Tag Archives: Elinor Nauen

Prose Prose Pros series Readings Writing

Prose Pros presents Lynne Tillman and Lynn Crawford

Literary mischief, bravado inventions from two dazzling writers:  Prose Pros presents Lynne Tillman and Lynn Crawford at SideWalk Café, March 6, at 6:30.  

Lynne Tillman
Lynne Tillman
Lynn Crawford
Lynn Crawford

Lynne Tillman’s fourth collection of stories Someday This Will Be Funny, was published in May 2011. And her second collection of essays, What Would Lynne Tillman Do?, is due this April.

Lynn Crawford of the Green Garage in Detroit wrote Simply Separate People, Two, in 2011. Two new books—a selection of sestinas, The Stubborn Aunt, and a novel, Shankus & Kitto—are due this spring.

Free, but we pass a hat for generous contributions to the readers — Martha King and Elinor Nauen

Martha King Prose Pros series Readings

NEWS: Prose Pros presents Jenny Allen and Nancy Giles, February 6

Prose Pros is me and Elinor Nauen. We’ve been presenting  monthly prose readings for seven years!

Our two readers for February are Jenny Allen (New Yorker columnist) and Nancy Giles (CBS-TV columnist). A first for us: both writers have outstanding stand-up credentials!  At Side Walk Café, 94 Avenue A at 6th Street, NYC, the back room.
Jenny Allen
Jenny Allen
Nancy Giles
Nancy Giles

 Here’s a taste from Jenny Allen’s “The Trouble with Nature” in the The New Yorker’s “Shouts & Murmurs”:

“A lot of people who live in the city like to visit the country to get close to nature. Then, once they are in the country, they find that they needn’t go outdoors to get close to nature. Nature comes right inside, as if to prove some kind of point. . . . Sometimes, there is this black thing hanging from the kitchen ceiling. It is the exact size and shape of a charcoal briquette, and you wonder what a charcoal briquette is doing up there. On closer inspection, it turns out that it is not a charcoal briquette. It’s a bat, hanging upside down. . Its little body is covered in fur, which many people find distressing. This is a creature that flies, and it is as unsettling for a flying thing to have fur as it would be for a hard-boiled egg, or a rose petal, to have it.”

And here’s a hint of what to expect from CBS commentator Nancy Giles.  She started her career portraying a singing bag of garbage and playing Santa at New York City’s Macy’s on 34th Street. She toured for three years with the Second City comedy troupe, and has appeared off-Broadway, on TV, and in more than a dozen movies.  Now she can be found on CBS TV on Sunday mornings. And she has a  plan:  “I want to make people laugh and I want to entertain them, but I also want to provoke thought and discussion.”

Prose Pros is FREE, with a one drink minimum (or purchase a munchie). We pass a hat for contributions, all of which goes to the readers.

Martha King Prose Prose Pros series Readings Writing

The Prose Pros Reading on December 6

Andrew Levy and Andrej Blatnik were presented by Prose Pros at the Side Walk Café, December 6, 2012.

You can put Everything in –

Less is more  —

Charles Olson said something about space as the essential American condition…am I misquoting?  misremembering?  Certainly space is a foundational premise in Andrew Levy’s prose work.  It is not collage! It is his essential understanding of and belief in S P A C E that allows him to range through satire, horror, tenderness, nostalgia, massive political anger, joy in small day events, the beautifully captured voices of those routinely unheard, the voices that din our ears relentlessly.  Put it all in. And do it seamlessly.   All, everything, goes into his work, carried together by nearly invisible changes, the changes of jazz, the shifts we accept unquestioningly when they are NOT language (or not language because the language is so abstract as to snap the links of meaning) – but rarely encountered when words retain meanings as Levy’s do.

Listening at the Side Walk Cafe

Space –  as a means to incorporate, to take account of, to manage and make of  the barrage we’re living in and under…  No surprise at all that Andrew lost track of time as he read – and we did too, although time is a condition for the monthly readings Elinor Nauen and I host at Side Walk Cafe.  We are given an early slot, exactly 6:30 to 7:45 before the live bands, always on offer, start up.

The new novel (so he called it), that Andrew read from last Thursday  (I’d prefer to call it “prose work” as transcends the rote definition we all have of NOVEL) is still in progress and thus not yet available.  His recent Nothing is in Here from EOAGH is available for $17 from SPD.  Be rewarded. And expect to have your person personally engaged.   www.spdbooks.org

Andrew Levy reading
Andrej Blatnik reading












The second reader was our guest from Slovenia, Andrew Blatnik, master minimalist.  I don’t say that lightly.  His fictions aren’t short as a “demonstration” of just how short a word-thing can be. Kostelanetz has a series of one- and two-word novels as have several others: they are plays on a possibility. They can set off a chain of music but they are not actual stories.  Blatnik’s are.  Stories. Huge stories with layered complications – about people and relationships we all too easily recognize. They are presented in brief straight-forward sentences, often simple no-frills declarations, and not too many of them. But selected and attached with precision. Not to give us his audience distance but straight and simple to go for the throat. They are devastating and hilarious. They are cruel and heart-breaking. They are clearly true and just as clearly tales from the interior.

Happily Dalkey Archive is aware of Slovenia and much more and Andrej’s book can be ordered from  www.dalkeyarchive.com/  for $11.  (BTW,  poke around the Dalkey site if you are not aware of their Global Translation Initiative. )




Martha King Prose Prose Pros series Readings Writing

Ver Gangen Bangen Heit a bust as a sound file

Sorry, friends!  The CD of  our SideWalk show on August 2 was a wash.  Technical gremlins, even before I got my fingers on it.  So no MP3 – let alone a YouTube item.

Here’s a snippet. No sound. No pictures. See previous post for names of contributors.  What’s below is up to you and however you hear/see/imagine Elinor Nauen, Mike DeCapite, Francis Levy, and Martha King in concert:

[Elinor] Tabitha pressed her face again the cold skin of the mirror. I wish it would snow, she thought. I love making snow angels. Washing her hands in the sink took all her concentration, soaping each finger. She thought of her fosters taking her to see the water lilies at the Botanical Gardens. She walked between them holding their hands.

[Mike] The lilies floated across their pond of shallow water; each stalk had six petals like long white fingers.

[Elinor] She’d clipped Danielle’s nails, holding the dead girl’s hand in her own, the fingers still warm. But the way they curled reminded her of petals beginning to wilt. The sound the clippers made. Hawkins cupping his hand to catch them.

[Mike & Francis] Come on, Come on, Come On, Come on, and Take It!

[Mike] “Tabitha!” Hawkins barreled down the hall, ripped open the bathroom door, and punched her in the small of her back. In the mirror she could see the toothpaste bubbles spatter, the surprise in her eyes.

In the near distance Shiv could see the splayed legs of the camel and the panting dogs, muzzles smudged with blood and eyes glowing through the heat. They were the first satisfied animals he’d seen in weeks.

[Francis] I wanna see me some vagina before you get in the ring with him.

[Martha] It is Thursday now and I didn’t work at all on this yesterday, but as I was coming to bed around twelve-thirty or one last night, Cathy spoke the following phrases to me:

[Elinor] “Who are you?”

[Mike] “Are you from a book?”

[Francis] “Tomorrow you can meet the owner of the house.”

[Elinor & Mike] “Is someone asleep?”


Martha King Prose Prose Pros series Readings

Coming this Thursday – Prose Pros does it again Levenberg and Simmons

We’ve put another odd couple together, although Diane (Simmons) and Mitch (Levenberg) actually know each other. Mitch is coffeeshop counters in the city, subways, garbage cans going crash in the night, misconceptions…. Diane is pickup trucks with bad alternators, roadside waitresses prone to being stiffed on tips. This happensThursday, November 3, at 6:30 – at the ever so hospitable Side Walk Café, Avenue A at 6th Street. See you there!