Playwright Sarah Ruhl & More Set for Mad. Sq. Reads 2014 Free Literary Series
Madison Square Park Conservancy and NeueHouse are pleased to announce the seventh season of Mad. Sq. Reads, a free literary series held on the steps of Augustus Saint-Gaudens' Farragut Monument in the Northern end of Madison Square Park. Co-curated by NeueHouse, the events will take place over four Thursday evenings beginning September 4th. The program will feature discussions from a diverse mix of exciting authors including novelist Valeria Luiselli, playwright Sarah Ruhl, and journalist Sean Wilsey with restaurateur Danny Meyer, with more participants to be announced.
Given their proximity and shared interest in arts and community-oriented programming, NeueHouse and Madison Square Park Conservancy's collaboration was a natural fit. With its co-curation of the Mad. Sq. Reads series, NeueHouse has expanded its already robust programming by bringing it outside its four walls and into the surrounding neighborhood. The series furthers NeueHouse's mission to deliver a unique, interdisciplinary and imaginative cultural experience.
Madison Square Park Conservancy, in addition to sustaining the beautiful and lush foliage of the park, offers each of its 50,000 daily visitors the opportunity to engage with their surroundings through a variety of cultural offerings including Mad. Sq. Reads, Mad. Sq. Art, Mad. Sq. Music, Mad. Sq. Kids, and Mad. Sq. Eats. Its mission is simple: keeping historic Madison Square Park a bright, beautiful and active public park.
Since its launch in 2009, Mad. Sq. Reads has featured the talents of countless prominent literary front-runners such as Joyce Carole Oates, Isabel Gillies, Lee Child, Blake Bailey, Bret Anthony Johnston, Craig Nelson, David Gates and Jane Borden.
Thursday, September 4
Valeria Luiselli | Novelist
Valeria Luiselli was born in Mexico City and grew up in South Africa. Luiselli's diverse background has allowed her artistic journey to stretch from a ballet libretto for the choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, performed by the New York City Ballet in Lincoln Center in 2010; a pedestrian sound installation for the Serpentine Gallery in London; and a novella in installments for workers in a juice factory in Mexico. Publishers Weekly called her recent novel, Faces in the Crowd, a "haunting debut novel. . . Luiselli plays with the idea of time and identity with grace and intuition." Her book Sidewalks, a collection of essays, was also released this year.
Thursday, September 25
Sarah Ruhl | Playwright
As a Pulitzer Prize finalist, Tony Award Nominee, and 2006 MacArthur Fellowship recipient, Sarah Ruhl has taken her passion for poetry and changed the game for the contemporary playwright, as the New York Times says, "in a poised, crystalline style about things that are irrational and invisible." Ruhl's new book 100 Essays I Don't Have Time to Write: On Umbrellas and Sword Fights, Parades and Dogs, Fire Alarms, Children, and Theater, a vibrant, provocative examination of the possibilities of the theater, will be available starting on September 2, 2014.
Thursday, October 2
Sean Wilsey | Author and Journalist
Sean Wilsey is the author of Oh the Glory of It All, which the New York Times hailed as a "funny-tender-raucous epic of a memoir." In July he published More Curious, a collection of essays and journalism which includes a profile of the restaurateur Danny Meyer. He is at work on another memoir, I Am in Love, about, among other things, his experiences as an apprentice gondolier in Venice, Italy. For many years he was the editor-at-large for McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, and on the staff of the New Yorkermagazine. Wilsey was born in San Francisco, in 1970, and lives in Marfa, Texas.
Danny Meyer| Restaurateur and Author
Danny Meyer is the CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, which includes Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, Blue Smoke, Jazz Standard, Shake Shack, The Modern, Maialino, Untitled, North End Grill, Union Square Events, and Hospitality Quotient, a learning and consulting business. Danny, his restaurants and chefs have earned an unprecedented 25 James Beard Awards. Danny's first business book, Setting the Table (HarperCollins, 2006), a New York Times bestseller, examines the power of hospitality in restaurants, business and life. An active national leader in the fight against hunger, Danny has long served on the boards of Share Our Strength and City Harvest. He is equally active in civic affairs, serving on the boards of NYC & Co, Union Square Partnership, and the Madison Square Park Conservancy.
Thursday, October 9