Don’t miss the first slam of Urbana’s last quarter — get your points now if you want to be on the 2015 slam poetry team, or just sit back and watch the competition and a feature by Zork, eleven-time national slam poet competitor and author of the book I Am NOT a Poet. Urbana, now in its 14th year, describes itself as “an eccentric and quirky” competition welcoming of all poetic voices, so don’t be scared to give it a try.
Tuesday, March 17, 7pm, Sidewalk Café, 94 Avenue A, East Village
This week’s edition of McNally Jackson’s Poetry Society Readings features Cathy Linh Che and James Allen Hall. Che, who lives in Brooklyn, is the author of Split, winner of the Kundiman Poetry Prize; The Los Angeles Review called it “irresistibly beautiful,” with opening lines that are “seductive lures, to whose language we attach ourselves, only to be dragged upstream into a whirlpool of domestic deception and horror.” Hall is the author of Now You’re the Enemy, a nervy collection of poems about a family dealing with the aftermath of violence.
March 18, 7pm, McNally Jackson Bookstore , 52 Prince St., Soho
Come meet some of the authors of NYC publisher Four Way Book Press, which according to an LA Review of Books profile was founded in 1991 by a group of friends from graduate school and has become a thriving small press. It now publishes 13 works of poetry, fiction and novellas every year, like Gregory Pardlo’s Digest, which draws on everything from Epicurus to the Daily News to The Roots to form an intellectual American identity. Pardlo will be joined by Rachel Eliza Griffiths (Lighting the Shadow), Elizabeth T. Gray, Jr. (Series-India), and Daniel J. Wolff (The Names of Birds).
March 18 at WORD Bookstore. (126 Franklin Street, Brooklyn, NY)
Split Personality features Moth host Brad Lawrence and Katey Healy-Wurzburg, host of The Fascinator at UCB East. Comedian and storytelller JiJi Li hosts this night of slam comedy and storytelling. Audience members can put in their name for a chance at five minutes in the spotlight, where they can tell true stories or do sketch characters or impersonations. Better be on top of your game if you toss your name in the ring, though, because you’ll be going up in the same lineup as the special guests.
March 19, 7 pm at Over the Eight, 594 Union Ave, Williamsburg
Geek out at Nerd Nite at Le Poisson Rouge, recommencing the popular event for only the second time in the last six years. You’re guaranteed to feel a little smarter after the three funny-yet-smart presentations on “our useless brains, bizarre magicians who changed the world, and medieval mercenaries ranging from Genoese crossbowmen to Viking bodyguards and Burgundian axe-throwers,” according to Le Poisson Rouge’s website. Come early, form a team with your pals, and play a round of trivia before the show. Be there and be square.
March 20, trivia begins at 7 p.m., presentations begin at 8:20 p.m. at Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker Street, Greenwich Village
No need to slink into the young adult section when you think no one’s looking-at the NYC Teen Author Festival Panel, it’s OK to embrace your inner angst. The discussion includes the authors David Levithan, co-author of Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist, and Cathleen Davitt Bell (I Remember You), Heather Demetrios (I’ll Meet You There), Kevin Emerson (Breakout), Kathryn Holmes (The Distance Between Lost and Found), and others.
Friday, March 20, 7 p.m., at Barnes and Noble, 33 East 17th Street, Union Square