Still, Kwak was surprised when so many answered his call. "It's because of people's sheer love for Barry Hannah," he says, amazed to have found others with whom to share his hero.
Kwak's devotion will help Hannah fans outside New England, too. Hannah's publisher, Grove Atlantic, was set to release Hannah's final collection of short stories in December. At Kwak's urging, they'll release Long, Last, Happy a full month early, in time for the event.
After his tribute, Kwak plans to memorialize Hannah in a different, more permanent way. "I want to get a tattoo in honor of Barry," he says. "It's going to be two six-shooters with a banner behind them, and it's going to say 'Ride, Fly, Penetrate, Loiter.' "
Ride, Fly, Penetrate, Loiter: A Barry Hannah Tribute, will be held on Wednesday, November 3, at 7 pm, at Newtonville Books, 296 Walnut St, in Newton. It is free and open to the public. For more information, call 617.244.6619 or visit newtonvillebooks.com. Eugenia Williamson can be reached at email@example.com.