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June 17, 2005

Good Clean Fun on the Literary Circuit

by Ron Hogan

Wednesday night, I made it over to Happy Ending, where Amanda Stern had turned the reins over to the NYTBR's go-to poetry guy, David Orr, for an evening of verse. (Full disclosure: I like David, and David likes me.) It turned out that all three of the poets David had invited were from the Princeton English department, starting with Paul Muldoon, who read a 13-sonnet cycle called "The Old Country," which, he joked halfway through, was "memetic of the very tedium it's embracing." (David quipped afterwards that this was a unique defense strategy he'd never encountered at a reading before.) Next up was James Richardson, who shared a number of short poems followed by a sequence of aphorisms--"the perfect form for people with compromised attention spans." Finally, Susan Wheeler read a poem from her new collection, Ledger, then segued into a poem she'd written about one of the characters in her novel, Record Palace, before giving us a few scenes from the story itself. Afterwards, I caught up with another Princetonian, Beth Machlan, and discovered that she's joined the blogopshere with "Subjective Correlative."

Last night, after birthday dim sum in Chinatown, Mrs. Beatrice and I walked to the Slipper Room where Vintage was throwing a book party for Colleen Curran's Whores on the Hill. I was glad to meet Colleen in person, since she'll be part of next week's Author2Author feature. And let me tell you, this was a party, emceed by Murray Hill with burlesque routines starring the Pontani Sisters. Plus three girls in tank tops and Catholic schoolgirl plaid skirts reading passages from Whores that would no doubt send Colleen's Amazon hate squad--you should see some of those reviews--into a tizzy.

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