Parachute Literary Arts To Hold Poetry Reading on Coney Island’s Wonder Wheel

From Owen Jones’ Examples of Chinese Ornament (1867), courtesy of the Public Domain Review

Parachute Literary Arts, an organization that celebrates the poetry community of Brooklyn, is hosting Poem-a-Rama on May 8th. The first poetry reading to ever take place on Coney Island’s Wonder Wheel, the event will feature over fourteen poets from New York City. While riding the wheel, they will read their works related to NYC, and more specifically, to Coney Island. The reading will serve as a benefit for Parachute Literary Arts’ writing workshops and for poetry libraries in the area.

Among the writers participating in Poem-a-Rama are Amber Atiya, Patricia Spear Jones, Ian Dreiblatt, Jen Fitzgerald, and Michael Broder. There will also be a performance by Soozee Hwang & The Relastics.

For the complete list of readers, visit Parachute Literary Arts’ website.

Tickets for the event can be purchased here.

‘The Family Cannon’ Receives Eric Hoffer Award for Cover Art

Congratulations to Dave Bledsoe and Daniel Estrella, recipients of the 2015 Eric Hoffer da Vinci Eye award for exceptional cover art for The Family Cannon (author Halina Duraj, Augury Books, 2014).

Other winners include Tina Freeman and Morgan Northrop for Artist Spaces (University of LA at Lafayette Press) and Teresa Jordan for Years of Living Virtuously (Weekends Off) (Counterpoint Press).

To view the complete lists of winners for 2015, visit the Eric Hoffer website.

More on Halina Duraj and The Family Cannon

Augury Books’ Reading Period Approaching

Felice Beato’s hand colored photograph courtesy of the Public Domain Review

Augury Books is happy to announce that our spring/summer 2015 reading period opens for submissions on May 1st! This year we’ll be accepting poetry manuscripts, as well as short fiction collections and creative nonfiction collections. For more on guidelines and submissions head over to our Submittable page. Stay tuned for more updates, and get excited!

CLMP Firecracker Reading, Featuring Finalist Halina Duraj’s ‘The Family Cannon’

Space Colony Art from the 1970s, courtesy of the Public Domain Review

The Council of Literary Magazines and Presses  (CLMP) is holding a reading this Sunday afternoon, featuring the finalists for their new Firecracker Awards, including Halina Duraj for The Family Cannon (Augury Books, 2014).

The reading will take place from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.,  during the 16th Annual Lit Mag Fair at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe. Other finalists and publishers include, Bonnie Friedman (Etruscan Press), Vikas K. Menon and Dan Goldman (Rattapallax), Jesse Lonergan (NBM Publishing), Hubert & Kerascoet (NBM Publishing), Eric Hobbs and Noel Tuazon (NBM Publishing).

Winners of the Firecracker Award will be announced on May 27th at powerHouse Arena in DUMBO, Brooklyn.

Join Augury Books at Housing Works on Sunday as editor Kate Angus reads from The Family Cannon.


Academy of American Poets Accepting Donations for Poem-A-Day

From Shin-Bijutsukai (1901-1902), courtesy of the Public Domain Review

The Academy of American Poets will be accepting donations throughout the month of April, known within the literary community as National Poetry Month. The money raised will go toward Poem-A-Day, their free newsletter featuring classic and previously unpublished poetry. Contributions will allow Poem-A-Day to remain a free resource for educators.

To donate to this important cause, visit their website.

Satellite Collective Launches Telephone Exhibition

Giovanni Paolo Pannini’s Roman Ruins and Sculpture (1755), courtesy of the Public Domain Review

Satellite Collective, a non-profit organization dedicated to the arts, introduces its new Telephone initiative today, April 20th. The exhibition receives its name from the children’s game it’s based off of, in which a message is passed in whispers from one person to another. In Satellite Collective’s spinoff of the game, the message is conveyed through various art forms. After viewing a work by one artist, the next had to translate the message using their own genre of art. For example, after viewing viewing a drawing, a poet would convert the drawing’s meaning into a poem. Among the participating artists for this project is Augury’s Kate Angus.

To track and explore the results of the Telephone experiment, click here.

Ryan Britt On The HiFi Reading Series

From Hortus Malabaricus (1678-1693), courtesy of the Public Domain Review

On the first Wednesday of each month, The HiFi Reading Series takes place at the HiFi Bar in the East Village. Coordinated by Ryan Britt and Lena Valencia, the program seeks to reveal new and upcoming writers in NYC. Recently, Augury chatted with Ryan Britt about the series:

Augury Books: What prompted you and Lena to start the HiFi Reading Series?

Ryan: Lena and I have been friends and colleagues for a number of years. We’ve been in a writing group together since 2011 and we both worked at powerHouse Arena Bookstore in Dumbo on and off for ages. Lena was the event director at powerHouse and as such is super-organized and excellent at programming. Meanwhile, I’m a fair “hype man.” The honest truth is we wanted to do a reading series that actually DID showcase new talent, rather than just curate all our cronies.
Why HiFi? Well, I’ve been a patron at HiFi Bar since 2005. I snuck into a Death Cab for Cutie after party and the owner (Mike Stuto) has been nice to me ever since. All the bartenders at HiFi are readers. Over the years I’ve felt truly at home there. So, when Mike asked me if I wanted to do a reading series, it was perfect timing because Lena and I had been talking about doing something anyway.

A: What has the reception been like?

R: The reception has been totally positive. We’ve had a great turn-out from the very first show. Part of that I think is because the audience changes depending on who the readers are. People who have never done a reading invite all their friends and suddenly we’ve got a bar half-full of people who have never met each other. We also have a core audience of literary NYC folks. Some editors, agents, publicists, and of course, authors!
Our show tends to be pretty short and sweet, so I think people like that, too. We had a nice write-up in the New York Observer late last year.

A: What events do you have planned for the future?

We’ve got a really cool 2015. Jim Shepard is guest-curating in August. He’s such an interesting guy and I already know for a fact that he’ll present some kind of diverse line-up that blows our minds. That’s part of the fun of doing this series. Lena and I are often meeting the people reading for the first time through their reading for us. It’s great.
We’re doing an event centered around this great short story anthology called WATCHLIST. Most importantly, we’ve got exciting guest-curators showing up new talent EVERY SINGLE MONTH on the first Wednesday.

Heroes Are Gang Leaders Performs at Howard University

From Robert Thornton’s Temple of Flora (1807), courtesy of the Public Domain Review

“Heroes Are Gang Leaders” held a tribute concert at Howard University on April 12th, during which they performed “The Amiri Baraka Sessions.” Put together by Thomas Sayers Ellis and James Brandon Lewis, the group is composed of poets and musicians dedicated to sharing the story of social activist and writer Amiri Baraka. Among the poets featured were Augury’s Randall Horton and Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie. In the band were Luke Stewart (bass), Janice Lowe (piano and vocals), Catalina Gonzalez (guitar and vocals), Ryan Frazier (trumpet), Warren “Trae” Crudup (drums), and Margaret Morris (vocals). The complete recording of “The Amiri Baraka Sessions,” consisting of multiple six hour sessions, should be released later this year.

For the full press release from Howard University, visit their website.

More on Randall Horton here.

Halina Duraj’s The Family Cannon Nominated for CLMP Firecracker Award

From E. Weiß’s Bilderatlas der Sternenwelt (1888), courtesy of the Public Domain Review

The Community of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP) released the nominees for their new Firecracker Awards. Inspired by the Firecracker Alternative Book Awards, CLMP’s awards strive to honor and support literary works from independent publishers and self-published writers.

The finalists are divided into six categories: creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, young adult, graphic novels, and literary magazines. Among them is Augury author Halina Duraj for her book of short stories, The Family Cannon. Other finalists across categories include Jeffery Renard AllenMartha Baillie, Bonnie Friedman, Allen Crawford, and Ransom Riggs, as well as several literary magazines, including 6 x 6, A Public Space, and Mosaic. Tin House, Graywolf Press, Ahsahta Press, and Tender Buttons Press are all among the publishers that have titles shortlisted. The winners in each group will be announced on May 27th at powerHouse Arena in DUMBO.

To see the complete shortlists for the Firecracker Awards, view CLMP’s press release.

For more about Halina Duraj and The Family Cannon, click here.

Literary Hub Set To Launch April 8th

Utagawa Hiroshige’s The Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō (1848), courtesy of the Public Domain Review

Literary Hub, a website which will gather literary content from across the internet and combine in one place, is set to launch on April 8th. Emily Firetog, the managing editor of the site, spoke to Augury about the new website and its goals.

Augury: How did you get involved with Lit Hub? Do you have a particular role within the organization?

Emily: There is a small daily team at Lit Hub: editor in chief Jonny Diamond, managing editor (me) and assistant editor Blair Beusman. We have a part time assistant editor Ben Philippe, six contributing editors (Roxane Gay, Alexander Chee, Rebecca Wolff, Adam Fitzgerald, Ashley Ford, and Oscar Villalon), and John Freeman is our executive editor/features editor.

A: What is Lit Hub’s mission? How does it see itself within the literary community?

E: Lit Hub is investing in the future of literary culture and its readers. It’s a site designed to be a destination for readers to discover the very best literary content on the web. Our partners include large publishers, small presses, university presses, print and digital journals, bookstores, and nonprofits, because we want to be inclusive, reflecting the reality of literary publishing today.

A: What sorts of things does Lit Hub have planned for the future? (Do you envision any events or readings?)

E: We’re a website. We’re going to focus on bringing the best content to readers every day.