Friday, April 24, 2009

KGB Report

The Corresponding Society in the red room again

We had fun --- that’s a monosyllabic summary of our convergence held at the KGB Bar this bygone week. The KGB, prestigious but friendly, is a lovely place to read and drink; we hosted our celebration for the release of issue one there (July, maybe) and were pleased to return approx. ten months later with a new book. Much transpired since our first downtown visitation; our petit club has developed by way of adventures and challenges --- we’ve continued publication, strategized further endeavors, explored/negotiated our definitions, toured the land, and &c. This event was fundamentally a birthday party for newly published issue two of Correspondence. We wanted to attempt giving the audience a taste of our quality (after all the work putting it together, we remain stubbornly amazed at what exciting letters we managed to collect in our pages). The featured readers included all the familiar editors of the journal, plus two new contributors to no. 2: Jennifer Stolhman (editor of something named Ubiquitous) and Mike McDonough (who we all were meeting for the first time and who, to speak rather idiomatically, blew us all away). One reader, Will Morris, cancelled the night before --- claiming, in an email, to be trapped in the Deep South. The show went on regardless and a small crowd of friends and friends’ friends, maybe a few unwitting strangers, arrived at the USSR-tinted bar upstairs. Thereafter, most everyone probably enjoyed the show despite the serious obstacle of unavailable bathrooms (some block-wide plumbing dilemma kept patrons out of the toilets until intermission). All readers delivered seductive peeks into the various contents of Correspondence 2. Most read poetry, with Adrian Shirk, and her short story about what happens around eating meals, the exception. Lonely Christopher acted host, making introductions, and subsequently presented his own work via enlisted substitutes (his parents, reading treated political speeches). Most fittingly, Greg Afinogenov, who was celebrating his birthday, closed the event by reading his translations of Russian poetry (by writers persecuted by the Soviet regime, ironical for a venue draped in communist symbolism and named after secret police). Reader, you ought to have been there --- and if you were, hi. Some pictorial evidence has already been made available, for those inclined to visuals, on the pictures page of our website (images of kids, dressed in sundry earth tones, framed by the red walls of the room). We hope that such a swell time will prepare us for the days ahead, for now our promotional efforts must begin in earnest if we are to convince hundreds of potential readers that our new book is handsome, special, and worth some attention. Here we go, then.

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