A group of us have been secretly working on this for literally the last six months, so I'm relieved and happy today to finally announce the news to the public -- a half-dozen of CCLaP's writers and myself will be traveling to New York City at the end of this month, for a four-day mini-tour of New York City consisting of four different shows across Manhattan and Brooklyn! I've got lots to tell you today about it, so let's get started:
This has been a long-desired goal of mine at CCLaP, to start sponsoring a yearly out-of-town showcase for our writers, simply to help spread the good news about the Chicago literary community to as many far-flung locations as possible; and really the main person to thank is New York author and Brooklyn Rail senior editor John Reed, who initially proposed last fall that we all come to lower Manhattan performance space Le Poisson Rouge to promote the CCLaP anthology last year that he was a part of, American Wasteland: Bleak Tales of the Future on the Tenth Anniversary of 9/11. That got delayed until this early summer, and its scope got bigger and bigger as the months progressed; and now we're going for a total of four days, from Sunday May 31st to Sunday, June 3rd, performing in four different locations in four nights, and with four different line-ups of performers, including local tie-ins at two of those shows...
On THURSDAY, MAY 31ST, like I said, CCLaP will be at the lower Manhattan performance space Le Poisson Rouge, and will be featuring writers David David Katzman, Oriana Leckert, Lauryn Allison Lewis, Katherine Scott Nelson and John Reed. The showcase will be hosted by myself.
On FRIDAY, JUNE 1ST, the group will move to Brooklyn used bookstore Book Thug Nation, where the featured performers will be Katzman, Leckert, Lewis, Nelson and now Sally Weigel. This show will be hosted by CCLaP's assistant director, Traci Kim. This particular event will also feature a local literary group still to be announced, and is being sponsored by the arts-and-entertainment website Brooklyn Spaces.
On SATURDAY, JUNE 2ND, CCLaP will be at the Brooklyn experimental performance space Vaudeville Park, where the lineup will once again consist of Katzman, Leckert, Lewis, Nelson and Weigel, and with John Reed once again joining the group. It will be hosted again by Kim, sponsored again by Brooklyn Spaces, and this time will be done in conjunction with New York jazz band Battle Of The Camel.
And on SUNDAY, JUNE 3RD, join CCLaP for its largest showcase of the tour, at revered lower Manhattan "lit bar" KGB. The lineup will once again feature Katzman, Lewis, Nelson and Weigel, plus Chicago writer Ben Tanzer and Ohio essayist Kevin Haworth. This show will once again be hosted by me.
Anyway, there's a Facebook event page for this now as well, so please join that to have it automatically added to your own Facebook calendar, wall, etc. We need all the help we can get to get this properly promoted to New Yorkers, so I highly encourage you to pitch in however you can!
And speaking of which, I'm also looking for all of these authors' collective fans to help chip in to subsidize the massive amount of plane tickets that had to be bought, which right now are each being covered by the authors themselves; just $2,500 brought in through our coming Kickstarter campaign, starting tomorrow, would be enough to cover the tickets of each and every person who bought one, essentially starting that author near zero at the beginning of the tour, and the rest of it being pure profit from book sales while there. To entice you, CCLaP is releasing a brand-new limited-edition anthology called Chicago Platter, in fact technically called Chicago Platter 2012 because I plan on doing one of these every year as a fundraiser for that year's trip. It features brand-new, unpublished pieces from every local writer going on this trip, and will be available in electronic form for a $5 donation and as a handmade paper edition for $20, or signed by all six authors for $35. (And yes, technically we'll release the electronic version later this summer to the general public for free download; but that $5 not only gets you an early copy, but your name on the book's front "thank you" page to all the Kickstarter donators.) We'll then also have a $50 level where you get all of the above, plus get to attend an intimate, private summer outdoor 'bon voyage' party in Evanston on Saturday, May 26th, where on top of free food and liquor in a beautiful garden environment you will have a chance to interact with CCLaP's authors within a very small and casual crowd; and for $100 you get all of that plus a paper copy of all eleven small "Hypermodern" paper books we've now put out, shipped en-masse directly to your door via USPS Priority Mail. Wow, how can you go wrong? Anyway, that will be officially online tomorrow for your donations, and will run for a month total (or until the end of the actual tour, that is, so that New Yorkers will have a chance to donate too).
I'm very happy to be pulling this off for the first time this year, something I've wanted to do for a very long time now; and here's hoping that we'll be able to do the same thing in the San Francisco Bay area in about a year from now, and then (fingers crossed) maybe an entire two-week tour of the UK and Ireland in 2014. (Fingers crossed!) If you're in the area, I encourage you to come out; and if you're not, I especially encourage you to pre-purchase a copy of Chicago Platter 2012 to help support this and future out-of-town showcases. And don't forget our next out-of-town trip, coming this October to Oxford, Ohio to celebrate the release of Kevin Haworth's coming book of essays about contemporary Jewishness, Famous Drownings in Literary History, winner already of an Ohio Arts Council grant. Kevin's the very first non-Chicagoan to be published at CCLaP, so we're taking the party out to him when the book is out; it's eight hours by car, so we're hoping to make a big fun hipster convoy roadtrip thing out of it. Whew, I'm so glad that all the details of this are finally worked out; I've been very excited about this, so I'm glad to finally have a chance to share it with all of you.