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 Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202

Dr. Andrew Stoner reading "The Journalist of Castro Street"
Tuesday, June 11 @ 5pm-7pm

First-ever biography of an iconic and controversial figure. As the acclaimed author of "And the Band Played On", Randy Shilts became the country's most recognized voice on the HIV/AIDS epidemic. His success emerged from a relentless work ethic and strong belief in the power of journalism to help mainstream society understand not just the rising tide of HIV/AIDS but gay culture and liberation. In-depth and dramatic,

Andrew E. Stoner's biography follows the remarkable life of the brash, pioneering journalist. Shilts's reporting on AIDS in San Francisco broke barriers even as other gay writers and activists ridiculed his overtures to the mainstream and labeled him a traitor to the movement, charges the combative Shilts forcefully answered. Behind the scenes, Shilts overcame career-threatening struggles with alcohol and substance abuse to achieve the notoriety he had always sought, while the HIV infection he had purposely kept hidden began to take his life. Filled with new insights and fascinating detail, The Journalist of Castro Street reveals the historic work and passionate humanity of the legendary investigative reporter and author.

Shilts's life and work opened doors in many communities often ignored or under-reported. His writing about one of the nation's most deadly and important public health crises and its impact on the LGBTQ community and others is important historically for new readers and learners to know. The Shilts biography will likely spur new readers to want to explore Shilts's three best-selling books, The Mayor of Castro Street (1982), And the Band Played On (1987), and Conduct Unbecoming (1993). All three of his books remain relevant to public discourse today. 

Poetry on Brick Street

Our exploration of the poetic West isn't over! Come meet a modern rancher and great poet and writer. North Dakota Poet Laureate Larry Woiwode will be reading at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art on Wednesday, June 12 at our final poetry program in the NEA Big Read series of events. With great help from Indiana Humanities, we've truly enjoyed being part of this NEA funded program as one of the Eiteljorg's partners for this "True Grit" adventure.


VOCAB presents QPOC Pride
Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 7–10 PM
The White Rabbit Cabaret

1116 Prospect St., Indianapolis, Indiana 46203

It's PRIDE month and we're bringing in some of the most talented artists to ever do it!
Okara Imani
The Tuesday-Xavier Collective
Andrea N. Brooks
Joshua Allen
Jared Michael
Tatjana Rebelle

You don't have to be queer or a person of color to attend this event. We are just creating a space to celebrate all the facets that we are, especially considering our founder is proud to be QPOC!
Join us as we celebrate our QPOC family!

Kalynn Huffman Brower Reading
Thursday, June 13 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

615 W Kirkwood Ave, Bloomington, IN

Kalynn Huffman Brower will be reading selections from her work at BloomingTeas,   
Her fiction, under the pen name K. H. Brower,  includes a YA sci-fi series about a family of ecologists in space.  Her non-fiction includes segments for WFHB’s “EcoReport, “The Secret Life of Fungi”
The evening program also features local bard, Travis Puntarelli, and performance artist, Kim Detour.

Dinner and Poetry with Bryan Thao Worra

Friday, June 14 at 7-9pm
Tube Factory artspace
1125 Cruft St, Indianapolis, Indiana 46203

$7  Get Tickets here

Join Bryan Thao Worra author of Demonstra (2013); Barrow (2009); Winter Ink (2008); On the Other Side of the Eye (2007) and The Tuk-Tuk Diaries: Our Dinner with Cluster Bombs (2003) for a reading and dinner at Tube Factory artspace.

Worra’s work appears in over 100 international publications, including Astropoetica, Cha, Asian Pacific American Journal, Hyphen, Lantern Review, Kartika Review, Journal of the Asian American Renaissance, Expanded Horizons, Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, Strange Horizons, Tales of the Unanticipated, and Innsmouth Free Press.

He was selected as a Cultural Olympian during the 2012 London Summer Olympics’ Poetry Parnassus convened by the Southbank Centre. His work is part of the Smithsonian traveling exhibit “I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story.” He is the first Lao American to be accepted as a professional member of the Horror Writer Association and the Science Fiction Poetry Association, to which he currently serves as president. He is the first Lao American to hold an National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Literature and is a 2019 The Joyce Foundation Fellow.

In 2018, he was appointed by Governor Mark Dayton to serve on the Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans to advise state legislators on policy. He works on Lao and Southeast Asian American refugee resettlement issues across the United States. Bryan Thao Worra is the Lao Minnesotan Poet Laureate, and the president of the international Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association (est. 1978).

His forthcoming book is “Before We Remember We Dream” from Sahtu Press.


See Norbert Krapf's adaptation of his Catholic Boy Blues poetry collection into a play of the same title largely developed in classes taught by Andrew Black through the Indiana Writer's Center.

The play runs the weekend of June 14-16.

Follow this link for more info about the play, the playwright, and follow the red tab to order tickets:

Poetry at the Yard presents Manon Voice and JL Kato!
Monday, June 17 @ 7-10pm
Coal Yard Coffee

5547 Bonna Ave, Indianapolis, Indiana 46219

Please join us as we present two fixtures of Indianapolis Poetry and Spoken Word, Manon Voice and JL Kato with our special guest host, Donna Brosman.

Manon Voice is a native of Indianapolis, Indiana.  A poet, spoken word artist, freelance writer, hip hop emcee, practicing contemplative and social justice activist, Manon has performed on many diverse stages across the country through the power of word and song.  She has taught and facilitated art, poetry and spoken word workshops.  Manon Voice seeks to use her art and activism to create a communal space where dialogue, transformation, discovery and inspiration can occur.  

JL Kato serves the poetry community as the President of Brick Street Poetry and facilitator of the semi-monthly poetry salon and editor of the Flying Island online literary journal at the Indiana Writers Center.  His first collection of poetry, Shadows Set in Concrete, was selected best poetry collection in Indiana in 2011.

This is not the first time Manon and JL have shared the stage together, per se.  They judged the 2018 Woman's Press Club of Indiana's Prison Poetry Contest.  Please join us as we welcome two of the pillars of the Indianapolis Poetry Community!
This event is free to all ages.  Come enjoy, listen and participate as there will be an open mic taking place outside of the features.  Buy a cup of the world's best coffee from Coal Yard Coffee!  Most of all, support the local arts!  We love you and cannot do this without any of you and the support you bring!



Original Play Developed in Indiana Writer’s Center Playwriting classes Premieres in Carmel after Successful run at DivaFest

After a successful run at DivaFest in April of 2019, the play “In the Presence of my Enemies” will be moving to The Cat in Carmel for a two week run. “In the Presence of my Enemies,” is a wickedly funny cautionary tale about greed and family, filled with relatable characters and outlandish actions. One theatergoer called it a “ heartfelt, feel good journey through the valley of the shadow of death!” The script was developed in Playwriting classes taught by Andy Black.

Show Plot: When Sarah’s husband Frank dies unexpectedly, Sarah finds herself bereft and befuddled, as she tries to make plans for a funeral while wending her way through the morass of paperwork and bureaucratic documents. Sarah’s sister and daughter join her, but so do Frank’s relatives, swooping into town under the guise of ‘helping’ her with all the funeral plans, including finding insurance policies, and arguing between burial and cremation. The action soon proves comical, as it becomes a battle of wills as to who will find the will and whose wishes will prevail!

The show will be playing at The Cat at 254 Veteran’s Way, Carmel, IN, opening Friday, June 21, 2019, at 7:30 p.m for two weekends, June 21,22,23, and 28, 29, 30. Friday and Saturday performances will be at 7:30, Sunday performances at 2:30. To make reservations, go here, or call 317-582-1007. Ticket prices are $14 for students and seniors, and $16 for adults. Groups of ten or more are eligible for a discount.

The Poets Laureate of Lawrence
Tuesday, June 25 from 7-9 pm
The Theater at the Fort on Indy's east side
Sterrett Center

8920 Otis Avenue, Lawrence, 46226
(Take 56th Street to Post Road. Go North on Post and West on Otis.)

Please join us at The Poets Laureate of Lawrence – we host a monthly featured author followed by an open reading that happens every 4th Tuesday of the month.  This month our featured author is:
Jim Powell.

Jim Powell founded the Writer’s Center of Indiana (now the Indiana Writer’s Center) in 1979 as part of the Free University. He directed the Center for 20 years and has written over 70 stories.  He holds a MFA in fiction writing from Bowling Green State University and in 2011 received a Creative Renewal Fellowship for the Arts Council of Indianapolis.  His new book of stories is called, Only Witness.

Written by Roxanna Santoro — June 04, 2019

© Indiana Writers Center 2012