Who ever said that writing, at its best, is a lonely life? We’ve got your weekly round-up of bibliovents that prove once in a while writers do actually jerk themselves away from their laptops to good effect. On the books this week are a wide variety of events, from a reading where you can get tattooed while soaking up some Alt-Lit vibes, to a panel discussion of the King of Pop led by his brave biographer.

Thursday, June 12

“Behind the Book” Series
Patricia Engel, Porochista Khakpour, Brando Skyhorse, and Miranda Beverly-Whittemore will be discussing their new books. The Last Illusion, Khakpour’s second novel, a Bildungsroman about an abandoned Iranian child, Zal, who comes to New York after being adopted, has gotten some positive attention. And Brando Skyhorse is bound to have some awesome stories to share from his memoir about growing up with a very eccentric mother. KGB Bar, East Village. 7-9 pm. Free.


“Michael Jackson: King of Rock, Pop, Soul– and Hip Hop?”

Initially I was convinced those posters in the subway hailing the release of Michael Jackson’s new album were a sign that, instead of stepping out onto Nostrand Avenue, I’d fallen into some terrible wormhole that transports its unwitting passengers to a pre-2009 world before 3D printed guns and tank-bred tuna. But apparently, not only has (zombie?) Michael Jackson posthumously issued a new album, he’s still relevant. Make your way south to Fulton Street for a panel discussion on the King of Pop’s enduring influence in hip-hop featuring Zack O’Malley, the author of Michael Jackson, Inc., Fab 5 Freddy (hip-hop artist, downtown legend, and the original host of Yo! MTV Raps), and DJ Clark Kent (hip-hop producer behind tons of hits by artists from Mariah Carey to Slick Rick and Biggie). Greenlight Bookstore, 7:30 pm. Free.
Friday, June 13th

“Friday the 13th Brings All the Black Clouds”

Wowowow this one should be moody. Whether you’re a devoted reader of Alt Lit Gossip or you attribute the indiscernibility of Interweb culture to the recent realization that you’re old and are not cool, and quite possibly never were cool, you should really think seriously about showing up for this reading. Mellow Pages hosts this reading featuring Mike “Fuck Novelists” Bushnell and Sarah Jean Alexander, both featured in Coping Mechanisms’ 40 Likely to Die Before 40. Carabella Sands and Juliet Escoria (who recently released her story collection, Black Cloud) will also be reading. Mellow Pages, 7:30 pm. $2 donation goes toward keeping the library running smoothly.

Sunday, June 15

Selfie, photo: Maureen Miller.

Selfie, photo: Maureen Miller.



What happens when a physician combines rap, poetry, and solo-performance art? Uh, we have no idea. But Maureen Miller is apparently extremely talented– not only is she a doctor, and an author who has lectured at Harvard, but she also founded the site RapGenius– so this performance is bound to be stimulating if nothing else. RSVP to this event hosted by the Bowery Poetry Club. 308 Bowery, 3:30 pm. Free.

Monday, June 16

Maya Lang + David Gilbert
Celebrate Bloomsday with authors David Gilbert (& Sons) and Megan Lang, whose novel The 16th of June is named after the day Ulysses takes place. June also marks the 100th anniversary of the publication of Joyce’s The Dead, so this event might be extra scatological. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. There will be drinks, but you have to buy a copy of Lang’s book to get in the door. The Strand, 7-8pm. $14.99.

Friday, June 20
Bushwick Art Book and Zine Fair
BABZ 2014 will feature three whole days of celebration devoted to Bushwick’s zines and local publishing culture. There will be music and poetry readings as well. Fill up on BBQ and PBR too! Signal Gallery. Friday June, 20th 7-10 pm, and 2-7pm on Saturday, June 21st and Sunday June, 22nd. Opening Reception is Friday night. Free.

Correction: The original version of this post was revised because it misidentified “Black Cloud” as a novel rather than a story collection and said a tattoo artist would be on hand at that event (turns out that was a joke).