Saturday, March 31, 2012

[pank] invasion night

[courtesy elizabeth taylor]
Actually, I'm misspelling it above. It's [PANK], all caps. I love that I read for a series and for a publication that is spelled with brackets. [PANK] is a great lit mag - both online and in print [beautifully produced, thick magazine full of small, lovely and often experimental poetry and prose]. With so much going on this week and a half, I haven't had a chance to write this up until now, so the Invasion is a bit of a blur to me now, as they are when I don't already know the pieces I'm going to hear, when I don't know all the faces to connect with the names. So, I know I won't do the evening justice. So, why am I doing it, then? Because it was a terrific night. A great mix of readers, of styles, of voices.
[courtesy domi shoemaker]

Hobie Anthony started the evening out, reading a few flash pieces and a portion of a novella. Lovely poetic language - but the only downside to the evening was that during this first reading, some sort of ruckus was happening behind EAT Chapel's curtain - maybe they were bowling back there. I missed some of Hobie's words. What he read was poetry and prose mashed into one beautiful [and sometimes disturbing] thing. You can check the flash pieces out here on [PANK].

[courtesy domi shoemaker]
Ryan Bradley read some of his own work and finished up with a reading of someone's popular song lyrics so that I could remind myself that I'm completely out of touch with the modern world. I had no idea what the song was. Didn't matter - it was still really funny, especially after hearing him read his own work. He writes smart, edgy poetry and prose. [PANK] has him here and here.

Third up, Monica Drake, fourth up, me. You do the math. This is the universe getting me back for feeling smug about arranging the rundown of SongStory so I didn't have to follow anyone. Man, Monica was good. It was an essay about forks. Forks! And it was funny and heart-breaking and insightful and blew everyone away.

[courtesy kathy mcferrin]
I read a piece I've been tinkering around with called "Rocket," about obsession, loneliness and plastic toys. I'm disappointed not to have a picture of Monica reading, but above is a shot of one corner of the audience, including Monica in white, watching the proceedings. Below is me - and that's Domi's cool seat, which she sat in to read later.
[courtesy elizabeth taylor]
[courtesy domi shoemaker]
I introduced Rebecca Olson, who read some lovely poetry with very particular detail, brevity, sumptuous metaphor. You can read three poems up on [PANK] here. Notice the way she not only plays with language but with voice in these different pieces.

Riley Michael Parker read part of a western story (novel?) called All Things End in Blood - totally cool and particular. At least I think that's what he read from - I don't remember whether he mentioned the title before he started, but he mentions it in this interview up on [PANK]. Among other things, I really like his sense of rhythm. His prose is musical even when it's hard-edged. Not surprising, his [PANK] story "Silver Dagger" was written after one listening to the Dolly Parton song of the same name.

Sadly, I haven't come across a picture of Riley to include. Nor a picture of Domi Shoemaker reading, but here's a shot, taken at the event, of Domi with mentor [and all-around wonderful guy] Tom Spanbauer.
[not sure who took this one...]

Domi's piece "Green Man" is about a nightmare - well, it's about more, but its setting is nightmare - and I thought her reading style perfectly fit. Smooth and sort of liquid, like the tone of the story itself. She uses language in such wonderful, particular ways. Incidentally, one of the cool things about [PANK] is that they have their writers record an audio version of the story / poem as well. What a cool feature, giving you an even more personal connection with the writer and the work.

[courtesy elizabeth taylor]
Over to the right is M. Bartley Seigel, poet and editor at [PANK]. He read poetry that was multi-multi-layered and fluid, image upon image morphing into insight. Check out, in particular, This is What They Say, They Say, up on Monkeybicycle here. And Five Poems, up on Bluestem here.

Hoping I'm still getting the order right after all this time, I'll say Kevin and Chloe closed the show. They were a surprise - like the special guest stars. Chloe Caldwell reading a lovely, smart piece from her new book Legs Get Led Astray called "Girlfriend," which plays on the phrase "You have a girlfriend now" - and Kevin Sampsell, her editor at Future Tense Books - tag-teaming with his own addition "You have a boyfriend now," which I learned he'd written just that day, which made me terribly, terribly jealous. Terribly. The original is a wonderful piece, and this special double-header was terrific.

Here below is a quick shot Monica Drake took with her iPhone, I believe: Chloe and Kevin.
[courtesy monica drake]

Actually, I wonder if that's the back of my head that's in the way. If so, sorry, Kevin.

Great mix of readers and styles, great evening. This [PANK] Invasion was put together in conjunction with Burnside Review and Housefire.

[courtesy domi shoemaker]
[courtesy domi shoemaker]
Here, to finish things off, are a couple more pictures of the evening. First a couple audience shots - which don't do the crowd justice as they were only taken of the front of the house. And down below, one of my favorite shots: M. Bartley  Seigel, [PANK] editor and poet and our guru for the evening, enjoying watching the fruits of his labors. I think he should be very proud and satisfied with what he pulled together. From all of us Invaders, thanks, Matt.

[courtesy domi shoemaker]

1 comment:

  1. It was really a fun evening and I'm glad you got some more pictures to post!!Loved it!!