National Poetry Month kicks off April 1st and there are many fantastic events around the city, most with an admission price equivalent to one-quarter the asking price of a one-bedroom rental in Bed Stuy. But, unlike the chances of you getting an above-entry level job with full benefits, free medical and one-month’s vacation with pay, getting a free ticket to see Olympia Dukakis read Cavafy translations is foreseeable.
Here are some of my own recession-friendly (and FREE!) recommendations for this year’s events:
April 3, 2009
The Multifarious Array @Pete’s Candy Store
709 Lorimer Street
7 PM Free to Gen-Pub
Pete’s, part bar/music hall/literary salon, has been around for a while. It’s popular with the ‘Billyburg-hipster set for its cool atmosphere, free Tuesday night Quizz-Off and Scrabble nights. I love Pete’s because it has its own monthly reading series, giving up-and-coming writers and independently published authors a chance to read their works. This month, Pete’s is featuring The Multifarious Array series with readings by Steven Karl, Cindy Savett, Carrie Olivia Adams, & Josh Harmon.
For more info on Multifarious Array’s season at Pete’s, and their featured artists, go to:
April 13, 2009
The Great Hall @ Cooper Union Presents: A reading of completed and unfinished works by Greek Modernist poet Constantine P. Cavafy. Translations by writer-critic Daniel Mendelsohn (The New Yorker). Readings by Mendelsohn, Mark Doty, Maria Tucci, and Olympia Dukakis.
The Great Hall @ Cooper Union
7 East 7th Street @ 3rd Ave
New York, NY
7pm Free to Gen-Pub
I stumbled upon Cavafy’s works one afternoon while looking for a poem to include in a short story. In my opinion, Cavafy’s works are fantastic, focusing on themes such as religion, death, and sexuality. Use your iPhone for more than downloading apps and look up Cavafy’s “The Souls of Aged Men.” Blame it on the cellular waves if this poem doesn’t strike you as absolutely remarkable.
April 30, 2009
The 2nd Annual Poem in Your Pocket Day Anthology Reading @ Strand Bookstore
828 Broadway @ 12th Street
New York, NY
7PM Free to Gen-Pub
Remember crushing on that quiet kid in Bio who talked to his dissected frog specimen? Every afternoon, you’d leave little haikus written on colorful paper and sprayed with your grandmother’s Charlie perfume in the pocket of his wind breaker, until he freaked out and transferred to another school. The last you heard, he had a nervous breakdown and thought the government was reading his mail.
Well, this is way less disturbing!
Strand Bookstore, known for its collection of books that would make an obsessive hoarder pee their pants-pants-pants, is celebrating its second year with the release of their anthology of the same name. Featured readers include, Elizabeth Arnold, Meghan O’Rourke, Anne Winters, and others. There will also be an interactive activity where guests will be welcomed to swap their own favorite poems. So, come by, meet some great people, and pretend you’ve read that new Jonathan Ames book as you scope out all of the hot beardsters. Who knows, maybe you’ll run into that dude from grade school.
Seriously, though, you should contact him at some point. He really needs some closure.