I’m not one of those Angelinos who will claim that our literary culture rivals that of New York (sorry people, it just doesn’t–we can still love LA and concede secondary status on pizza and publishers). Nonetheless, we do have a pretty vibrant community of writers and readers. I’ve written about Chaparral and What Books Press here before, and I’m always happy to see news of a new journal or press.
On that note, The Rattling Wall is set to launch this month, and the inaugural issue looks delightful with offerings from Albert Reyes, Tony Hoagland, James Frey, and Neal Pollack, among others. They’re having a release party at the Hammer a week from tomorrow. If Hoagland were reading, I’d be there in a heartbeat, but alas he is not. Nonetheless,the slate is full of talent: Joseph Mattson, Michelle Meyering, James Greer, Neal Pollack, Allison Burnett, Stacey Waite, Eloise Klein Healy, Sam Dunn, Matthew Zapruder, Lou Mathews. It should be a great reading.
Wednesday night I had the good fortune to hear several What Books Press/Glass Table Collective writers read at the Wanted: Writers! series at the Rumor Mill. I’ve been meaning to send a shout out about the Rumor Mill for a while after meeting Joe Staats, the master of ceremonies in line to get books signed at the Central Library. This was the third time I’ve been to a Wanted: Writers! reading at the Rumor Mill and each time I leave entertained and feeling part of a community of writers and readers.
Last Wednesday’s reading was particularly special since Katherine Haake, Chuck Rosenthal, and Karen Kervorkian are all part of a collective of “poets and fiction writers, essayists, political activists, a painter, a film-maker [who] . . . have come together to create, promote, and celebrate new books of literary writing and astounding art.” The work read Wednesday ranged from tales of space aliens, poems constructed from the landscapes of New Mexico and Texas, and a romp of a story featuring no less a protagonist than Robert Altman Sr.’s chicken (I would say cock, but that might give the wrong idea–it wasn’t *that* kind of reading). Gronk does all of the cover art for the press and has his own book, A Giant Claw.
For $70 you can subscribe for a year to What Books Press and receive new releases signed by the authors. You can expect to hear more from me about WBP and Wanted: Writers! in the future.