Monday, January 21, 2008

Chop Suey Chapbook Fest

I don't know who would want to repress Liz Canfield, poet and organizer of yesterday's Chapbook Festival at Chop Suey Books in Richmond, VA. But I say, just let 'em try. Can't be done.

Anyway, I'd call it a hit. Very well attended on a really cold Sunday, with ice and snow and football to be watched. I missed some of the earlier readings, but the ones I saw by Kathy Davis, Nan Byrne, and Rich Murphy were great. My reading went okay, though I worry I brought the proceedings down a notch with my, uh, earthy story of reprobates and vocational humliation. But people laughed, and they were supposed to laugh, and I don't think it was all nervous laughter. So.

I saw lots of old friends too -- Casey came down from Brooklyn. Nan read. Mike, Liz, Angela, Clint, Wendy. I saw my MFA instructor Tom De Haven very briefly, which is funny, as I just started reading his book It's Superman. He's working on a non-fiction book for Yale University Press about the meaning of Superman and is finishing up a collection of novellas. Oh, and he's co-editing an anthology of noir fiction set in Richmond. I think it is to be called Richmond Noir, but I might have that wrong. Tom is a fantastic writer who too few people have read. Do yourself a favor and read one of his books. And I got to meet Mary Boyes one of the fellow travellers behind Popular Ink Press, who publish an amazing bunch of chapbooks, sometimes including t-shirts and the like, and run the Indelible Kitchen Web site where some of my fiction has appeared.

I wish I could get together with my writer friends more often. It always charges me up. Books! Writing! Words! Beer!


  1. Imported on behalf of: Mike
    Sounds like a cool time -- sorry I missed it! It's always good to get together with other writers. Especially if beer is involved.

    And I remember Tom De Haven from that Granta issue a while back, one of the top under forty writers. Man, I've only got 3 years left...

  2. Imported on behalf of: Lee
    Yeah, readings are nice if for no other reason than bringing together so many people who like books. In my day-to-day life, it sometimes seems like I'm the only one who obsesses about books.

    I think you're mixing up De Haven with another writer. Tom Drury maybe? No offense to Tom, but I'm pretty sure it's been a long while since he would have qualified!