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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
MONDAY, 4.25: Critics of myriad art forms participate in A Panel on Arts Criticism, at the National Arts Club. 7:00pm, $20.
TUESDAY, 4.26: Derek Walcott discusses “Poetry and Power” with Glyn Maxwell at the New York Public Library. 7:00pm, $10. And, Susan Choi and Suji Kwok Kim delve into “The Forgotten War’s Newest Generation,” as part of Barnard College’s Forum on Migration. 7:00pm, FREE.
WEDNESDAY, 4.27: Rene Steinke, author of the very excellent Holy Skirts, reads from her new novel, along with Dan Menaker and musical guest Jason Trachtenburg of The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players, as part of the Happy Ending Reading Series. 8:00pm, FREE. Also, as I’ve noted before: if you live in New York, you know How to Kick People. 8:00pm, $7.
THURSDAY, 4.28: James Salter reads from his new story collection, Last Night, which explores the timeless themes of “love, honor, sacrifice, friendship and abandon”. At 192 Books. 7:00pm, FREE. On a lighter note, there’s always the Mandatory Lame-Ass Staff Meeting at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. 8:00pm, $5.
FRIDAY, 4.29: Daniel Alarcon, in town to promote his first collection of stories, War By Candlelight, reads at Housing Works with William Henry Lewis, author of the new collection I Got Somebody in Staunton. Highly recommended. 7:00pm, FREE.
SATURDAY, 4.30: So meta, it’s marvelous: The Center for Book Arts presents “30 Years of Innovation: A Survey of Exhibition History at The Center for Book Arts, 1974-2004“. Saturday hours are 10am-4pm; FREE.
SUNDAY, 5.1: Katherine Lanpher, co-host of Air America’s “Al Franken Show”, hosts the second taping of two pilot episodes of “Liberal Arts,” a new arts and culture program currently in development for the network, at Housing Works. Her guests on Sunday evening are Jonathan Lethem (who talks about his new non-fiction book), Eric Bogosian (who discusses his new novel), and rock-and-roller Willie Nile (who performs a few songs). 8:30pm, FREE [full disclosure, as always: In my other life as a sometime publicist, I’m working with Katherine and Air America to promote this event].
UPCOMING: Reserve a space now for Wooster Collective’s free, 3rd Annual Walking Tour, which tours the street art highlights of SoHo and the Lower East Side on May 22nd.