Tis the season for publishing parties, what with all those pre- and post-BookExpo America stopovers putting literary-venue bookings into overdrive. If the National Arts Club doesn’t suit your style — or your budget — here’s a selection of some New York City standbys and (hopefully) a few off-the-beaten-path finds for that launch party, reading, or celebration.
The Bowery Poetry Club: Past the small coffee shop serving Yonah Schimmel knishes is a performance space at this newish, amped-up club that seats over 100 and boasts digital recording and cybercast gear, plus a full bar. At 308 Bowery, New York, NY 10012. Call “Poetry Czar” Bob Holman, (212) 614-0505; email@example.com; www.bowerypoetry.com.
Cornelia Street Café: The time-honored (since 1977) cabaret space has showcased everything from Monty Python members to the Greek-American Writers Association. At 29 Cornelia Street, New York, NY 10014. Call (212) 989-9319; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.corneliastreetcafe.com.
The Culture Project: This literary-activist venue produces theater, dance, and spoken word events “with emphasis on cross-disciplinary works that influence social and aesthetic values.” At 45 Bleecker Street, New York, NY 10012. Call (212) 253-7017; email@example.com; www.45bleecker.com.
Fuel at Phebes: Sleek, multi-room lounge holds up to 100, and has a full catering menu (mini crab cakes with guacamole go for $50 for 30 pieces). It’ll cost you $8 – $10 per hour per person, with a two-hour minimum. At 359 Bowery (at East 4th), New York, NY 10003. Call Joan McNaughton, (212) 473-9008; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.fuelatphebes.com.
General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen: Home of the Small Press Center and the General Society Library, this grand four-story reading room offers “bookish ambience” for literary events. At 20 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036. Call (212) 764-7021; email@example.com; www.smallpress.org.
Grolier Club: A bibliophile mecca with a major graphic arts collection, the club seats as many as 100, with a public lecture hall and several book-lined meeting rooms. At 47 East 60th Street, New York, NY 10022. Call William McClure, (212) 838-6690; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.grolierclub.org.
Housing Works Used Book Café: Popular Soho site of bashes for The New Yorker, Harper’s, and Poets & Writers (the café is available for catering). At 126 Crosby St. (btwn. Houston & Prince), New York, NY 10012. Call Joel Tippie, (212) 334-3324; email@example.com; www.housingworks.org.
KGB Bar: Low-key East Village room hosts venerable reading series (and cheap drinks) almost every Sunday evening (fiction) and Monday evening (poetry), plus other weeknight events. At 85 East 4th Street, New York, NY 10003. Call Denis Woychuk, (212) 505-3360; www.kgbbar.com.
Mercantile Library: A historic bastion of literary life (founded in 1820), the library’s sprawling, second-floor reading room holds up to 150, and costs $500/evening. At 17 East 47th Street, New York, NY 10017. Call Anne Keisman, (212) 755-6710; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.mercantilelibrary.org.
Nuyorican Poets Café: Famous, rowdy Lower East Side multicultural collective opens its stage to poetry slams, hip-hop, film, and theater. At 236 East 3rd Street (btwn. Aves. B & C), New York, NY 10009. Call (212) 505-8183; email@example.com; www.nuyorican.org.
Poets House: Elegant, informal poetry archive founded by poet Stanley Kunitz is available for $500 per evening ($300 for nonprofits) and capacity is 60-80 seated or 300 for parties. At 72 Spring Street, New York, NY 10012. Call Jane Preston, (212) 431-7920, ext. 16; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.poetshouse.org.
Puffin Room: Soho art and dance space devoted to artists “excluded from mainstream opportunities due to their race, gender, or social philosophy.” It’s $100/hour, and holds 75 seated or 150 standing. At 435 Broome St. (off B’way), New York, NY 10013. Call Carl Rosenstein, (212) 343-2881; email@example.com; www.puffinroom.org.
Soft Skull Shortwave Bookstore: Cutting-edge cachet is yours at this Brooklyn book bodega devoted to the world of independent publishing (it seats 40). At 71 Bond Street (at State St.), Brooklyn, NY 11217. Call Shanna Compton, (718) 643-1599; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.softskull.com.
Teachers & Writers Collaborative: Nonprofit venue for writer-in-residence programs hosts eclectic book parties and readings. At 5 Union Square West, New York, NY 10003. Call Bruce Morrow, (212) 691-6590; email@example.com; www.twc.org.
White Box Gallery: Hip Chelsea nonprofit center champions notable art exhibitions plus a variety of “lectures, readings, performances, and VIP cocktail parties.” At 525 West 26th Street (btwn. 10th & 11th Aves.), New York, NY 10001. Call (212) 714-2347; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.whiteboxny.org.