Some photographic evidence as to how much we enjoyed the last Argo Featured Reading (#2 and counting!) with Zach Wells, Kasper Hartman, Jesse Eckerlin and Eric Bennett. The night began slowly enough, and while co-owners Meg and Jesse were taking Zach Wells out for his honorarium dinner, I was running around the shop preparing the set up.
As people started to file in, reaching numbers of around our somewhat-maximum capacity of 30-35 people. As per usual, I was haphazardly realizing I hadn’t set aside room for coats, coffee wasn’t made and so forth. As Zach, Meg and Jesse had returned to the shop at this point, Zach was backstage in the office, fuming, wide-eyed and revved to go.
…And as people settled down in anticipation, eating discount peak freans and sipping coffee, the show began with myself introducing the night’s readers, leading into Eric Bennett, who had delivered a wonderful series of war/love letter poems full of honest terror and romance, followed by an engaging piece that declared Billy Gibbons to be the T.S. Eliot of post-delta blues… something to that effect. We had some good laughs about that one.
Following Eric and myself, we had Jesse read some of his work, one piece in particular standing out with its rough carousing interchange of images and sensations, ‘Tall Tales.” Good times. It was when Kasper Hartman stepped up to read his QWF award-winning short story that the room quieted down:
…His voice and pacing, combined with the story’s scenario of two lovers and their confusedly true emotions, gave a sense of something ineffable, yet known and even understandable.
Then, Zach Wells. An engaging fellow whom we all hope to see back at the shop in the future. For those of you who have not taken the opportunity to see him read his work, Zach endearingly gives the presence of one seeking a connection with those he is reading to. His command of lyric and traditional forms, combined with innovative and amusing subject matter (math equations & Buddhism, slugs in particular) gave a wide array of great pieces, altogether topping the night off with an excellent performance.
…And the trip to Grumpy’s was excellent, with writers taking over half of the place. No pictures!
Now, the recordings of past readings are soon to come, it’s only a matter of finding out how to archive everything on the website. As previously announced, the next Argo Open Mic is set for February 22nd @ 8PM with news on Asa Boxer coming for Valentine’s Day!…