readings and talks

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Debt Jam: Student Debt Poetry Reading

If you’d rather rhyme about your money troubles than debate possible policy fixes for them, allow me to suggest Mellow Pages’ Debt Jam: a night of poetry and banjo to celebrate the recent announcement from Rolling Jubilee that they have purchased and abolished a portfolio of student debt. Brought to you by Strike Debt, the reading is designed to help young, immiserated (but educated!) persons to “speak out, rock out, and create beauty out of the wreckage debt has created in our lives.” Sounds like a jam to me.

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Fiction Forum: Elizabeth Gaffney and René Steinke

Gaffney is the author of When the World Was Young and Metropolis, while Steinke has penned Friendswood, The Fires, and Holy Skirts. The latter’s articles have appeared in the likes of The New York Times, Vogue, O: the Oprah Magazine, and Bookforum, while the former is currently editor at large of literary rag A Public Space. Join the authors for a forum moderated by School of Writing director Luis Jaramillo.

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Readings and Talks: Sex, Celebs, Centimeters, and the Southside

Things are getting hot and heavy at this week’s upcoming readings and talks, with historical badass battles, fictional prostitutes, sexy sex-ed films, and a look at why America insists on measuring stuff the way it does. Gallons of fun, ahoy.

Saturday, August 9

ladies copyLadies of the Night reading with Maggie McNeill
Maggie McNeill’s biography reads like the worst nightmare of every English major’s mother and/or the wet dream of every horny undergraduate male: a BA in literature, then a Masters of Library and Information Science and a brief stint as a suburban librarian, before economic imperatives compelled her to find work as a stripper, then a call girl, then a madam. This decade-long sex work stint ends happily (mothers, cue a sigh of relief) in the fairy-tale manner. Madam marries favorite client, moves to ranch, and is able at long last to combine both of her interests: writing and prostitution.
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Spymaster Secrets, Library Porn, and <em>Broad City</em>-Style Comedy

This week’s talks and readings: some heavy stuff, ending in laughs.

Wednesday, July 30

The Gatekeepers Screening
When The Gatekeepers was first released in 2012, NY Times film critic A.O. Scott recognized the Israeli documentary’s import. “It is hard,” he wrote, “to imagine a movie about the Middle East that could be more timely, more painfully urgent, more challenging to conventional wisdom on all sides of the conflict.” Several years later, as the war in Gaza stretches into its third week with no signs of abating, that urgency has if anything only become more pronounced. Keep Reading »

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A Zine Fest, a Torture Talk, and Mommy’s Dating Life in Graphic Novel Form

From zines to graphic novels, poetry to ethical treatises on torture, this week’s talks and readings have you covered.

Friday, July 25

pete copyPete’s Mini Zine Fest 2014
If you love zines and alcoholic beverages and eclectic chit-chat, then this is the event for you. This weekend, Pete’s Candy Store will yet again be hosting “the longest running zine fest in Brooklyn.” On Friday, the Fest kicks off with a reading to celebrate the latest issue of We’ll Never Have Paris, a zine of nonfiction memoir that’s been around since 2007. Curator and editor Andria Alefhi will be reading from the issue, as will other contributors. The festival proper will be held on Saturday, bringing together an array of zinesters, comic artists, publishers, and “amazing delicious snacks.”
7-8:30pm (also Saturday, 2pm-7pm), Pete’s Candy Store (709 Lorimer St, Brooklyn), FREE. 

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Readings and Talks: Post-Apocalyptic Pregnancy, Kafkaesque Erotica, and More

Wise-up about the underlying structures of the Israel-Palestine conflict, lust in the style of Kafka, and hear about California’s (fictional) dystopian future at this week’s worthy readings and talks. 

Friday, July 18

An Evening with Nir Evron
As the Israel-Palestine conflict is once again splashed across the international press, there’s never been a better time to become familiar with the work of Nir Evron. The Israeli filmmaker has long been fascinated with the physical architecture of the conflict, and this latest work—Endurance—is the third in his “Architectural Trilogy.” Keep Reading »

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Abdi Nazemian and The Walk-in Closet

As a gay American-Iranian, Abdi Nazemian couldn’t escape the feeling that his viewpoint was not one oft-represented in popular culture. His debut novel,The Walk-In Closet, seeks to rectify that—using a straight white female main-character called Kara Walker as an entry point into the lives of the Iranian-American elite. The book traces the close friendship between Kara and Bobby Ebadi—a gay man whose Iranian-American family welcome Kara to the intoxicating fold as Bobby’s girlfriend. Sooner or later, the truth must emerge—with raucous results. Abdi will be in conversation withStacey Vanek Smith, a senior reporter at Marketplace.

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Sugar Slaves, Suicidal Starlets, and Space-Age Pleasure Parks

It’s almost time for pig roasts and kiddie pools, but that’s no reason to lose your intellectual edge entirely. Here’s our weekly rundown of readings and talks.

Sunday, July 6

(Photo: Kirsten O'Regan)

(Photo: Kirsten O’Regan)

Sweet Work: Shorts of Labor at the Domino Brooklyn Refinery
If you’ve stopped by the Domino sugar refinery in the past couple weeks, Kara Walker’s magnificent installation may have given you food for thought regarding the building’s sordid past. And if that hasn’t totally killed your sweet tooth, Union Docs is here to help—with “a program of mostly unseen work that examines the effect the refinery had on the surrounding neighborhood as well as addressing broader themes of sweetness and power.” There will be a post-screening discussion with the filmmakers, moderated by Filip Noterdaeme, contributor to the Huffington Post and founder of The Homeless Museum of Art.
7:30pm, Union Docs (322 Union Ave, Brooklyn). $9.
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