The fall 2012 season of Room 220 ‘s LIVE PROSE reading series continues in October with a double dose of darkness. Adam Parfrey and Joseph Scott Morgan will present their new books—which deal with the seriously mysterious and macabre—at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 22, at 725 St. Ferdinand St. (between Dauphine and Royal Streets, in the Marginy). The event is free, and complimentary libations will be on hand.
Adam Parfrey is the editor and publisher of Feral House, one of the most consistently provocative and enticing presses in the United States since 1989. He was described by the Seattle Weekly as the most dangerous publisher in America (a label some have contested) in a feature article that focused on Feral House’s publishing “grisly tomes of unrepentant necrophiles, Satanists, the most explicit pornographers, and insidious murderers” (as well as the Unabomber’s book). But this hype aside, Feral House boasts a huge and varied catalog of smart, serious titles on subjects most publishers are afraid to touch. It remains a stalwart independent voice among the gooey nonsense and pseudo-“progressive” pandering that most often confronts browsers of nonfiction sections in contemporary bookstores.
Parfrey is also a writer and editor. On Oct. 22, he will be presenting his own most recent book, Ritual America: Secret Brotherhoods and their Influence on American Society, a visual guide of more than 400 pages with hundreds of rare images that expose the bowels of the Oddfellows, Masons, Shriners, and the other creepy white male groups to which, just 50 years ago, one in three American men belonged. These groups pervaded American culture in the country’s golden age, their influence spanning from national politics, to architecture, to sports, and paving the way for contemporary cults like the Scientologists.
Joseph Scott Morgan worked as a forensic death investigator for law enforcement agencies in New Orleans and Atlanta for 20 years, before all the grisly and horrible shit he saw and experienced gave him PTSD and he escaped to the sleepy northern Georgia town where he now resides and works as a professor. Blood Beneath My Feet: The Journey of a Southern Death Investigator (Feral House) is Morgan’s account of his work and psychological descent, with vivid descriptions of a death investigator’s day-to-day told in a classic gothic style that’s often morbidly funny as well as disturbing. Morgan is a New Orleans native and born raconteur. His book effortlessly pulls readers in closer and closer to things they would otherwise turn away from in shock. If you’re interested in death, you’re interested in this book.
Room 220 will feature an interview with Joseph Scott Morgan by Wesley Stokes in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!