Downtown Literary Festival: Housing Works Bookstore Cafe and McNally Jackson

Sunday, April 14, 2013 from 10:00am to 5:00pm

McNally Jackson and Housing Works Bookstore Cafe are collaborating on the inaugural Downtown Literary Festival, a daylong celebration of the literary culture of New York City. The festival will take place at both bookstores simultaneously throughout the day on Sunday, April 14, 2013, followed by a happy hour mingle at Housing Works Bookstore and an after-party at Pravda, featuring Russian literature–themed cocktails.

Why a Downtown Literary Festival? The goal of DLF is to showcase the literature and writers of New York City. We will aim to reflect the diversity and creativity that characterizes downtown NYC with a day of the non-traditional events for which McNally Jackson and Housing Works Bookstore each have become known.

10:15–11:30AM On the Grid: Stories In Our Streets
Begins at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, moves to McNally Jackson Books at 11AM.

A tour of the literature of downtown New York City with Lit Crawl NYC, moving geographically through downtown NYC through stories, poetry, and essays. With Amor Towles, Joanna Smith-Rakoff, Sarah Schulman, Jami Attenberg, David Goodwillie, Rosie Schaap, Brendan Jay Sullivan, Lev Grossman, Adam Wilson, Jennifer Gilmore, Kristopher Jansma, Hari Kunzru, Katie Kitamura, Greg Young, and Amy Waldman.

11:30AM–12:15 DISH presents Russ & Daughters
Housing Works Bookstore Cafe

DISH is a sumptuous four-course literary feast of readings and stories, as told by New York's hottest chefs, restauranteurs, mixologists, food authors, bloggers and critics. Each "course" -- Aperitif, Appetizer, Main and Dessert -- features an expert in their respective field, guaranteed to provide an evening of mind-watering entertainment. Join us for a nosh with Mark Russ Federman, author of Russ & Daughters: The House that Herring Built, and former owner of Russ & Daughters. Mark will be joined by fourth-generation owners of the legendary store, Josh Russ Tupper and Niki Federman.

12:00PM–12:45PM Having a Coke with You: Lunch with Frank O'Hara
McNally Jackson Books

Join us for a lunch hour celebration with selections from Frank O'Hara. With readings by Eileen Myles, Colm Toibin, Wayne Koestenbaum, Chris Schmidt, Paul Legault, Stephen Motika, Corina Copp, Elizabeth Willis, Andrew Gorin, Dustin Kurtz, Sarah Gerard, Timothy Donnelly, John Coletti, Alice Whitwham and more.

12:30PM–1:15PM The Recital: The City
Housing Works Bookstore Cafe

Back in the day, people used to have to memorize texts for school, to keep a few lines of prose or poetry in their hearts at all times, easily accessible in any situation. This practice has mostly gone to the wayside--no longer do whole classrooms of miserable schoolchildren have to recite "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" by heart--but it begs the question: what text would you choose to burn into your brain if you could choose anything at all? The Recital is a new literary series where we want you to answer that question, with a theme each time: this time, the theme is, of course, downtown NYC. Writers and performers will each recite a 1–3 minute piece of their choice. The only real rule is that the memorized text cannot be their own; otherwise, anything goes. Hosted by Rachel Syme and Maris Kreizman, featuring Simon Van Booy, Justin Taylor, Rosie Schaap, Adam Rathe, Jenn Northington, Eric Nelson, Ryan Chapman.

1:00PM–1:45PM Fast Talking: Downtown Writing from The Paris Review Archive
McNally Jackson Books

Selections from The Paris Review’s archives, on the occasion of the magazine's sixtieth anniversary. Will include readings of the poetry of Barbara Guest and Bernadette Mayer by Hettie Jones, Jim Carroll’s The Basketball Diaries by Hailey Gates, and a performance of Jack Kerouac’s 1968 Art of Fiction interview by Paul Lazar, of Big Dance Theatre.

1:30PM–2:15PM New York á la Cart: Veteran Vendors Dish about Life on the Streets
Housing Works Bookstore Cafe

Join New York á la Cart: Recipes and Stories from the Big Apple’s Best Food Trucks authors, Siobhan Wallace and Alexandra Penfold, as they lead a discussion with Red Hook Food Vendors Executive Director, Cesar Fuentes, and Vendy award finalists Nick Karagiorgos, second generation owner of Uncle Gussy's Greek Truck, Fauzia Abdur-Rahman from Bronx-based Fauzia's Heavenly Delights, and Jonathan Hernandez from Patacon Pisao, New York's only Venezuelan food truck. Stories and street food history will be served up in conversation while the acclaimed carts and trucks will be parked nearby selling their signature dishes.

2:00PM–2:45PM Is the New York Bohemian Dead?
McNally Jackson Books

Is there still a meaningful tradition of literary bohemianism in downtown New York City, or has that tradition vanished into the Bugaboo West Village? How have our values surrounding art and money and free spiritedness changed the writers' experience of the city? Is there anything we can learn from the lost traditions of bohemian literary culture? Join Katie Roiphe (In Praise of Messy Lives), James Atlas (The Great Pretender), Lucas Wittman (The Daily Beast) and novelist Donald Antrim for a conversation about the ghost of bohemianism in today's downtown NYC.

2:30PM–3:15PM Road Trip with The American Guide
Housing Works Bookstore Cafe

For a visitor to city in the 1940s, no guide was more comprehensive than the WPA Guide to New York, a block-by-block encyclopedia of the neighborhoods, covered by some of the city most talended writers. The book was a part of the American Guide series, published by the Federal Writers Project between 1935 and 1943, which encouraged Depression-weary Americans to explore their own backyard.

For our exploration of the American Guide, we're joined by Erin Chapman and Tom McNamara, creators of the The American Guide Tumblr, which aims to capture the spirit of travel and discovery fostered by the original guide. Also joining us is Gabriel Kahane, composer of Gabriel's Guide to the 48 States, a suite based on the American Guide, which will have its world premiere at Carnegie Hall on April 27th. Discussion moderated by Michelle Legro of Lapham's Quarterly.

3:00PM–3:45PM You Should Have Been There: Stories of the Best Show Ever
McNally Jackson Books

Nikolai Fraiture (The Strokes), Alan Light, Thurston Moore, Ariana Reines, Marc Ribot, Patrick Stickles (Titus Andronicus) and other musicians and writers tell us about the best NYC show they ever went to.

3:30PM–4:15PM Slaughterhouse 90210: Downtown Edition
Housing Works Bookstore Cafe

Maris Kreizman of Slaughterhouse 90210, the lit/TV Tumblr, presents NYC-themed slide presentation, and has asked writers to talk about their favorite NY-based TV shows: Carlene Bauer, Austin Ratner, Jason Diamond, and Jessica Soffer.

4:00PM–5:00PM South of Power: Sub-Houston Manhattan and the Vanishing Fringe
McNally Jackson Books

Stories of public transit, private connections, and what happened when the lights went out. With Kathleen Alcott, Sophie Blackall, Charles Bock, Saïd Sayrafiezadeh, Luc Sante, and John Wray.

5:00PM–7:00PM Happy Hour Mingle at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
Unwind after the festival with drinks and mingling at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe. Boozy sweet treats from Spirited Brooklyn!

7:00PM Pravda After-Party, Sponsored by HarperCollins
281 Lafayette St. New York, NY 10012

Master and Margaritas, Crime and Punish-mints, and more Russian literature–themed cocktails at DLF discounts with films featuring Berlin and Odessa in the early 20th century are projected onto Pravda’s walls. The first 80 cocktails will be on the house, courtesy of HarperCollins; after that enjoy a special DLF discount!

Info also over at McNally Jackson.

Bookstore Cafe

126 Crosby Street New York, NY 10012

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Hours: Mon–Fri: 9 AM–9 PM, Sat–Sun: 10 AM–5 PM