Writerly Happenings: Open Mics, Writer Circle's and Book Club Happenings In June!


Too Upset To Read?

No one is reading anything these days because the world is insane and everyone is too mad to read. Seriously, it’s a drought out there in terms of book recommendations. I cornered my brainiacs at a party last weekend and - nada. I myself just finished the YA novel “Girls on the Verge,” by Sharon Biggs Waller, and I think it’s probably mandatory reading for everyone. I might follow it up with “Handbook for a Post-Roe America,” by Robin Marty, you know, just to keep things light.  

And I’m again happily and intensely flipping and flopping through Diane Wakoski’s “Emerald Ice: Selected Poems 1962-1987” in the middle of the night. 

In “Sour Milk,” she writes, 

“You can't make it
turn sweet

True, so true, Diane.

What’s Happening In June

So then, if we aren’t too busy with dismantling the patriarchy or gardening or figuring out where to keep the ice scraper until next year (trunk, someone’s eye, whichever), we’ll see you at one of these amazing writerly happenings all around us.

First of all, put on your calendar under “ways to improve writerly self for next year”: the Sarah Lawrence Summer Seminar. This year’s deadline was Saturday, June 1. If selected, you can join 70 writers for a week of workshops and readings and craft talks. There are scholarships available and you can take a hybrid genre workshop with Cold Spring’s Jeffrey McDaniel, who is a phenomenal teacher and writer (this is said confidently from personal experience in his workshops).

On Wednesday, June 5, you could be at the Writers Speak Easy, a “monthly open-mic roundtable” for writers, poets, comics and storytellers at Rough Draft Books in Kingston from 7 to 9 pm. It’s free but for the purchase of some of the excellent food, drink or books they have on hand. Worth it!

On Friday, June 7, you could head up to Poughkeepsie’s Underwear Factory for Earth Wind  & Fuego’s Fiesta Friday open mic, hosted by Poet Gold, and find yourself among a lovely and strong community of supportive writers. 5 to 10 pm. 

It’s Time To Get Lit

Sunday, June 9, finds us back in the nurturing arms of the Get Lit literary salon at Oak Vino Wine Bar from 5 to 8 pm. These busy bees also started a monthly writers’ circle so you can get some feedback, and just donated loads of books to Beacon High School. 


Binnacle Books was on the scene to sell copies of “Deadly” and “Looker” at the new Spring Street Reading Series at Atlas Studios in Newburgh on May 17, when Get Lit founder and author Julie Chibbaro read with poet and prose writer Laura Sims and they had a great dialogue afterwards with series curator Ruth Danon. The series gathers a host of creamline novelists, poets, editors and nonfiction writers from the Hudson Valley and beyond. The next one is Saturday, June 29, at 7 pm.

Bringing Newburgh To Beacon


The Beacon bookstore is also bringing Newburgh to Beacon with a relentlessly enticing Afro-futurism Book Club Series in partnership with the Newburgh LGBTQ+ Center. Starts on Sunday, June 23, with Octavia Butler’s “Kindred” and is from 7 to 8 pm at Binnacle Books. Your recommended $10 donation also gets you a book to use for the duration of the series!

Back over in Newburgh on Wednesday, June 19, PANJA presents The Lit: Book Club at 15 Liberty St. from 7 to 9 pm. This book club “will be prioritizing authors outside the traditional canon; narratives that uplift the voices of POC, women, mystics, immigrants, envelope pushers, and other out-of-the box thinkers whose work touches on issues that tie into current events & critical conversations.” Yes, please.

From Cold Spring

On Saturday, June 15, the new Hudson Highlands poetry series at the Desmond-Fish library in Garrison has a pretty primo lineup of writers reading: Kathleen Ossip, Kristin Prevallet and Marjorie Tesser will thrill you from 1:30 to 2:30 pm. We’ll stop in at Split Rock Books on our way back to Beacon for their One-Year Anniversary Party. Big-time congrats! 


Speaking of Split Rock Books, we are sorry to not have hyped everyone more on their triumphant score for hosting Susan Choi’s reading of Trust Exercise: a novel, on Friday, May 17. Another past happening we can light up was their Kids Book Club from Beacon resident Deb Lucke and author of The Lunch Witch! Kids 7 to 10 years old could come on Thursday, May 30, from 4 to 4:45 pm and she was there to talk and answer questions.
Editor’s Note: We sadly published this Writerly Happenings too late after the happening, but didn’t want to delete the details! You must know about them in case you want to pursue this book and the Kids Club in the future.

So Then!

We’ll see you beautiful book nerds out and about in the Hudson Valley, whilst gnashing our teeth and talking about our wild irises.