Pete’s Candy Store Reading ft. Justin Taylor and Alison Espach

1. Host Mira Jacob. 2. Alison Espach and friends.

I should have known better. I went to college in the great U.S. of A. so when I said to the the cute bartender at Pete’s Candy Store, “What’s good?” and he said, “Get the punch,” I should have known to say, “Beer, please.” But no, I got the punch and it tasted appropriately like a piece of candy when in reality it was just a bowl full of liquors. In that way, Pete’s is like the greatest frat that never was.

1. Justin Taylor and his MJ, Amanda. 2. I met Kevin Shea (left) and Daniel Stein (center) at the last LIT magazine launch. Kevin and Jeff Kramer (right) went to Alison Espach’s mightily Catholic college with her.

In another way, Pete’s is an excellent venue for bi-monthly Thursday night readings. Last night’s installment was short, sweet, and dirty: featuring Justin Taylor and Alison Espach. Short because we started a little late and Pete’s back room was booked for music only a little more than an hour later. Sweet because Taylor and Espach are both terrific writers and readers. Dirty because their selections were both rife with horny teenage characters and those characters’ unsophisticated (read: very funny) musings on the world.

1. Maryann Yin from Galleycat, a first timer to Pete’s readings, and Sherry Wasserman from Wiley, a regular. 2. How sweet is this space?

He is the author of the Everything Here Is the Best Thing Ever (stories) and The Gospel of Anarchy (novel). She is the author of The Adults (novel, her first). He also edits many things, including The Word Made Flesh (You have free time? Not anymore: She also teaches creative writing. He read from a brand new, as yet unsold piece called “Flings” that I would buy from him if I had that sort of clout. She read from The Adults: a passage with an embarrassing word in every line (including, memorably, “pee-hole”) that Espach said she had recently read to Dominican monks at her very Catholic alma mater, and was rereading last night “Because I feel like [reading in Williamsburg] will make me feel better about what I wrote.” It turned out to be the same passage that I heard at Literary Death Match’s last New York episode, and monks aside, it was as funny and charming the second time around. After the readings, the back room cleared, but the bar did not. No doubt the punch had something to do with it.

–Kai Twanmoh had her shoelaces tied together last April Fool’s Day and today is wearing rubber rain boots. Can’t get fooled again!

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