Mark Wisniewski

About the Author
Mark Wisniewski (Lake Peekskill, NY) is the author of the acclaimed novel Confessions of a Polish Used Car Salesman. Over 100 of his poems and stories have appeared in magazines. His most recent book is One of Us One Night (Platonic 3way Press), winner of the 2006 Evil Genius Series Contest. He is the recipient of a 2006 Isherwood Foundation Fellowship in Fiction.


  • “Wisniewski has a unique voice. His cryptic and precisely written attention to the details of mundane, everyday events makes them strangely interesting. In addition, within the short space of a sentence or two, he can turn the corner from humorous to shocking, or from desperate to triumphant. A talent that should remind us of the drama that we sometimes fail to see in our own lives.”
         — Maureen Potter, NewPages
  • “Mark Wisniewski captures with precision the speech patterns of working-class Americans, and he does it also with a toughness that is as American as Hemingway.”
         — Clarence Major, author of Dirty Bird Blues: A Novel and Configurations: New and Selected Poems
  • “A darkly comic vision works its way through much of this collection, reminding us of the intricate levels of satire we find in . . . Terry Southern, Harry Crews, Jay McInerney, and T. C. Boyle.”
         — Prairie Schooner
  • “The quirky characters who inhabit Mark Wisniewski’s first collection of sometimes funny, sometimes sad stories, All Weekend with the Lights On, sound literate, folksy and perfectly capable of doing anything. Wisniewski shows a shrewd hand with sparkling dialogue, whether between sibling Polish bakers, or a struggling writer and a hooker/editor who join forces to blackmail the writer’s agent.”
         — Publishers Weekly, Fiction Forecast
  • “A fine array of tales by a born fictionalist who has mastered all the tools and walked through all the doors. I enjoyed the collection immensely. One helluva fine writer.”
         — Gerald Locklin, author of Charles Bukowski: A Sure Bet
  • “These fine stories each exhibit an untidy and vivid little world, each in its own lingo.”
         — Oakley Hall, author of Separations and Ambrose Bierce and the Queen of Spades
  • “Wisniewski handles the appropriate vernacular of his dialogue with a touch that constitutes a kind of grace.”
         — Gordon Weaver, author of Long Odds
  • “I’m a fan of Mark W. for life.”
         — Marie Hayes, Co-Editor, StoryQuarterly
  • “Mark Wisniewski’s collection of short stories … is an achievement in craft. A few are a little cute; but most are honestly sad and lonesome and written with a sharp bite…. Where some writers blaze through, shredding everything, Mark goes deliberately creating colloquial paper snowflakes. As a general rule I’m fed up with contemporary literature; but Mark doesn’t ever make me cringe and often he makes me laugh out loud.”
         — Josh Rios, Proper Gander
  • “A few pages in, you know you’re in for some addictively readable quirkiness. Wisniewski spins yarns that actually intrigue the reader, with interesting and oddball characters, rather than the usual ‘poor me / I’m so drunk & broke’ prose that proliferates the small press these days. All Weekend with the Lights On is packed with what can only be described as damn good fiction. Definitely worth checking out.”
         — Scott Gordon, Staplegun
  • “We can’t say enough about this guy…. His work is so good it would take a very sour editor to knock him back…. His work is dangerous, yet not gratuitous, sweet yet not soppy, loud yet not bleeding, and very witty…. Worth a buy!”
         — Matt Ward, in the now defunct Heist, NSW Australia
  • “[D]elighted me with pleasant surprise…. I could not put the book down…. [L]ike the title, I was up all night with the lights on. His book is an amazing compilation of contagiously enjoyable quick-reading short stories written with an anti-grammar lingo. Wisniewski knows how to deliver the anti-climactic ending any reader would crave. After reading one story (‘Birdie’), I sat there breathless, as if the book had kidnapped me and covered my mouth. Yes, it is THAT powerful.”
         — Suzanne Strickland, Melting Trees Review
  • “This guy can weave a tale with the best of them. His blue-collar, industrial protagonists reflect a human condition that we all know and sometimes think about. The prose is rich with symbol and craftsmanship although it’s deceptively simple. Not completely unlike a Hemingway or a Carver, Wisniewski is blowing me away.”
         — Nate Graziano, The Frank Review
  • “There’s not much I can say about this perfect-bound slick glossy-covered book of short stories. I was so into the book, I couldn’t put it down to take notes. Mark captures his audience from the first paragraph of the book, keeping his reader on edge until crossing the finish line. The stories are well-articulated and cover all the bases from small town fun to big city loving. Leaping Dog Press releases another professional production in the art of quality publication. I think we will be hearing a lot more from Mark who has discovered the art of taunting his readers within the stories and he redeems himself as a poet as well.”
         — Brian Morrisey, POESY Magazine
  • Collection of short stories shocks, disturbs
         — Elisabeth Sherwin, The Davis Enterprise
  • “Wisniewski’s stories leave a shadow, a bruise that begs to be touched. Readers will want to contemplate the subtleties of this work. They will want to spend time considering the central character of each story, who was it really about? They may find that these stories touch familiar notes and present truths with which they may not be comfortable. Wisniewski’s stories are certain to haunt long after the lights are out.”
         — Rowanne Joyner, Main Street Rag Reviews