Lit Boston: What's Happening in March?

In the March 2019 edition of "Best of Boston," we bring you our top Boston lit events this month, curated from the Boston Literary District's event calendar, an essential source of literary happenings.

Tina Cassidy at Brookline Booksmith

When: Tuesday, March 5th, 7pm; 279 Harvard St, Brookline

Tina Cassidy is the executive vice president and chief content officer at the public relations and social content firm InkHouse and also a board member at the New England Center for Investigative Reporting. She has written two previous nonfiction books, Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born and Jackie After O: One Remarkable Year When Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Defied Expectations and Rediscovered her Dreams. Previously, Tina was a journalist at The Boston Globe, where she covered politics, sports, fashion, and business.

Boston Immigrant Writer’s Salon

When: Tuesday, March 5th at 6pm; 31 St. James Ave., Boston

The Boston Immigrant Writer’s Salon is proud to announce their first ever Healing Salon. Their goal is to create a space in which immigrant writers can gather for a night of healing, self-reflection, and empowerment. Join them for a some snacks, good company, and a guided discussion on a topic specific to the immigrant experience. For this meeting, that topic will be “Defining Home.”

Christopher Castellani in conversation with Marianne Leone at Belmont Books

When: Tuesday, March 5th at 7pm; 79 Leonard Street, Belmont

Christopher Castellani is the author of three previous novels (the trilogy A Kiss from Maddalena, The Saint of Lost Things, and All This Talk of Love) and The Art of Perspective, a book of essays on the craft of fiction. He is the son of Italian immigrants, a Guggenheim fellow, and the artistic director of GrubStreet, one of the country’s leading creative writing centers. Join Christopher and Marianne as they discuss Christopher’s new novel, Leading Men.

An Evening with Carmen Maria Machado at Suffolk University.

When: Tuesday, March 5th at 7pm; 120 Tremont St., Room 385, Boston

Carmen Maria Machado is the author of the short story collection, Her Body and Other Parties, winner of the Bard Fiction Prize and finalist for the National Book Award. She is the Writer in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania, and lives in Philadelphia with her wife. Her memoir In the Dream House is forthcoming in 2019 from Graywolf Press.


When: Wednesday, March 6th, 6pm; 162 Boylston Street, 5th Floor, Boston

At this month’s Happy Hour, Grub Street partners with the UMass Boston MFA Program's Jill McDonough for SUBMITATHON!—an evening of submitting work in any genre, talking about submitting work, thinking about where to publish your work, answering your questions about submitting work, and then submitting more of your own work.  Also pizza.

Whitney Scharer in conversation with Jessica Shattuck

When: Thursday, March 7th at 7pm;  79 Leonard Street, Belmont

Whitney Scharer earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington, and her short fiction has appeared in the Bellevue Literary Review, Cimarron Review, and other journals. Join her as she discusses The Age of Light, her first novel, with Jessica Shattuck.

Author Talk and Book Signing with Dina Vargo

When: Friday, March 8th at 12pm; State House-Room 341, 24 Beacon Street, Boston

Join the State Library of Massachusetts for this author talk to explore the cobwebbed corners of Boston’s hidden history with author and historian Dina Vargo, whose new book, Hidden History of Boston, dives into some of the lesser-known “oddball” stories from Boston’s rich history.

Reading with Patrick Reddan Keefe at the BPL

When: Saturday, March 9th at 3pm; 700 Boylston St, Boston

Patrick Reddan Keefe is a staff writer at The New Yorker and the author of The Snakehead and Chatter. Join him as he reads from his new book, Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland.

WLP Reading Series: Evie Shockley Q&A and Reading

When: Tuesday, March 12th at 4pm and 6pm; 80 Boylston Street (2nd Floor), Boston

Evie Shockley is the author of semiautomatic (2017), which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the LA Times Book Prize. She has published four other collections of poetry—including the new black (2011), which won the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award—and a critical study, Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry (2011). Free and open to the public.RSVPs will close the day before the event.

Benjanim Dreyer at Belmont Books

When: Tuesday, March 12th, 7pm;  79 Leonard Street, Belmont

As Random House’s copy chief, Dreyer has upheld the standards of the legendary publisher for more than two decades. He is beloved by authors and editors alike—not to mention his followers on social media—for deconstructing the English language with playful erudition. Join him as he reads from his new book, Dreyer’s English, at Belmont Books.

Newtonville Books Presents The Chef’s Secret by Crystal King

When: Wednesday, March 13th at 7pm; 10 Langley Road, Newton Center

Join Crystal King at Newtonville Books as she reads from her latest novel, The Chef’s Secret, described as a “captivating novel of Renaissance Italy detailing the mysterious life of Bartolomeo Scappi, the legendary chef to several popes and author of one of the bestselling cookbooks of all time, and the nephew who sets out to discover his late uncle’s secrets—including the identity of the noblewoman Bartolomeo loved until he died.”

March U35 Reading w/Mass Poetry

When: Tuesday,  March 19th, 7pm; 338 Newbury Street, Boston

U35 is Mass Poetry’s bi-monthly reading series for poets under the age of 35, held once each January, March, May, July, September, and November. The series seeks to promote and bolster Massachusetts poets while giving them a venue to share their work and connect with other young poets.

Emerson College Reading Series: Kim McLarin and Edwin Hill

When: Wednesday, March 20th, 6pm; 180 Boylston St., Boston

Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director for Popular Fiction and Publishing Kim McLarin is the author of three critically-acclaimed novels. Her most recent book is Womanish: A Grown Black Woman Speaks of Life and Love. Edwin Hill is the author of two novels, Little Comfort and The Missing Ones, and is the vice president and editorial director for Bedford/St. Martin’s, a division of Macmillan.

Reading with Michael Longley at the BPL

When: Thursday, March 21st, 6pm; 700 Boylston St, Boston

Michael Longley has published ten collections of poetry, most recently Angel Hill (2017), which was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection. He served as the Ireland Professor of Poetry from 2007–2010, and was awarded the 2017 PEN Pinter Prize. This appearance is presented in partnership with Culture Ireland and the American Conference for Irish Studies.

WLP Scholar Series: Dorothy Kim

When: Thursday, March 21st, 6pm; 120 Boylston St., Room 232, Boston

This talk will address the centrality of race in the Middle Ages and why the historiography of the term “race” in the 19th and 20th century explains why so many scholars and the general public refuse to use race as a category of analysis for the pre-modern past. What is race in the pre-modern and why is it an essential frame to discuss the Middle Ages particularly in our current political moment as the alt-right continues to use the medieval past as a rhetorical tool to uphold and promulgate white supremacy?

Happy Hour Writing Session

Friday, March 22nd, 5:30pm; 162 Boylston Street, 5th Floor, Boston

Leave work behind on Friday, March 22nd, from 5:30pm-6:30pm and come on over to Grub HQ. In 60 jam-packed minutes, you’ll meet fellow writers and get your creative juices flowing with some great writing exercises. Free drinks (beer, wine, coffee, water) and snacks provided.

Mass Poetry’s Evening of Inspired Leaders
When: Monday, March 25th, 7pm; 264 Huntington Ave, Boston

Evening of Inspired Leaders, a fundraiser to benefit Mass Poetry, highlights the power of poetry to inspire and delight while showcasing an all-star field of leaders. Inspired by Robert Pinsky’s Favorite Poem Project, their 2019 event will feature emcee Meghna Chakrabarti, host of WBUR’s On Point.

Kiese Laymon Reading and Q&A

When: Tuesday, March 26th, 4pm; 180 Boylston St., Boston

Kiese Laymon is a black southern writer, born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. Laymon attended Millsaps College and Jackson State University before graduating from Oberlin College. He earned an MFA in Fiction from Indiana University. Laymon is currently the Ottilie Schillig Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Mississippi.

FREE Brown Bag Lunch Writing Series
When: Wednesday, March 27th, 12:30pm; 162 Boylston Street, 5th Floor, Boston

Bring your lunch and come on over to GrubStreet on Wednesday, March 27th from 12:30pm-1:15pm. For 45 minutes, you’ll meet fellow writers and get your creative juices flowing with some cool writing exercises. Led by one of our award-winning instructors or ambassadors. Best of all, you’ll leave lunch with some new ideas to ponder for the rest of your day and beyond. No need to RSVP — just come!

Lowell Lecture: Cherríe Moraga

When: Thursday, March 28th, 7pm; 700 Boylston Street, Boston

Cherríe Moraga is an internationally recognized poet, essayist, and playwright whose professional life began in 1981 with her co-editorship of the groundbreaking feminist anthology, This Bridge Called My Back:  Writings by Radical Women of Color.

For a full list of everything lit in Boston this month, check out the Boston Literary District's event calendar!

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About the Author

Hannah Levinson (she/her) serves as the Development Associate for Membership & Individual Giving at GrubStreet. She serves as the primary point of contact for the GrubStreet membership program, and supports the Senior Manager for Leadership Giving in donor stewardship. She is a graduate of Northeastern University with a BA in English and Theatre, minor in Writing. Previously, Hannah worked at Actor's Shakespeare Project as their Social Media Coordinator and at the National Women's Theatre Festival as the Artistic & Administrative Apprentice. As an artist & writer, Hannah strives to bring an ethic of care and justice into whatever project she's working on. She wears a variety of hats, including playwright, researcher, stage manager, dramaturg, director, avid baker, and devoted plant parent. When she's not at GrubStreet, she's probably cooking up something tasty in her cozy home in Jamaica Plain.

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