Writ Large crams 90 literary events into 90 days, starting July 5

by Agatha French

From: LA Times

la-1498490900-ma6ebax0zn-snap-imageStarting July 5 and running until Oct. 1, downtown’s Writ Large Press will present 90 events in 90 days, a marathon of literary happenings that remains in flux. While the July schedule is posted, August and September events are still taking shape, but this ambitious undertaking is also fluid in another way: Like any live, collaborative effort, it will take on a life of its own as determined by its artists and participants, an exciting variable that its organizers embrace.

L.A.-based poet Chiwan Choi is one of the mad geniuses behind the series. “We’ve always approached it as sort of a crowd-sourced space,” said Choi from Pittsburgh, where he splits his time. (His wife and a partner in Writ Large, Judeth Oden Choi, is a PhD student at Carnegie Mellon.) With events that include a weekly reading called “Drunken Masters,” zine workshops and poetry inspired by the lyrics of Sade, #90x90LA will take place in three L.A. neighborhoods — Little Tokyo, South Los Angeles and downtown — and will serve as the umbrella under which diverse communities of artists can be seen, heard and read.

“It’s not something we could do on our own,” Choi admits. But by opening the doors and pooling literary resources, which this city has in abundance, it can be done. Anyone can submit a proposal for a #90x90LA event. “Our goal was always, ‘Can we use the literary arts to create networks that normally wouldn’t form?’”

There is some precedence for presenting 90 events in 90 days — Writ Large Press did it once already, in 2014 — and there is precedence too, in that first iteration, for going with the flow. When, on the day before the launch, the venue they’d booked canceled because of permitting, they pivoted quickly, setting up shop in another space downtown only to find the project stranded again two weeks later when the business owners changed their mind. Writ Large put out a call on Facebook, and Tara Thomas of Traxx at Union Station swooped in to save the day. “We did the rest there,” said Choi. “We were joking about how we built a tower and moved it to another block. Twice.”

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