Why yes, we are long overdue to tell you how well Moonshot‘s first event of the New Year went! Held at Mustard Beak, a new arts and performance space nestled on the border of Ridgewood, Queens and Bushwick, Brooklyn, our Cavity Search party delivered bawdy stories, delicious treats, and of course, sweet cocktails. Eve Bates, Ana Božičević, Gregory Crosby, Jason Helm, Kendra Grant Malone, Syreeta McFadden, and more regaled us with works of love and lust, inducing both horror and wonder. Of course, a special thanks goes out to Brooklyn-based artist Greg Hedderman for moonlighting as a master mixologist and keeping the drinks strong, sweet, and free-flowing.
In the month where all matters of the heart are addressed and undressed, Cavity Search showed that writers can find common ground (and break new ground) in a classic conceit. See a few photos below and check out some additional photos on Mustard Beak’s brand new Facebook page.
E.R. dishes advice from her how-to sex guides
Eve Bates reads a new short story
Jason Helm reads a selection from Fetish.
February 10, 2012
Doors at 7:30pm; reading at 8:00pm
Mustard Beak, 1670 Gates Avenue #102 (basement entrance), Queens (border of Ridgewood and Bushwick)
L, M trains to Myrtle-Wyckoff Aves.
RSVP at Facebook
Moonshot presents an intimate night of storytelling. Candle-lit, candy scripture, another heart-o-gram and a dozen roses. Join a variety of talented poets, writers, and raconteurs as they address all things desire in a sex-positive reading space.
For all you tart hearts, we will have Miracle Berries, which temporarily trip the tastebuds and make all sour things taste wonderfully sweet. There will be cocktails/love potions in glass vials, and beer (not in beer vials). There will also be desserts and other treats.
Featuring readings by: Eve Bates, Ana Božičević, Gregory Crosby, Jason Helm, Kendra Grant Malone, Syreeta McFadden,and more.
ABOUT THE READERS
Eve Bates can go from mumbling to screaming in very few seconds. She has two degrees that are best used as doorstops and has recently gone back to school to pursue a useful one. She regrets this decision.
Ana Božičević is the author of Stars of the Night Commute (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2009) and five chapbooks of poetry, most recently War on a Lunchbreak (Belladonna*, 2011). With Željko Mitić, she is the editor of The Day Lady Gaga Died: an Anthology of NYC Poetry of the 21st Century (in Serbian, Peti talas/The Fifth Wave, 2011). Her translation-in-progress of Zvonko Karanović’s It Was Easy to Set the Snow on Fire recently received a PEN American Center/NYSCA grant. With Amy King, Ana co-edits esque and the PEN Poetry Series, and works and studies at The Graduate Center, CUNY.
Gregory Crosby‘s work has appeared in Court Green, Copper Nickel, Epiphany, Ping Pong, Rattle and numerous other journals that sound like nail polish colors. He used to be an art critic, but then thought better of it. He is currently co-editor, with Jillian Brall, of the online poetry journal Lyre Lyre.
Jason Helm has a B.A. in French Civilization and Literature from the University of Minnesota and a Masters from Sarah Lawrence College in Fiction. He’s been a professor at Pratt Institute for the past four years, where he teaches the Junior Writing Studio and a craft class called Hyperrealism. His artistic goals are to bridge the working class and literary worlds and to introduce new gay paradigms. His chapbook, Fetish, is forthcoming from Birds of Lace.
Kendra Grant Malone‘s first book of poetry Everything Is Quiet is available from Scrambler Books and her second collection of poetry, co-written with Matthew Savoca is available from Dark Sky Books.
Syreeta McFadden is a Brooklyn based writer, photographer and adjunct professor of English. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Religion Dispatches and others. She is a member of the louderARTS Project and is an editor of the online literary magazine, Union Station. She is currently writing a book of undetermined size and scope.
On Friday, February 10, 2012, we’ll be hosting Cavity Search, a literary party of all things sweet and desirous. Join us for an evening of poetry and prose on topics of love, lust, and all those strange feelings in between. Featured readers include Eve Bates, Ana Božičević, Gregory Crosby, Jason Helm, Kendra Grant Malone, Syreeta McFadden, and Erin Rashbaum. The party will be held at Mustard Beak (1670 Gates Avenue #102, basement entrance; L/M train at Myrtle-Wyckoff Avenues), a brand new event/arts space on the border of Brooklyn and Queens. Miracle berries, a fruit that makes all sour foods temporarily taste sweet, will be available to get your gustatory rocks off. There will be love potions, specialty cocktails and beers and desserts, too. Doors open at 7:30. Find out more about the event and your readers for the evening here or RSVP on Facebook.
A thought game, if you will: If the Tuscon United School District ‘bans’ The Tempest, Like Water For Chocolate, Drown, Savage Inequalities… from the classroom, because the teaching of these books “promotes divisiveness and hostility between races/groups,” what books would be the antithesis? If you held the worldview that these titles somehow do harm, what would the exact opposite look like?
In 2010, the Arizona State Legislature passed a law prohibiting ethnic studies programs in Arizona Public Schools. Late last December, an Administrative Court Judge upheld the new law, stating the ethnic studies program in the public schools “promote resentment toward a race or class of people.” ruling continual administration of the program unlawful. Earlier this month, State Superintendent John Huppenthal issued an order stating that 10% of the TUSD funds—a total of about $5 million—would be withdrawn retroactively. On January 12th, officials confiscated books from classrooms featuring the works of Latino authors, effectively dissolving the Mexican American Studies program. Some works that will no longer be part of the curriculum include Paolo Friere’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Junot Diaz’s Drown, Laura Esquivel’s Like Water for Chocolate, Jonathan Kozol’s Savage Inequalities and William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. (The Tempest? Seriously? This is why we can’t have nice things.)
These books supposedly promote divisiveness and breed racial resentment—a curious proposition in denying a narrative, or relate an experience that differs from that of white European descendants in the Americas. The books are purported to be available within the school’s public library system—meaning the books aren’t exactly banned—they’re just made available in way that is not quite as accessible to students as they were when they were physically in the classroom. In the classroom, these titles are introduced by instructors informed enough to guide a conversation that would promote discovery and growth that a student wouldn’t otherwise necessarily experience with independent study or research. Doesn’t removing these titles from the classroom do more harm than good?
Alternatively, I’m not sure what one could teach in the classroom that would be in compliance with the new law. The inherent racism of the law notwithstanding, it’s a far more insidious law if you dig deeper. Well perhaps, better stated, the enforcement of the law is far more insidious and truly hits to the heart: censorship. In a Huffington Post interview, TUSD teacher tells writer Jeff Biggers:
‘Due to the madness of this situation and our fragile positions as instructors who will be frequently observed for compliance, and be asked to produce examples of student work as proof of our compliance, I cannot disagree with their advice. Now we are in the position of having to rule out The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Great Gatsby, etc. for the exact same reason.’