Electric Literature “Soapbox Reading Series” Arrives at Washington Square Park for Two Tuesdays – October 13th and 20th; 12 noon

At the Park!  On Tuesday, October 13th and Tuesday, October 20th, “The Soapbox Reading Series” arrives at Washington Square Park presented by literary magazine Electric Literature which is based in Brooklyn.  Authors of literary fiction with a variety of writing styles will read their work “atop a box in the middle of Washington Square Park.”  The readings will take place from 12 noon – 1:30 p.m.

From the release:

Washington Square has a long and storied history of both arts and activism. To celebrate the area, the Soapbox Reading Series is an inclusive event for a diverse audience of passersby, office workers, cops, shoppers and literary enthusiasts sharing in a common, transportive experience.

The Soapbox readings will entertain and promote literary fiction by connecting authors directly with the public, while celebrating the diversity of the city and its cultural wealth.

Dates, Times, Location:

Tuesday, October 13th: Carmiel Banasky + other local writers reading from “Electric Literature”

Tuesday, October 20th: Stephen O’Connor and special guests

Washington Square Park, West of Fountain Plaza

Noon – 1:30pm

About the authors:

Stephen O’Connor is the author of Rescue (short fiction and poetry); Will My Name Be Shouted Out? (memoir and social criticism); Orphan Trains (narrative history), and Here Comes Another Lesson (short fiction), forthcoming from Free Press. His fiction and poetry have been published in The New Yorker, Poetry Magazine, Conjunctions, TriQuarterly, Threepenny Review, Partisan Review, and many other places.

Carmiel Banasky was in Oxford, Mississippi teaching preschool and, in her spare time, attempting to organize a pro-choice movement. When that failed, she found her way to New York City to finally focus on writing. She is currently studying at Hunter College, where she also teaches creative writing. She had two stories published with Glimmer Train Stories, one of which won first prize in their Family Matters contest.  She received her B.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona.

** Event will proceed with sunshine.  Heavy rain will cancel event.  **

On Bryant Park — Wednesday May 27th Hosts Author Dennis Cooper

Bryant Park Lawn Closed Sign May 09

Bryant Park Lawn Closed Sign May 09

I have mixed feelings on Bryant Park (take note of that sign posted a few weeks ago … everything is just so … precious).

It is one of the most commercialized and controlled of NYC’s parks (I suppose it’s also smack in the middle of midtown and not really in a neighborhood, per se). I have the feeling that the NYC Parks Department would like all the Parks to be like that one. Yes, it is governed by a private Conservancy. A true story: at one point the Conservancy hired a hawk to keep pigeons away. This went astray when the hawk attacked a small dog and they had to abandon the practice. Can’t we co-exist with the pigeons in a … park?

It’s not Washington Square Park – it has a whole other purpose as a park and public space. More about getting away from it all quietly then communing with or being entertained by your fellow New Yorkers — although City Search NYC says to come to the Dennis Cooper reading and talk (info below) to meet people!

Bryant Park does seem to have a wide array of activities going on perhaps because they need to create some as they don’t happen naturally (… am I being too hard on them?).

Nonetheless, here is the event info:

This Wednesday, May 27th from 12:30-1:45 p.m. the Bryant Park Summer Reading Series presents:

Dennis Cooper, Novelist, Poet, Critic, Editor, Blogger, and Performance artist (per Wikipedia), will be discussing his new book, Ugly Man, a book of short stories (published by Harper Perennial), and career. Hosted by Tony O’Neill.

Cooper’s site.

You can ‘follow’ Bryant Park on Twitter!

Bryant Park is at 42nd Street and 6th Avenue.