trump and the edge of a great extinction. What is the past we’re making now carrying us towards?

(Praise for Skels)

“[Dubris's] New York has everything and nothing to do with the real world, which is a reminder of something very simple: books don't need to get all pompous about our social disasters in order to make the grandest possible statements about them. Skels floats completely free of those painful, tiresome conversations about who we're supposed to be and who we have to be. On a hot Manhattan night, with hydrants pumping in the streets and the sirens Dopplering off, Orlie's in the same ambulance with the rest of us, unconcerned with being a subject, an object, a woman, a character. “ The New York Times,

"A vivid and poetic novel that tells the story of a young EMT plunged into the jungle that is New York City in the steamy summer of 1979. With every call to save a life, Maggie Dubris-who worked as a 911 paramedic in Harlem and Hell's Kitchen throughout the '80s and '90s-enters a different and strange world…. A vivid rendering of the lives of New York's poorest and most invisible." The New York Post

“Dubris captures that hurried sense of absurdity that other authors, like Denis Johnson, have tackled in the emergency room-trauma story genre. And like Johnson, Dubris harnesses a dry, sick sense of humor... Skels conveys the overwhelming feelings one has during epic moments of tragedy." LA Weekly


SKELS is now available paperback or kindle


WillieWorld is out of print, unless you want to buy a signed copy here

And I have obtained all the copies of the Black Sparrow book, Weep Not, My Wanton. You can buy it at readings, or email me if you want to buy a copy.

Here’s a video I made for one of the poems in BrokeDown Palace