MFA IN PUNK
An account of the NY BLATT launch party, as experienced by Joshua Cohen:
"On Friday, April 7, evolution could once again be observed at Galapagos. Evolution, because we forgot the R before. And not Galapagos the Islands. The self-described "art space" located in the festering bosom of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. About 70 people showed up to the BLATT LAUNCH PARTY, to hear readings from the likes of poets Bruce Andrews and Charles Bernstein, and novelists Michael Brodsky and James Chapman. The beer was flowing like wine as James Chapman began by reading an excerpt from his new novel, Stet. Following him, Charles Bernstein ascended the stage, told a joke you'd hear from a favorite uncle, and proceeded to read out selections from his new libretto, Shadowtime, just published by Green Integer. I don't think he took off his coat the entire evening. And more good news -- his car, which he parked outside, despite the protestations of his wife the painter Susan Bee, was still there when he finished up. Michael Brodsky went next, and regaled the audience with a section from his novel-in-progress, Limit Point, which BLATT published back when it was called Heist. At this point in the evening, we were damn near over-time, and the crowd for the next show (a band of strippers with MFAs in punk; they were dressed like bunnies) was already assembling. Over 100 people heard Bruce Andrews drop a few of the funniest lines in poetry, previewing just one of the ten thousand or so books he currently has in progress. By the time editor Joshua Cohen got done his introducing thing, the bar was out of Pabst, all the free issues were gone and BLATT had become launched in New York."