Those who secured an egg salad sandwich or a small plate of veggies and hummus, a chair or section of couch and a spot to see the writers of Thread read their work, know it’s so: Thread: A Literary Publication enjoyed a magnificent launch last Wednesday evening at the cozy Curt’s Cafe.
But you who came out, parked and then couldn’t find a place to put yourself, who knew? I offer you free admission to the next reading!
For you who couldn’t be there, let me set the scene: An overflow crowd of people sat quietly as nine writers read their essays on a variety of subjects from Lee Reilly’s caregiving curiosity about the life of her charge in “Finding Nancy H.,” to the raging hormones of Anne Heaton’s mid-pregnancy in “Crazy Bird” to what it feels like to want to light up a joint in Timothy Parfitt’s “Smoke Screen,” remember something good about one’s not-so-terribly good father in “The Bath,” or be Tom Wolferman in a job, outgrown, in “A Paper Trail.” It was a night of stories reflecting human experiences across the lifespan. A celebration not only of writers and the premiere issue of Thread but an evening devoted to the truth and beauty of the personal essay. My favorite of all the written forms!
Here’s what the cafe looked like before it was filled with story lovers:
And here’s what it looked like after:
And if you wanted to get some air in between readings, this is what it looked like from the street:
Thread will be hosting three readings a year – the next one in April – to coincide with the release of each new issue. I’m already looking for a larger venue, so stay tuned about that! But for those of you who can’t make it for the readings on a Wednesday night, you’ll just have to find a few minutes and a place where you can read from a well-lit screen to soak up these artful word journeys.
What I love about personal essays is that they are indeed personal – sometimes painfully so – and yet the best ones touch on something in the reader, something universally human, and it has the potency to not only move us but even, possibly, to change us just a little bit. Take Robert Grubb’s “Imprint.” A connection is made from a grown son to his mother when a memory is evoked by a new puppy who is trying his patience.
Here’s what all of the writers – and I – looked like after the reading:
I’ll be looking for submissions for future issues beginning in mid-January 2015. Go to the Submissions Guidelines page of the Thread site for more about that. And so that you don’t miss reading dates and publication releases and posts about writing and creative process, take a minute to subscribe to this blog and to Thread.
Photographs by Jill Howe