4 October 16 | Chad W. Post

Last October, we put on our first ever celebration (or gala) here in Rochester. It was centered around the release of Rochester Knockings, which was translated from the French by local poet-translator Jennifer Grotz (who also runs the translation program at the University of Rochester). The local band The Fox Sisters played, lots of great food was eaten, booze was consumed, and a great time was had by all.

Now it’s time to do it all over again . . . but even better. This year’s event will take place at The Historic German House (315 Gregory St., Rochester, NY 14620) on October 21st from 8pm till ??. (There will be a special V.I.P. reception at 7pm.) Tickets are available here at three levels: $20 to attend, $25 to attend and receive a copy of A Greater Music, and $100 for all that plus entrance to the V.I.P. reception.

This is our one and only fundraising event for the fall, the support from which goes a long way in implementing our various programs—from paying translators to help connect English readers with great works of international art, to hosting summer internships, to maintaining the world’s only translation database.

Which is why I hope all of you will consider purchasing a ticket. The $25 ticket really is the best bargain . . . You get entry to the celebration, a buffet dinner, and a copy of A Greater Music by Bae Suah, translated from the Korean by Deborah Smith. If you’re not able to make it to Rochester for the event, we will still send you your copy of the book, and make your ticket available to a student who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend. (We’ve made it easier than ever for non-local fans to participate in this celebration. Keep reading for more details.)



Similar to last year, we will have a huge buffet spread from ButaPub, one of the best new restaurants in Rochester. Thanks to popular demand, the palm readers from last year will also be back, as will our specialty cocktails.

Here’s the new stuff: First off, instead of a live band, this year we asked several of our authors to provide us with curated playlists tied to their books. We’ll be printing these in the celebration booklet (and eventually here online), and will even make these available as a Spotify playlist.

To allow non-local fans another way to participate, we will be raffling off a few dozen products and services. All are from local businesses, with most being tied to a local venue (such as the tour and tasting at Black Button Distillery or the gift certificates to Daily Refresher), but some of them (including four artworks from Dave Pollot or the Open Letter subscription or the Pompous Ass Winery gift basket) are transportable. Tickets will be available online (still hashing this out, so give it a couple days) and at the celebration itself for the following: 1 ticket for $5, 3 tickets for $10, or 8 tickets for $20. You’ll be able to apply them to whichever particular items you want to win.

In terms of the program itself, we’re going to celebrate Rochester and the fact that we’re a born and bred Rochester press by having several local visionaries give short presentations on the future of the city and role of arts and culture in that future. We have lined up Rachel Barnhart (former newsanchor, local politican), Evan Dawson (host of WXXI’s Connections), Glenn Kellogg (founder of Hart’s Grocers and Rochester Local Capital), Kyle Semmel (translator, author, director of Writers & Books), and Leah Stacy (founder of Boomtown Table). All five are important people in the Rochester community and have unique perspectives on what makes this a great city to live in—and one filled with exciting future possibilities.

We’re also planning on decorating the room with items from our archives, highlighting the first eight years of our existence. Posters of our first book covers, copies of our earliest catalogs, copies of the first time we were featured in the CITY Paper . . . Lots of interesting items to check out, all of which tie into the general theme of celebrating Rochester and what the press contributes to the local community.

If you’re a fan of Open Letter, this website, literature in translation, or all of the above, I hope you’ll consider supporting our celebration. It’s thanks to the support of people like you that we’re able to keep connecting readers with international authors and help further the discussion and appreciation of both literature in translation, and the art of translation itself. Thanks in advance, and I hope to see you there on October 21st!”:http://www.openletterbooks.org/products/celebration2




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