Please join us for the season opener for Season Six of Draft
The Merchants of Green Coffee
2 Matilda Street
With readings by
Suzanne Alyssa Andrew
kevin mcpherson eckhoff
For more complete information on the authors, please click here: 6.1bios
NOTE: We’ve decided to make the reading a little earlier this time, in case anyone wants to go home and get ready for our homegrown celebration of things ghastly and ghoulish: Halloween. As of November, we’ll be back to 3 p.m. again.
When we settled on October 31 as our initial reading for season six of Draft, Susan immediately chimed in with the ideal theme: The Day of the Dead.
In Mexico the dead are thought to return to earth on the first two days of November, to share the pleasures of the living. It’s a cause for celebration, marked by candy skulls and the so-called panes de muertos, bread of the dead.
When my friend Diana and I spent two months in Mexico in 1990 we were fascinated by all the Death paraphernalia: the skeleton images in various forms, the coffin shops, open – like cafés – to the street, with all their wares on display. We were also delighted. It was one of those times when you travel to a foreign country and get to explore a part of yourself that was out of place, back home.
I’d always been aware of the inevitability of death, the fragility of life. I’d always felt my ancestors around me. Sometimes their presence has been oppressive; sometimes they’ve been the only ones to keep me company. Having grown up in a death-denying culture, I found it a relief to visit Mexico, where death is out in the open, integrated into daily life. I suspect I’m not the only writer who feels this way.
Inviting the authors to read for this occasion, it seemed a mere formality to ask, “Do you have something that will fit?” Of course they did. What writer doesn’t? A more interesting question might be, “Why?”
For that, there are probably as many answers as there are writers. That’s what we look forward to finding out on October 31 at Draft.
I had a hint of Roger Greenwald’s take on The Day of the Dead when we were corresponding by email about the reading. He sent a link to the works of Sir Thomas Browne, specifically a chapter on “Urne-Buriall.” He’s going to read an excerpt from it, as part of his reading on October 31, but it’s well worth checking out the whole panoply of interments that Browne catalogued in this passage. http://penelope.uchicago.edu/hydrionoframes/hydrio1.html
See you at the reading!