THE RUMPUS: cold summer nights

(Charles Kruger)

Here’s a little secret: Rumpus founder Stephen Elliott, perennially childlike Peter Pan, outre sexual adventurer and provocateur, former sex worker, serial confessionalist, one time go-go dancer, Hollywood dilletante, celebrated writer, putative genius, everybody’s very own overly personal pen pal has a secret identity. Under that brash exterior, he is “Mr. Dependable,” a reliable community stalwart and everybody’s beloved friend. Hell, he’s so downright respectable he teaches at Stanford University. I mean, gee whiz.

What provokes me to remark on Stephen’s solidity? What else but another edition of The Monthy Rumpus, one of San Francisco’s most consistently reliable literary nights-on-the-town. Last month, my friend and Litseen colleague Nicole McFeely celebrated the success of The Rumpus, pointing out that it functioned beautifully even in Stephen’s absence. She’s right.

But it was a pleasure to welcome the boy back for Cold Summer Nights, along with the usual sequence of edifying readers and performers, the porn raffle, the Isaac Fitzgerald Kissing Machine, and the regular crowd of scintillating conversationalists. The Monthly Rumpus is to San Francisco what A Prairie Home Companion is to Lake Woebegone.

Hooray for The Rumpus!

And here are the videos:

Stephen Elliott + Isaac Fitzgerald

Matt Werner

Tayari Jones

Camille Dungy

Tamim Ansary

Alina Simone

John Craigie