MASS Gallery
507 Calles Street Suite 108
Austin, TX 78702

Join MASS as it hosts a night of readings which consider the narrative phenomena of America: its people, its demagogues, its margins, and its future. Prominent Austin writers Julie Conquest, Ben Reed and Allie Rowbottom will read from works across the spectrum of fiction, nonfiction and the American experience. Make America Write Again.

Understory: Make America Write Again is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Understory, on view November 4 – December 10, 2016.


Julie Conquest “I was born near the ocean on the rural south coast of Oregon. My father had a CB radio and I when I was young I would use it to talk with those moving north and south down highway 101. Even then I was fascinated with movement and how it shapes our identities. Presently I write and create immersive installations that situate the visitor in ethnographic moments. In order to do this, I strive to develop new documentary techniques that feature the collaboration of participants. This work features experimental techniques with sound and video that attend to multiple sensory registers of experience. I have shared work both individually and collectively throughout the United States and in Europe. When I am not on the road I teach at the University of Texas at Austin.”

Benjamin Reed’s fiction has appeared in The Seattle Review, Big Fiction, [PANK], West Branch, Arcadia Magazine,Blue Mesa Review, Sou’wester, and The Southern Quarterly. He won the 2013 Austin Chronicle Short Story contest, and in 2011 Junot Díaz selected Reed’s “The Quiet Hunt” as winner of the Avery Anthology Small Spaces Prize.

Benjamin was born in Houston and grew up near San Francisco. He is a graduate of the University of Texas, and holds an MFA from Texas State University, where he teaches writing and American literature. He lives in Austin with his wife and their two boys, and is currently at work on both a novel and a story collection.

Allie Rowbottom‘s essays can be found in The Florida Review, The South Loop Review, PQueue, Hunger Mountain, and elsewhere. Her essay “Ghosts and Houses” won the 2015 Editor’s Award from The Florida Review. Her long lyric work, “World of Blue” received her an honorable mention in The Best American Essays of 2015. She has taught fiction and non-fiction at the University of Houston and CalArts, as well as at Boldface, an undergraduate creative writing conference. Allie has been the recipient of fellowships from Inprint and Tin House, where she was a 2016 scholar.

In 2011 Allie earned an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts and in 2016 she received her PhD in creative writing and literature from the University of Houston.

She is currently living, loving and writing in Austin, Texas where she resides with her husband Jon, French bulldogs Butter and Jammy, and Ham the Morgan horse.

MASS is funded and supported in part by the City of Austin through the Economic Development Department/Cultural Arts Division believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future.