Tuesday, December 15, 2009

All Living Things Have Shoulders

Dutch Boy Burgers, the latest venture from Franklin Park's Matt Roff, pulled down the blue tarp and revelaed its facade earlier this week. Soon, you'll be able to enjoy the reading series with a juicy burger in hand!

Last night's Reading Series featured four poets from divergent schools that kept things interesting. D.W. Lichtenberg (who endorsed the reading on this very blog--clearly a man in the know) opened by pacing the length of the bar reading pithy selections from his new collection, The Ancient Book of Hip, in a nasal, staccato monotone that elicited laughter and applause. He was followed by Columbia MFA student Ethan Hon, who kept his body behind the podium but ranged far and wade with his long, free-form verse. After the break, Rebecca Keith read poems that meditated on distance and travel, including a great set of pieces inspired by errant postcards that arrived at her Greenpoint apartment.

In a rare turn of events, it was the night's headliner, Nick Flynn, who provided the local connection. Reading from his new memoir, The Ticking is the Bomb, Flynn reminisced about riding the subway to the end of the line at Utica and then paying a dollar to gypsy van cabs that would take him along the avenue to the schools where he worked as a writing tutor, training teachers. Part of the Columbia Teacher's College Writing Project, Flynn's days in NYC schools provided a series of beautifully-crafted anecdotes about the way writing allowed students to investigate their own self-worth, and included an hysterical story hinging on his discovery of a discarded student assignment bearing only the words "All Living Things Have Shoulders" (you had to be there).

Another great night from Penina--swing by on January 11th for short fiction and surprise guests!


  1. Oh, man -- I love it. I literally live on top of this shop -- those are my windows just above the awning. Cannot wait for it to open.