Rubin tells all about Dirty Laundry: Loads of Prose
I established Wash and Dry Productions as the producing organization for Dirty Laundry: Loads of Prose, a reading series I co-founded in 2005. The readings take place in working Laundromats around the country. The idea of bringing writers to local Laundromats came about one evening while my friend and fellow writer Gregory Rossi and I were brainstorming about starting a reading series. We wanted to organize a series in a non-traditional setting where writers could share their work with people in addition to their supporters in the literary community. I have lived in the Lower East Side for many years and missed the grass roots events such as street theater, parades and performances in underground clubs that were a regular occurrence during my early days in the neighborhood. Because of skyrocketing rents many of the cultural spaces in the community had disappeared. Sipping beer at Zum Schneider, the newly established German beer garden on Avenue C, we looked down the avenue considering the places we might hold the readings. There was a bodega, a church, a Chinese restaurant and then, at East Fifth Street, a Laundromat. Our eyes opened wide and we knew we had our venue. At the time, the HOWL Festival was organizing and the producers asked us to participate. Sam Lipsyte and Legs McNeill read at the first Dirty Laundry: Loads of Prose to more than 70 people at the Avenue C Laundromat that August. The writers and audience were enthusiastic and wanted to know when and where the next Laundromat reading would take place. Since that time there have been more than 30 readings and close to 100 writers have been presented in between the washers and dryers throughout NYC, San Francisco, Boulder and Stockbridge, MA. The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Poets and Writers and Meet the Composer have provided funding. The series has been covered extensively in the press with articles in The Villager, Time Out NY, the Brooklyn Rail and some international journals as well. It has also been seen on television on NBC, Reuters and the NY Bureau of Russian TV was also reported on NPR’s WNYC and the BBC radio. Check out more at www.dirtylaundryreadings.com.
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