ANIMAL FARM READING SERIES is NYC's destination for the newest and best satirical and/or critical writing in any genre. It convenes the third Tuesday of every month at Over the Eight: 594 Union Avenue in Williamsburg.
AUTUMN PIÑATA is the September 16th edition of ANIMAL FARM, NYC’s destination for the newest and best satirical and/or critical writing in any genre.
We are very proud to host ANNE HELEN PETERSEN, HAMILTON NOLAN, and LEAH FINNEGAN for a BROOKLYN BOOK FESTIVAL BOOKEND EVENT that will definitely leave you churning with wonder.
We’re doing this at OVER THE EIGHT, 594 Union Avenue in Williamsburg (L to Bedford or G to Metropolitan). We start at 8 pm and it’s free to get in.
ANNE HELEN PETERSEN eceived her Ph.D. in media studies from the University of Texas, where she studied the industrial history of the gossip industry. After teaching in the university setting for several years, she’s transitioned to full-time feature writing, most recently with BuzzFeed. Her work has appeared in The Believer, The Awl, The Hairpin, Laptham’s Quarterly, The Baffler, Pacific Standard, The Guardian, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Virginia Quarterly Review.
HAMILTON NOLAN is a writer for Gawker. He also writes about boxing sometimes. He comes from Florida.
LEAH FINNEGAN is a senior editor at Gawker. Previously she was an editor at The New York Times. She has written for those places, as well as The Awl, The Morning News and the AP. She is from Chicago!
ANIMAL FARM has been dying to get out of town lately but has utterly run out of money, unfortunately. So come join us with sizzling hot writers RACHEL RIEDERER, JESSICA MACHADO, J. SCOTT BROWNLEE, and RYAN BRITT as we take a relaxing dip in the cooling waters of pure, broke imagination.
ANIMAL FARM is NYC’s destination for the newest and best satirical and/or critical writing in any genre. We’re on Tuesday, July 15 at 8 pm at OVER THE EIGHT, 594 Union Ave. at N. 11th St. in Williamsburg (L to Bedford or G to Metropolitan).
Check in with us and enjoy the false breeze on Facebook.
RACHEL RIEDERER is the editor of the Daily section of Guernica: a magazine of art & politics. Her writing has appeared in The Nation, The New Republic, and Best American Essays, among others. She writes mostly about politics or the environment, and occasionally about her feelings.
JESSICA MACHADO is an associate editor at Rolling Stone. Her work has appeared in Bitch, Bust, The Hairpin, The Toast, The Awl, The Rumpus and xoJane, among others. She also writes about what kind of grown up she is at baggageclaimed.tumblr.com.
J. SCOTT BROWNLEE is a poet from Llano, Texas. His workappears widelyand includes the chapbookHighway or Belief, which won the 2013 Button Poetry Prize. He is a founding member of The Localists, a literary collective that emphasizes place-based writing of personal witness, cultural memory, and the aesthetically marginalized working-class, both in the United States and abroad. A formerWriters in the Public Schools Fellow at NYU, he currently lives in Brooklyn.
RYAN BRITT's writing has appeared in The New York Times,The Awl, Omni, Crossed Genres, The Drum, Nerve, Opium, The Awl,Soon Quarterly,The MindHut, The Barnes and Noble Book Blog, and extensively with Tor.com, where he is a former staff writer. He is a consulting editor for Story Magazine, and curates both The Hi-Fi Reading Series and The Lust for Genre Reading Series. Ryan teaches for The Gotham Writers’ Workshop, The Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop, and privately. He lives in Brooklyn and tweets @ryancbritt.
In addition to a great poet and a loyal Brooklynite, Vanessa is also a prolific interviewee, including recent sessions with Quiddity International Lit Journal, American Microreviews and Interviews, and Brooklyn Poets, who named her their Poet of the Week for May 5-11.
In the following, we discuss interviews, plus poetry, food, defining experiences, the meaning of humanity, and more.
So much of poetry is about language and openness to interpretation. Do you think that answering questions about your poetry, in the context of interviews such as this one, detracts from the experience of reading and/or listening to poetry with an open mind, or do you think it adds a new dimension to your readers’ experience?
Such a flattering question, Patrick. You are a darling for making me feel like I have that kind of readership.
Have you ever felt the desire to answer an interview question using poetry rather than prose? I often wish that I could speak to people using poetry, in order to give a more direct insight into where my emotions and my reason meet and either inspire or inhibit action, on my part, mostly when I’m at a restaurant and I can’t decide what to order.
The answer is always guacamole.
In your recent interview with Brooklyn Poets, you said that one of your “defining Brooklyn experiences” was the “surreal MFA at Brooklyn College.” Was the program surreal in a productive sense, or merely a jarring, nightmarish break from reality?
Surreal in the sense that I got to sit around a table each week and read and (try to) write and discuss poetry with other conscious people and do the very difficult work of trying to become less alienated from myself and celebrate what some may refer to as traditionally, capitalistically, unproductive labor. I was also adjuncting at the same time, so to go from student to teacher and back felt not only like a dizzying code switch but also like totally, wonderfully, what it can mean to be human.
You just published a chapbook called Weekend Poems and you’ll soon publish another one called Red Poems. Is there an important difference, for you, between weekend poems and red poems? The weekend strikes me as more of a light blue time, whereas “red” makes me think of grading papers and leaves changing color in the fall.
Oh, that’s tough to follow. For me, I’d say Weekend Poems is gazing, aware, wistful. I’d like to think my poems since WP are like WP’s revolutionary sisters: on the block, strapped, exposing exploitations, with nothing much left to lose.
I’m really glad you’re going to be at the reading this Tuesday, June 17. There certainly are a lot of readings in Brooklyn these days—what are some of the best experiences that you’ve had with readings, and what do you think they contribute to reading and writing culture generally speaking?
Yay, me too! The best times I’ve had at readings are when the crowd is vibing and warm and heterogenous. In general, these are the readings that seem truly interested in expanding the community, which is necessary and humbling.
On Tuesday, June 17, join all of your friends from ANIMAL FARM plus writers VANESSA JIMENEZ GABB, ERIN SHEEHY, JANE LIDDLE, CHRISTINA DRILL, and JESSICA PROBUS as we honor ST. CAESONIA, the patron saint of NYC in the summer months.
ANIMAL FARM is NYC’s destination for the newest and best satirical and/or critical writing in any genre.
By the glare of the pavement, PRAISE CAESONIA!
We are at OVER THE EIGHT, 594 Union Ave. at N. 11th St. in Williamsburg (L to Bedford or G to Metropolitan).
Christina Drill was raised in New Jersey and lives in Brooklyn. She is the author of the chapbook New Bows (Five/Quarterly) and the founder and editor of the online magazine Pieces of Cake. She is currently editing an anthology of memoirs about growing up in American suburbs.
Vanessa is a poet from/living in Brooklyn. She is the author of Weekend Poems (dancing girl press) and is co-founder of Five Quarterly.
Jane Liddle grew up in Newburgh, New York, and now lives in Brooklyn. Her stories have appeared in Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Specter, Cactus Heart, Whiskey Paper, and elsewhere. She has recently finished a collection of short stories and a flash series about murder. You can find her at www.liddlejane.tumblr.com or on Twitter @janeriddle.
Jessica Probus is a writer, designer, and resident of Queens. Her work has been featured in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, The Rumpus, Nano Fiction, WordRiot, BuzzFeed and more.
Erin Sheehy's writing has recently appeared in n+1, Paper Monument, and Grey Magazine. She has just published a bikini lookbook called Ideologie.
Jeremy P. Bushnell is the author of the new novel The Weirdness, a avery funny romp about the events set in motion when Lucifer offers a stereotypical Brooklyn “aspiring writer” a “five-figure advance” if he agrees to steal a magical lucky cat statue from a powerful, Chelsea-based warlock. Jeremy also teaches creative writing Northeastern University, is fiction editor at Longform.org, and was the lead developer of Inevitable, a dystopian board game.
The Weirdness is about an aspiring fiction writer named Billy who lives in Brooklyn and works at a sandwich shop is contacted by The Devil, who promises to give Billy a book deal with a “five-figure advance” if he performs a certain task. How much of this is based on personal experience?
Allow me to dodge that question. Because if— and I’m stressing if —Lucifer were real, and if he had offered me a book deal in exchange for completion of a certain task, you can bet your sweet ass that he would have required me to sign a very lengthy and detailed non-disclosure agreement. Next question!
"CRAYONNAISE" is a new delicacy that is only available on Tuesday, May 20—a veritable McRib or Ramen Burger for the imagination. In contrast to those sandwiches, though, it is a totally empty concept that exists to generate seasonal excitement alone. JEREMY P. BUSHNELL, ESTHER C. WERDIGER, and EMMA WHITFORD will be on hand to help us enjoy the thinking about May 20 that "CRAYONNAISE" engenders.
ANIMAL FARM is NYC’s destination for the newest and best satirical and/or critical writing in any genre. We start at 8, at OVER THE EIGHT bar, 594 Union Avenue at N. 11th in Williamsburg (L to Bedford or G to Metropolitan). Admission is free.
ESTHER C. WERDIGER writes, draws and podcasts. Her comics, essays, artwork and illustrations have appeared at The Hairpin, The Awl, Splitsider, Tablet, and Saveur.
EMMA WHITFORD is an Assistant Editor at New York magazine. She has also written for The Awl and reviews fiction for Publishers Weekly. This spring, she’s dipped her feet into taxidermy, and the recent history of public landscape architecture.
Kristin Dombek has written essays for n+1, The Paris Review, and The Painted Bride Quarterly, she writes an advice column for n+1 called “The Help Desk,” and she is currently teaching in the Writing Program at Princeton University. Kristin will be at the “Awaken Ye, Spring” edition of our reading series tomorrow, April 15th, at Over the Eight in Williamsburg, and she agreed to do this interview in order to help us generate hype, clicks, pageviews, “Likes,” and all that stuff.
1. You write an advice column for n+1 called The Help Desk. What kind of advice do you have to offer others who aspire to write advice columns in the future, as a career?
I think a lot of people want to get into this game for the glamour. They think it’s all about having people recognize you, designers sending you dresses, dating lots of other advice columnists and have pictures taken of you dating them, that sort of thing. What they don’t understand is that to be an advice columnist, you’ve got to really want it. The attention is nice and all, but it’s not enough to get you through the job. It takes work—hard work. I think this is why you see a lot of people taking the easy way out and just acting like advice columnists on social media, posting pictures of themselves looking empathetic and wise and posting updates about what they think everyone should think and do, and just generally living as if they are an advice columnist. They haven’t put the time in, and they don’t want to. I’ve been an advice columnist for ten months, and I’ve written four columns. Four. You’ve got to want it, and if you really empathize with people, it’s going to take a lot of time to figure out the correct answer to their questions.
2. What is the best advice that you’ve ever received?
It’s more important to be organized than empathetic.
3. What is the worst advice that you’ve ever received?
Liquor before beer, you’re in the clear.
4. What is the most mediocre advice that you’ve ever received?
5. We both have PhDs from New York University, yours in English and mine in Comparative Lit. A lot of people advise others not to pursue PhD’s in the Humanities. To me, such advice is cliché, though, especially since most of the people I know who have PhD’s got them ironically, like a “Hello Kitty” lunchbox. Do you agree?
6. I frequently have nightmares about “The Love Boat,” a television series from the 70s. If Freud were here, he would remark that “boat” rhymes with “tote”—and thus is indicative of the sexual confusion ensuing from the fact that my mother likes to carry stuff around in a tote bag, and I, recently, have also been carrying a lot of stuff around in tote bags. What kinds of decisions do you think I should make, regarding my family and my mother in particular, because of my frequent nightmares about “The Love Boat”?
Interesting, Patrick. Very interesting. We’ve been seeing a lot of this kind of boat dream lately, and I think you’re absolutely right about the significance of the rhyme. A lot of people miss that. The answer here is very simple, dear: You’re going to need a bigger tote.
GeorgWilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Wissenschaft der Logik
Join us on Tuesday, April 15 for "Awaken Ye, Spring!" a wholly original concept with which we shall embrace the Earth, yield to the tender Zephyr, drink, and listen to new writing from a cadre of gifted writers including KRISTIN DOMBEK, A.M. GITTLITZ, ADAM DALVA, m.t. niagara, and ED WINSTEAD.
ANIMAL FARM is NYC’s destination for the newest and best satirical and/or critical writing in any genre. We embrace at OVER THE EIGHT, 594 Union Ave. in Williamsburg (L to Bedford or G to Metropolitan).
The Zephyr sweeps gently across the meadow beginning at 8 and is free.
KRISTIN DOMBEK's essays have appeared in n+1, The Paris Review, and The Painted Bride Quarterly. She writes an advice column for the n+1 website called “The Help Desk.” She was a 2013 recipient of a Rona Jaffe award, and is currently completing a cultural history of narcissism, after which she will write a memoir about herself. She teaches in the Princeton Writing Program.
A.M. GITTLITZ is a Brooklyn based zinester, freelance journalist, fiction writer, and delivery boy. His work focuses on the topics of counterculture, radical politics, punk rock, and bringing condo-dwellers fried chicken. A contributor to Vol. 1 Brooklyn, HTMLGiant, Vice, and The New Inquiry, he also volunteers at the Spectacle Theater and co-hosts the Death Panel Reading Series at various literary proletarian venues around New York City.
ADAM DALVA is a graduate of NYU’s MFA Program, where he was a Veterans Writing Workshop Fellow. He has written a novel, The Zero Date, and his work has been or will be published in The Millions, Bodega, Connu, The Golden Handcuffs Review, and elsewhere. Adam currently works as a French 18th century antique dealer.
m.t. niagara is a poet and writer based in chinatown, nyc. in the last year she’s published chapbooks and zines such as 22 sonnets written in the vicinity of Algonquin Provincial Park and Interviews at a Party. she’s working on her first book, an erotic novel set on the oregon trail.
ED WINSTEAD is an associate editor at Guernica magazine and an editorial assistant at Simon & Schuster. He has an MFA from New York University and his work has appeared in a number of publications, including Guernica, The Rumpus, and The American Reader.
Last year around Valentine’s Day, we proclaimed that ANIMAL FARM IS LOVE, so we’re going with that again this year (#TBT!). On Tuesday, February 18, we are very excited to welcome TOBIAS CARROLL, CECILY IDDINGS, FRANK GUAN, and ALI BOGGS.
ANIMAL FARM is NYC’s destination for the newest and best satirical and/or critical writing in any genre. Our location is OVER THE EIGHT, 594 Union Ave. in Williamsburg (L to Bedford or G to Metropolitan). We start at 8 pm on Tuesday, February 18.
If LOVE, MONEY, POWER, …NUTRITION, SEXUAL ATTRACTIVENESS, ATHLETIC ABILITY, INTELLIGENCE, MEMORY, READING COMPREHENSION, and FURY.
TOBIAS CARROLL is the managing editor of Vol.1 Brooklyn. His fiction and criticism has recently appeared in The Collagist, Joyland, The Collapsar, Necessary Fiction, Underwater New York, The Paris Review Daily, Tin House, and elsewhere. Find him on Twitter at @Tobias Carroll line at www.thescowl.org.
CECILY IDDINGS’s first book is Everyone Here (Octopus Books, 2014). Her poems have appeared in Article, Horse Less Review, jubilat, Octopus, Saltgrass, Sixth Finch, Skein, and Spinning Jenny, among other places. She lives and teaches in Brooklyn.
FRANK GUAN is a founding editor of Prelude, a magazine of poetry and criticism affiliated with n+1 whose inaugural issue will arrive later this year. He is currently reviewing the works of Tao Lin for n+1.
ALI BOGGS is getting her MFA in fiction writing from the New School. She has published in The State, a journal based out of Dubai, and in HTMLGIANT. She is currently working on a short story collection about perversion and dysphoria.
What better time than January 26th to smarm it up with all your friends from ANIMAL FARM, NYC’s destination for the newest and best satirical and/or critical writing in any genre. We are honored to host Gawker features editor TOM SCOCCA, Sackett Street Writers founder and novelist JULIA FIERRO, critic and fiction writer RAHAWA HAILE, and poet BRUNO DAVEY for a Malcolm Gladwell-approved evening of the most exciting, incisive, and funny writing that the discursive parameters of the contemporary public sphere can accommodate.
ANIMAL FARM takes place at OVER THE EIGHT, 594 Union Avenue at N. 11th Street in Williamsburg (L to Bedford or G to Metropolitan), and begins at 8 pm on Sunday, January 26th. Like speech, it is free.