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Reading Series Census: Pete’s Reading Series

By on Monday, October 5th, 2015 at 9:04 am

Katie Kitamura reading at Pete's Reading Series in 2012

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 Pete’s Reading Series because it takes place at Pete’s Candy Store at 709 Lorimer Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Who founded the series, and who runs it now?
The series was founded by Mira Jacob and Alison Hart over 15 years ago, after they met while pursuing their MFAs in fiction at The New School. They passed the torch to writers Jillian Capewell and Lindsay Hood in 2013, and today it’s run by Jillian and fellow writer Brian Gresko.

What genres or mediums does the series include?
Pete’s primarily features fiction writers, but we occasionally have nights with non-fiction authors and, rarely, poets too. Most of the readers have at least one book under their belts, whether that be a collection of stories or a novel, from a big five publisher or an indie press, but we feature emerging talent as well. And while our readers come from all over, the majority are based in Brooklyn.

What is the format of the series?
Simple: every event features two to three readers. Each one takes the stage to read for about ten minutes. Before and after, books are available from WORD bookstore, and the bar has beer, wine, drinks, and great sandwiches for sale.

Where does the series take place?
Pete’s Candy Store, 709 Lorimer Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

When and how often is the series performed (and is it seasonal)?
Readings happen every-other Thursday in the Fall, Winter, and Spring.

How long has the series been active?
15 plus years

Where can people find information about series on the web?
Our site is at and you can also follow the series on Twitter.

Do you take submissions, solicit material, or a combination?
We invite the authors we would like to have read.

Did you set out with specific goals when the series was launched and have they changed over time?
Pete’s has always striven to feature the brightest and best of New York’s literary scene, with today’s literary icons and tomorrow’s stars sharing the stage.

What distinguishes the series from others?
Pete’s is Brooklyn’s premier reading series, and the most intimate space in New York City to see big literary talent. The stage at Pete’s is lovely, ringed by lights that make every reader look like a star. Because it typically has bands performing on it, the sound system is top-notch. Afterward, the writers usually linger to chat informally with the audience (and one another) and sign books. The crowd is warm and low-key. There’s an almost out-of-time feel to the whole affair — Pete’s attracts classic New York intellectuals, enthusiastic lovers of fine literature, drink, and conversation with no bullshit.

The next Pete’s Reading Series reading is scheduled for Thursday, October 8, 2015, at Pete’s Candy Store at 7:30 p.m., and features Julia Pierpont and Elizabeth Sanders.



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