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

    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.

Barbara Shoup reading from "Wish You Were Here"
Thursday, September 29   1 p.m.
Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library
340 N Senate Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46204
Scan 3wish_you_were_here

Wish You Were Here was on the 100 Most Banned Books for 1995

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:

9 S. Johnson Ave., Indianapolis, IN  46219

Book Club meeting
Wednesday. September 28 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

We will be discussing Animal Farm by George Orwell.  Everyone is welcome to attend this meeting.

Peter Cava book signing
Saturday, October 1 - 11:00 to 5:00pm


Just in time for the playoffs we welcome sportswriter Peter Cava who will be signing and discussing his books, Amazing Tales from the Chicago Cubs Dugout and Indiana-Born Major League Baseball Players.

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,

Indy Reads Books
911 Massachusetts Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46202

IUPUI Student Readings
Thusday, September 29, 7pm – 9pm

Want to share your work on our stage? The IUPUI Student Readings are open to ALL poets, writers, and performers in the Indy area. Contact Sarah Layden ( with any questions or ​to sign up.

Former Poet Laureate Norbert Krapf's Book Release: Shrinking the Monster: Healing the Wounds of Our Abuse
Saturday, October 1, 3pm – 5pm

Former Indiana Poet Laureate, Norbert Krapf, will be in-store for the release of his book, Shrinking the Monster: Healing the Wounds Of Our Abuse.  Krapf’s 27th book describes the process of his recovery from abuse by a priest in the 1950s and the writing and publishing of the poems in his previous collection about that abuse, Catholic Boy Blues. The publisher of both these books, Greg Pierce of ACTA Publications of Chicago, will be present to say a few words about how he and Krapf met and came to work together. As a prelude, poet-therapist Liza Hyatt will also be present with her Celtic harp to join Krapf on his blues guitar in presenting one poem by each from his CBB and her The Mother Poems as well as “I Shall Be Released” by Bob Dylan.


The event is free. A discussion will follow the presentation, light refreshments will be served, and  books will be available for purchase and signing.


Indiana University

¡Poesía Now! An evening with Juan Felipe Herrera
September 30, 2016 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Doors will open at 7:10pm.     
This event is free, but a ticket is required.

Indiana University proudly welcomes the current United States Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera to Bloomington for an intimate conversation and reading in celebration of Poetry and Latino culture. In honor of the National Hispanic Heritage Month, the event brings together the campus, high schools, and city for a celebration of the work that poetry can do to create community, and the work our communities can do, collectively, to shape our world.

In 2015, Herrera was appointed as the nation’s 21st Poet Laureate, and the first Latino to be named to the distinguished position. Mr. Herrera is the author of over thirty books and collections of poetry and the recipient of numerous national and international awards, including awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Breadloaf Writers’ Conference. His work empowers Latino and other minority communities, giving voice to those too often not represented on the national stage. Through his writing and other work, Mr. Herrera is a tireless champion for young people and an advocate for the potential of youth in the United States and beyond our borders.

This event is sponsored by the College of Arts and Humanities Institute, Chiricú Journal: Latina/o Literatures, Arts, and Cultures, IUB’s Latino Studies Program, the Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society, the Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies, the Department of American Studies, the Department of English, and the Department of Spanish & Portuguese. 

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
When 30-year-old Anna Ramsey learns that a meth-addicted looter has dug up what might be the funerary mask of Montezuma, she books the next flight to Oaxaca. Determined to redeem her father, a discredited art collector, and to one-up her unfaithful fiancé, a museum curator, Anna hurls herself headlong into Mexico’s underground art world. But others are chasing the treasure as well: the shape-shifting drug lord no one can really describe; the enigmatic American expat, who keeps his art collection locked in a chapel; the former museum director who traffics stolen works, and his housekeeper—deeply religious, a gay woman in a culture of machismo, dependent on a patron she loathes; the painter Salvador on his motorcycle, complex, sensual—but with secrets of his own.
Anna soon realizes that everyone is masked—some literally, others metaphorically. Indeed, Dancing with the Tiger is a splendid reminder that throughout human history, cultures have revered masks: whether in the theater or in war, for religious purposes, or to conceal identity, masks are as universal as our desire to transform ourselves, to change. Anna, without an ounce of self-pity despite traumatic losses, stands out as a heroine for our times as, traveling alone, she finds the courage to show her true face.

Come celebrate The Fort Ben Writer's Arts in the Parks Project by attending the grand finale reading by those who contributed their writing:

Fort Ben Writer’s Public Reading
Saturday, October 1  12:00 pm – 2:00pm
Delaware Shelter

All contributors to the Fort Ben Writer’s online literary journal are invited to read their work at a public reading. Bring your friends and family and share your experiences writing at Fort Ben at this autumn celebration of our growing writing community. Suggestions for continuing to engage in nature writing through the approaching winter will also be discussed.

The Fort Ben Writing Project is a signature activity of the Indiana Bicentennial Commission, and is made possible, in part with support from the Indiana Arts Commission, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Ghost Stories at Crown Hill Cemetery

Presented by Storytelling Arts of Indiana at Crown Hill Cemetery
Saturday, October 01,  7:30 pm - 10:30 pm
Get into the spooky spirit of the season by attending Ghost Stories at Crown Hill Cemetery featuring seven storytellers telling spine-tingling tales of the dead and undead. Enter the grounds at 34th St. and Boulevard Place. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. Stories began at 7:30 p.m. Bring blankets or lawn chairs, feel free to pack a cooler of drinks and a picnic basket or purchased food from several food trucks on the grounds.

$5/Child ages 5 – 12, $20/Adults or $50/Family Pass (all family members living under one roof)
Go here to purchase tickets


The Writers Guild at Bloomington

First Sunday Prose Reading and Open Mic
Boxcar Books
408 E 6th St, Bloomington, IN 47408

With featured readers: James Dorr, Andrew Hubbard, Margaret Squires
Come early to sign up for Open Mic!

"I Wished to Live Deliberately”: A Visit from Henry David Thoreau
Presented by The Thoreau Society at Holliday Park

Sunday, October 02 @ 2-3:30pm

The famous philosopher Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) will visit Holliday Park through the dramatic skills of scholar-actor Kevin Radaker. Radaker is a Professor of English at Anderson University. He has presented his portrayal of Thoreau over 400 times throughout the United States. The presentation is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by Gayle Moore, Co-Chair of the Thoreau Study Group at Holliday Park.
Free! No registration required.

Discussion Moderated by Barbara Shoup

Adults and teens are invited as Bill Clegg, author of "Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man" and "Ninety Days," will explore the shape of his addiction, the attraction to the drug that brought about his downfall, and the trials of his recovery as addressed in his two memoirs that take a raw look at his battle to reclaim his life. Representatives from local organizations will be available to provide resources for those needing assistance.


University of Notre Dame Creative Writing Program

Juan Felipe Herrera, USA Poet Laureate
October 5 @ 7:00 p.m.

Decio Theatre, DeBartolo Performing Arts Center

The Institute for Latino Studies, in collaboration with the Office of the President, is proud to host the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, Juan Felipe Herrera, at the University of Notre Dame.

Mr. Herrera will be presenting a public reading of his work, followed by a Q & A session.

The event is free and open to the public but tickets are required. Tickets can be reserved by calling the DPAC ticket office at 574-631-2800 or online at To guarantee your reservation, please pick up your will call tickets at least 15 minutes before the event. In the event of a sell out, unclaimed will call tickets will be used to seat patrons on standby.

Kelly Writers Series/DePauw University

Lance Olsen
Wednesday, October 5  7:30 pm

Peeler Auditorium
Lance Olsen is a writer whose technical ingenuity is matched only by his fertility of invention and compassion for his characters. He is author of twelve novels, one hypertext, five nonfiction works, five short-story collections, a poetry chapbook, and two anti-textbooks about innovative writing, as well as editor of two collections of essays about innovative contemporary fiction. His short stories, essays, poems, and reviews have appeared in hundreds of journals, magazines, and anthologies. Olsen is a Guggenheim and an N.E.A. fellowship recipient; winner of the Berlin Prize, Berlin Artist-in-Residence grant, and a Pushcart; and former governor-appointed Idaho Writer-in-Residence. His novel Tonguing the Zeitgeist was a finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award.  Olsen currently teaches experimental narrative theory and practice at the University of Utah.

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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