January 14th, 2011 / 4:39 pm

Literature Party at AWP

(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.



  1. Tim Jones-Yelvington

      Imma be there and Imma sparkle.

  2. Anonymous

      there’s a literature party in my head every night :-(

  3. Matthew Simmons

      But can you sparkle like that Blingee?

  4. Matthew Simmons

      But can you sparkle like that Blingee?

  5. Daniel Bailey

      i might tackle and/or punch someone

  6. Mia Eaton

      Former DC native here — and lucky me — current new yorky LIT mag editor and working-on-Cursor-person with Richard Nash. So, the main room of The Black Cat is indeed wide open and big. Mostly unobstructed views, it’s really just a good dark dive. My friend’s band plays there all the time (http://www.benazzara.com/).

      I haven’t been there in forever. It’ll be very weird for me. Worlds collide, Jerry! Worlds collide.

  7. Sean

      do they serve nachos?

  8. @AWP « creative writing @ the university of wyoming

      […] event info courtesy of htmlgiant: […]

  9. Mia Eaton

      heh. no, but for nachos you want to go to Lauriol Plaza on 18th. they make their own chips and amazing salsa in giant vats over fire. plus they have a roof and an outside.

  10. Tummler

      Holy shit, I think I can actually go to this.

  11. meh

      how can you be a “former native”?

  12. William Owen

      I will wrestle anyone at AWP who wants to take a run at me.

  13. deadgod

      time machine?

  14. deadgod

      time machine?

  15. beardobees

      If I were there, I’d challenge Gian to an ol’ fashioned round of W.Va. buck-buck.

  16. reynard

      ga wd da mn it

  17. Adam Marston

      Buh-buh-buh-buh-buh-BE there, awwwwwwwwww yeah.

  18. phmadore

      I hope Tao Lin gets robbed. I used to live in a squat a few blocks from there.

  19. Mia Eaton
  20. Mark C

      Black Cat is where me and my pretty-people friends go when I want to see marginally popular punk bands play. They serve cheap drinks and have my favorite bottom rail whiskey, which is awesome for me and my pretty-people friends who have little money but like to make out with one another. My only complaint is that there is no stage diving, which will be most unfortunate when Patrick Somerville is reading.

      There is also a restaurant downstairs, where pretty DIY-punk-looking kids will serve you DIY-punk-looking meals. Laura likes the falafel, which tasted almost as delicious as chickpeas. And, contrary to popular opinion, they do serve nachos at The Black Cat. And boy, are they something! They look so colorful and fresh that you might find yourself stealing a few leftover chips off someone’s discarded plate, if you’re the type of person who’d do something like that.

      Black Cat is big, but not big enough to contain Adam Robinson, a man whose dance moves always seem to be anticipating the next big Lady Gaga track.

  21. Sal

      Can you buy tickets at the door?

  22. jesusangelgarcia

      I’m already there.

  23. Addjian21

      online store: 1shopping.us

  24. zusya

      if that guy who sits just outside the front door, panhandling for coins and cigarettes, all the while saying “mmmblack cat, black cat” repeatedly, for anyone coming or going in, is still there after all these years? yeah, if he’s there, someone say hi to that guy for me. and give him a cigarette.

  25. Tummler

      I would also like to know this.