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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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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.

Wednesday, March 16, 8 p.m. at Watty & Meg: Matvei Yankelevich, Corina Copp and Ricardo Alberto Maldonado

Matvei Yankelevich, Corina Copp and Ricardo Alberto Maldonado in The Blue Letter Series at Watty & Meg, No. 2!

All are welcome for an evening of lyrical surprises at Watty & Meg. Join us free of charge at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, March 16 to enjoy poems of humor, ambition, sorrow, and love. As usual, Watty & Meg will provide drink specials and affordable snacks, and BookCourt will offer the authors’ books for perusal and purchase. Watty & Meg restaurant is located at 248 Court Street between Baltic and Kane, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, NY. Nearest trains: F/G to Bergen Street or 4/5/R to Borough Hall.

Matvei Yankelevich is the author of Boris by the Sea (Octopus), and several chapbooks, including Bending at the Elbow, forthcoming from Minutes Books. His translations of the Russian writer Daniil Kharms were collected in Today I Wrote Nothing (Ardis/Overlook). He teaches at Columbia University School of the Arts and the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College. He is a member of the volunteer editorial collective of Ugly Duckling Presse and a co-editor of 6×6 magazine.

Corina Copp is a playwright, poet, and wishful thinker living in Brooklyn. Recent work includes essays on Jean Day, Hannah Weiner, and Sarah Ruhl; and texts that can be found soon or now in Cambridge Literary Review,Cannot ExistThe Brooklyn Rail, Jacket2, SerieAlfaSupermachineAufgabe6×6, and Antennae. Plays: Tell Only One (Small Press Traffic Poets Theater Festival, Jan. 2011); WALTZ (CSC/E. 13th St. Theater, July 2010, directed by Meghan Finn), and A Week of Kindness (Ontological Incubator/Brick, 2008, co-created with Kelly Kivland). Author of Play Air (Belladonna* 2005), Carpeted (Faux Press 2004), and Sometimes Inspired by Marguerite (Open 24 Hours 2003), with new chapbooks forthcoming from minutes BOOKS and Ugly Duckling Presse. She’s performed her own work and that of others in London, NYC, and elsewhere. CC is the recent editor of The Poetry Project Newsletter and co-curator of The Twenty-Five Cent Opera of San Francisco.

Ricardo Alberto Maldonado was born and raised in Puerto Rico. His poems and translations have appeared or are forthcoming in Guernica, The Blue Letter, Boston Review, Sidebrow, and DIAGRAM. He works at the 92Y Unterberg Poetry Center.