The Poetry Project


Pathetic Happening

PATHETIC HAPPENING is a read and performed version of the entirety of Pathetic Literature (edited by Eileen Myles) from Grove Press, a nearly 700 page volume of poets and fiction writers and playwrights and nonfiction from all over the world, and all eras. This event — conceived and curated by Tom Cole and Eileen Myles with ten guest curators: queer theorist Jack Halberstam, performer and poet Ama Birch, poet and curator Mary Reilly, the indelible poet Will Farris, British poet and memoirist Sophie Robinson, performer and curator Lucy Sexton, poet and birdist Marcella Durand, lead singer of Speedy Ortiz and poet Sadie Dupuis and dance curator Sangeeta Yesley along with choreographer Yoshiko Chuma — is an afternoon and evening devoted to enacting literature in all its dimensionality.

The entire church will be a performance space, as well as the East & West Yards, with simultaneous readings occurring in four diverse locations on the St. Mark’s campus over a span of approximately five hours. This Pathetic event is a psychedelic salute to literature like never before, texts covered by friends and fans, choruses and family members, sung, choreographed, incanted, played. The event is free to attend and the audience is encouraged to move about, witnessing at their pleasure and occasionally invited to perform as well.

Books will be available for purchase. Videography organized by Roberto Montes and A.L. Steiner. Thank you to our sponsor Karma, who have made this happening possible.


View a PDF of the program of events

3:30 – In Front of St Mark’s Church
Curated by Eileen Myles and Tom Cole

Opening trumpet by Laura Berger
Eileen Myles reading Eileen Myles
Viva Ruiz and Michael Love Michael reading Alice Notley
Ishmael Houston-Jones reading Gwendolyn Brooks

4:00 – Parish Hall
Curated by Eileen Myles and Tom Cole

The Friend reading The Friend
Nayland Blake and Evan Lincoln reading Kevin Killian
Sini Anderson and Lia Gangitano reading Andrea Dworkin
Ariana Reines reading Ariana Reines
Julie Tolentino reading Bob Flanagan
Tenaya Nasser-Frederick reading Baha' Ebdeir

4:00 – West Yard
Curated by Ama Birch

Basie Allen reading Bob Kaufman
Yuko Otomo, Bob Holman, Josh Thorson, Michael Cavuto, Christopher Heffernan, and Rupert Krüger reading Brandon Shimoda, joined by performers of Six Degrees Dance - Cecly Placenti (Lead Choreographer), Daniel Carter, Sara Pizzi, and Shuning Huang
Bruce Benderson reading Bruce Benderson
Lonely Christopher reading CAConrad
Camille Roy reading Camille Roy
YL Xue reading Can Xue
Carmen Boullosa, Lydia Cortés, and Cortez reading Carmen Boullosa, joined by performers of Nancy Brier Dance/Nancy Brier (Lead Choreographer), Summer Warwick: dancing, Steve Finkelstein: drumming
Gregg Bordowitz reading Chantal Akerman
Susan Bee reading Charles Bernstein
Fred Moten reading Chester Himes

4:00 – East Yard
Curated by Mary Reilly

Body Tuning by Erin Marie Sickler
Choral Reading by Suzanne Goldenberg
Dorothea Lasky and Lizzi Bougatsos reading Chris Kraus
Chukwuma Ndulue reading Dana Ward
Dara Barrois/Dixon reading Dara Barrois/Dixon
Jess Barbagallo reading Dennis Cooper
Emma Claire Foley, Katie Rose O'Sullivan, Ruby Zarsky, Lizzi Bougatsos, and Hyunjee Nicole Kim reading Dodie Bellamy
Bruce Benderson reading Djuna Barnes
Eileen Myles reading Eileen Myles
Arianna Adabachi and Ruby Zarsky reading essa may ranapiri
Jessica Mitrani reading Etel Adnan
Christine Shan Shan Hou, Vincent Katz, and Arden Wohl reading Fanny Howe

4:00 – Sanctuary
Curated by Jack Halberstam

Fred Moten reading Fred Moten
Sarah Wellington reading Gail Scott
Lynn Xu reading Franz Kafka
A. L. Steiner reading Georg Büchner
Peter Trachtenberg reading J.R. Ackerley
Jack Halberstam reading Jack Halberstam
Jamie Hood reading James Schuyler
Megan Fernandes reading Frank B. Wilderson III
Sky Hopinka reading James Welch
Jerome Sala reading Jerome Sala, joined by Sangeeta Yesley of Creative Performances

6:30 – Parish Hall
Curated by Eileen Myles and Tom Cole

Tony Stinkmetal reading Joe Proulx
Joan Larkin reading Joan Larkin
Joe Westmoreland reading Joe Westmoreland
Jocelyn Saidenberg reading Jocelyn Saidenberg
The Cyborg Jillian Weise reading The Cyborg Jillian Weise
Bahaar Ahsan reading John Wieners, joined by Vanessa Martínez de Baños and Ashley Carter of DoubleTake Dance
Jan Leslie Harding reading Jorge Luis Borges
Justin Torres reading Justin Torres
Karla Cornejo Villavicencio reading Karla Cornejo Villavicencio
Judy Grahn reading Judy Grahn

6:30 – West Yard
Curated by Sophie Robinson

Andrea Abi-Karam reading Andrea Abi-Karam
Ariana Reines reading Kathy Acker
Porochista Khakpour reading Layli Long Soldier
Peter Gizzi reading Keith Waldrop
Ashley Escobar reading Kim Hyesoon, joined by Sangeeta Yesley of Creative Performances
Kristín Ómarsdóttir reading Kristín Ómarsdóttir
Laura Henriksen reading Laura Henriksen
Eileen Myles reading Laurence Sterne
John Keene reading Lawrence Braithewaite
Laurie Weeks reading Laurie Weeks

6:30 – East Yard
Curated by Marcella Durand

Janice Lowe reading Lucille Clifton
Lynne Tillman reading Lynne Tillman
Maan Abu Taleb reading Maan Abu Taleb
Christen Clifford reading Maggie Nelson
Marcella Durand reading Marcella Durand
Rachel Levitsky and Sarah Riggs reading Matthew Stadler, joined by Efrén Olson-Sánchez
Lee Ann Brown and Tony Torn reading Michael McClure
Tom Cole and Alina Pleskova reading Michelle Tea, joined by Cindy Brandle Dance of Cindy Brandle Dance
Morgan Võ reading Morgan Võ

6:30 – Sanctuary
Curated by Will Farris

Laura Parnes reading Moyra Davey
Eliza Douglas reading Natalie Diaz
Reuben Butchart reading Mira Gonzalez
Nate Lippens reading Nate Lippens
sadé powell reading Akilah Oliver, joined by Mimi Doan & Stapleton Cole of [REDACTED] Dance
Porochista Khakpour reading Porochista Khakpour
Nicole Wallace reading Nicole Wallace
Meng-Yu Yan reading Qiu Miaojin
Will Farris reading Rae Armantrout
Rebecca Brown reading Rebecca Brown
Aaron Lecklider reading Renee Gladman

8:45 – Parish Hall
Curated by Lucy Sexton

Collier Schorr reading Rose “Rosebud” Feliu-Pettet
Alexandra Tatarsky reading Robert Walser
Pamela Sneed reading Robert Glück
Sallie Fullerton reading Sallie Fullerton
Charlie Atlas reading Rumi
Precious Okoyomon reading Saidiya Hartman
Randy Danson reading Samuel Beckett
Samuel R. Delany reading Samuel R. Delany
Christen Clifford reading Sei Shōnagon
Sophia Le Fraga reading Sergio Chejfec

8:45 – West Yard
Curated by Sadie Dupuis

Music by Enchanted Forest (Em Boltz & Noah Jacobson-Carroll), Audrey Zee Whitesides, and Sadie Dupuis
Karen Weiser reading Simone Weil
Simone White reading Simone White
Precious Okoyomon reading Precious Okoyomon
Sophie Robinson reading Sophie Robinson
Sparrow & Peg reading Sparrow
Roberta Colindrez and Miguel Gutierrez reading Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
Sadie Dupuis reading Susie Timmons
Mark So reading Tim Johnson and Mark So
Charlie Atlas, Nicole Eilseman, Laurie Weeks, and Joe Westmoreland reading Valerie Solanas, joined by Sadie Dupuis
Tom Carey reading Steve Carey

10 – Sanctuary
Curated by Tom Cole & Eileen Myles

Kathy Izzo reading Violette Leduc
Tom Cole reading Tom Cole
Ama Birch reading Ama Birch
Jodi Lin reading Victoria Chang
Stop Shopping Choir and Alice O’Malley reading Tongo Eisen-Martin
Jim Fletcher reading Victor Hugo, joined by Chiemi Ip
Will Farris reading Will Farris
Eileen Myles reading Eileen Myles, joined by Ryan Sawyer