Seven years ago, before I moved to New York, I remember going to KGB Bar in the East Village to hear people read. The whole experience had a dirty, meretricious glamour. The dark red walls, the broken air-conditioner, pictures from the Kremlin, the sounds of people auditioning upstairs, or drunkenly screaming downstairs on the sidewalk: it was my first experience with the literary life.
After moving to the city, I found the other venues, too: McNally Jackson, Housing Works Books, Powerhouse Arena, 192 Books, the Center for Fiction, 4 Times Square. But it was always the KGB bar that stood out in my mind. It was the first–and fiercest. I’ve now left the city and moved on to Vermont, Literary Baby in tow, Verbal Vixen still enjoying the unpredictable tastes of unpredictable books clubs. All’s well up North, friends, but we are PUMPED to be headed back down to NYC this Thursday for a reading at the KGB Bar starting at 7pm.
The question of what to read was surprisingly conflict-free. I’ve spent the better part of the past seven years working on two different books. There’s the high-concept experimental novel, an adaptation of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness set in contemporary Southeast Washington, D.C. This book is called DISTRICT OF CAMELOT. There’s also the low-brow rough-house road novel about sex and drugs and gasoline. This novel is called INTERNAL COMBUSTION. My mind lives with DISTRICT, but my heart lives in the cockpit of a 1973 BMW stockcar named Nixon, on an ill-fated road trip to Mexico with a dirty young man who called himself The Bum. Besides, a public reading should be fun, boozy, brash, and encourage people to raise their voices and glasses in celebration of the literary life we lead.
Here’s an awesome sneak-peak at the line-up:
Come one, come all! We hope to see you there.