Then the Barry Hannah tribute on Wednesday, hosted by Gene Kwak. Really well-lit time at Newtonville Books, lamps and early release copies of Barry's posthumous selected-and-new collection, Long Last Happy. Joy-stuffed reflections and remembrances, guns with popcorn in them, lots of gut shots and gut laughs of prose. Folks from all over to celebrate a fine man of Oxford, the Southern one. I was humbled to have an opportunity to yak a little about my relationship to the work of Barry Hannah, who was a heart wrangler, a soothsayer, a white hot pilot of knowing why stories are worth it. And humbled especially to read in such company: Askold Melnyczuk, Amy Hempel, Sven Birkerts, Jennifer Haigh, and James Parker. I read "Coming Close to Donna." I wore my best shoes. Later I ate some Eggs Benedict Pizza, and I was a little drunk when I ate it, so I didn't realize until now that such a dish is like something invented as a Christmas present by my kindest dreams.
Now I am home and working on getting shit together. Some linkage news includes two new reviews of L!L!F, an enthusiastic one in the Brooklyn Rail and a lukewarm one on the blog Glorified Love Letters. Over on the NOÖ Journal blog, Gabe Durham talks about James Robison's 1988 novel The Illustrator, which I want to call a punt-return-for-a-touchdown book because that's the kind of damn good I think it is. And, you can win a free copy of Dennis Cooper's new essay collection Smothered In Hugs by just posting a comment about your dreams or making up a dream and posting a comment. Super easy. Win a free book. Stay tuned for more NOÖ blog content, including long overdue RAD Poetry videos, as I try slaphazardly to hype the run-up to NOÖ 12. The trick is getting past the kicker, who's always a better tackler than he should be.
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