The spring edition of Babylon Salon was held at Cantina SF on May 31st and featured an impressive group of writers in a refreshingly intimate setting. Hip-hop historian, DJ, and cultural treasure Davey D read his piece from a collection of essays on the hip-hop mogul Jay-Z, while powerhouse fiction author Kathryn Ma read from her luminous new novel, The Year She Left Us. The evening also featured readings from Stacey Kohut, an emerging writer, as well as Kirstin Chen, author of Soy Sauce for Beginners, and Porter Shreve, author of The End of the Book.
Accompanied by dreamy, smart music from Ying-sun Ho of Dialectic, the evening was casual yet intense, with an excellent variety of lit. Babylon Salon carefully curates their events, and it shows. Highlights included Davey D’s illumination of the rap scene’s cooperative effort to heal the breach between East Coast and West Coast camps after the deaths of Tupac and Biggie Smalls; the quiet and self-aware desperation of Kohut’s characters; Ma’s rooted and acerbic “Lost Girl of China” and her powerfully challenging voice; Chen’s light but uniquely brilliant touches of anger, fetishization and loss in the dissolution of a marriage, and Shreve’s astute humor as his author, suffering fatally from a toothpick to the colon en route to Panama, reflects on a varied writing career.
Babylon Salon is a quarterly reading series, and well worth the FREE admission! Check them out in September (9/13) at Cantina—you won’t want to miss it. In the meanwhile, check out the Litseen Babylon Salon archive.
Mick Harris is a poet living in the SF East Bay. They have an MFA, but their education is far from over. They’re mostly friendly, and definitely happy to be here. You can find their work in Pink Litter and the Up, Do anthology available from Spider Road Press, as well as forthcoming in Fruitapulp, Deep Water Literary Review, and Digging Through the Fat. They share poetry and general brain dump right this way.