READ ONLY, a party

1. Joyland’s Brian Joseph Davis & reader Jim Hanas. 2. Cursor’s Richard Nash, some guy named Colson Whitehead, and The New York Observer’s Michael H. Miller.

Unseasonably cold (and “moist” — M-word dropping by Jim Hanas) weather last night didn’t prevent a crowd from coming out to The Bell House in Gowanus for “Read Only: A Night of Digital Readings.” The event was presented by Cursor, which is Richard Nash’s new “social approach to publishing,” Joyland, a multi-city “hub for short fiction,” the Kobo e-Reader, and some other lit mag called Electric Literature.

1. Our editor Andy Hunter is only five feet tall! It’s sad, really. With readers Stephen “Silver Fox” O’Connor & Lynne “Six Feet Tall” Tillman. 2. Okay, okay. Just kidding about the height thing.

Highlights!

Jim Hanas read “July 4th: Easter,” which Hanas said was too silly, even for an e-book, and told about the relationship between two people. The girlfriend half of the relationship was particularly self-sacrificing and atoned by partying all night and sleeping with other men. SOUNDS LIKE MY KINDA RELATIONSHIP!

1. Neil Freeman, food writer Moriah Simmons, designer Ian Crowther, maker of things Bre Pettis, and reader Kio Stark. Crowther designed Stark’s book cover! 2. Becky Heritage, who works at a new media non-profit, and Emily Dovi, who writes for theskint.com.

Chris Eaton immediately warned us that he was a “terrible reader” because it took him ten to fifteen minutes to get through each page. I was unsure what he meant by this — Extreme dyslexia? Stuttering ? — but then, as he read his story about England during the war, I understood. As Brian Joseph Davis said, it felt like a “live-action Wikipedia.” Or maybe just a strand of ADD.

Kio Stark read a section of her forthcoming e-Book about a wayward letter and its recent emergence from letter purgatory. The story took place in a land with a dilapidated water tower, canal, and horse track, and it felt vaguely familiar, although I’m not sure why.

Richard Nash should be required to go to all readings, ever, for reader encouragement, due to his frequent and enthusiastic belly laughs.

1. Vol. 1’s Tobias Carrol & Kobe E-Reader’s Ami Greko. 2. A Rare Ben Greenman Author Photo Event! He’s SMILING! With Joyland’s Brian Joseph Davis.

Lynne Tillman got described by Time Out as an experimentalist, so she read us two humor pieces in rebellion. One was called “More Sex,” and it was about trees. Just kidding! It was about sex, and sex with celebrities, and the actualities of thinking about sex every seven minutes. I could relate to her second story because it featured a character whose preferred method of parking ticket disposal was shoving them in her glove box, which is something I myself did for an entire summer (it was an expensive few months).

Ben Greenman got described by Time Out as a satirist, so he read us two sad pieces in rebellion. One was called “Some Tree, Any Tree,” and it was about sex. Just kidding! It was about trees. More specifically, the love between two trees, who stood with their branches “entwigged.”

Stephen O’Connor’s reading included the sentence, “You look like you have a tight cunt.” I’d like to find a metaphor about the Gowanus canal in that.

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

About the Author

More Like This

18 Free or Cheap Literary Reading Series in NYC

See your favorite writers, or find new favorites, on a starving artist budget

Jun 28 - Andrea Oh

Other Literary Concepts That Should Be Met Gala Themes

After this year's "camp" ensembles, we're ready for the event to go full English major

May 10 - Helena Fitzgerald

A Book Nerd’s Guide To The 2019 Met Gala

A reading list inspired by some of your favorite looks

May 7 - Dana Karlson