Monday, September 11, 2006

Gargoyle Turns 30

If that book cover looks like a big party, it is. Longtime DC litmag Gargoyle turned 30 last month, and yesterday's party at the Writer's Center in Bethesda, Md. was held to celebrate both the mag's 51st issue as well as its move into middle-age. Readers for the landmark event included Sarah Browning, Virginia Crawford, Sunil Freeman, Jennifer Gresham, Tod Ibrahim, Reuben Jackson, Gerry LaFemina, Nathan Leslie, Lyn Lifshin, Mel Nichols, Sam Schmidt, Ross Taylor, Venus Thrash, and Angel Threatt.

I don't know if it was because of competing lit events like the Poets Against the War reading in downtown D.C. or the opening of football season, but the turnout was odd. Out of roughly 35 people, I'm pretty sure I was one of maybe three people under forty. It was still fun, though. After everyone had their jokes at poor Gargoyle's expense----everything from "You can't trust anyone over 30" to "Gargoyle doesn't look a day over 25---many of the readers made links with their work to 9-11 and all the related events and feelings following and surrounding that day. The most telling, I felt, we're the words given by Venus Thrash who said she witnesses terrorism almost everyday in PG County. She sees it whenever she finds someone's home, car or business damaged, destroyed or vandalized because of their ethnicity or religion and wished the administration would focus a bit more on handling the problems at home.

Editor Richard Peabody provided a lovely cake with frosting done to match the cover of Gargoyle 51. The unhealthy dose of sugar revitalized everyone and helped get people socializing after the reading. I hobnobbed and pressed the flesh a little, and even met a couple of editors for local mags who hit me up for some of my fiction. It was a not-so-subtle reminder of how much the biz of publishing is done through networking. After meeting them, they both gave me their personal emails and, with an wink, said, "Send it here....I pay more attention to the submissions I get through this than I do the email address on the website."

For any of you who missed the event, please visit Gargoyle Magazine to order the new issue. Based solely on what I heard at the reading, it looks to be a fabulous issue. Other than the new Gargoyle I also picked up the newest issue of the Potomac Review, as well as two teeny tiny little lit mags called Quick Fiction and Stray Dogs. With two classes, a job and an ever-growing pile of stuff to read I have no idea when I'll actually get to them. But when I do I'll toss some sort of little write-up here. Until then....


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