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Stuart Ross and Peter Norman

The 5th season of the A B Series launched last week with Stuart Ross and Peter Norman.

There was an interesting format with both readers doing a solo portion then a break, then a second run. Peter read from At the Gates of the Theme Park, from Mansfield Press in part. Stuart Ross had his Cobourg Variations chapbook and read a previously publicly unread chapter from his novel, Snowball, Dragonfly, Jew.

Here Peter is reading a wonderful piece about being one with his shaving foam, being simultaneously it expanding and being the razor and himself and having the sensation of being each individual hair on his own chin and the foam down the drain. Saying that is one thing. Hearing it is an entirely even better thing.

A wealth of energy. Good vibe in the pretty full room. Awesome start to a season. And that was before the first break alone. After it got wilder, in a good sense.

There was a mix of short story, poetry, sound poetry and collaboration. They riffed some sound poetry together after break then an improv bit.

One gives a word, the other responds and they keep going back and forth, sometimes stumping each other, sometimes stalling, sometimes racing forward. A volunteer from the audience transcribed. It was lively and fun too.

The idea was spun from what Joshua Beckham and Matthew Rohrer did in the Nice Hat. Thanks. (They toured with that thru town as part of the Wave Poetry bus tour a few years ago.)

And of course books and chapbooks on the table.

Spencer Gordon was interviewed on his Inferno House Press lately and said,

As Stuart Ross wrote, many authors today skip the “sacred” chapbook stage of their careers. This notion wormed its way into my brain and lodged itself there maliciously. It is sacred. It’s good to release work on a smaller scale when you’re still honing your voice. As others have pointed out, chapbooks (and small publishers) are great for single or smaller groupings of work(s) that don’t naturally lend themselves to a full-length collection.

The season to Christmas is now listed on the series site. Next up is a double bill: Zorras and Camille Martin in about 10 days.

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