By Samantha Samel
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Abound with writers and bookworms, Brooklyn has a distinctly rich literary culture. But despite the wealth of bookstores and literary events, there are communities in the borough that have comparatively less access to such innovative programs. In an effort to spread the lit love, Brooklyn-based author Amy Shearn has created a reading series called Lit at Lark, which will target what she sees as “a still-underserved-literary community" – the areas of Windsor Terrace, Kensington, and Ditmas Park.
The series, which will begin on Sunday, Sept. 15, will be held on the third Sunday of every month at Lark Café (1007 Church Ave., between Coney Island Avenue and Stratford Road in Kensington/Ditmas Park). “I love Lark – it's this amazing addition to our neighborhood,” Shearn told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. “I did a reading at Lark when my book came out, and the owners loved the idea of having an ongoing reading series - it was actually co-owner Lori Kranczer's idea.”
Listeners can enjoy a cup of coffee or glass of wine while listening to both award-winning and up-and-coming writers reading fiction and non-fiction. “It's a beautiful space,” said Shearn. “I liked the idea of bringing authors to our corner of Brooklyn, which is still a bit under the radar.”
The events are free and will be run in collaboration with Greenpoint’s WORD Bookstore, which will offer a pop-up bookstore at each event, sharing participating authors’ books and recommendations.
Lit at Lark’s first featured readers will be Darin Strauss, Fiona Maazel, and Leigh Newman. Shearn said she’s reached out to a variety of authors, including good friends and writers she knows from Twitter.
A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a winner of the American Library Association's Alix Award and The National Book Critics Circle Award, the internationally-bestselling writer Darin Strauss is the author of the novels “Chang & Eng”, “The Real McCoy”, and “More Than It Hurts You” and the NBCC-winning memoir “Half a Life”. His work has been translated into fourteen languages and published in nineteen countries, and he is a Clinical Associate Professor at NYU's creative writing program.
Leigh Newman’s memoir “Still Points North: One Alaskan Childhood, One Grown-up World, One Long Journey Home” was released by Dial Press in March 2013. Her fiction, essays and book reviews have appeared in The New York Times Modern Love column, Vogue, O The Oprah Magazine. She currently serves as Deputy Editor of Oprah.com and as an editor-at-large for the indie press Black Balloon Publishing.
Fiona Maazel is the author of the novels “Last Last Chance” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2008; Picador Paperback, 2009) and “Woke Up Lonely” (Graywolf, 2013). She is a winner of the Bard Prize for Fiction and a National Book Foundation “5 Under 35″ honoree, which, she has quipped, feels less potent now that she is 38. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The NY Times Sunday Book Review, This American Life, and elsewhere. Maazel teaches at Brooklyn College, New York University, Columbia and Princeton and resides in Brooklyn.
Amy Shearn is the author of the novels “The Mermaid of Brooklyn” and “How Far Is The Ocean From Here.” Shearn told the Eagle, “The Brooklyn writing community is such a large and friendly one…It's really all just an excuse to see great, talented writers read from their work!”
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The Sept. 15 event will begin at 5 p.m. Lark Café is located at 1007 Church Ave., between Coney Island Avenue and Stratford Road in Kensington/Ditmas Park.