Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Hello, dear readers, we are moments away from the second Monster Mags of the Midwest Reading. We're all getting settled here at Murphy's Bleachers, grabbing a drink and such before the festivities begin.
7:01pm MAR Editor-in-Chief is hosting and let us know there will be a contest where we have to name parts of a pig. Yay, prizes!
7:10pm Keith Lee Morris claims he will win the contest. We shall see, sir.
7:14pm Great turnout, people still coming in, so we're waiting a little bit before getting started. Nice to see so many current and former 9L staffers here.
7:20pm Not to brag, but there are literary celebrities galore here.
7:24pm Getting started. Featured readers are going to play Cornhole against each other. Winner gets a t-shirt.
7:25pm People are getting creativity points in the naming the parts of the pig contest.
7:26pm Matthew Gavin Frank is first up in Cornhole. Current score 5 to 1.
7:27pm First reader up-- poet Michael Robins. He has dedicated his reading to Whitney Houston.
7:28pm We're at standing room only now.
7:31pm Well timed pause as a train went by. This guy knows what he's doing.
7:35pm Michael is reading his poem from the current issue of MAR. You should check it out at the bookfair tomorrow.
7:37pm So many people here that I can barely see the stage.
7:40pm Confirmed that 9L contributor Brock Clarke is up next.
7:41pm Keith got 1 out of 5 in the contest.
7:42pm Everyone give a hand for Brock Clarke. He'll be reading a short short called "Cartoons."
7:44pm Brock's story is poignant and funny as always. Great response from the crowd. That was a sexy story. He killed it.
7:47pm Break for food and such. I highly recommend the tater tots at Murphy's Bleachers.
7:55pm No one in the room knows Cubs trivia. For shame.
7:57pm Cornhole round 2.
8:00pm 9L contributor Mary Biddinger is up next to dazzle us with some poetry. She gave a shout out to 9L. Woo hoo! She has revealed that having the microphone makes her feel like she should sing to us. Sadly, no singing.
8:02pm Becoming an expert finding spaces between audience members to take pictures of the readers through.
8:04pm Mary tells us people always ask her if she writes poems about the funny things her kids say. Her response, "no, no, no." Sadly this does not turn into a rendition of Destiny's Child, "No, No, No." But the poem she does read is awesome.
8:09pm Contest winners being announced. 4 finalists. 2 of them are 9L staffers Max Somers and Angie Hines. 1 one of them is not Keith Lee Morris. Time for rock, paper, scissors to determine the winner. "You may know your hog, but not your rock, paper, scissors." -- Mike Czyzniejewski.
8:11pm 9Lers lose. Sad face. Rachael McKinney is the winner.
8:12pm Keith Lee Morris is reading. Hooray!
8:16pm Brock Clarke makes a better door than a window. Just saying.
8:18pm Food paging system totally drowns Keith Lee Morris out. Oops. I'm sure whatever he was reading at the time was amazing.
8:25pm Four out of six readers down. Too much awesomeness, so we need a quick break.
Taking lots of pictures, so I'll be uploading them later tonight. Everyone seems to be having a great time.
8:34pm And the next reader is.....Matthew Gavin Frank!!! Go 9L contributors!
8:37pm Matthew Frank thanks Jodee. Big round of applause.
8:38pm Matthew is reading a poem at the Morrow Plots at the U of I. In the 20s and 30s it was a body dump and now it's a world renowned known research plot.
8:40pm His 2nd poem is from 9L! Mike C is holding Matthew's book to allow for more arm gestures. There is not gesturing during poetry readings.
8:51pm Corn hole champ to be declared soon! Matthew Gavin Frank is the champion!
8:55pm Tonight's word: decimating.
8:56pm Last reader--Laura Van den Berg. Yikes we almost wore the same shirt. Good thing I changed at the last minute. She's reading a new story about bank robbers.
9:06pm Another blockbuster performance!
9:08pm And with Mike C's closing remarks the reading is over and we can declare the 2012 AWP conference open!
Thanks to all the readers and for everyone who came out on this rainy Chicago evening.
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