1. Fred Krughoff of BOMB Magazine & reader J. Robert Lennon. 2. Reader Lynne Tillman.
I arrived right on time last night at Housing Works for Electric Literature’s release party, and it was already as crowded as hell. Also: dark, which was probably for the film that was shown on a projector, but I like to think it was because the event was “cool,” and cool things don’t happen with the lights turned all the way up.
The shop proceeded to get more crowded than I’d ever seen it, and shortly after 7 pm, EL’s Andy Hunter took the podium and opened the party up by showing us a chapter of an animated film by issue #5 contributor, Carson Mell. The movie tells “the story of Captain Fred T. Rogard — a one-eyed Native American astronaut with a life challenged by inter-dimensional travel and one short haired woman,” and talked about masturbation, which was fitting for the theme of the evening, which seemed to be Male Genitalia.
1. Elina Mishuris, who interned at Harper’s and Guest of Guest, & Eliza Johnston, who interned at Sourcebooks and Sentimentalism. 2. Ben Greenman with his creepy stalker. I saw her picking off flakes of his dandruff and then eating it later.
Ben Greenman was up next, reading “What One Hundred People, Real and Fake, Believe About Dolores,” which I had never heard him read before!!!! It lists, as the title suggests, what one hundred people believe about Dolores, which includes things like that she acts like a gay man and is fun in elevators. Four of the one hundred people who believe things about her are Luke Skywalker, Marvin Gaye, Jay Gatsby, and her ex-boyfriend Tom.
1. Projection of cover. 2. CROWD.
Lynne Tillman read from a section of her novel-in-progress, which, if I heard correctly over the din of the audience, is called Clouds and Apparitions, and is about Zeke, a cultural anthropologist who is informally studying his own male peer group of thirty to forty-year-old men. This is a group of people that, as the main character suggests, is no longer studied so often, since most anthropologists have gone on to study more interesting, sexier things, like transgendered people.
1. James Yeh of Gigantic, Adam Wilson of The Faster Times, & Lincoln Michel of both Gigantic and The Faster Times. The gigantic faster times kinda sounds like a fat slut. 2. Sarah Elmaleh, a voice over artist who recently did work for Underwater New York, along with Armchair/Shotgun’s Adam Read-Brown & Evan Simko-Bednarski
J. Robert Lennon was last, and he read three short pieces. The first one was called “Choir Boy,” which features a boy punching his brother in the face while his fist is enclosed around a figurine of a choir boy. The second piece was from an edition of Cornell’s (where Lennon teaches) alumni literary journal, an issue themed around crimes and punishments. His final selection came from a time when Lennon was fervently trying to get into The New Yorker’s Shouts and Murmurs section. Every three weeks or so, he would fax them something, and occasionally they’d fax him back with an “Almost.” Eventually he gave up, realizing he simply doesn’t have what it takes. Anyway, this failed Shout and Murmur showcased lines from crime novels in which the main characters — usually detectives — put on selections of music, such as Natalie Merchant and Led Zeppelin’s “The Ocean.”
With the reading section of the party over, the party-party portion could begin. Elizabeth Harper, of the band Class Actress, was DJing, and there was free beer (well, free beer with donation), but I got the hell out because it was way too damn crowded in that store.
–Julia Jackson is working on her MFA in fiction at Brooklyn College, and is a regular contributor for Electric Dish.
1. Teresa Greenlees & Nicole Brown, who are both enthusiasts of words. 2. MERCH TABLE!!!!! Charles & Sarah.
1. Aaron, a furniture maker, & Valerie.