I don’t read my work in public often (never got comfortable with it) and I recently tried to rectify that by reading at a cool little open mic where author Bud Smith revealed an excerpt from his upcoming novel, F-250. The reading took place at a bar in the Bronx called An Beal Bocht (Gaelic for “The Poor Mouth”) and it was the first time I read in front of a crowd in, what…two, three years? Something like that, so it was a fun personal challenge to shake off the rust and get up there. I was more nervous than I’d like to admit, and like every other reading I’ve ever done, I needed 6-7 beers in order to not shake like a set of wind-up chattering teeth up in front of the mic. I read two older pieces from around 2009; one, “Norway,” is about strippers named after European nations and how swimming naked in the moonlight is often the best way to put them in the past; and the second, “Darkness Within the Dark,” comes from one of my many bouts with Taoism, an on-again/off-again passion of mine. Both poems are also found in my collection Dealing With the Devil in the Middle of the Road. Thankfully it went well and I got some encouraging feedback. I'm grateful for host Erin Lynn for putting the open mic together each month, and I definitely plan to attend again. If you’re in the NYC area on August 13 around 7:30, you should swing by An Beal Bocht and listen in.
I’m also doing a reading on Saturday, October 4 at Jimmy’s No. 23 (in the back room, plenty of seating) where I’ll be featured along with a number of other authors from the Too Much anthology, which is due out this summer. The cover here looks amazing, doesn’t it? I’ll have more details about that reading soon, but I’ll probably read from my piece in the anthology, which is full of stories of alcoholic, sexual, and narcotic excess. Pretty apt topic considering I'll likely need a double dose of liquid courage to read in front of a crowd that large. Anyway, I hope you can make it!
*** Update: I may be doing a reading in the southern New Jersey / Philadelphia area in December as well to promote a new book of mine. Details TBA. ***