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L.A. Weekly Critic Steven Leigh Morris Gets Two-Book Deal to Write About L.A. Theater History, Chickens

Morris' chicken, Fortinbras
Morris' chicken, Fortinbras
Steven Leigh Morris

The Weekly's critic-at-large, Steven Leigh Morris, has landed a two-book publishing deal with New Hampshire-based Smith and Kraus Publishers.

The first book -- working title Building Snowmen in the Desert -- is a three-year research project for a comprehensive history of Los Angeles theater. This would be the first such overview of the local stage.

The second book, to be completed this year, has the working title, Bird Brains: Essays and Stories From One Man's Chicken Flock in a Hollywood Condo, and is a series of essays and stories from a neighbor war that ensued after Morris attempted to introduce chickens into the garden of a Hollywood condominium. Some scenes from that adventure were printed in the Considerable Town column of the Weekly over a 10-year span.

Smith and Kraus, which produces mostly theater books and plays, also published Morris' Off-Broadway play Beachwood Drive, in its anthology Best New American Playwrights of 2009.