Travel Articles




Fond Memories of the KGB

I've been silent for the last couple weeks because I've been on the road (and then in bed with a cold). Or I think I might just be allergic to the US. The condition which I have chosen to call "The Amazing and Prolific Sinus Production of 2012" (or ASPSP12) began in NYC the day of the reading at the KGB bar--which was such great fun (the reading not ASPSP12).

Contrary to the excellent advice I got from seasoned public speakers, I ate Indian food before the reading. There was no way I was going to miss Indian food. Why? Well, Indian food makes me happy. Also Mexican. And Thai. And Turkish. And I think we see a pattern. Spicy food makes me smile. I ordered lamb vindaloo, which I exchanged for a bit of bindi gosht with Ann Bogle (the friendship was immediate). Thank you, Susan Tepper, for choosing an Indian restaurant for the pre-reading dinner; and of course THANK YOU for inviting me to read.

The KGB Bar is small and dark. In former times, I'm sure this space was a dank, cloudy fishbowl of the smoking intelligentsia. I believe the euphemism for this is intimate. It was all these things except smoky. There were so many fine writers crammed into this little room, and most of them have graced the pages of Metazen (the literary ezine I edit along with eight other editors including Frank Hinton, its creator): Helen Vitoria (my first hug of the evening), Bill Yarrow, Robert Vaughan, Matt Potter (the other featured reader), Danny Goodman, Ann Bogle, Michelle Elvy (present through the voice of Susan Tepper), Ilana C. Myer (Ilana Teitelbaum Reichert), Kyle Hemmings and of course the sweetest surprise of the evening . . . Tania Hershman, who dedicated the story "48 Dogs" to me at the reading. Such a great micro, and Tania read it so beautifully.

Other great readers: Bill Lantry (whose book of poetry The Structure of Desire is shooting up the charts), Gloria Mindock, Derek Osborne, Tina Barry, Lucinda Kempe, Ben Loory, Neil Serven, Deborah Henry, Stanley Hoffman and Martha Rand. And then of course there were the people above us who were either killing one another or practicing for the World Wrestling Federation.

Here a few glimpses of the evening, all lovingly filmed and edited by Bill Yarrow . . .

I must be off,


Christopher Allen writes fiction, creative non-fiction and of course this here blog. His work has appeared in numerous places both online and in print. Read more about him HERE.

Tell us your story

We'd love to hear you stories from wherever you happen to be.

Share a story