Spotlight on I'm Never Fine by Joseph Lezza


Congratulations to Joseph Lezza and Vine Leaves Press on the release of I'm Never Fine, "a beautiful tribute, full of raw and honest humanity, that makes the reader feel a little less alone.” ~Stephanie Wittels Wachs, author of Everything Is Horrible and Wonderful.

I'm Never Fine by Joseph Lezza

NEW RELEASE: February 21, 2023
From $6.49  

In I'm Never Fine, a collage memoir of essays and poetry, Joseph Lezza shouts in the dark from the backseat of a stranger’s car, a ditch on the Italian coast, a forest outside the arctic, and from the bottom of a shaving cream can.

When Joseph caught himself wishing necrotizing skin infections upon unhurried retirees in the self-checkout lane, and fantasized about loud-talking commuters making quick friends with the underside of a steamroller, he began to wonder if he was fine.

Of all the things Joseph Lezza could have been, he certainly wasn't fine.

The “fine” he’d adopted watching his father succumb to cancer was beginning to wane. It could no longer be used as a shield to melt the face off of anyone who dared inquire. All the “fines” prophesized in every article, every book, and every inspirational meme—courtesy of every armchair expert with a pulse and internet connection—had lost their value.

When Joseph realized he was facing a future that would find him standing over the carcass of an overzealous Costco greeter, one thing became clear: moving on required looking back.

This memoir is an autopsy of perceived missteps, a conclusion to unfinished conversations, and a reframing of flawed judgments through the eyes of a young man in search of a feeling. Search for that feeling with Joseph Lezza in I'm Never Fine.

Praise for I'm Never Fine

“Lezza’s debut memoir is a riot...a tender, hysterical, sharply-rendered and often surprising portrait of love and grief from a talented new voice. Joseph Lezza is a writer to watch.” ~Edgar Gomez, author of High Risk Homosexual

“A standout piece of work. This is tough and true and so well considered. A magnificent achievement.” ~Russell T. Davies, award-winning writer and creator of Queer as Folk and Doctor Who

“Adeptly managing to weave humor and banality into nearly every page, the reader is immersed into a world that feels so familiar...a beautiful tribute, full of raw and honest humanity, that makes the reader feel a little less alone.” ~Stephanie Wittels Wachs, author of Everything Is Horrible and Wonderful: A Tragicomic Memoir of Genius, Heroin, Love and Loss

“A deft blend of tragedy and comedy, these striking lyric essays are essential reading.” ~Rolli, award-winning cartoonist and author of Plumstuff

About the Author

Joseph Lezza is a writer in New York, NY. He is a graduate of Rutgers University and received his MFA from The University of Texas at El Paso. Between degrees, he spent several years as a character in one of the longest-running stories ever told, skippering the rivers of the Jungle Cruise or off-roading truckloads of tourists across the most realistic African savannahs $170-a-day could buy. His work in television has been seen on such networks as VH1, Lifetime, and NBC. His writing has been featured in, among others, Santa Fe Writers Project, West Trade Review, Stoneboat Literary Journal, Still: The Journal, and his essay for The Hopper was a 2020 nominee for the Best of the Net anthology. When he’s not writing, he spends his time worrying about why he’s not writing. Visit Joseph at You can also find him on the socials @lezzdoothis.
About the Publisher

Vine Leaves Press likes to blur the line between commercial and experimental works. They publish book-length vignette collections, writing reference books, short story collections, memoir/autobiography, and character-driven novels with a literary bent.​ Subscribe to the Vine Leaves Press newsletter to receive FREE advanced review copies of upcoming new releases, news about their authors and subscribers, and/or to read the monthly opinion column, SPILL IT! or a daily dose of 50-word stories. Learn more at

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