Big Fun at Franklin Park Reading Series
Last night I decided to attend the Franklin Park Reading Series in Crown Heights and I’m glad I did. It was my very first time at this monthly event run by Brooklyn literary impresario Penina Roth at Franklin Park, a Crown Heights indoor/outdoor bar and restaurant.
Props to Penina Roth for proving that writers can be rock stars.
The Franklin Park Reading Series is by no means your typical literary reading. In fact, it has more in common with a show at a Brooklyn music club. What a scene. What a crowd. What a fun night.
More than one hundred young fiction lovers show up on a regular basis for this event (which meets on the second Monday of every month) and last night was no exception. The music blares, the crowd wallah is so intense you can barely hear yourself think and it’s a great place to mingle (and talk at the top of your lungs) to young writers and those who appreciate fiction. And then the show begins…
The show opened with three emerging writers. Caitlin Elizabeth Harper, who runs the Renegade Reading Series (also in Crown Heights), read a spooky short story about a swimming pool; Lincoln Michel, who writes for The Rumpus and Tin House read about US President John Adams and Zooey Dechanel; and Courtney Maum who writes a column for Electric Literature read a piece about mastrubation in the voice of guitarist John Mayer.
The second half of the show offered a chance to hear acclaimed author Victor LaValle read from his highly anticipated new novel The Devil in Silver, which will be published next week. Tayari Jones read a chapter from her novel Silver Sparrow about the woman who threw a pot of beans on Al Green in 1974.
Thanks to the website Small Demons, there were drink specials, swag, and a literary mystery quiz. The series partners with BOMB Magazine on podcasts, so you can hear great lit from your favorite authors anytime.