Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Re Several Readings

The 20th through the 23rd of November constituted an exhausting extended weekend of differently purposed readings. It began when Robert Snyderman and I attended an appearance by Bruce Andrews and Cris Cheek hosted by The Poetry Project at St. Marks Church. Events there are always enjoyed. Bruce was very friendly and read well --- Robert thought he made “good use of the microphone.” Cris Cheek was wearing a dress, which I was informed is a kilt, and his was sort of layered, performative, hybridized work that I was glad to become introduced to. I’m afraid I damaged myself pretty thoroughly with red wine at a small, friendly gathering later where I demonstrated an absence of moderation and skirted misadventure. I vaguely remember some words on about Hamlet with Mr. Cheek; my teeth were most likely purple by then. I was in terrible shape the next day and, uncharacteristically, was unable (too nauseous) to drink during our customary Thursday night salon/reading series, which ended up being kind of rough. On Friday we had to pack into a van and travel to Vermont for a Corresponding Society appearance at Bennington, Saturday was mostly spent driving home (except for a trip to Robert Frost’s house, which we couldn’t afford to tour), and on Sunday I participated in a six-hour marathon reading of Stein’s The Making of Americans (to be addressed in-depth in a forthcoming entry). The Bennington College event was decidedly enjoyable for its participants. The featured readers were Correspondence editors Greg Afinogenov, Robert Snyderman, Lonely Christopher, Adrian Shirk, and Christopher Sweeney along with contributors Matthew Daniel and Katie Przybylski. Bennington, Vermont is a distant land surrounded by lumpy yellow fields and purple mountains; the drive from Brooklyn was pleasant despite several run-ins with police who didn’t take kindly to a bunch of kids listening to Puccini in a speeding car with expired insurance and registration. Bennington College is an adorable place where students are encouraged by the administration to engage in safe sex, drink recreationally, and start contained fires. The reading was held in a gorgeous, well-furnished room with a fireplace and a quaint stereo system we utilized to play Grieg records on a loop. Several readers stayed behind and were never heard from again. We are eager to repeat the experience at different schools and will presently attempt to organize something else. This veritable spree of readings would be even more protracted if the Unnamable Books event hosted by Adrian Shirk wasn’t delayed indefinitely, but alack. It will be rescheduled and when it is it will be noted here.

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