April 14, 2010

Versal 8 Launch Party

Amsterdam is home to a vibrant literary world. On Saturday, 8 May, that world comes together to launch Versal's latest issue, the internationally-acclaimed annual print journal from our very own canals.

Versal started in 2002 as part of the broader "wordsinhere" project to create a literary community in Amsterdam which reached out to its international residents. Until 2007, wordsinhere produced one of Amsterdam's most successful literary evenings, The Open Stanza. It now focuses its non-profit and volunteer efforts on publishing Versal and organizing a broad program of writing workshops with local and visiting, published authors. wordsinhere also runs a bimonthly literary evening in Utrecht called Salon des Mots. Versal has received international praise for the quality of its writings and sense of design.

Versal 8, which will be officially released at the launch party on 8 May, is the largest issue of the journal to date. With widely celebrated poets like Chung Ho-seung, Laura Mullen and Brandon Shimoda, prose writers Kuzhali Manickavel and Selah Saterstrom, and artists Michael Genovese and Kerri Rosenstein, this issue once again breaks linguistic, national, and cultural borders to bring together the wide range of artistry happening in our contemporary milieu.

The launch party will celebrate not only the release of Versal 8 but also the vitality of the local, international literary community. The program includes American spoken word artist and writer June Melby (www.junemelby.com), who is joining us all the way from the States, local band Controllar (www.myspace.com/controllar), and DJs to boogie to.

And this year, Versal is opening up the stage for the "Local Mic Open Mic". Local writers are invited to sign up at the door for an open mic session during the night's festivities. Each writer is given 2 minutes to read a selection of their own work, and afterward the audience will be asked to choose its favorite. The winning writer will receive a free drink and one copy of a Versal, past or present.

Date: Saturday, 8 May
Place: Nachttheater Sugar Factory; Lijnbaansgracht 238, Amsterdam
Time: 20.00; doors open 19.00
Language: English
Entrance: 5 euros (ticket sales at the door)
Info: http://versal.wordsinhere.com

Versal is published annually by wordsinhere, and is available at local bookstores like the Athenaeum and The English Bookshop, as well as online at www.wordsinhere.com. wordsinhere is a community-focused literary organization.

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