Andrew Clark-Kennedy initiated the evening with a reading of Tony Hoagland's "Fortune." In lieu of the poem, he provided fortune cookies for everyone. It turns out that this certain brand of fortune cookie doesn't write the most interesting fortunes, or vary it all that much. But the several we heard offer a certain optimism that must have belonged to another, long-forgotten generation.
Rebecca Patrick read some of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's journalistic prose, "Lost Tales." You should also read his News of a Kidnapping.
Nate Logan read some prose poems by Margaret Atwood ("In Love with Raymond Chandler"), Joe Bernard ("Freud" and "History" as in "With history piling up so fast, everyday becomes another anniversary for something terrible," or something like that), one by James Tate ("Rapture"), and one by Sarah Vargayo (did I spell that right, Nate?) ("What We Miss").
Todd McKinney read a story by Richard Yanez, entitled "I&M Plumbing." Originally published in his short story book, El Paso del Norte, the story also appears in a new anthology of Texas Mexican writers entitled Hecho in Tejas, eidted by Dagoberto Gilb.
Tony Settineri read a piece by John Steinbeck, "Critics from a Writer's Viewpoint," himself becoming a critic.
Laura Relyea read a short segment from the tremendous Joan Didion's last book, The Year of Magical Thinking.
Matthew Trisler took it to another level by reading his own work, poems entitled "What the Pony Expressed," and three from his typeface project, "Helvetica Neue," Gill Sans," and "Colophon."
Finally, Andrew Clark-Kennedy wrapped it up for us, as if he were stuffing the fortune back inside the cookie, with his own poems, "My Father, the Bachelor," and "Possibilities."
And then there was one night left, but already so many words had floated into the air, like smoke exhaled, like moisture evaporating into the skies above the rain forests, like dragonflies hovering, and despite what the spiters smoted, and despite what the spitters spat, the world was better for it. The world was better for it.