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1st Annual Celebration of Open Letter Books & Rochester


by Open Letter

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October 23, 2015
Friday @ 8:00 p.m.
(Special VIP Reception @ 7:00 p.m.)
The Historic German House
315 Gregory St., Rochester, NY

Ticket levels:

  • $20 for entry
  • $25 for entry + a copy of Rochester Knockings
  • $100 for entry + the book + a special pre-event VIP reception (@ 7:00 p.m.) with cocktails, the book's translator Jennifer Grotz (local Rochester resident, poet, and professor), Open Letter, and other donors

Featuring a live performance by the amazing Fox Sisters band, a release party for our new book Rochester Knockings, a locally-inspired silent auction, a reading by Jennifer Grotz (local poet and translator), drinks, free food, palm reading, dancing & more.

Come party with us at this celebration for Open Letter Books and Rochester. All tickets are tax deductible, and all proceeds directly benefit the mission of Open Letter Books (a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization at the University of Rochester), help afford students the opportunity to learn literary translation here in Rochester, and further promote the literary arts in our community.

Note: After completing checkout, you'll receive a general confirmation email. Shortly after, you'll receive a second email with your final ticket info.

Open Letter Books was founded in 2007 at the University of Rochester with the mission of enhancing American book culture by translating and promoting literature from around the world. To date, the press has published more than seventy critically-acclaimed titles, launched the Best Translated Book Award (the largest prize for translations in the U.S.), and has hosted dozens of locally-based Rochester events in its "Reading the World Conversation Series." The press also works closely with the University of Rochester’s literary translation studies program and offers internships to local students. One of the most vibrant publishers on the scene, Open Letter was recently featured in the CITY Paper and is a mainstay among Rochester arts organizations.

One of the highlights of this celebration is the release of the new novel Rochester Knockings, which is about the rise and fall of the locally and historically famous Fox Sisters—three young girls from Hydesville/Rochester who, in the 19th century convinced the world that they communicated with the dead through “rappings” or “knockings.” Their performance at Rochester’s Corinthian Hall was a crucial event in launching the spiritualist movement, giving rise to hundreds of people who could “speak with the dead,” and leading, eventually, all the way to the popularity of people like the Long Island Medium. A novel rich in historical detail—and all about Rochester!—Rochester Knockings is also a page-turner, chronicling the sister’s eventual fall into disrepute.

The Fox Sisters band, who will be performing live, is a local seven-piece rock-&-roll group (with a strong '60s R&B influence). We originally noticed them because they pulled their band's name from the history Rochester, while, at the same time, we were working on a book all about the historical Fox Sisters. Well, turns out, this group is also excellent. So, who better to come and take part in the celebration?

Come join us for the first annual celebration of Open Letter and Rochester, and help support one of the community's most internationally beloved arts organizations with a night of spiritualist literature, music, food, and dancing.  

We'd also like to graciously thank these generous local organizations whose sponsorships and donations helped make this event possible: