CONWAY—UCA Writing professor Mark Spitzer and Creative Writing MFA Candidate Benjamin C. Roy Cory Garret will perform one of the most bizarro readings that Central Arkansas has ever seen. The event takes place at Faulkner County Library on Tuesday, April 26, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.

Spitzer will read excerpts from his new book Glurk! A Hellbender Odyssey (Anaphora Literary Press, Hepzibah, GA), which concerns the endangered hellbender salamander. He will also play “the electric hellbender.” “It’s a strange, distortiony, lasagna-lizard-looking contraption built from an electric guitar,” Spitzer explains. “I built it to mimic and reflect the plight of this vanishing amphibian.” The hellbender is North America’s largest salamander and declining populations exist in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. Spitzer will perform moments from his research, respond to questions and answers, and sign copies of his book. According to Spitzer, he hopes to “spread environmental awareness, provide a basic overview of current hellbender science, and comment on the folklore and linguistics this creature has inspired in American culture.”


The phantasmagoric festivities continue as guerilla press publisher Ben Garrett of Black Unicorn Press follows in the form of Pig Brothel, a one-man experimental-band phenomenon whose aesthetic can only be described as “a spectacular sonic assault mixed with pig-bombing beats.” Pig Brothel has also been described as “a cross between the lost corpus of Captain Beefheart and Porky Pig on Dada Steroids mixed with the antithesis of Police Brutality.”


“I wanted to promote this book in a different way,” Spitzer says. “A way that explodes our concept of the common reading and offers a more sensory experience. Hence, it made sense to join forces with Pig Brothel.” Garrett echoes this sentiment in his statement that, “I am excited to see how these two performances will collaborate to challenge and expand the potential for what sound and poetry can accomplish politically, emotionally, and physically.”


A video of the electric hellbender and live hellbenders in action can be seen here. Similarly, Pig Brothel’s weirdest hit classic can be heard on soundcloud.com by entering the search term “Warpigs What Are They Good For.”


Copies of Glurk! and Black Unicorn publications will be available for purchase, and a book-signing will follow the performance. The Faulkner County Library is located at 1900 W Tyler St. in Conway. This event is free and open to the public, and appropriate for all ages. For more information, contact Nancy Allen at the Faulkner Country Library at nancy@fcl.org.


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