The Dollhouse Reading Series

The Dollhouse Reading Series

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The Dollhouse Reading Series recently moved from its Northcenter location to Lincoln Square (just blocks from my house). It was packed. In one room alone there were 45 people—that doesn’t count the other room, the hallway, the porch, the kitchen, the bathroom (the number “100” has been floating around). ALL THIS FOR A POETRY READING IN AN APARTMENT!?

I know Jenn blogged about this too, but I have something to add.

When I heard Zachary Schomburg was reading at the Dollhouse, I may or may not have squealed with excitement. I’ve been a fan for years, and last year he blurbed my second book.

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He read last, reading poems from all three of his books, Fjords (2012), Scary, No Scary (2009), and The Man Suit (2007). It was great to hear all these poems. I’ve been reading them for quite some time. I think a lot of the people in the room were feeling that. I mean, it’s Zachary Schomburg!! He’s sold over 10,000 books of poetry on an INDIE press. HE’S A POET! He’s sold that many books of POEMS!! Anyway, if you don’t know, that is crazy. That is insane. So, when people say, “Poetry doesn’t sell.” Tell them about Schomburg.

Jenny Zhang read second, opening with a poem called “Pubes.” I’m serious. She was great! She read her—I don’t know what to call these—poems. Some might call them offensive, others feminist, others post-confessional, others nuts. People were into it (well, there was at least one person who looked pretty appalled at the content…). I’ve been hearing about this book for a while, so I was pretty stoked to see her read.

The opening poet was Jesse Malmed. He’s a visual artist/poet/dude. Check out his stuff here. He read sci-fi poems. Two longish poems. They were cool and funny, and I would totally buy a book when there is one.

Speaking of buying books. The greatest thing that can happen after a reading is people buying books. Afterwards, there were so many people buying books—Schomburg’s or Zhang’s or both—and it made me happy. That’s what you should do when you’re at a reading, if you enjoyed the reading: You should buy books. Poets don’t sell a lot (unless you’re Schomburg), and everything helps—gas money, food money, hotel money, etc, etc. Keep that in mind next time you’re at a reading. If you‘ve got 10-15 bucks for drinks at the bar, then you’ve got money to buy a book. When people say that they’re too broke to buy a poet’s book, but we’re at the bar and they’re drinking a whiskey sour, I’ll admit, I get angry. Especially if they’re raving about how good the reading was. Come on folks, buy a book. After all, when you have a book, you’ll want people to buy it.

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That’s what I love about the Dollhouse. It’s supportive. People buy books, talk to poets, hang out, talk about poetry and whatever.