Friday, October 19, 2007

Good Times in Detroit

On Wednesday I went to the Zeitgeist gallery in Detroit where Jeff Vande Zande and Ken Meisel read selections of their poetry. Carly Sachs was scheduled to read as well, but unfortunately she was under the weather and had to cancel her long trip from Washington, D.C.

Jeff and I met up with Ken in Corktown at Slow’s Bar BQ, the best barbeque place in Detroit, according to Ken. And if anyone knows and loves Detroit in all its gritty glory, it is Ken Meisel, so when he says Slow’s is the best BBQ in Detroit, then that is indeed the case.

The Zeitgeist is a great venue, and James Hart III and Kim Hunter are very gracious hosts. The bar gallery is a collage in itself, what with the paintings of Jacques Karamanoukian adorning the old brick walls while the bar and booths remain intact from its days as a watering hole. But aside from being an art gallery and literary reading venue (hosting readings by ground-breaking experimental poets like Carla Harryman and Catherine Taylor just last month), the Zeitgeist also produces classic avant-garde and contemporary experimental plays. Artifacts such as the dust jacket from a copy of Alfred Jarry’s King Turd and playbills from past performances of Jarry’s brilliant Ubu plays (as well as many others) are tacked to the walls among the paintings and lithographs.

Jeff and Ken both delivered great readings to an attentive and engaged audience. I want to thank Jeff for hauling me down there (and back), and Ken for showing us a glimpse of authentic Detroit. It was a great time all around.

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