Sunday, March 02, 2008
The First Open Letters Reading!
Well, the clean-up teams have finished their work, the maternity wards have been warned to clear whole month of November, and the memories are starting to return: the first ever Open Letters reading was a smashing success! On behalf of my two co-editors, I want to thank all of you who came and listened so courteously and applauded so generously. There were no empty seats at the Lily Pad, and there was no shortage of room-filling conversation and laughter. We made a warm little room on a cold Cambridge night!
Sam Sacks gave an endearing account of the earliest days of the site and its origin-story, then he introduced our star poet Sommer Browning, who read her oddly lyrical, loopy, and utterly winning poetry with a total lack of the mellifluous pomposity that characterized the rest of the evening - what was she thinking?
Yours truly gave a wheezingly historical introduction to Adam Golaski that had the usual effect: it made everybody in the audience wonder some variation of 'um, who is this guy? weren't we supposed to be hearing an editor next? Does anybody know what shelter this guy's wandered in from?' Fortunately, Adam was able to save the day with a wonderfully understated reading of a portion of his hugely talented rendition of 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,' Green.
There was a short break (during which my continued efforts to escape were thwarted), after which John Cotter gave a smiling, inviting welcome to the audience and a detailed, fascinating introduction to our featured reader of the evening, Josh Harmon, reading from his evocative novel Quinnehtukqut.
When Josh was finished and the applause had died down, John took the podium again asked for a second round of applause for our readers - he then invited everybody next door to the Druid pub, where celebrations continued into the wee small hours.
A success, we repeat - and this without really anything much in the way of actually promoting the thing! If Open Letters ever has another reading (we feel certain John would change that to 'when,' and given the success of the evening that was his baby, who can gainsay him?), it's certain to be an even bigger event - and we here at Stevereads are getting started early by inviting all of you to attend! A fun time can be guaranteed, on ever so many levels!