Worst Events Coverage Ever?

I was supposed to cover events at AWP for Electric Literature this year. Actually, I’d even secured a camcorder and was attempting to take this piece viral, but instead had to work, and thus got to AWP in DC late this year. I think I may have even lied to Electric Literature and told them I wasn’t even going to be at AWP actually. On the last day of the conference, I took a train out of New York at 5 am, I ran to the National Book Critics Circle booth to sit and answer questions, and then attempted to get a cab back to my hotel. I attempted to do this unseen, as I had told Electric Literature I wasn’t going.

So I’m standing in the middle of Washington DC bumper to bumper traffic with a suitcase, trying to hail a cab, when a cab with a man in it pulls up next to me. I say to the driver, “You have someone already. How do I take the subway to -a hotel name-?” and he says, “No it’s fine get in.” I think it’s weird but whatever I throw my suitcase in the trunk, and am now splitting a cab with another man. The man looks at my goddamn AWP nametag which I forgot I was still wearing and we shake hands and then he says to me, and I joke you not here, “You were supposed to cover events for Electric Literature this week.” The man in the cab is Andy Hunter, Founder and Editor of Electric Literature.

The odds of this are in the thousands, and astounding, and you can ask him because this totally did actually happen. WTF. So he is on his way to do an interview with the Wall Street Journal about Electric Literature and then back to New York, and he says to me, “You are covering that party tonight. Get pull quotes. Take good pics.” He also shows me the Electric Lit app for the iPod, which was super cool, btw. Yes, this really happened.

I had to do a reading before this party, which I did go to, though I did not end up at the 826 afterparty. Let’s just say I got too drunk and passed out in an alley. I emailed Tao and Blake for some quotes, however, on how the party went, and here is what they had to say:

Tao: “I want Blake Butler to host all my readings/events. If Sony Pictures buys the film rights to Richard Yates for $5,000,000 I’ll offer Blake Butler $500,000 to fly to my next 50 readings/events to introduce me.”

“I want Gene Morgan and Andrew Weatherhead to be drunk at all my readings/events. If Sony Pictures buys the film rights to Richard Yates for $5,000,000 I’ll offer them each $50,000 to fly to my next 50 readings/events to be drunk at them.”

Blake: “I blacked out about halfway into the party. I think I fell halfway down a stairwell and Adam Robinson asked me if I was okay and I said fuck yeah. It was a cash bar and I took like $200 out of an ATM and never saw the money again. There wasn’t any food. There was a second party in the other room and we kept going in there to see people grinding. Writers were grinding too, in our big room. I think they said there were 800 people there, something like that. I remember feeling like I was on that ride where the gravity makes you spin out around a machine like with a bunch of people and other people laughing. I was smiling a lot, it felt like. After the bar closed I walked outside and there were all these people talking about going to a diner and I just started walking into the city by myself. I got lost and thought I was going to sleep in an alley and then remembered I had a phone and called Gene Morgan and he told me to get in a cab and gave me our hotel’s address. Tao and Patrick and Amelia all read some things earlier that night before the dancing and the noise. The DJ’s first song was “Hot Stepper” and that was fun. I remember feeling really happy.”

For more info and pics, I can link you here.

Worst events coverage ever. I’m sure the party was an awesome time.

–Nicolle Elizabeth is a complete disaster. Seriously, just knowing her is an effort. She blogs here sometimes: http://glassatlassassafras.blogspot.com/ and contributes to the Brooklyn Rail and lovely other places.

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