New Digs at the Dollhouse

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The Dollhouse has moved. I repeat, the Dollhouse has moved.

If you follow my posts regularly, you know that I am in a committed relationship and have been for over a year now with The Dollhouse Reading Series. Recently, the Dollhouse moved from Irving Park to Lincoln Square. The new space is lovely: hardwood floors instead of carpet and, the best thing, the toilet flushes properly! For those of you who frequent the series, this is really exciting news! The featured readers were Zachary Schomburg, Jenny Zhang, and Jesse Malmed, and combining that awesome line-up with the new digs produced an enormous turnout. I think the head count was up to 65 (ish), which is perhaps the largest turnout of the series. At one point, there was standing room only. We eventually all made space, and everyone was able to find a spot on the floor.

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The living room is divided into two spaces by a wall, so attendees couldn’t actually see everyone in the crowd, but everyone could see the reader. This made it seem more intimate, less crowded at times. The apartment is on the the first floor, and I kept thinking that people walking by must be so curious as to what could possibly draw such a crowd. It also has an awesome stoop, just like the last space, which is absolutely necessary for those of us who like to have a cigarette during the intermission.

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Along with new digs, the Dollhouse also has two new co-curators, Holly Amos and Ryan Spooner, both of whom have read at the series and are regular attendees. Dolly Lemke, the series founder, is still curating, but sadly, Stephen Danos is off to Seattle. Stephen, your crisp cardigans will be missed. Even though the Dollhouse is going through so many changes, to me, it still felt the same—cozy, warm, and like family. Even reader Zachary Schomburg felt that family vibe and said at one point, “I feel like we all live here, like we’re all roommates.” How wonderful that would be. Cheap rent, great space, and so many people in one place, there for one thing: a good poetry party.