Recap: Room 220’s LIVE PROSE with T. Geronimo Johnson, Khaled al-Berry, Lucy Fricke, and T.J. Dema

On Sept. 13, Room 220 hosted the kickoff event for its fall season of LIVE PROSE with an evening of readings by T. Geronimo Johnson, Khaled al-Berry, Lucy Fricke, and T.J. Dema at Melvin’s Bar, which proved to be a surprisingly excellent venue for a literary event. More than 70 people came out, including a group of writers from the University of Iowa’s International Writer’s Program, who were on a literary field trip to New Orleans. T. J. Dema, who is a spoken word artist from Botswana, kicked it off for the three fantastic (and often hilarious) prose writers who followed. Toward the end of the reading, as Room 220 editor Nathan C. Martin was making his closing remarks, Guitar Lightnin’ Lee arrived and loudly wondered what the hell was going on, and afterward gently and in good humor chastised Martin for throwing an event in “his bar” without alerting him first.

Thanks to all for coming out, to Maple Street Books for hocking merch, and for Melvin’s Bar for hosting us. The next Room 220 LIVE PROSE event will take place on Oct. 22 with Feral House publisher and cult hero Adam Parfrey, along with Joseph Scott Morgan, author of Blood Beneath My Feet: Journey of a Southern Death Investigator. The event will take place at the Church of 220 (735 St. Ferdinand St.). More details, and an interview with Morgan by Wesley Stokes, to come soon. Stay tuned!

T. Geronimo Johnson read a selection from his debut novel, Hold It Til It Hurts, that concerned a man trying to make love to a woman after accidentally blistering his penis with hot sauce.

Lucy Fricke read an excerpt from her second novel, I Brought Friends, the only bit of her work that’s been translated into English. The excerpt concerned a group of friends in Berlin that were not having a very good time.

T.J. Dema kicked off the evening with a poem about the innate connectedness of all living things that, even though it sounds pretty drum-circle, basically blew everyone away.

Your humble host, Nathan C. Martin

After some heartfelt condolences, Guitar Lightnin’ Lee forgave Room 220 for hosting the event without notifying him, and all became friends.