The Inner Loop: A Monthly Reading Series
Twenty seconds in and I also wanted the angelfish to die. I’ve never before wished death upon a member of family pomacanthidae, but Barrett Warner’s reading of “Immortal One” a.k.a. “Wake” was amazing. The angelfish needed to die, and everyone at this month’s The Inner Loop reading series knew it, too.
The night featured nine readers of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Molly McCloskey opened with excerpts from Circles Around the Sun: In Search of a Lost Brother. This non-fiction book centers around her brother’s blossoming schizophrenia in the 1970s. From a big Irish family, McCloskey noted how the version of family events that younger siblings come to know is sometimes far different from what older siblings experience. McCloskey’s mother gave McCloskey a trove of letters from the time. Researching the book was a versioning revelation.
Tara Campbell also read this month. She’s one of my favorite up-and-coming local writers. Campbell’s specialty is crossover sci-fi, and she’s published more than a dozen short stories since 2013. Her Inner Loop reading was “Wasted Wishes,” a short fiction piece about a woman who holds someone hostage with wishes. It’s hard not to feel bad for the man from the bottle and the woman who won’t let him go back to it. “I wanted a normal life, where people didn’t act like genies and disappear for weeks at a time.”
Courtney Sexton, one of The Inner Loop’s organizers, read a lovely non-fiction piece about her dog’s inclination to poop near historic headstones at Washington D.C.’s Congressional Cemetery. Okay, so there was more to the piece than that, but some images linger. Congressional Cemetery had been in decline, and it was decided that allowing it to be used as a free-roam dog park would go a long way to cleaning out the drug dealing and other nefarious activities. I’d heard about the goats at the Cemetery, and I know you’re not supposed to walk on graves, but now I have a new reason to watch where I step. Sexton did a great job combining entertaining writing with Washington D.C. history and landmarks. Her reading was a treat.
The Inner Loop’s next event is February 17. The organizers are always on the lookout for readers.