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Reading Series

upcoming readings | past readings | mailing list

We have two reading series!

The House Party Reading Series

a salon-style reading

Hosted at a private residence in Durham, NC, the House Party Reading Series is a chance for writers and readers to hear some of the most exciting voices in contemporary letters… and then have a party. Head chef Ashley Nissler prepares the spread and the Bull City Press gang brings authors from all over the country to read new work.

Join the mailing list to receive an invitation: https://bullcitypress.com/reading-series/join-the-mailing-list/

Bull City Press Presents

Located at Mettlesome Theater (in Golden Belt, 800 Taylor Street, Suite 9-156, Durham, NC, 27701), Bull City Press’s downtown reading series brings you poetry, fiction, and nonfiction from established and emerging writers. And stick around for Golden Age, which generally features one of the readers inspiring improv comedy. Free to the public.

Previous Readings

Upcoming Readings

June 22 at 6:00 pm (NEW TIME!): A. Kendra Greene & Fred Joiner with Lindsey Kowaki and Golden Age Comedy

A. Kendra Greene is a writer and book artist. She is the author and illustrator of The Museum of Whales You Will Never See, which Le Monde compared to Borges and Kirkus to Calvino. With publications from Atlas Obscura to Zyzzyva, including the last two issues of Freeman’s, her work has been presented at the Smithsonian, exhibited at The Reading Room, and collected as far away as Qatar. A Visiting Professor at UT Dallas, the University of Iceland, and most recently UNC, she has also served as the Dallas Museum of Art writer in residence and Nasher Sculpture Center guest artist. Her work has come into being with fellowships from Fulbright, MacDowell, Yaddo, Dobie Paisano, and the Library Innovation Lab at Harvard. She is back in Chapel Hill as a Marjorie Bond Research Fellow, investigating bestiaries and their descendants for a collection of essays on curiosity, to be published by Tin House early next year as No Less Strange or Wonderful.

Fred Joiner is a poet and curator based in Chapel Hill, NC. He is 2019  Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow.  His work has appeared in Callaloo, Gargoyle, and Fledgling Rag, among other publications. Fred has read his work nationally and internationally. Joiner has received awards and fellowships from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities and St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Most recently, one of Joiner’s poems was selected by curator and critic A.M. Weaver as part of her 5 x 5 public art project, Ceremonies of Dark Men. Another one of Joiner’s poems recently won the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art’s Divine Comedy Poetry Contest, in response to  Abdoulaye Konate’s textile work.

Lindsey Kowaki is a poet from Virginia. She holds a B.A. from the University of Mary Washington and an M.F.A. from North Carolina State University, where she was an Augustus M. Witherspoon Graduate Fellow and a recipient of the Kathryn Eskew Brown Creative Writing Award. 

Golden Age is an all-star cast of improvisers, Each night, they welcome one special guest to share art and insights. Their experiences inspired their work, now they inspire hilarious conversation and comedy.

July 27 at 7:30 pm (book signing at 7:15): Jayme Ringleb with TBD and Golden Age Comedy

Jayme Ringleb is a queer writer raised in the southern United States and northern Italy. Jayme’s debut poetry collection, So Tall It Ends in Heaven, is published by Tin House Books. Poems from this collection have appeared recently in Poetry, Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast, and Ploughshares. Jayme holds a PhD from Florida State University, an MFA from the University of Oregon, and an MBA from the University of Iowa. An endowed chair and assistant professor of English at Meredith College, Jayme lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.

August 24 at 7:30 pm (book signing at 7:15): Mimi Herman & Julia Ridley Smith with Arielle Hebert and Golden Age Comedy

Mimi Herman is a Kennedy Center teaching artist and co-director of Writeaways writing workshops in France, Italy, Ireland and New Mexico. She is the author of The Kudzu Queen, A Field Guide to Human Emotions, Logophilia and The Art of Learning. Her novel, The Kudzu Queen, was selected by the North Carolina Center for the Book for the 2023 Library of Congress “Great Reads from Great Places” and has been longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award. Her writing has appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, The Carolina Quarterly, Shenandoah, Crab Orchard Review, The Hollins Critic, Main Street Rag, Prime Number Magazine and other journals. She serves as vice-chair of the Board of Directors for the Association of Writers & Writing Programs, and has taught in the Masters of Education programs at Lesley University, served as the North Carolina Piedmont Laureate and been an associate editor for Teaching Artist Journal.

Julia Ridley Smith is the author of The Sum of Trifles, a memoir in essays, and Sex Romp Gone Wrong, a short story collection. Her short stories and essays have appeared in Alaska Quarterly ReviewEcotoneElectric Literature, the New England Review, and The Southern Review, among other publications, and her nonfiction was recognized as notable in The Best American Essays 2019. She’s been awarded scholarships, fellowships, and residencies by the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Millay Colony, the Cuttyhunk Island Residency, and the Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities.

Arielle Hebert is a queer poet based in North Carolina with roots in Florida and Louisiana. She holds an M.F.A in poetry from North Carolina State University. Her work has appeared in Great River Review, Nimrod, Willow Springs, and Redivider, among others. She won the 2024 Lit/South Award for Poetry selected by Jericho Brown.

Golden Age is an all-star cast of improvisers, Each night, they welcome one special guest to share art and insights. Their experiences inspired their work, now they inspire hilarious conversation and comedy.

September 28 at 7:30 pm (book signing at 7:15): Paul Jones & Amanda Shaw with TBD and Golden Age Comedy

Back by popular demand, Paul Jones is a person of minor interest. His book, Something Wonderful, was published by Redhawk Press in 2021. In 2024, Jones’ poem “Geode” was plagiarized multiple times by the notorious serial offender, John Kucera. A manuscript of his poems crashed into the moon’s surface in 2019, but as of the Odyssey’s recent landing, that manuscript is now part of the Lunar Library. In 2021, Jones was inducted into the NC State Computer Science Hall of Fame.  Recently, Jones has published poems in Hudson Review, Tar River PoetryNC Literary Review, as well as in anthologies including Best American Erotic Poems (1800-Present). Find him online at http://smalljones.com.

Amanda Shaw is a poet, editor, and teacher who currently serves as book review editor at Lily Poetry Review. A graduate of Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers, she has taught language and literature at all levels for over 25 years. Although she’s lived in many different cities, states, and countries, she currently divides her time between New England and Washington, DC. Shaw’s poems probe language’s capacities in the hope that art might move us to a deeper commitment to life in all its forms. Her debut collection, It Will Have Been So Beautiful (Lily Poetry Review Books) implores us to consider what “home” means, particularly in the midst of an ever-worsening climate emergency. www.amandashawpoet.com

Golden Age is an all-star cast of improvisers, Each night, they welcome one special guest to share art and insights. Their experiences inspired their work, now they inspire hilarious conversation and comedy.

October 26 at 8:00 pm (doors at 7:00 pm): Friends of Writers Benefit featuring Sarah Audsley, Rita Banerjee, Megan Pinto, Carter Sickels, & Connie Voisine

Sarah Audsley is the author of Landlock X (Texas Review Press). A Korean American adoptee, a graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College, and a member of The Starlings Collective, Audsley lives and works in northern Vermont. She is the Writing Program Director at Vermont Studio Center. (photo by Carolyn Kehler)

Rita Banerjee is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing and Director of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. She is the author of the poetry collections Echo in Four Beats, which was named one of Book Riot’s “Must-Read Poetic Voices of Split This Rock 2018,” and Cracklers at Night. She is also editor of CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing, and author of the novella “A Night with Kali” in Approaching Footsteps. She received her doctorate in Comparative Literature from Harvard University and her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington, and her work appears in Academy of American Poets, Poets & Writers, PANK, Nat. Brut., Hunger Mountain, Tupelo Quarterly, Isele Magazine, Los Angeles Review of Books, VIDA, Vermont Public Radio, and elsewhere. She serves as Editor-at-Large of the South Asian Avant-Garde and Executive Creative Director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop, and she is the co-writer and co-director of Burning Down the Louvre, a forthcoming documentary film about race, intimacy, and tribalism in the United States and in France. She received a 2021-2022 Creation Grant from the Vermont Arts Council for her new memoir and manifesto on female cool, and one of the opening chapters of this new memoir, “Birth of Cool” was a Notable Essay in the 2020 Best American Essays, and another chapter from her new memoir, “The Female Gaze,” was a Notable Essay in the 2023 Best American Essays.

Megan Pinto’s debut collection, Saints of Little Faith, is forthcoming with Four Way Books in September 2024. The winner of the 2023 Halley Prize from the Massachusetts Quarterly Review, Megan’s poems can be found or are forthcoming in the Los Angeles Review of BooksGuernicaPloughsharesLit Hub, and elsewhere. Megan has received scholarships and fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing, the Port Townsend Writers’ Conference, Storyknife, The Peace Studio and an Amy Award from Poets & Writers.  She lives in Brooklyn and holds an MFA in Poetry from Warren Wilson. (photo by Beowulf Sheehan)

Connie Voisine is the author of  The Bower, a book-length poem about her family’s time in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Her previous books, Calle Florista, and Rare High Meadow of Which I Might Dream are also published by University of Chicago Press. Rare High Meadow was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award. Her first book, Cathedral of the North, won the Associated Writing Program’s Award in Poetry. Her chapbook, And God Created Women, was published by Bull City Press. She has poems published in The New Yorker, Poetry Magazine, and elsewhere. Her work was featured at The Lab at Belmar, a museum show pairing prehistoric stone tools with poems. Educated at Yale University, University of California at Irvine, and University of Utah, Voisine teaches in the creative writing program at New Mexico State University and lives in New Mexico and Chicago. Voisine was a Fulbright Fellow in the School of English at Queen’s University in 2012. 

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