During Friday’s episode of This American Life, Ira Glass confessed that — just like he thought “Shakespeare sucks” — he totally didn’t get William S. Burroughs. Until, that is, a BBC Radio documentary narrated by Iggy Pop — and featuring interviews with John Waters, Will Self, and some of Burroughs’s biographers and lovers — totally made him realize what all the hoopla over the man’s 100 birthday was last year.
If you haven’t listened to This American Life’s rebroadcast of the doc, it’s totally worth it for Iggy Pop’s wiseass side commentary alone. If you have listened to it, then you, like Glass, are probably hungry for more Burroughs, and that’s just what you’ll get at a birthday celebration coming up at the Cornelia Street Cafe. On Friday, Feb. 6 (the day after what would’ve been William’s 101st) Three Rooms Press will host a group audience reading from Naked Lunch as well as tribute readings by performance artist Penny Arcade, Burroughs historian Jan Herman, and poets Anne Waldman, Steve Dalachinsky, and Aimee Herman. It’ll be hard for them to beat Steve Buscemi doing the talking asshole routine, but bless ’em for trying.
Burroughs 101, Feb. 6 (doors open at 5:45pm) at Cornelia Street Cafe, 29 Cornelia Street, between W. 4th Street at Bleecker, West Village; $12 admission includes a free drink