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?
Vica Miller Literary Salons.
Founded by Vica Miller, the Salons pay homage to the literary salons of the 19th century St. Petersburg (Russia). The Salons provide a platform for writers, both published and not, to present their work to an audience of respectful readers and listeners amidst the backdrop of contemporary art.
Who founded the series, and who runs it now?
“A modern-day Gertrude Stein” (Four Seasons Magazine), Vica Miller launched the Salons in the Spring of 2009 in her Manhattan apartment. Since then, the chamber reading series has become a staple of NYC literary scene, beloved for its unique atmosphere. Hosted in private NYC art galleries, the Salons are held bi-monthly and feature new work from some of the best contemporary writers and poets, both published and not, with the ultimate goal of supporting the literary arts.
What genres or mediums does the series include?
Fiction, non-fiction and poetry.
What is the format of the series?
Every Salon is set in an art gallery and features four writers per night, reading for 8-10 minutes each, followed by an individual Q & A about the work just shared. The evening starts with an informal 30-min. wine reception, followed by an hour of readings, and concludes with more wine sipping, mingling and book sales/signing. The evenings are “vibrant, enchanting and memorable.” No cover and wine is free, but RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org is required to be on the guest list.
Where does the series take place?
The Salons take place in private NYC galleries, including Susan Eley Fine Art, Mimi Ferzt, Carini Lang, RYAN LEE, Fridman Gallery, and others.
When and how often is the series performed (and is it seasonal)?
The Salons are held bi-monthly in various art galleries, usually on a Wednesday or Thursday night. We take a break for the summer.
How long has the series been active?
Since April 2009
Do you take submissions, solicit material, or a combination?
The usual way of attracting good writers is the word of mouth. I also take submissions, personally invite authors I like, and work with publicists & publishers.
Did you set out with specific goals when the series was launched and have they changed over time?
The goals remains – to create an unforgettable experience and to support the arts. We provide a beautiful stage for new voices in literature, and have the audience connect with the material, authors & art in a meaningful way.
What distinguishes the series from others?
1) Stunning setting
2) Featuring published and unpublished authors
3) Intimate atmosphere (thanks to the deep Q&A sessions and mingling before & after)
(Also, there is no bar noise, forks clinking or drink refills during the reading and Q&A part of the evening. All eyes and ears are on the authors.)
Some impressions from those who read at the Salons can be found here: http://www.vicamillersalons.com/quotes
The next Vica Miller Salon is scheduled for October 5, 2016 and will include Mira Jacob, Laurie Stone, Zeeva Bukai, and Lara Vapnyar.