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Reading Series Census: Paragraph

By on Monday, September 21st, 2015 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?
The name of our series changes, but let’s call it the Paragraph Reading Series. We feature current members of our 24-hour writing space (Paragraph) and so it is named.

Who founded the series, and who runs it now?
The series was founded by Joy Parisi and Lila Cecil, the co-founders of Paragraph. Right now our intern, Maya Macdonald, is the primary host.

What genres or mediums does the series include?
The series is open to all genres. We have a diverse range of writers at Paragraph, but mostly the ones who are interested in reading are fiction writers, journalists, poets, and dramatists.

What is the format of the series?
We feature ~4 readers who read for ~10 minutes each.

Where does the series take place?
The reading takes place at the KGB Bar.

When and how often is the series performed (and is it seasonal)?
We’re shaking things up this season. Rather than hosting a reading on the last Friday every month (with the exception of June-August), we’ll only be hosting readings on September 25, November 20, January 29, March 25, and May 27.

How long has the series been active?
The series has been around in some form or another beginning with the inception of Paragraph in 2005.

Where can people find information about series on the web?
More information is available here:

Do you take submissions, solicit material, or a combination?
We only feature readers who are current Paragraph members.

Did you set out with specific goals when the series was launched and have they changed over time?
Our goal is to build a sense of community among our members, and to have our members become more familiar with the work of their peers. Paragraph is a 24-hour membership-based quiet space that’s open specifically to writers. As such, not everyone gets the chance to read each other’s work despite the great community we’ve built up over the years.

What distinguishes the series from others?
Attendance at the Paragraph Reading Series is free and open to the public. I think the series is interesting in that its inevitable theme is Paragraph and its community. Our members range in experience — some are writing for the first time, and some are veteran writers, which is different from a lot of readings. Additionally, the genres our readers cover are all over the place: humor writing, drama, performance poetry, etc. It’s a great showcase.

The next Paragraph reading is scheduled for Friday, September 25th, 2015 at KGB at 7 p.m. and features Julia Lee Barclay-Morton, Kiri Milburn, and Sarah Wetzel.



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