Since I am from Miami and run on what we in Miami like to call “Cuban time,” it is only appropriate that this report on the Miami Book Fair come to you a full two weeks late.
On Sunday, November 15th, I joined up with the very cool Marc Fitten, Editor-in-Chief of The Chattahoochee Review, to man the CLMP booth at the fair. Together we gave out wine and literary journals to unsuspecting passersby.
About an hour into the afternoon, after several requests for comic books or the location of Elmo’s book signing, I realized we had our work cut out for us. While Marc bellowed out, “GET YOUR LIT MAGS HEERE!” like the best of baseball game vendors, I quietly explained that One Story is a magazine that publishes just one short story every three weeks. One Story is a magazine that publishes just one short story every three weeks. One Story is a magazine…No, it is not for Jehovah’s Witnesses. No, it is not a free pamphlet. Yes, you can have wine, even if you don’t care for short stories. Here, just take some wine. Your welcome. (We gave out so much wine–about two cases–so quickly, I have no pictures to show for it.)
We also sold a few things. One of which was our clever “beach-themed five pack,” which was a hit.*
Of course, a few One Story fans did stop by. Among them were the lovely staff of Gulfstream, the literary journal at Florida International University, and short story writer Lynne Barrett. OS authors Ben Greenman (“The Tremulant,” Issue# 113), Kate Walbert (“Good Luck,” Issue #71) and Roxana Robinson (“A Perfect Stranger,” Issue #55) also read that day; Roxana was nice enough to come by the booth and say hello and sign copies of her issue. Other authors making appearances included John Hodgman (“Villanova,” Issue #1), Jonathan Lethem, Sherman Alexie and Dan Chaon.
All in all, it was a good Sunday. The weather was great, the free wine was flowing, and then, what Miami event would be complete without mariachis? None!
Thanks to everyone that came out! Until next year, Elmo. Until next year.
*”A hit,” in this context, meaning they were so well-packaged and beautiful they were to remain on display and not purchased or taken home. Not ever.