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Readers at the first-ever Hyperallergic IRL event back in 2015 included (clockwise from top) Jillian Steinhauer, John Yau, Ryan Wong, and Allison Meier. Credit: Hrag Vartanian / Hyperallergic

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On Tuesday, June 23, 2015, Hyperallergic hosted our first-ever live reading event, which took place at Housing Works Bookstore and Cafe in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood. Hyperallergic Weekend Editors John Yau and Albert Mobilio read their poetry, writers Marisa Crawford (“Crying for Ana Mendieta at the Carl Andre Retrospective”) and Ryan Wong (“I Am Joe Scanlan”) read pieces that were among our favorites from that year, while two Hyperallergic veterans Allison Meier and Jillian Steinhauer (“Wading in Matthew Barney’s River of Shit”) read some of their own writing.

The event also included a wacky comments section, where Hyperallergic staff and contributors Tiernan Morgan, Jennifer Samet, and Elisa Wouk Almino read some of our zaniest comment threads that were percolating on the website at the time — my favorite involves Shakespeare truthers. There’s even a short Q&A at the end with Hyperallergic Weekend Editor Thomas Micchelli.

I know you’ll get a kick out of this time capsule from what feels like a bygone age, back when Obama was still president and “fake news” wasn’t the ubiquitous term it is today.

The music in this episode is titled “A Boy and a Makeshift Toy.” It’s performed by violist Michael Hall, pianist Stephanie Titus, and composed by Mary Kouyoumdjian. The piece is inspired by the war photography of Chris Hondros, particularly a photo of Albanian refugees from Kosovo waiting at a train station.

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Hrag Vartanian

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic. You can follow him at @hragv.