Friday, April 29, 2011

A Conversation about Character

This past Wednesday, the authors (and, we're proud to say, also NYSL members) Meg Wolitzer and Elizabeth Strout got together in our Members' Room for a conversation about character. The room was filled with writers - when I saw the attendance list, I believe I blurted out to Sara, NYSL's Events Coordinator, "these are MY people!!!"

I was thinking about blogging about the event, but I don't need to. Member writer Sidney Stark has done it for me, and far better than I could have. Read her impressions of the evening on her blog, The Unblocked Writer...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Jan C. Grossman at NYPL 96th Street

Member poet Jan C. Grossman will be reading from a manuscript in progress this Saturday at The New York Public Library's 96th Street branch.

Jan has been instrumental in the success of our own writing groups here at The New York Society Library. She facilitates the robust members only Poets Writing Group, which meets the 4th Tuesday of each month at 4:30pm.

Come on out and support Jan this weekend!
Poetry Reading by Jan C. Grossman
Saturday, April 30, 2pm
96th Street Library, NYPL


Monday, April 25, 2011

Time's Most Influential

The 2011 TIME 100 list of the most influential people in the world is out, and as The New Yorker points out, there are, sadly, only 4 writers on the list.

At least one of those 4 is one of our own:
NYSL member Jonathan Franzen

Videos, a reading, food & wine, and 2 great magazines

So, are you sick of me mentioning the Library's 2nd annual Literary Magazine Salon that's coming up this Thursday? Please indulge me, because I am really, really excited about it! And you should be too. It's a critic's pick this week in Time Out New York and featured in The Word in New York Magazine.

The arts & culture magazine BOMB is marking its 30th anniversary this year (The New York Times reported on their benefit gala last week in words and pictures) and they will be continuing the party this week at our salon. Paul Morris, BOMB's General Manager of Digital Media & Marketing will take us on an audiovisual tour of the magazine's illustrious history.

And then there's the upstart, 1-year old Electric Literature. Co-publisher and Editor-in-Chief Andy Hunter will be screening some short films inspired by work by Michael Cunningham and others and will be presenting author Nathan Englander, who will be reading from a new story to be published in the magazine's forthcoming issue #6.

We'll have food and wine and plenty of time to chat up our guests and pick up some current and back issues of the magazines. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, April 28, 6:30pm
$10; Advance registration

Friday, April 22, 2011

It's a Busy Week: April 25 - 29

Next week is a busy one at the library....

Monday, April 25, 10am - 12:00pm
Children's/YA Writers Group {members only; Whitridge Room}

Tuesday, April 26, 4:30pm - 6:30pm
Poets Group {members only; Whitridge Room}

Wednesday, April 27
11am - 1pm Fiction Writers Group II {members only; Whitridge Room}

6:30pm Meg Wolitzer and Elizabeth Strout: A Conversation about Character and Contemporary Fiction {Members' Room; this event is FULLY REGISTERED}

Thursday, April 28, 6:30pm
A Literary Magazine Salon featuring BOMB and Electric Literature
{Members' Room}
Join us for food, wine, conversation, readings, video, and more celebrating two amazing literary magazines.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Week Ahead: April 18 - 22

A few writing group meetings, a few tech classes of note...Open to NYSL members only. All programs are held in the Whitridge Room.

Monday, April 18, 3pm - 4:45pm
Memoir Writers Group
Please be aware that this group is now at capacity. Interested new members are welcome to sit in and observe at this time; a new group will be forming in the Fall.

Tuesday, April 19, 5pm - 6:45pm
Fiction Writers Group I

Wednesday, April 20
10am - 11:30am Tech Workshop: Etsy {taught by Peri Pignetti}
2pm - 3:30pm Tech Workshop: JStor/Project MUSE {taught by yours truly}
A little space still available for both. Register here.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

This Just In! Nathan Englander coming to NYSL!

Exciting news this morning!

Nathan Englander, author of The Ministry of Special Cases and For the Relief of Unbearable Urges, has joined the program for our Literary Magazine Salon on April 28.

NYSL's Literary Magazine Salon features two amazing publications: the 1-year old Electric Literatureand the 30 year old BOMB magazine. Nathan will be reading from work to be published in EL's 6th issue.

Literary Magazine Salon
Thurs, April 28, 6:30pm

readings, food & wine, conversation!
$10 with advance registration
members register here
non-members please call or email our Events office:
212-288-6900 or
The New York Society Library
53 E. 79th Street

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Books at the Bar, Thurs, April 14

I've written about this book talk series before. NYSL member and NY State Court Judge Diane Kiesel is the chair of Books at the Bar, a wonderful author lecture series that is held in the beautiful New York City Bar Association building.

Author Michael Greenburg will speak about his new book The Mad Bomber of New York: The Extraordinary True Story of the Manhunt that Paralyzed a City. The book chronicles the story of the disgruntled Con Edison employee who placed bombs around New York City landmarks in the 1950s.

The talk begins with a wine and cheese reception at 6 PM.

Thursday, April 14
The New York City Bar

42 West 44th Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues)
FREE and open to the public

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Literary Journals are thriving, have you heard?

Literary magazines are thriving, according to The New York Times.

Are we supposed to be surprised? We aren't. Our members are passionate readers of literary magazines - and thanks to some generous donors, we recently added subscriptions to jubliat, BOMB, Ploughshares, the Southern Review, and Barrow Street to our collection.

The Library is also proud to sponsor an annual Literary Magazine Salon, this year featuring the 30 year old BOMB magazine and the 1 year old Electric Literature. Both magazines have been using new media to explore different forms and attract audiences. This year's event will be held on April 28 at 6:30pm in the Members' Room. There will be food and wine, readings, short films, and a good dose of great conversation. Join us! Event information is on our website and on Facebook.

There's also a great program TONIGHT at NYPL. And truth be told, Periodically Speaking is the inspiration for The New York Society Library's Lit Mag Salon. As a library student, I interned with Karen Gisonny, the Helen G. Bernstein Librarian for Periodicals and Journals at NYPL, who has been running this literary magazine series along with the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses for a number of years. The experience was eye opening - I discovered magazines I'd never seen before and received a real education in what a labor of love it is for the people who tirelessly work to put out these gems. I highly recommend you attend tonight's event - I think you'll be amazed.
Periodically Speaking: The Little Magazine Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
DeWitt Wallace Periodical Room
The New York Public Library, 5th Ave at 42nd St.

A Literary Magazine Salon featuring BOMB and Electric Literature
Members' Room, The New York Society Library
53 E. 79th Street (between Park and Madison)
Thursday, April 28 at 6:30pm
$10 w/advance registration

Non-members can register by calling or emailing our Events office: 212-288-6900 x230 or

Monday, April 11, 2011

Remembering Matthew Phillips

All of us here at The New York Society Library were saddened to hear that one of our member writers, Matthew Phillips, died last week. Matthew was the son of member and writer Louis Phillips.

A memorial service was held yesterday on the Upper West Side. The news website Mondoweiss, for which Matthew often contributed, published a moving tribute and reported this account of the memorial service.

Matthew's family has set up a fund at the Library in his name. Contributions will be used to buy books for the collection which will include a special memorial bookplate with Matt's name. Contributions can be mailed to The New York Society Library, 53 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10075.

The Writing Life this week

Monday, April 11
10 am - 12 pm! Children's/Young Adult writing group starts!
Whitridge Room

3 pm - 4:45 pm Non-fiction writing group
Whitridge Room

Tuesday, April 12
10 am Journaling for Writers with Hilary Thayer Hamann
Whitridge Room
room still available; email me at

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Lisa Dierbeck makes longlist for Independent Bookseller's Award

Member Lisa Dierbeck's The Autobiography of Jenny X has been named to the longlist for the first ever Independent Booksellers Choice Award.

The short list will be announced on May 1, and the 5 winners will be announced on May 23 at Housing Works Bookstore.

Congratulations, Lisa! A full list of all of the nominees is here.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


We still have some room in next week's daytime Writing Life talk on Journaling for Writers.

Next Tuesday, take a break from your writing and join us for an illuminating discussion about how to use journaling to improve your writing,

Our speaker is Hilary Thayer Hamann, the author of the cult classic novel The Anthropology of an American Girl, which was independently published and later picked up by Spiegel and Grau.

Tuesday, April 12, 10 a.m.
Whitridge Room

register by
e-mailing me at:

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Revising Your Dissertation

We've just acquired a book that may be of some interest to our member scholars: Revising Your Dissertation: Advice from Leading Editors.

This book, edited by Beth Luey, is full of great tips and information for turning your dissertation into a book or into articles for commercial publication. Check it out!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Meg Wolitzer at Barnes and Noble

NYSL Member Meg Wolitzer will join Mary Gordon in conversation on Tuesday to discuss their respective new novels: Wolitzer's Uncoupling and Gordon's The Love of My Youth.

Tues, April 5 at 7pm
Barnes & Noble
86th & Lexington

Friday, April 1, 2011

Meredith Bergmann at Bowery Poetry Club

This Sunday, head on down to the Bowery Poetry Club for a reading by Rachel Hadas and NYSL member Meredith Bergmann, plus an open mic for metrical poetry.

Meredith will be reading a disobedient sestina and giving a mock-art-historical-murder-mystery slide lecture.

Sunday, April 3, 6:00-7:30 PM
Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery(just north of Houston St.)