An Amazing Night of Literary All-Stars at Franklin Park

10/16/2012 10:30 AM |

Franklin Park Reading Series curator Penina Roth

  • Franklin Park Reading Series curator Penina Roth

On October 10, 2011, at Blake Butler’s book launch party at Franklin Park, a West Virginia writer named Scott McClanahan stepped up to the microphone and wowed the audience, blending short fiction with music, poetry and preaching. “It was,” I wrote at the time, “rousing, unifying, and unforgettable, less like a short-story reading than a sermon—less written in advance than passed down on the spot from some Holy Spirit of literature.” As he walked around the room, he asked us with earnest urgency to join him again a year to the day, alive and not dead, alive and not dead…

Last night, a few days past the exact anniversary, McClanahan returned to the Franklin Park Reading Series. I brought friends this time. I had told one all about his past performance, talking it up so much I worried I had maybe oversold it. And then last night….