The Smart Set: a weekly events listing by Lauren Cerand

The Smart Set is a weekly feature, compiled by Lauren Cerand, that appears Mondays and highlights the best of the week to come. Special favor is given to New York’s independent booksellers and venues, and low-cost and free events. Please submit details to

MONDAY, 3.28: Perhaps aiming to give the Upper West Side a little much-needed edge, Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art announces a new reading series at the West End, 2911 Broadway (between 112th and 113th). Let’s hope it’s more switchblade- than stroller-friendly. Poet Monica Youn, novelist Scott Snyder, and essayist Andre Aciman read at the well-rounded inaugural edition. 7:30pm, FREE.

TUESDAY, 3.29: The Red Room Reading Series features Jesse Ball (whose poem “Inside the Stove” has been translated into Icelandic) and At Length editor Jonathan Farmer. At Monkey Temple Bar, 558 Broome Street (at Varick). 7:00pm, FREE.

WEDNESDAY, 3.30: The Women’s National Book Association presents an expert-led discussion devoted to “Navigating the Author Contract”. 6:30pm, $15; reservations required. Elsewhere, writers Brett Truit, Ed Hamilton, and Sam Apple read from unpublished and/or forthcoming work at the Boxcar Reading Series, which takes place at – where else? – the Boxcar Lounge. 7:00pm, FREE.

THURSDAY, 3.31: On the occasion of the centenary of John O’Hara’s birth, NYU’s Glucksman Ireland House presents an evening exploring the writer’s life and work. Pete Hamill moderates a panel discussion that includes New Yorker editor Roger Angell, O’Hara’s biographer Geoffrey Wolff, and novelist Thomas Kelly.  Sadly, no Liz Taylor, but it still sounds fabu. 7:30pm, $10; call 212.998.3950 for reservations (advised). Also of note, translators read French poems from the 20th Century in “A Celebration of French Poetry,” featuring John Ashbery, Paul Auster (un-event-, but poetry in translation-related: whose daughter Sophie is – with the help of One Ring Zero – a poetic rocker now), Mary Ann Caws, Marcella Durand, Richard Howard, Pierre Joris, Ron Padgett, Marie Ponsot, Kristin Prevallet, Grace Schulman, and Cole Swensen, and a post-reading reception. 7:30pm, $10.

FRIDAY, 4.1: The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Poet’s House and Soft Skull Press present a lunch-time reading by National Book Award and PEN Award-winning translator Clayton Eshleman, from his latest book, Conductors of the Pit. Edited and translated by Eshleman, the book features poetry from (and a contextual overview of) “the major forces behind the surrealist movement from around the world including Rimbaud, Pablo Neruda, Cesar Vallejo, Aime Cesaire, Andre Breton, Vladimir Holan and Autonin Artaud.” At the South Street Seaport, 133 Beekman Street (enter on Front St.). 1:00pm, FREE.

SATURDAY: 4.2: Check out Portraits of an Age: Photography in Germany and Austria, 1900-1938 at the Neue Galerie, Diane Arbus Revelations at the Met, and Larry Clark at ICP – in that order – and you’ve done an offbeat but expansive survey of 20th Century photography in a single day.

SUNDAY, 4.3: The Bowery Poetry Club hosts a reading and book release party for Gary Max Glazner’s How To Make a Living as a Poet, which details proven and highly inventive approaches to making your craft a trade. 4:00- 6:00pm, FREE. And, Janice Erlbaum (aka Girlbomb), artist and writer Sara Seinberg (who performed on the spoken-word tour Sister Spit), Narcolepsy Arms editor Steve Caratzas, and Elizabeth Whitney, who specializes in “performance commentary on gender, popular culture, and the importance of honing one’s amazonian abilities,” share their work at an appealing and sure-to-be-colorful installment of the Atomic Reading Series. 7:00pm, FREE.

UPCOMING: You can submit your fiction to The L magazine until April 4th if you’d like to be considered for inclusion in its competitive reading (for $200 and publication in the magazine) – judged by the dream team of New Yorker writer and author Ben Greenman, Nan A. Talese/Doubleday editor Coates Bateman, Regal-Literary agent Peter Steinberg, and The L‘s columnist Rebecca Schuman – on April 14th at the Baggot Inn.


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