janicerlbaum“How satisfying to watch Erlbaum survive adolescence and produce a smart, engaging book,” The New York Times Book Review wrote about Janice Erlbaum‘s memoir Girlbomb: A Halfway Homeless Memoir. In 2008, Janice chronicled her return to the shelter where she had lived as a teenager in Have You Found Her. This Friday, she will host the ten-year-anniversary of Girls Education and Mentoring Service (GEMS) at the Bowery Poetry Club.

GEMS works to empower young women who have experienced sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking to exit the commercial sex industry and develop to their full potential. Janis will read together with GEMS founder Rachel Lloyd, and GEMS girls will share their orginal works. Galleycat has more.

If you weren’t a writer, how would you spend your time?

If I weren’t a writer, I would spend my time wanting to be a writer. Whatever time was left over would probably be spent writing bitter reviews of other people’s books. As for a profession, I’d probably either be a shrink or a weed dealer. Maybe both.
Which book do you wish you’d written?
Books I wish I’d written: Sapphire’s Push, Eileen Myles’s Chelsea Girls, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc’s Random Family, and Lionel Shriver’s The Post-Birthday World.
What are the websites you couldn’t live without?
Websites I couldn’t live without include (LOLcats make me happy), (their American Idol recaps are masterpieces), and my blog (the comments from readers — both the positive and the negative — are invaluable and inspiring). A website I could totally live without? Facebook. Enough, already.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on a collection of autobiographical stories, since writing two damn memoirs about myself wasn’t enough somehow.
Do you listen to music while you write? What?
I work in a public workspace that demands silence, so no music while I write. But I sing a lot on the way to and from my office — lots of Mary J. Blige, Aimee Mann, and Ella Fitzgerald.

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