Arts & Culture

6 best reading series in Brooklyn

Love poetry, music, and literature? Love free or inexpensive things to do? Want to meet new friends and/or showcase your work? Well, we’ve rounded up some of the coolest and most fun reading series in Brooklyn. You can meet awesome new friends, get inspired, and not spend a ton of cash. Here’s our list.

1. Cool as F*** Series
Pete’s Candy Store (Williamsburg)

This is a fun, very chill and eclectic reading series. Cool As F*** Series! features writers and musicians on every 4th Tuesday at Pete’s Candy Store. The series is curated by writers Bill Lessard and Mary Boo Anderson with free admission. The event is located in the backroom, which is a retro-inspired space perfect for musical performances.

2. Franklin Park
Franklin Park Bar (Crown Heights)

Franklin Park is a staple in the NYC literary community. Run by literary activist Penina Roth, the series takes place on the second Monday of the month at the Franklin Park bar in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. They host emerging and established fiction writers, memoirists, and poets from NYC and across the world. They showcase a wide range of voices, reflecting the diversity of the Crown Heights community. Readers include Teju Cole, Mary Gaitskill, and more. Books are sold through the Prospect Heights independent bookstore Unnameable Books. Free admission and $5 draftspecial for literary enthusiasts. Enjoy the backyard space in the warm weather.

3. Brooklyn Poets Reading Series & Yawp
61 Local (Cobble Hill)

Brooklyn Poets is the only organization that hosts readings, workshops, and yawps (which are short workshops with a reading afterwards). Curated by poet Jason Koo, BP’s founder and executive director, the readings are free admission. The reading series feature three poets, focusing on those from underrepresented communities. The Yawps, which are separate from the reading series, happen on the second Monday of every month from 7 to 9:30 PM. $10 workshop & open mic / $5 open mic. Brooklyn Poets members get in free. The event starts with a workshop and concludes with an open mic. 61 Local also offers delicious food options and some great wine.

4. Flapperhouse
Pacific Standard (Park Slope)

Flapperhouse, which is a literary magazine run by writer Joseph P. O’Brien and performer and musician Alibi Jones, hosts readings for the release of their magazine issues about every two months. The readings are full of diverse readers and writers, both fiction and poetry, along with a musical and satire performance via the hosts. Each reading has a special theme. The bar itself is a wonderful dive hidden in the neighborhood with a fantastic happy hour.

5. The Poets Settlement
Halyards (Gowanus)

This is a monthly poetry event that happens every second Thursday at 8PM, including a monthly featured poet and an open mic that is free and open to the public. Since its inception, Poets Settlement has fostered an inclusive environment for poets and those drawn to the genre of poetry. By looking outward to the local community of writers, Poets Settlement has established a backdrop for a wide-span of writers to bring their work to an organic and supportive audience. Hosted by writers and performers Shafina Ahmed, Ricardo Thomas Manuel Hernandez, Samantha Vacca, and Terence Degnan, the series celebrates community.

6. Words and Guitars
Pete’s Candy Store (Williamsburg)

Hosted by music journalists Michael Tedder and Zachary Lipez, the series merges together music and writing. The series often features a diverse mix of writers of various backgrounds read work about music or influenced by music in some way. It’s really fun and very low key; it’s also a great way to meet different writers and musicians together in one room. The series is hosted at Pete’s Candy Store and is free to the public. Enjoy the amazing happy hour and backyard in warm weather.


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