On a warm, breezy Saturday evening, hundreds of people who had spent the past three days at the annual BookExpo America took a break from the hubbub to attend You Are Not Alone, a celebration featuring comedy, music, and, of course, some top-notch literature.
Contemporary literature lovers invaded ten beer-soaked bars scattered throughout Manhattan’s Lower East Side and East Village as part of the second annual Lit Crawl NYC—a two-hour bar hop serving up an eclectic taste of the New York City literary scene.
Last Thursday Anne Carson collaborated with sculptor Peter Cole, choreographers Jonah Bokaer and Rashaun Mitchell, and dancers from the Merce Cunnigham company to present “Stacks and Bracko.”
On the second Saturday of this month, a renovated turn-of-the-century electrical parts factory in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens was aglow with jovial literary energy, much of which was generated in response to the albatross of many a writer: student loan debt.
On a sultry Friday night, amid the thumping bass notes from cruising cars and the occasional thunder of the elevated J train, a wonderfully distinctive literary event took place in the dim white rooms of a studio space in northeast Brooklyn.
Last Thursday evening in Manhattan a hundred or so literary writers and readers gathered inside Cooper Union’s Great Hall, a magnificent venue that has been host to such historical events as Abraham Lincoln's rousing Cooper Union Address, in which he urged the nation to abolish slavery, in 1860. People rushed in from the cold, scanning the auditorium for empty seats. Heavy winter coats took on lives of their own, refusing to stay within the confines of the narrow wooden chairs. Our collective body heat seemed to rise in direct proportion to the noise.
Those lucky enough to have tickets to “A Believer Nighttime Event” on Saturday, part of last week's PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, received program notes that contained a list of the night’s proceedings, complete with short descriptions and estimated times (“Introduction, Eric Bogosian commences the evening in his fashion, seven minutes, thirty-four seconds”), as well as bios of the seven participants.
In this tour of the Mile High City, novelist Jenny Shank visits the sites, writing groups, organizations, and presses that keep her hometown’s literary spirit alive in the bootstrapping tradition of those “roaring drunken miners” who founded it.
Ander Monson, editor of DIAGRAM and author of Letter to a Future Lover, leads a literary tour of Tucson, Arizona, home of the renowned UA Poetry Center.
Grant Faulkner, executive director of National Novel Writing Month and the cofounder of 100 Word Story, leads a literary tour of San Francisco, a city of rollicking rogues and home of the Beats.