Checking Out: ‘Dirtbag, Massachusetts’

By Hannah Evans

Isaac Fitzgerald opens his new memoir, “Dirtbag, Massachusetts: A Confessional” (2022, Bloombury) with an attention- grabbing line that he admits to using whenever asked about his childhood: “My parents were married when they had me, just to different people.”

Hannah Evans

So begins a variety of essays about Fitzgerald’s life—the pages that follow are filled with questionable choices and a meandering timeline matched with witty prose and a sometimes surprising level of vulnerability and introspection.

From his highly dysfunctional childhood in rural Massachusetts and his escape on a scholarship to boarding school, to his time spent in San Francisco as a barback, a trip to Myanmar as a volunteer with a religious organization, and his return back home to a stint working in adult films, Fitzgerald has seen his fair share of adventures.

It isn’t so much the experiences themselves that captivate, however—it’s Fitzgerald’s ability to pinpoint his internal struggles, his lessons learned, and how he relates to those around him. His memoir takes the type of tales you may hear from any given “guy at the bar” and shows the very familiar human struggles at the heart of his stories.

Book Cover

“Dirtbag, Massachusetts” masterfully weaves through humor to sadness and right back again, taking turns that feel both unexpected and relatable all at once. Check out “Dirtbag, Massachusetts” at your closest Denver Public Library location or as an e-book or e-audiobook on Checking Out: Dirtbag, Massachusetts

Running With My Girls’

As we head into another high-stakes election season, Smiley Branch Library is teaming up with Regis University and Emerge Colorado to screen “Running With My Girls” on Thursday, Oct. 13, 5-7:30 p.m. on Regis’ Campus.

“Running with My Girls” is a 2021 locally produced documentary that highlights five diverse female activists running for municipal office in Denver as part of a grassroots movement to take their communities back.

A discussion panel featuring filmmaker Rebekah Henderson and cast members Dr. Lisa Calderon, Veronica Barela, Candi CdeBaca, and Shontel Lewis will follow the screening. This event is free and open to the public.

The screening will be in the Science Amphitheater (SCI 212), located on Regis’ Northwest Denver Campus (3333 Regis Blvd., Denver, CO 80221). A voter registration table will be set up outside this event.


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