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Reading Series Census: Ditmas Lit

By on Wednesday, December 14th, 2016 at 9:03 am

The New York City Reading Series Census is an ongoing project to catalogue the contemporary literary scene. Any reading series curator in the New York area can take the survey here.


What is the name of the series, and what is the significance or meaning of the series name?

The name of the series is Ditmas Lit. We floated around some ideas that were a little more clever, but we ultimately decided we wanted something easy to remember that gave a shout out to the neighborhood.

Who founded the series, and who runs it now?

Rachel Lyon and Sarah Bridgins founded and run the series.

What genres or mediums does the series include?

We’re open to all genres. Fiction, Non-fiction, poetry, storytelling, and anything in between.

What is the format of the series?

The two of us host it together and we have four readers who read for 10 minutes each, with a short break in the middle.

Where does the series take place?

It takes place in The Lodge at Sycamore Bar and Flower shop. Sycamore has a backyard and in the winter they put a big tent over it and transform it into this great space that feels like the living room of a cozy cabin. There are heaters to keep everyone warm and comfy couches and chairs. It’s a great place to host a reading.

Since taking the survey, the reading series has relocated to the backroom of Hinterlands

When and how often is the series performed (and is it seasonal)?

Right now it’s going to be on the third Tuesday of the month from December-March. Ideally we would like to keep it going past then though.

How long has the series been active?

December 20th is our first show!

Where can people find information about series on the web?

Our website is We also have a Facebook page, and we’re active on Twitter.

Do you take submissions, solicit material, or a combination?

We’re currently soliciting material, since the series has a limited run. If we end up extending it past March, however, we would like to start opening it up to submissions.

Did you set out with specific goals when the series was launched and have they changed over time?

We really just wanted to create a welcoming space that was equal parts reading and social event. That’s why we’re striving to keep the show around an hour and a half. No matter how great the writers are, audience members start to get restless after a while, and we want to give everyone time to hang out, have a drink, and get to know each other. Sarah used to be a literary agent, and she sees this as a new way for her to continue promoting the work of talented writers and to help foster connections between people in the community.

Our biggest priorities are that the show reflect the diversity of Brooklyn and its creative community, and that everyone just has a great time. We want people to come to the show because it’s a fun way to spend an evening, whether they’re writers coming out to support their fellow artists or just people in the neighborhood looking to for something different to do on a cold night.

What distinguishes the series from others?

As far as we know, we’re the only series in Ditmas Park, which is a neighborhood where a lot of writers live. We’re also actively working on featuring a real diverse variety of readers and storytellers—not just in terms of their backgrounds, but also in terms of their work and their level of exposure in the literary world and beyond.


The inaugural Ditmas Lit was held Tuesday, December 20th, 2016 at Sycamore Brooklyn from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. and featured Isaac Fitzgerald, Jeanne Thornton, Garbrielle Moss, and Tommy “Teebs” Pico.

Below are the readers between 2016 and 2019:

January 15, 2020
Suzanne Dottino
Ben Fama
Ryan D. Matthews
Bishakh Som’

December 18, 2019
Zefyr Lisowski
Michaela Morton
Rena J. Mosteirin
Marco Rafalà i

November 20, 2019
Mary Boo Anderson
Carrie Conners
Louise Hung
Azareen van der Vliet Oloomi

October 16, 2019
Brian Birnbaum
Greg Gerke
Amy Meng
Briana Silberberg

September 18, 2019
James Anderson
Tyler Barton
Melissa Grunow
Joanne Ramos
Kelly Tsai

August 14, 2019
Simon Jacobs
Rax King
Meher Manda
Audrey Olivero

July 17, 2019 Hinterlands
Talia Bloch
Heidi Diehl
Melissa Mesku
Julia Phillips

june 26, 2019 hinterlands
Sari Botton
Cathi Hanauer
Bernice L. McFadden
Lynn Steger Strong

Peter BD
Caroline Hagood
Evan James
Edgar Kunz

April 17, 2019 Hinterlands
Vanessa Jimenez Gabb
Devin Kelly
Rachel Lyon
Larissa Pham

March 20, 2019 Hinterlands
Tania Pabón Acosta
Ming Lauren Holden
Chantal Johnson
Raymond Strom

Steffi Drewes
Briallen Hopper
Leslie Jamison
Daniel Poppick

January 16, 2019 Hinterlands
Ivanna Baranova
Sarah Bridgins
Diane Mehta
J.T. Price

Sari Botton
Sidik Fofana
Alice Robb
Tony Tulathimutte

Jaclyn Gilbert
Gabrielle Moss
Paige Taggart
Kem Joy Ukwu

Katya Apekina
Kirstin Chen
Monica Lewis
Sampson Starkweather

Andrew Badr
Wren Hanks
Uzodinma Okehi
Whitney Porter

August 15, 2018 Hinterlands
Ian MacAllen
Alizah Salario
Brad Wetherell
James Yeh

Iris Martin Cohen
Alice Kaltman
Edward Mullany
Thiahera Nurse

June 20, 2018 Hinterlands
Brian Gresko
Anjali Khosla
Taylor Larsen
Jayson P Smith

May 16, 2018 hinterlands
Lawrence Detlor
Zefyr Lisowski
Kyle McCarthy
Bob Raymonda

April 18, 2018 HINTERLANDS
Maria Bowler
Cat Fitzpatrick
Ife-Chudeni A. Oputa
Darley Stewart

february 28, 2018 Hinterlands
Matthew Daddona
Rachel Lyon
Halimah Marcus
Monica McClure

January 17, 2018 Hinterlands
Wendy Herlich
T Kira Madden
Sandra Newman
Cooper Wilhelm

December 6, 2017 Hinterlands
Sarah Bridgins
Nandi Comer
Natalie Eilbert
Robin Wasserman

George Michelsen Foy
Sarah Gerard
Pamela Ryder
Katie Willingham

Joy Baglio
Kim Coleman Foote
Zack Graham
Leslie Jones

9.20.2017, Hinterlands
Matthew Hittinger
Melissa Ragsly
Madhuri Pavamani
Ashley P. Taylor

8.16.2017, hinterlands
Melissa Febos
Christopher Hermelin
Donika Kelly
Anton Solomonik

7.19.2017, Hinterlands
Tobias Carroll
Born in Zaria
Lena Valencia
Joanna C. Valente

6.21.2017, HINTERLANDS
Jessie Chaffee
Pat Hipp
Jacob Kaplan
Alice Sola Kim

5.17.2017, Hinterlands
Jennifer Baker
Alice Kaltman
Stephen Langlois
Emily Schultz

4.19.2017, Hinterlands
Kate Clifford.
Sara Lippmann
Rachel Sherman
Shayne Terry

3.21.2017, Sycamore
I.S. Jones
Sarah Larson
Jonathan Reiss
Charif Shanahan

2.21.2017, Sycamore
Lisa Marie Basile
Evan James
Miracle Jones
Rebecca Schiff

1.17.2017, Sycamore
Wren Hanks
Cynthia Manick
Ben Lasman
Ryan Teitman

December 20, 2016, Sycamore
Isaac Fitzgerald
Jeanne Thornton
Gabrielle Moss
Tommy “Teebs” Pico



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