Living in New York is great because there are cool things happening all the time. (Quick shoutout to the Center for Fiction’s Indie Press Summer Fridays series, which is free to attend!) But it’s also expensive as hell and bullshit that so much of publishing is centered here. So if you pay a relatively reasonable rent and don’t fight roaches in your kitchen on a daily basis, but still want to click into the literary community, welcome friend: this round-up of free virtual events is for you.
Mouth to Mouth: Queer Liberation 2022!
June 29 @ 7pm EST
Okay, I know this event is technically in June, but it’s definitely worth checking out: Hosted by the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, Mouth to Mouth is a safe community space for queer and trans BIPOC folx and rising migrant artists. This event is a celebration of queer liberation and features Ariana Brown, aureleo sans, Kirin Khan, and Michal ‘MJ’ Jones. Register here.
Sex and the Single Woman: Rosemary Donahue & Nichole Perkins in conversation with Denne Michele Norris
July 1 @ 7pm EST
This fresh, voice-driven feminist anthology (co-edited by our very own Eliza Smith!) reimagines Helen Gurley Brown’s seminal work Sex and the Single Girl in time for its 60th anniversary, featuring twenty-four essays from acclaimed and bestselling authors, including Kristen Arnett, Morgan Parker, Evette Dionne, and Melissa Febos. This event is being held at Books Are Magic, but you can also stream it for free here.
In Conversation: Morgan Talty and Ashleigh Bell Pedersen
July 12 @ 7pm EST
Night of the Living Rez, a story collection told from multiple perspectives within a Native community in Maine, comes out this month. Its publication is a perfect catalyst for a conversation on the possibilities of the contemporary short story. Register for the free livestream link here.
In Conversation: Ida Jensen and Martin Aitken
July 13 @ 1pm EST
Perhaps you’re looking to armchair travel this month. Might we interest you in A Postcard for Annie, a new collection of short stories from Archipelago Press, freshly translated from the Danish? Join the writer and translator in conversation about the process of putting together this book about women on the brink. Register here.
In Conversation: Jamil Jan Kochai and Karan Mahajan
July 19 @ 7pm EST
The Haunting of Hajji Hotak and Other Stories is an exploration of the Afghan diaspora and modern-day Afghanistan. Join the writer, PEN/Hemingway finalist Jamil Jan Kochai, in conversation with Karan Mahajan. A debut story collection is always a cause for celebration in our book! RSVP here.
In Conversation: Ada Calhoun and Emma Straub
July 26 @ 7pm EST
Bestselling author Ada Calhoun is back with a new memoir, Also a Poet, about her relationship with her father and their shared love of Frank O’Hara. Join the author in conversation with novelist and bookstore-owner Emma Straub! Hosted by Books Are Magic, this event will also be broadcast for free here.
Entangled Histories: Free Speech & Civil Rights from the 1960s to Today
July 28 @ 6:30pm CT
How has the First Amendment been invoked to help or to hinder the progress of civil rights? This discussion, part of PEN America’s Flashpoints series, will examine how the mid-1960s were a turning point not only for the Civil Rights movement, but also the history of free speech in the U.S. From the Civil Rights Act to landmark Supreme Court decisions, the boundaries of the First Amendment were tested in ways that affected civil rights in the decades following. Register here.