How to Celebrate National Poetry Month in Brooklyn

04/05/2013 3:52 PM |


April is National Poetry Month and Brooklyn is celebrating. You should celebrate too because you love Brooklyn and you love poetry and you love Brooklyn poetry. You love all those things, right? Of course you do. But if those aren’t good enough reasons, there is also the fact that the 23rd is Shakespeare’s birthday. So what better time to get down with some mead (and by mead I mean beer) and some poetry? So this month, check out a few of these events and really get into the spirit of April.

Clark Coolidge, Dana Ward, and Brandon Downing at Private Line

Start off your celebrations with Brooklyn-based reading series Private Line with an evening of poetry and dancing featuring Clark Coolidge, Dana Ward, and Brandon Downing. Coolidge is the author of more than sixty books and has been a staple of the experimental poetry scene for decades. Ward and Downing are both contemporary poets with recent chapbook publications who experiment with other mediums, such as film and art . Held at the Gowanus Studio Space, the event is sponsored by KelSo Beer Company and there is a DJ set and dance party following the readings.

Gowanus Studo Space; 166 7th Street, Gowanus, Saturday April 6, 7pm

Nick Flynn and Sam Lipsyte

So this might not actually be a poetry reading and might be about fiction or memoir or non-fiction or film or some other genre, but it’s okay because it will be brilliant no matter what, and all forms of literature deserved to be celebrated, not just poetry! Nick Flynn is the author of the memoir Another Bullshit Night In Suck City, upon which a wonderful movie called Being Flynn starring Paul Dano and Robert Di Nero was based. His most recent book, The Reenactments, is a memoir about his experience working on the film. Native New Yorker Sam Lipsyte is a novelist and short story writer who I have had the pleasure to hear read, and you should really take this opportunity to hear him, too. I promise, it’s going to be good.

Pete’s Candy Store; 709 Lorimer Street, Williamsburg, Thursday April 18th, 7:30pm

Brooklyn Zine Fest

For the second year in a row, Public Assembly is hosting the Brooklyn Zine Fest. Organized by Matt Carman and Kseniya Yarosh, editors of the collaborative film zine I Love Bad Movies, the festival features more than 80 artists and writers from Brooklyn and around the country. The wide array of zines contains various genres, including poetry, recipes, short fiction, photos, and comics.

Public Assembly; 70 N. 6th Street, Williamsburg, Sunday April 21st

Favorite American Poems Reading and Party

Head out to WORD, Greenpoint’s independent bookstore, on the eve of World Book Night to hear local poets read from Favorite American Poems, an anthology of famous and not-so-famous poems by some of America’s greatest writers. It’ll be a great way to ring in Shakespeare’s birthday and celebrate a month of literature loving.

WORD; 126 Franklin Street, Greenpoint, Monday April 22, 7pm

Greenlight Poetry Salon

Greenlight’s quarterly reading series is celebrating National Poetry Month by featuring poets who have both highly established careers as well as those just trying to break onto the scene. Featuring Steve Edwards, editor-in-chief of MUZZLE Magazine, Cornelius Eady, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama, and Sofia Elhillo, a senior at New York University. Eady will be performing with the New York based folk band Rough Magic.

Greenlight Bookstore; 686 Fulton Street, Ft. Greene, Wednesday April 24th, 7:30pm