The Milan Review of Ghosts Launch Party

1. The stadium seating crowd, with FSG staffers Dan and Mark enjoying the free Asahi in the middle row. 2. Tim Small shows off his creation.

The powerHouse Arena is no Standard Hotel rooftop, but it was quite the right venue for last night’s intimate launch party for The Milan Review, created and imported by Tim Small and Riccardo Trotta, the editor and production manager, respectively, of VICE Magazine’s Italian operation. The inaugural edition is The Milan Review of Ghosts, and each biannual issue will be dedicated to the review of another worldly or otherworldly thing. It’s unclear if the format will change too, but I hope it doesn’t because the Review’s first run built to withstand abuse of a book toted deep within a New York handbag: hardbound, and a lovely size and weight.

1. Deb Olin Unferth. 2. E. C. Osondu.

Attendees rolled in looking a little shell-shocked from BEA, but the generous stack of Asahi cases behind the “bar” re-erected the flagging eyelids in the crowd. Contributors to this issue Nelly Reifler, E. C. Osondu, and Deb Olin Unferth turned out to read, and Tim Small played emcee. He said he knew what people had been saying, the question on everyone’s mind: “Why did I put out a lit journal in book format in 2011?” He wouldn’t give us the whole answer, claiming that he would post it on www.themilanreview.com later that night, but he admitted part of it — “I want to be rich.”

1. Elias right and Philippe left, who told me I didn’t look like a writer, but wouldn’t clarify the comment as a compliment or an insult. 2. Emily Wunderlich of Bedford St. Martin’s and multi-talented, past Vice slash future Milan Review contributor Seth Fried.

Nelly Reifler continued the interest in the Review’s physical form, calling it “a book that you like to pet,” before she read her (more or less) short story “Motel, Director’s Cut,” set up like a script, with hilarious commentary from an unknown director interjected throughout. E.C. Osondu followed with a reading of his story “G is for Genocide” set in Nigeria, and Deb Olin Unferth closed with two very short and very funny pieces, “Blue Story” and “A Visit.” The former she said she wrote in frustration, in mocking of a much longer story she had been working on, which was eventually scrapped, all of which just goes to show that Deb is brilliant even (especially?) when she is procrastinating.

1. From right to left, author James Yeh, Joclyn Sparr, Norwegian novelist and poet Audun Mortensen, and Victoria Durnak. 2. I like to think I helped Italian novelist Francesco Pacifico, left, come around to St. Germain liquer at the BEA kick off on Monday, but perhaps he was just being polite.

There was plenty of Asahi, so people hung around. Mike from VICE caught me making silly faces at his adorable baby girl, and then happily chatted about his newfound life as a parent (“Yeah, she’s [baby] working on her first novel … we just don’t have the heart to tell her yet it’s not very good. ”) and adventures in organic Fort Greene food (among the topics: organic rocks). Actual copies of The Milan Review were hard to come by because a FedEx workers strike in Paris (of course, right?) had delayed shipment. But this was DUMBO on a perfect early summer night and everyone was as happy to toast the idea of the Milan Review as the Milan Review itself.

–Kai Twanmoh is a regular contributor to Electric Dish.

1. I love a powerHouse room shot. 2. Mike Monaghan, managing editor of Vice, with his wife Joanna and new baby Levia, the cutest human being to ever attend a lit event.

1. Nelly Reifler. 2. Nelly Reifler didn’t dare this man to chug this beer for this photo, but he did.

1. Vice interns Jessica Rivers, Chloe Campion, and Leanna Butkovic. 2. DJ photographer Lele Saveri taking requests.

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