So despite the weather being just insanely cold here in Chicago last Saturday (actual temperature zero [-18 C], wind-chill a blustery -20 [-30 C]), I managed to make it over to the excellent Book Cellar in the city's Lincoln Square neighborhood, where I had the good fortune to attend the release party for issue 5 of the nationally-distributed paper literary publication RAGAD. Run by CCLaP friend and reader Nick Ostdick, it is a bit of a throwback to old-skool small publishing of the '80s and '90s; on top of the website which features the usual regularly rotating content, RAGAD is also released in a miniature paper version four times a year, distributed now to half a dozen cities around the country and with the list continually growing. This weekend's party featured readings by Nick, fellow CCLaP friend Peter Anderson, Spencer Dew, Jill Summers and Ben Tanzer (who of course has not only been featured in a past episode of the CCLaP Podcast, but whose first novel has been reviewed here in the past). Anyway, it was a lot of fun, despite the harrowing cold, and I'm glad that Nick dropped me a line and let me know about it. By the way, have your own artistic event coming up in Chicago soon? By all means, drop me an email at cclapcenter [at] gmail.com and let me know, and I'll try as much as possible to make it out.
Speaking of Ben, by the way, I guess he's been inspired recently to finally start up a podcast of his own; he recorded his first episode after the RAGAD party, in fact, a roundtable discussion about a variety of artistic topics, featuring not only Nick and myself but also Jason Behrends of cult favorite "What to Wear During an Orange Alert." Anyway, you can check out the finished episode over at Ben's blog; thanks, Ben, for kindly asking me to participate in the really fun conversation!