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

Admission is free!
Go here to secure your ticket to this screening

Michael Martone Reading
Saturday, October 5 at 5 PM – 7 PM
Listen Hear

2620 Shelby St, Indianapolis, Indiana 46203
Hosted by Tube Factory artspace 
In partnership with the Indiana Writers Center

Join us for a reading by writer Michael Martone.

Michael Martone was born in Fort Wayne and is the author of over a dozen books of fiction and nonfiction.  His latest are BROODING, essays, and THE MOON OVER WAPAKONETA: FICTIONS AND SCIENCE FICTIONS FROM INDIANA AND BEYOND. In october 2020, BOA Editions will publish RHW COMPLETE WRITINGS OF ART SMITH, THE BIRD BOY OF FORT WAYNE. He also has edited six anthologies of prose. This reading is part of the 44th Annual Double-Wide World Tour of Indiana. He lives in Tuscaloosa and teaches at the university there.
Martone will have books available for sale.

Freedom to Read Week (Formerly Banned Books Week)

Daily, Sep 22 - Sep 27 
Hosted by Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library
543 Indiana Avenue, Indianapolis, 46202-3105
Get your tickets here

Indianapolis Celebrates Freedom to Read Week with a “Prisoner,” a Sneak Peak at Our New Building, and a Week of Programming Sept. 22-27, 2019!

We’re working, planning, and fundraising to get our new building at 543 Indiana Avenue ready for a grand opening in November. In the meantime, we invite you to stop by the new location for a special Sneak Peek during Freedom to Read Week (also known as the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week) beginning Sunday, September 22.

Freedom to Read Week and Banned Books Week are one and the same, but some folks thought we were celebrating the banning of books! Um, ya, no! As most of you know, we have always celebrated the First Amendment and the freedoms it allows and will continue to do so, but now we’re calling the celebration Freedom to Read. Different name, same great cause with unique, related programming.

So join us and the folks from Bluebeard Restaurant for this special week.

Meet Our 24/7 Teacher-in-Residence Brett Stoker from Tipton High School, who is also one of the school’s football coaches. He’s our “prisoner” this year, spending the week in the Vonnegut Library to raise awareness of censorship. Be sure to stop by and hang out with him for a while.  
Go here to see the entire schedule

The Poets Laureate of Lawrence
Tuesday, September 24 from 7-9 pm
The Theater at the Fort on Indy's east side
Poetry reading happens in the Sterrett Center next door.
8920 Otis Avenue, Lawrence, 46226
(Take 56th Street to Post Road. Go North on Post and West on Otis.)

This month featuring Manon Voice
Please join us at The Poets Laureate of Lawrence – we host a monthly featured author followed by an open reading that happens on the 4th Tuesday of each month.

Manon Voice
is a poet, spoken word artist, freelance writer, hip-hop emcee and social justice activist. She has performed on many diverse stages in the power of word and song and has taught and facilitated art, poetry and spoken word workshops through organizations such as Regeneration Indy and Women Writing for a Change. She has been a featured panelist for Indianapolis based organizations, Indy10 Black Lives Matter, Don't Sleep and events such as IUPUI's 2017 Social Justice Symposium, focusing on the intersections of race, gender, art and activism.  She is actively the Mentor Match Coordinator of Homelessness Prevention at the Indianapolis based organization, Trusted Mentors, which seeks to reverse homelessness and incarceration through the power of relationships. She is a proud board member of the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana, has volunteered for organizations such as Life Bridges and Global Gifts, and is a facilitator and hip-hop music instructor for Kuumba Academy. She is the host and founder of Project 5547 Poetry Night at CoalYard Coffee in Indianapolis' Irvington neighborhood. In 2017, Manon Voice was awarded the Power of Peace Award from the Peace Learning Center of Central Indiana for her work in the community. Manon Voice seeks to use her art and activism to create a communal space where dialogue, transformation, discovery and inspiration can occur.

An Evening With Elizabeth Acevedo
Tuesday, September 24 at 6:00 pm
Central Library
40 E. St. Clair Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204

Teens and adults are invited to hear Elizabeth Acevedo, New York Times bestselling author of “The Poet Xand “With Fire on High.” She is a poet, author and performing artist and winner of the Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Fiction. Book sales by Kids Ink and signings will follow.

Poets Attack! ft. Sherwin Bitsui, Natalie Solmer, & Nick Gilmore
Wednesday, September 25 at 7-8:30 PM
Irvington Vinyl & Books

9 Johnson Ave, Indianapolis, Indiana 46219

Many thanks to the Indiana Writers Center and Adrian Matejka for helping make this reading possible! This month's Poets Attack! will feature Sherwin Bitsui, Natalie Solmer, and Nick Gilmore.

Sherwin Bitsui, a Diné (Navajo) from the Navajo Reservation in White Cone, Arizona, received an AFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts Creative Writing Program. He is the author of the poetry collections Shapeshift (2003) and Flood Song (2009) and most recently, Dissolve. Steeped in Native American culture, mythology, and history, Bitsui’s poems reveal the tensions in the intersection of Native American and contemporary urban culture. His poems are imagistic, surreal, and rich with details of the landscape of the Southwest. Flood Song is a book-length lyric sequence that explores the traditions of Native American writing through postmodern fragment and stream of consciousness. Bitsui has received a Whiting Writers’ Award, a grant from the Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry, a Truman Capote Creative Writing Fellowship, and a Lannan Literary Fellowship. He teaches at the Institute of American Indian Arts.

Natalie Solmer grew up in South Bend, Indiana. She is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Indianapolis Review, an online journal of poetry and art. She previously worked as a grocery store florist for 13 years and now teaches composition and writing at Ivy Tech Community College in Indianapolis and lives a mile from the famous Indy 500 racetrack. Her work has been published in journals such as Willow Springs, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Cimarron Review, North American Review, Pleiades, and Briar Cliff Review. More of her publications can be found at

Nicholas Gilmore is a staff writer at The Saturday Evening Post. The one that popularized Norman Rockwell and defended the war in Vietnam. He writes about labor history and musicals and everything else but sports. His poetry has been published in the Blue Monday Review and the Columbia Review. Join the DSA.
Get in, get culture, get out. This is the motto of Poets Attack. The last Wednesday of each month, for 90 minutes or less, Irvington Vinyl & Books hosts two talented local poets and tries to pair them with visiting writers from out of state. The goal is to connect Hoosier poets with writers from across the United States, and to build relationships between our local scene and the world outside.

Kellogg Writers Series/University of Indianapolis

Mira T. Lee, Fiction Reading
Wednesday, September 25, 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Krannert Memorial Library 302 (Blue Law Room)

FREE admission

Mira T. Lee’s debut novel, Everything Here is Beautiful, was selected as a Top 10 Debut by the American Booksellers Association, and named a Best Fiction title of 2018 by Amazon, O Magazine, Real Simple, and the Goodreads Readers Choice Awards. Her stories and essays have appeared in publications such as Tin House, Real Simple, the Southern Review, the Missouri Review, and Harvard Review, among others, and have twice received special mention for the Pushcart Prize. She has also been the recipient of an Artist’s Fellowship from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Ball State University-Visiting Writers

YA and Fantasy Author Laura Ruby
Wednesday, September 25, 7:30 p.m
Art and Journalism Building, Room 225

YA /fantasy author Laura Ruby, a National Book Award Finalist, who writes fiction for adults, teens and children will read from her work. This event is free and open to the public. Some of Laura’s books will be for sale, and she will be signing books as well. This is an excellent opportunity for students to meet a Midwest author who has carved a professional path in the literary fields of YA and fantasy.

Second Flight Books
2200 Elmwood Ave. Suite D-7, Lafayette, Indiana 47904

Poets Oliver Baez Bendorf and Dana Roeser
Friday, September 27 at 6:30–7:30 PM

Join us as poet Oliver Baez Bendorf reads from his new collection, Advantages of Being Evergreen, and Dana Roeser reads from her new collection, All Transparent Things Need Thundershirts.

Oliver Baez Bendorf is the author of a previous collection, The Spectral Wilderness, selected by Mark Doty for the Stan & Tom Wick Poetry Prize, and a chapbook, The Gospel According to X. He is an assistant professor of poetry at Kalamazoo College in Michigan.

Dana Roeser is the author of four award-winning books of poetry. The recently published All Transparent Things Need Thundershirts won the Wilder Prize at Two Sylvias Press. The Theme of Tonight’s Party Has Been Changed (University of Massachusetts Press, 2014) won the Juniper Prize, and In the Truth Room and Beautiful Motion (Northeastern University Press/UPNE; 2008 and 2004, respectively) both won the Samuel French Morse Poetry Prize. Among her other awards and honors are the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award, the Jenny McKean Moore Writer-in-Washington Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize, and numerous residencies in the U.S. and abroad. She has read her work widely and taught in the MFA programs in poetry at Purdue, Butler, and Wichita State Universities.

Speed City Sisters in Crime
Saturday, September 28th Monthly Meeting

11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Speaker: Author Wes Gehring

Barnes & Noble at River Crossing
8675 River Crossing Blvd Indianapolis, IN 46240

The day's schedule:
10:00 a.m. — Critique group 
11:00 a.m. — Business meeting
11:30 a.m. — Speaker Wes Gehring
1:00 p.m. (approximately) — Lunch at District Tap (3720 E 82nd St)
Wes Gehring, distinguished professor of film at Ball State University, will discuss the humor of Alfred Hitchcock, which just happens to be the subject of Gehring's latest book, Hitchcock and Humor: Modes of Comedy in Twelve Defining Films.

If you've never thought of the "Master of Suspense" as a humorist, you will after you view him through Gehring's tightly focused lens. Prepare to learn about Hitch's unconventional and subtle uses of humor, much of it dark, and discover how you can insert them into your own stories.

Have questions about classic Hollywood movies and stars? Wes Gehring is the man to ask. Bring your questions and let's see if we can stump him. It will be fun ... and educational!

Wes Gehring
 is also a George and Frances Ball distinguished professor of telecommunications, and associate media editor of "USA Today Magazine," for which he also writes the column, "Reel World."

Gehring is an award-winning author of more than 40 film-related books, with special BookExpo national recognition for recent biographies of James Dean, Red Skelton, Steve McQueen, and Carole Lombard.

Indy Reads Books
911 Massachusetts Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202

Indiana launch for "Piety & Power" at IndyReads, talk w LoBianco
Saturday, September 28, 4-6PM

We'll get behind the carefully crafted mask of Mike Pence to understand the man who could easily become president. Talk is Saturday, Sept. 28, at the great Indy Reads in Indianapolis! Bring your questions, and please consider pre-ordering a copy with Indy Reads or buying a copy at the event!

Writers Guild at Bloomingon

Last Sunday Poetry Reading and Open Mic
With guest poets: Michael Luis Dauro and Rachel Ronquillo Gray
Sunday, September 29 @ 3:00-4:30PM
Monroe Country Convention Center, Rogers room

302 S College Ave, Bloomington, IN 47403
Followed by an Open Mic.
Free parking in the back!

Michael Luis Dauro is a poet, tarot-slinger, and beekeeper living in Bloomington, Indiana. He is a Millay Colony Resident Artist, Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship finalist, Pushcart Prize nominee, and a CantoMundo fellow. His work has appeared in As/Us, StoryScape, At Length, Phantom Drift, Rattle, Sonora Review, and others. Michael is currently working on his speculative epic, Sierra Amnezia. He’s also totally non-ironically into spaghetti westerns and pro wrestling.

Born and raised in rural Nevada, Rachel Ronquillo Gray is a Kundiman, Pink Door, and VONA fellow. Her work is forthcoming or appears in Tinderbox Poetry, Hyphen Magazine, Tahoma Literary Review, Digging Through the Fat, Radar Poetry, and other places. She currently lives, writes, and makes food in Bloomington, Indiana.

Kelly Writers Series/Depauw University

Terese Mailhot
October 2 | 7:30 p.m.
Peeler Art Center, Auditorium

Terese Marie Mailhot is the New York Times bestselling author of Heart Berries: A Memoir. Her book tells the story of a young woman coming of age on the Seabird Island Band in the Pacific Northwest. It was an NPR Best Book of the Year and was listed as one of Harper's Bazaar's Best Books of 2018. She teaches creative writing at Purdue University.

Notre Dame Univerity/Creative Writing Reading Series
Creative Writing Reading Series featuring Gina Ochsner
Wednesday, October 2, 7:30-9:00PM
232 Decio Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556-5644

Gina Ochsner teaches at Corban University where she also directs the Between 2 Worlds High School Writing Conference.

Ochsner has been awarded a John L. Simon Guggenheim grant and a grant from the National Endowment of Arts. Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Tin House, Glimmertrain and the Kenyon Review.  She is the author of the short story collection The Necessary Grace to Fall which received the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction and the story collection People I Wanted to Be. Both books received the Oregon Book Award.

A novel entitled The Russian Dreambook of Colour and Flight received the Grub Street Book Prize in 2011 and was long listed for the Orange Prize in 2010. Her latest novel The Hidden Letters of Velta B. was released in 2016.

Poetry on Brick Street

Rescheduling for Karen Kovacik former Indiana Poet Laureate
Thursday, October 3 at 7 p.m.
SullivanMunce Cultural Center

225 W. Hawthorne St., Zionsville

Karen Kovacik will read from Aperture, her translation of a collection of poems by Jacek Dehnel of Poland.

Karen Kovacik is an award-winning poet and translator of contemporary Polish poetry. Her translation of Agnieszka Kuciak's Distant Lands: An Anthology of Poets Who Don't Exist was long-listed for the 2014 National Translation Award, and she edited and selected the poems in Scattering the Dark: An Anthology of Polish Women Poets (both with White Pine Press). She is the author of several books, including Nixon and I, Beyond the Velvet Curtain, and Metropolis Burning. She teaches creative writing and American poetry at IUPUI, and was the poet laureate of Indiana from 2012 to 2014.

Vivian S. Delbrook Visiting Writers Series-Butler University

Map of South Campus with Shelton Auditorium and Parking Lot
Free and open to the public without tickets. 

sam saxsam sax
Thursday, October 3, 7:30 PM
Shelton Auditorium

sam sax’s poems continually remind the reader of the implications of living in a body; they speak of desire, sexuality and gender, eros and its manifold delights and dangers, grief, addiction, and the creative power and potential instability of the mind. The poems are formally various: alternately conversational and fragmented, built sometimes of short, radically broken lines, sometimes of prose paragraphs, and sometimes of imported forms such as stage directions for a dramatic script. The result is a kind of jitteriness: a constant moving about through the experience of being human, as if to exist at all is to be in constant motion, the mind and voice attempting to catch up with, and make sense of, the experience of the body. The poems often explore, in particular, queer identity and the history and culture of the Jewish people.

sam sax is the author of two collections of poetry: Madness (2017), winner of the National Poetry Series, and bury it (2018), winner of the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Lambda Literary, and the MacDowell Colony, and—evidence of his engaging performance style—is a two-time Bay Area Grand Slam Champion. In 2018 he was awarded a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, and he is currently a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.


Written by Roxanna Santoro — September 03, 2019

© Indiana Writers Center 2012