Some of the best places to hear contemporary writers aren't bookstores (though they're great, too). No, they're your local watering hole.
Some bars have almost daily events, like KCB Bar, found in the East Village. Pick a night, and you may hear emerging writers from NYU, or a night of Columbia University faculty picks. Bigger names also visit the bar (a recent night saw Julie Powell, one half of "Julie and Julia"). Other regular events features non-fiction writing, female crime writers and new poets.
Over in Chelsea, you can find another prominent literary bar - The Half King. Roughly every Monday the bar hosts a reading night featuring newly published authors, and their Magazine Night has brought in writers from some of the most prominent publications.
Other bars in the city feature popular monthly series, such as Joe's Pub, which welcomes one of the city's most hailed reading series, the Happy Ending Music & Reading Series, held the first Wednesday of every month at the East Village space. Curated by Amanda Stern, each evening features storytellers, writers, musicians and various personalities. Every last Wednesday of the month (for the most part), you can also find the subversive Guerrilla Lit Reading Series at BAR on A.
If you prefer to hear poetry along with that beer, head to Brooklyn. Usually Thursdays you can find a poetry night at Pacific Standard (check out their blog for the most up-to-date information on events), and Friday's, Pete's Candy Store hosts its Big Poetry Series.
And while Cake Shop is primarily known for its music, the bar combines its two loves with the Mixer Reading & Music series, which features authors and a musical guest once a month on Wednesdays. So grab a drink, sit back and rock out at this reading series.
Why? Make a solitary event a social one with these readings series
Where:KGB Bar - 85 E. 4th St., Half King - 505 W. 23rd St.; Joe's Pub - 425 Lafayette St.; BAR on A - 170 Avenue A; Pete's Candy Store - 709 Lorimer St.; Pacific Standard - 82 4th Ave., Bklyn; 11th Street Bar - 510 E. 11th St.; Cake Shop, 152 Ludlow St.