Event Recap: Happy Hour Salon with the Oxford American

Two monoliths of contemporary Southern literature collided last week to tremendous effect as Room 220 hosted the Oxford American for a Happy Hour Salon on Oct. 22.

Okay, neither entity is a monolith, but a number of people’s heads felt like they had monoliths colliding inside of them the next day, judging by the amount of drinking we witnessed (and, okay, partook in).

More than 150 people came out to the Saturn Bar to listen to local OA contributors read from their pieces in the fall 2013  issue of the magazine and to hear sweet sounds from DJ Maxmillion and the Lil Current Vocal Club, which is fronted by OA contributor Michael Patrick Welch (the photographer went home before his group went on, sadly, but they played a rousing set that included sing-a-longs). Many attendees took home free copies of the current issue of OA, and even more went home with copies–available one-night-only and not online–of Anne Gisleson’s superb essay about the Saturn Bar that appeared in the 2008 “Three Years After: New Orleans & the Gulf Coast” issue of the Oxford American (and was later republished in that year’s edition of the Best American Nonrequired Reading).


Anne Gisleson, who read at the salon about her craft’s relationship to the BDSM club and yoga studio in the building where she writes, leans in amid the milieu to catch some undoubtedly wise words from local author Dean Paschal.


Nathan C. Martin introduces the evening’s readers.

A sense of bemusement washes over the crowd.

Brian Boyles tells us about the wolves that stalk the perimeter fence at Angola Prison.

Local author Michael Jeffrey Lee keeps his ears on the conversation, but his eyes on the camera.

Candy the sea turtle, named for the ease with which former Saturn Bar owner O’Neil Broyard would make money collecting bets as a bookie: Like candy from a baby.