Last weekend I had the honor of participating in the first Indie Shelves Initiative at The Last Bookstore in DTLA. What's that? Well, it's a lot of things actually. The Last Bookstore has dedicated shelf space to promoting independent presses in Los Angeles. Gorsky Press, a publishing concern near and dear to my heart, asked me to represent at the launch on November 3.
The reading was a great success: well attended, multi-genre, uber diverse. Mike the Poet kicked things off with a poetry lesson in verse called Oral Tradition. Bernard Radfar read a hilarious excerpt from his new book of letters called Insincerely Yours, and the poet Brendan Constantine performed new work. There was even a presentation from a gentelman who works at JPL on the 50 most extreme places in our solar system. (There were others but I had to duck out a few times to feed the meter and didn't catch their names.) I read a micro-essay about going to a punk rock show to see a band with a saxophone in it. (Yes, a saxophone.)
It was exactly the kind of unexpected and fun-filled event I try to create with my own reading series Vermin on the Mount. The featured presses were also asked to contribute something to a zine, which is now a available for a couple bucks at The Last Bookstore. It's a great way to learn more about what the alternative literary community is doing in Los Angeles. And if you haven't checked out The Last Bookstore, what are you waiting for?