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. 

Sunday, July 27

tort copyWhy Torture (Still) Matters—and What We Can Do About It, with Rebecca Gordon
Even if you don’t need convincing that torture still matters, you’ll be smarter if you go listen to Rebecca Gordon explain why that’s the case. In her new book Mainstreaming Torture: Ethical Approaches in the Post-9/11 United States, the ethicist, activist for justice, and all-round badass (she lived in Nicaraguan war zones for six months and survived, people), wrestles with the question of whether use of torture is ever morally permissible. Despite the changing tide of opinion post-9/11, Gordon staunchly responds in the negative. Her work illuminates the ways in which sanctioning torture undermines and deforms the ethical basis and cardinal virtues of the American state. The author’s appearance at Bluestockings is co-sponsored by Amnesty International USA.
7pm, Bluestockings (172 Allen St), FREE

Monday, July 28

chin copyValerie Wetlaufer & Wendy Chin-Tanner
Iowa-born Valerie Wetlaufer is a poetry editor of Quarterly West, and editor of Adrienne, a quarterly journal of lesbian poetry. Her debut poetry collection, Mysterious Acts by My People, is said to contain a “fearless exploration of love, grief, violence, and humor.” You can read two of her poems over at Word Riot. Joining her will be Wendy Chin-Tanner, a Portland-based poet and editor whose debut collection Turn was also published earlier this year. According to fellow poet Nancy White, “If truth is beauty, this book shows the glory of the human landscape at its most frightening and radiant.” Read one of Chin-Tanner’s feats of word-smithery here.
7pm-9pm, KGB Bar (85 East 4th Street), FREE

Monday is a poetic sort of day, kids. Over at Mellow Pages, a slew of canny word-artists will be coming together for a literary recite-athon. The reading lineup includes Cecily Iddings, Joshua Marie Wilkinson, Amy Lawless, John Beer, and Zachary Schomburg. That’s a serious collection of poets there, folks—one of these writers alone would be enough to draw a loyal following. Take Lawless, for example, of whose My Dead, the good people at The Literary Review said, “Here is a poetry that, in speaking to the dead and in speaking about death, urges us to go on living.” Meanwhile, Schomburg’s absurdist humor prompted the Believer to note, “[the poet] is something like the creepy kid at the back of the bus, if the creepy kid at the back of the bus stopped you one day and silently handed you a small bird that sang to you, or a paper flower whose perfume was exactly, unobtrusively, that of your long-dead but oft-remembered grandmother.” What could be better?
7:30pm, Mellow Pages Library (56 Bogart St, #1S, Bushwick), FREE

Tuesday, July 29th

grab copyAnya Ulinich and Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel
According to the LA Times, in penning Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel, Anya Ulinich has conjured into being an entirely new literary form. We don’t know about that—what we do know is that the book has been billed as a “darkly comic graphic novel,” about the online dating misadventures of a Park Slope single mom/Russian émigré. And that sounds interesting enough for us.
7pm, WORD Brooklyn (126 Franklin St), FREE

lewis copyAndrew Lewis Conn + Ed Park, on O, Africa
Andrew Lewis Conn’s latest novel is set in the 1920s, as the curtain drops on the era of silent film. This bodes ill for the Grand brothers, Micah and Izzy, who have made their livelihood in the pre-talkies world. With the future uncertain, their producer sends them on a quest to gather footage in the jungles of central Africa. The Grand’s subsequent adventures become a means of self-discovery. According to Gary Shteyngart, O, Africa is a “strange, cool, hilarious and oddly moving masterpiece.” Meanwhile, Kirkus bills it as “a wildly ambitious and entertaining novel that manages to be both slapstick and deeply tragic.” Conn will be in discussion with Ed Park, author of Personal Days.
7-8pm, Strand Book Store (828 Broadway), Buy a copy of O, Africa or a $15 Strand gift card at the main floor registers or at the door in order to attend this event.