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?
Lamprophonic’s Emerging Writers Series — Lamprophonic means “with loudness and clarity of voice.” It is the name of our broader literary organization, which seeks to encourage a robust, diverse, and supportive literary community in New York City. One of the primary ways we do that is through our monthly(ish) Emerging Writers Series, which invites writers of all genres and forms to read their work at Bar Thalia, the lounge owned and operated by Symphony Space on the Upper West Side. In a typical night, we hear a mix of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, and we are open to any writing that will thoughtfully engage the audience.
Who founded the series, and who runs it now?
It was founded by me, Clare Smith Marash, in 2012 and I continue to run it to this day with the help of Lamprophonic’s Poetry Curator, Sarah Sala. The Poetry Curator position was previous held by K.T. Billey, who helped coordinate this series for a a number of years.
What genres or mediums does the series include?
In short, any. We seek to present a mix of poetry and prose, including fiction and non, at every event, but we’ve also hosted people who have read monologues or other play excerpts as well as a number of writers who present genre-bending pieces. All genres and forms are welcome. We do not have much of a set up for multimedia presentations, though with enough warning we are able to present images.
What is the format of the series?
There is no headliner. We determine a line-up of the 5-6 writers and I serve as MC. There’s usually a break halfway through the event.
Where does the series take place?
Bar Thalia, the bar owned and operated by Symphony Space, located at 2537 Broadway (@95th Street).
When and how often is the series performed (and is it seasonal)?
The series runs on a somewhat academic schedule – we go on hiatus for December – January, and also in the summer (July – August or September). When not on hiatus, readings are held every 4 or 5 weeks.
How long has the series been active?
It began in August 2012.
Where can people find information about series on the web?
Do you take submissions, solicit material, or a combination?
We are submissions-based entirely. The website above includes more information on our guidelines and a link to our submittable page.
Did you set out with specific goals when the series was launched and have they changed over time?
I began the series while I was in graduate school to offer a platform for newer writers to share their work publicly in an event that wasn’t tied to a school, genre, or form. That desire has grown and formalized itself into a mission. Now Lamprophonic hosts a full suite of events that seek to establish connections among writers and build greater awareness of underrepresented writers and writing communities. To that end, we have steadfastly maintained the Emerging Writers Series as a space where writers share their work and establish networks outside of a their school, genre, form, etc.
What distinguishes the series from others?
We have an explicit mission to create new points of contact among writers. We try each month to build the most diverse reading we can from the submissions at hand, seeking variety in content, form, style, genre, and the background of the author. Also, we have no headliner and no tiering structure. It’s an egalitarian series where writers present in an order designed for listening variety. Also, practically speaking, there are few reading series in Upper Manhattan (though that number is growing thankfully!) and we are one of them!
The next Lamprophonic’s Emerging Writers Series is scheduled for Friday, February 19, 2016. Submissions are open until February 5, 2016.