By Ian MacAllen on Wednesday, September 21st, 2016 at 9:03 am
The New York City Reading Series Census is an ongoing project to catalogue the contemporary literary scene. Any reading series curator in the New York area can take the survey here.
What is the name of the series, and what is the significance or meaning of the series name?
Our series is called Pigeon Pages. We like pigeons—they’re city birds, and while they are much maligned, they have really beautiful feather patterns and every pigeon is unique. Pigeons have a really fascinating history as well—a pigeon won a medal of honor in World War I. The Queen of England is famously a pigeon fancier and keeps pigeons. We think pigeons are cool. And we enjoyed the alliteration of “pages”, and how it suggests writing and reading.
Who founded the series, and who runs it now?
Alisson Wood is the founder and current curator and host of Pigeon Pages.
What genres or mediums does the series include?
We showcase both poetry and prose in all its forms, but are not currently seeking other forms of media or storytelling.
What is the format of the series?
We run for no more than two hours, which includes time for wine, snacks and mingling both before and after the reading. We have 5-6 readers each month, featuring a mixture of prose and poetry (both fiction and non-fiction) and we take a short break in the midst of the reading. Each month features at least one published author, so we also have time for book signings at the end (along with more mingling).
Where does the series take place?
Bookcourt Bookstore in Brooklyn.
When and how often is the series performed (and is it seasonal)?
We are a monthly literary reading series, and are not seasonal (although we will be taking December off due to the holidays). We usually nest at Bookcourt on the last (or second to last) Sunday of the month.
How long has the series been active?
Our first reading was in August of 2016—to a packed house! We’re new and starting strong. It’s very encouraging.
Where can people find information about series on the web?
The best place to find the most updated information about our events is on Facebook at facebook.com/pigeonpagesnyc/, or via any of the social medias (Twitter and Instagram) @pigeonpagesnyc.
Do you take submissions, solicit material, or a combination?
We do both—anyone is welcome to submit via email at pigeonpagesnyc[at]gmail.com and we love hearing from potential readers, but we also rely on personal recommendations and experiences with local writers.
Did you set out with specific goals when the series was launched and have they changed over time?
Pigeon Pages is focused on showcasing a dynamic and diverse group of both emerging and established writers every month. We wanted to host a mixture of fiction, creative non-fiction, and poetry at every reading, and be a platform for new writers while also celebrating the successes (meaning books) of local authors. So far, we’re successfully embracing our goals.
What distinguishes the series from others?
We really want this to be a fun and engaging experience for the audience and the readers, so we encourage our readers to “invoke a bird muse” and write a new short piece (under 2 minutes, in any form) that somehow relates to a bird, either physically or metaphorically. The results have been really wonderful. We, as writers, can be so serious about our craft sometimes and it’s important to remember that writing can also be an act of joy and experimentation. We wanted to create a space for that in our series. So you’ll always hear some brand new work alongside published pieces, which is exciting.
The next scheduled Pigeon Pages reading will be on Sunday, September 25, 2016 at 4 p.m. at BookCourt and features Lynn Steger Strong, Michele Filgate, Saxon Baird, Jerome Ellison Murphy, and Mike Jeffries.
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