Harlan’s Children: The Portland Hour That Stretches (First Tuesdays, 7 PM, Jade Lounge, 2342 SE Ankeny)

Every First Tuesday, I run a read at the Jade Lounge. <–Click the link> It’s not an open mic. I recruit six performers, preferably from different genres. Everyone gets up to half an hour with no genre restrictions, censorship restrictions… or experience restrictions. I have had a twenty-year-old poet, who never performed in public or published a thing, receive thunderous applause and go on to make numerous writing connections, ditto my highly underrated cohost, author/screenwriter/poet/journalist Jaime Dunkle. And I have had William F. Nolan rock the same microphone. And everyone in between, and sideways of Near There. Vince Kramer reading GWAR lyrics for half an hour the night Dave Brockie died. Lauren Woods making the bartender cry. Josh Knapton making fifty people forget to smoke. The silence that precedes the standing ovation. The theatre, and its double.
The schedule is constantly being clarified, our approach is constantly being improved, and Jaime and I are generally Always Thinking of More Stuff. I want to say a word or two more about a few other co-conspirators. Have a look at the page. It is public. Please let me know if it doesn’t link correctly.)
In the beginning. In the beginning, I lived in a horrid place, and worked a lot of horrid gigs when I could get them. And I built myself back up from nothing, with nothing, following a great tragedy.
And just when I thought I had made anything out of anything past that tragedy, I found my roommate’s dead body on the same week I was supposed to start some kind of spoken-word happening (down at the Jade, as I’d been recently recruited to do by a poet friend from way back. )
My collaborator Trent Zelazny (whose Dad wrote a few books, I heard, even more than Trent has, which is a lot) bought a train ticket for one of the best and most dedicated Science Fiction writers I know, Ann Koi, who helped me clean the entire site when the landlord refused…. And rehearsed, for hours upon hours, various scenes from an epic work called TRIBES OF HEAVEN 1: HONOR & SACRIFICE that blew the doors off the Jade when Koi took the bullet and went first.
We’ve had our on nights, and our off nights. We’ve been packed… and we’ve been so packed I almost worried about the Fire-Monster. We’ve had our ups and downs, and learned, like any organism does. But it’s been over sixteen months. This is A Thing.
Because of Trent, and Koi…and my headhunters Justin Montgomery and John Alkek, who comb Portland for the best and brightest who might or might not have ever seen a mic. What all these people, and the audience we recruit from, and every permutation, have brought the Hour is nothing less than the literature of the age.
People show up whom I don’t know, and I’ve seen first editions of arts magazines and flyers and all sorts of similar things circulated at our show, because it was our show. To me that says everything.
December arrives soon. Come see…