On Wednesday, some of Brooklyn’s brightest literary magazines came together at powerHouse Arena in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn, to discuss the economics of running literary magazines—both print and digital—and developing new strategies to reach more readers. Joining our own JD Scott was A Public Space‘s Brigid Hughes, Tin House‘s Emma Komlos-Hrobsky, Electric Literature‘s Halimah Marcus, SET‘s David James Miller, Slice‘s Celia Johnson. CLMP’s Managing Director Jamie Schwartz moderated the discussion.
Left to Right: Komlos-Hrobsky, Marcus, Johnson, Schwartz, Scott, Miller, and Hughes
Photos Courtesy of Sam Gold
Publication is important, but being able to perform your work in public is critical to the life of the written word. Because of our belief in going beyond the page, Moonshot profiles event producers, independent venues, and other like-minded individuals to learn more about creating successful literary events. In our first segment, we’ve tracked down a few literary event producers to learn more about what drives them to stage these events and how they got started. Melissa Febos tells us all about one of Manhattan’s landmark literary and music institutions, Mixer NYC, and the labor of love that goes into producing it.
When did you get into curating events?
Well, my first literary curation was at the age of, I don’t know…15? I had dropped out of high school, presumably because the curriculum was distracting me from my destiny of being a writer with banal subjects like government and biology. I grew up in this little Cape Cod town and there wasn’t much of a literary scene to speak of, so I tried to start one in the basement of our public library. It was called “Speakeasy” and, if I remember correctly, I not only read my own terrible poetry but also sang a Billie Holiday song. Pretty cute at fifteen, though it sound like the stuff of nightmares to me as an adult.
More recently, I founded the Mixer Reading and Music Series in 2007, with my cohort Rebecca Keith. It’s been going strong for over five years. I also do one-off things too. Recently, I curated a show called “Shameless” for Pride, with Ariel Levy, Laurie Weeks, Pamela Sneed, and a bunch of other queer lady geniuses. It was a great night and a huge honor.
Why prompted you to continue producing literary events?
The same reason I produced them as a teenager: I wanted to find my people, and I wanted to create a place where we could bring our work. It’s also a great excuse to introduce yourself to people you admire. (more…)
Just yesterday, The Guardian outlined how Brooklyn had become a “writers’ mecca” through the ages. While the feature offers a gimlet-eyed glimpse into Brooklyn’s literary scene, it’s representative of a much more exciting evolution—one in which some of New York City’s finest and most ambitious literary publications are now increasingly based out of Brooklyn. So what could happen if you got editors from some of these journals together in a room, gave them wine, and asked them to talk about the craft of assembling a literary journal and the economics associated with such an undertaking? Well, we were curious too and that’s why we’re happy to be taking part in A Night With Brooklyn Indie Lit Mags, moderated by the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses. Other participating magazines include A Public Space, Recommended Reading, SET, Slice, and Tin House. Learn more about the publications here.
A Night With Brooklyn Indie Lit Mags will be held at at powerHouse ARENA (37 Main Street; A, C trains to High Street, F train to York Street, 2, 3 trains to Clark Street) in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn on Wednesday, July 18, 2012.
We’ve got to hand it to the tireless Niina Pollari. Tomorrow sees the third edition of Popsickle Brooklyn, a yearly literary festival that brings together all Brooklyn-based literary series under one roof for an eight hour party of literary delights. Representing for Moonshot will be KD Henley, Christine Hamm, and Daniel Long. Go here for the full schedule to see when our readers take the stage, although it promises to be a whole day full of surprises, so you’d be smart to stay until the end.
Other series and journals also presenting at Popsickle tomorrow include Fireside Follies, Hatchet Job, Metro Rhythm,PeopleHerd at Milk&Roses, Private Line, Stain of Poetry , these signals press / SET, Between the Frog & Conch, Lyre Lyre, The HomeOf, Belladonna*, Red Lemonade, and Feminist Press .
Never does a weekend go by in New York without an abundance of things to do for the bookish lookin’ for a fix. This weekend, Moonshot has its sights set on two events in particular: CLMP’s Magathon and the Giant Lit Mag Sale at the Housing Works—where we held our recent launch party. Find us at both of these events!
Saturday, June 16 at 4:00pm
13th Annual Lit Mag Marathon Weekend: The Magathon
Where: DeWitt Wallace Periodical Room, NYPL, 5th Ave at 42nd Street
What’s happening: JD Scott will be reading a selection from Moonshot #4: Correspondences. The Magathon kicks off the weekend with a “marathon” reading. Editors representing journals of myriad sizes and styles will present favorite selections from a recent issues. Participating magazines include: 6×6, A Public Space, Conjunctions, Bellevue Literary Review, Literal Magazine, BOMB, BOOKFORM. The Literary Review, The Common, Washington Square Review, and more.
Sunday, June 17 at 11:00am
The Giant Lit Mag Sale at Housing Works at 126 Crosby Street
Where: Housing Works
What’s happening: Get Moonshot #4: Correspondences on sale at a special price and support Housing Works, too. Hundreds of literary magazines from across the country will be on sale for only $2 an issue. Take advantage of this amazing bargain and find the mags you love. Dozens of editors and publishers will be here in person to meet and greet while you browse.
Publication is important, but being able to perform your work in public is critical to the life of the written word. Because of our belief in going beyond the page, Moonshot is starting a new online series that interviews event producers, independent venues, and other like-minded individuals to learn more about creating successful literary events. In our first segment, we’ve tracked down a few literary event producers to learn more about what drives them to stage these events and how they got started. Niina Pollari tells us all about one of Brooklyn’s biggest literary productions, Popsickle, and the labor of love that goes into producing it.
Hello, Niina. Tell us a little bit about what you do and what Popsickle’s about.
Since 2010, I have put together the annual Popsickle Festival, which I co-founded with poet Douglas Piccinnini. Its aim is to unite the curators of Brooklyn’s literary series to create one massive megareading. We’re in the third year now and I am working with a great team of people: Beverly Rivero, Katherine St. Asaph, and Moonshot‘s own JD Scott. I’ve also planned and hosted other literary events, including the Bushwick Reading Series, events with the Chapbook Festival and 100 Thousand Poets for Change, and some one-offs, like a massively hilarious juvenilia-themed reading. And I have a small basement space called Mustard Beak that I co-run with Nikolai Basarich.
I guess I ought to say that I’m also a writer and translator. I have two chapbooks out with Birds of Lace and Hyacinth Girl—both feminist presses—and a translation forthcoming from Action Books.
What made you decide to get into literary event production?
My first experience was with the Bushwick Reading Series, and that happened because I randomly ran into a librarian who had access to this amazing underused bunker-like space in the Bushwick library. I had no previous experience with such a thing, but my co-curator Parker Phillips and I brought in readers for about a year. I realized what a great way it was to meet and connect people in the literary world. I just jumped in and learned on the job. (more…)
Publication is important, but being able to perform your work in public is critical to the life of the written word. Because of our belief in going beyond the page, Moonshot is pleased to feature an online series that highlights the hard work that event producers, independent venues, and other like-minded individuals put in to give writers everywhere a platform to reach an audience. This week, we speak to Lynne Procope, who produces one of the most venerable literary series in New York City, louderARTS.
Hi, Lynne. Tell us a little about how you got involved with louderARTS.
Strangely enough I started out producing larger scale poetry performances, full staging, lights, sound, magic, craziness, early onset grey hair. When we started louderARTS, it was almost a relief to scale back to a basic reading. The series that we run now is the little engine that keeps doing it. It’s a very simple but intricate formula. A consistently high quality open mic, wonderful features from every aspect of the poetry world, and occasionally either a slam or a Q&A session with the audience. Right now we’re working on developing a new element to the show that’s all about collaborations between fairly established artist/performers who may want the added challenge of presenting multi-voice or multi-disciplinary work. That would run as an alternative to the Q&A sessions and the slam.
Why literary events?
If we wanted to attend literary events that were compelling and helped us to live in a literary and creative community outside of the academy, it didn’t seem that we had much choice. (more…)
Moonshot will be tabling at Bushwick Open Pages this Saturday, June 2, at duckduck in the East Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. Stop by, say hello!, thumb through the gorgeous new issue of Moonshot, and find out how you can get involved.
Editor-in-Chief JD Scott will represent the magazine on the panel STATUS UPDATE: INDEPENDENT PUBLISHERS AMID INDUSTRYWIDE CHANGE at 3PM EST.
The panel will discuss the state of the independent organization amid a changing arts publishing landscape. Read the entire press release after the break. (more…)