Past Talks & More | Artist Talks

Bela Koe-Krompecher

On Love, Death & Photosynthesis

Followed by discussion with Jolie Braun and Matt Reber


Tune in for a reading from this acclaimed new memoir, followed by a conversation with Koe-Krompecher and The Ohio State University Libraries's Jolie Braun and the Wex's Matt Reber. A Q&A follows.

Bela Koe-Krompecher, founder of Anyway Records, will read from his book Love, Death & Photosynthesis, an intimate account of love, loss, music, and friendship and how those experiences set the course for one's life. Set against the backdrop of a thriving music scene and the bars and apartments of Columbus, Koe-Krompecher digs deep into his relationships with musicians Jenny Mae and Jerry Wick, among others. Craig Finn of The Hold Steady called the book "really amazing, super moving and, of course heartbreaking." 

The virtual reading will be followed by a discussion with Jolie Braun (Curator of Modern Literature and Manuscripts at The Ohio State University) about the recent donation of Koe-Krompecher's archives to The Ohio State Libraries, followed by a conversation with Wex Store manager (and bassist for the New Bomb Turks) Matt Reber about “the old days.” 

Order your copy of the book from the Wexner Center Store.

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About the book chevron-down chevron-up

During the heyday of the late '80s indie underground, high school sweethearts Bela Koe-Krompecher and Jenny Mae Leffel moved together from small-town Ohio to the big city of Columbus to pursue education and a dream of something more. When they arrived, the two met Jerry Wick, a prickly malcontent and lead singer of the punk rock band Gaunt, and the trio quickly forged a contentious friendship that would be challenged for the next 20 years by addiction, mental illness, homelessness, divergent whims and tragic paths. They bonded over their obsessive love of music, especially the scrappy, welcoming world of independent labels and bands, where heroes could be a neighbor, a bartender or even a know-it-all behind the counter of a record store. Through the label Koe-Krompecher and Wick launched, and the music Leffel made, these three friends gained fans nationwide and garnered unexpected critical acclaim from The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, SPIN and more while sharing the stage with bands like Superchunk, Mudhoney and Guided by Voices. At its heart, Love, Death & Photosynthesis is a story of the love between friends and the power of music to pull people together—often in spite of themselves—in the universal search for connection.

The Wexner Family
Greater Columbus Arts Council
The Columbus Foundation
American Electric Power Foundation
Ohio Arts Council
Adam Flatto
Mary and C. Robert Kidder
Bill and Sheila Lambert
L Brands Foundation
Institute of Museum and Library Services
Nationwide Foundation
Vorys, Sater, Seymour, and Pease
Arlene and Michael Weiss

Carol and David Aronowitz
Michael and Paige Crane
Pete Scantland
Axium Packaging
Bocchi Laboratories
Fenwick & West LLP
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
President Kristina M. Johnson and Mrs. Veronica Meinhard
Nancy Kramer
M/I Homes
Voyant Beauty
Lisa Barton
Regina Miracle International Ltd. 
Washington Prime Group
Alene Candles
Fuel Transport
Russell and Joyce Gertmenian
Liza Kessler and Greg Henchel
Matrix Psychological Services
Paramount Group, Inc.
Ron and Ann Pizzuti
Joyce and Chuck Shenk
Bruce and Joy Soll
Clark and Sandra Swanson
Business Furniture Installations
E.C. Provini Co, Inc.
Garlock Printing & Converting
Jones Day
New England Development
Our Country Home
Performance Team
Premier Candle Corporation
Steiner + Associates
Textile Printing

Andrew and Amanda Wise

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