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The Welcome to Boog City Festival returns this weekend

By Tiffany Gibert

We’re not sure what a boog is, but for five days the Eighth Annual Welcome to Boog City Festival is bringing an amazing array of readings, theater, and music to New York. David Kirschenbaum started Boog City 23 years ago as a literary magazine and small press, but Boog’s greatest feat has been the genesis of this festival, which grows each year and welcomes pioneers of the poetry community. Kirschenbaum says, "The events started off as just readings, but I always wanted to add more to them, music, poets theater, panels, more of the things that were happening throughout the different parts of our communities."

To that end, tomorrow through Tuesday, Welcome to Boog City will feature—are you ready?—66 poets, 16 musical acts, nine poets theater plays, two poets in conversation, one political talk and one panel about the significance of digital poetry. Phew. Best of all, Kirschenbaum only asks for a measly $5 (suggested) donation to enjoy these hours and hours of entertainment—that’s the cost of one round-trip subway ride! You can view the expansive festival line-up here, but these are our essential highlights. 

  1. Kick-Off Reading; Friday Aug 1, 6:00pm, Unnameable Books
    The fantastic first hour of the festival will feature readings by Sasha Fletcher, Tracey McTague, Susana Gardner, Sara Lefsyk, Boni Joi and music by Yeti.

  2. 11th Annual Small, Small Press FairSaturday Aug 2, 12:00pm, Unnameable Books
    Discover little-known books at this fair for the teeniest indie publishers. Exhibitors include Brooklyn Arts Press, 42 Miles Press and Stockport Flats.
  3. Digital Poetry: What Can It Mean?; Saturday Aug 2, 6:50pm, Unnameable Books
    If you're using the Internet right now (and we think you are), don't miss this panel curated and moderated by Carol Mirakove, with poets Ana Božičević, Alex Dimitrov and Orchid Tierney debating the merits of digital poetry publishing.

  4. Poetry Talk Talk; Sun, Aug 3, 2:20pm, Unnameable Books
    Poet and publisher Brenda Iijima’s work penetrates the depths of science, gender, ecology and history, and Niina Pollari is a poet, translator and local event curator. The two will be in discussion about, probably, everything from choreography to taxidermy.

  5. 5th Boog Poets’ Theater Night; Sunday Aug 3, 5:30pm, Sidewalk Café
    Each of nine short plays, penned by poets, is scheduled for about 15 minutes; at 7:35pm, you definitely want to catch Joyelle McSweeney’s excerpts from Dead Youth, or The Leaks, which won the inaugural Leslie Scalapino Award for Innovative Women Playwrights.


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