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

Writers Guild at Bloomington

Spoken Word Series at Bears
Wednesday, May 1, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Bear's Place

1316 E Third St, Bloomington
Featuring Jason Ammerman (poetry),  David O’Nan (poetry),   Hiromi Yoshida (poetry)
and music by Kyle Quass Quartet (conduction ensemble)
plus and open mic
$5 suggested donation
Go here for the reader's bios

Divine by Sylvia Thomas Chapbook Release Reception
Wednesday, May 1 at 6 PM – 8 PM
Tube Factory artspace

1125 Cruft St, Indianapolis, Indiana 46203

Sylvia Thomas is releasing her first chapbook into the world, DIVINE! Please join us as we celebrate her book release! This will be the the first release party where people can buy the chapbook! There will be performances by incredible poets, a reading of the chapbook, and available autographed copies of DIVINE.

Book Description:DIVINE (written by Sylvia Thomas, foreword and edited by Elle Roberts) is a series of poems reflected on my experiences with sex, religion, love, divinity, and my trans body. In order to heal my spirit, faith, and womanhood from the violence I have experienced, my own self-love became my religion.

Sylvia Thomas is an international spoken word artist. She shares her experience as a plus-size, queer, multicultural, transgender woman through her poetry. She is an award winning advocate for transgender rights. Sylvia's work as an artist is focused on restorative justice and community empowerment. In her full-time work, Sylvia works at Step Up Inc. in Indianapolis as a Medical Case Manager for people living with HIV/AIDS. After performing poetry for 3 years, she is releasing her first chapbook!

I would be honored for you to celebrate with us!
Please invite friends! Chapbooks will be $15!

MOKB Presents

Neil Hilborn w/ Special Guests
Thursday, May 2nd @ Fountain Square Theatre Building
Doors 7PM / Show 8PM

All shows 21+

Advance: $22
Day of Show: $24
Get Tickets:

More info at Have a question? Email us at!


Neil Hilborn is a bestselling author and, with over 150 million views to his credit, he is the most-watched poet ever. He has performed in 40 states and 8 countries, and in 2016 alone he traveled more than 100,000 miles to perform poetry. Originally from Houston, Texas, he now lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Neil Hilborn is a College National Poetry Slam champion, and a 2011 graduate with honors from Macalester College with a degree in Creative Writing.


Conversation & Panel
Thursday, May 2 at 6:00pm
Central Library

40 East Saint Clair Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204

The Kheprw Institute is launching a new initiative, Café Creative. We’ll be talking to a panel of writers about the work they’ve been doing around the country in their communities. This will be followed by a networking time for artists and those interested in the work.

Sheree Renee Thomas
Author of Sleeping Under the Tree of Life
Editor of  Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative from the African Diaspora

Troy Wiggins
Author and Editor of Fiyah Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction

Bill Campbell
Author: Sunshine Patriots/Publisher: Rosarium Publishing

Rev. Mike Mather
Pastor of Broadway United Methodist Church
Author of Having Nothing, Possessing Everything: Finding Abundant Communities in Unexpected Places

Moderated by:
Maurice Broaddus and Stacia Murphy
Join us for a conversation and reception where we can come together and dream about possibilities.

Reception & Networking
Kheprw Institute

3549 Boulevard Place. Indianapolis, IN 46208
Brought to you by the Kheprw Institute, Mo*Con, The Build, Center for Black Literature & Culture, The Indianapolis Public Library and Afrofuture Friday

Poetry on Brick Street

Featuring a reading by Jason L. Ammerman
Thursday, May 2 at 7pm
SullivanMunce Cultural Center

225 W. Hawthorne St., Zionsville
An open mic will follow at the free event.

Meet Jason L. Ammerman, one of the established voices on Indy's poetry stages. His performance is in support of his spoken word CD, Revival, released in November 2018 through Spoken Mix Records.

Avian Suite Debut
Saturday, May 4 at 4pm
Prophetstown State Park

5545 Swisher Rd, West Lafayette, Indiana 47906

Brick Street Poetry will debut a new musical/poetry composition at Prophetstown State Park on May 4. Enjoy the view from the deck overlooking the park's prairie and enjoy the sounds of the poetry and music of this piece, Avian Suite, for flute and percussion. The parks avian residents will surely be there to join in as we celebrate their lives in poetry and music. The performance is free with park admission thanks to an Indiana Arts Commission Arts in the Park grant.

Indy Reads Books
911 Massachusetts Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46202

Jamie Collins reading "I Am Jessica: A Survivor's Powerful Story of Healing and Hope"
Saturday, May 4, 7pm – 9pm
Come meet Jessi, the survivor of the "Pelley" quadruple murders that shook the community of Lakeville, Indiana, 30 years ago, and her cousin, Jamie Collins, who wrote the riveting memoir to tell her powerful and deeply disturbing story of tragedy, trauma, healing, and hope.

Jessi was the little girl who returned from a sleepover to find her home surrounded by crime scene tape and police cars everywhere. She was told that her entire family was murdered. Jessica was the broken little girl left behind to tell this story. Three decades later, she is now the remarkable woman who is rising to tell it.

Be the first to not only read this compelling book, but to own a double-signed copy! Jessi & Jamie would love to chat with you and would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Please join us in officially welcoming Jessi "home."

Kelly McGlone and Elizabeth McGlone reading "The Lonely Bat"
Sunday, May 5,  12:30pm – 1:30pm

Free tickets are available at Eventbrite
"The Lonely Bat" is a short story which teaches children important lessons about friendship and acceptance. Gregory, the lonely bat, will inspire kids to develop empathy for others and hopefully, give them curiosity to learn more about bats. Available in Preschool and Elementary Editions.

Elizabeth and Kelly McGlone are both the authors and illustrators of these books. They are very passionate about reading and teaching children to reach for the stars. This is the first book event for their first book!

Writers Guild at Bloomington

First Sunday Prose Reading & Open Mic
Sunday,May 5,  3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Bear's Place

1316 E Third St, Bloomington, IN

The featured readers are: Ray Zdonek and Dennis McCarty
Come early to sign up for Open Mic!

Vocab: Releases and prelim for Indy Pride Poetry Resident
Wednesday, May 8, 2019 at 7 PM – 10 PM
The White Rabbit Cabaret

1116 Prospect St., Indianapolis, Indiana 46203

Join VOCAB, Iconoclast, and Indy Pride as we band together to hunt for Indianapolis' very first Pride Poetry Resident. Kicking off as a portion of VOCAB's renowned open mic event, this series will take the form of a literary death match tournament. Anyone interested in competing must perform at VOCAB's open mic to be considered by a panel of judges and advance to the next round. Those selected to move on must appear again before judges at Iconoclast's event Thursday, May 16th. When our final few are chosen, they'll face each other one last time at a curated reading, no open mic, where each will feature for 15 minutes. This is when YOU, the audience will pick our winner! Follow along with each event and meet some of Indianapolis' premier poetry community at two of the best open mics in the city. Or if you dare, COMPETE for your shot at the title, The 2019 Poetry Resident of Indy Pride.

We are excited to be apart of the journey of so many artists in Indianapolis. This month's show will be featuring the latest releases from some of our favorite artists.

Sylvia Thomas with the release of DIVINE (written by Sylvia Thomas, foreword and edited by Elle Roberts) is a series of poems reflected on my experiences with sex, religion, love, divinity, and my trans body. In order to heal my spirit, faith, and womanhood from the violence I have experienced, my own self-love became my religion

Vonnegut on Stage
War, technology and Unintended Consequences

Friday, May 10 at 3 pm
Saturday, May 11 at 6:30 pm
At the Ivy Tech Waldron
122 S Walnut St,, Bloomington, IN
Tickets $10, available now

Cardinal Stage presents an evening of dramatic adaptations of Kurt Vonnegut’s short stories from Welcome to the Monkey House in partnership with the 2019 Franfalloon Festival presented by the IU Arts & Humanities Council.  Staged readings will include “Epicac” (adapted by Vonnegut) and “Report on the Barnhouse Effect” (adapted by Claris A. Ross for NBC radio), which speak to Vonnegut’s wariness of the military industrial complex and the unintended consequences of technological advancement.

Written by Roxanna Santoro — April 12, 2019

© Indiana Writers Center 2012