Kirk Read told a very funny story about sex work in Palm Springs. Thaisa Frank read her acclaimed and powerful story “Henna,” available elsewhere as a video. Jimmy Chen contrived to be both subtle and obvious, culminating in a piece about Goethe googling himself. Ayelet Waldman, who had to leave early to prepare for the Inauguration, nonetheless found the time to tell us a true, very spooky ghost story. Jeff Kirschner set the tone for the evening with an oration inspired by the penis of Michelangelo's David.

The mongoose is subtle and the snake is obvious.