I am so thrilled to write this post because it encompasses a lot of “firsts.” It is the first official entry on this blog, which has been in the works since the beginning of the quarter. Nameless Magazine provides UC Davis students with a space to showcase their achievements in the written and visual arts. The Nameless Magazine blog is a continuation of this idea and seeks to document artistic happenings in the Davis community and provide the Nameless editors with a space to write about what inspires them creatively as well.
This post is also my first article as a reporter! I am on the Mixed Media Editorial Board, where my regular task is to review and critique student submissions, so this project gives me an additional opportunity to learn about the artistic community of Davis and share it with the rest of UC Davis—and the general realm of the blogosphere. And what better way to launch this blog than with a recap of Nameless’s very first public poetry reading at Logos Books in Downtown Davis!
The editors gather inside for Nameless's first pubic reading at Logos.
Susan and Peter Linz opened Logos Books a little more than a year ago, in February 2010. Peter is an online used book seller and wanted to expand his hobby to a real storefront. The couple wanted to establish a creative space “where the life of the mind can be encouraged,” Susan said. Susan’s hope is that Logos can become a place for people to discover something that they weren’t looking for when they came in.
The editors of Nameless gathered outside of Logos Books at 7:30pm sharp on Thursday April 28th with loose-leaf papers in hand and butterflies in stomach. They were about to perform at Nameless’s first public reading at Logos Books, a used book store located in Downtown Davis.
Stephanie Galasso, a third year English major serving on the poetry board, mentally prepped herself for her poetry reading. “Despite my nerves, I really enjoy being with my Nameless crew,” Stephanie said. “I know they’ll support me when I’m reading in front of them!”
After calming everyone’s nerves and persuading them that no, they did not need a shot of liquid courage and no, they were not going to faint on stage, we filed into the bookstore. A single music stand stood as a podium in the corner of the store, surrounded by about twenty chairs. As people trickled in and got settled, I glanced around the bookstore to see what types of books were in stock. A book titled On Bullshit by Harry G. Frankfurt caught my eye. I flipped through the small hardcover book to see that it included multiple definitions of “bullshit,” how to recognize it, and how society deals with it. I made a mental note to return another day and read it thoroughly. I just love snarky books of that sort—a good dose of sarcasm makes me happy.
Blunt and to the point, thanks Mr. Frankfurt.
As soon as everyone was seated, Susan Linz, the owner of Logos greeted us. “Welcome to the poets of the next century,” she said. She introduced Dr. Andy Jones as Master of Ceremonies for the evening. He gave us a short background on the book store, explaining that its inventory of books is donated by the Davis community. The profits from book sales are donated to Doctors Without Borders and Save the Children. He applauded Logos for its dedication to keeping printed books alive. In a time when we are “dependent on iPads and Kindles,” he said, it’s important that we support a used book store, especially one that is doing such great work in the community.
Dr. Jones—or Dr. Andy as his students fondly call him—became friends with Susan and Peter after visiting the store with his sons. He helped publicize Logos in the beginning stages of its establishment in Davis. Dr. Andy is passionate about sharing his love of poetry with the community through teaching classes, organizing public readings, and networking via social media. He currently hosts the Poetry Reading series at Bistro 33 and his own poetry and technology talk show on KDVS, and he is the faculty advisor of Nameless Magazine.
Dr. Andy’s final word of advice to the readers that night was to read slowly and eloquently, so no one will notice their nervousness. “Your heart may race, but not your tongue,” he added.
The editors of Nameless took turns bravely walking up to the music stand and reciting their pieces. The readings varied from short to long, autobiographical to fiction, and serious to humorous. All of the pieces were enjoyable to hear. What I loved about the readings was that even though it was written by one person for a specific reason, I was able to attach my own meaning to it, internalizing the message and thinking, “Oh yes, I can definitely relate to that.” Alex Harvey-Gurr’s piece about an emotional love affair abroad and Anne-Marie Litak’s musing about her fondness of the word “cerulean” both resonated with me. The emotion and expression that they put into their performances made them that much more moving. I apologize for the fuzzy quality of the pictures–didn’t want to startle them with a flash!
Alex gives a wonderful reading. And damn, look at those shoes!
Anne-Marie muses about the quirky things in life that we enjoy.
The evening culminated with refreshing lemonade and homemade chocolate chip cookies courtesy of Susan. We stayed until the bookstore closed and walked around downtown, seeing what Downtown Davis was up to that night. I stopped everyone in their tracks when I heard music coming from Bistro 33–a band was performing John Mayer’s “Heartbreak Warfare.” We stayed and watched people (read: me) dance and sing along while the firepit glowed and the strands of twinkly lights glittered. Even after living in Davis for nearly four years, I am always discovering new creative outlets, and sharing it with other artistic minds is so fulfilling and inspiring.
Hmm...Idiot's Guide to Football. Might be beneficial for me to skim this as well...
For more information about upcoming events at Logos Books, visit their blog.