Lit Boston: What's Happening in May?

In the May 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.

The Cuba Writers Program

When: Thursday, May 2nd-Friday, May 10th; Havana, Cuba

The Cuba Writers Program takes place this May 2-10 in Havana and beyond. Award-winning travel and fiction writers Tim Weed and Alden Jones offer daily writing workshops in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry in combination with active exploration of Cuba, including visits with writers living on the island; daily adventures in Havana; studio visits with visual artists, dancers, and musicians; an excursion to Ernest Hemingway’s immaculately preserved home; dining at some of Havana’s best paladars; and taking advantage of the events happening during the week. This year we overlap with the Havana Art Biennial, during which the city of Havana is overtaken by public art. Our excursion this year is to Playa Larga, one of the most beautiful spots on the island.

Why Bother? On Literary Citizenship and Becoming A Writer

When: Saturday, May 4th, 2pm; 162 Boylston St #5, Boston

The decision to become a writer can be a difficult one to make. For many, social, cultural, or economic obstacles often stand in the way. Family and friends might not always be encouraging. Creative writing spaces don’t always feel inclusive. So, how and why should we persevere? What can we do to achieve success while helping others? How can we find and create a supportive community? This free session, designed as a community event for both GrubStreet instructors and students, will engage participants to explore the questions above.

GrubStreet Summer 2019 Open House and Showcase

When: Thursday, May 9th, 5:30pm; 162 Boylston St #5, Boston

Love to write but don't have anywhere to get feedback on your work? Want to meet fellow writers and work under the guidance of published authors? GrubStreet is here to help! Drop by our Open House on Thursday, May 9th for drinks, snacks, and the answers to your questions about all things GrubStreet. New or future grubbies can get to know Grub HQ, hear about upcoming Summer classes, and mingle with fellow students and writers. Grub staff members will be on hand to discuss your writing goals and recommend classes that are right for you, plus we have special class discounts for all attendees.

Happy Hour Writing Session

When: Friday, May 10th, 5:30pm; 162 Boylston St #5, Boston

What's more satisfying than leaving work behind on a Friday afternoon? Rounding out the week with a free writing session, of course! Maximize that Friday feeling and kick off your writing weekend. Leave work behind on Friday, May 10th, 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.

Phil Temples launch at New England Mobile Book Fair

When: Saturday, May 11th, 2pm; 82-84 Needham Street, Newton Highlands

Phil Temples will read from his new novel The Allston Variant from his Carrie Bloomfield Novel series. Light refreshments served.

GrubStreet Student Showcase: Providence

When: Monday, May 13th, 6pm; 220 University Ave, Providence

Come help celebrate fellow Providence GrubStreet student writers at this reading of works by students in GrubStreet Providence classes this winter and spring term — from essays to stories, novels to memoirs, and more. Sign up to read and mingle from 6 to 6:40; the reading starts at 6:45pm. Readers can read a 5 mintue selection or excerpt from any work (sign up on a first come, first served basis). We’ll end with a wine and cheese reception.

Craft on Draft: Writing Your Novel’s Murky Middle

When: Thursday, May 30th, 6pm; 79 Leonard Street, Belmont

Many writers start out strong but hit a wall in the middle – or they have a fabulous ending but aren’t sure how to get there. Join authors Susan Bernhard (Winter Loon), Louise Miller (The Late Bloomer’s Club), and Whitney Scharer (The Age of Light) as they discuss how they waded through the murky middle to finish their novels.

Reading: Karen Russell presents Orange World and Other Stories

When: Wednesday, May 15th, 7pm; 1256 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge

Harvard Book Store welcomes acclaimed, bestselling writer Karen Russell —author of Swamplandia! and Vampires in the Lemon Grove—for a discussion of her latest book, Orange World and Other Stories.

Can We Be Friends?  Black and White Women in Conversation about Race

When: Thursday, May 16th, 5:30pm; One Beacon Street, 32nd Floor, Boston

Join us for an intimate and important conversation: The Women’s Marches, the 53% voting  presidential election issue, the #MeToo Movement, and the “New Class of Badasses in Congress,” have exposed both the unifying and dividing factors between white women and women of color. It has also further deepened the historical divide between white and black women. In dialogue with a panel of black and white women of achievement, we will discuss how factors such  as social support, careers, leisure, politics, humor, faith, social media and education influence the nature and intensity of friendships between black and white women. In exploring this complex topic, we will sharpen our thinking, challenge our assumptions, expand our worldviews, enlighten and inspire each other. Participants are encouraged to bring a friend of a different race for this important dialogue and book signing event.

Tender Table: Dharani Persaud, Pınar Yaşar, Shirley Jones Luke

When: Saturday, May 18, 4pm; 267 Western Avenue, Boston

Tender Table is a storytelling platform for women, trans men and non binary folks who are black, indigenous, or people of color. We seek out narratives about the sweet, savory, sour, and bitter relationships to food and its connections to identity, memory, and community.

When: Tuesday, May 21st, 7pm; 279 Harvard St, Brookline, MA 02446
Join author Randy Susan Meyers for a discussion of her latest novel Waisted with Matthew Gilbert. In this provocative, wildly entertaining, and compelling novel, seven women enrolled in an extreme weight loss documentary discover self-love and sisterhood as they enact a daring revenge against the exploitative filmmakers.

FREE Brown Bag Lunch Writing Series

When: Wednesday, May 22nd ,12:30pm; 162 Boylston St #5, Boston

Do you work downtown and want to fit some writing into your day? Or do you have a schedule that gives you free afternoons instead of evenings? Join our FREE Brown Bag Lunch Writing Series. Bring your lunch and come on over to GrubStreet on Wednesday, May 22nd, 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.

Short Story Incubator Open House & Info Session

When: Wednesday, May 29th, 6pm; 162 Boylston St #5, Boston

Interested in taking your short fiction to the next level? Join us May 29th for an informal Q&A session on our Short Story Incubator program. Instructor Ron MacLean will be there to answer any questions you have about the Short Story Incubator program. We'll give you all the information you need to know about the application process, what the program entails, the schedule, the philosophy behind our approach, and anything else on your mind.

Memoir Generator Open House & Info Session

When: Thursday, May 30th, 6pm; 162 Boylston St #5, Boston

Thinking of applying to the Memoir Generator? GrubStreet will host an informal Q&A session with instructor Michelle Seaton on Thursday, May 30th, from 6:00-7:30 p.m., here at GrubStreet HQ, to answer any questions you have about the Generator, including the workload, the application process, what the program does and doesn’t entail, the schedule, the philosophy behind our approach, and anything else you have on your mind.

When: Friday, May 31st, 7pm; 1256 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge
Harvard Book Store welcomes Daniel José Older, the award-winning author of Shadowshaper, and Malka Older, the bestselling author of Infomocracy, for a discussion of their respective new books, Freedom Fire and State Tectonics.


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About the Author

Hannah Levinson (she/her) serves as the Senior Development Associate at GrubStreet. She serves as the primary point of contact for the GrubStreet membership program, and supports the Associate Director of Development 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, or supporting new play development in Boston at Fresh Ink Theatre.

See other articles by Hannah Levinson

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