This is the second of two parts.
Shalom Neuman's studio and home is in Brooklyn, located in an area between subways, and, to listen to the complaints of people who came via public transportation, the subways don't seem to run on Saturday afternoon and evening. But plenty of people came, interesting people, intelligent and expressive people
I posted part one for this event last week and published some of the photos I took during the reception. Now we move downstairs for the reading and more.
Setting up was slowed down by forgotten equipment - or perhaps it was nonexistent, I'm not sure. Yet the people who came for the reception were ready for the performances and the reading. People started moving down the stairs into Shalom's studio. The room is filled with delights, treats for the eyes and the ears: a wall of "talking heads;" a painted frieze of musicians; machinery and electronics whose final purpose only the artist could know, and much more. Shalom's esthetic derives in part from the world of popular art and in part from those prophets without profit who would entertain us with images from the underside of life.
And so the reading began. Buddy Meisler, editor, publisher, literary magnate - though sadly not literally a magnate - introduced the newest issues of "Sensitive Skin" in all of its paper and ink glory - yes: there is still something better than the glowing pixels of a screen. Carl Watson led off the reading with an excerpt from his newest novel. He was followed by Drew Hubner who, accompanied by a black and white photographs projected on the wall, guitar and electronic percussion, read pieces from his novel. He was followed in fairly rapid succession by Thad Rutkowski with a couple of short poems, and Rob Hardin who, as always, read from his e-reader. Yes, there is something that will eventually follow the glory of ink on paper - why it's glowing pixels on a screen.
I won't get started with a rant either in favor of or against e-readers. People can read in any format they want, and if someone's willing to pay for it, publish in any format, too.
The end of the evening was a fusion arts performance which, sadly, I wasn't able to stay for. Faced with an already long day behind me, and a fairly long drive ahead of me, I dived out after Rob finished. I hope Shalom forgives me.