Franklin Park Reading Series

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 8PM: We’re kicking off our fall season with fresh fiction from lit stars MANUEL GONZALES (The Regional Office Is Under Attack!, The Miniature Wife), HELEN PHILLIPS (Some Possible Solutions, The Beautiful Bureaucrat), TOBIAS CARROLL (Transitory, Reel), GINA FRANGELLO (Every Kind of Wanting, A Life in Men), and IRINA REYN (The Imperial Wife, What Happened to Anna K.). Free Admission and $4 drafts, plus a free-to-enter raffle for the authors’ books.

SPECIAL EVENT — TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 8PM: We’re teaming up with the Brooklyn Public Library to feature the finalists for BPL’s Brooklyn Eagles Literary Prize, recognizing the fiction and nonfiction books of the past year that best embody the Brooklyn spirit. The prize is awarded by the Brooklyn Eagles, BPL’s fun group of engaged young supporters, and the winners will be announced at the Brooklyn Classic Fall Benefit on October 21. Stay tuned for the announcement of the featured authors 8/29! This is an official 2016 Brooklyn Book Festival event. As with all Franklin Park literary events, admission is free, and there will be a $4 draft drink special.

Learn more about the Franklin Park Reading Series here. Follow us on Facebook ,  Tumblr , and Instagram and curator Penina Roth on Twitter. Email us at franklinparkreadingseries at gmail dot com.

Past Events (for full list, please see our Tumblr):

2016:

In August we hosted boundary-shifting authors who shatter conventional ideas of gender, sexuality, race, and faith: Roxane Gay (Bad Feminist, An Untamed State), Garth Greenwell (What Belongs to You), Dorothea Lasky (Rome, Thunderbird), Jensen Beach (Swallowed by the Cold), and Alex Mar (Witches of America).

At our July event we heard genre-bending fiction from Alejandro Zambra (Multiple Choice, My Documents), Elizabeth Crane (The History of Great Things, We Only Know So Much), Benjamin Hale (The Fat Artist, The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore), Bob Proehl (A Hundred Thousand Worlds), Alice Sola Kim (Lenny, Tin House), and John Domini (Movieola).

We kicked off our summer season in June with the authors of some of the year’s hottest releases: Rob Spillman (All Tomorrow’s Parties), Bernice L. McFadden (The Book of Harlan), Tanwi Nandini Islam (Bright Lines), Dolan Morgan (Insignificana), Gabriel Blackwell (Madeleine E.), and Daniel Saldaña París (Among Strange Victims).

In May we teamed up with Electric Literature to showcase a range of the innovative publisher’s notable contributors: Rick Moody (Hotels of North America, The Ice Storm), Rebecca Schiff (The Bed Moved), Adrian Van Young (Shadows in Summerland), Morgan Parker (Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up at Night), and Sara Majka (Cities I’ve Never Lived In).

At April’s Memoir Night, we featured five outstanding autobiographical writers: Heidi Julavits (The Folded Clock), Mark Leyner (Gone with the Mind), Rob Roberge (Liar), Syreeta McFadden (The Guardian), and Jillian Steinhauer (Hyperallergic).

In March we celebrated a magical seven years with an all-star lit bash featuring Alexander Chee (The Queen of the Night), John Wray (The Lost Time Accidents), Rachel Cantor (Good on Paper), and Cote Smith (Hurt People).

At our February 8 Pre-Valentine’s Day reading, Robert Lopez (Good People), Tony Tulathimutte (Private Citizens), Robin Beth Schaer (Shipbreaking), and Tommy Pico (absentMINDR) shared poetry and prose on the pleasures and hazards of love.

We launched our 2016 season on January 11 with our 7th Annual Short Fiction Night, featuring innovative authors Marie-Helene Bertino (2 AM at the Cat’s Pajamas), Amber Sparks (The Unfinished World), Greg Gerke (My Brooklyn Writer Friend), May-Lan Tan (Things to Make and Break), and Rahawa Haile (Midnight Breakfast).

2015:

At our Year-End Bash on December 14, we celebrated 2015 with prose and poetry from acclaimed authors Chinelo Okparanta, Jamie Iredell, Ryan Britt, Niina Pollari, Annie Liontas, and Rachel Sherman, a deluxe raffle for books and prizes from Crown Heights’s Manhattanville Coffee and Owl & Thistle General Store, and cupcakes.

In November we hosted rad women writers pushing boundaries in lit and the visual arts:  Molly Crabapple (Drawing Blood), Rachel B. Glaser (Paulina & Fran), Noy Holland (Bird), Sanderia Faye (Mourner’s Bench), and KMA Sullivan (Necessary Fire).

Our October event featured fiercely original fiction writers Matt Bell (Scrapper), Lincoln Michel (Upright Beasts), Merritt Tierce (Love Me Back), and Naomi Jackson (The Star Side of Bird Hill), who shared their latest work.

In September we hosted two major lit events: Our annual joint Brooklyn Book Festival Bookend Event with ringShout, featuring notable African-American authors Gregory Pardlo (Digest), James Hannaham (Delicious Foods), and Angela Flournoy (The Turner House), and our monthly series’s Fall Kick Off, starring four of today’s most acclaimed and innovative novelists — Valeria Luiselli, Helen Phillips, T Geronimo Johnson, and Aatish Taseer — and the author of Southern lit travelogue, Margaret Eby.

We celebrated our Summer Finale on August 10 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).

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.

2014:

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!

2013:

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.

Cover photo courtesy of The Short Form.

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