Lit Crawl NYC 2019

Lit Crawl NYC is a literary bar crawl where the cerebral meets the madcap with themed readings, trivia, and much more, all to celebrate the New York literary community. This year, PEN America and Books Are Magic present Lit Crawl NYC in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, on Saturday October 12! 

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A Multilingual Most Exquisite Corpse
Warby Parker, 55 Bergen St.

Words Without Borders and SLICE Literary present a Multilingual Most Exquisite Corpse! Join four international writers who, along with their translators, will stitch together a story in multiple languages. 

The Poetics of Solidarity
Malai Ice Cream, 268 Smith St.

Members of the Worker Writers School (now in its ninth year) will share poetry that explores new forms of collaboration, improvisation, and solidarity. Participants from Domestic Workers United, New York Taxi Workers Alliance, Street Vendor Project, and our other collaborating organizations will join us.

femme, noire + queer | a radical imagining 
Books Are Magic, 225 Smith St. 

Step away from a world corrupted by destructive ideologies and emerge into a literary reading experience of fierce and flagrant reimagining, wherein the queer black femme narrative is divine law. In this galaxy, you – the femme, noire + queer – are god and goddess, protector and protected, lover and loved. In this reimagining, we, the femme, noire + queer, create our own circumstances based on a collective consciousness centered in justice and joy. This event is a literary reading showcase. Featuring Tahirah Alexander Green, JP Howard, Nia WitherspoonOmotara James, and Nicole Shawan Junior. Presented by COUNTERpult – a Roots. Wounds. Words. Reading Series.

Another Lit Reading from Four Way Books
Regular Visitors, 149 Smith St.

Join us for an evening of readings from three amazing poets whose stunning debut collections (all published by Four Way Books) cover everything from student debt to a modern day retelling of The Odyssey to pet sitting for your parents. Don’t miss the power, humor, and heartbreak. Featuring Julia Guez, Jen Levitt, and Maya Phillips.

We All Live in this House of Language
Bien Cuit, 120 Smith St.

Can words make a house? Can we live in it together? A multidisciplinary group of immigrant artists from Brooklyn and Queens build on their art exhibit, A City of One’s Own, as several different generations of women read from new and published work. Join Yesica Balderrama, Olivera Jokic, Ashanti Lee, Ashley Somwaru, and Donauta Watson-Starcevic as they explore this house of language that’s made to move and discuss what it means to be a “literary immigrant”–and artist Katya Khan translates their words with a live painting! Presented by Tarte de Art.

Stories of Loss and Rebirth
Brooklyn Social, 335 Smith St.

A great loss can impact our lives in many ways. Whether it be a loved one or failing health that sets characters on far-flung journeys they never would’ve embarked on otherwise. We take on the personality of that loss, changing irrevocably. These authors explore these kind of tests in their respective novels. Featuring Margot Berwin, Lee Matthew Goldberg, and Anton Yakovlev. Presented by Guerrilla Lit Reading Series.

Les Bleus Literary Salon
Eileen Fisher, 47 Bergen St. 

Les Bleus Literary Salon is delighted to welcome three powerhouse authors to PEN America’s Lit Crawl NYC 2019. Hermione Hoby (Neon in Daylight), Alexandra Kleeman (Intimations) and Jennifer Wright (We Came First) will each read from new work followed by a brief discussion between the writers.

Great Letters of a Generation
Bird Brooklyn, 220 Smith St.  

A curated collection of great letters of our generation. Where forebearers wrote with pen and paper, we have countless medium for our missives: our texts, iMessages, G-chats, Slack, Facebook messages…even our AIMs of old. Presented as part of PEN America’s Lit Crawl NYC: join us for dramatic readings from our own great letters. Featuring Kaycie Hall, Meryl Dakin, Richard Barbieri, Cleo Levin, Chloe Caldwell, Sarah Dohrmann & Matthew Burgess, Vanessa Golenia, Amelia Johns, and Janelle Greco.

Writing About Home
Camp, 179 Smith St.  

Writers who grew up in Bk before everyone wanted to live there, before the trash cans on every corner, artisanal mayonnaise shops, and $15 burger bars, share stories and poems about the grit, beauty and danger that was our home. Featuring Elisabet Velasquez, Vanessa Mártir, Andres Chulisi Rodriguez, Nicole Shawan Junior, and Jasmine Aequetes. Presented by Writing Our Lives Workshop.


What My Mother Sacrificed
Warby Parker, 55 Bergen St.

Imagine yourself living in poverty, working odd jobs to make some money and then having to choose, will your children eat today, will you have enough money for clothing and school supplies? Or perhaps imagine yourself persecuted by a government that is oppressing its nation, rationing out food, cutting jobs, forcing you to cross borders by land or foot because it’s the only way to reach a place where you will have a chance of surviving. But survival does not come easy, nor is raising a family and navigating a system thats very own government has a certain disdain towards immigrants like you. But this government doesn’t have the slightest idea of who you are, where you came from, or what you faced back home. They have no idea what we sacrifice, what our parents have sacrificed. Join Dominican writers as they share what we as immigrants sacrifice in poetry, prose & personal essay form. Featuring readings from Angela Abreu, Roxana Calderón, JP Infante, Yaddy Valerio, Margarita Rosa, Christy X Martinez, and Belle Espinal. Presented by the Dominican Writers Association.

Fried Eggs and Rice: A Reading 
Malai Ice Cream, 268 Smith St.

Three contributors of the upcoming anthology in development, Fried Eggs and Rice: An Anthology by Writers of Color on Food, will read portions of their pieces and the editor will talk about the multi-genre project which focuses on the significant interconnections of food, memory, and identity from writers and chefs of color. Featuring Vanessa Martir, Elisabet Velasquez, and Glendaliz Camacho.

History Rhymes
Books Are Magic, 225 Smith St.

History may not repeat itself, the saying goes, but it rhymes! Each of our works grapple with history that resonates in today’s debates. We’ll read from a memoir of the Vietnamese ‘boat person’ refugee experience, a murder mystery illuminating the early AIDS epidemic, an 80s glam rock-inspired fantasy set in NYC, and a republished 17th century hilarious, bawdy feminist critique of early colonial capitalism/materialism/hypocrisy/mistreatment of indigenous people. (Dissent is in our national DNA!) And a selection of short children’s stories from an author with family roots in the arts and cuisine culture of the city. Featuring Pam Saxelby, Jim Feast, Nhi Chung, Bernadette Giacomazzo, and Autumn Leaf. Presented by Synchronized Chaos Magazine.

Rewrite the Greats
Regular Visitors, 149 Smith St.

Let your inner editor take a crack at rewriting the first page of a literary masterpiece. See what hilarity and magic happens when you combine a pair of scissors, a glue stick, and lots of wine with a paragraph from an iconic literary work. Think Mad Libs-meets-Beckett. Our judges will be writers Zaina Arafat and Aurvi Sharma. Prizes include Paragraph membership, discounts and tote bags. May the best or fastest or funniest rewrite win! Featuring Zaina Arafat (You Exist Too Much) and Aurvi Sharma (Best American Essays 2017 “Apricots”). Presented by Paragraph: Workspace for Writers.

Queens Lit in Brooklyn 
Bien Cuit, 120 Smith St.

Outer boroughs unite! Queens is the most diverse county in the country—and the writing produced there reflects the voices of many races, religions, ages, gender identities, and sexualities, as well as those with dis/abilities and immigration stories. Newtown Literary, a nonprofit literary organization, publishes and nurtures the voices of Queens poets and writers through the publication of a literary journal and free writing classes. Come and hear poetry and prose from some of the organization’s volunteers and participate in a Queens trivia contest. Featuring Tim Fredrick, Jackie Sherbow, Malcolm Chang, and Sokunthary Svay. Presented by Newtown Literary.

The Forgotten Beasts of Freebase
Brooklyn Social, 335 Smith St.    

Back when Adidas track suits were buttah, gold names sprawled across knuckles and La Di Da Di bumped from boomboxes across the boroughs, colorful lids and plastic vials laced cement squares like chalky hopscotch outlines. The Forgotten Beasts of Freebase is a literary and visual storytelling container that centers the black and Latinx crack cocaine experience. Here, you will be immersed in the look, sound, feel and smell of the 1980s and 90s epidemic. Featuring Nicole S. Junior, Tzynya L. Pinchback, Irvin Weathersby, and Vanessa Martir. Photos by Meryl Meisler (photojournalist) and Brenda Ann Kenneally (photojournalist). Presented by COUNTERpult – a Roots. Wounds. Words. Reading Showcase.


Two Tats and a Lie
Brooklyn Tattoo, 279 Smith St.  

Join Kate Angus, Matthew Aaron Goodman, Arisa White, Clifford Thompson, Shelly Oria, Mike Fu and Soma Mei Sheng Frazier for a round of micro-readings. Two readings relate to actual tattoos inked someplace on the readers’ bodies, and the rest are a big fat literary lie. The first audience member to raise a hand at the end of the night and guess the two tats correctly wins copies of each author’s latest books.

Brooklyn Author Rapidfire Trivia
Warby Parker, 55 Bergen St.

Walt Whitman. Marianne Moore. Richard Wright. Anaïs Nin. Colson Whitehead. Jhumpa Lahiri. Edwidge Danticat. The Jonathans. How much do you know about Brooklyn writers? Join Epiphany, Ditmas Lit, and our special guests—you guessed it: they’re Brooklyn writers, too—for a rousing, rapid-fire game of trivia. Win drinks! Eat snacks! Take home some great reads! Everybody wins. Featuring Rachel Lyon, JT Price, Sarah Bridgins, Jeanne Thornton, Julia Philips, and Cynthia Manick

Literary Appetites: Women on Food 
Malai Ice Cream, 268 Smith St.  

Charlotte Druckman’s Women on Food is a “variety show of previously unpublished essays, interviews, and ephemera from women working in the world of food.” We bring the show to life with Charlotte and two of her contributors who will discuss their roles in the book, and chat about the literary aspect of food writing and the impact gender, race, and socioeconomics have had on that tradition and in shaping their own work. Moderated by Sabrina McMillin of Grey Horse, and featuring Charlotte, novelist and food writer Monique Truong, and author, journalist and culinary historian Dr. Jessica Harris. Presented by Grey Horse

Hard Aguacate: Baby Queer Poems
Books Are Magic, 225 Smith St. 

HARD AGUACATE, the second installment of MARACUYÁ PEACH presented at PEN America’s Lit Crawl NYC, will be a reading of work from when we were baby queer poets, crawling around in language. Readers will engage childhood, first queer feelings, and vintage poems perhaps unread or unseen for years. This event’s featured readers will be Emanuel Xavier and Cyree Jarelle Johnson! Co-curators Ximena Alejandra Izquierdo Ugaz and Danilo Machado will also be reading. Maracuyá-Peach was one of the popsicle flavors dreamed by poet Ximena Izquierdo Ugaz’s father after waking from a coma. From this imagined combination comes a juicy new poetry series created by Ximena Alejandra Izquierdo Ugaz and Danilo Machado. Organized collaboratively in venues around Brooklyn, the series is by and for queer and trans poets of color working across media, languages, and diasporas—embracing the bilingual, the fruity, and the sticky.


Lit Crawl NYC Afterparty
61 Local, 61 Bergen St.  

Lit Crawl wouldn’t be Lit Crawl without an afterparty! Join us at 61 Local for this year’s celebration, hosted by the SLICE Literary and Epiphany.