Literature Party at AWP

Posted by @ 4:39 pm on January 14th, 2011

(Thanks to Matthew Simmons, whose gif I’m recycling.)

Usually when I try to get my friends to go to a party or a show or something, they ask for details. And usually I’ll just know one vague thing, Uh, it’s this writer-lady who I met once and she seemed pretty cool. Like, I won’t even know what time it starts, except for, You know, rock time.

But I’m damn knowledgeable about Literature Party, the main event at AWP this year, and this time I’m telling all my friends. Here’s the straight dope.

Literature Party is a reading that’s more of a dance, and it’s intended to benefit 826DC. (You’re probably familiar with the 826 organization. It’s that thing that was founded years ago by McSweeney’s as like a literacy program, to help kids outside school and to help teachers in school. A new office opened in DC last year.)

It’s being held at the Black Cat’s main room. Will someone from DC chime in with a Yelp! about the Black Cat? I’ve been there a couple times but never to the main room. It’s big, though. It holds 700 people, and we want to squeeze in every last person.

Blake is going to host a short reading to kick off the event, because this is AWP, after all. It’s going to feature Amelia Gray (whose reading at Vermin on the Mount: Denver last year was The Best Reading of 2010), Tao Lin (who, frankly, is a pretty boring reader but that’s what makes it so rich) and Patrick Somerville (whom Featherproof swears by but I’ve never seen). One of the problems I’ve had with off-site AWP readings is that you can’t hear anything, but the soundsystem at the Black Cat will fix that. If it’s good enough for The Get Up Kids, it’s good enough for very short fiction.

There will also be immersive performances, too. You can have Melissa Broder read your fortune, for instance. You can confess your publishing sins to Richard Nash. Go head to head with Giancarlo DiTrapano in arm wrestling. I’m going to walk around with an electric guitar and a pocket amp so I can hear you, um, shred. And more.

But the best part, I think, is just going to be the hanging out. DJ Lil ‘E, who is amazing, is going to play songs (and she wants to know what to play: make a list in the comments at the Facebook page). We’re just going to chill out with some new and old friends.

There’s more info and a complete list of sponsors at the Literature Party website. Tell your friends.