Damn, time flies. Five years ago we moved to New York — i.e.  got sucked into the city by the great unseen magnet of ambition — and started going to the readings at KGB Bar. We were nameless faces in the audience, listening to the different literati read their work. It seemed so perfectly unglamorous: to read in a dimly lit, red-walled East Village dive bar without anything served on tap, sweating your ass off, getting angrier and angrier by the minute because of the blood-red colors covering every square inch of the bar.

But shit. This is art. This is the New York City literary scene, the antithesis of comfort and class. This is where great writers get their start. And so we went, wandered in, listened to the different writers as they read, and now, five years later, one of our very own favorite writers, Priya Chandrasegaram, author of the Literary Man’s TOP TEN SCARIEST BOOKS OF ALL-TIME, will get her chance to read at the KGB Bar tonight at 7pm. It is so deeply satisfying to know a place as a stranger, and then know it as a place where people you care about get to achieve some success.

Here’s a little quote from NY Mag about KGB Bar: “On many nights, though, the point is listening rather than talking: KGB’s reading series is legendary, drawing marquee literati like Luc Sante, A.M. Homes and Rick Moody as well as struggling writers hoping to get noticed by the Paris Review editors in the crowd.”

To watch the evolution of an artist’s career is to intimately know an artist, to have a relationship with their vision, their struggle, and eventually their achievement.  We define success loosely: to achieve your vision. Of course, there are minor moments of encouragement along the way. A publication here, a “notable” story there, all in all inching you closer to publishing a book, or even finishing a book or story or poem on your own terms, regardless of publication, knowing that you’ve created something that looks and reads and feels exactly how you see it, hear it, know it in your mind. It is your creation.

So tonight, dear readers, we get to watch one of those minor moments of success when our fellow Literary Man writer and friend Priya gets to read from her work at the KGB Bar. This reading is open to the public, and all are welcome, so head on down to the East Village, pull up a chair, order a bottle of beer, and count down the minutes till the crimson walls start making you sweat with anger and angst, all for art.

Here are the deets. Columbia Selects: MFA Readings @ The KGB Bar

Thursday, September 6 @ 7 p.m.
KGB Bar 85 E. 4th St
F Train to 2nd Ave

Tonight’s Line-Up (from the official listing):

Priya Chandrasegaram has lived and worked in six countries on three
continents. She once contributed to a social history of U2 for The
Dubliner magazine in Ireland, and often cites random U2 trivia as a
party trick. She lives in Queens and currently divides her writing
time between a Gothic romance and a novel about empathetic robots.

Anne Dyer Stuart won the Henfield Prize and New South Journal’s 2012
prose prize. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Third Coast,
Midway Journal, Earth’s Daughters, Manor House Quarterly, Opium
Magazine, Best of the Web 2008, The Arkansas Review, storySouth, and
The New Plains Review, among others. She just completed a novel called
How to Behave After Murder.

Christina Rumpf received her MFA in Nonfiction from Columbia’s School
of the Arts in 2009. She is the Director of Columbia’s Summer Creative
Writing Program for High School Students, and her writing has appeared
in The Faster Times and Four and Twenty, among others. She is
currently at work on Burn, a memoir about sex, death and alcohol.