The 92nd St. Y presents two literary heavyweights on Monday. Martin Amis and Ian McEwan will talk about their friendship, careers, and respective work. The event will be introduced by Salman Rushdie. Kaufman Concert Hall, 8pm, $32+.
PowerHouse Arena presents Colum McCann reading from his latest novel TransAtlantic. McCann will read as a part of the Books Beneath the Bridge series and will be joined after the reading by novelist Bill Cheng for a discussion. Pier 1, Brooklyn Bridge Park, 7pm, free.
Biographer Benita Eisler talks about her new book on the artist George Catlin, the man whose 19th century portraits of plains native americans, among other works, shaped our image of the American West. The Red Man’s Bones looks at Catlin’s troubled life in Europe, his art, and how he faded into obscurity toward the end of his life. Strand Books, 7pm, free with book purchase.
The Academy of American Poets free summer series presents notable contemporary poets in outdoor readings around the city. The series kicks off with a reading featuring poets Yusef Komunyakaa, Matt Rasmussen, and Evie Shockley. Highline Amphitheater, 6:30pm, free.
Punderdome 3000. That is all. Housing Works Bookstore, 7pm, $10.
The New York Times presents an evening celebrating Disunion, a collection of 112 unique works of commentary by the best writers about the Civil War, all collected from the NYT’s Disunion blog. The blog revisits the Civil War and reexamines everything from “Lincoln’s election to emancipation.” Featured readers / historians include Clay Risen, Op-Ed staff editor; Ted Widmer, writer and historian at Brown University and recent advisor to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, deputy Op-Ed editor; and Jamie Malanowski, an original member of the Disunion project and an editor at Time, Esquire, and Playboy. McNally Jackson, 7pm, free.
The completely amazing Tor.com is celebrating five years of bringing great science-fiction and fantasy discussions, reviews, art, and the like to your life. Join them as they give our free books, free drinks, free swag, and have SF trivia hosted by Lev Grossman, Ellen Datlow, Genevieve Valentine, and Michael Swanwick. Housing Works Bookstore, 6:30pm, free.
As a reaction to violence in Gaza in 2008/09, poets Grace Beeler and Joan Dobbie issued a call for poems by writers of “Palestinian or Jewish heritage for an anthology that strives for understanding in the belief that poetry can create understanding and understanding can dull hatred.” Tonight they present some of the poems in a talk called “Before There is Nowhere to Stand: Palestine/Israel–Poets Respond to the the Struggle.” Bluestockings, 7pm, free.
The monthly story-telling and humor series Real Characters returns with Mindy Raf, author of The Symptoms of My Insanity; Charlie McDowell, author of Dear Girls Above Me: Inspired by a True Story; and Giulia Rozzi, Stripped Stories, Bad Bride. McNally Jackson, 7pm, free.
Leslie Goshko’s storytelling evening, Sideshow Goshko, hits the KGB with live accordion, trivia, prizes, and stories from Sam Dingman, Andrew Linderman, and Steven Berkowitz. KGB Bar, 7pm, free.
Colum McCann reads again from his novel Transatlantic. A discussion and signing will follow the reading. Bookcourt, 7pm, free.
SATURDAY 07.27 & 28
The 3rd Annual New York Poetry Festival hits Governors Island. The event is turning into an annual highlight with two full days of poems in the sun. With three stages running all day, booksellers and venders on the island, and over 200 poets, it’s hard not to find something to like about the Poetry Fest. Readers this year include Lara Glenum, Cornelius Eady, Dorothea Lasky, Catherine Wagner, CA Conrad, Paul Legault, Todd Colby, Anne Waldman, Geoffrey Nutter, Andrew Durbin, Miguel Algarin, J. Hope Stein, Cate Marvin, Bob Holman, Cathy Park Hong, and tons more. Check out the full line-up here. Governors Island, 11:20am-5pm, $10 suggested donation.
Adam Krause presents his pamphlet “The Revolution Will Be Hilarious,” in which Krause argues that comedy, social change, and democracy are all intertwined and that comedy can be the catalyst. Krause will read from the pamphlet with tape delays to create an immersive sound experience. After his reading sound artist Gen Ken Montgomery will do an amplified lamination of the pamphlet. Bluestockings, 7pm, free.