On Top of It #2 by Lisa Martens
The Angel of Liquor at the Brooklyn Book Festival
This year marked the 10-year anniversary of the Brooklyn Book Festival. I love the festival; I volunteered last year, and have been behind the booth a couple times. So I went to the Brooklyn’s Book Festival with every intention of attending the panels and meeting new writers.
Instead, I bought two books and went drinking with two friends at the Mexican restaurant across the street. My friend Isabelle actually referred to me as “the angel of liquor” because I spotted the word “tequila” through the awnings, courthouse buildings, white tents and trees.
My MFA friends were posting photos of the panels with all these really deep captions about what they had learned, all while I was comfortable flirting with the bartender/personal trainer who gave me a free jalapeño margarita.
I regret nothing.
Once we were sufficiently drunk, we returned to the festival. I found a book I had helped edit when I interned at Akashic (Tehran at Twilight, go buy it), chatted with one of my undergraduate professors (she told my Freshman composition class to have meaningless sex at least once, as she had in some party in the mountains), and then I felt like I had accomplished enough to go home.
When I recognize people and/or things, I feel oddly proud of myself.
The festival was all cut up due to the construction, and sadly only really lasted one day.
Honestly, the best part of the Brooklyn Book Festival was the series of free Bookend Events. It started with a Tumblr party at The Bell House. No books were involved in this event, unless you count the erotic novel I read while waiting on line. I requested “Fuckin’ Problems” and DJ Shiftee was kind enough to spin it.
On Friday, September 21, the Brooklyn Poets Reading Series really tugged at my heartstrings. The reading was held at St. Ann & Holy Trinity Church, so I felt kind of weird drinking in a house of God, but I got over it.
Rachel Eliza Griffiths is a rock star poet with a soft-spoken voice. She’s also a photographer. Check out her amazing hair over on her Instagram feed.
Oh, and her poetry made me want to rip out my heart and never have babies so I could never feel pain ever again.
Something like that.
Lisa Martens (Episode 22) currently lives in Harlem. In her past 10 years in New York, she has lived in a garage on Long Island, a living room in Hell’s Kitchen, the architecture building of CCNY, and on the couch of a startup. She grew up in New York, Costa Rica and Texas, and she’s still not sure which of these is home. She completed her MFA in Creative Writing from CCNY. Her thesis, What Grows in Heavy Rain, is available on Amazon. Check out her website here. Follow her on Instagram here.