February 10, 2003

Reading turns into a rumble


LITERARY debate sparked a street brawl the other night (January 30, 2002) when members of the writers' group the Underground Literary Alliance ticked off Open City publisher Tom Beller and New Yorker writer Ben Greenman during a reading at Housing Works on Crosby Street. Greenman had read a short story about a tree when ULA'er Michael Jackman demanded he explain its social relevance. Greenman - who is hated by the ULA for his ties to both the New Yorker and Dave Eggers' literary Web site McSweeny's, which the group considers elitist - did not take well to questioning. Insults were exchanged and the ULA boys were asked to leave by a store employee. ULA honcho "King" Wenclas claims that Beller - Parker Posey's 6-foot-6 boyfriend - followed them outside and got into a wrestling match with a third ULA member, snatching his camera and tossing it to the ground. "We were rude," Wenclas admits on the group's Web site. Beller tells PAGE SIX's Ian Spiegelman, "This guy is a stalker. He is frustrated and potentially violent. That I even care about these people is wish fulfillment, let alone that I would ever get physical with them."
from the New York Post.

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