Who could not love the premise of Evan Karp‘s reading series, Under the Influence? Each writer chooses an author that (s)he loves, introduces the audience to that author, then reads a short piece inspired by the work of that writer. I stumbled upon Italo Calvino’s novel, If On A Winter’s Night, A Traveller, when I was working at my first bookstore job in San Francisco. I fell into it completely, with its 2nd person narration and its unconventional, twisty storytelling. I went on to read Invisible Cities, Cosmicomics, Under the Jaguar Sun, Marcovaldo, Mr. Palomar, and many other Calvino titles. He had a prolific imagination that made the world seem possible.
My story, “Invisible City,” was inspired by Calvino’s stories told by Marco Polo to Kublai Khan. To me that book is several books rolled into one: fairytales, travelogue, architectural guidebook, and bromance. Still one of my favorite books to read on an airplane.
“Invisible City” at The Emerald Tablet, August 2, 2014
A rousing time was had by all at the February 4th celebration of young readers, put together by Evan Karp, Chris Cole and the good folks at 826 Valencia. The authors were at the top of their game and the Pirate Store was absolutely SRO. Allie read Gillian’s poem, “How To Be a Circuit” in the second half of the evening. Then they skedaddled home to hit the books since it was a school night!
How To Be A Circuit
First you have to choose whether you are
a parallel circuit or a
series circuit choose if you have a switch
or a lightbulb or a
buzzer or if your inside inside
Rudolf the red-nosed Reindeer
but even if you choose a bee that flaps its wings
you have to have a flowing connection of electricity
maybe from a batterie or an outlet
the connection has to be clear
the light or buzzer goes out
for a series circuit you’re in a loop, you’re more
but to be a parallel circuit is more complicated
but if one goes out the others stay on
hopefully your batteries will never go
And you can read the entire sparkle + blink 36 here!
There was lots of love in the house on Nov. 5th. Thanks to everyone for coming out for a fun evening! And to QL curators Evan Karp and Chris Cole and all the Quiet Lightning poets! Here’s a clip of my reading, “Feeding Time: The Lion House”: