Michael Downs’s books include The Greatest Show: Stories (LSU Press, 2012) and House of Good Hope: A Promise for a Broken City (University of Nebraska Press, 2007), which won the River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Prize. Those books, along with The Strange and True Tale of Horace Wells, Surgeon Dentist, are set in his hometown of Hartford, Connecticut. Among his awards are fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Maryland State Arts Council, and the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance. A former newspaper reporter, Downs is an associate professor of English at Towson University. He lives and writes in Baltimore.