Franklin Park Reading Series

ON MONDAY, AUGUST 10, at 8pm, we’ll be celebrating our Summer Finale with a multigenre event starring Joshua Mohr (All This Life), Alexandra Kleeman (You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine), Sara Novic (Girl at War), John Dermot Woods (The Baltimore Atrocities), Sean H. Doyle (This Must Be the Place), and Tracy O’Neill (The Hopeful). Admission is FREE, beers $4, and we’ll have a raffle for the authors’ books! Please see our Facebook event page for more details..

We threw a double launch party on July 13 for two of the summer’s hottest paperbacks — Will Chancellor’s novel A BRAVE MAN SEVEN STOREYS TALL and Megan Mayhew Bergman’s story collection ALMOST FAMOUS WOMEN — with special guests Karolina Waclawiak, J. Robert Lennon, and Mira Jacob.

On June 8 we kicked off our summer season with a blockbuster reading featuring fiction and poetry from a wide range of authors: novelists Marlon James, Shya Scanlon, and Mary-Beth Hughes, poets Adam Fitzgerald and Angel Nafis, and short fiction writer Jai Chakrabarti. Acclaimed Brooklyn journal A Public Space, publisher of three of the authors, was a co-sponsor.

On May 18, we partnered with our friends at Electric Literature, showcasing four outstanding contributors to their acclaimed online fiction magazine Recommended Reading: Jim Shepard (The Book of Aron, You Think That’s Bad), Diane Cook (Man V. Nature), Sharma Shields (The Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac), and Anu Jindal (Joyland, The New Quarterly).

We launched our seventh season on April 13 with a mix of fresh fiction, memoir, and poetry from an all-star lineup: Colson Whitehead (The Noble Hustle, Zone One), Amelia Gray (Gutshot, Threats), Wendy C. Ortiz (Hollywood Notebook, Excavation), Natalie Eilbert (Swan Feast), and Tobias Carroll (Joyland, Tin House). There’s an excellent photo recap at the English Kills Review.

On March 9, we celebrated our sixth anniversary with notable debut and established authors — Lev Grossman (The Magicians Trilogy), James Hannaham (Delicious Foods, God Says No), Matt Sumell (Making Nice), Sarah Gerard (Binary Star), Jim Ruland (Forest of Fortune), and Michele Filgate (The Rumpus, Salon).

Novels were the focus at our February 9 reading, and we were honored to present Booker Prize winner Peter Carey (Amnesia, Parrot and Olivier in America), widely hailed debut novelists Laura van den Berg (Find Me), Atticus Lish (Preparation for the Next Life), and Mark Doten (The Infernal), and rising fiction star Kashana Cauley (Esquire, Tin House).

On January 12 we celebrated contemporary short stories at our Sixth Annual Short Fiction Night with 2014 National Book Award winner Phil Klay (Redeployment), Sunday Salon co-host Sara Lippmann (Doll Palace), award-winning debut author Kevin Fortuna (The Dunning Man), poetry and prose star Morgan Parker (Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night, There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce), and Electric Literature contributor Malerie Willens.

At our season finale on December 8, we showcased some of 2014’s most exciting authors and literary figures: New Yorker “20 under 40″ fiction writer Rivka Galchen (American Innovations, Atmospheric Disturbances), Best American Short Stories star and novelist Jess Row (Your Face in Mine), novelist/ringShout co-founder Bridgett M. Davis (Into the Go-Slow), and novelist/literary salonist Vica Miller (Inga’s Zigzags). BuzzFeed Books editor Isaac Fitzgerald shared his powerful essay from the bestselling anthology Never Can Say Goodbye.

At our November 10 “The Places You’ll Go” event, we featured location-themed readings from fierce authors Lindsay Hunter (Ugly Girls, Don’t Kiss Me), Shelly Oria (New York 1, Tel Aviv 0), and Mark Chiusano (Marine Park) and fearless poet Gabby Bess (Alone with Other People).

On October 13 we cohosted the launch party for Blake Butler’s groundbreaking novel THREE HUNDRED MILLION with his publisher, Harper Perennial. The celebration included readings by special guests Catherine Lacey (Nobody Is Ever Missing), Jac Jemc (A Different Bed Every Time), and Dylan Landis (Rainey Royal). Check out Brooklyn Magazine’s fab recap here.

We cohosted a Brooklyn Book Festival event on September 16 with the lit organization ringShout, featuring poet Saeed Jones (Prelude to Bruise) and authors Elizabeth Nunez (Not for Everyday Use), Bridget M. Davis (Into the Go-Slow), and Lauren Francis-Sharma (‘Til The Well Runs Dry).

On September 8, we kicked off our fall season with fresh fiction from a mix of established and fast-rising stars: Justin Taylor (Flings, The Gospel of Anarchy, Everything Here Is the Best Thing Ever), Marie-Helene Bertino (2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas, Safe as Houses), Scott Cheshire (High as the Horses’ Bridles), Dolan Morgan (That’s When the Knives Come Down), and Jennifer Marie Brissett (Elysium).

On August 11, we celebrated indie lit with five influential small press authors from across the country: Paula Bomer (Inside Madeleine, Nine Months), Michael Kimball (Galaga, Big Ray), Jamie Iredell (I Was a Fat Drunk Catholic School Insomniac), Brian Allen Carr (The Last Horror Novel in the History of the World), and Andrew Duncan Worthington (Walls). Check out the English Kills Review’s excellent photo recap here.

July 14 was our annual “Travels and Journeys” reading. Emma Straub (The Vacationers), Tiphanie Yanique (Land of Love and Drowning), Courtney Maum (I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You), Boris Fishman (A Replacement Life), and Aaron Burch (Backswing) shared uproarious tales of misadventures in exotic locales.

June 9 was our Summer Blockbuster Reading, featuring six of the season’s hottest authors: Shane Jones (Crystal Eaters), Porochista Khakpour (The Last Illusion), Amy Sohn (The Actress), Julia Fierro (Cutting Teeth), Juliet Escoria (Black Cloud), and Edward Kearns (The Buzzard’s Banquet)! Time Out NY was on the scene, interviewing Shane Jones about his new novel Crystal Eaters.

On May 12, we hosted the legendary essayist and fiction author LYNNE TILLMAN (What Would Lynne Tillman Do, Someday This Will Be Funny), JEFF JACKSON (Mira Corpora), TOVA MIRVIS (Visible City, The Ladies Auxiliary), BRENDAN KIELY (The Gospel of Winter), and WAH-MING CHANG (Mississippi Review, Open City).

On April 7, we were thrilled to present fearless and innovative authors KIESE LAYMON (Long Division, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America), JAMI ATTENBERG (The Middlesteins, The Kept Man), D. FOY (Made to Break), ANNE MARIE WIRTH CAUCHON (Nothing), and SASHA FLETCHER (Dear Gloria, When All Our Days are Numbered).

In a special event on March 24, we launched THE MARRIAGE ACT, the thought-provoking, sharply funny memoir by Liza Monroy, a fave alum who appeared at our inaugural event in March 2009. She was joined in the all nonfiction lineup by Jennifer Percy (Demon Camp), Kenan Trebincevic and Susan Shapiro (The Bosnia List), and Melynda Fuller (Bust, bookslut.com).

We celebrated our Fifth Anniversary on March 10 with a multigenre event featuring star alums Dani Shapiro (Still Writing, Devotion), Adam Wilson (What’s Important Is Feeling, Flatscreen), and Leah Umansky (Don Dreams and I Dream, Domestic Uncertainties), along with special guests Kyle Minor (Praying Drunk) and Tom Williams (Don’t Start Me Talkin’).

“Love & Madness” were in the air at our February 10 pre-Valentine’s Day reading, featuring jazz critic and Charlie Parker biographer Stanley Crouch (Kansas City Lightning), novelists Jennifer Gilmore (The Mothers), Mitchell S. Jackson (The Residue Years), and Joseph Riippi (Because, The Orange Suitcase), and short fiction writer Molly Tolsky (The Collagist, Lumina). We were honored to host the official launch of Joseph Riippi’s Civil Coping Mechanisms novel BECAUSE.

Our fifth annual Short Fiction Night on January 13 featured master storyteller Ben Marcus (Leaving the Sea), acclaimed debut author Chinelo Okparanta (Happiness, Like Water), FC2 Sukenick Prize for Innovative Fiction winner Luke B. Goebel (Fourteen Stories| None of Them Are Yours), Gigantic magazine cofounder Ann DeWitt (NOON), and rising star Ryan Chang (Vol. 1 Brooklyn). Check out Kate Gavino’s excellent sketches of the event at her blog Last Night’s Reading!

On December 9 we closed 2013 with a bang at our year-end bash featuring Okey Ndibe (Foreign Gods, Inc.), Heiko Julien (I Am Ready to Die a Violent Death), Sean Doyle (The Day Walt Disney Died), and Lauren Belski (Whatever Used to Grow Around Here). Big thanks to Sola Osofisan of africanwriter.com for this incisive recap.

We were honored to be named NYC’s best reading series this year by Time Out NY and the Village Voice!!!

On November 11, at our Transgression reading, taboo-breaking authors Scott McClanahan (Hill William, Crapalachia), Lindsay Hunter (Don’t Kiss Me, Daddy’s), Adelle Waldman (The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.), Grazyna Plebanek (Illegal Liaisons), and James Yeh (Gigantic Magazine) had us laughing and cringing at their iniquitous and salacious tales.

October 14 was our Powerhouse Women night, featuring fierce female writers Susan Steinberg (Spectacle, Hydroplane), Laura van den Berg (The Isle of Youth), Vanessa Veselka (Zazen), Karolina Waclawiak (How to Get Into the Twin Palms), and T Kira Madden (The Kenyon Review).

We co-hosted a Bookend Event for the Brooklyn Book Festival with ringShout, the Brooklyn-based literary organization which celebrates work by African American authors.  Featured readers were Kiese Laymon (Long Division),  Sheri Booker (Nine Years Under), and Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah (The Paris Review). Check out Rob Field’s fantastic pics!

On August 12, the Franklin Park Reading Series hosted short fiction icon AMY HEMPEL for an epic reading! For the lowdown, check out Henry Stewart’s recap at The L Magazine.

Learn more about the reading series here.

Follow the reading series on Facebook ,  Tumblr , and Instagram and curator Penina Roth on Twitter. Email us at franklinparkreadingseries at gmail dot com.

Cover photo courtesy of The Short Form.

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