1. The Beat Poetry Happy Hour will take place at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City this Thursday, April 17 from 6:30 to 7:30 pm, featuring Tao Lin, Zachary German, Clarissa Beyah Taylor, Larissa Shmailo, Joy Leftow and, of all people, me playing bongo drums. How, you may wonder, did I end up playing bongo drums? Well, it has something to do with a recent Bowery Poetry Club Beat Poetry Happy Hour I attended. A drummer was struggling a bit onstage, and I casually sauntered over to host George Wallace and said "I can play bongo drums better than this guy."
I meant it in a sort of smart-ass generic way, the way I might also say, for instance, "My mother can pitch relief better than Aaron Heilman". The actual truth, though, is that my mother can't pitch relief better than Aaron Heilman. The actual truth is also that I don't know how to play bongo drums. However, George took me literally and signed me up, so I will fake it as best as I can this Thursday. I will also shout out a poem or two, and if you are anywhere near downtown New York this Thursday at 6:30 I really hope you'll come by. I guarantee it will be fun.
2. Hey, two other cool things about the Bowery Poetry Club (which has been, needless to say, my favorite poetry club in the world since it opened in 2002). First, rebel publisher Sander Hicks' Vox Pop has just opened a Vox Pop outlet there! Second, the club has got a very nice new website.
3. You may ask: is this event associated with National Poetry Month? NO! We at LitKicks are now officially on record as National Poetry Month haters, and that's a stance I can live with, even though it's been Jamelah and not me, for once, who's been doing the bulk of complaining.
4. Enough about all that. Here's a surprising piece about the inspiration for the Beatles' song "Paperback Writer". It turns out McCartney was thinking about a Penguin, and we never knew this until now! Great stuff. (Via Frank Wilson)
5. Indie publisher Tim Hall has a new model for financing books: AuthorShares. Check it out and see what you think. Let's just hope this doesn't end up like Enron.
6. As Ed mentions, I made the mistake of trying to argue with internet-naysayer Lee Siegel at a New York Public Library discussion featuring Nicholson Baker and Heidi Julavits. I was only there to catch Baker, but I got suckered in and tried to talk sense. Pointless.
7. From the Bureau of Public Secrets:
Six Japanese Novelists: Hiroshi Noma, Osamu Dazai, Yasunari Kawabata, Yukio Mishima, Shohei Ooka, Junichiro Tanizaki.