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More ways to experience Silo City

Just Buffalo Literary Center opens its seventh season of poetry readings, art installations, and musical performances


Silo City Reading Series

7 p.m. at Silo City

(85 Silo City Row)

Justbuffalo.org, 832-5400



There is something about proximity to the grain elevators—interior or exterior—that sharpens the senses and stimulates the imagination. No matter what is being heard or seen, it is more exciting to see it inside one of these concrete giants—or maybe just outside, with the Buffalo River as additional scenic backdrop.


This summer, Just Buffalo Literary Center opens its seventh season of poetry readings, art installations, and musical performances, all sited at Silo City. Each of the three scheduled dates features readings by two poets, one local, one visiting; some sort of installation or other creation from a visual artist; and music. According to Just Buffalo, the participating artists are just as much in awe of the experience as the audience:


“The Silo City Reading Series is magical,” says poet Matthias Svalina. “It drops the artists and audience into a nexus of history, commerce, nature’s reclamations, and the radical work of imagination.” Fellow writer Maggie Smith agrees: “Reading poems in a grain elevator while rain fell outside was one of the most amazing poetry experiences I’ve ever had.”


Keep in mind that there are only three opportunities to experience the magic: June 1, July 20, and August 24. This series, like Babel, is an ambitious one for a small organization like Just Buffalo; we’re lucky curator Noah Falck is taking it on.


The first installment features poets Bob Hicok and Kristianne Meal, musician Simon Joyner, and visual artist Shasti O’Leary Soudant. Hicok, who has ten books out, is also the recipient of eight Pushcart Prizes, a Guggenheim, and two NEA Fellowships. Meal is also a published poet and runs Rust Belt Books. Joyner, who’s a transplant from Omaha, is considered one of the forefathers of the lo-fi music scene there and is grouped favorably with Van Zandt, Cohen, and Dylan. O’Leary Soudant is one of Buffalo’s most vibrant and surprising artists; her public art can be seen at 500 Seneca and the Medical Campus subway station, among other places.


It’s a stellar group of talents, perfect for kicking off the summer outdoor arts season.


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