On the first Sunday of the month, The Shanty at the New York Distilling Company is generous enough to let me host a short showcase of local literary talent – poetry, prose, and anything in between – with a particular focus on uplifting emerging and marginalized voices. Past readers include Caitlin Barasch, Anselm Berrigan, Natalka Burian, Elaine Hsieh Chou, John Coletti, Jenzo DuQue, Willie Filkowski, Nancy Huang, Chantal V. Johnson, Yuxi Lin, Emily Neuberger, Monique Ngozi Nri, Soraya Palmer, Liv Stratman, Erin Swan, Qian Julie Wang, Miaochun Zhang, and many others.
I’ve worked at The Shanty off-and-on since 2017 and I always thought it would be a great place to host a literary event. The reading series became real during a conversation with bar manager Marissa Mazzotta, a poet and musician herself. (As is the case with many bars, The Shanty’s staff has always been an artistic bunch.) As things slowly open up again, we wanted to create a space to share work and foster local literary community, which feels especially important after being so isolated from each other for so long.
Our first reading took place on Sunday, April 25th, 2021. The next reading will take place Sunday, April 2nd, 2023. For more information, check out the Reading Series Instagram, or sign up for updates here.