The Shed Space, a lovely, intimate art space in Park Slope.
Peter Bruno read several exquisitely crafted stories from the manuscript, Garibaldi Avenue, that focus on the youthful experiences of Salvatore in New Jersey during the 60s and 70s. I know it is totally corny to say, but these stories are tender and tough. They are finely detailed vignettes that capture a lost time. For instance the closely observed description of the boy's mother applying heavy makeup -- a suburban mom envisioning herself in her own mirror as a glamorous movie star. There were so many very moving moments in these bittersweet, and beautifully written stories. I can't wait for the opportunity to read the whole thing.
(Also an aside: "house dresses"! Where did they come from and why? And where did they go? -- what a blast from the past!)
The second reader of the evening was the amazing Joe Elliot, a poet I have heard about for years but never had the pleasure of hearing his work. These poems totally rocked. They are wry and funny but also depict a kind of profound awareness of the daily absurdity of life. These poems have an exuberant energy that is uplifting at the same time that they convey heavier and difficult truths. I just ordered two of his poetry books.