Things you can learn at this weeks stellar readings and talks.
Thursday, August 28
That’s When the Knives Come Down with Dolan Morgan
Greenpointer Dolan Morgan will read on home turf for the Brooklyn launch of his debut collection That’s When the Knives Come Down. A surrealist glance at cities, relationships and lives gone awry, the stories are billed as simultaneously “absurd, harrowing, and inimitable.” According to Catherine Lacey, “Dolan Morgan queers the every day and leaves a sinister domestic scene behind.” He’ll be joined in discussion by B.C. Edwards (The Aversive Clause) and Chelsea Hodson (Pity the Animal).
7pm, WORD Books (126 Franklin St, Greenpoint), FREE, Facebook RSVP here
An Ecclectic Evening of Poetry and Prose
Brooklyn-based writer Matthew Hodges hosts an evening of readings with a crew of exciting new voices. Lauren Keils is a Brooklyn-based poet (and painter and possibly a psychedelic singer and definitely an amateur taxidermist) from Detroit. Zan de Parry, too, hails from Michigan. Elizabeth Mikesch is the owner of Brest Press and the author of Niceties, “a subversive text of lingual dissonance in which vocality precedes sense-making operations.” May-Lan Tan—a young poet whose first book was deemed “an excellent debut about loners and outcasts” by The Guardian—will also be reading, as will Beth Steidle, whose recently published The Static Herd (a starkly lyrical meditation on death) earned praise from Heavy Feather Review.
7:30pm, High Horse Saloon (103 Havemeyer St, between Hope and Grand, Wiliamsburg), FREE
Tuesday, September 2
Maureen Callahan’s Champagne Supernovas! with Susannah Cahalan
If you’re around my age, and were an equally uncool child, the ’90s were an unmitigated fashion disaster: stretchy black bell-bottoms and puffer-jacket vests, and indefensibly ugly platform sneakers (seriously, did you have those in America? Erryone in New Zealand was all about that shit. I blame the Spice Girls). Heck, even Carrie Bradshaw was making some way out weird fashion choices. But Maureen Callahan clearly has a different recollection of the era, and has published a book to prove it. In Champagne Supernovas! she looks at the “exciting fashion trends” of the ’90s (what could this mean? fashion bindis? mood rings?). Callahan focuses her rose-tinted lenses on Kate Moss, Alexander McQueen and Marc Jacobs: leading lights of the star-studded grunge era, when—apparently—the alternative went mainstream. Callahan will be defending her thesis against Susannah Cahalan, author of Brain on Fire.
7-8pm, Strand Book Store (828 Broadway), Buy a copy of Champagne Supernovas or a $15 Strand gift card to attend this event
Wednesday, September 3
Richard Flanagan in Conversation with Patrick McGrath
Richard Flanagan’s latest novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North, is based on the experience of an Australian man in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp on the 1943 Thai-Burma death railway. This sounds fairly grim, and indeed the novel oscillates “between scenes of relentless violence and the desolations of war’s aftermath” while nevertheless (!) offering the possibility of redemption. This magician-worthy feat, courtesy of Flanagan’s literary prowess, has been rewarded with a Booker nomination. The author’s previous works (including Gould’s Book of Fish and The Sound of One Hand Clapping) have also been highly praised. See the man himself in conversation with Patrick McGrath, a writer of “gothic fiction.” Looks to be a cheery evening, then.
7pm, McNally Jackson (52 Prince Street), FREE
Stitched up: The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion with Tansy Hoskins
And if you thought fashion talk might offer some light relief from the horrors of the death railway, think again. Tansy Hoskins’ recently released book Stitched Up: The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion delves into the grimy underbelly of the beauty-obsessed industry, exposing the class division, gender stereotyping and wasteful consumption plaguing the world of fashion. If you own a closet and keep garments in it, it behooves you to take note of this insightful indictment of the distorting priorities of capitalism.
7pm, Bluestockings (172 Allen Street), FREE
The Yale Writers’ Conference is a rigorous program for “the committed writer” held on the Ivy League University’s leafy gothic campus. Sounds somewhat terrifying, if intellectually stimulating. Now, however, you can experience the collective genii of the faculty without the hefty tuition fee. Join Eileen Pollack, Terence Hawkins, Teddy Wayne, and David Gorin for an evening of letters, in the markedly less intimidating environs of the KGB Bar. Creative writing is SO MUCH MORE CREATIVE when there is vodka.
7-9pm, KGB Bar (85 E 4th Street), FREE