Oddly Enough

New literary twist added to laundry cycle

NEW YORK, Feb 12 (Reuters Life!) - Doing the laundry has taken on a new meaning for New Yorkers who can now watch their wash and spin cycles while listening to poetry and prose.

Instead of burying their head in a book or heading to the nearest coffee shop to beat the boredom of laundry, New York writer Emily Rubin has organised a series of readings called “Dirty Laundry: Loads of Prose,” at laundromats in New York.

“Just mixing laundry and writing seemed completely natural to me because truly in life and metaphorically as a writer, everyone has dirty laundry,” said the Brooklyn native who started the series last year.

She contemplated holding the readings in various neighborhood venues including shops but said a laundromat seemed “a natural fit.”

People can wash their dirty laundry while listening to a poem or short story or just attend the readings. During the first of the 2007 series writer Carolyn Turgeon read some of her work while people loaded the dryers and washing machines.

“It just makes me feel homey and reading is just sort of part of this regular thing, if that makes sense,” she said, adding that a laundromat doesn’t feel as stuffy or artificial as other venues.

“It feels like you’re part of this natural environment,” Turgeon explained.

Author Marie Carter, who moved from Edinburgh, Scotland to New York in 2000, likes the idea of entertaining people in a laundromat which is not usually a center of excitement.

Some of the people attending the reading felt a bit odd initially but got used to the idea.

“It was a little strange, it was kind of wild,” said one person.

Rubin, who calls herself “Mistress of Laundry” is planning more readings at laundromats across New York and is encouraging people to come along with or without their dirty washing.