Travels and Journeys at Franklin Park

This post is a bit delayed since I’ve been traveling. And I’m not going to do a better job summing up this fantastic night of readers than the folks over at The Outlet, Electric Literature’s excellent blog site. You can read that post by clicking here. In the meantime, here’s my brief wrap-up:

The Franklin Park Reading Series has long been on the top of my list of places that I’ve wanted to read for, even before my book came out. I love the space, and Penina Roth has done an amazing job curating this series. She’s a tireless promoter and has consistently managed to attract standing-room-only crowds to her events.

I was particularly thrilled to be part of Monday night’s line-up, not only because the theme jibed so well with my collection–all of my stories are travel themed–but also because I knew Erika Andersen would be there, live tweeting the entire event and making me feel like a celebrity, and Adam from Unnameable would be handling book sales, and there’d be some great photographers and bloggers making us look and sound good and even podcasts made of our readings. Sweet.

Polly Bresnick kicked things off with her inventive “mistranslation” of the Odyssey. Seeing the original Greek projected on the wall and hearing Polly’s hilarious, clever take on the material was such a great start. Matthue Roth followed. Penina read his bio and I was like, wow, this dude has done a lot for a 22 year old. Turns out he’s in his thirties; Matthue just looks very young, and has this infectious energy and spirit about him that really brought his reading to life.

Rupinder Gill read from her memoir about growing up Indian in suburban Canada. I sat next to Rupinder in the sectioned-off “readers area” during the reading and chatted her up about her background. She’s a gorgeous girl with bewitching eyes. Her reading was smart and funny, and I particularly enjoyed the way she mined her childhood for those embarrassing and yet so telling moments that we all can relate to.

I read next, from “Body and Mind.” According to Electric Literature’s blog, it was “Franklin Park’s most sex-filled reading ever” and yet they also said “it wasn’t smut.” I’m kind of happy to wear the sex crown, but now I’m wondering if I should have read something smuttier. My title might fall too easily 😉

Mark Leyner closed the night. Unsurprisingly, he was hilarious. And very, very weird. Mark is not only a brilliant writer but he also knows how to deliver his material really well, which is pretty necessary when you’re delivering forty minutes of dizzying prose about sugar- frosted nutsacks and the God XOXOXO and how deities are using humans as sex toys. I can only dream of being as ballsy as him (the pun had to be made, sorry.)

Thanks to all who made it out. It was a spectacular crowd, and a special thanks to my friends who came to see my last event of the season. That’s right, NYC folk: I will not be pestering you with invites for two whole months! As for those of you in other cities, well…



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