Do you wear thick-rimmed glasses? Have you been counting down the days to cardigan weather? When you hear the last name Swift, do you think Jonathan instead of Taylor? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be literary!
There’s no quantitative way to measure how literary you are – if you’ve seen Midnight in Paris, you’ll know that someone else always fancies himself more of a Hemingway than you. But if you count yourself among the wordsmiths of NYU, then you should make sure not to miss these autumn events.
What do you think is the most important cultural phenomenon to emerge from Greenwich Village? Is it Murray’s Cheese? The Christopher Street Docks? The Timekeeper? No, silly, it’s the Beats! Not those Dr. Dré headphones, but the artists from the 50’s who were largely centered in the Village. Allen Ginsberg was one of them. Some call him “The King of the Beats.” You may know him from his poem Howl – or from the his biopic starring NYU-student James Franco, also called Howl.
Ginsberg is long dead, but on Friday, September 21 you’ll have the opportunity to meet some of his friends at a party celebrating the release of a CD containing Ginsberg’s recorded poetry! The event, taking place at the Rubin Museum of Art (No affiliation with the dorm) is totally free and will feature readings from important poets like Eileen Myles, Alex Dmitrov and Anne Waldman. You can RSVP for the event on Facebook. And if you don’t like Ginsberg’s poetry? Then you can Beat it!
Brooklyn Book Festival
Brooklyn is the most literary borough. New York Magazine once asked Do All Writers Live in Brooklyn? (The answer is yes.) 63-year-old novelist Martin Amis moved all the way from England to live there, where he joined the ranks of Jonathan Safran Foer, Truman Capote and Norman Mailer — all authors, all Brooklynites!
On Sunday, September 23rd, Brooklyn will embrace its literary heritage at the Brooklyn Book Festival. Authors from the borough and beyond will come to talk one thing: Books! Proven greats like Paul Auster and Joyce Carol Oates will be joined by relative literary newcomers like Sheila Heti and Amelia Gray. Also, there is an event on the main stage called “Tony Danza in Conversation with Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.” Yes, that Tony Danza (don’t ask us). Indeed, on September 23rd you may as well rename Brooklyn: Book-lyn.
Zadie Smith is a successful writer. She has written a popular novel called White Teeth, and published a new novel this year, NW. This you probably knew. But did you know that Smith, like her fellow Londoner Martin Amis, has relocated to literary Brooklyn? And did you know that she is a tenured faculty member at NYU’s creative writing program? (A position she may have taken, according to n+1, “for the health insurance” – stay well, Zadie!)
If you did not know that Mrs. Smith was a professor at this very university, then fear not! Your opportunity to hear the new Brooklynite read from her new novel is on Thursday, September 27! A part of the Creative Writing Program’s reading series, Mrs. Smith’s event will take place not at the usual (and lovely) Lillian Vernon Creative Writer’s house, but at the Kimmel Center’s Eisner and Lubin auditorium. All of the information can be found here.
Did we mention that Brooklyn is literary? The borough is overflowing with books – so much so that this year’s book festival could not be contained in one day. Thus, Bookends: A six day celebration surrounding the festival, from September 17-23. The series of panels and parties will kick off with a party sponsored by Tumblr, whose shindigs we’ve been fans of in the past. Panels for the festival should be fun, with titles ranging from “Who Gives a Sh*t About Literary Magazines?” to “¡The Punctuation Show! (How to Use Tiny Symbols to Make Meaning Without %$^&#* Up).”
n+1 Editors at Mcnally Jackson
If smaller, intimate events are more your size (and seeing as you are so literary, they just might be), you’ll look forward to joining the editors of venerable Brooklyn lit journal n+1 in the basement of Mcnally Jackson book sellers, in SoHo on Thursday, September 20. Marco Roth will discuss his new memoir, The Scientists, with fellow editor Keith Gessen. While Bookends (see above) will be in full swing over in Brooklyn, this conversation provides a rare treat for us Manhattan-bound book lovers. Find all info here.