FPP Harlem hosts the second reading of the First Person Plural Reading Series on April 23, 2012 at Harlem’s Shrine World Music Venue. The event features authors Bathsheba Doran, Ed Park, and Tiphanie Yanique. The authors will read pieces in first person plural, or a collective voice, and may also read from other recent work. Admission is free.
Co-founded by the Harlem-based writers Amy Benson, Stacy Parker Le Melle, and Wendy S. Walters, FPP Harlem is a literary and arts collective founded to showcase and explore the plural voice in works of literature and art.
“We’re interested in tracing a thematic connection between the readings at each event. And in the element of discovery–we don’t know how each author will use the collective voice and look forward to being surprised,” said Benson.
FPP Harlem will stage four readings per year, inviting acclaimed writers, artists and scholars to share their work that engages the “we”. They hope their audiences will not only enjoy the work of the powerhouse line-ups, but will be sparked to think about allegiances, and what it means to belong.
“There are many ways to create unity, even if temporary,” said Walters. “We are interested in discovering the value of that project.”
For the co-founders, pursuing this project has been a journey of discovery. “I’m thinking more about what it means to be ‘we’ versus ‘me’, especially since there’s been times in my life I’ve felt alienation from groups to which I was supposed to belong,” said Parker Le Melle. “Our writers promise to raise vital questions, make us laugh, make us feel, and trouble our comfortable assumptions.”
Bathsheba Doran’s plays include KIN (Playwrights Horizons), Parents’ Evening (Flea Theater); Living Room in Africa (Off-Broadway for Edge Theater); Nest (commissioned and produced by Signature Theater DC); Until Morning (BBC Radio 4); adaptations of Dickens’ Great Expectations, The Blind and Peer Gynt; and her play for young audiences, Ben and The Magic Paintbrush (South Coast Rep). She is a recipient of the Helen Merrill Playwriting Award, three Lecomte du Nouy Lincoln Center playwriting awards, a Cherry Lane Mentor Project Fellow as and a Susan Blackburn Award finalist. Her work has been developed by MTC, the O’Neill Theatre Center, Lincoln Center, Sundance Theater Lab, and Playwrights Horizons. Ms. Doran studied at Cambridge and Oxford Universities before working as a television comedy writer with the BBC. She is currently under commission from Atlantic Theater and Playwrights Horizons, and Schtanhaus in London. Her work is available from Samuel French and Playscripts Inc. She has adapted The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency for HBO Films and wrote on Season Two of the acclaimed Martin Scorsese/HBO Series BOARDWALK EMPIRE, for which one of her episodes received a WGA nomination.
Ed Park is the author of the novel PERSONAL DAYS, which was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Foundation Award and the Asian American Literary Award. He is a former editor of The Believer and the Voice Literary Supplement and is currently the literary fiction editor for Amazon Publishing.
Tiphanie Yanique’s story collection HOW TO ESCAPE FROM A LEPER COLONY was published by Graywolf Press in 2010. She is a fiction writer, poet and essayist. She is the winner of a Pushcart Prize, the Kore Press Fiction Prize, The Academy of American Poets Prize, a Fulbright Scholarship in writing, the Boston Review Fiction Prize, and the Rona Jaffe Prize in Fiction. Her fiction, poetry or essays can be found in The Best African American Fiction, Transition Magazine, American Short Fiction, The London Magazine, Prism International, Callaloo, and other journals and anthologies. She has had residencies with Bread Loaf, Callaloo, Squaw Valley and the Cropper Foundation for Caribbean Writers. Tiphanie is a professor of Creative Writing at The New School University. She is from the Virgin Islands and lives most of the year in Brooklyn, New York.
For more information: http://www.firstpersonpluralharlem.com/