Mots Justes hopes you’ll indulge a little self-promotion today, as the second edition of Southern California Review is now available! The literary journal, published by the Master of Professional Writing Program at the University of Southern California, celebrated with a joint reading with MPW at the Spot in Culver City, a wonderful, lit-friendly café/lounge—as long as they know you are coming. The hard-working young woman behind the counter Friday night didn’t—and quickly became overwhelmed by the thirty or forty people who attended.
Eventually, reading host Stephen Silke and I started rooting around ourselves for the lights in the lounge in the back, where a stage and a mic made for a perfect venue. It soon became apparent, however, that the singing Australian drama/theater club that plopped down on the couches was not there for our literature reading but for an open mic.
The young lady by herself behind the counter knew nothing about either event, and the manager was out shopping, but Stephen handled the situation lightly and deftly. Ultimately the other group ceded their spot, unfortunately not sticking around but departing for another venue—or sushi.
The rest of the evening went swimmingly-the place was packed. (I heard attendees—including our faculty adviser—were crowding the entrance and spilling out of the lounge into the café. Here are some highlights:
Host Stephen Silke invited SCR to participate in the evening’s MPW reading.
Stephen also read from his new collection, Furniture.
MPW student Natash Burton read from her fictionalized memoir.
Stacia Saint Owens, whose short story “Once Removed” appears in SCR, read from a new piece that will appear in Massachusetts Review.
Richard Lange, author of short-story collection Dead Boys, read from “Sweeth Nothing,” which appears in SCR. His first novel, This Wicked World, will be published in June.
David Francis, whose novel Stray Dog Winter was released last month, entertained with an excerpt from “How’s It Going, Peter Pan?” and “Daisy on the Bridge,” both of which appear in SCR.
The Spot’s lounge was packed.
Stephen reads along.
Caught in the ’Net