“Emerging Writers” with Amy Bloom @ KGB

1. Logan & Joyce. Logan is a writer, and is planning to apply for his MFA in the future. Joyce is an alumni of NYU who keeps getting NYU events emails. 2. Jon Stepp (writer for Change.org), Kate Brittain (current NYU MFA student), Ian Bjornstad (distracted), Monica Wendel (NYU MFA alum), & Jon Krusberger.


When going to a reading at KGB Bar

  • dress in layers
  • arrive early
  • pee before you get there
  • don’t order food (do they serve food?)


  • It is really fucking hot inside that place. Sweat is not a good look when you’re trying to talk to strangers.
  • It is often really fucking packed in that place, and seating is limited. I got there about five minutes late, and spent the first reading in the hallway. Later, in the standing-room-only crowd, I was able to take notes without getting slammed by purses and jackets and elbows too frequently.
  • The bathroom doors offer about 50% privacy.
  • The KGB Bar has a health code rating of a B. I don’t know how you do this when you just serve drinks??? Maybe communism degrades sanitation.

1. Reader Axel Wilhite, with his friends Greer & Elizabeth, who are also both writers. 2. Reader Brit Blalock, with Sara Grossman, who is in the MFA in Nonfiction program at The New School.

Despite all this, KGB is a pretty awesome place, and well worth the lessons learned. I mean, it’s a bar that has communist art on the walls and hosts literary events multiple times a week — so how could it not be awesome?

Last night’s reading was NYU’s “Emerging Writers” with Amy Bloom. “Emerging Writers” means current MFA students, Axel Withouse and Brit Blalock among others. Withouse read part of a short story that featured NYU med students discussing fairy tales and had a pretty sweet vomiting scene. The standout was Blalock, a poet from Alabama, who gave me just one more reason to wish I was from the South. Her poetry was dark and a little sad, but also very funny, and accomplishing all these adjectives at once is no easy task.

I wish I could tell you how Amy Bloom’s reading was, because I love her writing and was very excited to hear her read. But I must confess: by this point, the heat and crowd and standing were getting to me, and my attention span wandered.

–Julia Jackson is working on her MFA in fiction at Brooklyn College, and is a regular contributor for Electric Dish.

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