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Spirited conversation. Literary culture.
Inspired by 17th century salons—intimate, informal gatherings where people would come together to exchange literary and philosophical ideas under the roof of an educated host—Get Lit is a night of spirited conversation and literary culture every first Thursday at Valley Bar (130 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004) from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Every month, a local writer, professor, or other member of the community speaks for three to five minutes on a topic of their choice before opening the conversation up to the room. While Get Lit is designed to be a fun, lively, and interactive space that centers participants rather than the speaker, there is no pressure or obligation for anyone to speak, and guests are welcome to sit quietly and observe the conversation if that's what they feel more comfortable doing. Individuals do not need to have any background or familiarity with the topic. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend.
Get Lit isn't a lecture or a seminar. It's not an academic or an educational space. It's not about disseminating knowledge or making sure people agree. Instead, Get Lit is about creating a public space for people of different backgrounds and beliefs to exercise tension, practice relationships, and have a critical and challenging conversation about how, what and why we think.
Have something you'd like to talk about? Know someone who does? Nominate yourself or someone else to host today!
Get Lit was originally founded in July of 2015 as a partnership between Valley Bar and Four Chambers Press—an independent community literary magazine and small press.
Get Lit hosted more than 40 salons over the course of four years. Topics ranged from literary craft and aesthetic concerns to politics, pop culture, social issues, and more, including: literary artifacts; the difference between poetry and prose; gender bias, sexuality, and taboo; the relationship between poetry and performance; spirituality and literature; comic books and geek culture; identity politics and representation; interdisciplinary collaboration; climate change; capitalism; Rupi Kaur; and readings.
ASU Professor and Phoenix Poet Laureate Rosemarie Dombrowski served as the inaugural and permanent host from January 2016 to October 2018. Other hosts included slam poet Tristen Marshell, storyteller Dan Hull, ASU undergraduate student Kat Hofland, ASU graduate student Natasha Murdock, jeweler Alex Ozers, singer-songwriter Grace Rolland, poet and actress Anna Flores, and cultural worker and artist Estrella Esquilín.
The Piper Center picked up the program when Four Chambers dissolved in Summer 2019.
Get Lit is hosted at Valley Bar in the Reading Room at 130 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004.
Unfortunately, Valley Bar does not have a parking lot. Parking downtown can be notoriously difficult. That being said, a number of options are available.The closest parking garages are located on 21 W Van Buren St and 114 W Adams St; we also recommend parking anywhere on ASU's Downtown Campus--specifically the University Center Parking Structure on Polk between Central and 1st St--which is less than five minutes away. The closest metered parking is available on the east side of First Avenue heading south from Monroe. Additional metered parking is available along Monroe, Adams, and other surrounding side streets heading west towards 7th Avenue.
Valley Bar is also a short walk away from the light-rail station at Washington and Central Ave or Jefferson and Central Ave (depending on which direction you are coming from) and is easily accessible via bus, bicycle, and ride-share.
The entrance to Valley Bar is located in an alley, finding the venue can be notoriously difficult. The entrance to Valley Bar can be found:
Valley Bar security staff will be stationed outside the door to help you find the venue.
Once inside, walk down the stairs. The Music Hall will be directly in front of you. The Rose Room and main bar will be to your left. The Reading Room is located in the back-left corner of Rose Room facing the main bar.
To find the Reading Room, enter the Rose Room and turn left, and walk towards the wall. A server station will be directly in front of you. Two small booths and a cabinet for storing wine will be on your left. The Reading Room will be behind the door in the corner of the room. Piper Center and Valley Bar staff will be on hand to help you find the venue.
Bathrooms are located in between the Rose Room and the Game Room to the right of the main bar. An additional bathroom is located in the far right corner of the lobby just outside of the Music Hall.
Valley Bar is a full service bar and restaurant offering light bar fare and a variety of cocktails, beer, and wine. If you'd like to order anything to eat or drink, please find the server assigned to the Reading Room to place your order. You may also order directly from the bar. Food and drink are allowed and welcome in the Reading Room. Servers will check on the Reading Room throughout the salon to take additional orders as well.
As Valley Bar is a bar, age restrictions for the Get Lit apply. Community members must be 21 or older in order to attend.
The Piper Center is committed to ensuring that all of our events and programs are accessible to individuals of all backgrounds and abilities. While the main entrance to Valley Bar uses a staircase, an elevator is also available for those who may need it or prefer. The elevator is located next to the Downtown Deli through the glass doors on the west side of Central Ave just south of Monroe. To access the elevator, simply notify Valley Bar security. A staff member will then provide access to the elevator and escort you to the Reading Room.
In addition, please note that Valley Bar has low lighting, and may be somewhat difficult to navigate for individuals with decreased sight. Individuals with environmental sensibilities should also be aware that incense is occasionally lit. If you need to use the elevator or have any other questions or concerns regarding accessibility that you would like to discuss, please contact Marketing and Outreach Specialist Jake Friedman at 480.727.0818 or email@example.com.
Have something you'd like to talk about? Know someone who does? Get Lit is a de-centered, community space for people to come together and develop substantial, meaningful relationships around intentional and deliberate conversations. There are no formal requirements. Anyone can host. Nominate yourself or someone else to host Get Lit today!
Get Lit is open to individuals of all backgrounds, experiences, professions, and beliefs. While there are no formal qualifications or requirements, hosts should have some sort of experience, expertise, or interest in their topic, and be prepared to open and actively participate in a conversation. Anyone is eligible to host.
In addition, the Piper Center is particularly interested in hosting individuals who may not otherwise be featured through readings, talks, classes, workshops, or other public creative writing programs and activities within the larger community, including but not limited to:
It is strongly recommended that individuals experience a salon before nominating themselves or someone else to host. To attend a salon, view this month's salon.
Generally speaking, the Piper Center is looking for challenging and thoughtful explorations of various topics related to creative writing and contemporary literature.
While topics should have some sort of reference point or connection to creative writing or literature, they should be open and inclusive of other disciplines, interests, and fields, including other art forms, humanities, philosophy, politics, culture, social issues, local concerns, and more. The Piper Center is particularly interested in topics that relate to current issues or trends.
As Get Lit is intended for community members of all backgrounds and education levels, topics should balance accessibility of content with rigor of conversation. While guests will be intelligent and interested in asking and responding to questions, the conversation should move forward under the assumption that no one except the host has any prior knowledge or familiarity of the topic at hand.
Given the spirit of this program, hosts receive no financial compensation for their work.
Nominating yourself or somone else to host is easy. Nominations are collected through a simple online form collecting contact information, an informal biography, and a proposed topic for conversation.
Please note: the Piper Center cannot respond to individual nominations due to the volume of submissions received. Nominations are evaluated by the Piper Center on a rolling basis. Nominees will be contacted on an individual basis if the Piper Center wishes to move forward. Get Lit is planned three to six months ahead.
If you have any questions, please contact Marketing and Outreach Specialist Jake Friedman at 480.727.0818 or firstname.lastname@example.org.