I love my lit class, but it was well worth skipping tonight so that I could go to The Dollar Store Show at its final stop in Ann Arbor. I feel bad for anyone arriving from out of town in the midst of art fair here and having no idea what to expect. But everyone was hilarious in spite of being in the middle of art fair hell. Really, the show was great. I kind of wish ours would have been in a bar like many others have been, but then I would still be out, and I will be at a party tomorrow night and I try not to miss being home for the kid's bedtime two nights in a row. So, you know. It's all good. The Dollar Store folk were plenty entertaining sober.
Also, I got to buy Blake Butler's Scorch Atlas, which won't be available for another couple months yet, the new issue of Hobart, and Amelia Gray's AM/PM (which she custom-highlighted for me... one of a kind!). And while of course everyone was very funny, and nice, and talented, I was particularly happy to have a chance to meet Matt Bell, because I have read a lot of his work and really admire him and he is a local writer and I don't know too many of those. We have a good literary scene around these parts, I think, I just never really knew where to find it before. I really like this small press world that exists.
So, it was a great reading, and I got to see writers I was already familiar with, and discover some that were new to me. I would attend something like that every week if I could. So worth using up one of my two allowed absences from class.
Also: I am editing this to add that the stories tonight were not only hilarious. Some of them were also quite heartfelt. I'm impressed by the whole range of what people were able to do with their dollar store objects, as I generally fail miserably at trying to write about something specific like that. Not that I write about vague things, I mean, but if you handed me, say, a clear plastic tube full of 5 radish-type-things with faces on them, I would not be able to do what Patrick Somerville did with it.
And also: Scorch Atlas is a freaking beautifully designed book.