Room 220 is pleased to present an evening of live prose with three outstanding writers on Thursday, May 3, at 7 p.m., at the Antenna Gallery Outdoor Auxiliary (2116 St. Claude Ave., at Frenchmen Street, next door to Melvin’s). Matt Sumell, Anne Gisleson, and Yuri Herrera will read, music will be played, and complimentary libations will be on hand. It’s a party.
Matt Sumell’s story “Toast” is the lead piece of fiction in the current issue of The Paris Review. He was honored at the prestigious—and utterly fresh and renewed!—publication’s annual black-tie fundraiser recently with a warm welcome, and after the event he broke his hand in a fistfight with a parked car. His fiction is similar to that evening—at turns exquisite and sophisticated, absurd, hilarious, and somewhat violent in an oddly endearing way. Electric Literature has featured his work twice, and NOON published a story he wrote about his sister, Jackie Sumell, a New Orleans-based artist. Read an interview between Jackie and Matt here. We are pleased to have Matt out from his home in Los Angeles, where he is finishing his first collection of stories, Making Nice.
Anne Gisleson is a co-founder of Press Street and, although she’s completely reticent to admit it, has probably been its single staunchest driving force throughout the organization’s existence. An accomplished fiction writer in her own right, Gisleson turned exclusively to nonfiction following Hurricane Katrina. She has since published an array of stunning personal essays in The Atlantic, The Believer, Ecotone, and The Oxford American. The latter featured her celebrated rumination on the Saturn Bar, which was later republished in The Best American Nonrequired Reading. She is a native New Orleanian and teaches at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts.
Yuri Herrera is widely considered one of the best young writers working in Spanish. His novel Trabajos del reino won the Premio Binacional de Novela Joven and received the Otras voces, otros ámbitos prize for the best novel published in Spain in 2008. His second novel, Señales que precederán al fin del mundo was a finalist for the Rómulo Gallegos Prize. His books have been translated into several languages, and this year Faber and Faber will release Kingdom Cons, an English translation of his first book. A native of Mexico and longtime resident of Mexico City, Herrera’s fiction often explores contemporary issues facing his country, including rampant drug violence and the narcocultura that has emerged with it. He currently teaches as a Mellon Fellow at the Stone Center for Latin American Studies at Tulane and lives in New Orleans.