Named one of the best reading series in NYC as well as one of the 50 best free things to do in the city by Time Out New York, the Brooklyn Poets Reading Series takes place bimonthly at select venues in Brooklyn, with a summer stop on Governor’s Island. Readings are free and open to the public.
Each reading features three poets, with at least one from Brooklyn. We take pride in featuring emerging poets alongside more established poets, making a special effort to include those from underrepresented communities. Readings are curated by Jason Koo. For inquiries, contact us.
Charles Theonia is a poet and teacher from Brooklyn. They are the author of the poetry collection Which One Is the Bridge (Topside Press, 2015) and coeditor of Femmescapes, a zine of queer and trans affinities with femmeness. They teach literacy skills and encourage critical analysis of police violence and mass incarceration at the Borough of Manhattan Community College.
Simone John is a poet, educator and facilitator based in Boston, MA. She received an MFA in creative writing from Goddard College with an emphasis in documentary poetics. Her poetry has appeared or been reviewed in Wildness, the Boston Globe, Publishers Weekly, Guernica and on PBS Newshour, among other places. She is chief creative officer at Hive Soul Yoga. Testify (Octopus Books, 2017) is her first full-length book of poems.
Dorothea Lasky is the author of Milk (Wave, 2018), Rome (Norton/Liveright, 2014), Thunderbird (Wave, 2012), Black Life (Wave, 2010) and Awe (Wave, 2007). She is also the author of several chapbooks, including Poetry Is Not a Project (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010), and coeditor of Open the Door: How to Excite Young People About Poetry (McSweeney’s, 2013). She holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, an EdM in Arts in Education from Harvard and an EdD in Creativity and Education from the University of Pennsylvania. She is an assistant professor of poetry at Columbia University’s School of the Arts, codirects Columbia Artist/Teachers and lives in Bed-Stuy.
Candace Williams is a black queer nerd living a double life. By day, she’s a middle school humanities and robotics teacher. By night and subway ride, she’s a poet. Candace’s first chapbook, Spells for Black Wizards, was a winner of the TAR Chapbook Series and published by the Atlas Review in 2018. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Hyperallergic, Bennington Review, the Brooklyn Poets Anthology, Bettering American Poetry 2016 and Nepantla: An Anthology Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color, among other places. She’s devised performances, read poetry and given lectures at many venues including the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, Bushwick Starr, Eyebeam, Dixon Place and the New Museum.
Chen Chen is the author of When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities, which won the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize and the GLCA New Writers Award and was longlisted for the National Book Award. The collection has also been named a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry and the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry. Chen’s work appears in many journals and anthologies, including Poetry, Tin House, Best American Poetry, Bettering American Poetry and Best American Nonrequired Reading. With the poet Sam Herschel Wein, he edits Underblong. He lives in Rochester, NY, with his partner, Jeff Gilbert, and their pug dog, Mr. Rupert Giles.
Donna Masini’s third book of poems, 4:30 Movie, will be out this May from Norton. She is the author of the poetry collections Turning to Fiction (Norton, 2004) and That Kind of Danger (Beacon Press, 1994) and a novel, About Yvonne (Norton, 1998). Her work has appeared in journals and anthologies including Best American Poetry, Poetry, Ploughshares, American Poetry Review, Open City, Paris Review, Parnassus, the Pushcart Prize anthology and the Brooklyn Poets Anthology. A recipient of NEA and NYFA fellowships, she is a professor of English at Hunter College, where she teaches in the MFA creative writing program. She was born in Brooklyn and has lived in NYC all her life.