Monday, March 23, 7:30pm, Gowanus: NPR and WNYC’s Ask Me Another blends brainteasers and local pub trivia night with comedy and music with guest, indie-pop singer-songwriter, Ingrid Michaelson. ($20 adv/$25 doors, The Bell House, 149 7th St, between 2nd and 3rd)
Friday, March 6, 7:00pm, Cobble Hill: The 2015 Whiting Award Winners Reading. Winners will be announced on Thursday, March 5. (No cover, Book Court, 163 Court Street, Court between Pacific and Dean streets)
Saturday, March 7, 7:00pm, Cobble Hill: The Brooklyn Writers Space Reading Series with authors David Grand, Jane Rose Porter, Terence Degnan and Amy Sohn. (No cover, Book Court, 163 Court Street, Court between Pacific and Dean streets)
Sunday, March 8, 7:00pm, Cobble Hill: Canarium Poetry Reading with authors Michael Morse, Tod Marshall and Emily Wilson. (No cover, Book Court, 163 Court Street, Court between Pacific and Dean streets)
Sunday, March 8, 8:00pm, Williamsburg: Red Baraat celebrating Holi. ($15 in advance, Brooklyn Bowl, 61 Wythe Ave, between N 11th and N 12th)
Monday, March 9: 8:00pm, Cobble Hill: Brooklyn Poets Yawp. The Yawp is an open mic where you can hear a range of new pieces and works in progress. They offer a poetry workshop at 7pm, just before the open mic at 8. ($5, 61 Local, 61 Bergen St, Bergen and Smith)
Wednesday, February 25, 7:00pm, Cobble Hill: “You go to bathroom in a bucket, you’re heating frozen meals over a tiny little Coleman camp stove in an igloo or a small tent, but there is WiFi all over the continent.”Jynne Martin spent six weeks living in Antarctica and many of her poems in her debut collection, We Mammals in Hospitable Times, were written while there. Listen to an interview NPR conducted with her last month or listen to her read at Book Court on Wednesday. (No cover, Book Court, 163 Court Street, Court between Pacific and Dean streets)
Wednesday, February 25 through Saturday, February 28, Chelsea: As an update to last week’s rundown, additional tickets have been released for Sheila Heti’s play, All Our Happy Days Are Stupid. For excerpts of Sheila’s work, read this from her book, How Should a Person Be?, or this from her anthology, Should I Go to Grad School? ($25, The Kitchen, 512 W 19th St, 19th between 10th and 11th)
Thursday, February 26, 9:00pm, Williamsburg: Abby Payne Single Release Show with Pete Francis of Dispatch. I heard the single, “You More,” written for her wedding, at The Round Table last week and it’s stunning. (No cover, The Living Room, 134 Metropolitan Ave, Metropolitan between Berry and Wythe)
Friday, February 27, 8:15pm, Lower East Side: In 2012, I heard alt-country musician Jill Andrews at a house show in DC. She performed songs from her album, The Mirror, released the year before. Her absorbing lyrics and beautiful voice held the room in rapt attention. She is touring with Sean Watkins of Nickel Creek. Watkins also recently recorded a murder ballad, “Banks of the Ohio” with Fiona Apple. ($15 in advance, $20 at the door, Rockwood Stage 2, 196 Allen St, Houston and Allen)
Saturday, February 28, 5:00pm, Lower East Side: Soul, blues, americana duo Pinkwing and folk, pop, rock singer-songwriter Megan Talay played at the December Round Table and are playing back to back again at the early show (No cover, Rockwood Stage 1, 196 Allen St, Houston and Allen)
Thursday, February 19, 9:00pm, Village: The Round Table with Abby Payne and Joelle Lurie. I’m looking forward to reading two poems between the sets of these two talented musicians. (No cover, Caffe Vivaldi, 32 Jones Street, off Bleecker near 7th Ave).
Saturday, February 21, 8:00pm, Gowanus: Among other entertainment, the next installment of Zev Rector’s Everlasting Manual Electric Show will include a poetry reading by Rachel Voss. You can also read Rachel’s work in Borderline Poetry, Hanging Loose Magazine, and Work Magazine. ($30 for a single ticket or purchase in bulk for a discount, RSVP for location contact: firstname.lastname@example.org tel: 321-EXIT-BY-5)
Tuesday, February 24, 7:30pm, Upper West Side: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble is performing sold out shows Thursday through Saturday this week, but you can still see Yo-Yo Ma at Avery Fisher Hall in celebration of the Chinese New Year on Tuesday. Along with being a critically acclaimed cellist, he is an extraordinary arts advocate. In 2013, I attended Yo-Yo’s Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy at the Kennedy Center. During the lecture, entitled Art for Life’s Sake, he talked about the importance of arts integration in education and moving from STEM (science, tech, engineering, math) to STEAM (+ arts) and how his Silk Road Project uses the arts “to help students develop the tools that will make them eager, rather than fearful, to meet the world they don’t know.” ($45.00 – $115.00, 10 Lincoln Center Plaza, corner of Columbus Ave and W 65th St)
Saturday, February 28, 3:00pm, Chelsea: My dear friend, art advisor Heather Flow, introduced me to Sheila Heti’s writing. The seven other performances of her play, All Our Happy Days Are Stupid, are sold out. For excerpts of Sheila’s work, read this from her book, How Should a Person Be?, or this from her anthology, Should I Go to Grad School? ($25, The Kitchen, 512 W 19th St, 19th between 10th and 11th)
Thursday, March 5, 7:00pm, Lower East Side: Jaymay is playing sold out shows Monday, February 23 and Thursday, February 26 at Rockwood, but tickets are still available for her third show on March 5. ($12, Rockwood Stage 3, 196 Allen St, Houston and Allen)
Wednesday, February 11, 7pm, Williamsburg: Poets at the Yard wants to expose exceptional poetry to a broader community. Hosted by Alexandra Mendez-Diez the evening’s poets include: Russell Dillon, Mary Donnelly, Megin Jimenez and Nicholas Adamski. Beer will be sponsored by Brooklyn Brewery. Cheese from Bedford Cheese Shop will be served, paired with wines from Flatiron Wines. (Free, The Yard, 33 Nassau Avenue 2nd Floor, between Dobbin and N 15th)
Thursday, February 12, 7:30pm, Greenpoint: An Art & Poetry Soirée with artist Brooke Borg + poet Ona Abelis. I had the privilege of hearing Brooke and Ona during our reading at Zev Rector’s Everlasting Manual Electric Show a few weeks ago. Whether or not you attend, pick up Ona’s book! RSVP to email@example.com for location info.
Thursday, February 12, 8:00pm, Gowanus: I have been wanting to go to Mortified for a while now. It is a “Comic Excavation of the Strange & Extraordinary Things We Created as Kids.” We all have something(s). This month’s theme, Doomed Love Show. ($15-20,Littlefield, 622 Degraw St, between 3rd and 4th)
Wednesday, February 11, 8pm, Village or Saturday, February 14, 8pm, Gowanus: I saw Erin and Her Cello in December. Their show is playful and entertaining, which is likely why cult web-to-Comedy Central TV series Broad City asked them to play some of their songs live at the UCB Theatre in Chelsea on February 19. Since that show is sold out, there are two other ways to see them: February 11 (Dead Darlings: V Edition, Free Judson Memorial Church, New York University, 55 Washington Square S, Thompson and W 4th) and February 14 (The Rejection Show, $10-12, Littlefield, 622 Degraw St, between 3rd and 4th).
Through Sunday, March 15, 2pm BAM Harvey Theater: See Nathan Lane and Brian Dennehy in the play The Iceman Cometh. It runs Tuesdays through Saturdays at 7pm and on Sundays at 2pm through Sunday, March 15. Suggesting it now because shows are selling out and better to get tickets now. (Starting at $35, 651 Fulton St, between Rockwell and Ashland)
My immediate reaction to reading that Harper Lee is publishing a follow up to her Pulitzer Prize-winning (1961) novel, To Kill a Mocking Bird, was to attempt to purchase and read it today. According to NPR’s All Things Considered, Go Set a Watchman was written before To Kill a Mockingbird, but takes place 20 years later and tells the story of Scout’s trip home to visit her father, Atticus, in Maycomb, AL. The book will not be out until the summer, however, which gives us several months to debate The Atlantic’s skepticism about Lee’s decision to publish this novel now, at age 88. The magazine references a 2007 stroke that limited her capacities and her historical reasons for and comments about not publishing a second novel. If Lee truly never intended us to read Go Set a Watchman, is it better to rebuff the novel (respecting her preference, but ignoring her work) or to read it, see the development of these characters we know and love, and permanently alter the way we read To Kill a Mockingbird?
Go Set a Watchman will be published on July 14 with a first printing of 2 million copies.
Wednesday, February 4, 7pm, East Village: Liars’ League NYC was just in Time Out magazine’s list best reading series in NYC. Writers submit their stories related to the theme and actors perform selected work. This session’s theme: ENTRANCES & EXITS! A friend of mine submitted his work and had it performed a while ago. Looking forward to seeing this one day. (Free, KGB Bar, 85 East 4th, 4th and 2nd)
Friday, February 6, 7pm, Fort Greene: The Brooklyn Poets Reading Series was also on that Time Out list. Wendy Xu, Jessica Greenbaum, and Tom Sleigh read. (Free, BRIC House, 647 Fulton St, Fulton and Rockwell)
Friday, February 6, 7pm, Cobble Hill: Book Court welcomes the Brooklyn Writers Space for a reading series each month for it’s members to present their work. Mallory Kasdan, Rachel Heiman, Matt Matros, Jamie Berk read. (Free, Book Court, 163 Court St, Court between Pacific and Dean)
Saturday, February 7, 8pm, Beacon Theatre: I’ve been aching to see Jason Isbell live since the first time I saw him at the standing room only Rock and Roll Hotel in NE DC years ago. He is one of my favorite lyricists and his words coupled with his guitar and voice create an intelligently broody experience that is unforgettable. His show in DC tomorrow (Feb 4) is at a very different venue: the Lincoln Theatre – and it’s 1,225 seats are sold out. I think there is one ticket left at the Beacon Theatre (capacity 2,894).
Monday, February 9, 8pm, Cobble Hill: In October, I read poetry and listened to other poets at the Brooklyn Poets Yawp. The Yawp is an open mic where you can hear a range of new pieces and works in progress. It’s also a great way to gauge your work with an audience. They offer a poetry workshop at 7pm, just before the open mic at 8. ($5, 61 Local, 61 Bergen St, Bergen and Smith)