D. Foy

Vermin on the Mount

Vermin on the Mount

Brooklyn-based author Jami Attenberg has long hosted sunset author readings in her South Williamsburg apartment. And she's met many of those authors on the road while promoting her own work—highlighted by 2013 best-selling novel, The Middlesteins. Among them, Jim Ruland, whose "Vermin on the Mount" (VOTM) reading series recently paid a visit to Attenberg's place. The name derives from its origins a decade back at the now-closed Mountain Bar in Los Angeles's Chinatown. Frustrated by what he saw as a lack of a literary scene in Los Angeles—or at least, a disconnected provincial one—Ruland tells me he started VOTM as a way to bring together "novelists, bloggers, punk rockers, essayists, journalists, poets, people with a brown bag and something to say." The setting was an irreverent alternative to more staid reading environs of bookstores and auditoriums. Currently operating out of the Nomad Art Compound in Frogtown, VOTM also has a branch at 3rdspace in University Heights, San Diego—near the setting for Ruland's debut novel, Forest of Fortune. He read an excerpt from that piece, set at an Indian casino reminiscent of the one Ruland worked at for five years. 

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