Despite the news of each new piece of horrendous legislation, it’s been helping me to remember that reading and writing are a form of social justice. April is National Poetry Month, and as celebrated poet Mary Oliver wrote in her new book of essays, Upstream, “…The poem was made not just to exist, but to speak—to be company.”
This spring, let your community be your company. Greenpoint is brimming with writers and artists who are using their voices to build spaces where you can share, listen, learn, and make a plan for moving forward; keep reading for three places you can join in the conversation.
1. Archestratus’ Women’s Table and Stories My Friends Tell Me Series.
Archestratus (160 Huron St.), the gorgeous all-things-food bookstore, eatery, and event space that recently celebrated its first birthday as a Greenpoint community staple, is hosting two new event series to build community and facilitate important discussions.
Their Women’s Table is a free monthly gathering and summit focused on fostering a safe space for women in the community to plan a new way to move forward together. Consider it part support group and part master strategy meeting—a place where concerns, hopes, and ideas can be shared. The March meeting is scheduled for this Saturday, March 25 from 11:30am-1:30pm, and it’s free to attend.
Archestratus also recently launched their new Stories My Friends Tell Me storytelling series, hosted by writer Chris Cobb, which gives attendees 5-10 minutes to tell an important story from their lives. This struck me as powerful at a time when many people are feeling silenced. When is the last time you had a moment, a space to do that? Or just simply listened? RSVP for the next event scheduled for Wednesday, March 29 from 7-8:30pm, and sign up for Archestratus’ mailing list to stay tuned on future dates for all of their community events.
2. WORD Bookstore Lit Events.
While it’s clear that neighborhood independent bookstores are amazing, you may not know the breadth of awesome lit events that WORD Bookstore (126 Franklin St.) hosts each month. On Tuesday, April 4, WORD is partnering with non-profit Housing Works (126 Crosby St., Manhattan) for the paperback launch of Chelsea Clinton’s new book, It’s Your World, an accessible look at several key social justice issues and ideas for action under the lens that this world belongs to all of us, and each one of us can make a difference. Doors open at 6:30pm for a conversation and book-signing with the author, and proceeds from the event go to Housing Works’ direct care services and political advocacy work to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic. For more info and to get tickets ($11 each), check out the event page here.
3. Eclipsed Reading Series
Eclipsed, a new quarterly reading series launched this winter by two non-profit educators, is on a mission to celebrate those who refuse to be cast into shadow. The Eclipsed spring reading will be held on Friday, April 7 from 7-10pm at lovely new tapas bar Naive Williamsburg (299 S. 4th St.), whose owners have shown a commitment to promoting arts and community since they opened last April. Expect readings by five local writers on a moonlit stage, spanning genres from spoken-word poetry to flash fiction to memoir. Better yet, happy hour from 5-9pm means more than enough $1 oysters and $6 house wines/well drinks to give you the courage to sign up for an open mic spot starting at 9pm. For more info, check out the Eclipsed Spring Reading Facebook event page.
Whether you join these events to read, share opinions, show solidarity, or actively listen, you and your voice are welcome, and there’s both power and solace in that.