The two lit events I hit up this week made me really happy to be living in the BK.
On Tuesday night I attended the launch of Literary Brooklyn, a book by Evan Hughes about Brooklyn’s rich cultural history. This took place at Powerhouse Arena in DUMBO, which, if you haven’t yet been, is an amazing space (e.g. there are concrete risers, and thus enough space for everyone to sit! Brilliant!).
Evan admitted he’s “a believer of moving things along,” and he did somehow manage to “jam everything into a half-hour” as promised. He read a short passage about Jewish writers who came of age in Brooklyn during the Great Depression (Daniel Fuchs, Alfred Kazin, Bernard Malamud). Afterward, he apologized for bringing everyone down.
Evan’s high school friend (aww) Touré then read from his book Soul City, which focuses on a mayoral race that basically breaks down to who will be the town’s best DJ.
Next, Michael Thomas (author of Man Gone Down) read a poem by W.H. Auden, who once lived in Brooklyn Heights.
Finally, writer and musician Alina Simone (more on her below) played some songs, after she thanked Evan for running “the most concise and blisteringly speedy book party I’ve been to.”
Well, people did hang around afterward, per the good company and flowing drinks. Here are some pix from the event…see if you can find me!
Last night I finally got the chance to check out a Vol. 1 Brooklyn event, hosted by the awesome founder Jason Diamond (also EIC of Jewcy.com and editor at Impose Mag). The theme was “three-minute stories encompassing sex and/or drugs and/or rock & roll.”
There were about 15 readers, and I was super impressed by the range and quality of works. Alina Simone (twice in one week!) read from her new book of essays, You Must Go and Win, about revealing her marriage in a place where doing so can lead to shunning and shame: Williamsburg.
My girl Brenna Ehrlich read from her upcoming novel, which transports the story of Dorian Gray to Brooklyn circa now.
Maggie Serota read a hilarious piece about getting hit on via Craigslist while trying to find an apartment (read it all here!).
Christopher R. Weingarten (music writer and author of Hipster Puppies) read from an interview transcript with the lead singer of Ministry about the most disturbing thing the dude had ever seen. And was it ever disturbing. (It involves an ostrich.)
Some of the other readers included: Michael H. Miller, Zachary Lipez, Caryn Rose, Sean Doyle, Tommy Pico, Christopher R. Weingarten, Jason Orlovich, Corey Eastwood, Rose Surnow, and Jon Reiss. Jason’s an excellent host and I totally hope to go to more of these readings. Info on upcoming events can be found here.