Birkensnake Reading at MWFA

Published On October 29, 2013 | By Emily Laubham | The Arts

birkensnakeThis weekend at Most Wanted Fine Arts Gallery, during the Pittsburgh Dia de los Muertos celebration, fiction journal Birkensnake is kicking off its fall reading tour. The journal’s founders, Brian Conn and Joanna Ruocco have published five previous editions, but Birkensnake 6 is unlike anything you’ve read before. Flavorwire calls it one of “the coolest literary magazine innovations of the year”.


Seven pairs of strangers were invited to participate in an unpaid editing experiment. The task was to collaborate and create their own unique magazine issues. The result? A seven-headed Birkensnake! Basically, Birkensnake 6 is split into seven separate books, each with their own distinct stories and themes. One, called “Wild Confirmations”, contains romance, horror, science fiction and more but don’t expect the same thing twice. Every book is different!

In addition to editors, seven teams of artists were also selected. Jason Sauer, the owner of the MWFA Gallery, was one of the individuals chosen to illustrate. Aside from cover art, most of the seven books don’t have any internal illustrations but for “Wild Confirmations”, edited by Liz Hahn and Amber Dorko Stopper, Jason did ten black and white sharpie drawings. He turned three of them into paintings which will be displayed at the gallery and available as coloring pages.


The only price to take home a rare copy of one of these literary aberrations is to read aloud on either Friday, November 1 or Saturday, November 2, 7PM-8PM. A sign-up sheet will be available and there will be fifteen minute breaks for readings in between live music. Amber Dorko Stopper will also be in attendance to answer any questions about the work that went into producing “Wild Confirmations” with a group of complete strangers.


If you’re interested in more events like this, the MWFAs gallery is also collaborating with the Chatham MFA Creative Writing program for a non-fiction, fiction, and poetry reading series on November 22 and 24 called Word Circus.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *