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Reading Series Census: First Tuesdays

By on Wednesday, December 28th, 2016 at 9:02 am

First Tuesdays, a Jackson Heights reading series

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 series is called First Tuesdays because it runs on the first Tuesday of the month from September through June, except when the first Tuesday is a holiday or Election Day, in which case we meet on the second Tuesday of the month.

Who founded the series, and who runs it now?
The series was founded in 2008 by a woman named Marina Yoffe. Since 2012, it has been run by Richard Jeffrey Newman.

What genres or mediums does the series include?
We welcome readers of all kinds of poetry and prose.

What is the format of the series?
We are an open-mic/featured reader series. There’s a 3 minute limit on the open mic, and there is one featured reader.

Where does the series take place?
We’re located at Espresso 77 in Jackson Heights: 35-57 77th Street, Jackson Heights 11372, (718) 424-1077

When and how often is the series performed (and is it seasonal)?
We meet on the first Tuesday of the month, September through June.

How long has the series been active?
We’ve been around since 2008. Richard Jeffrey Newman has been running it since 2012.

Where can people find information about series on the web?
There’s a Facebook page, a website that is not yet fully functional, and people can sign up for the mailing list here.

Do you take submissions, solicit material, or a combination?
A combination. People who are interested in featuring can contact Rich Newman at

Did you set out with specific goals when the series was launched and have they changed over time?
It’s been very important to me to build literary community in Queens, and I am happy that First Tuesdays has played an important role in making that happen. I wouldn’t say the goals of the series have changed.

What distinguishes the series from others?
Every open mic, we compose—me and the audience—a cento using one line/phrase from each of the open mic readers. You can read one of them here. You can hear me recite one here. I am in the process of creating an ebook of the centos from our 2015-2016 series. I will be sending it out to people on the mailing list next week or the week after.


The next First Tuesday is scheduled for January 3rd, 2017 at Espresso 77



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