Search Website

Cosmopsis Books


Note: The titles on this page are now out of print and the few remaining copies of each are in the author’s possession. Inquiries from readers and collectors are welcome and may be made directly to the author at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

A Listening Thing

A Listening Thing (Novel)

Tenth Anniversary Authorized Print Edition

With new Preface & Afterword by the Author,
Extensive new Interview & Materials
from the Original Unpublished
& Online Editions

ISBN: 978-0-9796599-3-5
Cosmopsis Books.
232 pages. 6x9. Paper. (2011)




This special edition is limited to 150 hand-numbered copies. A Listening Thing is printed on archival, acid-free, FSC certified recycled natural paper, with a beautiful matte cover.


“A profound vision of the inner life ... Some of the most resonant accounts of dreams in recent literature ... Some of the funniest, most acerbic rants about American society and values in recent literature ... essentially a meditation on loneliness, it is profoundly American ... compellingly human: we never doubt that narrator is telling us the truth. In a society awash every day in public lies, it’s refreshing to realize that honest expression is still possible.”

— Joseph Hutchison, via The Perpetual Bird


“William, this passage so exactly describes my existential universe that I’m left with the same feeling of recognition as looking into a mirror. I’m left feeling less alone. Thank you. On the strength of this wonderful writing I have just processed my order!”

— Harry Kent, via Recently Banned Literature, on an excerpt from Chapter 2


“I could hear the ocean waves crashing as I read this... the water pausing to linger briefly on the shore. Then receding, all in perfect rhythm. Life... I love this. Tender, deeply honest, authentic.”

— Donna Belleson, via Facebook, on an excerpt from Chapter 2


“Today a book arrived in the mail. Many books on my shelves languish unread. They have been around for too long and know me too well to hope for that sad state of affairs to change any time soon. Quite possibly they aren’t good reads at all or perhaps I would have found or made my way to them by now. But to this new book I owe the kind of good behavior and attitude one would give to a new acquaintance of unexpected quality, in those first few animated conversations that let you know that the friendship to come is a different thing altogether, deserving, rewarding, enduring, possibly even lifechanging, and definitely not to be set aside for another time, a better time, when there is more time. I scanned the descriptive text on the back cover. Mr. Michaelian, you had me at ‘romantic misfit and underground man.’ The time is now.”

— Gabriella Mirollo, via Two Tigers Creations


“William, I've just ordered your book. And after reading this excerpt from today, I can't tell you how I look forward to its arrival so I can begin my sure to be enjoyable reading. Thank you for the gift of your words.”

— Nevine, via Recently Banned Literature, on an excerpt from Chapter 3


“A wonderful book full of heart and common sense.... These are real relationships and real concerns. Even the minor characters sing to us as they do to Stephen. The truck drivers, panhandlers, gas station attendants, and print shop owners all trying to exist as best they can, while the specter of limited funds pushes them on.... A must read for anyone.”

— Brent Allard, via Goodreads


“As I enter mid-life and realize there are fewer days ahead than there are behind, I find deep resonance with Stephen Monroe, the central character of A Listening Thing: regrets, mistakes, and like all of William’s work, a profound sense of the beauty of life and the hope intrinsic in each new year, each new day. The book is wise and sad and joyful like its creator.”

— Paul L. Martin, via The Teacher’s View


“... And you may be pleased to know that your words will resonate — albeit read by me — in the common room on the fourth floor of the humanities 2 building at LaTrobe university in Bundoora, Melbourne.”

— Elisabeth, via Recently Banned Literature


“A deep journey into the heart/mind of loneliness and hope told in the clearest voice of true vision.”

Jasmine B. Brennan, via Facebook


“This is one of the very best novels I have read in years.”

— Wendy Boyd, via Facebook


“Michaelian’s novel made me aware that choosing to be who you are can be revolutionary — and life altering, not only for you but for others.”

— Annie Wyndham, via Jottings of an AmeriQuebeckian


“Stephen Monroe is a man we should all aspire to be. Everything he went through, put himself through, was for love and understanding, of himself and the world around him. Mary is a gift from the heavens.... The way you brought Uncle Leo into the book and laughter and this great sensitivity throughout the whole book was absolutely beautiful. Your views on the futility of wars and the draft were introduced so naturally. A masterstroke.”

— From personal correspondence, via Recently Banned Literature


“I think what’s important for me right now is to tell all of you I’ve been trying to find the right words to describe this amazing book and I’m still at a loss. What now? Will William Michaelian/Stephen Monroe hold that against me? Of course not and I appreciate that fact but I also want them to know that even if I am at a loss for words, I can still find enough to say they have given me a gift that is priceless, and I’m inexpressibly grateful for that.”

— Vassilis Zambaras, via Vazambam


“Each chapter was a joy to read, great storytelling, never dull or meandering, with a delightful cadence, words painting pictures in my mind of the most minute detail. The humour and playfulness woven into a tale of angst and redemption, the complete likability of your character who laughs at himself yet still retains his dignity. You are sir, a true artist.... I don’t review many books, in fact I never have. I just wanted to say thank you, and let you know that I was left wanting hear what else Stephen Monroe might say about life and himself through the unique lens of his unflinchingly honest, very funny observations. Loved it. 4 stars.”

— From personal correspondence, via Recently Banned Literature


“Deceptively simple ... The message is deep and the title profound ... A wise and generous novel ... It’s worth the cover price for William’s advice to aspiring young writers alone — advice that is also very useful for middle-aged and elderly writers too.”

— Jonathan Chant, via Gardening Leave


“I finished your book and what an amazing experience! As I was reading it, I was reminded especially of Emerson’s famous saying, ‘The ancestor of every action is a thought,’ as I think Stephen, as a character, is like a man that time forgot, an optimist trying to survive in a dying world where thought, and its cousin common sense, seems to have flown out the window. Like Joyce and Dante, you understand that epics are often told in the quotidian, and I think A Listening Thing is a fine example of the spiritual epic, in much the same vein as St. Augustine’s Confessions or Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis. We are what life makes us (no matter how hard we beat against the current, the stuff of life always wins), and I think Stephen’s ‘conversion,’ his acceptance of himself and the multitudes he contains, allows him to move past the day-to-day-drudgery of material concerns and give voice to the poet within. And for a writer, that’s what it’s all about.”

— From personal correspondence, via Recently Banned Literature


A Listening Thing, by Paul L. Martin
On William Michaelian’s A Listening Thing, by Joseph Hutchison
Real and Not Real, Voices, and the Layers in Between, by Annie Wyndham




Winter PoemsWinter Poems (Poetry)

ISBN: 978-0-9796599-0-4
Cosmopsis Books.
52 pages. 6x9. Paper. (2007)
Includes one drawing.








Another Song I KnowAnother Song I Know (Poetry)

ISBN: 978-0-9796599-1-1
Cosmopsis Books.
80 pages. 6x9. Paper.
Includes Author’s Note. (2007)








“Michaelian has a way of reflecting on so many familiar yet untranslated parts of our lives with a language that is clear, crystalline and communicative. It is a language that does not seek to impress either literary colleagues or pretentious poetry devotees. It is a language that seeks to communicate. As Robert Frost once described himself, there is no doubt that Michaelian is also ‘one of those poets who wants to be understood.’ He is willing to shed the literary egotism of the academic crossword-puzzle poets of our age in order to be understood.”

— Russ Allison Loar, via Amazon




Another Song I Know, by Paul L. Martin
Simplicity, Sincerity, Sonority: A New Voice in American Poetry, by Russ Allison Loar