Text by Jee Leong Koh and Photos by Paul Rozario-Falcone and Philip M. Perry
For the first time ever, Second Saturdays was held in the historic neighborhood of the Village in May. Our host Janice Tan opened her home on Jane Street and welcomed over 25 of us. The usual convivial atmosphere was enhanced by many new attendees, including a Singaporean who has lived in NYC for more than five years, another Singaporean who has just moved to the city from Cornell, and yet another Singaporean visiting from Singapore. We also welcomed many American friends, a number of whom supported the Singapore Lit Fest last year. Since its inception, the Second Saturdays reading series has always been open to all.
Our May feature was James Hannaham, the author of two novels God Says No (McSweeney’s) and Delicious Foods (Little, Brown). James is a longtime contributor to the Village Voice and other publications. He is the co-founder of the performance group Elevator Repair Service and a noted visual artist who has exhibited his text-based works in many galleries. Reading from his novel Delicious Foods that Saturday afternoon, he very quickly drew us into the world of an African American woman who is lured to the South to work for the eponymous industrial farm. Part of her story is told from the unusual perspective of crack cocaine, a voice that is, well, addictive, as we learned from James’s reading. The dialogue after the reading was lively and interesting.
Before the feature, we shared a delicious potluck brunch, Asian-style, with fried bee hoon, egg tarts and many other goodies. We also heard three writers during the open reading. Jeremy Tiang read his translations of three poems by the Macau poet Un Sio San: “Early Morning Note To The Enemy,” “Nude Picnic” and “Anti-Love Poem to the Twenty-first Century.” Christine Chia read from her book Separation: a History and the work of two contributors to the anthology A Luxury We Cannot Afford. Tom March read his poem “The Death Bush.”
Next month’s reading will be our last before the summer hiatus, so do join us for the June blast. The feature is Patricia Park, who will read from her debut novel Re Jane. We will return to our usual starting time of 7 pm. If you’d like to be added to our email list, please email either Jee at email@example.com or Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org.