Silo City Reading Series Begins

by / Jun. 16, 2015 4pm EST

Just Buffalo Literary Center’s Silo City Reading Series is more than just a reading series. And the series is not just for poets, although poets are drawn to it like moths and are best at putting the experience of a Silo City Reading into words. 

Local poet Joe Hall (author of Devotional Poems and Pigafetta Is My Wife) says the Silo City series is for anyone who finds beauty in “making something new out of Buffalo’s industrial decay (other than condos).” 

“It’s a community gathering that brings together artists of all types to create one stunning evening, the implications of which resonate in lasting ways, well beyond the silo walls,” writes founder and editor of H_NGM_N literary journal Nate Pritts. 

Or, as Philip Metres, winner of the Arab American Book Award, eloquently describes, it’s “the gentle ghost-grain future rising out of the rude concrete brutalism of the past.” 

Started in the summer of 2013 by Just Buffalo Literary Center’s education director Noah Falck, the Silo City Reading Series features musical acts and visual art installations alongside the most dynamic poets from Buffalo and beyond. 

This season’s national touring lineup brings the Portland, Oregon-based “sincere surrealist” Zachary Schomburg (author of four books of poems including, most recently, The Book of Joshua) who the Huffington Post has said will possibly be “the man who will save poetry for all of those readers who are about to give up on the genre.”

Described as “a wholly original poet roaming a tired and broken countryside,” poet and Miami University of Ohio professor of creative writing Catherine Wagner’s work will resonate perfectly within the event’s cavernous setting. The second poet in the summer lineup, her newest collection, Nervous Device, was said to be “about performance and sound and the way that things move.”

Bianca Stone is yet another poet reading at Silo City who has found innovative ways to invite new readers into the genre. Ending the season’s series, this Brooklyn-based poet and poetry comic artist is author of Someone Else’s Wedding VowsAntigonick—a hybrid collaboration with Anne Carson; and the forthcoming Selected Poetry Comics of Bianca Stone

What makes the series so inviting, though, is Falck’s careful pairing of these groundbreaking out-of-towners with poets breaking ground right here in Buffalo (Alana Kelley, Lillian-Yvonne Bertram, Emily Anderson), alongside the best of the region’s visual artists (Nick Torsell, NP, Flatsitter) and musicians (Small House and HELEN). 

And, of course, it is the series’ physical backdrop, an abandoned grain silo at sunset, which engrains these events into your being and turns them into something more like an experience, inspiring Zach Savich, winner of the Colorado Prize and the Iowa Poetry Prize, to proclaim that Buffalo’s Silo City is “one of the three best poetry reading locations in America.” 

Check out the full 2015 Silo City Reading Series schedule:

All readings begin at 7pm at Silo City (Ohio Stree at Childs Street, Buffalo). 

 JUNE 20 
Zachary Schomburg
Alana Kelley
Music by Small Houses
Art installation by Nick Torsell

 JULY 17 
Catherine Wagner
Lillian-Yvonne Bertram
Music and installation by Flatsitter

Bianca Stone
Emily Anderson
Music by HELEN
Installation by NP