E. J. Koh, the poet, translator, and memoirist, will be the special guest at the Silent Reading Party on Wednesday evening.
In the grand tradition of reading party special guests, E. J. won't do a dang thing except sit there and read quietly just like everyone else, while Paul Matthew Moore plays exquisitely relaxing piano music. Previous special guests at the reading party over the years have included people like Lynn Shelton. Recent special guests to the Zoom version of the party include Lesley Hazleton, Gary Shteyngart, and Sheila Heti.
As for E. J. Koh, before she was a poet, she was "a serious competitive hip-hop dancer for a famous crew in Los Angeles," Rich Smith wrote in a profile of her last year.
"She nearly entered the world of K-pop girl-group stardom, which would have allowed her to move to Korea and live with her parents, but the industry's intense misogyny and Harvey Weinstein–like power structure convinced her to stay away," Smith reported.
Rich described her latest book, the memoir The Magical Language of Others, as "a cinematic and multigenerational saga about the hard work of repairing past transgressions through present action so that the future can be, hopefully, maybe—so long as we keep working at it—more joyful."
Koh also has a side project of writing love letters to strangers. "I just really want to feel less alone, and I really want everyone else to feel less alone," she was quoted in that profile as saying. "And I feel like I have the ability to see people, and I have the ability to give myself in this way."
Tickets for the July 29 reading party are available on a sliding scale here. This is a way of pitching in a few bucks to help keep The Stranger going, while getting live music in return. The more you choose to pay, the more The Stranger makes, and the more the musician makes.