Jericho Brown - August 27, 2022
Ocean Vuong - August 13, 2016
Nicole Sealey - August 24, 2019
Victoria Chang - July 30, 2022
Hanif Abdurraqib - July 21, 2018
Danez Smith - September 25, 2021
Maggie Smith - August 12, 2017
Yuki Numata Resnick & Clarice Jensen - June 11, 2022
Morgan Parker - July 22, 2017
Richie Hofmann - June 11, 2022
Tim Rutili of Califone - June 2, 2018
Natalie Shapero - July 16, 2016
Edreys Wajed - July 20, 2019
Since 2013, the SILO CITY READING SERIES has brought together nationally acclaimed poets and performers with Buffalo-based writers, artists, and musicians for multidisciplinary and collaborative arts events at Silo City–a complex of abandoned grain silos along the Buffalo River.
The readings take place in the summer months. Featured poets, musicians, and artists have included Ocean Vuong, Jericho Brown, Hanif Abdurraqib, Morgan Parker, Maggie Smith, Simon Joyner, Florist, Shilpa Ray, Julie Bryne, Shasti O’Leary Soundant, Mary Helena Clark, Edreys Wajed, and more.
The SILO CITY READING SERIES began as a book release party and grew into a multidisciplinary summer art event featuring national and local artists performing poetry and music inside the Marine A grain silo.
This limited-edition anthology, designed by Joel Brenden, features a poem from each poet who has read in those historic grain silos over the past ten years, including such literary luminaries as Ocean Vuong, Maggie Smith, Jericho Brown, Morgan Parker, Hanif Abdurraqib, Vievee Francis, and a slew of others.
"Just Buffalo has created a special event with their Silo City Reading Series. It's a rare joy to perform on the same bill with writers from other mediums in exotic, repurposed farm architecture before a rapt and engaged audience of actual readers! Who knew an abandoned grain silo could feel just like a chapel where the appreciation of art and good writing is how we're saved?"
“The old grain elevator that houses the Silo City Reading Series is unlike any other venue. It’s a stark, beautiful, formerly silent monument to Buffalo’s industrial past, thriving once again, inventively reinhabited by artists and performers and makers of all kinds. The performances I heard there, the percussive conversation of the crowd, are still echoing through my body. I felt I was listening to a community in the act of reimagining itself. Long live the Silos!”
“The Silo City Reading Series puts on the kind of gorgeous, gracious, pulsing event that usually only happens in dreams or magazines. I couldn't believe how many people crossed the overgrown railroad tracks to stream into the belly of the silo for an evening where poetry, music, and installation art came together to make something else entirely. Every city should be so lucky as Buffalo.”
“The Silo City Reading Series is magical. It drops the artists & audience into a nexus of history, commerce, nature's reclamations, & the radical work of imagination. It demonstrates how the imagination can transform ruins into a cathedral echoing the ghostly sublime, &, by extension, how the imagination can, if we trust it, transform each one of us.”
"The Silo City Reading Series was one of the most amazing events I've ever had the honor to sidle into. I felt like I was reading in another time all together. Somewhere both ancient and futuristic. I felt I was part of history."
“The Silo City Reading Series offers an unlikely home in an unlikely location. It is the perfect reading for those looking to break free of traditional reading spaces. I felt close to the room, its history and the people inside of it. May all of our old buildings be repurposed in a way which allows them to continue to feed vast communities of people."
“Silo City is incomparable: a brutalist grain silo made cultural cathedral beside the sliding waters of the Buffalo River. You should know that there’s no other venue for poetry like it. You should also know how thoroughly the organizers of Silo City care for their readers and performers. Behind the scenes, they nail a million little details, from lighting and sound design to concocting intriguing mixes of artists and packing the room with audiences eager to receive. It’s rare to find a space so hostile to habitation transformed into an enduring site of art-making and exchange—but that’s exactly what The Silo City Reading Series pulls off summer after summer. I’m writing this having just performed there. It’ll be hard to go back to any other stage."
“The Silo City Reading Series is a unique opportunity for folks to commune with other artists across genre. This reading was, by far, one of the most aesthetically diverse and artistically stimulating evenings I've had in a long while... I'm sure that I'll return to the memory for inspiration."
"Silo City is booming, and it’s acoustics are electric, echoey, a place with character and charm and spirit and noise. Ghosts abound. It's totally unnerving and disarming, and amazing."
“I don't often think of space as having syntax, yet the grain silos were in motion the entire evening. I think of Plath's bees—movement was everywhere, and thus this was the perfect place to host a slew of artists and the community. The Silo City Reading Series isn't just another reading in another city, it is an important home for many, a place where a sense of belonging has been created; and I was honored to be a part of it."
“Silo City is an incredibly special reading series. It’s a gift to local writers, to visiting writers, to the Buffalo community and the idea of community. It’s the buzzword enacted: generosity, exchange, embrace, effort, gratitude, experimentation, goodwill.”
“Finally, a performance venue for poets that doesn’t just encourage, but truly emphasizes, embraces, and inspires the inherent performativity of poetry.”
“Silo City looks like a stage set for a post-apocalyptic zombie movie, but in the detritus and silos and rust of the last century, the beautiful denizens of Buffalo gather, and listen, their ears open as these silos to the open sky. The quieter and slower the voice, the more clearly it is heard in the echo of the silo. This is the gentle ghost-grain future rising out of the rude concrete brutalism of the past.”
“Because of the Silo City Reading Series, there is now as much beauty and language inside these silos as there ever was grain.”
"Reading poems in a grain elevator while rain fell outside was one of the most magical poetry experiences I've ever had. The audience was all-in, ready to share the experience. Buffalo has something truly special—enviable—in the Silo City Reading Series."
“What they make possible at the Silo City Reading Series is pure magic for artists and art lovers: literature and visual art and music all in a space unlike any other—sublime and ghostly and beautiful. In my short time in Buffalo, I felt so connected to my fellow artists and also to the people who gathered to experience it. This wasn’t a reading: it was a party, an event, a celebration of art and togetherness, of art as community and healing. I won’t ever forget it."
“The Silo City Reading Series is part of Buffalo standing up and making a claim for itself and the joy of creation. While the setting’s unique, it’s the audience that makes any series pop, and the desire to come together around words and music and art is strong with this crowd, Obi Wan. Hell with Paris: this was my favorite cultural experience ever."
“The Silo City Reading Series is a very unique and intimate experience. The poet’s voice is amplified in myriad ways by the silo and creates an eerie effect that puts a spell on the audience. The audiences in Buffalo are one of a kind, so attentive and receptive and generous. Just Buffalo is a killer organization, directed by remarkable humans. So glad I got to do this. Thank you Just Buffalo!"
"I did not expect to feel at home in the old abandoned silos of Buffalo—and yet while I was there, I was flushed with this sense of kinship, both with the people who made this space happen, but also with the silos’ initial ambitions, to nourish and feed the people of this country. The space reminded me, with its rusted elevators and shafts, that one can find familiarity, even comfort, in making something new, with others, out of what was once discarded—which is art at its most indispensable."
85 Silo City Row
Buffalo, NY 14203
The SILO CITY READING SERIES is scheduled during the summer months of June, July, and August, usually on Friday or Saturday evenings, with occasional special events at other times.
Silo City is a non-traditional space. Please keep in mind it is an outdoor site with uneven terrain so appropriate footwear is recommended. There is also a lack of ADA accessibility, while steps have been made to make the site more accessible, things are happening incrementally on the over 100-year-old former industrial site.