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HOW TO BUILD A FIRE: Advancing the Oral Tradition (A Brooklyn Storytelling Series)

Mar 27, 2014 @ 7:30 pm - 10:30 pm

| Free

Beginning in March, poet Terence Degnan will curate and host “HOW TO BUILD A FIRE: Advancing the Oral Tradition”, a storytelling series at Open Source Gallery which will take place on the last Thursday of every month through March of 2015.

Come to our April date and hear stories from:

Kate Hess: A musician, poet and dancer.

Samuel MG Robinson: A Landscaper and community organizer, as well as a designer.

Riley MacLeod: A freelance editor and writer, as well as musician and librarian.

Terence Degnan: A poet

New York City has seen its share of storytelling series over the years. From The Moth, to Long Story Long, to How I Learned, and everything-in-between, New Yorkers have been upholding the “spoken tradition” since the inception of the boroughs, themselves.

In How to Build a Fire, Terence Degnan will explore the course of the narrative, not only as it is heard, but also as it experiences its reiterations. The title lends itself to two binding concepts: That language, in its primitive forms, must have been used to “pass on” the vital information of fire-starting from one generation to the next; that one story can bind an audience and possibly bolster our common threads. Each week will see four storytellers (or stories), who will weave tales, ad hoc.

Playwrights, actors, poets, bartenders, artists, doctors, social workers, psychologists, barbers, skaters, politicians, and community members from all walks of life will be asked to tell their pivotal tales. Storytellers will not be asked to memorize and recite their accounts. “Truth” will not be empirical to the stories themselves, as many truths bend with time, and many stories surprise their tellers.

Some stories will be told by dual participants in alternating dialogue (spouses, siblings, etc.), whom lived them out; to explore how many narratives can have complex, and oftentimes hilarious, truths. Storytellers will invite their friends, kindred workmates, and families to come listen. In this manner, the oral tradition has an opportunity to advance.

An audience is an intricate member of our modern-day folktales. What an audience hears, a borough can know. What a borough knows can become a thread in our braided history, if we tell it well.

Terence Degnan is a poet in Brooklyn. He sometimes edits books of poems for Sock Monkey Press. He’s published a book, and written and released a play. His voice can be heard in a few spoken word albums released in 2006 and 2008. Another book of poems by Terence, entitled “Still Something Rattles” will be released in 2014. He lives in Park Slope with his wife and daughter.

The series is booked until AUGUST (’14), but if you have a good story to tell, and would like to participate this upcoming summer, contact the gallery for more details. –

See more at: http://open-source-gallery.org/how-to-build-a-fire/#sthash.eCM6M7jg.dpuf

Nick Schorn will be spinning old “Talkin’ Blues” records each month prior and after the stories.

Stay tuned for more info about our May lineup, where we’ll hear stories from Julia Fierro, Mollie Roth and Amanda Tiller, Martin Kleinman and Ethan Crenson. BYOB, wine will be shared.


Mar 27, 2014
7:30 pm - 10:30 pm


Monika Wuhrer


Open Source Gallery
306 17th st
BROOKLYN, NY 11215 United States
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