October 10, 2010
Poets House was fine. I had to take a taxi down there and I had to pass on buying wine because it was more than I could carry, but I got a great a fruit/cheese platter at Garden of Eden and drinks and carried them down there with the books by cab. The reading went fine with Brendan Constantine, Andrea Scarpino, Doug Van Gundy, Ally Acker and Irene McKinney who is poet laureate of West Virginia. They were all wonderful and we had a good group of people.
Then I cabbed it over to Bowery Club where we had a reading at 6 pm. We had three New York authors, Janice Eidus, brand new book with Red Hen, Tipahnie Yanique and Ron Egatz who teaches at Sarah Lawrence, all three New York authors. In LA, when people who teach at a college or university from Bart Edelman at Glendale College to Ron Carlson at UC Irvine, throngs of students come, because they invite a few students and those students come in packs because each one needs a posse to go anywhere, so if you have a professor teach, you don’t sell a lot of books, but you can count on a packed house, which is fine because the students have a good time and for many of them, it is their first reading. I don’t think there were any Sarah Lawrence students there or any other students, but NYers have a lot to do.
All I could think of was Kim Dower reading last week all by herself at Book Soup last Sunday a week after she had brought forty people to the Geffen, she packed Book Soup and sold 55 books. That was so great. In an ideal world, as a writer, you always bring an audience when you read. You aren’t writing for nobody, you are writing for an audience. You aren’t reading for nobody; you’re supposed to read for an audience and just as it is your job to build your book audience and reach out to them, it is your job to get people there if you are going to be doing a reading, you don’t just show up. You blog, you Facebook, you Twitter, you eblast. You invite, students, friends, family, lovers. You make sure people buy your book. You make sure people show up at your reading. If you read in the city where you live, there should be a huge audience. When my friend Lisa had her first event after her first book came out, over one hundred people came. That’s what should happen in your home city.
So, tonight’s reading was okay. Not as many people as I would have liked, but it was fine. I walked back to my hotel. I stopped at the Westside Deli and I got a pretty extravagant dinner for myself, some tofu and some carrot soup. All good. Tomorrow night’s reading is going to be fantastic. I can’t wait to get home to some real food, maybe some red wine.
I have a great team who is going to help me program events in the future: Peggy Shumaker, Eloise Klein Healy and Kate Coles. We shall rule. And tomorrow night’s reading will be exceptional.
Cornelia Street October 10, 2010 6:00pm
John Murillo, Rachel Eliza Griffiths, Brendan Constantine, and Katherine Coles.
29 Cornelia Street
New York, NY 10014
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in the middle of high rise buildings in the city that never sleeps.
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October 10, 2010 6:00pm