Reading Series Census: The Rally

By on Monday, November 20th, 2017 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?
We’re the Rally—the heart of a rally in the body of a reading series. We think that writers, activists, and advocates will make America truly great again. The Rally is where we come together to be reminded of what’s at stake and how to take action.

Who founded the series, and who runs it now?
Christopher Green founded the series as a one-time event in November 2016, one week after the election of Donald Trump. That first event was an open-mic platform: people of all stripes could took to the stage to express anxieties to a sympathetic and supportive audience. Ryan D. Matthews now runs the series and is committed to bringing together writers and artists in the community to incite political change.

What genres or mediums does the series include?
The series includes nonfiction, fiction, and poetry—all of a political nature. The issues may change from month to month, but will always address political topics that feel essential to the author.

What is the format of the series?
The format is a little bit different. Readers share their work, but we also engage in a room-wide discussion that involved a chance for the audience to ask questions and spark dialogue. The authors don’t necessarily have the authority, but rather we all try to wrestle with the issues they bring forward.

Additionally, the series involves a call to action. Each reader can suggest an organization for the audience to donate to, a call to service of some sort, a recommendation for sparking debate within their community, or suggestions of how to confront a particular prejudice or injustice. Often these actions address a particular need arising from the political news of the day.

Where does the series take place?
The Rally Reading Series takes place at Pete’s Candy Store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, at 709 Lorimer Street.

When and how often is the series performed (and is it seasonal)?
Readings take place monthly, every third Tuesday.

How long has the series been active?
The series, in its current form, has been active since February 2016.

Where can people find information about series on the web?
You can find out more about the series by visiting our website at: https://www.rallyreadingseries.com or by checking out our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/RallyReadingSeries/.

Do you take submissions, solicit material, or a combination?
We solicit writers, but absolutely take submissions and encourage readers to reach out with inquiries. Email us at rallyreadingseries@gmail.com with your pitch!

Did you set out with specific goals when the series was launched and have they changed over time?
The goal of the series will always be to promote political dialogue, empowerment, and action through art. How those ends are met will also always be up for debate.

What distinguishes the series from others?
We’re in a golden age of political writing, but it’s important that the writing doesn’t die with the day’s news cycle. We’re trying to bring the great political thought from screen to the stage, and, ultimately, to the streets. The Rally is where political frustration becomes cooperation—via art.

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The next scheduled reading of The Rally is Tuesday, November 21, 2017 and will feature Tanwi Nandini Islam, Kim Liao, and Emily Holleman at Pete’s Candy Store.

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