Lit Crawl Love

13 09 2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010 could not have been a more beautiful evening, and it was made all the more beautiful thanks to the surge of literary love that took over the East Village (literally, in some cases). The 16-venue event was nothing short of magical, with a buzz of energy in each room and overflowing onto the streets.

As promised, The Paris Review brought “it” — and it brought the crowds (we estimated 150 folks crammed into Fontana’s). There was also a lovely 9/11 tribute compliments of some beloved denizens of the Lower East Side, but the highlight of the night may have been the street takeover that occurred when one venue wanted to charge our guests admission.

The hippie staff at Yippie Cafe had agreed to wave their usual cover for our free event, but on the night of new management changed their tune. But lit lovers are not to be thwarted. We stuck it to the “hippie” man and took our Urban Lives reading to the streets, literally. It was a wonderful and powerful sight to see 50-some lovers of literature on the sidewalk listening, rapt, to the readers who took their turn on a planter box stage on Bleecker Street. Only at Litquake.

Thanks to all who made it a memorable night, and stay tuned for details of next year, and a possible springtime foray.





Lit Crawl NYC

7 09 2010

It’s been madness over here, in the best of ways. The third annual Lit Crawl NYC will take place this Saturday, September 11, and I could not be more excited. We’ve got a great lineup, including (get ready to be amazed) The Paris Review, doing a sneak preview of their first issue with new editor Lorin Stein at the helm. It promises to be a stellar show, as does the return of the oh-so-fun BOMB-aoke and some battle of the sexes style trivia with Harper Perennial.

In short: mark your calendars folks. This is one night of literary mayhem that’s not to be missed. Also exciting (at least to the event’s humble co-founder/director) is our new “real” website, litcrawl.org and our official branding in line with Litquake. Who wouldn’t love the “See, Hear, Speak” monkeys?

Check out the full lineup!





Literary Movers and Shakers (and Litquake-ers)

9 10 2009

It’s that time of year again, and I (tear) am missing it. Litquake, the world’s best literary festival and big sister to LitCrawl NYC, begins tonight. And promises to be the best one yet. it had better be. It’s celebrating its 10th birthday. I’m especially sad to be missing Sarah Vowell, the North Beach Literary Tour and, of course, the Kerouac event, but as always the entire schedule looks phenomenal. Guess I’ll be spending the week doing a little extra reading…





Piece of Home

2 10 2008

Tomorrow evening marks the opening night of Litquake, San Francisco’s 10 day literary extravaganza, and (in my humble opinion) the best thing to happen to literature in a very long time. Now in its sixth year, Litquake overflows the already great city of San Francisco with writers and readers who gather nightly at various locales for readings and revelry, with everything from comedy to a special Kidquake, because it’s never too early to hook ’em on books.

If I sound like I’m gushing, it’s because, well, I am. I had the fortune of working on Litquake for two years, and, at the risk of sounding dramatic (and offending family and friends) it was one of the hardest-to-leave-behind aspects of my California life. It is wistfully that I announce it this year, since, alas, I will be here in New York rather than at opening night with Porchlight Storytelling or any of the other great events in this year’s stellar lineup.

I know, I live in New York City, capitol of all things literary, right? And we have the New Yorker (capitol of all magazines literary) Festival, right? Right. I am surrounded by brilliant writers and fantastic reading series and the New Yorker Festival, but it’s not quite the same. For one thing, events at the New Yorker Festival sell out in a hot second, and for another, at at least $20 a pop, this poor struggling writer can’t afford to go to too many of them.  Litquake, on the other hand, is many days of inexpensive (and often free) readings. So my whining is not for naught.

What’s a girl to do? Bring the festival here, that’s what. And I did! This year, I joined forces with a fellow San Francisco transplant to put on a Lit Crawl here in NYC. Lit Crawl, is the phenomenal culminating evening of Litquake, a literary pub crawl that literally takes readers to the streets of the Mission District.

This year in SF they have 45 venues in total. Our modest Lit Crawl New York, which started in the Lower East Side and then crawled to the East Village and along the L train to Williamsburg, had 17, but it was a huge success (in my humble opinion). The literary community really rallied round us, and we had big name particpants from the New Yorker’s Ben Greenman to readers from Bloomsbury and Penguin. it was enough to draw New Yorkers out, even on a rainy night. I heard nothing but good things and queries about when the next will be. And so, though I can’t be in SF, at least I had the next best thing. (And now I catch my breath before it’s time to start planning for next year!)

Does it get much cooler then crowds of readers drowned in red light? Not likely.

Does it get much cooler than crowds of readers drowned in red light? Not likely.





WOW

2 09 2008

I have been remiss in blogging these past few weeks. And a few folks (though mostly my mother) have called me out on it. But I’m coming back around. These past few weeks have proved not a little insane, so there’s my excuse. What have I been doing? Well, here is a list of some of the highlights that have kept me from blogging:

  1. Writing. I’ve become somewhat prolific, writing weekly food bits for Maria Liberati, as well as some pieces that will appear in CBS Watch! Magazine. Woohoo!
  2. Writing. On top of actual work I’ve gotten, I’ve joined a writing group. Hello novel, or at least step one of a novel, which is actually starting it.
  3. Reading. Yes, I have actually gotten back to reading. These days I’m obsessed with If on a winter’s night a traveler, a book I’ve started several times before. It was actually the reason I discovered Italo Calvino but for some reason I read other books and never that one. Anyhow, it is brilliant and tough and absolutely gorgeous. And its philosophy on reading and the making of books is oh-so-reminiscent of all those literary theorists with whom I am infatuated.
  4. Interviewing. When it rains it pours. I’ve been on many interviews recently, ranging from The New Yorker (!) to some e-learning company where it turned out they wanted me to promote psychic courses. (Yikes.) I’d say the New Yorker was the highlight, even though it was a long shot.
  5. Getting a job. I’m now going to be a tutor at the Harlem Children’s Zone, a phenomenal organization, a great way to give back, and the ideal way for me to combine my two loves: teaching literature and writing.
  6. Planning a literary festival. Oh yes. That. It will be a post in itself, but for now, suffice to say that I’m bringing Litquake, San Francisco’s great literary festival, to New York. For one phenomenal night. (Mark September 27 on your calendars New Yorkers!)

And those are just a few of the things I’ve been doing instead of blogging. Sleep? What’s that?