Release Party and Reading Sunday, May 19 at 3 pm
Sunday, May 19, 3 pm
Join Douglas Watson for the release party of his debut collection of fiction, The Era of Not Quite (BOA Editions) Douglas will be joined for a reading by special guests Hannah Tinti (author of The Good Thief and Animal Crackers and editor-in-chief of One Story) and Anthony Tognazzini (author of I Carry A Hammer In My Pocket For Occasions Such As These).
Winner of the inaugural BOA Editions Short Fiction Prize, Watson’s fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Fifty-two Stories, Tin House Flash Fridays, One Story, Sou’wester, The Journal, Ecotone, Salt Hill, and other publications. His story “Life on the Moon” was chosen by Dan Chaon and Wigleaf in 2012 as one of the year’s top fifty very short fictions. He will be featured as a literary debutante at One Story’s 2013 Literary Debutante Ball. Watson was born in Scranton, Pa., grew up near Reading, Pa., and graduated from Swarthmore College. He holds an MFA in creative writing from Ohio State University and an MA in history from Brown University. He lives in New York City, where he works as a copy editor for Time magazine.
Welcome to Irving Street, the lost block of Brooklyn
As part of our ongoing efforts to scan and upload photos and negatives documenting the Columbia Street waterfront in the 1960s and ’70s, we share this latest set of images featuring the forgotten stretch of Irving, a short street extending between Columbia and the waterfront. After the buildings across from Freebird were torn down in the late 1970s, the Port Authority took over the land and it is now occupied by the container docks. But for a brief time it became a playground and event space for the Puerto Rican community that then lined the waterfront from Kane to Degraw.
Reading and film screening in backyard—Sunday, Oct 7
Please join us for the launch of a new work of fiction and the screening of a film classic
The Three-Day Affair by Michael Kardos
Sunday, October 7, at 5pm
Michael Kardos will read from The Three-Day Affair followed by a screening in our backyard (weather permitting) of “Wonder Boys”
Praise for The Three-Day Affair: “So disturbing it makes you wonder what he might have in mind for his second book… A carefully calibrated study of how even the most highly evolved members of our species can become feral under pressure.”—The New York Times
Will, Jeffrey, and Nolan have been friends since their undergrad days at Princeton. Now, nine years after graduation, Will is a musician reeling from the tragic death of a bandmate, Jeffrey is a wealthy beneficiary of the dot-com boom, and Nolan is a state senator with national aspirations. Their friendships have bent without breaking for years, until one shocking moment changes everything. One night on a drive, they make a routine stop at a convenience store. Moments after entering the store, a manic Jeffrey emerges, dragging a young woman with him. He shoves her into Will’s car and shouts a single word: “Drive!” Shaken and confused, Will obeys. Suddenly, these three men find themselves completely out of their element, holding a young girl hostage without the slightest idea of what to do next. They’re already guilty of kidnapping and robbery; it’s only a matter of time before they find out what else they might be capable of. For these men, three days will decide their fate—between freedom and prison, innocence and guilt…and life and death. The Three-Day Affair marks the emergence of an electrifying new voice in crime fiction.
Michael Kardos is the author of The Three-Day Affair the acclaimed story collection One Last Good Time, which won the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters award for fiction. His short stories have appeared in The Southern Review, Crazyhorse, and elsewhere, and have been cited several times as “Notable Stories” in Best American Short Stories. He received a degree in music from Princeton University and currently lives in Starkville, Mississippi, where he co-directs the creative writing program at Mississippi State University. More info can be found at www.michaelkardos.com.
Scrabble Tournament and Fund raiser for Books Through Bars
The (Unofficial) Brooklyn Scrabble Championships—for experts and novices
A Brooklyn Book Festival 2012 Bookend Event
September 22, 2012
Free (but donations of paperback dictionaries strongly encouraged)
To celebrate the new book, Is That a Word? From AA to ZZZ, the Weird and Wonderful Language of Scrabble by Brooklyn author David Bukszpan, Freebird Books and Goods invites all comers to an afternoon Scrabble tournament and an al fresco evening viewing of the Scrabble documentary, Word Wars, starting at sunset. Single players and teams can compete in the novice or advanced divisions, with prizes to the winners in each. The champion of the advanced division will be crowned Brooklyn Scrabble Champion (for the day). Free food and drinks. All attendees are encouraged to bring at least one old dictionary to donate to the Books Through Bars programs.
In lieu of a book, small cash donations will also be accepted. Entrants are encouraged to RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org to guarantee participation.
Columbia Street circa 1966 (versus now)
A slideshow of Columbia Street around 1966, intercut with photos of their present day sites. These scans—made from a contact sheet of medium format negatives—are arranged as if you were walking from the corner of Congress Street (near the tennis courts and the exit of the BQE) south to Degraw Street.
Though an incomplete set (sadly our own address is absent in the photos), they document many of the businesses that served the Puerto Rican and Italian communities around Columbia Street in the 1960s. They also display the creative destruction that New York has cycled through over the last fifty years. As some apartment buildings were razed and reused for parking, others have arisen on the sites of former gas stations, garages, and abandoned lots.
These are part of a cache of photos and negatives that document the Puerto Rican community of Columbia Street in the Sixties and Seventies. They were generously donated by our former neighbor, Noah Baen, a longtime resident of Tiffany Place. Freebird is in the process of archiving and scanning them.
Freebird Books opens summer reading series in Brooklyn Bridge Park
As a part of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy’s mission to bring cultural events to the new park, Freebird helps kick off their “Books Beneath the Bridge” literary series with a reading and performance from Lost Everything author, Brian Francis Slattery, and his band. In the A.V. Club, Jason Heller recent said of the novel: “In a single, searing vision, Slattery distills Lost Everything’s hallucinatory backdrop: a once-prosperous land reduced to scavenging, anarchy, civil war, and late-19th-century technology—not because of a meltdown or other catastrophe, but due to the gradual, inexorable atrophy of America. It is the current selection of Freebird’s Post-Apocalyptic Book Club.
The reading series takes place outdoors on Monday nights on the Granite Prospect of Brooklyn Bridge Park. Get directions to the park and the seating area.
Book launch party for Alix Ohlin’s novel INSIDE
Saturday, June 9, 2012
2 to 6 pm
Contrary to reports (spread by Abe Vigoda no doubt), Freebird Books is alive and kicking. We just haven’t held any events lately, but that’s about to change with the publication of Alix Ohlin’s new novel from Knopf. Join us outdoors in our backyard to celebrate our friend Alix who J.M. Coetzee has called “A skillful storyteller … attractively quick-witted and wry.”
For the release of INSIDE, her forthcoming novel set in Montreal and New York, we will have a spread from that other Montreal transplant, the deli Mile End. Raise a bagel to Alix and get a book signed just in time to watch the lines forming for Pok Pok restaurant next door.