This Week in NYC: Featured Readings


Sundays, Coldfront features five upcoming readings across the NYC boroughs. Seeking personal growth? Venture out this Thursday for an exercise in decisiveness.

Here are this week’s picks.



The Poetry Project: Nielson/Shockley
Monday, March 18 @ 8 pm
Saint Mark’s Church, 131 E 10th St, New York, NY

A.L. Nielsen’s latest book, A Brand New Beggar, is just out from Steerage Press. His work has appeared in Best American Poems and other anthologies, and he has won two Gertrude Stein Awards for his poetry. His critical works have won the Josephine Miles Award, the SAMLA Studies Prize, the Kayden Award for best book in the humanities, and a Gustavus Myers Citation. Nielsen is currently the George and Barbara Kelly Professor of American Literature at the Pennsylvania State University.

Evie Shockley’s most recent book of poetry, the new black (Wesleyan), won the 2012 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Poetry. Recipient of the 2012 Holmes National Poetry Prize, Shockley is Associate Professor of English at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.



Crazy Brave: Joy Harjo
Thursday, March 21 @ 6 pm

National Museum of the American Indian, 1 Bowling Green, New York, NY

Joy Harjo was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and is a member of the Mvskoke Nation. Her books of poetry have garnered many awards, including the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas, and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. She has released four award-winning CD’s of original music and in 2009 won a Native American Music Award (NAMMY) for Best Female Artist of the Year.

This reading is part of Native Innovation: Indigenous American Poetry in the 21st Century, a landmark symposium bringing together a new generation of Native American poets in a convocation of readings and conversations for an in-depth look at the dynamic state of current Native American poetry and poetics in the 21st century. Featuring leading Native American poets and co-curated by Joseph Bruchac and Allison Hedge Coke, this event examines a range of issues, including native languages, traditional storytelling, formal innovation, Native American politics, and much more.

Sponsored by Poets House, National Museum of the American Indian, Lannan Foundation, Copper Canyon Press, University of Arizona Press



Marcella DurandBoogWork
Thursday, March 21 @ 6pm
Sidewalk Cafe, 94 Ave A, New York, NY

BoogWork will feature two poets reading, a musical act performing, and then oneof the poets will give the gathered a poetry workshop (don’t forget to bring a pen and paper). $5 suggested.

reading and workshop from
Joe Elliot
Joe Elliot teaches high school English in Brooklyn, where he lives with his wife, Anne Noonan, and their three boys. He is the author of numerous chapbooks including You Gotta Go In It’s The Big Game, Poems To Be Centered On Much Much Larger Sheets Of Paper, 15 Clanking Radiators, 14 Knots, Reduced, Half Gross, a collaboration with artist John Koos; and Object Lesson, a collaboration with artist Rich O’Russa. Granary Books published If It Rained Here, a collaboration with artist Julie Harrison. His work has appeared in many magazines, including The World, The Poker, Giants Play Well In The Drizzle, The Poetry Project Newsletter, Torque, Chain, Epiphany, Lungfull, Ocho, and Arras. Faux Press published his long poem, “101 Designs for The World Trade Center”. In 2006, a collection of his work, Opposable Thumb, was published by subpress, and in 2010 Lunar Chandelier Press brought out Homework.

reading from
Marcella Durand
Marcella Durand’s most recent books are Deep Eco Pre, a collaboration with Tina Darragh (LRL e-editions); AREA (Belladonna*); and Traffic & Weather (Futurepoem books), a site-specific book-length poem written during a residency at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council in downtown Manhattan. She was a 2009 fellow in Poetry from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the 2010-2011 Fellow in Poetics and Poetic Practice for the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing at the University of Pennsylvania, and a 2011-2013 Fellow at The Black Earth Institute. She lives in New York City, where she has recently completed a new collection, The Prospect, and works as a writer and editor for a medical nonprofit.

and music from


Maggie NelsonNelson & Koestenbaum with Fama
Thursday, March 21 @ 7pm

St. Mark’s Bookstore, 31 3rd Ave, New York, NY

A reading with Maggie Nelson & Wayne Koestenbaum followed by a discussion moderated by Ben Fama!

The writing of Maggie Nelson and Wayne Koestenbaum skillfully shifts between forms—criticism, poetry, memoir, and the novel—to address subjects such as Harpo Marx, slasher films, Jackie Onassis, abstract expressionism, hotels, and Hermann Nitsch’s Viennese Actionism, and often sexuality—from the playfully perverse to the horrors of sexual violence. The reading will be followed by a discussion led by poet Ben Fama.

Maggie Nelson is the author of four books of nonfiction and four books of poetry. Her most recent book, The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning (W. W. Norton, 2011), was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and an Editors’ Choice. Her other nonfiction books include the cult classic Bluets (Wave Books, 2009); a critical study of poetry and painting titled Women, the New York School, and Other True Abstractions (University of Iowa Press, 2007; winner, the Susanne M. Glasscock Award for Interdisciplinary Scholarship); and an autobiographical book about sexual violence and media spectacle titled The Red Parts: A Memoir (Free Press, 2007). She currently lives in Los Angeles.

Wayne Koestenbaum has published six books of poetry: Blue Stranger with Mosaic Background, Best-Selling Jewish Porn Films, Model Homes, The Milk of Inquiry, Rhapsodies of a Repeat Offender, and Ode to Anna Moffo and Other Poems. He has also published a novel, Moira Orfei in Aigues-Mortes, and eight books of nonfiction: The Anatomy of Harpo Marx, Humiliation, Hotel Theory, Andy Warhol, Cleavage, Jackie Under My Skin, The Queen’s Throat (a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist), and Double Talk. His next book, My 1980s & Other Essays, is forthcoming in August 2013 from FSG. Koestenbaum is a Distinguished Professor of English at the CUNY Graduate Center. His first solo exhibition of paintings was at White Columns gallery in New York in Fall 2012.

Ben Fama is the author of New Waves, Aquarius Rising, and the artist book Mall Witch. He is the co-editor of Wonder, a publisher of art books, glossies, and pamphlets. His work appears in The Brooklyn Rail, Action Yes, Jubilat, notnostrums, LIT, Poor Claudia, Denver Quarterly, Maggy, and on the Best American Poetry Blog. He lives in New York City.


Rachel LevitskyQueer Division III: Levitsky’s The Story of Our Accident
Thursday, March 21 @ 7:30pm
The Bureau of General Services—Queer Division, 27 Orchard St, New York, NY

Queer Division is celebrating the release of Rachel Levitsky’s new book, The Story of Our Accident Is Ours, just out from Futurepoem.

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Besides her first novel, brand spanking newly out from Futurepoem, and called The Story of My Accident is Ours, Rachel Levitsky is the author of two previous books called poetry, Under the Sun (Futurepoem, 2003) NEIGHBOR (UDP, 2009). She is the founder of the feminist avant-garde network, Belladonna* Collaborative. In 2010 with Christian Hawkey, she started The Office of Recuperative Strategies (, a mobile research unit variously located in Amsterdam, Berlin, Boulder, Brooklyn, Cambridge, NYC and the Universität Leipzig in Leipzig. She lives in Brooklyn and teaches at Pratt Institute.

erica kaufman is the author of censory impulse (Factory School 2009) as well as several chapbooks. her most recent project is called INSTANT CLASSIC. she lives in Brooklyn and teaches at Baruch College and the Institute for Writing & Thinking at Bard College.

Michelle Betters is a poet living in New York.

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The Bureau of General Services—Queer Division is a queer bookstore and event space hosted by Strange Loop Gallery on the Lower East Side of New York City from November 15, 2012 through March 31, 2013. We aim to foster a community invested in the values of mindfulness, intellectual curiosity, justice, compassion, and playfulness. The Bureau seeks to excite and educate a self-confident, sex-positive, and supportive queer community by offering books, publications, and art and by hosting reading groups, authors’ talks, and performances. We provide local and visiting queers and friends with an open and inclusive space for dialogue and socializing. The Bureau of General Services—Queer Division welcomes you.