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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Lit Crawls, The Thirsty Scholar Pub and a Cocktail of Books and Booze

A Lit Crawl hosted by Washington Square Review
at the Thirsty Scholar pub in the East Village last year.
Live and exciting events for sure --- with a purposeful and fun ambiance! 

Let the publishing industry fret about the future of print. An ever increasing digitized age has grown weary, moved on and created a more intensified and three-dimensional 'literature as live event' concept AND this concept appears to be real, down-to-earth and thriving.

The fast growing tentacles of Lit Crawls - think Pub Crawls, but with the added ingredient of writers, authors and publishers; both established and newbies - have spread from San Francisco (where they began in 2004) across the United States and overseas.

A goal of mine today is to acquire a list of the upcoming 2014 Lit Crawls, book passage and attend them ALL next year; beginning with Manhattan and the East Village and Lower East Side of New York - where I'll get my basic training for the rest of the lit crawls across the U.S. and overseas.

I figure by the time I get overseas, I'll be in good enough shape (booze-wise and cleaning-the-pipes-wise) to really open her up and have a couple of new film noir detective novels written (written from the belly of the beast Lit Crawl pubs), ready to go right to the silver screen. 

Yeah, now that I have the time, I think this will be a worthy goal, indeed --- What do you guys think?  

Now, this from Laura Collins-Hughes in The New York Times:


A Heady Cocktail of Books and Booze


A 2012 Lit Crawl map
LET the publishing industry fret about the future of print. In an ever more digitized age, literature as live event appears to be thriving.

A case in point: the sprawling web of Lit Crawls — like pub crawls, but with authors — that have made their way from San Francisco, where they began in 2004, into literary strongholds across the United States and now as far as London, whose inaugural Lit Crawl was last weekend. Next month, Los Angeles will have its first.
But this weekend the action is closer to home, with the sixth annual Lit Crawl Manhattan. For three hours on Saturday evening, the bookishly inclined will take to the streets of the East Village and the Lower East Side, seeking their literary fix in bars, art galleries and the occasional pizzeria or laundromat.
According to Suzanne Russo, director of Lit Crawl NYC, it is not a series of sit-downs featuring glossy, boldface names, but a gritty, low-budget affair, both more accessible — there are no tickets, and admission is free — and more locally oriented, giving lesser-known New York writers a turn in the spotlight. For that reason, Ms. Russo said, it draws people who aren’t part of “the nerdy literary crowd” — though it draws them, too.
Bronwen Hruska has participated in past crawls, both as a novelist and as the publisher ofSoho Press. She sees a marked contrast between what she called the party feel of Lit Crawl, filled with writers interested in having fun, and events studded with literary stars, which, for the audience, can feel “almost like worshiping at the foot of your idol.” Lit Crawl, she said, is “much more approachable as a literary festival.”
“I hired a baby sitter,” Ms. Hruska said. “I’m going this weekend.”
The lineup — more than two dozen events spread out over three phases, beginning at 6 p.m. — includes interactive games, like a round of “naughty trivia” with Ophira Eisenberg, the host of NPR’s “Ask Me Another”; ghost stories with Lapham’s Quarterly at theMerchant’s House Museum, which may or may not have ghosts of its own; a performance by Farrar, Straus & Giroux’s house band, the Savage Detectives; and straight-ahead author events, like the New Voices Reading Series “Radical Latinas” program.
Jack Boulware, executive director of Litquake, the San Francisco literary festival that spawned the crawls, said they offer readers and aspiring writers a level of access to authors that auditorium-style events tend not to allow.
“You can buy them a drink,” he said. “You can go to the after-party and hit the dance floor with them if you want. You can talk to them in a social setting. They’re not just whisked offstage. It’s much more democratized in many ways.”
Lit Crawl is also about as low-tech as a brick-and-mortar bookshop. Depending on the space in which an event takes place, Ms. Russo said, even a microphone or a projector might be too much to expect.
The timing of this year’s crawl, and a Friday night benefit at Le Poisson Rouge, is not ideal, Ms. Russo said: Yom Kippur begins Friday at sundown and lasts until just after 7 p.m. on Saturday. This week, the novelist Lore Segal bowed out of her scheduled event, citing Yom Kippur commitments, but is now back on, Ms. Russo said. But, she noted, only one event curator asked, because of the High Holy Day, to be scheduled in a later slot.


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