The Smart Set is a weekly feature, compiled by Lauren Cerand, that appears Mondays and highlights the best of the week to come. Special favor is given to New York’s independent booksellers and venues, and low-cost and free events. Please send details to firstname.lastname@example.org by the Thursday prior to publication, with the event’s date in the subject line.
MONDAY, 2.6: The Reader’s Room at Mo Pitkin’s presents “Will Heinrich, author of The King’s Evil, singer/songwriter Andrew Vladeck, and musician/composer Cynthia Hopkins of Gloria Deluxe.” I love the music meets literature combo, and Heinrich’s fiction sounds ripe for storytelling. Highly recommended. 7:00pm, no cover. Writers at the Alliance presents a reading featuring Rene Steinke, author of the brilliant Holy Skirts, Clifford Chase, author of The Hurry-Up Song: A Memoir of Losing My Brother and forthcoming novelist Robert Mars. At The Educational Alliance. 7:00pm, free. In Brooklyn, filmmaker Joe Pacheco (who I worked with last Fall, to promote his literary documentary, As Smart As They Are: The Author Project), presents the Brooklyn Independent Cinema Series at Barbes. 7:00pm, no cover.
TUESDAY, 2.7: Editor Stephen Elliott and David Amsden, Ben Greenman, and Amanda Eyre Ward, contributors to Stumbling and Raging, an anthology of politically inspired fiction, read at Bluestockings with royalties to benefit progressive candidates in 2006. Highly recommended. 7:00pm, free. And, buzzed-about author Sara Gran reads from her latest novel, Dope at Partners & Crime. 7:00pm, free. Uptown, Patti Smith reads from her new book, Auguries of Innocence in “an evening of poetry and acoustic song” at Columbia’s Miller Theater. 8:00pm, $5.
WEDNESDAY, 2.8: At Amanda Stern’s Happy Ending Reading Series, authors Cate Marvin (World’s Tallest Disaster), Kate Braverman (Frantic Transmissions to and from Los Angeles), and Rattawut Lapcharoensap (Sightseeing) risk it all on stage, to the musical accompaniment of Jonathan Spottiswoode. I’ll be there. 8:00pm, no cover. Also, Lara Vapnyar, author of the forthcoming Memoirs of a Muse, and Ilana Stanger-Ross read from their respective work as part of the “Novel Jews” series at KGB. Highly recommended. 7:30pm, no cover. And, music video director and photographer Floria Sigismondi signs copies of her second book, Immune, at the Virgin Megastore in Times Square. Note: “Floria’s music videos will be projected in-store and there will be a special guest DJ- Lillian Berlin of Living Things!” 6-8pm, free.
THURSDAY, 2.9: Paragraph, a new, intriguing, “affordable and tranquil working environment for writers of all genres,” presents another powerhouse reading, this time featuring Elissa Schappell (Use Me) and Marian Fontana (A Widow’s Walk: A Memoir of 9/11), at Teachers and Writers Collaborative. Followed by a reception with the authors. 7:00pm, free. In Brooklyn, Samantha Hunt, whose fantastic work I came to know after she emailed me with a submission for The Smart Set back in 2004, reads from her exquisite debut novel, The Seas, along with Christopher Sorrentino, author of Trance and National Book Award fiction finalist, at Pete’s Candy Store. 7:30pm, no cover. At Jen Bekman [full disclosure, as always: I am the gallery’s p.r. director], “Heart of Gold and Other Expensive Things,” an exhibition of paintings by Jeffrey Teuton, whose work is “a fusion of pop culture, architecture, icons, fame, power, money, sex, and consumer culture” and “a place where fantasy, reality, sadness, and ego can all blend together” opens with a reception at the gallery and an afterparty at blvd. 6-8:00pm, free.
FRIDAY, 2.10: The PAGE Series at the National Arts Club presents memoirist Bruce Stutz (Chasing Spring) and poet Eugene Ostashevsky (Iterature). Note: wearing a jacket, as requested, is the price one pays for free refreshments. 7:00pm, free. And, 31 Grand presents the opening of “Salt, Soil, Ash…[artist Jeph Gurecka’s] series of paintings created solely on and from rudimentary materials; greatly motivated by the writings of the Czech philosophers Ladislav Klima, Mircea Eliade, and Bohumil Hrabal…. All of the images and inspiration have been taken from Eastern Europe where Jeph has had a close relationship with the people and environment for the past two years… Much like Mandala paintings and street graffiti murals, GureckaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s work exists to reflect on the moment, the preciousness of the past and the impermanence of the world.” 7-10pm, free. Additionally, author Phil Campbell (Zioncheck for President) sends word that he will be playing the role of FBI Chief Ben Harp in “the launch of Point Break Live! The Reeves/Patrick Swayze/Gary Busey epic surfing/skydiving/bank robbin’ action movie…Adapted for the stage!” At Galapagos Art Space. 8:30pm, $10.
SATURDAY, 2.11: Poets House hosts a day-long celebration of Catalan Poetry, with keynote by Harold Bloom. See site for details; free. Saturday evening, politically-conscious playwright Clay McLeod Chapman (Miss Corpus) workshops Friendly Fire at Studio 42. The piece “delves into the voices of the people most directly affected by war. Structured as a series of monologues and rich with ChapmanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s trademark, twisted humor and perverse metaphor.” Highly recommended. 8:00pm, $5. (Note: the first two performances of this three-evening run take place earlier in the week, on Tuesday and Thursday). And, according to our favorite anonymous correspondent, the one behind Living with Legends: The Hotel Chelsea Blog, “I know a few Chelsea residents who are astrology buffs. Stop by the Marc Jacobs store on Bleeker Street and visit the favored astrologers of the fashion insiders, Stella Starsky and Quinn Cox. They will be providing free consultations in the store window this month. Display window of Marc Jacobs, 403 Bleecker Street (@ West 11th). 4:00-7:00pm.”
SUNDAY, 2.12: Kate Braverman, author of the afore-mentioned Frantic Transmissions to and from Los Angeles), is feted with a party in her honor at the Bowery Poetry Club: “Seven Stories is delighted to invite you to join us for the celebration of the 25th Anniversary of Kate BravermanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s first born, Lithium for Medea…The LFM poems will be presented with music by Dr. G and the band. Cake and candle ceremony to follow.” Highly recommended. 5:00pm, free. And, SoHo’s Bar Rio presents Sunday Night Cinema. Also, Maxx Klaxon leaves the safety of his top-secret bunker (under The Greenbrier, perhaps?) to trade your shoegazer whatever for some highly addictive, “beautiful, dirty, political electropop.” At The Delancey. Consider it essential. 9:00pm, “$5 for leather, latex, cyberpunks, cyberdrags, fashionistas, etc. $7 all black, $10 all else.”