June 6: Finn, Leavitt, Karl in Blue Letter Series at Sal’s

This Wednesday, May 6, 8pm at Sal’s Pizzeria & Mama Maria Restaurant, 305 Court Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231, Carina Finn, Gracie Leavitt, and Steven Karl will make the magic happen in the back room restaurant of Sal’s Pizzeria (aka Mamma Maria’s–it’s the door just to the right of Sal’s takeout pizza joint). Click to RSVP on FACEBOOK. Closest subway is F or G train to Carroll Street Station. Sal’s provides budget drink and food. Tip your bartenders!

Carina Finn says, “Say whatever in my bio, but it’d be great if you could include that I have a chapbook called I HEART MARLON BRANDO in a limited screenprint edition from Wheelchair Party Press and MY LIFE IS A MOVIE forthcoming from Birds of Lace and LEMONWORLD & other poems forthcoming from Co.Im.Press.”

Gracie Leavitt’s first book of poems—Monkeys, Minor Planet, Average Star—is forthcoming from Nightboat Books. A chapbook, Gap Gardening, is out this year from These Signals Press. Recently her poetry has appeared in ConjunctionsLana Turner,LITNo, DearThe RecluseSentence, and SET. Transatlantic collaborations can be found in Whiskey & Fox’s series “Parks and Occupation.”

Steven Karl’s chapbooks have been published by Peptic Robot Press, H_NGM_N and Flying Guillotine Press. Most recently, Lame House Press has published his collaborative chapbook with Angela Veronica Wong. In one capacity or another he is affiliated with Coldfront Magazine and Sink Review. Currently he lives in Manhattan but will relocate to Miami in August.


May 2: PETER GIZZI w/Pollari, McClure @ Sal’s

The momentum is building! On Wednesday, May 2, 8pm at Sal’s Pizzeria & Mama Maria Restaurant, 305 Court Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231, Peter Gizzi, Niina Pollari and Monica McClure will read their hearts out. Come one, come all. First-timers, note that the reading takes place in the back room restaurant attached to Sal’s, not in the pizza parlor itself! Tip your bartenders and tipple your drinks. Facebook RSVP.

Educated at New York University, Brown University, and the State University of New York at Buffalo, poet Peter Gizzi is the author of several collections of poetry, including Threshold Songs (2011), The Outernationale (2007), and Artificial Heart (1998). Influenced by Ezra Pound, the Beats, and John Ashbery, Gizzi uses both narrative and lyrical gestures to engage and question distance and light in his search for the unmapped. Reflecting on the question of whether his work is narrative or lyric, Gizzi stated in an interview with Poetry Daily, “I think I am a narrative poet—I’m just narrating my bewilderment as a citizen.” In the same interview he spoke of his desire “to compose just at the boundaries of the known—to find a way to write at the edge of an already impacted history and world which is where we always already are at all times.” Harvard Review critic Tim Peterson, reviewing Some Values of Landscape and Weather (2003), described Gizzi as “engaged in nothing less than a reinvention of the lyric, attempting an updated version that combines depth and urgency with the jaggedness of our schizophrenic contemporary experience.”

He has been poetry editor for The Nation as well as founding co-editor, with Connell McGrath, of o•blék: a journal of language arts. He has also edited The Exact Change Yearbook 1995 (1994) and The House That Jack Built: The Collected Lectures of Jack Spicer (1998), and has co-edited My Vocabulary Did This to Me: The Collected Poetry of Jack Spicer (2008) with Kevin Killian.

Gizzi has won the Peter I.B. Lavan Younger Poet Award from the Academy of American Poets as well as fellowships from the Howard Foundation, the Rex Foundation, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation. He has taught at Brown University, the University of California at Santa Cruz, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Niina Pollari is a writer and translator. She wrote two chapbooks, Fabulous Essential (2009) and Book Four (2011). With Judy Berman, she is editing the essay collection It’s Complicated: Feminists Write about the Misogynist Art We Love.

Monica McClure is originally from the Texas hill country. She is a recent graduate of NYU’s MFA program. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Loaded Bicycle, InDigestThe Adirondack Review, Lambda Literary and others.

Pictures! Last night’s reading with Eileen Myles, Will Edmiston, Laura Solomon, and John Coletti!

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April 4: Myles, Solomon, Coletti & Edmiston

This April 4, The Blue Letter comes on strong with performances from poetry legend Eileen Myles and legends-in-the-making Laura Solomon, John Coletti & Will Edmiston. This FREE event takes place Wednesday, April 4 at 8pm at Sal’s Pizzeria and Mama Maria Restaurant. Sal’s is located at 305 Court Street in Carroll Gardens Brooklyn, and is convenient to the F/G Carroll Street Station. Here is a map. Click here to RSVP on Facebook.

Eileen Myles was born in Cambridge, Mass. in 1949, was educated in catholic schools, graduated from U. Mass. (Boston) in 1971 and moved to New York City in 1974 to be a poet. She quickly became part of the reading, publishing and performance scene in the East Village, editing dodgems in the late 70s and becoming part of the community of St. Mark’s Poetry Project where she studied and was friends with Ted Berrigan, Alice Notley, Paul Violi and Bill Zavatsky. In 1979 she was assistant to poet James Schuyler. She was Artistic Director of the Poetry Project in 1984-86. Myles is a vivid interpreter of her own work and travels widely in the US and Canada and internationally giving readings and performances. She is the author of more than a dozen volumes of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction including Sorry, Tree (Wave Books, 2007), Chelsea GirlsNot MeSkiesThe New Fuck You/adventures in lesbian readingCool for You, and The Importance of Being Iceland: Travel Essays in Art, and Inferno (A Poet’s Novel) published by OR books and winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction. She wrote the libretti for Hell, an opera with music composed by Michael Webster which was performed on both coasts, 2004-2006. In 2007 she received The Warhol/Creative Capital art writers’ grant. In 2010 the Poetry Society of America gave her the Shelley Memorial Award. She contributes to a wide number of publications including ArtForumBookforumParkett, and The Believer. She’s a Prof. Emeritus at UC San Diego where she taught for five years. She lives in New York.

Laura Solomon was born in 1976 in Birmingham, Alabama. Her books include Bivouac (Slope Editions, 2002), Blue and Red Things (UDP, 2007), and The Hermit (UDP, 2011). Other publications include a chapbook, Letters by which Sisters Will Know Brothers(Katalanché Press 2005) and Haiku des Pierres / Haiku of Stones by Jacques Poullaoueq, a translation from the French with Sika Fakambi (Editions Apogée, 2006). Her poetry was recently included in the anthology Poets on Painters (Witchita State Press 2007), has appeared in magazines across North America and Europe and has been translated into ten languages. Most recently she has lived in Paris, Philadelphia, and Verona, Italy.

John Coletti is the author of Mum Halo (Rust Buckle Books 2010), Same Enemy Rainbow (fewer & further 2008), andPhysical Kind (Yo-Yo-Labs 2005). He recently served as editor of The Poetry Project Newsletter and co-edits Open 24 Hours Press with Greg Fuchs.

Will Edmiston is a poet living in Brooklyn.  His writing can be found in The Tiny, the Agriculture ReaderEOAGHThe Boog Reader 4The Bridge and The Recluse.  His chapbook entitled “effie” was published by 3 Sad Tigers Press.  He works in various capacities in an art and design library in Manhattan.  He serves as the volunteer archivist at The Poetry Project.

Mar 7: Queen, Peiffer, Schapira

It just gets better. Wednesday, March 7, at 8pm, come on down to Sal’s Pizzeria and Mama Maria’s Restaurant at 305 Court Street in Brooklyn (convenient to F/G train to Carroll St). Belly up to some crazy affordable chow and booze and three of poetry’s most exciting new talents: Khadijah Queen, Kate Schapira, and Prudence Peiffer. It’s all FREE, it’s all HAPPENING, and it’s all BANGING.

Khadijah Queen is the author of two poetry collections: Conduit (Black Goat/Akashic 2008), and Black Peculiar, which won the 2010 Noemi Book Award for Poetry and was a finalist for the Switchback Books Gatewood Prize.

Individual poems, four times nominated for the Pushcart Prize, appear in jubilat, Fire and Ink: An Anthology of Social Action Writing (University of Arizona Press 2009), Best American Nonrequired Reading (Houghton Mifflin 2010) and A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poems (University of Akron Press 2012) among many other journals and anthologies. View sample poems online at Poets.orgSalt River ReviewMuzzleEsqueThe Black Bottom, and In Posse Review.

The recipient of fellowships from Cave Canem, Squaw Valley Community of Writers and theNorman Mailer Writers’ Colony, she is currently working on an illustrated mixed-genre project. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Antioch University Los Angeles.

Prudence Peiffer is currently an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University, where she specializes in modern and contemporary and American art, with a particular emphasis on abstraction and artist’s writings.  Past poetry honors include the Amy Award (Poets & Writers) and the Frederick M. Clapp Fellowship from Yale University. Her poems have appeared in Many Mountains Moving and Poets & Artists among other magazines. With Oana Marian, she co-founded The Folding Chair, a monthly reading series at 61 Local in Brooklyn featuring writers, musicians and artists. Visit The Folding Chair on Facebook.

Kate Schapira is author of six chapbooks of poetry: Heroes & Monsters (Portable Press forthcoming 2009),Figure With Sunspots (Nasturtium Press forthcoming 2009), The Love of Freak Millways and Tango Wax (Cy Gist Press 2009), Case Fbdy and The Painting (Rope-A-Dope Press 2008), and Phoenix Memory (horse less press 2007). Curator of the Publicly Complex Reading Series in Providence. Serves as a Writer in the Schools in Providence elementary schools.

Feb 1: Prevallet, Zultanski, Turner, Burton

On Wednesday, February 1 at 8pm, come to the cozy back-room restaurant at Sal’s Pizzeria and Mama Maria Restaurant, 305 Court Street (at DeGraw), Brooklyn, NY 11231. Warm up with a $5 personal pizza, a full menu, beer, wine, spirits, and a working fireplace. And check out the fiery poetical talents of Kristin Prevallet, Steven Zultanski, Lindsay Turner, and Libby Burton. Nearest subway station is F or G to Carroll Street. Q-tip those ears and bring some friends!

Kristin Prevallet  is a poet, essayist, performer, hypnotherapist, and educator whose literary focus is to integrate political and personal consciousness into radical poetic forms. Here’s a recent interview with Dan Godston in the Examiner and with Geoffrey Watterman in Tinge Magazine.

Kristin was born in southwest Denver, CO. She is daughter of Annie Prevallet, feminist, teacher and Sister of Loretto, and Donald Schmitz, Littleton high school philosophy and psychology teacher. She is the partial owner of Buckskin Joe’s mine in Alma, CO; her ancestry lies in Franche-Comte (Levier) France. Early studies in alchemy, mythology, and surrealism; recent studies in ecology, performance art,  integrative hypnosis. Early education: Bluebirds (girl scouts), outward bound, Catholic Worker. Official education: studied journalism at the University of Northern Colorado; French literature at the Sorbonne; B.A. English at the University of Colorado, Boulder; M.A. Poetics and Media Study at the University of Buffalo. She now lives in Brooklyn. Has taught poetry and poetics, critical thinking and textual analysis at NYU, The New School, St. John’s University, Bard College, and Naropa University’s online MFA program. She has received grants from the New York State Council on the Arts, the Mellon Foundation, a 2007 New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship in Poetry and a 2004 PEN translation fund award.

Lindsay Turner holds a Masters degree in film studies from Université Paris III and an MFA in poetry from New York University. Her poetry and criticism have appeared in WebConjunctions, The Boston Review, Harvard Review, The Kenyon Review online, and elsewhere. She recently began a PhD at the University of Virginia. She is the recipient of the 2011 Lana Turner Journal Discovery Award.

Lisabeth Burton lives in Brooklyn, New York. She earned her MFA at Columbia University and works at Hachette Book Group. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Broome Review, Denver Quarterly, the North American Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, and Tin House. She is a recipient of the Stephen Dunn Prize in poetry and an Amy Award from Poets & Writers Magazine.

Steven Zultanski is the author of COP KISSER (Book Thug, 2010) and PAD (Make Now Press, 2010) and edits President’s Choice magazine, a Lil’ Norton publication.

Jan 4: Jones, Boyle, Donovan

Saeed Jones, Megan Boyle, and Thom Donovan will make sparks fly from the PA on Wednesday, January 4 in the first Blue Letter reading of the year of the Mayan Apocalypse. Come to Sal’s Pizzeria & Mama Maria’s Restaurant, 305 Court Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231. Sal’s is in Carroll Gardens and is close to the Carroll Street F/G Station. Here is a map. It will get underway at 8 PM and is FREE and open to the public. There’s no slice pizza in the back room restaurant, but we encourage you to try a personal pie–$5 of pure deliciousness, and of course flag down a friendly waiter to sample the full bar and menu.


A 2011 Pushcart Prize Nominee, Saeed Jones received his MFA in Creative Writing at Rutgers University – Newark. His poetry has appeared in publications like Hayden’s Ferry Review, StorySouth,  Jubilat, West Branch & The Collagist.  His chapbook When the Only Light is Fire is available from Sibling Rivalry Press. His blog For Southern Boys Who Consider Poetry is dedicated to emerging queer poets of color.

Megan Boyle (b. 1985) lives in Baltimore. She has been published by Thought Catalog3:AMPop Serial, and other venues. Her latest book is selected unpublished blog posts of a mexican panda express employee (Muumuu House, 2011) – Buy it here!

Thom Donovan is author, most recently, of The Hole (Displaced Press, 2012). Thom edits the weblog Wild Horses of Fire, now in its 7th year! And co-edits ON: CONTEMPORARHY PRACTICE, a print journal for critical writings and conversations about one’s contemporaries. He also edits the web archive Others Letters, featuring correspondence about contemporary practices across the arts, and co-curates The Project for an Archive of the Future Anterior, a live interview series and video archive concerning the immanence of possible futures. He is currently revising a book of essays and statements provisionally titled Sovereignty and Us.