Tuesday marks the final installment of NANO Fiction's live reading series until the fall. Now in its fourth season, the NANO Fiction Reading Series brings to life the bi-annual publication of the same name.
Tuesday's reading will highlight poet Lauren Berry. Berry has recently made waves with her latest manuscript, The Lifting Dress, which won the 2010 National Poetry Series and will be put to print through Penguin publishing at the end of May. She graduated with an MFA from our own University of Houston and was the poetry editor of Gulf Cost Magazine. Come prepared for darkness, though, since Berry's upcoming collection is about the life of a teenage girl after she has been raped, following the impact this horrific event has on her through the years.
So why "Nano"? The term traditionally signifies one of the smallest units of measure in the metric system, or, more popularly, a smaller version of your iPod. NANO Fiction, however, is less about hard science and more about creative license. Founded in 2006 by Kirby Johnson and Jennifer Eberhardt, NANO Fiction the periodical is a collection of flash fiction, prose poems and micro essays of 300 words or less. According to NANO's co-editor Glen Shaheen, "flash fiction/prose poems is something entirely unique - within the confines of the shorter piece you have to make a lot of specific moves that would be impossible in other mediums."
NANO Fiction, the event, is held monthly and features nano-style writers reading their own flash prose and poetry to a live audience. Shaheen is excited about the accessibility of the events. "We wanted a reading series that was more open to writers who were not presently students," he says, "Houston's got a huge population, and we wanted to start something that was independent from most other reading series around town."
Other writers from the NANO staff will be reading at the season finale, which will be held at Kaboom Books, 3116 Houston Ave. at 7:30pm. The readings are always free and promise an enriching evening of short verse. If that doesn't convince you, maybe the free snacks will.