The Red Eye Cafe in Montclair, NJ was filled last night as The Halfway There Reading Series kicked-off its second season with four writers whose styles were as diverse as their material.
The small crowd of about 30, a full house for the Red Eye, heard an excerpt from author Mark de Silva’s debut novel, Square Wave, as well as several short pieces from author Ben Greenman, poems from poet/visual-artist Rachel Eliza Griffiths, and an excerpt from Sara Weiss’s just-finished novel, Travel Light.
(Audio of the selections can be found at the bottom of the page.)
The readings ended with a Q&A, the audience peppering the guests with questions about their writing habits, influences, and their opinions about NJ. The readings lasted a little more than an hour, admittedly shortened to give everyone time to watch the Presidential debate.
The Halfway There Reading Series, co-founded by writers Apryl Lee and Nicole Haroutunian, is one of only a handful of recurring reading events in northern NJ, and the only one that hosts unknown up-comers alongside well-known veterans.
The series is held four times a year and is always at the Red Eye Café in Montclair.
Author and philosopher Mark de Silva began the evening with an excerpt from his debut novel, Square Wave. The excerpt, which de Silva referred to as the most self-contained section of his kaleidoscopic novel, followed a painter breaking-down in a Las Vegas casino.
Author and essayist Ben Greenman, who has also co-written memoirs with Questlove and George Clinton, read four short pieces that are probably best referred to as experimental, if we use the term as a meaningless catch-all for literature that evades definition.
Poet and visual artist Rachel Eliza Griffiths read four poems from her latest collection, Lighting The Shadows, taking us from Johnny Cash to the Syrian war to racial injustice in the US.
Sara Weiss, author and blogger, read from her just-finished novel Travel Light. The excerpt involved a young girl following her mother to a cult.
The evening ended with a Q&A, the audience asking the guests about their writing habits and influences.
The Halfway There Reading Series hosts quarterly readings at the Red Eye Cafe in Montclair, NJ. The next will be on January, 9th.