Friday 1 June 2018 | Launch Party for Kiss Kiss by Paul Beckman | NYC @KGB Red Room
This was a great night reading — beside celebrating the publication of my good friend Paul’s new flash fiction collection, he invited a group of writers to select a favorite story of his to read, and then opened the mic for readers to read their own work! The reading kicked off with a spotlight on three readers in particular, Devin Kelly, Niles Reddick, and Leonora Desar.
Paul is an all-around champion of the short-short story, and is the emcee at large and in charge of the East Coast FBomb Flash Fiction Reading Series, a series that began in Denver with Nancy Stohlman. Kiss Kiss is out now from Truth Serum Press, and you can learn more about it at this link. Fellow reader, Niles Reddick, also had written a review of it at the MBR Reviewers Bookwatch, which includes this astute summary:
From a dentist with no eyebrows in “Dean’s Dilemma” to “Floaters” that recounts the reality of someone who has those annoying black dots in his eyes, Beckman offers us slice after slice of the good and bad of humanity. Each story is realistic and believable even when it might be a stretch in reality like in “Wallflower Solution” when a wife gives her husband a crib sheet at parties to use since he’s an introvert and in “Epilogue” where two daughters who the parents thought had been abducted reappear after five years, having been living it up with a couple of truckers in their mobile homes.
Paul’s stories are at turns entertaining and heartbreaking, but always delightful. Another review, by Craig Fishbane, can be found at Bending Genres. Here’s a link!
So, here’s a report on the reading. Reddick quickly established himself as everyone’s favorite visiting Tennessean. This was Niles’s first visit to NYC with his family, and it was so much fun to share in their delights! Rather than read from a book, he did his storytelling old school and without a script, and I’ll never forget the story of the grandmother accidentally put naked in a cardboard box before being driven by a family member 8 hours to her own wake. Strangely, that was not fiction. LOL. Niles is right, sometimes the real work of fiction is “toning down” real life!
After those three writers, there was a BARRAGE of BECKMAN, as one after another, writers took the stage to read one of Paul’s gems. Kind of a Roman candle of readings. Pow pow pow! Following, Paul invited everyone to come back up and read a few of their own. Paul even had 20 pizzas delivered to the bar! So we took a pizza break about midway, and got a chance to mingle and laugh. Just wonderful. Here is a list of readers, and I always note what stories I read, too, just so I can look here to remember.
- Niles Reddick
- Devin Kelly
- Leonora Desar
- Jennifer Juneau
- Francine Witte
- Sandra Beckman
- A.E. Weisgerber
- “Goodbye Already” from Kiss Kiss by Paul Beckman
- “Knoxville” by A.E. Weisgerber, forthcoming in the 2018 anthology National Flash Fiction Day: Ripening
- “Torquatus” by A.E. Weisgerber, forthcoming in Great Weather for MEDIA’s 2018 anthology
- Brian Zimbler
- Craig Fishbane
- Nancy Ludmerer
- Joshua Beckman
- Mathieu Cailler
- Susan Weiman
The FBOMB NYC Flash Fiction Reading Series is hosted by Beckman on the first Friday of every month, at the fabled KGB Red Room Literary Reading Space, 85 E 4th St, NYC. Come on out and join in hearing some of the greatest readings of short fiction and poetry! It’s a great night in a great space. <3