September 13th: Shelter from the Fire

September 7, 2009


Hey, put down that extinguisher and come on over to the Mandrake on Sunday, September 13th.  We can promise with almost one hundred percent certainty that the bar will not be on fire.  Oh, but the night will be!  Dennis Fulgoni will start things off with new work and Richard Lange will follow that up with a reading from his new novel, This Wicked World, a Los Angeles literary thriller about some bad dogs, some even worse people, some good people, too and love and forgiveness.  This book can’t stop collecting praise.  Here is just a small sampling:

From the LA Times review of This Wicked World, “Lange is incapable of creating a character that isn’t memorable. Even the most minor are indelibly sketched. The hard-luck denizens of a high desert gas station linger long after the story has left them behind.”  And from the New York Times, “Where did they go, those lost souls that Richard Lange captured with such pitiful clarity in his 2007 story collection, Dead Boys? The cross-wired Los Angeles drifters and grifters from that book would fit right in at the Tick Tock restaurant on Hollywood Boulevard, where Jimmy Boone is tending bar in Lange’s terrific first novel . . .”

In honor of the dog days of Santa Ana season, we’ll have Greyhounds on special, DJ Orb will be kicking out the jams and Small World Books will be on hand with copies of This Wicked World. And did I mention cookies?  Yes.  There will be cookies.  And on top of everything else, we’ll have two incredible writers reading some amazing work.  So you’d be crazy not to be there, too, dear reader.

So, to review:

WHAT:  Book Party Fall Debut with Dennis Fulgoni and Richard Lange

WHEN:  Sunday, September 13th at 7:00 pm

WHERE:  The Mandrake, 2692 South La Cienega Blvd, between Venice and Washington (there is no sign- the building is on the east side of the street, white with blue trim)

WHY:  Because we’re crazy about good writing.  And because who doesn’t need a chance to think about something other than Los Angeles burning?  Besides, we all know what The Great Fire was really about.  So come and do as Shirley would do.   Use the fire as metaphor.


Extra special thanks to sculptor Jamey Morrill for lending the incredible image from his performance piece at the top of the page, Bitch and Ball, to Book Party.  We are ever so grateful.


Book Party is Back Sunday, September 13th with Richard Lange and Dennis Fulgoni

August 19, 2009

We’ve had a nice, long summer break, but now Book Party is back in a big way.  Please join us on Sunday, September 13th for a long awaited evening with Richard Lange and Dennis Fulgoni.  

Up and coming fiction writer Dennis Fulgoni will read new work, and writer Richard Lange will be reading from his new novel, This Wicked World, which came out this July and has garnered smoking hot reviews all summer.  As Marilyn Stasio praised in the New York Times, “. . . even the most ruthless villains are drawn with an unexpected sensitivity to their essential humanity. Like the killer who submits to painful tattoo removals so he can battle his ex-wife for custody of their little girl, the brutes are so pathetic you almost want to scratch them under their furry jaws.”   

DJ Orb will be on hand to rock the house and strong cocktails will be ready and waiting.  Check back very soon for more event info, but for now, here is a bit more about the writers:

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Richard Lange was born in Oakland, CA, in 1961 and spent his childhood in various small towns in California’s Central Valley. He attended film school at the University of Southern California, taught English in Barcelona and worked in magazine and book publishing. He was a copy editor for Larry Flynt Publications; managing editor of RIP, a heavy-metal music magazine; a text-book production editor; and managing editor of Radio & Records, a radio-industry trade magazine.

Lange published his first short story in 1994, in New Delta Review, and his story “Bank of America” was selected for inclusion in Best American Mystery Stories of 2004. His collection Dead Boys was published in the U.S. by Little, Brown in 2007, in Italy by Einaudi and in France by Albin Michel. His novel This Wicked World was published by Little, Brown in June 2009 and will also be published in France and Italy.

Lange was the 2008 recipient of the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award for Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a finalist for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2009.



Dennis’s stories have appeared in Parting Gifts, Quarterly West, the Colorado Review, New Stories from the Southwest, and other journals.  He is the winner of an AWP Intro Journals Award, a James Kirkwood Award for Fiction through UCLA, and a Special Mention in the 2008 Pushcart Prize.  Dennis holds an MFA from Antioch University and is currently revising his first novel.

Thanks for a Hot and Heavy June Book Party!

June 30, 2009



Thanks to all of you who came out for the amazing first season finale to Book Party!  J Ryan Stradal and Patty Seyburn brought the crowded house down with fabulous new work and the audience endured the heat with French 75s in hand to listen to each and every last word.  We are so thrilled about the support Book Party has received from writers and readers alike, and we can’t wait for next year!  Have a lovely, lazy Los Angeles summer and we’ll look forward to seeing you on September 13th when Richard Lange comes to Book Party to kick off our second season.  He’ll be reading from his incredible Los Angeles novel This Wicked World.  Can’t wait to see you all then.


June 21st – Come out of Seclusion, Dear Reader!

June 14, 2009


Where have you been?  It’s been so long since we’ve last seen you.  It’s time to come out of literary seclusion and join us for a night of poetry, prose and bookish togetherness.  This Sunday, Patty Seyburn will read from her new book Hilarity.  How could you miss a writer whose work Carol Muske- Dukes says this about?  “In a time when there’s little to laugh about, Patty Seyburn’s Hilarity is an epic punch line:  sparkling and smart.  I rely on her ‘sort of music eliding joy and pain’ –and the echoes in the great church of disbelief to keep us all sane and savvy.  Read Hilarity and weep, and laugh.  And get better because of it.” 

And not only will Patty make you weep and laugh, but J Ryan Stradal will tell you a story that will make you happy it’s June in Los Angeles and you have the good fortune of being alive.  And all at the Mandrake, with tasty cocktails and a rocking DJ and other readers and writers, actually out of their houses and into the night!  What magic awaits, dear reader.  So please, put away the white outfit, take your hair out of the bun, and come out of your room and leave the homestead!  Excellent new writing awaits you at the Mandrake at 7.  We’ll help you honor thy father by honoring good books and good strong drinks, something all dads surely would approve of. 

Where?  Mandrake.  2692 South La Cienega, 90034

Who?  Patty Seyburn.  J Ryan Stradal.  You, Dear Reader.

What?  Strong Drinks on Recession Special.  Lovely Writing.  Glossy Books.  Music You Like.  Attractive Strangers that Read.

When?  Sunday, June 21st.  7:00

Why?  Let’s do it for Ms. Dickinson, who said her father’s “Heart was pure and terrible and I think no other like it exists.”



June 21st with Patty Seyburn and J. Ryan Stradal

June 3, 2009

Book Party is back this June and  we’re doing things a little differently, just to keep you on your toes.  We’ll be hosting two amazing writers with us on the third Sunday this month, instead of the second.  Why the third?  Why not?  Poet Patty Seyburn will be joining us to read from her new book Hilarity and up and coming writer J. Ryan Stradal will be telling us a story.  It should be a literary delight, so mark your calendars, and we’ll have more details here soon.  

In the meantime . . . two Los Angeles writers you simply won’t want to miss.

Patty Seyburn’s third book of poems, Hilarity, won the Green Rose Prize given by New Issues Press (Western Michigan University, 2009). She has published two books of poems: Mechanical Cluster (Ohio State University Press, 2002) and Diasporadic (Helicon Nine Editions, 1998) which won the 1997 Marianne Moore Poetry Prize and the American Library Association’s Notable Book Award for 2000. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals including The Paris Review, New England Review, Field, Slate, Crazyhorse, Cutbank, Quarterly West, Bellingham Review, Connecticut Review, Cimarron Review, Third Coast and Western Humanities Review. Seyburn grew up in Detroit, earned a BS and an MS in Journalism from Northwestern University, an MFA in Poetry from University of California, Irvine, and a Ph.D. in Poetry and Literature from the University of Houston. She is an Assistant Professor at California State University, Long Beach and co-editor of POOL: A Journal of Poetry, based in Los Angeles. She lives with her husband, Eric Little, and their two children, Sydney (8) and Will (6).


J. Ryan Stradal is from the second-oldest town in Minnesota but has lived most of his adult life in Venice Beach. He has been published in Hobart (for which he received a Pushcart Prize nomination), McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Written By, and Student Traveler, and was a 2008 Kirkwood Prize finalist at UCLA. He also writes product copy for the Echo Park Time Travel Mart, volunteers for the literary nonprofit 826LA, works as a Senior Story Producer on the Discovery series Deadliest Catch and plays in a band called Super Duper.


Thanks for a Superb May Book Party

May 19, 2009


Chris Abani rocked the house with a variety of work for the Book Party crowd, some of which involved siamese twins battling it out for survival in Las Vegas.  Emily Rapp blew us away with a sneak peak at her novel in progress.  Small World brought the books, DJ Orb brought the noise, and Joan Crawford appeared to freak us all out at the mother’s day Book Party.  Thanks to all for coming out and making the night a literary success!


We’ll have more info very soon about the next Book Party engagement . . . just a little something to get you through the long, hot summer.  In the meantime, December Book Party guest Brendan Constantine’s new book of poetry, Letters to Guns, is out from Red Hen Press and garnering stellar reviews, so make sure to pick up a copy!

May 10th: Book Party Wants to Mother You

April 29, 2009

abanirappblog2Readers!  Why haven’t you called?  And what do you mean you aren’t visiting next weekend?  Sure, you can take your dog back if you want to break your father’s heart.  Riding your bike to work?  On those busy streets?  Do you think that’s a good idea?   Well you know your father, he’s so nervous about the markets, so we just took the bus from the airport to the hotel last weekend in Boston, even though my foot hasn’t totally healed from my operation.  Yes, even with the cast.  Oh, and I went to the pharmacy and bought you disposable masks.  I fed-exed them.  Overnight.  You know, since you’re so close to Mexico.  You never know.

Just kidding!!!  We will only mother you in the good way!  We are so thrilled to be back for our May 10th event.  Emily Rapp and Chris Abani will both be on hand to delight you with new work and help you recover from that three hour brunch with your Mother in Law.  We know it’s been a hard year.  We’d like to take care of you for a little while.  Things get rolling around 7, so come by the Mandrake for a couple of excellent bedtime stories, a little bit of music, a few stellar cocktails and home baked treats, and some serious literary love.  We’ll make you feel special!  We promise.

Now, for a little more about our two fabulous writers!

EMILY RAPP:  Emily Rapp is the author of Poster Child: A Memoir. Her work has appeared in StoryQuarterly, Body + Soul, Good Housekeeping, the Texas Observer, the Los Angeles Times, the Best Creative Nonfiction, and other publications. She is the recipient of a U.S. Fulbright Scholarship, the Rona Jaffe Foundation Award for Emerging Women Writers, and the Philip Roth Writer-in-Residence Award at Bucknell University. She has received recognition for her work from the Corporation of Yaddo, the Jentel Arts Foundation, the Atlantic Monthly,the Mary Roberts Rinehart Foundation, the Fine Arts Work Center, and the James A. Michener Center at the University of Texas-Austin, where she was a fellow in fiction and poetry. She teaches in the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Antioch University-Los Angeles and is currently at work on a novel.




CHRIS ABANI:  Chris Abani’s prose includes Song For Night (Akashic, 2007), The Virgin of Flames (Penguin, 2007), Becoming Abigail (Akashic, 2006), GraceLand (FSG, 2004), and Masters of the Board (Delta, 1985). His poetry collections are Hands Washing Water (Copper Canyon, 2006), Dog Woman (Red Hen, 2004), Daphne’s Lot (Red Hen, 2003), and Kalakuta Republic (Saqi, 2001). He is a Professor at the University of California, Riverside and the recipient of the PEN USA Freedom-to-Write Award, the Prince Claus Award, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, a California Book Award, a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, a PEN Beyond the Margins Award, the PEN Hemingway Book Prize & a Guggenheim Award.



What?  You’re too busy, you say?  Too stressed to come out for Chris Abani and Emily Rapp?  Grace Paley says, “That’s bullshit!  I raised two small children while writing The Little Disturbances of Man.  Just come and don’t worry about the little things, like doing your hair.”  Big love to all the literary mamas out there, who create other worlds while taking care of others.  Moms rock! 




April 2, 2009


Here at Book Party we’re living the high life on Spring Break for April!  But we’ll be back on Sunday, May 10th with Chris Abani (WOO HOO!)  and more!  See you then!

March Book Party – A Knock Out

March 14, 2009


Thanks to Joshuah Bearman and Adam Cushman for making March such incredible fun.  We were treated to our first official slide show (involving a bench pressing snowman, what else?) and heard a hilarious tale about a very modern, semi-violent romance.   DJ Orb made the music, Vish mixed the Greyhounds, and the audience, per usual, was lovely AND brilliant.  Where were you?  We really hope you weren’t eating ramen. We’ll be taking April off, but we’ll be back in May.  More news to come about who will be reading.  In the meantime, don’t invest 30k and in a traveling sideshow involving a bench pressing snowman, and check back soon!   


Sunday, March 8th: A Night Without Ramen

March 2, 2009

February has become March, and what are you doing? Staying home making Ramen Surprise again? While MFK Fisher would certainly be impressed with your steadfast ingenuity, we at Book Party feel you deserve to go out and have a little fun, even in the midst of a full blown economic crisis! Come by Book Party for a much needed escape. Adam Cushman and Joshuah Bearman will take your mind on a trip, anywhere but here. Greyhounds will be on special, the cocktails, not the dogs, though honestly, we’d love to offer each and every one of you your very own Greyhound dog to take home as a much needed loyal and skinny companion in these hard times. But instead, we offer you the music of DJ Orb, plus alcohol and cookies, which will also keep you warm. And good stories. And literary camaraderie. So come over at 7:00 this Sunday. We’ll be there for you.