QWW: A word from Site Captain Jennifer Harmon

Jennifer is Site Captain for the Writing about Family event taking place on Sunday, May 15 at 1:00 p.m. 

I’m looking forward to seeing familiar faces and meeting new people at my Writing About Family meetup on Sunday, May 15. I’ll be holding it in my apartment in Astoria from 1:00-3:00 p.m. It feels powerful to bring writers into my home and connect with one another in person.

I plan on reading a piece by my mom called “Mothering” since she is my creative writing inspiration and favorite poet. I remember reading this particular poem she wrote about my grandmother, which showed me it was okay to express honest, uncomfortable questions and emotions about family members and specific feelings/situations. I would also like to share one or two poems I’ve written about my mother and father to kick off the event. It’s going to be a delightful afternoon of experimenting with some writing prompts, sharing our work with one another, and expressing ourselves in a creative, supportive environment.

English: Verrazano-Narrows Bridge
English: Verrazano-Narrows Bridge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The topic of writing about family has always been an important part of my artistic expression. I began filling pages of journals back in elementary school and poetry soon became an invaluable tool to cope with life changes dealing with family issues like blindness, diabetes, divorce, and the physical loss of a loved one. It’s also been a fun, fabulous way to capture magical moments and celebrate the beauty of family traditions (traveling, shopping, sharing clothes and jewelry, cooking, fishing), unique bonds, and gratitude for where I come from and who I am today. The other night on the subway, I found myself jotting down lines on the back of a receipt for a new poem about my mother-in-law Carmela and our bike riding adventure over the Verrazano Bridge.

Since August of last year, my husband and I have been holding a monthly private open mic for comedy, poetry, music, and storytelling in our living room. It’s pretty magical to see what happens in our home on a regular basis. We have three cats who normally hide, but lately Jupiter, the black and white cat, has been coming out to join the party.

Can’t wait to celebrate Queens Writes with everyone during the weekend of May 13-15th! It’s amazing to be a part of such a wonderful artist community in Queens!

Thanks, Jennifer.  Readers, we hope to see you there!

Be sure to check out the other Queens Writes Weekend events.


Newtown Literary Contributor: Kevin Hinman

Writer Kevin Hinman’s story “Don’t Sleep/Hip Hop is Deaf” was featured in Issue #6 of Newtown Literary.  We interviewed him about his writing, and his answers are below. For more of Kevin’s work, check out Magnum Opus (Beats.  Bass.  Braggadocio.) and Ill Stills (Film. Form. Future.).

What is your relationship to Queens?
Though I’m now a full time California resident, Queens was my post-undergraduate real world crash course. Crammed into a sliver of a Jackson Heights apartment, I fell in love with everything New York had to offer.  I rapped Biggie lyrics with my face pressed against the dirty glass of the 7 train as it rounded the glorious 5 Pointz building in LIC, and knew that wherever I ended up, part of me would never leave.  After all, New York is a state of mind, and that’s word to Nas.

How would you describe the writing you do?
If Donald Barthelme was a member the Wu-Tang Clan, I’d probably call him out for biting my style.

How did you come to writing?
I wrote my first book as a five year old, sprawled out on the kitchen floor with a fat grip pen and some loose leaf paper.  Ninja Turtle fan fiction, I believe.

What inspires you?
Other writers.  Rappers. DJs.  Filmmakers.  Painters and photographers. Time travelers and alchemists.  Tight rope walkers.  Mustachioed double agents. Cereal box mascots, especially Count Chocula, who runs a really tight ship as far as marshmallows are concerned.

What does it mean to be a writer in Queens?
To write in the spirit of Queens is to celebrate the diversity of its people, not only its artists, but its shopkeepers, barbers, nurses, and MTA employees, and all of its out-of-work and out-of-this-world denizens who might otherwise scrape by on the margins unnoticed.  It’s the exuberance of drinking all night at Dutch Kills and the frustration of having to squeeze onto the E the next morning at rush hour.  It’s sneaking into the PS1 and getting gobsmacked by the power of what you saw on an index card.  To be a writer in Queens is knowing you have to come hard every time with every project, because your peers really are that good.  Just take a second to flip through Issue 6 and see for yourself.  It doesn’t get much better than that.

What writing project(s) are you currently working on?
I’m currently cruising through the final third of a wild and romantic hip-hop novel entitled When the Mic King Spoke, which takes place over one summer and reads like a hip-hop head’s Nashville.  The story is written in a free flowing prose-rap style and follows the lives of the emcees, producers, beat junkies, wannabees and hangers-on that make the NYC rap scene so amazing.

And, finally, my favorite question: What should I be asking you that I didn’t?
I’m also in the final mixing stages of my first full-length hip-hop record with my group Magnum Opus.  The album is called Grown Ups are Talking, and mashes a cavalcade of battering ram beats with non-stop, razor flow emceeing and huge anthemic hooks.  Due out at the end of the year.  Don’t sleep.

Thanks, Kevin!

Readers, mark your calendars:

Newtown Literary Contributor: Daniel Damiano

Writer Daniel Damiano’s poem “Two Muggings Revisited” was featured in Issue #4 of Newtown Literary.  We interviewed him about his writing, and his answers are below. You can learn more about Daniel at his website, and check out his theatre company, fandango 4 Art House, here.

Daniel Damiano

What is your relationship to Queens?
I’ve lived in Queens for over 25 years.

How would you describe the writing you do?
As a playwright, I love writing character-based pieces which blend both comedy and drama, though some have more of the one than the other. They vary in tone, region, and type from play-to-play, but are ultimately always focused on depth of character. My poems range from the personal to the observational, and often focus on past memories and life in New York, a place that I continue to find rich with symbolism, poignancy, and humor.

How did you come to writing?
At a very young age, I gravitated towards writing around the time that I also started acting. I was basically a bad playwright and poet at the onset and learned that the best way to develop skill as a writer was to gain life experience and having something more substantial to draw from, which is what makes playwriting and poetry extremely cathartic for me, and the most timeless profession — because it is ageless. It is truly the ultimate high for me to create something out of words and to make an assemblage of words into a play or poem that can get to someone in some way. That’s always extremely satisfying when you feel you’re able to pull that off.

What inspires you?
Great art in just about any form, be it theatre, poetry, painting, et al. There are many artists in various mediums, most of whom have unfortunately passed on, whom I look to and continue to draw inspiration from with the depth and body of their work. New York City is also very inspiring because it is always in motion, always very active in some way, even in its silence.

What does it mean to be a writer in Queens?
I think it means the same as it does anywhere in that it’s simply a wonderful and honorable thing to be a writer because we are creating reasons for readers and audiences to be engaged, even stimulated, and to ponder things in various ways. However, I will say that it’s great to feel a part of a more public movement in Queens in the last few years, which the Newtown Literary Journal has really helped to forge, with regards to poetry and short stories, and allowing public forums for writers to read their work and support each other’s work. It’s a lovely thing, indeed.

What writing project(s) are you currently working on?
My play The Dishonorable Discharge of Private Pitts will be receiving its World Premier this fall at IATI Theatre on East 4th Street in NYC, produced by my wife’s and my theatre company, fandango 4 Art House. I will also have my one-act CUT revived as part of the Neil Labute New Play Festival at 59E59 Theatre in January 2016, produced by St. Louis Actors’ Studio. I’m currently nearing a completed draft of a new full length play called HARMONY PARK which, ironically, is my first full-length play set in NYC (Queens, to be precise), and focuses on a landscaping crew working on park in a fictional part of Queens and the tensions that arise as a result of one crew member’s past.

And, finally, my favorite question: What should I be asking you that I didn’t?
To pull a reverse James Lipton – “If Hell exists, what would you like the Devil to say to you?”

Answer? – “Danny, you’re on the wrong floor!”

Thanks, Daniel!

Readers, mark your calendars:

Newtown Literary Contributor: Emma Wisniewski

Writer Emma Wisniewski’s story “5Pointz: A Subjective Obituary” was featured in Issue #4 of Newtown Literary. We interviewed her about her writing, and her answers are below. You can find out more about Emma at her website, or follow her on Twitter @emmaactor76. 

What is your relationship to Queens?Emma Wisniewski Headshot 3
Born and raised! I grew up in Astoria, and went to school in Jackson Heights and Long Island City. I’m very proud of being a Queens native, and anyone who knows me will tell you not to knock my hood in my presence. : ) It’s literally the most diverse place in the whole world, and I’m constantly in awe of the sheer variety to be found – of people, art, culture, language, food, music, pretty much everything. It’s the perfect place for an actor to grow up.

How would you describe the writing you do?
As an actor specifically, I’m interested in how and why people tell stories – what people include and what they leave out, what they remember and what that says about their character and their circumstances. And as a creative person generally, I’m always thinking about how to live a creative life in a relentlessly practical world; I’m actually working on a play right now about two painters and their struggle to balance their art and their bills, and the toll that takes on their relationship. It’s a question pretty much everyone I know has struggled with at some point, but it’s not only a question for professional artists. I think pretty much everyone has experienced the feeling of being torn between their desires and their obligations, and I’m interested in how people handle that.

In terms of my style, I think a lot about rhythm. I started writing and performing slam poetry when I was 12, and it was a huge part of my creative life throughout my teenage years. And even though I write more prose than poetry nowadays, I obsess a lot over how things sound. I also idolize Virginia Woolf – as an actor, I’m in awe of the way she captured the human thought process – and her work inspires me to consider the way specific people think, and the gap between peoples’ thoughts and how they express them.

How did you come to writing?
I was a reader first. As a child I read absolutely anything I could get my hands on. I would even read the cereal box over breakfast! My father is also a writer, of plays and screenplays, and it was powerful to have that – to be able to see that a living breathing person could be a writer, that writers were not these unapproachable icons, to learn that it was a matter of working at it every day. I also was incredibly fortunate to have an English teacher in seventh grade who convinced me to enroll in an after-school slam poetry class. It’s impossible for me to overstate the effect slam poetry had on me – it made me a better actor, a more confident student, gave me a safe space to experiment and express myself, and I developed a sense of power and agency that I had never felt before. That was when I started calling myself a writer.

What inspires you?
As I mentioned above, I’m so inspired by all creative people (and not just professionally creative ones), and how they live creative lives. I’m also inspired by the relationship between place and memory, and the way memories can seem like physical, tangible things that take up space. That’s one of the reasons why the 5Pointz was always to fascinating to me – the way the artwork has been layered on the walls year after year, it was like the neighborhood’s memory bank, as well as being an incredible celebration of the street art movement, and a living breathing piece of art in itself. Not to mention its proximity to my high school, which means I have some very important memories attached to the place. It was a confluence of pretty much everything I’m interested in, and even now that it’s gone, I find myself going back to it.

What does it mean to be a writer in Queens?
Queens is absolutely overflowing with fascinating stories that demand to be told, and I think we have an obligation to tell those stories, especially the ones that no one else wants to take on. I think on some level that’s true of every community, but it’s especially true here.

And, finally, my favorite question: What should I be asking you that I didn’t?
What am I reading right now? (Chimananda Ngozi Adichie – her work is just brilliant on every possible level; and Brene Brown – inspiring research on the power of vulnerability. All good things.)

Thanks, Emma! 

Readers, mark your calendars:

Newtown Literary Contributor: Tony Gloeggler

Writer Tony Gloeggler’s poem “Renal Sonogram” was featured in Issue #1 of Newtown Literary, and his poem “Quiet” is featured in Issue #3. You can check out more of his work at NYQ Poets. We interviewed him about his writing, and his answers are below. 

What is your relationship to Queens?
I moved to Flushing with my family from Brooklyn as part of a “white flight” in 1962 and my parents wanted to own a home in a safer area. I now live in Richmond Hill/Kew Gardens.

How would you describe the writing you do?
I’m a narrative poet. I try to tell stories about everyday people using everyday language and give it a bit of music and rhythm to make it as readable as possible. I’d like readers to see familiar situations, maybe even themselves in a different way or force readers to see and feel, think about things they never bothered to examine.

How did you come to writing?
I think I came to writing because I didn’t talk much growing up, and the people around me didn’t talk much about what I was thinking and feeling, and it helped me try to figure myself out and where I fit in the world. At the same time, I was a big music fan, and lyricists like Dylan and Joni Mitchell were getting to me with their words, and I started to try and figure out how they did it. I also read a decent amount, and I was knocked out by Grapes Of Wrath. 1975 was a big year when Blood on the Tracks, Born To Run, and Late for the Sky came out, and I realized I wanted to write like some combination of Jackson, Springsteen, and Dylan. Later, I found a few poets who got to me: Anne Sexton, Richard Hugo, and Adrienne Rich’s Diving Into the Wreck.

What inspires you?
Inspiration is mostly just something that captures my thoughts and won’t go away until I write about it. It’s usually a situation I’m going through or I encounter. It’s the story or character that resonates.  I don’t write every day just to write and say I’m a writer, and I don’t try to find things to write about through exercises–which is fine for others. I want it to have an urgency, an importance that compelled me to try to turn something into a poem. It’s not work or my occupation or some kind of calling or a gift from god so I can walk around thinking I’m a poet because it’s a cool thing to be, although my writing is very important to me and says a lot about who I am, and I do work hard to make it as good as I can.

What does it mean to be a writer in Queens?
I’m not sure it means anything to be a writer in Queens. I think I’d be the same if I lived in say Brooklyn or The Bronx, most any urban area. I’d still be a white middle-aged NYC kind of guy with a working class non-academic sensibility who runs group homes for developmentally disabled people and just wants to write good poems and have as many people as possible read them.

Thanks, Tony! 

Mark your calendars, readers and writers! On May 22 at 7 PM, the Boundless Tales reading series will have a reading entitled “Things I Never Said” at the Astoria Bookshop; simultaneously, The Shops at Atlas Park will be kicking off a reading series of their own. Be sure to check out one of these great events!

Also, Issue #4 of Newtown Literary will be released, and available at the Astoria Bookshop, by the end of this month. Help us celebrate the launch by attending a reading at Odradeks Coffee House on June 5 at 7 PM, hosted by the REZ Reading Series.

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Newtown Literary Contributor: Michael Stahl

Writer Michael Stahl’s essay “Remembering Mixed Tapes” was featured in Issue #3 of Newtown Literary. We interviewed him about his writing, and his answers are below. Check out his site for more great writing!

What is your relationship to Queens?
I was born, raised, am living in and still loving Astoria. This community has changed a little in a lot of ways since I was a kid, and I feel more at home now than ever. I’ve spent some time living abroad, but, if I can help it, I can’t imagine ever leaving.

How would you describe the writing you do?
I tend to write about good people with interesting and unique stories. I haven’t covered very heavy, hard-hitting topics yet. I suppose I’d rather bring pleasant feelings to people’s lives more than anything else, hence my, perhaps excessive, use of alliteration.

How did you come to writing?
I never seriously considered being a writer until a few years ago. I finished my master’s degree and was still a full-time teacher. It felt like I had tons of time on my hands all of a sudden, so I began blogging, just for fun. The writing was well-received and my confidence grew. I began to meet more and more local artists who were, in short, “just making it work.” They inspired me and made me realize that I could–and should–give the freelance life a shot. I blame them…and I tell them as much rather often.

What inspires you?
Good writers inspire me. I feel I’m very steeped in a learning phase right now, which will never end, of course, but I still need to grasp a lot of foundational concepts. So, when I read pieces by others and I feel the choices that they’re making and see their methods of execution, it makes me want to try it out too.

What does it mean to be a writer in Queens?
It’s very important to me to be recognized as an Astoria-based writer. It’s in my byline. When people think “New York,” they think either “Manhattan” or “Brooklyn.” If readers like what I do and see that I’m from Queens, I want to communicate to them that there’s good stuff coming out of my home borough as well.

What gave you the courage to give up a teacher’s tenure for your writing?
I gave up teaching for writing because I thought it would be great to earn money doing something that was a lot of fun. I loved teaching, but there’s a ton of politics involved. Most teachers I know are completely disillusioned with the job, but they carry on because, either they still really want to help the kids they can reach, or they’re just in a situation where they can’t be as completely irresponsible as I was two years ago when I decided to quit. I feel with writing, I can have a positive impact on others, while also garnering personal satisfaction.

What kinds of struggles have there been, and how did you face them? And what have been the rewards?
The biggest struggle I’ve faced, to the surprise of probably no one, is concerns about money. In some ways it’s actually been “easier” than I thought, in that I haven’t really been close to panicking. One just has to have faith in themselves, but it can be unnerving, and I work harder now than I ever have in my life. Over time, going through the times of trepidation, but coming out of it intact, I think I’ve gained confidence that I won’t fall off a financial cliff. That has helped me be a more productive writer of late, which is good because there is nothing more gratifying than getting published.

And, finally, my favorite question: What should I be asking you that I didn’t?
You should be asking how much coffee I have to drink to get through the freelancer’s day.

And exactly how much coffee is that? Or do I not want to know? 🙂
It’s not that you don’t want to know. It’s that I’m too ashamed to admit it. 😉

Thanks, Michael! 

And thank you, good readers, for making this year’s Queens Writes Weekend such a success! 

Also, the “Third Fridays, Queens Writers Series (TFQW)” will read at Enigma Bookstore in Astoria on May 16th at 6:30. The format includes both featured readers and an open mike.  All Queens writers are welcome. Mark your calendars!

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Newtown Literary Contributor: Richard Jef­frey New­man

Poet Richard Jeffrey Newman originally posted this essay at RichardJNewman.com. His poem “Telling Stories” was featured in Issue #1 of Newtown Literary. Check out his site for more great writing!

This cartoon popped up on my Facebook timeline today, but it’s originally from cartoonist Melanie Gillman’s Tum­blr. I identified with it immediately, not because I expect that, as a poet, I should be paid the way people are paid for the work they do to make a living, but because the work I do as a poet is devalued by many of the people for whom I do that work in precisely the ways that the cartoon satirizes. More to the point, just like the cartoon does, those people often put the logic of that devaluation in my own mouth. This way—or at least this is how it appears to me—they do not have to question their own, self-serving assumption that I am happy to give my labor away in exchange for the ego boost of an audience’s applause, or the pleasure of hearing someone tell me that my poem meant something to them, or for the usually small odds that, if I have books with me, I will sell enough of them to recoup my transportation costs, or the cost of the meal I ate while I was waiting to read, or the drinks I had, or, in at least one place that I’ve read, the dollar amount of the minimum I had to pay so that I, a featured reader, would be allowed to sit there while I waited to give my reading in the first place. (I would name that place, except that I don’t want to cause trouble for the reading organizer, who has tried to get the venue to change its policy.)

I hope it is stating the obvious, but I’m going to say it anyway. The labor I am talking about is not the labor that goes into writing my poems; nor am I trying to say anything about the value of any individual poem I might write. Rather I am talking about the work I do when I share my poems with people who have come to hear them. I believe that work has value, though this value may be different in different places, and I believe that anyone who does that kind of work deserves some form of compensation for it. At the college where I teach, for example, we run a reading series for the educational value it brings to our students, and we pay those authors because we value the time and energy they give to make their visits worthwhile. In the case of the cafe that charged me a minimum to wait until it was my time to read, they make money off the people who have come to hear me read. Surely they could have afforded to waive my minimum in exchange for the business I brought them.

It is, however, not only venues like that one that are the problem. I have been to too many readings where the host passes the hat and takes whatever people donate entirely for her or himself, sharing nothing with the featured reader(s)—who, of course, despite my title, are not always poets; and I have been to readings where the organizer not only doesn’t pass the hat, but doesn’t even show the featured reader the courtesy of buying her or him a drink. What makes this phenomenon especially difficult is that the organizers of these reading series are almost always poets and writers themselves, and if they, if we, do not value the time and energy that our featured readers give when they come to read for us—if, in other words, we do not value our own—why should we expect anyone else to?

One of the things that makes me really happy about First Tuesdays, the reading series I run at Ter­raza Cafe in Elmhurst, Queens (click here for the Facebook page), is that, for the 2013–2104 season at least, through the generosity of Poets & Writers, I am able to pay my featured readers $100 plus for the evening. It wasn’t always like this, though. When I first got involved with the series, the woman who was running it didn’t pay her featured readers anything, despite the fact that she collected donations at the door. When I suggested this wasn’t right, that she should at least pay her readers something from that admittedly small pot of money, she agreed and set aside a token amount as payment. When I took the series over in 2012, I changed that policy, splitting what I collected in donations with the feature and then holding the rest of the money till the following month, when I would add it to the donations I collected and, again, split the amount with the featured reader. Depending on how many people showed up, I was able in 2012–2013 to pay readers anywhere between $30 and $70, with the average being about $45 or $50.

When I took over First Tuesdays, I made two decisions that I hoped would make my life as a reading-series organizer easier. First, instead of holding the readings year round, we would go from September through June, and, second, I would book each entire season in advance. The July-August break, I figured, would give me a chance to plan, and booking the entire season in advance would save me the trouble of scrambling for readers month-by-month. Most importantly, however, this strategy allowed me enough time to apply for funding from Poets & Writers. The process is simple enough. You download the application—the full guidelines are in a separate document—get the necessary information from the writer, mail or fax the form, and then wait to find out if the Poets & Writers will give you money. I received funding every time I applied when I was running the reading series at the college where I teach, and Poets & Writers has been very generous in funding First Tuesdays, to the tune of $100 per reader, for a total of $1,000 for the 2013–2014 season. That’s not a lot of money, but it’s more than most featured readers get paid at any of the comparable reading series that I know about, and it has been very fulfilling to watch the look of surprised pleasure on people’s faces when I hand them the check and they see how much it is for.

There is, of course, no guarantee that Poets & Writers will fund my series at the same level in 2014–2015, 2015–2016, or any other year. It will depend on how much money they get from their founders and how many different events they have to divide it among. What I know is that they are eager to use whatever money they have. Nonetheless, while I would encourage everyone who runs a reading series to apply to Poets & Writers, I have no desire to pass judgment on anyone who does not. Filling out the form is a burden, especially if you host more than one featured writer per reading (though, to me, it still doesn’t seem like that much trouble), as can be dealing with writers who are not responsive when you ask them for the information you need. (I handle that by making it clear that if I don’t get the information on time, I will only be able to pay them from the donations I collect at the door.) More than this, though, dealing with money and handling people’s personal information—you need, for example, to provide P&W with your readers’ social security numbers—is a responsibility which not everyone is willing and/or able to take on. People have their own lives, their own stresses and stres­sors, and it’s not for me to say whether applying for funding, on top of the essentially volunteer time we all give to run our series, should or should not be more than any one person can handle.

What I am comfortable saying, though, is that, if you run a reading series, you should find some way to pay the people who read for you. If they have books to sell, and you a book, good for you! If you collect donations and give the reader a portion of what you collect, good for you! If you buy them a drink, good for you! If you can talk a couple of regulars into chipping in and buying dinner for them, good for you! If you can persuade your venue to buy them a drink, or a free appetizer, or anything else along those lines, even better! One series I know gives its featured readers gifts. I got a book of poetry (or maybe two; it was a while ago and I don’t remember exactly) and two lovely rice bowls that remind me of that evening every time I use them. The point is to demonstrate, in whatever way that you can, that you value their work. I can’t imagine anyone who runs a bar or club asking a musician to play an evening’s entertainment for free, without any hope of compensation, nor can I imagine a musician, except in some very limited circumstances, agreeing to do so. Why should featured readers be treated, or expect to be treated, any differently?

I’m not suggesting that poets and fiction writers—who are most commonly the kinds of readers I am talking about here—should engage in a kind of job action and refuse to read for any series that does not pay. We all, and perhaps especially poets, know that there is little or no money in what we do, and yet we all want, we all need to share our work. So we each have to make our own decisions about when and whether we are willing to do so for free. Nonetheless, I don’t think there is any harm in asking about payment, and I wouldn’t blame anyone who did refuse to work without it. Why shouldn’t we let the people who book us for readings know that, when we read for free, it is our choice, not theirs?

To my fellow reading-series organizers, I offer this post as a challenge. If you do find ways to compensate your featured readers, however you do it, I encourage you to talk it up. Let’s work to make the assumption that readers should be compensated the norm rather than the exception. If you don’t compensate your readers, I encourage you to think about why. I’m sure that you don’t get paid for your labor either, but you choose to do it nonetheless. Why? What value do you get month after month that makes it worth your while? If your experience is anything like mine, that value is tied to the community that has formed around your series and the shared commitment of that community to the value of literary expression. You may be giving your featured readers a stage when they come to read for you, and they may be reading as your guests, but they are guests who, in turn, perform labor for your community, entertaining them, moving them, inspiring them—strengthening, in other words, both the communal feeling that has brought them together and their commitment to the value of literature. Surely that is worth more than a heartfelt thanks and a round of applause.

Thanks, Richard!

Don’t forget, good readers, that Queens Writes Weekend is coming up on April 25-27. We still need site captains! Click here for more information, or to volunteer.

Queens Literary Events: April 22nd, 2013

iconycQueensNY06_1nc_oWelcome to Newtown Literary’s weekly listing of literary and cultural events across the borough of Queens.

Please get in touch to add your event to the list, published every Monday:



* Week beginning April 22nd, 2013 * 

Monday, April 22-Thursday, April 25

Long Island City: Rough Draft Fest continues this week at LaGuardia Performing Arts Center. Visit the link for a full schedule of performances, staged readings, and discussions.

LPAC, LaGuardia Community College, 31-10 Thomson Avenue, Long Island City, NY. Map.

Wednesday, April 24, 6.30pm. 

Flushing: The New Salon in Queens, presented by the MFA Program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation Reading Series, Queens College. Distinguished poet Marie Howe, Poet Laureate of New York State, will read her work. A signing will follow. Co-sponsored by the Poetry Society of  America. Free and open to the public.

Campbell Dome, Queens College, 65-30 Kissena Boulevard, Flushing, NY. Map.

Friday, April 26-Sunday, April 28. 

Astoria: NYC 19th-Century Extravaganza! Events at the Greater Astoria Historical Society include talks on Oscar Wilde, 3D photography, and Victorian women’s fashion, all on Saturday 27th. Other events, including a Steampunk Fashion Show and Model Flying Machine Contest take place at the Old Stone House, Brooklyn.

Greater Astoria Historical Society, Quinn Building, 35-20 Broadway, 4th Floor, Astoria, NY. Map.