New York City January Literary Events

Create Your Own Adventure

January 6th, 2016

Sid Gold's Request Room at 6:30pm
165 W 26th St, New York, New York 10001

An extra-special showcase to kick off the new year: Tim Manley leads his "Stage and the Page" workshop students in an animated night of storytelling and performance magic. Stick around after for our workshop holiday party; Catapult students, alumni, and instructors drink for free, until our tickets run out!

To find out more about the writing classes at Catapult click here. For the FB invite, click there. 

January 7th, 2016

McNally Jackson Books at 7pm
52 Prince St, New York, New York 10012

Join us for an evening with Nightboat Books featuring readings by New York and East Coast writers: Dawn Lundy Martin, Paolo Javier, Stacy Szymaszek, Vincent Katz and Wayne Koestenbaum at McNally Jackson Books in New York.

DAWN LUNDY MARTIN is the author of Life in a Box is a Pretty Life and Discipline. She was awarded the Cave Canem Poetry Prize for her first poetry collection, A Gathering of Matter/A Matter of Gathering. A founding member of the Black Took Collective, a group of experimental black poets, she is an associate professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh.

PAOLO JAVIER is the author of Court of the Dragon. He served as Queens Borough Poet Laureate from 2010–2014. He is the author of seven chapbooks and three previous full-length poetry collections, including The Feeling Is Actual. Javier edited and published 2nd Avenue Poetry (2003-14), an online language art journal that produced three diverse volumes of contemporary innovative poetry, sound art, and visual art. He lives with his family in Sunnyside, Queens.

STACY SZYMASZEK is the author of hart island, Emptied of All Ships, Hyperglossia, and several chapbooks. She has worked at Woodland Pattern Book Center and is currently the director of the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church in New York City.

VINCENT KATZ is the author of Swimming Home. He is a poet, translator, art critic, editor, and curator. The editor of Black Mountain College: Experiment in Art, he is the publisher of Libellum books and curator of the Readings in Contemporary Poetry series at Dia Chelsea. He was awarded a Rome Prize and teaches at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

WAYNE KOESTENBAUM is the author of The Pink Trance Notebooks. He is a poet and cultural critic. His recent books include My 1980s & Other Essays, Humiliation, The Anatomy of Harpo Marx, and the poetry collection Blue Stranger with Mosaic Background. He lives in New York City.

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January 10th, 2016

WORD Brooklyn at 2pm
126 Franklin St, Brooklyn, New York 11222

Join three special guests for The Hustle, a discussion series about the business of writing: how writers pay the bills, how they get the work done, what they read, and more.

D. Watkins is a columnist for Salon. His work has been published in the New York Times, the Guardian and other publications. He holds a Master’s in Education from Johns Hopkins University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Baltimore. He is a college professor and has been the recipient of numerous awards, including BME Fellowship. He has lectured at countless universities and public events around the country. Watkins has been featured as a guest and commentator on NBC’s Meet the Press, CNN’s The Erin Burnett Show, MSNBC Melissa Harris-Perry Show, Democracy Now, and NPR’s Monday Morning and Tell Me More, among other shows. Watkins grew up in and will never leave east Baltimore, his debut collection of essays The Beastside is available now. His memoir The Cook-Up, will be released by Grand Central in early 2016.

Erika Anderson teaches for the Sackett Street Writers' Workshop. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Vanity Fair, Gawker, Creative Nonfiction, Buzzfeed Books, The Rumpus, Midnight Breakfast, and has been twice-nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She has an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and lives everywhere.

Mensah Demary is associate web editor for Catapult, and editor of Specter Magazine. A music columnist for Electric Literature, he is also the curator and host of LIT: A Music & Reading Series. Mensah Demary lives and writes in Brooklyn, NY.

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January 11th, 2016

Franklin Park at 8pm (until 10pm) 
618 Saint Johns Pl, Brooklyn, New York 11238

We're launching 2016 with our seventh annual Short Fiction Night, featuring five innovative authors who are reinventing the contemporary story in a range of styles and lengths, from flash to novella: Marie-Helene Bertino (2 A.M. at the Cat's Pajamas, Safe as Houses), Amber Sparks (The Unfinished World, May We Shed These Human Bodies), Greg Gerke (My Brooklyn Writer Friend), May-Lan Tan (Things to Make and Break, Girly), and Rahawa Haile (Volume 1 Brooklyn).

We'll celebrate short stories with $4 drafts and a free-to-enter raffle for the authors' books. As always, admission is free.

OUR TAKE: This monthly reading series has been around for a bit. It's fun, it's free, and it's at a cool bar in Crown Heights. You even get a free raffle ticket for a literary prize. Get there early to grab a seat because this is a popular one. 

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Bowery Poetry Club at 6:30pm
308 Bowery, New York, New York 10012

NYC's Best Poetry Open Mic returns for a new year and its 100th show!
Featuring Charity Coleman, with your host Nikhil Melnechuk.

CHARITY COLEMAN is the author of Julyiary (O'clock Press, 2015), and the forthcoming Diary of the Erstwhile Present. Her work can be found at BOMB, Dolce Stil Criollo, Joans Digest, No, Dear, and elsewhere. She leads a very popular exercise class called Stretching for Poets and Painters. 

Monday Nights (PoetNY & Bowery Slam) – $15/door $13/online
PoetNY Open Mic Only – $10/door $8/online 

Signups and doors at 5:30pm
10, 3-minute slots, first come, first served

Bowery Poetry Monday Nights are generously supported by Tito's Handmade Vodka.

January 12th, 2016

The Astoria Bookshop at 7pm
31-29 31st St, Astoria, New York 11106

Come to the Bookshop ready to tell a five-minute true story about something that happened to you. Don't worry about sticking to a theme. . . you don't have to. Participants' names will be pulled from a basket, open-mic style. And of course, non-storytellers welcome to join the audience!

FREE show, hosted by David Lawson

OUR TAKE: There are a variety of stories re-told here by a variety of voices. It's a completely unplanned yet entertaining show. It's frequented by a welcoming group of people. 

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LIC Reading Series at 8pm
45-58 Vernon Blvd, New York, New York 11101

Join us by the fire to start 2016 right! We'll be treated to readings and discussion with three fantastic writers:

J. ROBERT LENNON is the author of seven novels, including Mailman, Familiar, and Happyland, and the story collections Pieces for the Left Hand and See You in Paradise. He teaches writing at Cornell University.

ROBERT LOPEZ is the author of two novels, Part of the World and Kamby Bolongo Mean River, and two story collections, Asunder and Good People, published in January, 2016, by Bellevue Literary Press. 

SEAN H. DOYLE lives in Brooklyn, NY. His book, This Must Be The Place, was published by Civil Coping Mechanisms in 2015. He works hard every day to be a better person and is learning how to love himself more. 

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Barnes & Noble at 8pm
150 E 86th St, New York, NY 10028

Sunil Yapa's debut novel, Your Heart is a Muscle The Size of a Fist, has hit many 2016 Most Anticipated Books of the Year lists. Colum McCann's Thirteen Ways of Looking is the latest by the award winning author. 

January 13th, 2016

Ace Hotel New York (Liberty Hall) at 7pm
20 W 29th St, New York, New York 10001

Join us for an evening of readings at Ace Hotel, featuring:

+ Tony Tulathimutte
+ Sarah Resnick
+ Frank Guan
+ David Samuels
+ Sophie Pinkham
+ Bruce Robbins
+ Anastasiya Osipova
+ Namara Smith
+ Dayna Tortorici

Free for subscribers, $10 for non-subscribers (door price includes a three-month digital subscription and a copy of Issue 24)

SIGNAL st 8pm
260 Johnson Ave, Brooklyn, New York 11206

In celebration of Issue 24: NEW AGE, we're returning to beloved gallery space SIGNAL.

+ 8PM Friday, January 15
+ 260 Johnson Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11206
+ Entrance is free for subscribers / $10 for non-subscribers, who get a copy of the issue at the door.
+ Beer, as ever, lovingly provided by Brooklyn Brewery
+ Wine from our new friends at Archer Roose


January 14th, 2016


Brooklyn Museum at 7pm
200 Eastern Pkwy, Brooklyn, New York 11238

PEN American Center and the Brooklyn Museum present a reading of selected poems and others texts in support of Palestinian poet and art curator Ashraf Fayadh, who was sentenced to death by a Saudi court on November 17, 2015 for apostasy. 

We are joining forces with the International Literature Festival Berlin (ILB) in their call for all individuals, institutions, schools, and media outlets that care about justice and freedom to participate in a worldwide reading to press the U.K. and U.S. governments to intervene on behalf of Ashraf Fayadh, free expression, and the defense of human rights.

With Natalie Diaz, RuFreeman, Lawrence Joseph, Dina Omar, Dread Scott. Hosted by Rob Spillman and Elissa Schappell.

Selected poems and other texts will be read in both English and Arabic.


The Parkside Lounge at 8pm
317 E Houston St, New York, New York 10002

A celebration of emerging and established New York City writers of all types - poets, novelists, journalists, short story writers. Shows feature carefully selected writers of note, especially those who have recently released books as well as a 15-slot open mic (6-minute time limit, for writers of all types and spoken word poets).

A Singapore writer living in New York City, Jee Leong Koh is the author of four books of poems and two books of essays. His latest book of poems Steep Tea (Carcanet Press) was named a a Best Book of 2015 by Financial Times. A poem from the book was selected by The Guardian as the Poem of the Week. His blog can be visited here.

Sweta Srivastava Vikram, featured by Asian Fusion as “One of the most influential Asians of our time,” is an award-winning writer, three times Pushcart Prize nominee, Amazon bestselling author of 10 books, novelist, poet, essayist, and columnist. Her new book is Wet Silence, which bears moving accounts of Hindu widows in India. Sweta is also a certified yoga teacher who shares the love and power of yoga with trauma survivors. A graduate of Columbia University, when Sweta is not doing yoga, cooking, traveling, writing books, or posts for magazines, teaching creative writing, or giving talks on gender equality, she works as a digital and content marketing consultant. Sweta lives in New York City with her husband and can be found here. 

Born in Atlanta, raised in Louisville, writer, journalist and blogger Ed Hamilton now makes New York City his home. He has a master’s degree in philosophy and a bachelor’s in psychology. The author of Legends of the Chelsea Hotel: Living with the Artists and Outlaws of New York’s Rebel Mecca (Da Capo, 2007), Hamilton’s fiction and non-fiction has also appeared in dozens of small journals, magazines, and newspapers, both on-line and off. The Chintz Age: Tales of Love and Loss for a New New York (Cervena Barva Press, 11/2/15) is his first book of fiction. 

Jashua Sa-Ra, from Brooklyn. is an award-winning performance poet who recently released his first book of poetry, Black Whole. He had previously released two CD's and a DVD of his poetry. He's also been, among many things, a host, event producer, teaching artist, and lecturer. He is currently the creative director and host of Brooklyn's largest open mic venue, Saturday Mass Mic. To purchase Black Whole, please visit or

Sean Singer was born in Mexico in 1974. His first book Discography won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize, selected by W.S. Merwin, and the Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. His second book Honey & Smoke was published in London by Eyewear Publishing. He has published two chapbooks with Beard of Bees Press, Passport and Keep Right on Playing Through the Mirror Over the Water. He is the recipient of a Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. He has a Ph.D. in American Studies from Rutgers-Newark. He lives in Harlem, and drives a taxi for Uber. Follow him here.

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Pete's Candy Store at 7:30pm
709 Lorimer St, Brooklyn, New York 11211

Pete's Reading Series is back for 2016!

And we are so extremely excited to welcome three incredible authors to the Pete's stage for our season opener:
Sara Novic (GIRL AT WAR) and
Tracy O'Neill (THE HOPEFUL)

Please join us for this killer evening of words. Books available for sale from each of our readers thanks to WORD bookstore.

Pete's Candy Store is located at 709 Lorimer Street. Closest subways are the L and G at Lorimer/Metropolitan.

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January 19th, 2016

Pete's Candy Store at 6:30pm
 709 Lorimer St, Brooklyn, New York 11211

Four writers come in, one writer leaves—or all of them do. But somebody gets a free drink.

After a (somewhat accidental) holiday trilogy, The Prose Bowl returns in 2016. We're packing in the puns—FOR NOW—and starting fresh. Like you, we have a lot of big plans in the pipeline for the coming year, starting with a 90s-sitcom-style Crossover Event! This month our panel of judges will be staffed by none other than Brian Gresko and Jill Capewell, hosts of the grandaddy Pete's Reading Series! 

As always, if you'd like to perform, all you have to do is show up and throw your name in the hat. Bring 900 words (or five minutes, depending on your pace) of fiction, along with a itty-bitty microstory of no more than a few sentences for the finals round, and compete to win a prize as mysterious as it is impractical. 

We're not kidding when we say this show is just the beginning of a really exciting year, so we can't wait to see everybody there!

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Housing Works Bookstore Cafe at 7pm
126 Crosby St, New York, New York 10012

For some, they're a symbol of consumerism taken to an epic level; for others, they're just a place to hang out for a couple of hours. And you've ever lived in the suburbs, especially in New Jersey, you've probably spent a lot of time in one. We're pleased to announce that our first 3-Minute Stories event of 2016 will celebrate the mall.

Readers include Helen Rosner, Alice Sola Kim, Suzy Exposito, Isaac Fitzgerald, Kate Wadkins, Maris Kreizman, Danielle Henderson, Jess Zimmerman, Maria Sherman, Amy Rose Spiegel, & Bijan Stephen.

Hosted by Jason Diamond

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January 20th, 2016

Be Electric Studios @ 9PM
1298 Willoughby Ave, Brooklyn, New York 11237

"'A conflict of faith' once meant a personal crisis, but these days that phrase has taken on a deep political meaning. January's salon at The Hideaway tackles faith and conflict with readings that span the globe from Brooklyn to rural Papua New Guinea, and address Islam, Christianity, and Paganism. I've brought together Moustafa Bayoumi (THIS MUSLIM AMERICAN LIFE: DISPATCHES FROM THE WAR ON TERROR), Tanwi Nandini Islam (BRIGHT LINES), Alex Mar (WITCHES OF AMERICA), and Kent Russell (I AM SORRY TO THINK I HAVE RAISED A TIMID SON), four accomplished writers and powerful intellects whose work on these themes has moved, challenged, and inspired me, for what is sure to be a thought provoking night." --Curator, Brian Gresko

We're thrilled to have writer and literary curator extraordinaire Brian Gresko at the helm for our next Hideaway Salon, which will explore faith and conflict with an impressive group of writers and thinkers. Join us at 9pm on Wednesday, January 20th in the private loft at Be Electric Studios (1298 Willoughby Ave, off the Jefferson L stop in Bushwick). Free Admission. BYOB. Mingling to follow.

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January 21st, 2016

Calabar Imports Harlem at 6pm
2504 Frederick Douglass Blvd, New York, New York 10030

Kaitlyn Greenidge is originally from Boston. A graduate of Hunter College's MFA Fiction program, she currently lives in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in American Short Fiction, Virginia Quarterly ReviewKweli JournalThe BelieverGuernica and other places. Her debut novel, We Love You, Charlie Freeman will be published by Algonquin Press in March 2016.

WOMEN WRITERS OF THE DIASPORA is a reading/discussion series created and moderated by DR. CELESTI COLDS FECHTER, Exec. Director of Education Success Services and Prof., Org. Behavior, King Graduate School, New Rochelle. WOMEN WRITERS OF THE DIASPORA features poetry, prose, memoir, essay, reportage, urban writing by African and African diasporan women.

Be sure to mark your calendar for future readings/discussions: Kim Coleman Foote, Feb. 4; Jacqueline Bishop, Feb 18; Amber Antiya, Mar 3; Yvette Louis, Mar 17; Pamela Booker, Apr 7; Farah Jasmine Griffin, Apr 21; Stephanie Renee Payne, May 5; Mecca Jamilah Sullivan, May 19; Cynthia Mannick, Jun 9. 

Stay updated by following the WOMEN WRITERS OF THE DIASPORA blog at

The venue, CALABAR IMPORTS HARLEM, is provided by ATIM ANETTE OTON. The series is also co-sponsored by MOSAIC LITERARY MAGAZINE. 

Questions, comments, suggestions:

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BookCourt at 7pm
163 Court St, Brooklyn, New York 11201

Join us for a lively discussion on sex and sexuality in literature, with New York-area authors Alexander Chee, Ashley Ford, Saeed Jones, Dylan Landis, Laura Miller, and Elissa Schappell. The discussion will be moderated by Anna March.

Beyond Lolita is a series of events to benefit PEN America’s Writers’ Emergency Fund.

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WORD Brooklyn at 7pm
126 Franklin St, Brooklyn, New York 11222

Join us in celebrating the release of Issue 8 of The Pitchfork Review, a perfect-bound quarterly music publication, combining new long-form feature stories, photography, illustrations and other ephemera with selected recent pieces from Pitchfork.

Beginning To See The Light: Preserving The Not-So-Distant Past

In Issue 8, Haley Mlotek visits the museums, libraries, and private collections that specialize in the ultimate form of artistic ephemera. Musical archives, particularly in the digital age, are easily lost; Haley travelled to the centers of different scenes to interview the archivists and curators working to hold on to the hundreds of thousands of songs, videos, and other artifacts comprising genres like punk, hip-hop, and riot grrrl. Join Haley and special guests for a discussion about how music and memories can become something to be measured in metric feet.

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January 22nd, 2016

BookCourt at 7pm
163 Court St, Brooklyn, New York 11201

Join us for the launch of Robert Lopez's short story collection GOOD PEOPLE!


“Nothing is funnier than unhappiness,” claims Samuel Beckett. To this, we add: nothing is funnier than unhappiness with a heavy dose of amorality, as we learn from Robert Lopez’s unforgettable GOOD PEOPLE. In these twenty stories, a motley cast of obsessive, self-deluded outsiders narrate their darker moments, which include kidnapping, voyeurism, and psychic masochism. As their struggles give way to the black humor of life’s unreason, the bleak merges with the oddly poetic, in a style as lean and resolute as Carver or Hemingway.

Treading the fine line between confession and self-justification, the absurd violence of threatened masculinity, and the perverse joy of neurosis, Lopez’s stories reveal the compulsive suffering at the precarious core of our universal humanity.

OUR TAKE: We might be completely biased, but we can attest that Robert Lopez himself is, indeed, good people. 

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January 24th, 2016

Flawless: A WOWPS Fundraiser and Poetry Show
Brooklyn Colony at 7:30pm (Doors open at 7pm)
274 4th Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11215

This year will bring the Women of the World Poetry Slam (WOWPS) to Brooklyn, NY for the first time ever. As a volunteer-driven initiative, WOWPS needs your support! Please join us for this extraordinary night of poetry and prose performances by some of New York City's top women writers, and enter a raffle to win poetry books, gift certificates, and more! Ticket & raffle proceeds will all go towards making WOWPS possible for women and gender non-conforming poets from around the world.

Featured Readers Include:
Sarah Kay, author of No Matter The Wreckage (Writebloody 2014) , founder and co-director of Project Voice
Ashley Cassandra Ford, Freelance writer, The Guardian, ELLE, BuzzFeed, Slate, I-D, Lenny Letter, Matter, Design*Sponge
Morgan Parker, author of Other People's Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night (Switchback Books, 2015)
Angel Nafis, author of BlackGirl Mansion (Redbeard Press/New School Poetics, 2012)
Jeanann Verlee, author of Said The Manic To the Muse and Racing Hummingbirds, both from WriteBloody Press.

$10 Advance tickets available for a limited time through EventBrite. All proceeds will directly benefit the Women Of The World Poetry Slam.

EventBrite Tickets

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January 25th, 2016

BookCourt AT 7pm
163 Court St, Brooklyn, New York 11201

Join us for readings, wine, and literary mingling! 
The next Sackett Street Writers' Reading Series features students from our Novel Intensive Workshops. 

Tracey Rose is a writer living in Brooklyn, NY. Her short fiction has appeared in Guernica, Pank Magazine, and elsewhere.

Isabelle FitzGerald studied creative writing at Brown University. Her writing has appeared on The Rumpus and Yahoo! Parenting. She lives in Brooklyn, NY and is currently working on her first novel.

Andrés Cruciani's writing has appeared in Brooklyn Aikikai Journal and University of Baltimore's Welter. He has completed one novel, for which he is currently seeking representation, and is at work on his second--Equality, a story about two boys, one Black, one Hispanic, struggling to find hope in an inner-city school. He graduated from The New School's MFA fiction program and also holds a black belt in Aikido.

Max Rivlin-Nadler is a writer living in Queens, NY. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Vice, The Nation, and Gawker. He's working on a novel about rising seas, property values, and dead souls. 

Hosted by Heather Aimee O'Neill, SSWW Novel Writing instructor and published author.

OUR TAKE: Everyone involved with Sackett Street is basically the nicest person we've ever met. 

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Greenlight Bookstore at 7:30pm
686 Fulton St, Brooklyn, New York 11217

Join us for an evening celebrating a great poet with two tremendous literary talents, followed by a wine reception.

Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer is regarded as one of the most important European and Scandinavian writers since World War II, and was awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature; he died in March 2015. Bright Scythe is a new bilingual collection of Tranströmer’s poetry from 1954 through 2004; these poems reveal the ordinary world as extraordinary and ineffable. Patty Crane’s English translations of the poems are remarkable not only for their plainspoken immediacy and elegant concision but for their collaborative nature: Crane went through her translations line by line with the poet and his wife to ensure that her work hewed as closely as possible to the musicality of language, imagery, and intention of the originals. Crane talks at Greenlight with award-winning Brooklyn writer, art historian and photographer Teju Cole (Open City, Every Day Is For The Thief) about Tranströmer's life and work, Crane’s relationship with the Tranströmers, and her translation process. 

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