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Current Issue: Spring 2014
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Welcome back to our many part series where we share narratives from those who teach in prison, those who write from prison, or those who previously did either. If you have taught in prison or were formerly incarcerated and are writing, or know someone who currently is and would like to be a part of the series, please send an e-mail to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. A physical mailing address can also be provided.
Today’s Writer is Brian Batchelor.
Prison is where inspiration goes to die – or so I believed. I’m an inmate of 12 years, the cold cuffs locked around my boney wrists at the still-in-bloom age of 17. I have spent all my adult life behind brick coated in boring hues: white, off-white, eggshell white, gray-white, and the occasional “what the hell is that” splattered an crusted on walls (think greens, yellows, and browns) adding a bit of (real?) color. The cells aren’t much bigger than graves, possessing similar damp and cloyingly pungent scents. As for the fashion, well, I’ve seen miniature dogs on television with more style than the white T-shirt, blue-jean clad clones lurching around the prison. Even the yard – our outdoor retreat as small and claustrophobic as an elementary playground at recess – has trouble dying itself spring greens. My point: this place is bland. Arid. Exasperatingly lackluster. I challenge the ghost of Robert Frost to pen an inspired pastoral here, or the whimsical brush of Winslow Homer to capture a vibrant landscape inside these walls. Creativity has such little flight here and even less sustenance to power its beating wings. That innate drive humans have for creation through inspiration suffocates on the stale air prison secretes. So the question is, how can anything artful be crafted in this environment? Where can beauty be glimpsed and admired when even the sun’s arms reach weak and insipid across the prison?
For years I stumbled around in dim conditions, desperately searching with outstretched arms for something inspiring – something beautiful – to grasp. Eventually my eyes dulled, along with the rest of my senses, and I withdrew into myself, blurring the reality around me. Aspiration became a smoldering bundle of dying embers. Insolence superseded passion.
A few years crawled by until I found myself enrolled in the prison’s college program, choosing to participate for no other reason than to break the monotony turning me into a pale husk of lassitude. During an Intro to Literature class, my professor planted a few pages of poetry in my limp hands. Ambivalent about poetry and all its stereotypes, I took the pages back to my cell and read them in gray dusk. Slowly the cell swelled with light, my body becoming a lantern of wonderment as I hunched over the poems clutched in my grip. My passion’s wick had been lit by the fervency of the words cascading down the pages, and as I read the last poem (“We Wear the Mask” by Paul Laurence Dunbar) I knew I was experiencing an awakening. The next day I visited the prison library and checked out a thick book of assorted poetry; I ate each page with famished eyes. A new awareness burnished my sight as I gorged my soul with delicious stanzas filled with sweet metaphor. I read about the good, the bad, and the ugly…then it hit me: had my years of searching for motivation been misdirected? Beauty wasn’t the only face of inspiration; maybe it was the ugly I could praise, that the marred and bloodied wings of the caged bird was something worth singing about.
There are things in this country nobody has described: the sun turning razor wire silver at high-noon; how when a guard moves, their ring of keys imitate a wind-chime at their waist; or a tattered, dog-eared book of poetry’s satisfying weight in the tender hands of an inmate seeking salvation. Pages brim with the glorification of things aesthetically pleasing to our senses, but beauty is lessened without its counterpart – rugged ugliness. Just as manure helps flame a rose garden red, barred windows cut the landscape into a striking mosaic, each iron-framed sliver multiplying its splendor. I am surrounded by things that, ostensibly, twist the face in disgust, but it’s these distortions that deserve a writer’s speculation. Creativity and imagination can transform the unsightly into poignant art, and an urgent desire to do just that rages through me. So my duty then, as the port Pablo Neruda remarked, “is to express what is unheard of” and give narrative to my current reality – a blemished setting disregarded by the world.
Prison doesn’t have to be inspirations or creativities gravesite. The transformative power of imagination can be cultivated in any environment and ripened through words. Imprisonment is only the situation, not the slow degradation of identity and expression it can seemingly be. “Imagination / creates the situation, / and, then, the situation / creates imagination,” James Baldwin declared. I have the fortuitous option to view my environment through a writer’s vividly attentive eyes, creating a relationship between conscience and the present, fueling inspiration. I can create poetic beauty from the rubble and give it to the world as unique testament, thoroughly satisfied as I cap my pen. Awareness is what I was lacking those years when my sense’s atrophied, conscious of only the repulsive surface of things looming around the prison. No creative impulse – no satiating inspiration – stimulated my mind into action until a couple pages of poetry stirred the diminishing embers. Now my “situation” and “imagination” work hand-in-hand. Possibilities for inspiration and creativity have opened up, as Adrienne Rich has written:
The imagination’s roads open before us, giving the lie to that
slammed and bolted door, that razor-wired fence, that brute dictum
“There is no alternative.”
The alternative to beauty is Dunbar’s “torn and bleeding hearts,” his “tortured souls,” and I discover unobserved alternatives frequently, pen at the ready to honor them in words.
Brian Batchelor had been incarcerated since 2002. Over the last couple of years he had been taking writing workshops through the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop (MPWW). He is also a member of the Stillwater Writer’s Collective.
I was trying to hide it, but I felt sweaty-palmed and shaky on my feet as I stood alone in front of my students for the first time. The sensations caught me by surprise – after all, I already had a couple years of experience as an instructor at the college level under my belt, and those years had been good ones, full of challenges, discussion, and classrooms full of eager, bright people. But in those other semesters, I’d been a teacher of writing, leading college composition classes and creative writing workshops. Now, I was tasked with the education of science students sitting clustered at lab tables, surrounded by microscopes and anatomy models. This was no pathos, ethos, and logos or round-table discussion on Emily Dickinson. I was preparing to speak about the biology of fungi.
I started teaching in 2010, when I began my MFA, and was assigned a college composition course as my teaching responsibility. I don’t remember a day I didn’t enjoy it. Working shoulder-to-shoulder with students attempting to craft arguments that were their own, knee-deep in the labor of making sentences and paragraphs do what they wanted them to do, gave me perspective and energy for my own poetry and prose. But over the last few years, since entering a doctoral program in the sciences, I have been – largely – a science teacher, and have loved it just as much. While in a general sense it’s probably true that teaching anything prepares you to be a teacher of some other thing, I’ve come to believe that my experience as a writing teacher has been vital in shaping me into a science instructor – more specifically, it has infused my teaching with purpose, and hopefully helped my students develop perspective on their future outside of the classroom.
Ask your average person on the street what “science” is and you will likely get a suite of concrete descriptors: science is test tubes and beakers, science is numbers, science is biology and physics, science is what makes watching Cosmos so much fun. Ask a science student why they’re taking a class and the answers are often similarly pinned down – the course might be required for their major, or it might help them land a job. Standing at the front of a science classroom, your role is partly to introduce the particulars of a subject – yes, I do want you to understand the mechanics of nitrogen fixation. But there is a larger goal at hand, too: making the student into a scientist, whether that be for one semester or for a career. Such a task is not about the concrete, about hard numbers or figures or facts – it’s about learning to ask and answer questions.
When I was a writing teacher, I never graded on formatting, spelling, or grammar. While I’d offer notes for correctness and clarity to my students for future rhetorical sharpening, the single goal held at the heart of every class was to help my students develop their own voices – meaning take an idea and build the right words around it. What excited me – and what I hoped in turn would excite my students – was the idea of process. You take a raw idea, you work with it, shape it, look at it from every side. You try and you fail with it. It sits in the middle of your poem, your book, your essay about wolf management or gendered advertising. The true shape of an argument or a piece of art doesn’t come whole – it has to be made.
Neither do scientific “facts” stand alone – they are points in a constellation, and their meaning can change in the context of new discoveries and new interpretations. What we know about the world around us comes out of conversations and the process of asking questions – science is not an excavation of truth from where it’s been buried, but a series of connections grafted into the observable universe. This is what I want my students to understand: that science too is a process, an ongoing discussion. That they are part of this conversation. That the scientific method is more than an answer to a test question or the outline of a lab report – that it is a code by which we generate new ways of understanding. Make observations, form a hypothesis, test it, evaluate what happened, ask more questions. The process.
Scientific literacy has become a bit of a catchphrase recently – unsurprising, I suppose, at a time when talking heads in the media would have viewers believe that, say, there is still real debate among scientists about climate change. What scientists mean when they talk about this is not some net increase in the volume of digestible scientific trivia shared among students or citizens at large. It’s generating an awareness and understanding of what science is and what it does – how it enables us to ask a series of questions and build the answers toward an increasingly better understanding of the world around us. There is power in that, at the level of the individual and the society.
That first day I taught in a science classroom on my own, my anxiety vanished as I reached a portion of my lecture focused on fungal taxonomy – specifically, how the way we organize species of fungi is constantly in flux. We don’t know, I kept saying. I mentioned offhand that more than a thousand new species of fungi are discovered annually. We don’t know exactly how many more are out there. My knees stopped their slight wobble when I noticed the students in the back of the classroom paying rapt attention, nodding, raising their eyebrows, smiling. We were about to do an experiment – about to ask a question. Their attention, their enthusiasm, reminded me of the students I’d worked with in writing classrooms – how they came to realize, at some point, that it was possible to ask something new, to start with an idea that was yours and look out into unmapped territory. That you could work something out on your own, and that if you could say it in the right words, it could be valuable to others – part of a conversation.
The more time I spend as a teacher, the more I think that the fundamental goal of education is to imbue students with an understanding of “knowledge as a process” – how do we make ideas and what do we do with them? In some ways it’s an act of empowerment, giving students the tools and language to access the gears and levers, helping them understand that they have the capacity to enter a human-scale discussion about the universe – a level of understanding beyond knowing not to split infinitives or which monk originated the idea of heredity. I want my students to leave my classroom, my lab, my lecture hall with a sense of their own investment in the process. If they do, I’ll consider my work as an educator – of future scientists, writers, humans at large – to have been a small, lucky part of something lifelong.
Kristen Gunther is a doctoral student in ecosystem management and ecology at the University of Wyoming, where she also completed an MFA in creative writing. Her work has appeared in West Branch, CutBank, Parcel, THRUSH, Word Riot, and elsewhere. She can be found online at kristengunther.com.
There are many ways to define “success” as a writer. Writing teachers always focus on craft, and I think they’re right. What really is better than the satisfaction of knowing you got it right—the true dialogue, the description that operates on multiple levels, the existential moment well rendered as all the pieces of the writerly puzzle are drawn, nearly perfectly, to their center of gravity? Truly, these are the reasons to write and to keep writing. And yet, there’s always this other moment when you “have written,” when the craft of writing is temporarily put to bed and you have to think of yourself as a writer in the world, a person who must find readers for this book you’ve made. It’s a daunting moment.
The story of finding my way in the literary world is intimately connected to The Missouri Review. In 2009, my story, “Praha” was accepted for publication. It was a wonderful experience to work with the fiction editor, Evelyn Somers. I think every fiction writer has an editor fantasy. This idea that there’s a person out there who loves your work, and because they get it, are in a position to make it better. This, for me, was Evelyn. It felt, for the first time as a writer, that I was in it together with someone. Sometimes her questions were line item things: Is Beton (a Czech drink of Becharovka and tonic) a proper noun? Sometimes it was a deeper question. Would the character say this just here? What if he never said it at all? What might that silence mean? In any case, this editorial process made a story I was already excited about into something special. I’ll be forever grateful.
The fact that it was beautifully published almost goes without saying. The images that accompanied the text and the quotes they pulled out to give special attention to were perfect. I could have died with happiness right then.
And yet, there was more. The TMR publication was like magic. Suddenly, like wind created from the flapping of a butterfly’s wings, the literary doors blew open: The Blue Earth Review, The Red Rock Review, Pinyon, and then The Kenyon Review, and Epoch. I’m joking a little bit. How does one gauge the influence of a strong publication? It is impossible to know.
However, when Steve Yarbrough selected “Praha” for TMR’s William Peden Prize, I was stupefied. TMR’s best story for 2009? What does that mean? For a little while it meant that I’d visit Columbia, MO, give a reading, and be interviewed by the local NPR affiliate. It meant, for a day at least, that I’d be wined and dined like a literary celebrity. Picked up at the airport, put up in a hotel, and entertained like something that I’d written or said actually mattered to somebody who didn’t already love me anyway. To drink martinis with Speer Morgan and Kris Somerville and Michael Nye—it was a wonderful night.
But how did it happen? If you ask Steve Yarbrough, who was the judge for the Peden Prize, he’d probably say that here was good writing. However, it can’t be denied that there’s a lot of good writing out there. What did he see? Why at that moment, did he see it? The idiosyncrasy of the moment is undeniable. A connection was made. Yarbrough was a reader with an interest in Central Europe. He’s a realist writer and “Praha” was a realist fiction. Call it whatever you wish. Serendipity. Fate. Luck. Okay. Sign me up.
What I can tell you is that the Peden Prize helped me get into the Sewanee Writer’s conference, and in three days in July 2012, upon arriving at the conference, I had a story accepted for publication, Press 53 agreed to publish my story collection, A Fingerprint Repeated, and I found an agent: the Georges Borchardt Agency. Within another six months, my novel Prague Summer had been accepted for publication by Counterpoint, and, frankly, nearly all of my literary dreams come true.
The truth is that I’m living a completely literary life these days. I’m writing, I’m teaching, and I’m publishing books as the co-founder of Braddock Avenue Books. Under these many hats, I often speak to young writers—most recently at the Yale Writer’s Conference—writers who want to know how to make their way in the literary world. Mostly I fall back on the truest thing I know—craft. But what I really want to say, what I should say and often do, is publish a story in The Missouri Review.
Jeffrey Condran is the author of the story collection, A Fingerprint Repeated. His debut novel, Prague Summer, will be published by Counterpoint in August 2014. His fiction has appeared in journals such as The Kenyon Review, The Missouri Review, and Epoch, and has been awarded the 2010 William Peden Prize and Pushcart Prize nominations. He is an Assistant Professor of English at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and the Co-founder of Braddock Avenue Books.
If you’d asked me a week ago about Weird Al Yankovic, I would have said it was time to give up the ghost. Weird Al is one of those seminal (artists? singers? comedians?) people whose work has spanned generations. He’s iconic. Most of us under the age of 40 have a Weird Al song they remember from when they were growing up. Maybe it was “Eat It” or “Pretty Fly for a Rabbi.”
Weird Al hadn’t been funny to me for a while, but that just changed. Here are three things that drew me back to Weird Al – a sentence I never thought I’d write – and they all have to do with his new video “Word Crimes.”
1. Weird Al: Normalizing my behavior since 2014.
Last Sunday, while sipping coffee, listening to Weekend Edition, and gazing out at the crappy lot of the body shop behind my apartment, Tamara Keith’s interview with Weird Al began. I was reaching to switch the radio (could Weird Al possibly have anything new to say?) when he started talking about correcting grammar. He said he would be driving around, see a road sign, and fix the wording in his head. I, too, do this. When I’ve asked other friends who love words if they slip into this habit, they look at me like I’m sick. I’m not sick. And thanks to Weird Al for being the one to prove it.
Let’s not look too closely at that logic.
2. Your Dad sends you the video.
Another reason you may, like me, need to give Weird Al some credit for his spot-on-ness with this video is when friends and loved ones send you the link: “Literacy’s your mission!” the song says, “There are dancing question marks in the video!” your friend says, “I thought of you immediately!” your dad says.
There’s also a section in the song where Weird Al discusses the Oxford comma, which I dearly love, regardless of what Vampire Weekend says. This viewpoint, I understand, is contentious. If someone thought to send you the video, you probably have your own opinion on the matter and you probably begrudgingly admit that either/either is acceptable.
An added bonus: Weird Al’s word rules make an exception for Prince. As they should.
An added added bonus: You can finally explain what you’re going to do with that English degree. I quote: “You should hire/ some cunning linguist/ to help you distinguish/ what is proper English.”
3. The music video is in kinetic text.
Man, I love the design of this video. Kinetic text, or a fancy way of saying those videos where the text becomes the movie (like ShopVac ), is not only cleverly done in this video, but also fitting. Animated words: how better to show the emphasis on the right syllable?
Well Weird Al, you got me.
Like the terribly catchy beat of that song, the thing I can’t get out of my head now are questions of what is permissible, what is stickler, and how our language —the thing that unites and binds and evolves with us— is changing.
I’ve been thinking about this because the other day at The Missouri Review, we were discussing the role of blogs and social media in the literary world. One person likened blogs and to pop music— they’re fun, fast, digestible, and have a short shelf life. It can be great and it’s its own thing. Literature, we said as we swirled our brandy in embossed snifters, is like classical music. It takes time. But in the weird space that is the internet, these things are colliding, and we’re still figuring out how they feed and harm each other.
I’m fascinated when pop culture concerns itself with words, language, or literature because it’s a collision of the instantaneous and the ancient.
The challenge to offer curated, thoughtful, unrushed content is steep. It takes a lot of resources and time. That doesn’t mean, though, that readers don’t also want something salient, quick, and fun.
I think there’s room for both. Just as we’ve seen a boom in articles-as-lists and computer-generated material (think Buzzfeed and financial market data), we’ve seen an uptick in long-form reporting and the slow reveal of stories (think The Atlantic and Breaking Bad). It’s a trend that’s crossing media sectors, as John Borthwick points out in his recent article on Medium.
So, the question becomes one of sourcing. Who will provide each? Can some outlets provide both? What will be the effect on and for readers? We’re still trying to figure out the answer. I think the experiment where pop and classic cohabitate is worth watching. In some instances, it’s a question of what happens when proper grammar gets a remix.
So, you’re picking up one of your favorite literary figures (poetry or prose, living or dead) from the airport before taking them to dinner and conducting an interview. You’re a huge fan and you’re super excited about the assignment, but also a bit nervous. Relax. The main thing you need to be concerned with is having a kickass playlist going on the tape deck when you roll up to the terminal and I’m here to help. I offer no guarantees, but with some deductive reasoning, digital crate digging, and intuition I think we can manage something that leaves everyone comfortable, happy, and bobbing their heads.
Below is a 12 track set that I think should get you from the airport and back again with some stops in between. You can play it in sequence, but it will work on mix-mode as well (this might even be better). The important thing is to have it already playing when you pick them up and to not discuss it at all unless they bring it up first. Basically, play it cool and act like you’ve been there before. I can in no way guarantee that they’ll actually dig this, but I have my hopes. Worst case scenario, just have NPR locked in as station preset 1 in case things get desperate. Best of luck!
Your passenger this week is none other than the legendary Maya Angelou. Poet, memoirist, journalist, activist, dancer, singer, ICON. Quite simply she was, and remains, essential. Her accomplishments and importance are too numerous and too enormous to list here. Just get ready for a hell of a ride.
1. Singing Sweet - When I See You Smile Given all the tragedies, losses, and challenges she endured in her remarkable life it’s amazing to notice just how often Angelou was smiling (if not beaming) in the many photographs of her taken over the decades. Through everything she experienced she never deviated from her own dictum: I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it. For her, a song as beautiful as her smile. Just try not to spend too long in a state of awe-struck disbelief over the fact that this is a dancehall cover of a hit tune by Bad English.
2. Brownstone - If You Love Me Waterfalls, On Bended Knee, Fantasy, Candy Rain…it’s pretty clear that the 1995 Top 100 chart represents an indisputable annus mirabilis for Modern R&B. As a culture we can only hope to scale such heights again. And not least among the bounty was this one from Brownstone. The song is infectious and unforgettable on its own, but as far as I’m concerned it reached icon status as a central element it the Holly Hunter / Queen Latifah rollin on E lesbian club dance sequence in Living Out Loud which will be recognized as a top-10 1990s movie moment in history books 1,000 years hence.
3. Fuentes All Stars - Pégale a la Nalga I have no idea what’s going on at the beginning of this song. Is the dude having a seizure? Catching the Holy Ghost? Presiding over an auction? Whatever it is, I dig it. Your average Toyota does not allow much room for dancing while seated, but I’m sure you’ll find a way…you’ll need to. Any passenger who refuses to move with you to this one can be promptly deposited on the nearest curb/exit-ramp. Not to worry, Dr. Angelou is definitely down. P.S. I got curious and Google translated the title, it seems to roughly mean “Hit him in the ass”. Sounds about right.
4. Cymande - Dove 11 minutes of effortless cool, plain & simple, from Cymande (among Spike Lee’s favorite soundtrack adds). There won’t be any talking while this song is playing. You and Dr. Angelou won’t need language. Just lean your seat back a bit, stiff-arm the wheel and go where the track takes you. Warning: chanting will likely ensue.
5. Louis Jordan - Beans and Cornbread This is quite simply the greatest song ever recorded about two anthropomorphic food items getting into a brawl. Always fun, always energetic, this is a solid trip-starter. Also, speaking of Spike Lee soundtracks: it’s a little iconic due to being prominently featured during a scene of utter (and fairly comic) mayhem in Malcolm X (if you’ve seen the movie you’ll remember it well.) It’s a fairly sure bet that Dr. Angelou would dig the Louis Jordan, considering she covered his Run Joe on her only official full-lengthmusical release. I dare you not to be singing this to yourself 3 days later.
6. Rashaan Roland Kirk - What’s Goin’ On’/Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) She wrote seven autobiographies, but make no mistake Maya Angelou never took her eyes off the injustice, the strife, and the resilience in the face of both that she saw around her in both America and the wider world abroad. Still, she met it all with grace and the conviction that things can (and will) get better with our hard work and willingness to change. I dig Kirk’s cover of Marvin Gaye’s classic jams because he honors their original depth and truth without losing his own essential joy.
7. Common - The Food (Ft. Kanye West) Put aside the fact that Dr. Angelou referred to herself & Dave Chappelle (on whose show this track was recorded live) as “soulmates”, or that she appeared on Common’s song The Dreamer, and you’re left with a ridiculously chill cruising song that manages to incorporate some super-sly shots at pop cultural/consumerist sacred cows. This one makes the playlist on a musical level, no question. But the biographical extras don’t hurt either.
8. Lyn Collins - Think (About It) Sure this is basically a James Brown song with a guest vocalist…but there could never be anything wrong with that, so crank this! Hard funk, in-you-face lyrics, female empowerment, endlessly sampled (Dj E-Z Rock I’m looking at you). Hell yes, play it twice.
9. Alice Coltrane - Journey in Satchidananda If only every journey down the interstate were as mellow, expansive, and as full of possibility as this, the title track of Alice Coltrane’s 1970 release. A perfect light-night tune, no one in history has ever managed to switch this off past 11 p.m. If you acquire a single harp record in your entire life, make it this one.
10. Nirvana - Where Did You Sleep Last Night Angelou often spoke of how the rhythms & mysteries of the blues acted upon her writing and how important the music was, not only for African-Americans but as part of the DNA of the country. This song, originally an Appalachian folk tune, but most famously recorded by blues legend Leadbelly, was covered by Nirvana for their 1993 MTV Unplugged set and it just might be the most searing moment from that entire series (for real, check out 5:08 in the clip when Cobain finally opens his eyes). I can never listen to it without thinking of Angelou’s Insomniac.
11. Wendy Rene - After Laughter I’ll admit, this isn’t necessarily the most road-friendly song out there. For one it doesn’t have the kind of intense & pulsing beat that you generally appreciate on the open road. Beyond that, it’s difficult to stay in your lane when your sight is occluded by open weeping. Still, this is one of my fav tracks of all time and Rene’s raw emotion is compelling to the nth degree.
12. Latyrx - Lady Don’t Tek No Look back at her life and you can really only come to to one conclusion: Maya Angelou was a superhero. Sure, she suffered, she knew loss, and she battled doubt…but so did Peter Parker. To overcome everything she experienced in her long life while never retreating, while never pitying herself in the face of steady racism, sexism, and tragedy took someone with undeniably singular character and resolve. The fact that she had the talent to share her experience so effectively with the rest of us, well…we’ll just have to be eternally thankful for that. If there were a movie about Dr. Angelou as a superhero this just might be in the opening credits sequence.
On Friday, July 18th, at 630 pm, we’re throwing our annual summer launch party, in celebration of the release of our latest issue. We’re calling it FAST LIVING! (yes, in all caps and with a slammer at the end) because, well, that’s also the name of our summer issue, which will be arriving from our printers this week and available to you, dear reader, at the Friday night launch.
Our launch party will be held at The Vault, the speakeasy style venue at the Tiger Hotel. The Vault is located at 23 S. 8th Street, if you’d like to get your Google Maps on. We get going at 630 and wrap up at 930, though if you have ever been to one of our launch parties, you know full well that 930 just means we’re taking our celebration out into the streets of Columbia and hitting up the next venue. If you’d like, please RSVP with us on our Facebook page.
All the tables will have gold (painted) boxes filled with trivia questions to test your Hollywood knowledge. Don’t worry: we have questions on all the Hollywood eras, from the 20′s and 30′s as well as questions from the 90′s and 00′s, so whether you’re a fan of Joan Crawford, Audrey Hepburn, Meryl Streep, or Jennifer Lawrence, we have you covered.
Our new issue features new stories by Ben Hoffman, Carol Ghiglieri, Amanda Harris, Sharon Pomerantz; nonfiction by Marin Sardy and John Hales; and great big poetry features by Andrew Grace, Valerie Nieman and Diane Seuss, as well as the omnibus review and art feature that we’re known for. Come by for fifteen minutes, one hour, three hours, it doesn’t really matter. We just want to raise a glass with you and have a blast!
Follow Michael on Twitter: @mpnye