This Week in NYC: Featured Readings


Every Sunday, Coldfront features five upcoming, cross-borough readings in NYC.

Email suggested readings to stephanie(dot)whited(at)gmail. Here are this week’s picks.




Live from the POEMobile: Korean Lunar New Year
Sunday, February 23 @ 6:30-8:30pm
Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing, NY

A Lunar New Year Celebration of Korean Poetry and Music at Flushing Town Hall: With the new moon on January 31st, the Year of the Horse races in, beginning the Lunar New Year in Korea, China, and many parts of Asia, as part of the Lunar New Year Festival, the POEMobile highlights contemporary and classic Korean poems and songs with a combined outdoor/indoor poetry performance by Cross-Cultural Communications and Korean traditional music and dance at Flushing Town Hall on February 23, 2014, at 6:30pm, sponsored by City Lore, Bowery Arts + Science, CATCH, and Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts, in collaboration with the Korean Art Society and Korean Expatriate Literature.

Award-winning poet and novelist Sang-Hee Kwak and Korean-American poet Christina Shin, professor and translator Hong Ai Bai, and Kwang-Ryul Cho, son of the late, noted poet and critic Cho Ji-Hoon, will read poems on the subjects of spring, renewal, homeland, and love, accompanied by projections of text from the poems. English language readings will be provided by poet, translator, and publisher Stanley H. Barkan.

Sponsored by City Lore, CATCH, Bowery Arts + Science, and Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts, in collaboration with the Korean Art Society and Korean Expatriate Literature.




Monday, February 24 @ 7-9pm
KGB Bar, 85 E. 4th St, New York, NY

David Lehman is the author of many collections of poems, including New and Selected Poems (Scribner, 2013), Yeshiva Boys (Scriber, 2011), When a Woman Loves a Man (Scribner, 2005), Jim and Dave Defeat the Masked Man (with James Cummins, Soft Skull Press, 2005), and The Evening Sun (2002). Among his books of non-fiction are A Fine Romance: Jewish Songwriters, American Songs (Shocken Books, 2009) and The Last Avant-Garde: The Making of the New York School of Poets (Doubleday, 1998), which was named a “Book to Remember 1999” by the New York Public Library. He edited The Oxford Book of American Poetry (Oxford University Press, 2006), and is the series editor of The Best American Poetry. He is on the core faculty of the graduate writing programs at the New School and New York University. He lives in New York City and Ithaca, NY.

Mary Jo Salter was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She was educated at Harvard and Cambridge and taught at Mount Holyoke College for many years. She is the author of seven collections of poetry, including A Kiss in Space, Sunday Skaters, and A Phone Call to the Future: New and Selected Poems, all from from Knopf. Her most recent volume is Nothing by Design. Also the author of a children’s book, The Moon Comes Home, and a coeditor of The Norton Anthology of Poetry, she is Andrew W. Mellon Professor in The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University and lives in Baltimore.




Like a Straw Bird It Follows Me: Ghassan Zaqtan & Fady Joudah with Mark Doty
Tuesday, February 25 @ 7pm
Kray Hall, Poets House, 10 River Terrace, New York, NY

Palestinian poet Ghassan Zaqtan reads from and discusses his visceral, narrative poetics with fellow poet and translator Fady Joudah. Zaqtan is the author of many collections in Arabic, including the newly translated Griffin Prize winner Like a Straw Bird It Follows Me. Poet Mark Doty introduces the pair. Presented as part of the Poetic Voices of the Muslim World initiative.




A Question of Africa
Wednesday, February 26 @ 6pm-8pm
Skylight Room (9100) The Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Ave, New York, NY

Focusing on the work of writers of the African diaspora, “A Question of Africa” will bring together contemporary writers and artists to read and discuss their work and its contemporary contexts. As disparate members of a far-reaching African diaspora, each artist is invited to consider the ways in which the African continent, its countries and cities, its geographies and spatial imaginaries, its peoples—citizens and cast-offs, its histories, its sonic or visual figurations enter or inform their work and their creative process.

Sponsored by Center for the Humanities and Institute for Research on the African Diaspora in the Americas & the Caribbean




Monstrares Opening Reception
Wednesday, February 26 @ 6-8pm
Julie Meneret Contemporary Art, 133 Orchard Street, New York, NY

Saskia Hamilton will give a reading of her work on the occasion of the gallery reception for Monstrares, Jonny Briggs’ photography exhibition. He is a British conceptual photographer whose work focuses on the latent yet powerful effects of familial memory. Through elaborate staging, he creates uncanny effects that appear digitally manipulated but are in fact three-dimensional scenes. Briggs’ dark and lyrical imagery provides us the perfect opportunity to host the acclaimed poet Saskia Hamilton, who will give a reading on the evening of Februrary 26.

Saskia Hamilton is a poet and poetry scholar whose writing has appeared in journals such as the New Yorker, Kenyon Review, New York Times Book Review, and Ploughshares. She has authored and edited numerous books, and is the recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship, and fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Jonny Briggs is the recipient of the Saatchi New Sensations Prize, a finalist for the Catlin Art Prize, and has been the subject of much press in publications such as Aesthetica, The Independent, Dazed & Confused, and The Guardian. Briggs has exhibited work throughout Europe and the UK. This is his first exhibition in the United States.

Sponsored by Julie Meneret Contemporary Art