Lit Crawl NYC 2017

Lit Crawl NYC 2017

From East Village bars to laundromats, park benches, and bookstores, Lit Crawl NYC brings literature to the streets with readings, discussions, and events full of readers, writers, and all-around literary merriment, kicking off with a literary magazine block party at CLMP’s PRESS FEST!. Lit Crawl NYC was founded in 2008, and since 2015 has been jointly produced by Litquake and PEN America, an organization dedicated to defending free expression, supporting persecuted writers, and promoting literary culture.

Taking place in three, hour-long phases from 6-9PM on Friday, May 5, everyone’s favorite literary bar crawl returns to Manhattan with games, readings, and performances in six different languages! Tell your friends, choose your events, and join us on the Crawl!

*Please note new venue: King Juan Carlos of Spain Center, 53 Washington Square S. 4-8PM
To kick things off, CLMP presents a small press and literary magazine block party at the Washington Mews, featuring A Public Space, American Chordata, Archipelago Books, Argos Books, Belladonna*, Black Square Editions, Bloof Books, Deep Vellum, DoubleCross, Epiphany Magazine, Europa Editions, Feminist Press, Fence, Full Stop Magazine, Futurepoem, Glossolalia, Grove AtlanticGuillotine, Indolent Books, Litmus Press, Montez Press, Mosaic Magazine, New Directions, Newtown Literary, Nightboat Books, No, Dear, Nowhere, Open Letter, OR Books, Painted Bride Quarterly, Pelekinesis, Poet’s Country, Rain Mountain Press, Restless Books, Sagging Meniscus Press, Seven Stories Press, Siglio, Skidrow Penthouse, Sock Monkey, Solid Objects, Springhouse Journal, St. Petersburg Review, Tender Buttons Press, The Cupboard Pamphlet, The Hudson Review, The Mantle, The Operating System, Tiferet, Transit Books, Washington Square Review, and Wave Books.

There will be author signings and events throughout the day: check here for the full schedule.

Writers & Resistance
*Please note new location: Deustches Haus, 42 Washington Mews, 4-5:45PM
A pop-up public reading of work by writers from antiquity to today who faced suppression, imprisonment, exile, or death by totalitarian regimes, but whose words endure. Curated by JoAnne Akalaitis, Brighde Mullins, and Victoria Abrash, and featuring an extraordinary array of readers and writers affirming the power of expression and dissent.

Phase One | 6-7 PM 

Teaching in Troubled Times: The University as Sanctuary
Deutsches Haus, 42 Washington Mews
As a writer, how do you teach in troubled times? How political should you be, and do you want to be? Award-winning author Francine Prose, Rosamond S. King and Katja Petrowskaja join Atina Grossman in conversation.


La Maison Française, 16 Washington Mews
International authors Oddny Eir, Marcelino Truong and Bae Suah – from France, Vietnam, Iceland, and South Korea respectively – will read from their work, and discuss the extent to which they fictionalize their own lives, and the personal boundaries they draw. Moderated by Sarah Gerard.

Poetic Voices of the Muslim World: Poet’s Tour of the Exhibit 

City Lore, 56 East 1st St.
The Poetic Voices of the Muslim World exhibition highlights poetic traditions from four major language areas — Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Urdu — and introduces poetry from Asia, Africa and diaspora communities in the United States through arresting photography and calligraphic masterworks. On May 5th City Lore’s Director of Poetry Programs Sahar Muradi will lead audiences on a unique tour of the exhibit along with poets Sara Goudarzi, Farid Bitar, and Mumtaz Hussein conducting readings in the original Persian, Arabic, and Urdu.

We Agree on Nothing: Glossolalia Issue #3 Launch
Dashwood Books, 33 Bond St #A
Join Antonio Aiello and acclaimed translators Canaan Morse, Eleanor Goodman, and Jeremy Tiang for a reading and celebration of uncensored fantasy, micro nonfiction, and poetry from mainland China. Glossolalia – transporting readers to the least translated territories of the world.

Poetry is Light: Nur alShir
Mosaic Lamps NYC, 208 East 6th St.
Spoken word poets Nazahah Booth and Maha will perform in a mosaic lamp shop on what it’s like to be Muslim, Black, Arab, and female. Both will perform in Arabic and English.


Guess that Opening Sentence, with the Authors Guild and One Story!
The Gray Mare, 61 2nd Ave
Can you name a famous novel based on the first sentence? Join Paul Morris and Ryan Fox of the Authors Guild and One Story editors Patrick Ryan and Lena Valencia for an evening of literary trivia and prizes. We’ll read the opening sentences from well-known novels, you guess the novel. Come prepared to quiz the crowd on your own favorite opening, if you’d like, or select one at random to read aloud from our first-sentence fishbowl, and be entered into a raffle to win a pair of tickets to the One Story Debutante Ball on May 12 courtesy of the Authors Guild! (Plus a free issue of One Story for each participant!)

A Most Exquisite Corpse, Co-Hosted by Words Without Borders and Slice Literary
Court Street Grocers, 540 LaGuardia Place
Join four writers, who, along with their translators, have stitched together an Exquisite Corpse in multiple languages. Here’s how the game works: One person writes the first page of a story. We send the final line of that page to the next writer, who continues the story, and so on. Writers: Filip Springer, Francisco Cantú, Abdourahman Waberi, Karolina Ramqvist. Translators: Sean Bye, Saskia Vogel, Elisabeth Jaquette, David Ball, Nicole Ball, Jose Garcia.

Phase Two | 7-8 PM

“Language is My Home”: Readings by Vahni Capildeo and Hala Alyan
NYU English Department Event Space, 244 Greene St. 
Vahni Capildeo, a Cambridge (UK) based poet whose recent collection Measures of Expatriation won the Forward Prize (2016), and Hala Alyan, a Brooklyn based poet whose debut novel Salt Houses is forthcoming (May 2017), are meeting in Manhattan to read recent work in and out of diaspora, home, and encounters with language. Co-sponsored by the NYU English Department and Postcolonial, Race, and Diaspora Studies Colloquium.

Translating Women’s Voices
Deutsches Haus, 42 Washington Mews
Translators Tess Lewis, Susan Bernofsky, Kaiama L. Glover and Katrine Øgaard Jensen will read from their work, followed by a lively, savage, and feral discussion on the vital importance of translating work by women, moderated by Alta L. Price.


Three Russians Walk Into a Bar
KGB Bar, 85 East 4th St.
Join writers Elena Chizhova, Elena Kostyuchenko, and Lev Rubinstein as they read and discuss contemporary Russian literature… to the bottom of the glass. *Please note that this reading will be in Russian.

Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times
The Red Room at KGB Bar, 85 East 4th St. (top floor)
Reading their letters from the forthcoming anthology Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times, Mona Eltahawy, Boris Fishman, and Reyna Grande will offer an antidote to despair, a rallying cry, and a lyrical manifesto to light the way forward.

Fresh to Death: The Price we Pay for the Clothes we Wear  
Filson NYC, 40 Great Jones St.|
Randy Winston, Glynn Pogue, Brandi Chantalle, D. Watkins, Camoghne Felix and Mitch Jackson will read pieces that each explore the idea of how the perceptions of our bodies change based on what we wear. Curated by Yahdon Israel, creator of Literaryswag.

Thinko de Mayo
Jimmy’s No. 43, 43 East 7th St.
House of SpeakEasy Presents: Thinko de Mayo? Test your bookishness with a series of short but #SeriouslyEntertaining pub quizzes from the team behind House of SpeakEasy, New York’s finest literary cabaret. In cinco short rounds, we’ll test your quick-thinking, fast-talking, wise-guy approach to reading, and look forward to sharing a learned beer with you and your literary friends. A purchase of food or drink is suggested with entrance.

OneBookNY Live! A Conversation & Celebration of Americanah: 7-9 PM
Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, 126 Crosby St.
Bim Adewumni, Naomi Jackson, Ashley C. Ford, Tomi Obaro, and Chinelo Okparanta discuss Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah, selected for the first ever #OneBookNY initiative, moderated by Glory Edim (Well-Read Black Girl). Hosted by the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, BuzzFeed Books with Well-Read Black Girl and Housing Works Bookstore Cafe.*Please note this event will run from 7-9PM. 

Female Writers and Resistance: 7:30-8:30 PM
La Maison Française, 16 Washington Mews
This conversation will focus on the writers’ individual approaches to activism and resistance in their writing practice, and aims to explore politics, gender, and identity through the lens of the female writer. With Lila Zemborain, Mariela Dreyfus, Simone Lappert, Maïa Mazaurette, and Jessie Chaffee. Moderated by Rebecca Falkoff. *Please note that this event will run from 7:30-8:30PM.

Phase Three | 8-9 PM 

Mysticism and Mastery in Middle Eastern Poetry
Deutsches Haus, 42 Washington Mews
A conversation between former MacArthur fellow, polymath translator and poet Peter Cole and Rumi biographer Brad Gooch, on timeless and timely Middle Eastern poetry and mysticism.


Sexist Bingo! With VIDA and Tin House
KGB Bar, 85 East 4th St.
Prominent feminist writers read horribly sexist literary quotes and the audience guesses the author to match on their Bingo boards for super swaggy prizes. With Lauren Duca, Amy Gall, Lynn Melnick, Camille Rankine, and Claire Vaye Watkins.

The Best of the Worst: Bad Reader Reviews of Classic Books
Pourt, 35 Cooper Square
Lit Hub’s Book Marks and the National Book Foundation are teaming up to bring you the Best of the Worst Book Reviews. Tracy O’Neill, Greg Jackson, and Alex Gilvarry will read aloud bad reader reviews of classic books, and audience contestants will attempt to guess the correct titles and compete for fabulous tote bags and books.

BLOOM: Tiny and Enormous Conversations 

The Red Room at KGB Bar, 85 East 4th St. (top floor)
This crew of Peace Poets from The Bronx brings music to the streets, poetry to the people and all kinds of tears to your eyes. Come and hear their stories of struggle, so full of purpose and power that something within us can’t help but BLOOM! The Peace Poets are a collective of artists from the Bronx that celebrate, examine and advocate for life through music and poetry. This will be a live, spoken word performance. With Lu Aya, A-B-E, The Last Emcee, Ram 3 and Frankie 4.

Afterparty | 9-11PM

Lit Crawl NYC Afterparty
The Red Room at KGB Bar, 85 East 4th St. (top floor)
What would Lit Crawl NYC be without an afterparty? Join us at the Red Room at KGB Bar for a couple more hours of literary merriment, immediately following the Peace Poets performance.


Lit Crawl NYC thanks all participating curators and venues for their generosity and creativity! 

Participating Curators and Organizations:

Victoria Abrash
JoAnne Akalaitis
Author’s Guild
Buzzfeed Books 
City Lore
Deutsches Haus
Hana Esa
House of Speakeasy
Julia Tolo
Kat Addis
Katrine Øgaard Jensen
La Maison Française
Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House
Lit Hub
Brighde Mullins
National Book Foundation
NYU Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò
NYU Creative Writing in Spanish Program
NYU Institute of African American Affairs
One Book, One New York
One Story
Peace Poets
Polina Kovaleva
Slice Magazine
Tin House
VIDA: Women in Literary Arts
Vintage Books
Well Read Black Girl
Words Without Borders
Yahdon Israel

Participating Venues:

City Lore
Court Street Grocers
Dashwood Books
Deutsches Haus
Filson NYC
The Gray Mare
Housing Works Bookstore Café
Jimmy’s No. 43
La Maison Française
Mosaic Lamps NYC
The Red Room at KGB Bar

PRESS FEST! Participants: 

Special thanks to Lit Crawl NYC Committee Co-Chairs Brendan Kiely & Suleika Jaouad. 

Words matter. Litquake sparks critical conversations, and inspires writers and readers to celebrate the written word with diverse literary programming, interactive workshops, and a nine-day festival. Litquake is a project of the Litquake Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit registered in the state of California.