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If you have gmail, click "Display Images Below" in the top left corner of your gmail page to best enjoy the psychotropic craziness and all around ocular excitement of The Raconteur Newsletter.

The Raconteur goes glimmering...

gertrude stein 3

This past weekend we presented the staged radio drama, Gertrude Stein, Getrude Stein, set on the eve of Stein’s eviction from 27 rue de Fleurus, the famed Paris studio where she hosted everyone from Ernest Hemingway to Pablo Picasso. Towards the end of the one hour play, Stein, surrounded by her packed belongings, marvels at what the apartment would say if it could talk--the parties and performances it has seen, the music and readings it has heard, the art that has hung on its walls. “It’s not just an address,” she concludes, “it’s an entity”

Today, November 15, is our seven year anniversary, and, on this day, with Stein’s farewell words in my head, I write you this:

The Raconteur will close January 31, 2012.

But it's not a question of being forced out, certainly not one of eviction, its more an issue of quitting while ahead, of not "jumping the shark;" that is to say, more Seinfeld than Happy Days. And lest you think we intend to depart with a whimper, we’ve roaringly ramped up the programming of our last two months.

Even so, you have only ten opportunities left, just TEN, to catch one of The Raconteur's remarkable events.


In addition to Friday's visit from world famous performance poet Taylor Mali (see below), the upcoming months include appearances by: National Geographic journalist, explorer, and author of Unconquered: In Search of Amazon’s Last Uncontacted Tribes, Scott Wallace; Agni editor-in-chief and author of the quixotic New York Times bestseller Busy Monsters, William Girardi; and the indisputable “godfather of independent cinema,” Oscar nominated filmmaker (and acclaimed author) John Sayles. PLUS: graphic novelist Brian Ralph and his arthouse take on the classic zombie genre, Daybreak; and Oscar winning filmmaker Vanessa Roth with her much praised new documentary American Teacher.

deer eye view

In any case, this is all obviously part of a much longer conversation, and I will continue to alternate my event notices with bittersweet reflections on my seven very fulfilling years piloting the good ship Raconteur.

For a list of some of my favorite moments, click HERE. Have a bookstore memory (or photo) you’d like to share? Send it along.

That’s it for now, my friends. More soon. Keep an eye out for big sales and how you can own an actual piece of a literary landmark!


Performance Poet TAYLOR MALI @ THE RAC Friday!

Taylor Mali

8 PM, Fri. Nov 18. FREE!

New York performance poet TAYLOR MALI measures his life in a variety of ways:

He has 11 years of experience as a professional spoken word artist; he's written two books and has three cats; for 10 months, he was the official voice of Burger King; he was a national poetry slam champion four times; three times he appeared on the HBO series Def Poetry Jam; for nine years he taught college, high school, and middle school.

But most importantly, after hearing his work, 850 people have told him they will now become teachers.

Mali has appeared in the documentaries "SlamNation" (1997) and "Slam Planet" (2006). He was also in the HBO production, "Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry," which won a Peabody Award in 2003. Mali is the former president of Poetry Slam Incorporated, and has performed with such renowned poets as Billy Collins and Allen Ginsberg. Although he retired from the National Poetry Slam competition in 2005, he still helps curate NYC-Urbana Poetry Series, held weekly at the Bowery Poetry Club.

He is perhaps best known for the poem "What Teachers Make." Click HERE to watch his performance of the poem, which has over 3 million hits on youtube.


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