10 October 2008

Manila Times column for 10 October 2008 "QC spaces as literary hubs"

original post here.

By Libay Linsangan Cantor

QC spaces as literary hubs

With literary readings becoming a popular event here in the metro, especially in Quezon City, more and more establishments have been adjusting to fit this need.

One popular venue for years now is Conspiracy Garden CafĂ© and Restaurant in Visayas Avenue. Mostly populated by NGO folks and alternative music performers and fans, Conspiracy was able to establish itself as another venue for writers who want to hold a literary event. Before the musical gigs around 9pm, the enclosed inner space could be used for book launches, poetry readings and other literary activities. Dubbed as Conspiwriter’s Night, every Tuesday’s 7 to 9 pm block is an open venue for such events.

It’s always a hoot organizing literary events in this place. I once participated in a gay writer friend’s event called Halu-Halo Night sa Conspiracy that was basically just an excuse for us writer friends to get together and read our works while downing our preferred beverage of choice (and for most writers, it’s usually beer).

Inspired by that event, he once again organized another one months later and got me and another gay friend to organize an LGBT Night at Conspiracy. Since the place is a convenient one to access for most of us, the place was jam-packed with different performers and literary readers (as well as audience members) from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

For months now, another venue has been adjusting to this literary need—Mag:Net Gallery in Katipunan Avenue. Originally a restaurant and intimate/cozy musical performance space with an art gallery and magazine store, this branch now schedules literary events every Monday, also within the 7 to 9 p.m. block (before the 9 p.m. musical gigs). With its proximity to the Diliman area schools like UP, Ateneo and Miriam College, more students are accessing this space along with literary writers and enthusiasts.

On Monday, October 13, Mag:Net will be featuring Ang Ladlad LGBT Lit Night spearheaded by Ang Ladlad Partylist’s Danton Remoto, also professor at the Ateneo. He will be joined by other poetry readers, fellow professors Neil Garcia and Ronald Baytan. This scribe will also read a short prose work. An open mic session will follow wherein those who want to read something can freely go onstage.

So who says literature should remain at the confines of one’s library or home? Go out and enjoy these literary events in these cool and accommodating literary hubs. We’ll feature more next time.

Comments? Suggestions? Email libay.scribevibe@gmail.com.

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