Since Stephanie is too modest to report on the gossip surrounding her own reading, I'll do it, since I'm not too modest to report on the gossip surrounding mine. Or ours.
First, allow me to say just how genuinely great Dana Ward is. Dana exists completely outside (with the exception of visits to his friends in NYC, Boston, and his new friends in the Bay Area) a poetry scene. Cincinnati is a veritable void, according to Dana, for poetry. Yet, there he is, publishing Magazine Cypress, Chapbooks (mine included) and writing poetry so lush and vibrant it screams far beyond his hushed voice. Dana is a New Brutalist in the most core ways (that is, according to my rubric). Dana is the most excited and exciting guest we've had in a long while. So, Dana Ward, I salute you my new friend.
Dana, Stephanie and I rolled to the reading in a convertible beetle with the top down and the Beach Boys blaring! It must've been well over 80 degrees yesterday. With a box full of books, magazines, chapbooks, and fresh from a brand new mobile press, Sea.Lamb.Press, Dana's Standards. Rodney Koe[r]neke arrived like an italian runway model just having finished a shoot; his high-collared shirt half-open and shades gleaming in the sun and during the short break, he lit a cigar. Taylor Brady in a ringer T-shirt and faux-slacks. Tanya Brolaski easily the most stylish person on the planet, featuring amber aviators that polished the tip of her western-chic ensemb. Dan Fisher also sporting black aviators and a slick western-chic ensemb. Cynthia Sailers with gorgeous long hair and in all black, ever the chanteuse. Trevor Calvert (late, having walked from JapanTown) in a black tuxedo-shirt and jeans. Del Ray Cross in a fabulous pieced-together airplane t-shirt. Sean Finney simply showing the world his man-pelt between the flaps of his patterned button-up. There were more but I will stop here.
I will say Stephanie's and Dana's readings were astonishingly good. Someone else can vouch for my own. What followed the reading shall not be repeated. I will say only this: It was pure Dionysian joy.