On Tuesday night, as I mentioned, I hosted a reading in conjunction with the latest installment of our Summer Reading List microfiction series. Six of the authors joined me onstage, along with four audience members who signed up to read one of their works. It was part of Sanderia Faye’s LitNight series. We did it last year, too, and it was enjoyable but I thought this time was even better.
For one thing, LitNight — which celebrated its one-year anniversary last month — is more established now, and so I think more people showed up and more of them knew what to expect. Sanderia has gathered a crowd around her and it is great to see. Also, our first try at this was at LitNight’s original home, Sandaga 813 in Exposition Park. It’s a fine venue, but Chocolate Secrets (which I, admittedly, had never been to before) feels like a better fit for what Sanderia is trying to do.
Which is: build a literary community, or strengthen the one that already exists. And to that end, there were writers who will participate in future events —like bestselling author and occasional D contributor Sarah Hepola, who will be at the August edition — and ones who have read at prior ones, so it appears to be working. I’ve been introduced to more and more writers during the few years we have done this series, but I’ve met the most because of my participation in LitNight.
As for Tuesday night itself: Joe Milazzo, Harry Hunsicker, Will Clarke, Blake Kimzey, Samantha Mabry, and Sanderia came and read their stories and they were great. (Joe’s and Harry’s are online already but don’t wait for the others — go pick up a copy of the July issue.) But the highlight, for me, was one of the writers in the audience who signed up to read. Tina Davis read an essay, what she said was her only published work, and said Sanderia had been bugging her to get up and so she finally did. It was wonderful, funny and gripping and just right. I hope to read more from her. Which I suppose is why we all do this.
Also, the last guy read a chapter from his self-help book about cheating and that was a bit odd, but as I always say: there are no bad ideas in a jam session.
We are going to do it again, so don’t miss out next time.