Bushwick Book Club Presents New Music and Art for William Melvin Kelley’s Dancers on the Shore
“Lost Giant of American Literature” and godfather of “woke” William Melvin Kelley published one book of short stories, DANCERS ON THE SHORE, which contained characters and stories that inspired his future novels. Not only is this collection being reissued in paperback later this month, but on September 24th, it inspires new music, art, performance and snacks in a live stream show from literary/musical performance series, Bushwick Book Club. The show features Kelley’s daughter, Jesi Kelley, who will give a reading and present her own art inspired by the book along with performances from 12 artists and musicians from NY, LA, London and Las Vegas.
This NY Chapter kick-off event is the first of three live stream shows for DANCERS ON THE SHORE and will feature performances by BBC Founder, Susan Hwang, spiritchild, Prince Akeem, Charlie Nieland (Lusterlit), Ray Brown, Troy Ogilvie w/ Sean Gannet, Teresa Toro, Sung Uni Lee, Stacy Rock (LA), Timothy Dark (Las Vegas), Amanda Thorpe (London) and Grace Solero (London).
Future shows for DANCERS ON THE SHORE will also be live streamed by Bushwick Book Club London Chapter and Bushwick Book Club Los Angeles Chapter later this year.
Proceeds from the live stream show will be shared with arts education and revolutionary community building organization Urban Art Beat.
About DANCERS ON THE SHORE: The first and only short story collection by William Melvin Kelley, author of A Different Drummer, and the source from which he drew inspiration for his subsequent novels.Originally published in 1964, this collection of sixteen stories includes three linked sets of stories about the Carey, Bedlow, and Dunford families. They represent the earliest work of William Melvin Kelley and provided a rich source of stories and characters who were to fill out his later novels. Spanning generations from the Deep South during Reconstruction to New York City in the 1960s, these insightful stories depict African American families—their struggles, their heartbreak, and their love.
About the author: William Melvin Kelley was born in New York City in 1937 and attended the Fieldston School and Harvard. The author of four novels and a short story collection, he was a writer in residence at the State University of New York at Geneseo and taught at The New School and Sarah Lawrence College. He was awarded the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for lifetime achievement and the Dana Reed Prize for creative writing. vHe died in 2017. In 2014, Kelley was officially credited by the Oxford English Dictionary with coining the political term “woke” in a 1962 New York Times article entitled “If You’re Woke You Dig It.”
About Bushwick Book Club: Founded in Brooklyn in 2009, the Bushwick Book Club meets every month and employs the talents of local songwriters and artists who plumb the depths of a chosen literary gem to create that rare and beautiful thing–a new song (or visual art, dance, film or snack). All songs are then performed at a live show. The Bushwick Book Club now has several branches all over the world, including Malmö (Sweden), London, LA, Seattle, Maplewood (NJ), Greenville (SC) and NewOrleans. Listen to The Bushwick Book Club Podcast on iTunes and SoundCloud.
Website: bushwickbookclub.comMP3s – bushwickbookclub.bandcamp.com
FB – @bushwickbookclub
PODCAST: iTunes and SoundCloud
“The Bushwick Book Club takes humdrum book reading to a new level.” – – The New York Times Bushwick Book Club shows have garnered praise from publications such as The New York Times,The New Yorker, Time Out NY, and the Village Voice (which awarded us a Best of NYC award for “Best Literary-Musical Crossover” in 2009), from blogs like Gothamist, GeekChicNYC, and NPR’s Science Friday, and from an array of local podcasts and publications Author Quotes about the Bushwick Book Club: “The Bushwick Book Club is an amazing showcase for musical and other talents. I had so much fun and am a true convert to the show. One of the best things out there for creativity, imagination, and a pure sense of play.” — Jeff VanderMeer
“I was so honored that the Bushwick Book Club made music in response to my writing. All the arts are about communication — if one is to make grand summarizing statements — and to have two of the arts communicating with each other, prose and music, like birds in a tree in Bushwick, is a brilliant concept that the Bushwick Book Club has invented and continues to practice with great joy and exuberance and beauty. And to repeat myself — I’m so pleased that my writing caused this lovely group to burst into song. Because what’s better than bursting into song? Very little!” – Jonathan AmesBuy tickets/get more info now