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.

A little about Saturday’s performers

Hope you will join us for Remixing Shakespeare, a special New Town Revue, in the Historic Athens Firehall (next door to Avid) this Saturday at 6:30.

Here’s a little info about our performers:

Laura Leidner is a writer who lives in Atlanta, where she works in public health. She writes fantasy and sci-fi stories and sings in a folk band called Boo Reefa. She is on Twitter at @laurablorah.

Cindy Watkins is a graduate of the University of Georgia with degrees in English and Animal Science. She lives in Athens with a badly behaved dog and a three legged cat. Some of her involuntary accomplishments include sheep riding, pickle electrocuting, and ghostwriting for eHow. Her favorite remixed Shakespearean work is the 2006 animated movie Romeo and Juliet: Sealed With A Kiss. It’s Romeo and Juliet, but with baby sea lions. It is probably the worst movie ever made and is available on Netflix streaming. She highly recommends it.

Richard Hunsinger is a composer of chamber music and a recent graduate of UGA’s Hugh Hodgson School of Music with degrees in music composition and guitar performance. He is originally from Northern Virginia in the Washington, DC area. He wrote three chamber pieces especially for this evening, all based on ghost scenes from Shakespeare plays.

The UGA New Music Ensemble will be performing Hunsinger’s work. It is a new group created within the Hugh Hodgson School of Music with the intent of regularly reading and performing works by local and other contemporary composers.