Litost: An Evening of Music & Reading

Litost is an untranslatable Czeck word. Its first syllable, which is long and stressed, sounds like the wail of an abandoned dog. As for the meaning of this word, I have looked in vain in other languages for an equivalent, though I find it difficult to imagine how anyone can understand the human soul without it.”

-Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting

Ashar Foley reading. Photo courtesy of Matthew Kashtan.

On Thursday, December 7th, a group of writers and musicians gathered in the back room Topaz cocktail bar in Bushwick to share their talents with one another. The event was called Litost: An Evening of Music and Reading, and organized by Angela Sundstrom, who has an MFA in poetry from The New School.

In her opening remarks, Angela, pictured above said “I think the concept of Litost can be found among the pages and notes of each writer and musician here; it is universal. But, it also has an antidote. The light to the shadow side of Litost, according to Kundera, is “love’s absolute.”’

Poet and musician Atoosa Grey performing original music. Photo courtesy of Matthew Kashtan.

She organized the event to encourage people who do not read their work publicly often to read in an intimate setting.  Readers and musicians at the cozy event included Silvia Bonilla, Jo Leon Guerrero, Ashar Foley, Atoosa Grey, Patrick Holmes, Nick Lyons, Victoria Moon, Dave Parnell, and Jennifer Stock.

Below, Jennifer Stock reads her essay Parrot on a Stone Plinth.


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