Ivyland Release Party at Brooklyn Brewery

1. Do you wish this pic had more girls in it? Scoot on over to picturesofgirlswithivyland.tumblr.com. Because yes, that exists. 2. Freelancer Dylan Harvey, who looks a little like Paul Dano (I’m not obsessed), and Lucas Jones, who provided that Tumblr tip (Thanks Lucas!).

The last time I was at Brooklyn Brewery was Santacon 2010. That was not a particularly bright moment in the life of Kai, so it felt right to break the spell with a lit event (basically, anti-Santacon). The event was this week’s release party for Miles Klee’s debut novel Ivyland, which has already racked up big praise from the likes of Jim Shepard, Andrea Barrett, and Justin Taylor.

1. Full Stop men. One founder and E-i-C, Alex Shephard, and the other contributing editor, Michael Schapira. 2. Maya Tanaka, the woman behind the Old Hollywood stores in Greenpoint and the LES, with friend Lib Tietjen. Sorry this shot doesn’t include the amazing pink-soled shoes Maya had on.

Brooklyn Brewery turned out to be the right venue, and who doesn’t like to pay for beer with little wooden tokens? It felt like spring outside and people slung their coats and set their IPAs on surfaces without the usual worry that those surfaces were covered in salable books. Only one table at the front sported Ivyland’s beautiful red covers, although the pile dwindled as copies were scooped up by those wanting Klee’s autograph.

1. MFA student — get this — Marlon Kenneth Magnum Frisbee and poet (and Miles Klee blood relative) Caroline Shepard. 2. Man of the hour Miles Klee addresses an adoring fan.

1. Adoring fans en masse. 2. Very funny members of improve group Teenage Cop, which used to include Miles Klee: Matt Stroup, Mike Camperlengo, and Zack Verhoff.

There was no reading and no agenda, just one microphone that Klee and OR Books co-founder John Oakes passed back and forth for a few minutes. Oakes sang Klee’s praises, and Klee returned the favor, crediting the publication of Ivyland to OR’s brazenness. The company breaks convention by selling books directly to readers and only on-demand. They’re selective about what they publish, and Klee is clearly the moment’s star of an already choice roster.

1. An adoring fan gets a signed copy. 2. Care for some mood lighting with your Brooklyn brew?

I exchanged small talk with the room full of Klee’s friends — and family, in the case of cousin Caroline Shepard, who gestured towards other relatives occupying a table of rolling laughter. I told her that she was the second Shep(h)ard I’d met there, the other being Full Stop co-founder Alex Shephard. Later I circled back to Alex to share the same news. Both took issue with the spelling of the other’s last name. Klee floated among crowd as if the Brooklyn Brewery were his home, with that rare and inspiring gift of real social grace.

1. Brad Nelson, Tracie Masek, and Chris Edwards, all friends of Miles. 2. Goodnight, fine and serious gentlemen.

A couple hours can fly by in that place — Santacon flashback — and everyone seemed surprised when last call rang out. Mercifully, this party was less quantity and more quality than my last there. More importantly, it was the perfect inauguration of Miles Klee as novelist, though I would bet it was just one of many future toasts that will be made on his behalf.

Ivyland by Miles Klee

Ivyland by Miles Klee


— Kai Twanmoh is a regular contributor to Electric Dish.

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