There are many great literary events around Indianapolis and beyond. Looking for something to do? Here are just a few ideas:

Indy Reads Books
911 Massachusetts Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46202

Make-up Screening with Dan Wakefield
Wednesday, September 21 @ 6:00-8:00 pm


Indy Reads Books will be showing Betsy Blankenbaker's documentary film Something To Cheer About.  This event is free and open to the public.

Check out the NY Times movie review for Something To Cheer About:

Wednesday, September 21 at 7 PM - 8 PM
Bent Rail Brewery & Restaurant
5301 Winthrop Ave, Indianapolis, Indiana 46220
Join the Indy literary community for our hotly-criticized and officially disavowed reading series. The Akbar is cooler than your girlfriend's other boyfriend. It walks everywhere because it trashed its Harley on a coke bender in Pasadena. Once, high on mescaline, this reading series said you were its best friend, and you were so ready to believe.  Three readers across genres will delight the crowd for 30 minutes total. The night includes impossible trivia, a chance to win free beer, and lots of time to consort with friends and strangers.

There WILL be a special guest. NO, we cannot say who it is. All we can say is it's NOT Liam Hemsworth, star of The Hunger Games.
Lili Wright: Novelist, wild-eyed soothsayer
Chris Speckman: Poet, suspected vegan

University of Notre Dame Creative Writing Program
Presents Roy Scranton
Wednesday, September 21  7:30pm

Hospitality Room, Reckers

Roy Scranton
is the author of Learning to Die in the Anthropocene: Reflections on the End of a Civilization (City Lights, 2015), and co-editor of Fire and Forget: Short Stories from the Long War (Da Capo, 2013). His journalism, essays, criticism, and fiction have been published in The Nation, Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Contemporary Literature, The Appendix, LIT, Theory & Event, and elsewhere. He holds an MA in Liberal Studies from the New School for Social Research and a PhD in English from Princeton. He is currently a post-doctoral research fellow at the Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences at Rice University. His novel, War Porn, will be published this fall from Soho Press. He is currently working on a book about the politics of trauma in American World War II literature.

SpeakOUT Open Mic

Thursday, September 22  7-9:30pm
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)

Location is the bottom floor of the Campus Center in the theater.
420 University Blvd, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202

2016 Indy Literary Pub Crawl

Saturday, September 24   5:30pm
Mass Ave!

Tickets are $30. All will include a signed copy of our author Sarah Layden’s book Trip Through Your Wires! All proceeds will go to Indy Reads to help promote literacy in central Indiana. Please note that this is a 21+ event, as all of the locations we are stopping at are bars. Though there is no requirement to drink, it is Indiana state law that no one under this age can enter these establishments.

Indiana has a great literary history, and we’re excited to share that with you (as well as a drink or two) and also help out a great organization!

Guest Author: Sarah Layden, author of Trip Through Your Wires, will be at our first stop to talk to us about her work, possibly do a reading, and honestly say anything into the microphone that she’d like (we can be pretty loosey-goosey with the rules for our authors, since our group is 21+). We all love Ms. Layden’s work, and are thrilled that she’ll be joining us!

Go here to register and get the route details:

9 S. Johnson Ave., Indianapolis, IN  46219

Steve Kemp book launch
Saturday, September 24    2:00pm to 3:30pm

Author Steve Kemp will be launching his new book, Harry Dennison.  It is the story of a fireman who receives messages from his deceased partner.  Based on Steve's career as a fireman and the stories firemen tell of paranormal experiences, the book gives an incredible picture of the special fraternity/sorority of the people who protect us from fire.

Author Robert Snow will also be here to talk to people about his past life experiences as recorded in Portrait of a Past Life Skeptic:  The True Story of a Police Detective's Reincarnation.

The Writers Guild at Bloomington

Last Sunday Poetry Reading & Open Mic
Sunday, September 25 @ 3:00-4:30 pm

Bloomington and Monroe County Convention Center
302 S College Ave, Bloomington, IN 47403

Guest Readers: Jason Ammerman and Jordan Zandi
Come early to sign up for Open Mic!
Free parking in the back.  This event is free and open to the public

    Banned Books Week - Plan Now

Join us as we transform the Vonnegut Library into a cozy salon where community members can gather to ask big questions about art and literature, Freedom of Speech and humanity. This year, Banned Books Week is September 26-September 30, and we are thrilled to welcome National Book Award winner, Young People’s Poet Laureate, and often-banned author Jacqueline Woodson to Indiana in partnership with DePauw University. And don't miss out on David Brancaccio of Marketplace Morning Report as he hosts a panel discussion at Kurt Vonnegut's alma mater, Shortridge High School. You lawyers out there will love the knowledge and CLEs provided by our partner event with the IU McKinney School of Law at IUPUI.  Artist & author Josh Johnson will spend the week in our storefront museum window, trapped behind a “prison” wall constructed of banned books. During his time in the Vonnegut Library, Josh will write and illustrate a children’s book from start to finish.
All Events are FREE to attend, but many require registration due to seating availability.
Book Drive - Please donate a copy of banned or challenged books to the Vonnegut Library!
A full list of readings and events are here. (Including a special reading with our own Barbara Shoup on Thursday, September 29 at noon at the KVML.)

The Poets Laureate of Lawrence

Tuesday, September 27   6:30-8:30 pm
The Theater at the Fort on Indy's east side
8920 Otis Avenue, Lawrence, 46226
(Take 56th Street to Post Road. Go North on Post and West on Otis.)

Join us for our monthly featured poet/open mike series that happens every 4th Tuesday of the month.  Our featured poet will be Frederick Michaels.  Come learn about poetry, meet local poets, and be an ambassador for the art of poetry on Indy's east side! 


This month we are featuring Frederick Michaels whose poetry has appeared in Flying Island, So It Goes Literary Journal, The Boston Poetry Journal, Branches magazine and Lone Stars magazine, among others. A number of his poems are included in the anthologies Reckless Writing 2012 and 2013 (from Chatter House Press, Indianapolis, IN) and Naturally Yours (edited by Stacy Savage and Kathy Chaffin Gerstorff). His first collection of poems, Potholes In The Universe, has just been published by Chatter House Press, Indianapolis, IN. Though an engineer by training, Michaels has always been pulled to the side of the arts by his love for words.

Vivian Delbrook Visiting Writers Series/Butler University

Hanya Yanagihara
Tuesday, September 27, 7:30 PM

Schrott Center for the Arts, Butler Art Center

Best-selling novelist Yanagihara is the author of The People in the Trees and A Little Life, which was shortlisted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize and was a National Book Award finalist. She previously worked as an editor-at-large for Conde Nast Traveler.




Reading and Book Signing with Poet Marcus Wicker

Tuesday, September 27 at 7-9 PM
Franklin College Chapel, Franklin, Indiana 46131

As part of The Future is Now: Indiana Creative Writers Read, Franklin College English Department and Franklin College, as part of a matching grant from Indiana Humanities (in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Humanities), Franklin College invites you to an evening with Marcus Wicker.

Marcus Wicker is the recipient of a Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, a Pushcart Prize, The Missouri Review’s Miller Audio Prize, as well as fellowships from Cave Canem and The Fine Arts Work Center. His previous collection Maybe the Saddest Thing, a National Poetry Series winner, was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award. Wicker’s poems have appeared in The Nation, Poetry, American Poetry Review, Oxford American, and Boston Review. His second book, Silencer, is forthcoming from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2017.

Ball State University/Visiting Writers Series
Matt Hart
Wednesday, September 28  @ 7:30pm
Art and Journalism Building, Rm 225

Matt Hart, co-founder and editor of Forklift Ohio, will read a selection of his work. Author of six books of poetry including Debacle Debacle and Blue Jay Slayer, his poems, reviews and essays have appeared in numerous print and online journals. His many awards include a Pushcart Prize and a fellowship from the Breadloaf Writer's Conference. He is currently an Associate Professor in Creative Writing and Chair of the Liberal arts at the Art Academy of Cincinnati.

Purdue Literary Reading Series
Presents Christine Sneed in a public reading
Wednesday, September 28  @ 7:30pm

Krannert auditorium, Room 140

Go here for more details:

Kellogg Writers Series/University of Indianapolis
Presents Bruce Snider
Thursday, September 29  7:30 PM to 9:00 PM

Location: Schwitzer Student Center - Trustees Dining Room

A first-hand witness to the collision between small-town Hoosier culture and queer identity, poet and professor Bruce Snider will be speaking at an upcoming Kellogg Writers Series event. With books titled The Year We Studied Women and Paradise, Indiana, Snider's writing uses language both vividly detailed and vulnerably personal, giving insight into the sometimes-frustrating, sometimes-baffling and sometimes-enchanting.

For more information,


Half Price Books-Clearwater

Book Reading and Signing

Lili Wright - Dancing with the Tiger
Friday, September 30   6- 9 p.m.
4709 East 82nd St., Indianapolis

Recurring Events:


Noble Poets
Noble Tea and Coffee
933 Logan St., Noblesville

Noble Poets meet every third Tuesday of the month
Info: Sarah E. Morin at

The Spoken Word Wednesday Workshop and Open Mic

Meets every first and third Wednesday of the month from 5 p.m. to 9 Unity of Indianapolis, 907 N. Delaware St. Doors open at 5 p.m. $5.

Vibe on Wednesdays

Wednesdays  8 p.m.(Doors open at 7)
Tantrum, 8215 Center Run Dr.
Live band, poetry, art and open mic.
$5- Must be 21 or older.
Meets every other Wednesday. Host: Tony Styxx. Video: https://youtube/8Nzv2eXoYX4*

Poetry Open Mic
Presented by Irving Theatre at The Irving Theater

Free open mic poetry every Thursday 7-9 pm on the deck of Irving Theatre.


Open Mic Night at Books and Brews
Every Thursday 8 p.m.
9402 Uptown Drive, Suite 1400.

Poets are welcome to share the mic with other performers. 
Information: (317) 288-5136. 


Written by Roxanna Santoro — August 30, 2016

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