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The Enclave Reading Series

Since 2006, THE ENCLAVE Reading Series has organized monthly readings
featuring established & emerging authors of both national & international recognition


The Enclave Reading Series is excited to present yet another fantastic line-up of authors. One of our favorite writers, Ann Rower, will be reading new work. And the one and only Steve Dalachinsky is on the same bill! The remarkable short storyn writer Jess Arndt will also be taking the stage. It’s an evening of readings you won’t want to miss. As usual, admission is free, the drinks will be cheap, and the lights will be dimmed.

Saturday, March 29
5:00 - 7:00 PM
Cake Shop, 152 Ludlow Street, NYC
Follow on Twitter: @enclavianmatter

ANN ROWER is the author of If You’re a Girl (Semiotexte), and the novels Armed Response (High Risk) and Lee & Elaine. She was the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant and a member of the Wooster Group. She has also worked with the St. Mark’s Poetry Project. Her current project is Can We Go Home Now?, a novel about wounded animals. Rower’s fiction has been described as “Dorothy Parker as if she’d taken acid to come down from speed.”

STEVE DALACHINSKY’s work has appeared in various publications and anthologies, including The Brooklyn Review, Big Bridge, Milk, Ratapallax, Evergreen Review, The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry, and The Big Book of Sex. His book of poems, The Final Nite (Ugly Duckling Presse), won the 2007 PEN National Book Award. His most recent books are Logos and Language, a collaboration with pianist Matthew Shipp; Reaching into the Unknown, a collaborative project with French photographer Jacques Bisceglia; and A Superintendent’s Eyes. Dalachinsky has collaborated with various musicians, including Thurston Moore and Vernon Reid.

JESS ARNDT is a fiction writer and co-editor of the prose experiment, New Herring Press. She was most recently published in Aufgabe, BOMBsite, Matchbook, Parkett, The Diner Journal and GLU Magazine.


The Enclave continues its already bombastic 2014 season with yet another line-up for the books. New York legend PENNY ARCADE and award-winning lit punk RAMI SHAMIR are on tap. There will also be a reading of RENE RICARD’s work by Penny Arcade and a few other special guests. It’s another Enclave event you won’t want to miss!

As always, admission is free, the drinks will be cheap, and the lights will be dimmed.

Cake Shop
152 Ludlow Street, NYC
Follow on Twitter: @enclavianmatter



PENNY ARCADE is a poet, actor, director, and playwright. She has been called “the Little Sister of the Avant Garde,” having collaborated with Andy Warhol, Jack Smith, Quentin Crisp, and Jonas Mekas among many others. Her most famous play, Bitch! Dyke! Faghag! Whore!, was called by the London Times “the most quotable show of the year.” She is the author of Bad Reputation: Performances, Essays, Interviews (Semiotexte) and Arcade is the co-founder of the Lower East Side Biography Project, a video production and oral history workshop that trains participants in documentary filmmaking and preserves the stories of Lower Manhattan artists and activists


RAMI SHAMIR is the author of Train to Pokipse, the novel that publisher Barney Rosset called “a Catcher in the Rye for the new century.” His work has appeared in Adbusters, Evergreen Review, and The Brooklyn Rail, and is forthcoming in the Norwegian Feminist Magazine FeTT. He is a recipient of the 2013 Kathy Acker Award for fiction.


RENE RICARD was a poet, painter, and one of the most influential art critics of his time. He is credited with launching the careers of Julian Schnabel, Keith Haring, and Jean-Michel Basquiat among others. He appeared in the Andy Warhol films “Chelsea Girls” and “Kitchen” and was a longtime resident of the Chelsea Hotel. He was the author of several books of poems, including Trusty Sarcophagus Co., Love Poems, and God with Revolver. Rene died on February 1 of this year.

JANUARY 25: Bruce Benderson, Chavisa woods, and Tommy Pico at The Enclave!

The Enclave Reading Series kicks off its 2014 season with another powerhouse line-up. The legendary Bruce Benderson will be joined by remarkable poet Tommy Pico and award winning fiction writer Chavisa Woods. What better way to spend a NYC winter afternoon than in the company of these two formidable authors and in the comfort of The Enclave’s “dungeon of fiction.” Trust us, you don’t want to miss this one.

As usual, the lights will be dim, the drinks will be cheap, and admission is free.

January 25…4:00 - 6:00 PM…Cake Shop…152 Ludlow St…NYC

RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/520278664737197/

Follow on Twitter: @enclavianmatter



BRUCE BENDERSON is a novelist, essayist and translator whose most well known book, The Romanian: Story of an Obsession, was awarded the prestigious Prix de Flore in its French edition. Other publications include the essay collection Sex and Isolation, the novels Pacific Agony and User, and the story collection Pretending to Say No. He has written for The New York Times Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, LIbération and many other American and French publications. He regularly translates books from the French.

CHAVISA WOODS recently completed her second novel, The Albino Album, a novel, which was released by Seven Stories Press in the spring of 2013. Her debut collection of short stories, Love Does Not Make Me Gentle or Kind (Fly By Night Press, 2009) was a Lambda Literary Award finalist for Debut Fiction. The second edition if this book is set to be released by Autonomedia Press in April of 2012. She was recently awarded the Cobalt Prize for Fiction.

TOMMY PICO is the founder and editor in chief of birdsong, an antiracist/queer-positive collective, small press, and zine that publishes art and writing. He was a Queer/Art/Mentors inaugural fellow, 2013 Lambda Literary fellow in poetry, and is the author of Absent Mindr (VERBALVISUAL 2014)— the first collection of poetry released as iOS mobile/tablet App. Originally from the Viejas Indian reservation of the Kumeyaay nation, he now lives in Brooklyn.


For our December event we have a real holiday treat for you…video art, poetry, music. What more could you want? Artist NATHANIEL SULLIVAN will be presenting his much talked about piece “Dating in New York and the Movement of Bodily Fluids”, followed by a reading of one of favorite poets at the moment, JACQUELINE WATERS. And since they were such a huge hit last time around, we’ve invited back ROSEWATER THIEVES.

As usual, the lights will be dim, the bar will be open, and admission is free. Come get all holiday cozy/boozy at The Enclave!
December 14, 4:00- 6:00 PM 
Cake Shop
152 Ludlow Street, NYC.

RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/1436265136586321/
Follow on Twitter: @enclavianmatter


NATHANIEL SULLIVAN is a video and performance artist who has lectured on subjects as varied as Francois Mitterrand’s last meal, Wilt Chamberlain’s sex life, and the love letters of banker Jamie Dimon. For the past year he has taken this practice out into the streets and has led a guided walking tour of an abandoned housing project re-imagined as a Richard Serra sculpture, conducted a seminar on desire from the back of a limousine and performed for one person at at Brooklyn Nets game.


JACQUELINE WATERS is the author of “One Sleeps the Other Doesn’t” (Ugly Duckling Presse) and “A Minute without Danger”(Adventures in Poetry). Recent poems have appeared in The American Reader, Clock, Fence, and With+Stand. She edits The Physiocrats, a pamphlet press.


For more about ROSEWATER THIEVES check out: www.rosewaterthieves.bandcamp.com


It’s yet another bang up billing at The Enclave Reading Series. For our November line-up we have returning champ Fiona Maazel, joined by none other than Jonathan Santlofer, and very special guest Liza Bear


November 16, 4:00 -6:00pm @ Cake Shop, 152 Ludlow Street, NYC

RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/230993520399612/

Follow on Twitter: @enclavainmatter



FIONA MAAZEL is the author of the novels Last Last Chance and Woke Up Lonely.


JONATHAN SANTLOFER is the author of five best-selling novels, The Death Artist, Color Blind, The Killing Art, Anatomy of Fear, and The Murder Notebook and is the editor of The Marijuana Chronicles. He is the recipient of a Nero Wolfe Award, two National Endowment for the Arts grants, and has been a Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome, the Vermont Studio Center, and serves on the board of Yaddo, the oldest arts community in the US.


LIZA BEAR’s short stories have been published in Bomb and Between C and D. She is the co-founder of Avalanche and the author of Beyond the Frame: Dialogues with World Filmmakers (Praeger, 2007). Her films have been shown at the Museum of Modern Art, the Sao Paulo Biennial and the ICA, London. She has taught at Columbia, NYU, and SVA and has received fellowships in film from the Jerome Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and from the New York Foundation for the Arts in Creative Non-Fiction.

Joseph McElroy and Shya Scanlon open the fall season - OCTOBER 26

The Enclave Reading Series is back with yet another stellar line-up of authors. Joseph McElroy, a veritable living legend, is joined by  formidable upstart Shya Scanlon. And since we can’t leave well enough alone, we’ve invited Rosewater Thieves do a live set as well. It’s an Enclave event you won’t want to miss. As usual, admission is free, the lights will be dimmed, and the bar will be open.


RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/602256326484197/

Follow on Twitter: @enclavianmatter


Joseph McElroy is the author of nine novels—including the new Cannonball, published by Dzanc Books along with a reprint of Ancient History with introduction by Jonathan Lethem—plus a novella, a volume of short fiction, a volume of essays, Exponential, soon to be reissued in expanded form, and a forthcoming  non-fiction book about water. He received the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, fellowships from the Guggenheim, Rockefeller,  D.H. Lawrence Foundations, Ingram Merrill and NEA. 

Shya Scanlon is the author of the novels Border Run and Forecast, and the poetry collection In This Alone Impulse.

June 1: Jessica Hagedorn, Michael Cunningham, and Angelo Nikolopolous at the Enclave!

For the Enclave’s season closer we’re giving you a truly blockbuster line-up. Literary legends Jessica Hagedorn and Michael Cunningham will be accompanied by debut poet Angelo Nikolopolus. Don’t sit this out! And as always admission is free, the drinks are cheap, and the lights will be down low.

Saturday…June 1, 2013…4Pm - 6Pm…Cake Shop…152 Ludlow St.


JESSICA HAGEDORN’s novels include Dream Jungle, The Gangster Of Love, which was nominated for the Irish Times International Fiction Prize, and Dogeaters, which was nominated for a National Book Award, and Toxicology. She is also the author of Danger And Beauty, a collection of poetry and prose, and the editor of Charlie Chan Is Dead: An Anthology of Contemporary Asian American Fiction and Charlie Chan Is Dead 2: At Home In The World, and Manila Noir.

MICHAEL CUNNINGHAM is the author of the novels A Home at the End of the World, Flesh and Blood, The Hours (winner of the Pen/Faulkner Award & Pulitzer Prize), and Specimen Days. He lives in New York.

ANGELO NIKOLOPOLOUS’ first book of poems is Obscenely Yours, winner of the 2011 Kinereth Gensler Award (Alice James Books 2013). His poems have appeared in Best American Poetry 2012, Best New Poets 2011, Boston Review, Fence, The Los Angeles Review, The New York Quarterly, Tin House, and elsewhere. He is a winner of the 2011 “Discovery” / Boston Review Poetry Contest and the founder of the White Swallow Reading Series in Manhattan. He teaches at Rutgers University, New Brunswick and lives in New York City



April 27: Tony O’Neill, Kristopher Jansma, Mark SaFranko, and Brian Conn!

The Enclave Reading Series is back with what can only be described as a powerhouse line-up: the incomparable Tony O’Neill (author of one our favorite novels, Sick City) is joined by Mark SaFranko, Kristopher Jansma, and Brian Conn. Rosewater Thieves will provide a musical interlude. It’s a eclectic billing with some serious literary chops. It’s April 27, it’s free, and it’s at Cake Shop, where the bar is open and the room is dark.

RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/553338341372867/

The Authors:


In a previous life TONY O’NEILL played keyboards for bands and artists as diverse as Kenickie, Marc Almond and The Brian Jonestown Massacre. He is the author of the novels Digging the Vein, Down and Out on Murder Mile, Sick City, and Black Neon. He has also written a poetry collection, Songs from the Shooting Gallery, and a book of short stories, Notre Dame Du Vide. He co-wrote the New York Times bestseller Hero of the Underground with Jason Peter, and the LA Times bestseller Neon Angel with Cherie Currie. His work has been described as “disturbingly twisted” by Slash and as the ravings of “a man who writes like he has his tongue in a light socket and his toe in a puddle of spilled blood” by Jerry Stahl. He lives in New Jersey.


KRISTOPHER JANSMA’s debut novel is The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards, published by Viking/Penguin in March of 2013. His writing has been published by Shaking Literary Magazine, Opium, and The Millions. He was also selected as a finalist for BOMB Magazine's 2011 Fiction Contest for his story. Kristopher writes a monthly column for Electric Literature.



MARK SAFRANKO’s novels include Hating Olivia (Harper Perennial), No Strings (Black Coffee Press), Lounge Lizard (Murder Slim Press), God Bless America (Murder Slim Press) and Dirty Work (13E Note Editions). They have collected rave reviews and a cult following in Europe, especially in France, where a fourth novel was just published. His stories have appeared in over 60 magazines and journals internationally, including the renowned Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. In 2005 he won the Frank O’Connor Award from descant magazine for his short fiction. He was cited in Best American Mystery Stories 2000 and has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize. SaFranko is also a playwright. His plays have been seen on stages in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland as well as many in the United States. As an actor he has appeared in several independent films, including Inner Rage, A Better Place, Shoot George, and The Road From Erebus, which are seen on cable television. His music is available on iTunes.


BRIAN CONN's debut novel, The Fixed Stars, won the 2013 Bard Fiction Prize, and appeared on Amazon.com’s list of the ten best science fiction and fantasy books of 2010. His short fiction has appeared in journals such as Conjunctions, The Cincinnati Review, Unstuck, and Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet. With Joanna Ruocco, he co-edits Birkensnake, a fiction annual. He lives in California.

For info about Rosewater Thieves, check out: https://www.facebook.com/


It seems like we’re just recovering from the last reading’s hangover, but here we are again, continuing the Enclave’s bombastic 2013 season with another ridiculously good line-up. Literary upstarts Kathleen Alcott and Nathaniel Kressen are on the bill. They’ll be joined by multimedia storyteller Asa Gauen and his slide show of wonders. That’s right, it’s all happening March 23, from 4:00 to 6:00 PM at Cake Shop (152 Ludlow Street, NYC). Mark those calendars!

The Readers…

Kathleen Alcott’s  debut novel, The Dangers of Proximal Alphabets, published from Other Press in September of 2012. She came of age in Northern California, studied in Southern California, fell in love with San Francisco, hid for a while in Arkansas, and currently resides in Brooklyn. Her work appears on TheRumpus.net; Rumpus Women Vol. 1, an anthology of personal essays by women; The Bold Italic; and is forthcoming in Slice Magazine, American Short Fiction, and Explosion Proof.

Nathaniel Kressen is a novelist, playwright, and screenwriter. Upon completing his first novel Concrete Fever, he taught himself how to bookbind and personally stitched the novel’s first 200 copies. His fiction has been published by Vagabondage Press. His work for the stage has been published by YouthPlays, One Act Play Depot, and The Good Ear Review, and performed Off-Off-Broadway as well as regionally in ten states and counting. As a screenwriter he won First Place in The Relevance Group’s American Details Competition for his script Adopting Skins, which was filmed in 2011. He is a core member of the Greenpoint Writers Group, as well as the co-founder of Second Skin Books, a new publishing imprint specializing in “Five alarm fiction.” He lives and works in Brooklyn.

Asa Gauen is a video artist and filmmaker. His work has been screened at the Brick Theater and Kunsthalle Galapagos, among other places in Brooklyn, as well as galleries nationwide.

The Enclave Answers Your FAQ’s…


The Enclave curators have been receiving a lot of the same the questions lately, either through email or in person at our events. We’ve finally got around to answering them (somewhat coherently):

How long has the Enclave Reading Series been around?

The Enclave Reading Series has been up and running for over six years. No small feat for a reading series in New York City these days. It all started in winter of 2007, when two wide-eyed fiction writers—Jim Freed and Jason Napoli Brooks—were asked by the owner of a Greenwich Village rock club to come up with a program to fill the 4-7 p.m. time slot, before the bands went on. Jim and Jason decided to organize a reading that featured several diverse and hitherto undiscovered writers, all of whom were completely excellent. The reading was meant to be a one-off event, but because of its success and popularity, the club asked Jim and Jason to make it a monthly event. Over the following year, the Enclave Reading Series grew and the curators eventually transplanted to Cake Shop in the Lower East Side.

This series is so cool! Why haven’t I heard about it before?

Hmmm. That question is more about you than it is about the Enclave. All we can say is that we’ve been slogging away for the past six years bringing downtown New York a truly excellent and unique reading series. Electric Literature, BOMB, Time Out, PBS, and The New York Times have all taken notice.

Which authors have read at your series?

We’ve hosted hundreds of established and emerging writers over the past six years. Here’s an abbreviated list, totally off the top of our heads, of authors who have read in the past or are slated to read in the coming months: Wayne Koestenbaum, Lynne Tillman, Philip Lopate, Laurie Weeks, Eileen Myles, Gary Indiana, Patrick McGrath, Mark Doten, Robert Coover, John Haskell, Abdellah Taia, Carmen Boullosa, Juan Villoro, Tony O’Neill, Jessica Hagedorn, AM Homes, Michael Cunningham Sharifa Rhodes-Pitt, Brian Conn, Mac Wellman, Dale Peck, Shelley Jackson,Tom McCarthy, and Michael Cunningham.

Who were some of the Enclave’s best readers?

Again, this is just off the top of our heads: Gary Indiana reading from his memoirs, Katie Wudel reading her short story about stealing blind woman, James Hannaham (basically everything he read for us), Carmen Boullosa’s reading of her story “El pedo del poeta”, Laurie Weeks’ reading of her story “Nachos from the Edge”, Catherine Lacey reading excerpts from her debut novel, CAConrad reading his somatic poems, and John Haskell reading from “Pickpocket”.

Can I apply to do a reading at the Enclave?

Sure, why not? The Enclave is a carefully curated series, so most of the time we approach writers for readings. But if you send us your work and we like it, we’ll definitely consider putting you on the bill. Just make sure your work is in line with the Enclave’s aesthetic, i.e. writing that takes risks in its approach to subject and/or narrative form. In general, we like writers who are pushing the boundaries with their work. If you’re a writer whose single goal in life is to have a story published in The New Yorker or to get a cushy teaching position at an upstate liberal arts college, we can smell that from a mile away and we’re not going to be into your stuff. Just be honest in your work and don’t come off like writing is some sort career choice for you. Also, if you’re writing a memoir about your drug addiction, your stint in rehab, a family member’s or your brush with terminal illness, your pregnancy, or the trials of being a new parent, well, that memoir better be really fucking good.

And a word to the agents and publicists who contact us: please familiarize yourself with our series (and other New York reading series for that matter) before sending inquiries. Don’t simply Google “reading series + new york” then carpet bomb us with form-emails, because doing this is the best way to ensure we will never program any writer you represent.

Why the fuck is your series at 4:00 in the afternoon?

4:00 is the time slot our series was originally given and we’ve stuck with it over the years. And you know what? We wouldn’t have it any other way. 4:00 p.m. is the perfect time to head down to the secluded basement bar of Cake Shop, have some drinks, hear some great readers, and then head back out into the city to kick into your Saturday night. It’s the pre-party party. Not to mention that Electric Literature has called the Enclave the “one best thing to do on Saturday afternoon.”

Just who are you guys?

The curators of the Enclave are first and foremost writers. Jason Napoli Brooks’ work has published in  journals such as Ninth Letter, HOW, and Asymptote, and he was the recipient of the Chapbook Award for Best Fiction for an excerpt of his novel Shelter. He has also curated literary events at Brooklyn Academy of Music. His spy serial, Cock of the Walk, now has a growing mailing list in the hundreds. Jim Freed has had work in The New York Times, Monkey Bicycle, and has performed on NPR. Scott Geiger, the Enclave’s curatorial consultant, was the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and a NYFA Fellowship. His work has appeared in various journals, including Conjunctions and Ninth Letter, and has been on display at Store Front for Architecture.

We never thought we’d be running this series for so long, as writing is our main business. But New York seems to have a dearth of curators these days, which is a shame since the arts can’t function without dedicated and astute curators. So, we figured since we (at least we think) have good literary tastes and we like to meet new people, why not curate a reading series that would feature the most interesting authors we could find and not be stale and pretentious about it?

Who are some of the Enclave’s literary heroes?

We’ll come right out and say this: we like Roberto Bolaño. We know it’s a controversial issue for some, but we can’t deny it.  Read By Night in Chile and hopefully you’ll see where we’re coming from. Conversely, we don’t think much of Philip Roth. We know! Controversy! Some other authors we admire: Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortazar, Jean Genet, Henry Miller, Paul Bowles, Georges Bataille, Kathy Acker, Franz Kafka, Samuel Beckett, Philip K. Dick, Clarice Lispector, Joan Didion, Samuel Delaney, Yukio Mishima, Marcel Proust, Henri Michaux, JG Ballard, and Kobo Abe. In terms of publishers, we really like New Directions, Dalkey Archive, Semiotext(e), City Lights, and Grove Atlantic (especially under the leadership of Barney Rosset, who is another of our heroes…and an authentic American hero). Some journals we’re partial to are Conjunctions, Monkey Bicycle, Black Clock, and Asymptote.

The Cake Shop’s basement bar is so dark. Has crazy shit happened down there during your readings?

More than you could imagine. We’re not at liberty to go into detail.