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NYC Readings Roundup :: May 20-26

Sharon Olds Reading at First Arch

Sharon Olds Reading at First Arch

Editor’s note: welcome to the 12th iteration of our new weekly series, the Readings Roundup…which you might notice is growing steadily! Sorry if I’m repeating myself to some of you but if this is your first time here it bears noting that it’s long been a pipedream of ours to revive the NYC Poetry Calendar (started in 1977 by Bob Holman), to provide for the community here a true and cohesive overview of the vibrant scene that seems to birth a new event every day.
How does a poet new to New York or just new to the readings landscape figure out where to go, what these different events and organizations represent and offer?
We have a habit of biting off more than we can chew, so even though we have an overwhelmingly robust spreadsheet we’re working on making into an interactive page on the site, in future, we decided not to wait. In the meanwhile, we’ll start small — featuring in particular long running events and venues, making sure always to keep a healthy balance between styles and associations. We are judgement free and love filled, we’re just excited people are writing, reading, and sharing this important form. Come out!
– Lynne DeSilva-Johnson, Poetry/Managing Editor


Wednesday, May 22, 7pm | $10; $7 for students/seniors; free for Poets House Members 
Flowers Dreaming the Elevation Allegiance Poets House
CAConrad writes: “(Soma)tic poetry rituals aim our attention at two basic principles: (1) Everything around us has a creative viability with the potential to spur new modes of thought and imaginative output and (2) The most vital ingredient to bringing sustainable, humane changes to our world is creativity.”
In this program, based upon A Beautiful Marsupial Afternoon: New (Soma)tics, Conrad will lead partcipants through his philosophy of poets and poetry as a means to help solve the planet’s ills and to “resist the urge to subdue our spirits and lose ourselves in the hypnotic beep of machines, of war, and the banal need for power, and things.”


7-9pm | free admission
Monday Night Poetry
Poets will read from their most recent collections. Featuring Matthew Hittinger and Rae Gouirand.
7:30-10pm | free admission
louderARTS Poetry Open Mic Bar 13
Sign ups start at 7pm. Arrive early for pre-show workshop [6-7pm], an informal drop in workshop series.
starts 8pm | $8, $7 students and seniors, $5 members
Ross Gay & Lauren Shufran The Poetry Project at Saint Mark’s Church
The featured poets will read from their most recent collections.
 8-10pm | free admission
Saturn Series Poetry Revival Bar
Saturn Series Poetry is a writers’ open mic every Monday night. This is not a slam. Poets, playwrights, screenwriters and novelists perform prose, poetry and sometimes a song or two.
6:30-8:30 pm

The Finding Aid @ The Schomburg Center
The Finding Aid: Black Women at the Intersection of Art and Archiving is an interactive, multi-media dialogue that explores the intersection of experimental art practices and community-based archiving.
This event is based on the idea of a finding aid. A finding aid is a document used in archives for accessibility and discovery. We will transform a finding aid from an archival inventory/guide into an artistic archival experience. Our goal for this event is for people to leave knowing what an archive and archivist is or can be, and feeling empowered to begin their own archival/artistic practice and engage with existing archives.
Join artists Joyce-LeeAnn Joseph, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, Marilyn Nance, Arianne Edmonds, Ladi’Sasha Jones, Shawn(ta) Smith, Sonia Louise Davis, and Salome Asega for a dynamic presentation and dialogue on art and archiving.
FREE! Please RSVP here:
Join the conversation online via #TheFindingAid


5-8pm | free admission
A Swarm, a Flock, a Host @ The New York Public Library
A pollinations across the literary and visual arts with National Book Award-winning poet Mark Doty and artist Darren Waterston to discuss their new book, A Swarm, a Flock, a Host: A Compendium of Creatures. Doty will read selected poems from the book and twelve of Waterson’s original prints will be on exhibit during the event.  Books will be available for purchase and signing. –

starts 6pm | $8 (drink included)
Perfect Sense Reading SeriesCornelia Street
A reading and discussion with poets Miranda Field, Felice Aull, Madeleine Beckman and Jack Coulehan hosted by Alissa Heyman.
7-9pm | free admission
Dore Kiesselbach + Michael Morse + Will SchuttKGB Bar
The featured poets will read from their most recent collections.
starts 8pm | $8, $7 students and seniors, $5 members
erica kaufman & Simone White @ The Poetry Project at Saint Mark’s Church
The featured poets will read from their most recent collections.
starts 9pm | $7
Wednesday Night Slam OpenThe Nuyorican Poets Cafe
Open to the first 20 poets to sign up so arrive early if you want to slam. The night’s winner will eligible to perform in the Nuyorican’s famed Friday Night Poetry Slam. Hosted by Jive Poetic.


starts 7pm | free admission
On Literary Film-Making: An evening with The Brooklyn Rail

@ McNally Jackson Books
Visual Verse celebrates artists who use film and video to create work based on short stories and documentaries about writers or films which revolve around poetry. After presenting work by four leading literary filmmakers a discussion will be moderated by Rachael Rakes, film editor for The Brooklyn Rail.
7-9pm | free admission
Sideshow Goshko KGB Bar
Award-winning storyteller Leslie Goshko (Huffington Post, SiriusXM, WNYC) invites some of NY’s top writers, comedians, and storytellers to share true, bizarre tales about their lives. There’s live accordion music, a challenging trivia game, and a free wine giveaway. Featuring Kambri Crews, Thomas Pryor, Joey Novick and Joanne Solomon, with music by Dr. Leona Godin.


7-9pm | free admission
Eileen Myles and Rebecca Wolff KGB Bar
The featured poets will read from their recent work.
starts 10pm | $10
Friday Night Slam
 @ The Nuyorican Poets Cafe
NYC’s first poetry slam was held at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in 1989 and 20 years later it is still going strong. Watch poets perform and compete. Judges are 5 randomly chosen audience members. Hosted by Mahogany Browne.


4:30-6:30pm | $5
The Segue Reading Series
Zinc Bar
Segue hosts this experimental reading series that has run continuously for 25 years. Featuring readings by Kim Rosenfield and Kate Berlant.
Resources: Events Calendar
Poets and Writers (P&W) Literary Events Calendar (Filter by City, State)
Poetry Project Calendar
Belladonna* Reading Series
KGB Bar Calendar
Nuyorican Poets Cafe Calendar
Poets House Calendar
Time Out New York | Book Events

The series is overseen by Managing/Poetry Editor Lynne DeSilva-Johnson and maintained by Taylor Quilty, Exit Strata Program Assistant. Please email to submit your event/organization with READINGS ROUNDUP in the subject line for inclusion in future listings.

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