Friday, October 23, 2009

Our First Reading

It was great to meet Jennifer L. Knox, Carol Novack, and Karen Petersen along with a slew of Lineup fans and learn they're all as enthused about crime poetry as Patrick, Sarah, Richie, Anthony, and I.

I began last night with these remarks:

Welcome to the first reading from The Lineup: Poems on Crime. I'm Gerald So, founding editor, and with me are two of my co-editors—Richie Narvaez and Anthony Rainone—and three contributors—Jennifer L. Knox, Carol Novack, and Karen Petersen. I'd like to thank Carol, Richie, and KGB for tonight's event. Feel free to order refreshments throughout the night and support this great venue for writers.

A lot of people who hear about The Lineup think crime poetry is new or gimmicky, but the same emotions that inspire crime have long inspired poetry. Crime poetry is akin to crime fiction. Both have a sense of purpose. Every word, every sentence plants clues, reveals character, tries for resolution, but crime poetry forces us to face the same fear, jealousy, anger, indignation—without fiction's buffer of make-believe.

Karen read first, followed by Anthony, who read poems by Patrick Shawn Bagley, Ken Bruen, Reed Farrel Coleman, and Stephen D. Rogers. Anthony introduced Jen Knox who read several crime-related poems including "Why We Came and Why We Stayed" from The Lineup 2.

After a twelve-minute break to sell books and mingle, I introduced Richie, who read his poems "Metro", "Papi Was a Numbers Runner", and "Judgment Day" from The Lineup 1, as well as "Latest Victim" by Graham Everett and "Prayer of an Arson Investigator" by Sarah Cortez, also from Issue 1.

Richie introduced Carol Novack, who read her Lineup 2 poems "Willie" and "Color Symphony: Bronx Summer", Janis Butler Holm's Lineup 2 prose poem "Shopping with Winona", and finally a short play.

I capped the night with my Lineup 1 poems, "Witness Protection," "Four Minutes," and "Mickey Spillane".

We'd sold four copies of Issues 1 and 2 before I had to catch a train home. Thanks to everyone who attended, and once again to KGB for having us. A picture or two to come.

The prospect of audio and video recording the event fell through. If you attended, feel free to leave a comment. If not, you can experience a virtual reading by listening to The Lineup episode of Seth Harwood's CrimeWAV.

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