Lit Boston: What’s Happening in May?

In the May 2018 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.


Craft on Draft Getting Emotional: Writing Feelings without the Melodrama
When: May 1, 6:30-9:00pm; Where: Kickstand Cafe, 594 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington
Writing about rage, fear, love, and longing is hard. Too little can leave the reader cold; too much can turn cliché. Join us as authors Jeanne Blasberg (Eden), Rachel Kadish (The Weight of Ink), and Mira T. Lee (Everything Here is Beautiful) discuss the delicate art of conveying emotion.


Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A.
When: May 3, 6:00-7:30pm; Where: Rabb Hall, Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street, Boston
This vivid memoir explores gang life and cautions against the death and destruction that haunts its participants. A New York Times Notable Book, Always Running was named one of the nation’s one hundred most-censored titles by the American Library Association due to its frank depictions of gang life.


Staged Reading: How Will We Live Tomorrow?
When: May 3, 7:30-9:30pm; Where: Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, 949 Commonwealth Ave, Boston
Join Paul E. Fallon for the first-ever public reading of his play, How Will We Live Tomorrow?, which chronicles the United States during the turbulent 2015-2016 Presidential election. It tells of his journey bicycling to the 48 contiguous states, and asking everyone he meets, "How Will We Live Tomorrow?" Along the way, he encounters generous people with myriad perspectives on humanity’s direction, while hours of solitary riding also stir personal meditation.


Luljeta Lleshanaku in conversation with Grub Instructor Ani Gjika: Negative Space
When: May 4, 7:00pm; Where: Brookline Booksmith, 279 Harvard Street Brookline
Award-winning poet Luljeta Lleshanaku, who has been hailed as "a pioneer of Albanian poetry," will appear in conversation with her translator and NEA award-winning poet Ani Gjika, as part of the Booksmith's Transnational Literature Series.


Mass Poetry Festival
When: May 4-6, 2018; Where: Various locations, Salem
The Mass Poetry Festival offers nearly 100 poetry readings and workshops, a small press and literary fair, panels, poetry slams, and open-air readings. More than 150 poets will engage with thousands of New Englanders.


Poets and Pints Reading Series, featuring John Canaday, Simeon Berry, and Susan Richmond
When: May 9, 2018, 6:00pm-8:00pm; Where: Aeronaut Brewing Company, 14 Tyler St, Somerville
Join Porter Square Books at Aeronaut brewery for a celebration of local poetry. The event will feature a social hour from 6:00-7:00pm, in which you can grab a beer and converse with the poets, hosts, and other poetry fans. The formal reading will be from 7:00-8:00pm and will feature three local poets reading from their latest works.


Stephen McCauley Reading from His Latest Novel, My Ex-Life
When: May 9, 2018, 7:00pm; Where: Porter Square Books, 25 White St., Cambridge
Grub Literary Council member Stephen McCauley is the author of six previous novels, including The Object of My Affection, True Enough, and Alternatives to Sex. Many have been national bestsellers, and three have been made into feature films.


Michael Ondaatje in conversation with Teju Cole 
When: May 10, 2018, 6:30-7:30pm; Where: Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard Street, Brookline
From Michael Ondaatje, the internationally acclaimed, best-selling author of The English Patient: a mesmerizing new novel that tells a dramatic story set in the decade after World War II through the lives of a small group of unexpected characters and two teenagers whose lives are indelibly shaped by their unwitting involvement. This event is $5.


Weekend Residency: Get Unstuck and Start Writing Again
When: May 11–13, 2018; Where: Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, 57 Interlaken Road, Stockbridge
Start writing again, whether you have an idea for a book or essay, or you’ve hit a wall and can’t seem to finish what you started. Through a series of prompts, exercises, artistic play, discussions about craft, and a better understanding of the creative process, learn how to ride the wave past writer’s block toward inspiration. $250 per person.


Weekend Workshop: Audio Documentary for Beginners: Strange & Charmed Comes to the U.S.! 
When: Saturday, May 12 and Sunday, May 13, 9:30am-5:00pm; Where: PRX Podcast Garage, 267 Western Ave, Rear, Allston
Cathy FitzGerald’s school for audio storytellers, Strange & Charmed, usually takes place in her workshop in the English countryside. Now, for the first-time, her weekend workshop for beginners is coming to Boston at the PRX Podcast Garage. Starts at $450.


Unearthed Song and Poetry, featuring Porsha Olayiwola 
When: May 16, 2018, 7:30-9:00pm; Where: 1448 Dorchester Ave. Fields Corner, Dorchester
Porsha Olayiwola is the 2014 Individual World Poetry Slam Champion and 2015 National Poetry Slam Champion. She bested more than seventy of the highest ranked slam poets in the world to earn these titles and is now one of the most sought-after spoken word artists on the national circuit.


Resistance Mic! at the Oberon  
When: May 16, 2018, 8:00-10:00pm; Where: OBERON, 2 Arrow St., Cambridge
Join the final Resistance Mic! of spring 2018. Guests include Grub Instructor Ethan Gilsdorf, Robert Pinsky, Stan Strickland, Grub Staffer and Instructor Shuchi Saraswat, The True Colors Troupe, and Artistic Noise.


Open Mic Night for Teen Writers 
When: May 18, 2018, 3:00-4:30pm; Where: Mattapan Branch of the Boston Public Library, 1350 Blue Hill Ave, Mattapan
Join us for an open mic afternoon, hosted by Yahdon Israel of #LiterarySwag and Brooklyn Magazine. Come perform and compete for a $25 gift card! Refreshments will be served. For teens ages 12-17.


Pop-Up Magazine with John Jeremiah, Sullivan, Davy Rothbart and others
When: May 19, 2018, 7:30pm; Where: Emerson Cutler Majestic Theater, 219 Tremont Street Boston
Writers and journalists will bring new multimedia stories to the stage, with film, photography, sound, and animation all mixed together, and perform alongside a live score by the Magik*Magik Orchestra. The New York Times calls the show “a sensation.” Save $5 with promo code GRUBSTREET.


Poetry Reading: Tommy Pico (Junk) Joseph Osmundson (Inside/Out) Dorothea Lasky (Milk)
When: May 23, 2018, 7:00pm; Where: Brookline Booksmith, 279 Harvard Street Brookline
Join us for a night of poetry, featuring the most recent collections from three acclaimed poets.


GrubStreet's Summer 2018 Open House and Showcase 
When: May 24, 5:30-8:00pm; Where: GrubStreet HQ, 162 Boylston St. 5th floor, 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 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. Not only that, but current Grubbies will read from their work in our Student Showcase at 7:00pm!




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


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