Scenes from New Town Revue

Last Friday’s revue was a great way to celebrate the release of Sharon Harrigan’s memoir Playing with Dynamite. She was joined by local poet extraordinaire Rosalie Moffett and Athens music stalwart Andy Gonzales. Thanks to Deirdre Sugiuchi for emceeing, Avid Bookshop for hosting, and everyone who attended!

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Sharon Harrigan, Rosalie Moffett, and Andy Gonzales to perform October 6


The next New Town Revue will be held Friday, October 6 at Avid Bookshop on Prince. Show starts at 6:30. Looking forward to seeing you!

Sharon Harrigan’s work has appeared in the New York Times (Modern Love), Virginia Quarterly Review, Narrative, and elsewhere. She received the Joyce Horton Johnson Award from Key West Literary Seminar and the Kinder Award from Pleiades, as well as fellowships from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and Hambidge. She teaches memoir writing at WriterHouse, a literary center in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Rosalie Moffett is the author of June in Eden, winner of the 2016 Ohio State Press/The Journal award in poetry. A former Wallace Stegner fellow and the winner of a 2012 “Discovery” / Boston Review poetry prize, her work has appeared in The Believer, Ploughshares, Kenyon Review, Tin House, and elsewhere. She lives in Athens, Georgia.

Andy Gonzales has been a fixture of the Athens music scene for twenty years, most notably as the front man for Marshmallow Coast. He has also performed with The Music Tapes and Of Montreal. Marshmallow Coast’s most recent album, Vangelis Rides Again, is a “thoughtfully moving album that nods nicely to its namesake” (Flagpole Magazine).

ENGL 1101: Personal Essays from UGA students

Saturday, April 8 will be a special New Town Revue, featuring a selection of personal essays written by UGA English 1101 students. These essays are raw, moving, and powerful, so get ready to rethink your ideas of an English paper and meet some great young writers!

Sujith Vadlamudi describes a friend who changed his life;
Anna Knittel, on when love turns violent;
Ryan Mahon gets kicked out of the hospital while visiting his ailing brother.

Avid Bookshop, 493 Prince Ave., Athens, GA, 30601
Saturday, April 8


Writers Resist: Silence

Athens is joining cities across the nation for Writers Resist day, co-sponsored by PEN-America, to focus attention on the ideals of a free, just, and democratic society for all on Sunday, January 15, Martin Luther King’s birthday.  More about national events can be found at

Here is Athens, we will host four events:

  • An all-ages writing workshop at the 493 Prince Ave. location of our beloved Avid Bookshop at 3 p.m..  We will also create peace flags.
  • reading from 5–6 p.m. at Avid, featuring a variety of speakers reading from diverse works celebrating the ideals of democracy and free expression. Featured readers include Marquez Clark, Rashaun Ellis, Jenny Gropp, Sabrina Orah Mark, Reginald McKnight, Julian Staton, Magdalena Zurawski, and others.
  • An oratory orchestra, from noon until 1pm, with people at various downtown Athens locations reciting seminal works on freedom and democracy. To participate, meet at Walkers Pub & Coffee, 128 College Ave., 11:45pm. For more info contact laurahoffman101@gmail .
  • A writing workshop for seniors at the Athens Area Council on Aging, 135 Hoyt Street (Thursday, January 12th10-11:30 am.)


New Town Revue this Friday honors Jeremy Ayers

New Town Revue has moved to the Fire Hall (next to Avid Bookshop) for this special evening honoring the work of our dear friend Jeremy Ayers who passed away on October 24th. It will be Friday, November 18, 6:30-7:30 PM. Details at the Facebook event page.

Thanks to Beth Hall Thrasher for organizing this evening and creating the beautiful flyer, featuring Jill Carnes’ photography.


New Town Revue coming November 18

We are gearing up for November 18’s New Town Revue, featuring an eclectic mix of multi-talented performers. It will be held in Avid Bookshop from 6:30-7:30.

Jeremy Ayers was an experimental writer-poet, photographer, activist and musician. Jeremy was excited about the first public presentation of his latest literary work for the New Town Revue, but sadly he passed away suddenly on October 24th. Four of his dear friends, with whom he had been sharing this project, have graciously offered to read for him. We only wish he was here to celebrate his work with us. Jeremy might be best known for his time spent with (and photo documentation of) Occupy Wall Street, or for writing a column for Andy Warhol’s Interview Magazine, or for his experimental-folk band Limbo District, or for collaborating with R.E.M. and the B-52s on songwriting. Like a shape-shifting cat with more than nine lives, Ayers literally changed from one year to the next surprising and delighting everyone he met. The Athens community is deeply saddened by the loss of this great artist.

Recent Los Angeles transplants Ezra Buchla and Claire Cronin will round out the bill.

Buchla uses violin, viola, voice and technology to create sound. He’s a veteran of beloved experimental indie bands Mae Shi and Gowns. He also develops music software and firmware such as the aleph sound processor.

Cronin is in the PhD creative writing program at UGA. She’s a poet and a musician, most recently recording the album Came Down a Storm with Deerhoof guitarist John Dieterich. Read Cronin’s chapbook, Therese, from H_NGM_N Books here.

Hope to see there.

New Town with Rob Spillman, Garrard Conley, and Erin Lovett

Don’t miss the next New Town! Rob Spillman, editor of Tin House and author of the amazing memoir All Tomorrow’s Parties, about a young man discovering his place in the world and in the arts, is reading with Garrard Conley.  Conley, who grew up in a fundamentalist Southern community, wrote a devastating memoir called Boy Erased, about his time in a gay conversion therapy program.
Erin Lovett of Four Eyes is providing our music. Stoked!
Check out these interviews with Rob in Electric Lit and Garrard in the Rumpus by New Town’s Deirdre Sugiuchi.
It all happens at Avid Bookshop, September 1, @ 6:30.  See you there!

Next New Town: Tuesday, February 9th @6:30

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The next New Town lineup is out of control amazing! Jessica Handler will be reading prose, Hope Hilton, poems, and long time Athenian Dave Marr will play some songs from his forthcoming album.

Jessica Handler is the author of Braving the Fire: A Guide to Writing About Grief. Her first book, Invisible Sisters: A Memoir, was named one of the “Twenty Five Books All Georgians Should Read” and Atlanta magazine’s “Best Memoir of 2009.” She writes essays and nonfiction features which have appeared on NPR, in Tin House, Drunken Boat, Full Grown People, Brevity, Newsweek, The Washington Post, and More Magazine.

Hope Hilton was born in 1977 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Hilton curates, collaborates, designs, publishes, writes, and walks. Recently completed projects include the writing of over 200 personal letters to anonymous participants for College of the Canyons, Valencia, CA, a Topophilia workshop with teens in Bonao, Dominican Republic, AND a project about her love of reading at The Kitchen, NYC as well as in Beit HaGefen Art Gallery in Haifa, Israel. She is the Artist in Residence at Double Helix STEAM School, an adjunct professor of Art Appreciation at Athens Technical College, a consultant for The Georgia Virtual History Project, as well as teaching art to children at Treehouse Kid & Craft and Athens Institute for Contemporary Art . Hilton was awarded a grant in 2010 from the Forward Arts Foundation in Atlanta and was a finalist for the inaugural Hudgen’s Prize.

Dave Marr is an Athens singer-songwriter who released two albums as frontman of The Star Room Boys during the late 1990s and early 2000s. His first solo album will be available in limited release in February in 2016. He currently plays with Bo Bedingfield, Don Chambers, Alan Flurry, Brandon Reynolds, and Thayer Sarrano.

Remixing Shakespeare recap


Our latest New Town Revue was a smashing success. Shakespeare enthusiasts packed the Fire Hall to hear local writers and musicians give their take on the author. Laura Leidner started things off with a selection from her new novel. The UGA New Music Ensemble wowed us with a trio of songs composed by Richard Hunsinger and based on ghost scenes from three Shakespeare plays. Cindy Watkins regaled us with her delightfully twisted take on the Bard. Sujata Iyengar read some found poetry based on her experiences teaching Shakespeare. Finally, two scholars in town for UGA’s Shakespeare conference showed their creative side. Thanks to Sujata Iyengar and the conference Appropriation in an Age of Global Shakespeare for partnering with New Town Revue and helping set up the evening. And thanks to Bart Lemahieu for recording. Here’s a link to a recording of the show.