Living in New York is good because there are always cool things happening there. (Quick kudos to the Center for Fiction’s Independent Press Summer Fridays series, the participation of which is free!) But it’s as expensive as hell and bullshit that so much of the editing is centered here. So if you’re paying relatively reasonable rent and aren’t battling cockroaches in your kitchen daily, but still want to click through to the literary community, welcome buddy: this roundup of free virtual events is made for you.
Word to Mouth: Queer Liberation 2022!
June 29 at 7 p.m. EST
Okay, I know this event technically takes place in June, but it’s definitely worth checking out: organized by the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, Mouth to mouth is a safe community space for emerging queer and trans BIPOC folx and 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 at 7 p.m. EST
This fresh, voice-driven feminist anthology (co-edited by our very own Eliza Smith!) reimagines the seminal work of Helen Gurley Brown Sex and the single girl in time for its 60th birthday, featuring twenty-four essays by acclaimed and best-selling authors, including Kristen Arnett, Morgan Parker, Evette Dionne and Melissa Febos. This an event is held at Books Are Magic, but you can also stream it for free here.
In Conversation: Morgan Talty and Ashleigh Bell Pedersen
July 12 at 7 p.m. EST
Living Ground Night, a collection of stories told from multiple angles within a Maine Native community, comes out this month. Its publication is a perfect catalyst for a conversation about the possibilities of contemporary short stories. Sign up for free livestream link here.
In conversation: Ida Jensen and Martin Aitken
July 13 at 1 p.m. EST
Perhaps you are planning to travel in a wheelchair this month. Could we interest you A postcard for Annie, a new collection of short stories from Archipelago Press, freshly translated from Danish? Join the writer and translator to discuss the process of writing this book about women on the brink. Register here.
In Conversation: Jamil Jan Kochai and Karan Mahajan
July 19 at 7 p.m. EST
The Haunting of Hajji Hotak and Other Stories is an exploration of the Afghan diaspora and modern Afghanistan. Join writer, PEN/Hemingway finalist Jamil Jan Kochai, in conversation with Karan Mahajan. A first collection of stories is always cause for celebration in our book! RSVP here.
In Conversation: Ada Calhoun and Emma Straub
July 26 at 7 p.m. EST
Best-selling author Ada Calhoun is back with a new memoir, also a poet, about her relationship with her father and their shared love for Frank O’Hara. Join the author in a chat with novelist and bookseller Emma Straub! Organized by Books Are Magic, this an event will also be streamed for free here.
Tangled Histories: Free Speech and Civil Rights from the 1960s to Today
July 28 at 6:30 p.m.
How has the First Amendment been invoked to help or hinder the advancement of civil rights? This discussion, which is part of PEN America’s Hot Spots series, will examine how the mid-1960s was a turning point not only for the civil rights movement, but also for the history of free speech in the United States. From civil rights law to landmark Supreme Court decisions, the limits of the First Amendment were tested in ways that affected civil rights in subsequent decades. Register here.