INTERVIEW WITH JIM RULAND, HOST OF VERMIN ON THE MOUNT (our first blog)
3RDSPACE: What’s Vermin on the Mount?
RULAND: Vermin on the Mount is an irreverent, irregular reading series I started in L.A.’s Chinatown back in 2004. The idea was to bring together different combinations of emerging writers – novelists, bloggers, journalists, punk rockers, etc. – and put them on the same stage. It’s something that doesn’t work with music (when was the list time you saw a cellist perform with a metal band and a country crooner?) but works surprisingly well with writers.
3RDSPACE: Why Vermin?
RULAND: The bar where we hold the events in L.A. is called The Mountain, so it’s a pun on Sermon on the Mount. Maybe I should call the San Diego events Vermin in Space or 3rdrat…
3RDSPACE: Why did you bring the show to San Diego?
RULAND: It was time. I’ve experimented here and there. We’ve had shows at Voz Alta’s old location, Sushi before they shut down, and Space for Art, but I’ve been eager to put down roots and 3rdpsace is a great fit for what Vermin is all about. I feel it’s important that literary events be free so that attendees can support the artists they choose to support by buying their books. That way the money goes right in the writers’ pockets. The public wins. The writers win. Book culture wins.
3RDSPACE: What is The Rattling Wall?
RULAND: The Rattling Wall is a new Los Angeles-based literary journal that specializes in fiction, travel essays, and poetry. They are sponsoring the reading at 3rdSpace on Saturday, Feb. 11 as well as the reading in L.A. the following night at The Mountain Bar in Chinatown.
3RDSPACE: What can we expect on February 11?
RULAND: The unexpected! We’ve got a transgressive novelist from San Francisco, an OCD memoir, a jailhouse confessional, bartender poetry, a TV writer, and a video game addict. I try to assemble writers that complement each other but I also insist that the writers read whatever the hell they want to read. So if a sex addict wants to read about becoming born again (or vice versa) that’s fine with me.
3RDSPACE: So we’re talking PG-13 material?
RULAND: It’s definitely not kid-friendly, so spring for the babysitter.
3RDSPACE: Anything else we should know?
RULAND: One of the things people like most about Vermin on the Mount is the free raffle. You can win books, t-shirts, and other rat-related goodies. While the raffle is free the cash bar is not and there will be books and merchandise for sale as well. See you at 3rdspace on Saturday, February 11!