Thank heaven for the tall ceilings in Hell’s Kitchen Lounge in Newark. I was able to fit in the doorway to join the audience for the June installment of one of my favorite literary readings, Brick City Speaks, a series that draws from local institutions like the Rutgers-Newark MFA program and the Portuguese-American community of the Ironbound section of Newark to create a unique and enthralling environment for literary monsters and homo sapiens alike.
This month, the dapper Mel King shared a touching love story, augmented by evocative prose, while the enchanting and altogether otherw0rdly Elizabeth Palamara (@EbethPalamara) allowed listeners a peek into her novel-in-progress. The wonderful dynamic between a tattoo artist and his client-turned-crush nicely paralleled Msr. King’s nonfictional themes. Then Melanie Tolomeo bewitched us all with her amiable stage presence and lyricism. Renaissance man Timothy Ruiz (@writertimothy) rounded out the evening with poems and a rousing performance of original music. All in all, a tour de force! Magnifique! Other French idioms would also suffice!
Don’t miss the next Brick City Speaks reading on the second Monday of July at 8:00 pm.