1. Volunteers Tom MacDonaugh and Katherine “Cookbooks, Mainly” Willis–Student of Science and Marketing Assistant at John Wiley & Sons Publishing–happily posing with Peebers. 2. Guest editor and vocalist Katie Vogel, MerchPersonVolunteer Ann Duensing and Poet Hannah Webster examining the…guest list?
It’s hard not to feel warm and gooey when you go to a Housing Works event, considering that their money is donated to help end HIV/AIDS. So instead of admission, everyone brought a book or three to donate to Housing Works. I donated Ann Beattie’s Picturing Will, one of her better novels. I got there really early at 6:30, and there was already a crowd. Some huddled around the stage and merch table–which were decorated in several bunches of gorgeous flowers–and others perusing shelves. A little bit later, events coordinator Amanda Bullock announced that the open bar was ready, and encouraged us to drink and continue our nerdy conversations. Beer and nerds always pair well.
Harlequin creature‘s gang was up first. They were my favorite in terms of design and execution: each issue is hand-typed (yes, on a typewriter), letter-pressed and hand bound. They’re like the vinyl lover’s ultra-limited limited pressing equivalent for readers and writers. Poet Lecco Morris kicked off the reading with two poems that explored ideas of the unconscious. “Ideas have mothers that haunt them too / They call from the kitchen screen.” Hannah Webster’s poems traveled too, but concerned themselves with individuals inhabiting different personalities. “She becomes … The passer-by road / The casino parking lot.” Katie Vogel, who sings in the Relatives, guest-edited this issue and read the last poem for harlequin creature. Stella Wilde, the poet, was in Germany and unable to make it to the reading.