At the end of last semester, we profiled an itty bitty publishing company called Sorry House founded by Spencer Madsen and our very own Willis Plummer. Housing Works Bookstore played host to the alt lit community last night with a reading featuring Sorry House’s own writers, Plummer and Madsen as well as Mira Gonzalez and Victor ‘Kool A.D.’ Vazquez. Other members of the lit community in New York City, like the founder of NY Tyrant, Giancarlo Ditrapano, read at the event held in the bookstore.
You could tell the community was very accepting, before the reading started, everyone was milling around, drinking PBR’s and cheap wine, introducing friends to mutual friends, and buying books and zines from the small collection Sorry House provided.
Although alt lit has gained major disapproval and speculation since its infancy, we’d question whether or not those critics have ever been to a reading. There is something to be said for standing in front of a large group of people and reading about an ex-boyfriend you have, who was 10 years your senior, rubbing his dick on your stomach in the back of a car saying he wanted to cum on your stomach, as Gonzalez did last night. It definitely takes guts.
Not all of the material read was as provocative. Victor Vazquez, or Kool A.D., a member of the recently disbanded Das Racist, created a zine of jokes through Sorry House called Joke Book and was flipping fervently through the pages, rattling off one-liners like: “Every time you eat at a Mcdonald’s, a part of you is saying ‘Fuck it.’” and “The Internet: tool or weapon? Tools: weapons? Weapons: tools?” The jokes were a satirical criticism of our modern society that was both refreshing and thoughtful, as well as uproariously hysterical.
The night was one of expression that was both shocking and exhilarating, ranging from the feelings of a quiet confession to a night of stand-up comedy.
Gonzalez’s book of poems is available for purchase on Sorry House’s website.
Photo by Julia Berke.