Feel the need to commiserate about good times spent at neighborhood haunts of yore? Share poems, stories, monologues and memories about a New York City place you loved and lost at “A Ghost City Tour,” featuring Kathryn “K” Adisman, Alice Klugherz, Ron Kolm, Su Polo, Armand Ruhlman, Fred Simpson on drums and special guest Jill Rapaport. Reminisce over pizza and get a free beer at this 5th Street bar that’s happily survived to serve up some of the best Italian food in the East Village since 1991. March 24 at 7:30 p.m. Three of Cups Lounge, 83 First Avenue on the corner of East 5 Street.
What does a devout young Baptist do when he finally realizes gay can’t be prayed away? If you’re author Michael Fields, you take it in stride and write a funny, classic coming of age story about your experiences. Fields will read from his new book The Thousand-Petaled Lotus, a memoir about growing up in Nashville, Tennessee, “the buckle of the Bible belt,” as told from a decidedly un-classic point of view. March 25 at 7 p.m. The LGBT Community Center, 208 West 13th Street.
If you haven’t checked out the work of Nic Brown, who Jonathan Ames (Bored to Death) called “the most talented new writer I’ve come across,” now’s your opportunity to get acquainted when he reads from his newest novel In Every Way. Be sure to bring the tissues and brace yourself for a tearjerker; Brown summons “the brief, intimate moments — the single word shared between two characters, the simple gesture that quietly reveals hope,” said The New York Times Book Review of his previous novel Floodmakers. His new novel is about a 19-year-old who gave a child up for adoption and, unbeknownst to the family, secretly ingratiates herself into the lives of her child’s adoptive parents by becoming their nanny. March 25 at 7 p.m. KGB Bar, 85 East 4th Street.
Join Joseph Keckler as he merges mischief, music and mind-bending stories at Spectrum. Keckler, named Best Downtown Performance Artist of 2013 by the Village Voice, is a master storyteller with a riotous wit and a three-octave range that allows him to belt out operas and ballads—“when he performs a cover of ‘I Put a Spell on You,’ he literally does,” said the Voice. Topics of his previous performances have included shroom trips gone wrong and a list of “good names” for cats that included Ambassador Baby, Velvet Elvis, and Bucket of Cuddle, so be ready to embrace the gloriously weird. March 26 at 7:30 p.m. Spectrum, 121 Ludlow Street.
Four U.S. veterans will get together at Pete’s Candy Store to speak candidly about their very different experiences. Teresa Fazio served for four years, deploying once to Iraq, and is a frequent contributor to the New York Times’ “At War” column. Peter Molin served overseas in Korea and Afghanistan, currently teaches at Rutgers University, and blogs at Time Now. Brandon Willitts is the executive director and co-founder of Words After War, a literary organization based in New York City that brings veterans and civilians together to examine war and conflict through literature, and Paul Wolfe spent six years serving worldwide in the U.S. Army; his works of published fiction include the poem “Little ‘Black’ Box.” March 26 at 7:30 p.m. Pete’s Candy Store, 709 Lorimer Street.
If the epic movie Boyhood captured your imagination, be sure to join acclaimed memoirists John C. Hampsey and Richard Hoffman for readings from their new works and a discussion about the intensities, mysteries and precarities of boyhood in tumultuous times. Hampsey’s tale of 1960’s Pittsburg Kaufman’s Hill, which Tim O’Brien (The Things They Carried) called “touching, sensitive, and spellbinding,” will be juxtaposed against Hoffman’s Love & Fury, polemical memoir about the ways in which class and education impact family relationships. Cary Barbor, host of the literary podcast “Books & Authors,” will facilitate the discussion. March 29 at 6 p.m. McNally Jackson Bookstore, 52 Prince Street.