Local poet (and WFPL arts reporter) Erin Keane will formally launch her new collection with a party at The Bard’s Town, Tuesday, April 22, at 8 p.m.
Keane explains, “I’ve already done my lady-like Carmichael’s reading. I love Carmichael’s, and I knew that I wanted to do my first reading there; it’s a very nice, official way to say we’re open for business, this book is available, hear me read a little bit of it, please come buy as many copies as you want from Carmichael’s.” But after working on the collection for seven years, Keane says, “You kind of want to throw a bit of a party.”
Keane remembers throwing a launch party for her first collection, “The Gravity Soundtrack,” but didn’t make time to do this for her second collection, “Death-Defying Acts.” Keane wants to celebrate “Demolition of the Promised Land” with an off-the-wall event, in contrast to a more typical poetry reading, which she describes as sweet, tame and usually attended by fellow writers and close friends.
“‘Come hear me read my poems’ is something that generally is going to appeal to people who are already, for some reason — and probably because they write poems themselves — predisposed to hearing me read my poems.”
Because “Demolition of the Promise Land” features so many poems about Bruce Springsteen, Keane thought it would be fun to have a book-launch party focusing on Bruce Springsteen and while she’s at it, tie it into Derby festivities.
“I thought that maybe it would be fun to put together an event that was focused on the content instead of the form. And see what happens. Because I often feel like writers just focus on the form: ‘I’m going to read from my novel, which is about fishing,’ rather than, ‘Hey y’all, let’s go fishing this weekend, and by the way, buy my book.'”
With her 12 Days of Derby Event, Keane is thumbing her nose at the respectable notion of the proper author reading.
“It’s not that people don’t want to read. People read all of the time! But it’s just that when you get very industry-focused, very tunnel-vision-focused, as I can be… then you get this idea that we don’t want to be gimmicky, we just want to let the words speak for themselves. Which, I think, on principle is a good idea, but in reality, you end up appealing to people who already speak that language. And I thought, what if we could do something that speaks the language of Bruce?”
What exactly does Keane mean by the language of Bruce? Take a look at the events scheduled for her Springsteen Remix Night:
- Greg Maupin, one of the artistic directors of Le Petomane Theatre Ensemble, and Scott Anthony, writer, producer, actor, and musician, will sing Springsteen covers … on tiny instruments.
- Fiction writer and editor-in-chief of Flywheel Magazine, David James Keaton, will read a story that can be found in the forthcoming anthology “Trouble in the Heartland,” a collection of crime noir stories inspired by Springsteen songs.
- The Louisville Improvisors will improvise on Springsteen song titles
- Springsteen Mad Libs will be available on tables
- There will be a “Dancing In the Dark” Dance-off, and possibly, Springsteen karaoke.
“This is not parody,” Keane was quick to mention. “This is definitely people who are fans of Bruce Springsteen’s music and ethos and presence in the world. This is paying him tribute.”
Springsteen Remix Night is the kick-off event for The Bards Town’s 12 Days of Derby.
Check back at Insider Louisville tomorrow for a full review of Keane’s latest work.