1. Watching along with Will Boast (in front) as Gabe Levine plays. 2. Brian and Andrea here for some Electric Literature. 3. Eleanor Henderson closes the night with a trip to 1988.
This weekend WORD, Greenpoint’s independent book store (who just celebrated their 5th anniversary! congrats!), hosted Largehearted Lit, featuring readers Will Boast, Eleanor Henderson, and musician Gabe Levine. And, as the reading’s curator David Gutowski announced, “This is the only reading in the city that’s catered,” to chuckles from the packed room.
I found it a responsibility that if I were to write about the space, the fiction, and the music, it would only be appropriate if I tried (two) carrot-ginger cupcakes with orange cream cheese filling, courtesy of The Brooklyn Baker.
1. Yum! Cupcakes from Brooklyn Baker.
With a good sugar high going, I met two newcomers to WORD, Andrea and Brian. The two came for a friend of a friend and were particularly interested in the reading due to its theme connected to music. (Gutowski’s blog, Largehearted Boy, describes itself as a music blog featuring daily free and legal music downloads, as well as news from the worlds of music, literature, and pop culture.) They were both excited to have the reading start and experience a piece of the Brooklyn lit scene.
As Will Boast read a story from his collection, Power Ballads, I felt as if all of a sudden I had been transplanted to a friend’s basement and I was young (younger?) again. The 1980s TV holding cupcakes and beer, the posters on the wall, and the yellow warmth given from an author reading a story that seemed at times as if it came from a place of non-fiction, rather than the imagination, all set a tone of camaraderie for the night. Camaraderie, and mushrooms.
Both stories included the psychedelic in an unplanned but welcomed connective thread to the reading. And, while Levine’s lyrics didn’t refer the fungus, the music offered a nice transition from the recording studio in Boast’s story, to a tripped out night at CBGB’s Eleanor Henderson would later take us to.
After the reading, I found The Outlet’s new friends Brian and Andrea enjoying a nice post-reading discussion. Andrea noted, “It’s really nice to hear the words as the author intended. There was a real sense of intention in their voice that pulls you in, that compels you to become part of their story.” Brian enjoyed the “snippet” quality of hearing three different works over two different mediums. Joining what felt like the rest of the crowd in an overall enjoyment of the event, he said he would happily go on record saying, “The cupcakes—were delicious,” and might I add with him, so were the words.
—Craig Moreau, author of Chelsea Boy, has just finished a book tour and is currently drinking a beer. He is interested in identity, democracy, and word-clouds.