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

Irvington Vinyl & Books
9 Johnson Ave, Indianapolis, Indiana 46219

Storytelling through Brazilian Cordel Poetry
Thursday, January 16, 2020 at 7 PM – 8:30 PM

Brazilian "literatura de cordel" is a folk poetry form, created by and for the people as a means to teach morals, provide entertainment, and share stories.

Funded through a U.S. Department of State Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund grant, Brazilian arts and culture producer
Prussiana Fernandes will be in Indianapolis on  to teach a workshop on cordel: where it came from, why it's still important today, and how to create it.

Prussiana Araújo Fernandes Cunha is a cultural education professional and publisher from Belo Horizonte, Brazil. She completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in cultural communication at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais. Her published research, “As narrativas urbanas dos ambulantes de Belo Horizonte”, focuses on urban narratives from marginalized voices. She is both the co-founder and creative director of Editora Calamares, an independent publishing house that focuses on publishing local writers and works in translation.

This event is appropriate for anyone interested in poetry, storytelling, zines, the role of art in creating community, Brazil, and/or Latin America.

Indy Reads Books
911 Massachusetts Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202

Cafe Macabre: Reading and Signing
Saturday, January 18 at 2 PM – 3 PM

Join Leah Lederman, project creator, and contributors Kari McElroy and Jennifer Barnett as they read from and discuss the process of Cafe Macabre: A Collection of Horror Stories and Art by Women.

Coffee with Friends literary event presented by the Friends of the Monroe County Pubic Library

Discussion with author Raymond Fleischmann
Sunday, January 19 at 2-4 pm
In the Auditorium at the Monroe County Public Library

303 E. Kirkwood Ave, Bloomington, IN
This program is free and all are welcome.

Join us for Coffee with Friends with author Raymond Fleischmann as he discusses his debut novel, How Quickly She Disappears, in a conversation moderated by fellow suspense writer Michael Koryta. Set in the Alaskan bush in the 1940s, How Quickly She Disappears is an intoxicating tale of literary suspense about a woman desperate to find her long-missing sister—and the dangerous stranger who arrives in town, promising answers in exchange for three favors. What follows is a chilling game of cat-and-mouse that explores madness and obsession, loneliness and grief, and the ferocious bonds of family. Book signing to follow.
How Quickly She Disappears
“A beautiful blend of high tension and literary elegance, both deeply moving and immediately engaging.”
— Michael Koryta, New York Times-bestselling author of How It Happened

The Friends of the Library sponsors Coffee with Friends, an opportunity to meet authors and artists and learn more about their work. The Friends advocate for Monroe County Public Library and support Library collections, services, programs, and staff development. Be a Friend to Monroe County Public Library today!

Martin Luther King, Jr Day Celebration

Monday, January 20 at 6 p.m.
Booth Tarkington Theater in the Center for the Performing Arts

Three Center Green, Carmel, IN 46032

Join Mayor Jim Brainard and Dee Thornton of the Mayor’s Advisory Commission on Human Relations as they celebrate the life and impact of American Civil Rights Leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Performances by KJI Institute for the Arts, St. Peters United Church of Christ Choir and Blair Clark, as well as Indiana African American Authors, Indiana Writers Center and representatives from the United Negro College Fund on hand to honor Dr. King Jr.’s legacy and achievements.

The public is invited and encouraged to attend. The event is free to the public.

Vivian S. Delbrook Visiting Writers Series-Butler University

Free and open to the public without tickets.   

Marie HoweMarie Howe

Tuesday, January 21, 7:30 PM
Shelton Auditorium

For more than thirty years, poet Marie Howe has been transforming ordinary life into extraordinary visions. As Arthur Sze, the most recent National Book Award winner for poetry, has said, “Her poems are acclaimed for writing through loss with verve, but they also find the miraculous in the ordinary and transform quotidian incidents into enduring revelation.” As Howe herself puts it, she is obsessed “with the metaphysical, the spiritual dimensions of life as they present themselves in this world."

Howe’s most recent volume of poetry is Magdalene (2018), which was long-listed for the National Book Award. Her other books are The Good Thief (1999), a National Poetry Series selection; The Kingdom of Ordinary Time (2009), a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; and What the Living Do (1999), a wrenching, plain-spoken elegy for her brother John, who died of an AIDS-related illness in 1989.

Howe has received numerous honors, including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Bunting Institute. From 2012 to 2014, she served as Poet Laureate of New York State, and in 2018 she was elected a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. She lives in New York City, where she teaches at New York University and Sarah Lawrence College.

Poets Attack: January featuring Nancy Chen Long, Gnat Bowden, Rachel Sahaidachny, and Sam Ferrante
Wednesday, January 22 at 7 PM – 8:30 PM
Irvington Vinyl & Books

9 Johnson Ave, Indianapolis, Indiana 46219

Don't miss this line-up of local heavy hitters!!

Nancy Chen Long is the author of Wider Than the Sky (Diode Editions, 2020)  and Light into Bodies (University of Tampa Press, 2017). She is the grateful recipient of a National Endowment of the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship. Her work was chosen as the winner of the 2019 Poetry Society of America Robert H. Winner Award and featured in Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, and Indiana Humanities.

Gnat Bowden is a conceptual researcher in Indiana. Their work investigates how cultural structures affect language, the body, and public space.

Rachel Sahaidachny is the Executive Director of the Indiana Writers Center, and associate editor of The Indianapolis Review. She holds an MFA from Butler University, and is former poetry editor of Booth: A Journal. Recent writing has been published in South Dakota Review, The Southeast Review, Radar Poetry, Community of Writers Poetry Review, and others. She was a finalist for the Radar Poetry Coniston Prize, and awarded first prize in the Wabash Watershed Indiana Poetry Awards. Find her at

Sam Ferrante is a queer poet, bartender, and MFA candidate in Butler University's Poetry program in Indianapolis, IN. Originally from Long Island, NY, she has been lucky enough to have featured with La Mama Poetica, Melbourne Spoken Word, Passionate Tongues, and a couple other spots. Her mom gave her chapbook Pick Me Up (2016) rave reviews.

Indy Reads Books
911 Massachusetts Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202

Polyglot Author Kiran Bhat at Indy Reads
Friday, January 24 at 7–9 PM

Go here to reserve your ticket.

In We of the Forsaken World.… Kiran Bhat tells the stories of four worlds falling apart, through the structure of four linguistic chains, comprised of the accounts of four people witnessing the decline of these worlds, in four acts. Like modern communication networks, these sixteen stories connect along subtle lines, dispersing at the moments where another story is about to take place. they flow together and disconnect. Each story is a parable of its own, into the mind of a distinct human being. These are the tales of not just sixteen strangers, but many different lives, who live on this planet, at every second, everywhere.

An Evening of Spoken Word and Experimental Music
Presented by Writers Guild at Bloomington, Azalea Salon, Indiana Arts Commission, and Urban Deer Records Present

Saturday, January 25 @ 7:30–9:30 pm
IFell Gallery

425 W 4th St, Bloomington, IN
Doors 7 p.m., show 7:30 p.m.
Suggested Donation $5

Kyle Quass & Tony Brewer
Cut up and collage inspired spoken word and improvisational poetry.

Joan Hawkins
A reading of Samuel Beckett’s stage poetry piece Not I.  As with so much of Beckett’s writing, content correlates completely with form in Not I; in fact, form to a large extent is content.

Saint Bloom
Alex Cunningham – violin (St. Louis)
Kyle Quass – trumpet
Damon Smith – bass (St. Louis)
Joe Stone – drums

Don Marvel – live electronic looping of electronic sound sources

The Writers Guild at Bloomington

Last Sunday Poetry Reading & Open Mic
With guest poets Nate Logan and Patsy Rahn
January 26, 2020 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Monroe County Convention Center

303 E. Kirkwood Ave, Bloomington, IN
Followed by an Open Mic
Free parking in the back.
This event is free and open to the public.

Nate Logan is the author of Inside the Golden Days of Missing You (Magic Helicopter Press, 2019). He teaches at Marian University.

Patsy Rahn is a poet and prose writer. Her works have appeared in various journals and anthologies. Her book of poetry The Grainy Wet Soul is available online through several booksellers. She worked for many years as an actress in Toronto, New York, and Los Angeles and has given poetry readings in Toronto, Los Angeles, and Bloomington. She is a founding member and chairperson emerita of the Writers Guild at Bloomington in Indiana. For more information visit her website at

The Poets Laureate of Lawrence
Tuesday, January 28 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.)

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.  This month
we will kick off the new year with an all open reading – write something new and share it with us!

University of Notre Dame Creative Writing Program

Ernest Sandeen Poetry Prize Reading Featuring Leia Penina Wilson
Wednesday, January 29, 7:30-9:00PM

232 Decio Hall, Campus

Leia Penina Wilson is an afakasi Samoan poet hailing from the Midwest. Most recently, she has work in Burning House Press, Heavy Feather Review, Denver Quarterly, Dream Pop Press, and Split Lip Magazine. She is the author of i built a boat with all the trees in your closet (and will let you drown), from Red Hen Press.

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

Midwinter Poetry
Thursday, January 30 at 6–7 PM

Join us for a reading to celebrate Daniel Morris' new book of poems, Blue Poles. Poet J. Peter Moore will also be reading.

Daniel Morris's poetry has appeared in Agni, Colorado Review, DENVER QUARTERLY, Western Humanities Review, Southern Humanities Review, River City, and other journals. Associate Professor of English at Purdue University, Morris has published scholarly books on William Carlos Williams and on how contemporary American authors have responded to modern painting. He lives in West Lafayette, Indiana, with his wife, Joy, and young sons, Isaac and Aaron. He is the author of four poetry collections published by Marsh Hawk Press: BLUE POLES (2019), HIT PLAY (2015), IF NOT FOR THE COURAGE (2010), and BRYCE PASSAGE (2004).

J. Peter Moore is a literary critic, poet and editor, working at the intersection of multiple disciplines, including linguistics, architecture, visual arts and black studies. He received his PhD in English at Duke University, his MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and his BA in English at Rhodes College. He is the author of Southern Colortype (Three Count Pour, 2013) and the editor of Lute & Drum: An Online Arts Quarterly. He teaches in the Honors College at Purdue University. When he is not writing or talking about writing, he can be found behind the three-point line, working on his shot.


Written by Roxanna Santoro — January 14, 2020

© Indiana Writers Center 2012